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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
June 9, 2021

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer 
MCA Call to Prayer
An Anti-Muslim Attack: Reflections from NEM
Lamenting with MCBC
A Menno Minute Jenn Ratzlaff
Farewell to Donna
Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon
Student Bursary Applications 
Employment Opportunity
 E3 Resources 

Plus... updates from MC Canada, ISR, International Witness, our schools, and CommonWord
(If this newsletter does not format properly as an email, please click the link above to view in your browser)
MCA Calendar
June 12 Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon
June 27 Farewell for Donna Entz
July 31 Deadline for Student Bursaries
September Heritage Retreat via ZOOM.  Date to be finalized.

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

Our E3 Prayer

Reveal yourself, oh loving God, in the faces of all those we see around us.

Please also remember in your prayers those in our congregations for whom Covid-19 is much more than a daily statistic.

Pray for peace for those isolating, renewed health for those who are ill, and comfort for those who are grieving.

MCA Call to Prayer:

Mennonite Church Alberta mourns together with the Muslim community after the recent attack on the Afzaal/Salman family of London, ON.

Mennonites in Alberta have a long history of working with people from different cultural and religious backgrounds. We have been enriched through working with and alongside people from around the world through refugee sponsorship, re-settlement agencies, language learning centres, cultural celebrations, and interfaith dialogue.

Through interfaith dialogue, we have discovered common ground, common goals and aspirations for living as neighbours. As we have shared our beliefs, we have grown in respect and understanding, seeking to build communities where respect and appreciation form the basis of our interactions.

Our prayers are with the Muslim community as they struggle to understand this attack. We pray that fears are quelled and that an outpouring of love provides comfort at this time. We pray that the peace and hope of our faiths draws us closer together as neighbours and as people of a common God.



Brenda Tiessen-Wiens, Moderator, MCA

An Anti-Muslim Attack: Reflections from North Edmonton Ministry 

It is with sadness and utter shock that we received the news of the murder of four members of a Muslim family in London Ontario. We call out to God for mercy on this whole city, on those grieving loss, those now living in fear and those walking in solidarity with them. I was reassured that the Valleyview Mennonite Church in London would be present at the Tuesday evening vigil.

In the face of great evil, the Psalms call us to name it and lament. Here from Psalms 10 we read, "Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression. Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless. Rise up O Lord, O God, lift up your hand, do not forget the oppressed. Why do the wicked renounce God and say in their hearts, "You will not call us to account". But [God] you do see!  Indeed you note the trouble and grief that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you, you have been the helper of the orphan. The Lord is king forever and ever,... O Lord you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed.”

Some have said that this is not our Canada, but let's name it. It is very very real! This is Canada. Hate crimes in Canada took a huge jump up in 2017. Today many Canadian Muslims are feeling unsafe, angry, terrified and hoping their young children don't hear about this. But sadly they are not surprised. Many have been the victims of hate crimes already. It is like a huge iceberg of hate crimes they are already experiencing, and every once in a while one shows above the surface of the iceberg like the Montreal mosque shooting or the London murders for example.

Monday evening I walked with a Muslim friend. I cried when I thought about her 10-year-old daughter. She has worked hard to instil pride in her daughter about being Muslim. There are so many things she can't tell her. Now this.

There is a woman who lived in our apartments for 20 years. She looks much like I do and just younger than I. I chat with her whenever we meet. That is all. One night she realized I had studied Islam and for an hour she asked me question after question about Muslims and I answered the best I could. Finally I said, "So all these years you have lived with about 1/3 of the people in these buildings being Muslim. Did you ever ask them about their faith?" "Oh, no", she said, "that would not be proper." She had refused to pick up the negative stereotypes about Muslims, so if she had engaged them she would have been very respectful. That is our Canadian problem: Political correction and risk aversion. Prime Minister Trudeau said on Tuesday that we should smile when we pass Muslim people. No, no, that is not enough! Stop and ask about their school, their children, their work, where they shop and their faith. These days it would surely be appropriate to stop and ask whether they are okay after the London news. By now we know the limitations of politicians to change things for the good and how since 2016, across the border, they can change things for evil. With our security in Jesus and knowing the world is in God's control, and that God hears the desire of the meek, let us engage those God brings across our path. We Canadians and especially those of us in faith communities, can make a difference by connecting more deeply with each other, and standing in solidarity. I think this will also demand our protests and petitions. Àre we willing to be a witness, speaking out for those our country is not taking seriously?

The National Council of Canadian Muslims has called for a national action summit on Islamophobia. Sign the petition.

Donna Entz, NEM

Mennonite Church Alberta joins MCBC and the rest of MC Canada in lament of children's remains discovered at residential school

We join our siblings in Mennonite Church British Columbia as they lament the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
We grieve together with all the families and all those who have been impacted by the news of these deaths. We pray for all those who have memories and scars from their time in residential schools and for those who have been re-traumatized by this discovery.  Read More.

