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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
March 3, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer 
A Menno Minute -- Louisa Adria
One Good Thing  --  Rita Heidebrecht
Upcoming ADS workshops and ADS
Chin Church Celebration
Missions and Services Update
Camp Valaqua Rentals 
Family Feud Fundraiser
and more

Plus... updates from our wider faith communities
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E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life


Our E3 Prayer

Open my eyes to see you in the smiles and hellos of the people I meet as I walk in your beautiful outdoors.

Please also remember in your prayers those in our congregations for whom Covid-19 is much more than a daily statistic.
Pray for renewed health for those who are ill and comfort for those who are grieving.


Louisa Adria, Congregational Support worker, Foothills Mennonite


A Menno Minute

I grew my first sourdough starter in a Nutella® jar in Switzerland in April of 2020. I am one of those people who started making sourdough bread this year and I’ll own that. Bread-making has given me so much that I don’t even mind admitting that I am a bit of a cliché if I get to tell some of this story. 

At the time I was an au pair with a wonderful Italian family and we were all waiting out the pandemic in their ski chalet. I wanted to bake bread because it would feed the family that was taking care of me. I learned that bread is about feeding generously, but allowing time and space for the natural ups and downs of the life cycle. This is true of the way yeast feeds on flour but it is also true of the way people feed on bread. 

Every living thing feeds in its own rhythm. The yeast needs lots of food and then it needs time to eat through the food, puff up, and fall as it becomes hungry again. Similarly, I could leave the bread on the counter and it would disappear throughout the day, regulating blood sugars and hunger levels of all the family members. With more consistent blood sugar levels throughout the day, bread even helped stabilize everyone’s moods and brought some peace. It was life-giving.

This coming Sunday, our church is looking forward to celebrating communion. Even though I already think about bread a lot, I am meditating on it differently as we look toward communion. I think about a table to which we are invited, laid with food that brings peace and life. I consider how Jesus offers his own body as our spiritual food but he allows us to come when we are ready. He doesn’t force the rhythms of grace. Jesus patiently waits for us to realize that we are hungry.

I am grateful that Jesus waits for me and us to turn to him. In my heart and mind, I keep coming back to a table where everyone is welcome and we are all here because we love everything about the bread. We love the scent, the flavour, the texture and the way that it satisfies our very real bodies. 

I wonder at how Jesus does not choose to smother our life cycle by imposing perfection. Instead, he enters into bodily life with its ups and downs of blood sugar, mood, hunger and satiety. Although Jesus ascended a couple thousand years ago, may we continue to encounter him at his table, wherever that may be. May we see Christ in everyone we feed and in all those who join us at the table.

One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing. 
Rita Heidebrecht, Foothills Mennonite

Despite the year of countless challenges and disruptions, the value of being able to focus on the positive is even more important. I walk my 7-year-old son to school everyday. Lately, we have been able to notice a big difference in the sunshine. It feels warmer and more spring-like. The birds are chirping and the snow is turning into puddles. It is a reminder that despite this year of a lot of darkness, the sun will shine, the snow will melt, flowers will bloom and spring will come! Hallelujah!
Saturday March 6
This week's Pre-session ADS workshops 

Mission & Service     10:00 a.m.

The Covid pandemic has presented unique obstacles for the work of Mission and Service but patience and innovative thinking has allowed the work to continue in various areas.  Donna Entz has found new ways of connecting with the diverse community of North Edmonton thereby continuing to build connections that lead to better understandings between people of different faith traditions.  Donna has also expanded her international work through Peacemakers Confessing Christ International and a Peace Africa group. 

Jake Froese has continued to keep building relationships with the Muslim community in Calgary and has recently joined the Calgary Interfaith Council.  Jake, along with Riek Tut, has also been able to work with members of the Calgary South Sudanese community who are looking to establish a South Sudanese Mennonite Church in Calgary.

Both Donna and Jake will share some of their experiences and give time for questions from the audience.

Constitution & Bylaws    11:00 a.m.


Delegates are encouraged to participate in the zoom workshop at 11 am on March 6 to review and discuss the proposed changes in advance of the ADS.

Please have copies of these documents downloaded prior to this workshop https://mcab.ca/ads21

A revised Constitution and Bylaws will be brought to delegates for approval at MCA’s 2021 Annual Delegate Sessions on March 20. This past year MCA Executive and General Council began