Given the TRC 94 Calls to Action, we not only want to pray but also act in ways that can move in the direction of healing and reconciliation. We especially think of calls 48, 49, 59 and 61, which call for education, financial commitments and other meaningful ways in which practical help and reconciliation can be engaged.

MCBC has listed actions for its members to consider and invites our nationwide family to join them in action and prayer.

A Menno Minute

Jennifer Ratzlaff, First Mennonite Calgary

Forgiveness in Frustration

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I ran into a family friend when we were out for a walk. In the course of the conversation, she shared a bullying situation that was happening at her son’s school. My daughter and her son are friends, and though they no longer attend the same school my daughter knows the people involved. As we continued our walk home, we talked about the situation. My daughter couldn’t understand how someone could physically attack the boy in question since she knows him as a sweet and gentle person. I asked her what she thought we could do about it. She said that she would pray for the victim. When I asked her who else we should pray for she immediately thought of her friend, who had reported the incident. Then I asked her about the bully, maybe we should pray for him too. She stopped, and thought about this, I reminded her that Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies too, and she began to nod her head. “And we don’t know what’s happening in the bully’s life that is making him feel like he needs to act this way, but maybe God can help him,” came the response. We never do know what is happening in the lives of others that might be influencing their behaviour or actions.

As we see story after story of Albertans defying public health orders as the pandemic rages, it is easy to feel that we don’t understand, to wonder how people could act this way. It is not uncommon to get angry about these people who are breaking the law and endangering others by doing so in the name of their rights. It is easy to feel attacked, to think “what about my rights to see my family and friends, to not get sick, to have hospital access if I need it?” It is important in these moments to all remember Jesus words, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In the words of my daughter, you don’t know what’s going on in these peoples lives that is making them act this way. Among Jesus’ words from the cross we hear, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. We usually presume that Jesus is speaking about the soldiers and the crowd cheering for His death, but what if, instead of taking those words to be only directed at those present, we hear those words as the event horizon of Jesus’ saving grace. A plea for forgiveness that reaches across all time and space and applies to every human for all eternity. Maybe instead of anger at people whose actions we don’t understand be they protestors or bullies, we should feel compassion, remember that we don’t know what is going on in their lives, and lift them up in prayer with the same measure of forgiveness that Christ extended and continues to extend to us all.

A Zoom gathering
to say farewell to 

Donna Entz

as she retires from her role with
North Edmonton Ministry



June 27, 2010

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Hosted by Mennonite Church Alberta 

To register 

 
Join in this annual event to raise funds for the ministry at Camp Valaqua!
Register as a hiker and collect pledges, or sponsor a hiker.                                     Details HERE 

Camp Valaqua needs a cook!  We need a cook.  We have a head cook lined up for the last 3 weeks of summer, but are looking for a head cook for the first 5 weeks for sure, and the whole 8 weeks if they prefer.  The head cook should have some food preparation experience and a willing spirit.  We are also seeking an assistant cook for the entire 8 weeks.  The Assistant cook is typically a young and keen staffer with no real kitchen experience required.   Email director@campvalaqua.com to apply

Mennonite Church Alberta (MCA) Employment Opportunity

Church Engagement Minister,  .5 FTE

MCA is a caring community of twelve congregations joined by faith in Jesus Christ in a Mennonite perspective.  We are seeking a Church Engagement Minister who embodies that faith with demonstrated gifts and experience in engaging collaboratively with individuals, congregations, and financial supporters from diverse cultural contexts and theological perspectives.  Supported by MCA’s Executive Minister, the Church Engagement Minister engages with congregations and individuals to deepen their understanding and participation in three key ministry areas:

    1. The mission of the church at the local, national, and international levels;

    2. Relationship-building within MCA and between MCA congregations;

    3. Growing financial support for individual congregations, MCA, and MC Canada.

For a full job description, see mcab.ca/careers.  Inquiries and resumes may be directed to moderator@mcab.ca

DON'T MISS OUT!!!
2021-2022 STUDENT BURSARIES

$$ for students attending Canadian Mennonite University or Columbia Bible College is available -- don't miss out!!

Deadline July 31, 2021
Are you looking for ways that you and your congregation can connect with E3 Year 2?

Worship Leaders, are you looking for a pre-recorded sermon to use as part of your E3 Sunday? 

All E3 Y2 Resources are available HERE. 

Thank you to Common Word for again compiling E3 Resources for us!
 
Missing the Heritage Retreat?

Members of our Community Building & Program Committee are brainstorming how to bring it back safely via ZOOM. Details will be announced as soon as they are available. 



 

Nationwide worship services coming this summer 

Mennonite Church Canada is once again coordinating worship services this summer. We will join Sherbrooke Mennonite Church in Vancouver on June 20. The services will be available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube channel.  (Thank you to Foothills, First Mennonite Edmonton, and Trinity Mennonite for volunteering to represent MCA!!)

Mennonite Church Canada AGM – Saturday, June 19, 2021, 1-2:30 p.m. EDT 

Join our nationwide community of faith for Mennonite Church Canada's AGM. Along with our business agenda, we will hear updates from our program directors, enjoy worship and reflect together as joint council members share what God has showed them over the past year. All are welcome. Register here







“What we have seen, what we have heard”
a six-week study guide for Gathering 2022 

Across the nationwide church, congregations are being invited to witness to what God has been doing among us. What have you seen? What have you heard God doing in your life and the life of your community? This six-weeks study series invite congregations to understand how they are living witnesses to the gospel. Consider using this study guide this fall for adult education, care groups or even as a worship series. Available through CommonWord this August 2021. 



AMBS board appoints Risser as vice president and CFO

AMBS announces the the appointment of Deanna Risser, M.B.A., as vice president for administration and chief financial officer of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. For more details. 
Indigenous Settler Relations

Mennonite Church Canada and ecumenical groups across Canada mobilize around Bill C-15 

Bill C-15, an Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is in its second reading by the Senate. Time is running out for it to reach royal assent and ensure that Canada takes a hard look at its laws to make sure they are in line with UN Declaration. Read our story on how why faith groups are mobilizing around the Bill.

For information on action you can take, visit www.faithinthedeclaration.ca
 

Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams form accompaniment team in Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en territory 

Mennonite Church Canada, together with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has responded to an invitation to accompany Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territory. A five-person team comprised of CPTers and members of Mennonite Church Canada arrived at the camp in northern B.C. on May 26. Read their statement here.  




ISR launches Be it Resolved Challeng

The Be it Resolved Challenge is a nationwide initiative encouraging Mennonite Church Canada members and congregations to create and commit to new resolutions for Indigenous justice. Learn more here.  

Faith Action Tool Kit: 1492 Land Back Lane 

Joint-intern for Indigenous-Settler Relations and Christian Peacemaker Teams Allegra Friesen Epp has put together a faith action toolkit to help churches engage with 1492 Land Back Lane, a site within the Haldimand Tract in southwestern Ontario where Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Land Defenders are mobilizing to stop a new subdivision from being built on their lands. Free downloads of the kit available here.  

https://cptaction.org/faith-action-toolkit-1492-land-back-lane/?blm_aid=62157 

 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday 

Situation in Colombia still dire 

The Colombian Mennonite Church asks us to continue to stand with them in prayer. Churches supporting protesters have received death threats from paramilitary groups. Yalile Caballero, IMCOL president, says that youth feel hopeless because the protests and strikes do not bring change. Along with violence against protesters and illegal detentions, COVID-19 continues to spread, with more than 500 new cases daily and ICU beds at capacity. 

New faith siblings in Burkina Faso 

Please pray for the 28 newly-baptized believers in the Mennonite churches in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, that their faith and witness continue to grow in life-giving ways. In the words of Siaka Traoré, founding church-planter and pastor of the churches in Bobo, "Thanks be to God who makes the church grow."  

Witness workers move to expand peace education 

Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers, Sook Kyoung Park and Bock Ki Kim have moved to a new community in Chuncheon, South Korea, this month to expand their children’s ministry in peace education.  Pray that their community will benefit from Sook Kyoung’s peace presence as she interacts with children and their families.   

RJC Musical: Disney's Freaky Friday! - June 18-24. Tickets for scheduled viewing times are on sale now at ShowTix4U.com! $20 per viewing device. 

RJC Graduation Exercises - June 25. Live-streamed for the public. Baccalaureate Service 10:00am (SK CST) and Graduation Ceremony  2:00pm (SK CST). Watch events online at rjc.sk.ca/grad2021

 

CMU Admissions Webinar: Why Fall 2021 is the perfect time to enrol at CMU. COVID-19 has changed many aspects of society, including post-secondary education. When thinking of enrolling in university vs. taking a gap-year, there are some strong reasons to immerse yourself in university studies this fall. Join us to hear the top 4 reasons for why you should consider CMU this fall! Wednesday, June 16, 4:00 PM (CDT). Visit www.cmu.ca/webinar for more information.

Are there students from your church planning to attend CMU in the fall? Check out the Church Matching Grant partnership! Churches can contribute to a student’s CMU tuition and have CMU match the funds up to $500/year/student. Details and applications at cmu.ca/future/financial/church-matching.

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Summer Reading List 

Our 13th annual list of titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket – to buy, borrow or special order - www.commonword.ca/go/2447 

Worship Resources for Ordinary Time 

 

  




Spring/Summer CommonRead Title 

  • Our recommended title for Mennonite Church Canada congregations. 

  • Read individually or as a group.  Great title for a parenting group!   

  • Buy or Borrow book –   Bulk discount available when buying 5 or more copies. 

  • Free study guide and author interview available. 

 

Intercultural Church 

Resources that foster just diversity, different cultural articulations of faith, and an alternative to the politics of assimilation and segregation - 






Book Launch, June 17, 7:30 PM (CDT) 

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

See the MCA website for up-to-date Covid-19 information as it impacts our worshiping together.

Have a story to tell?  Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
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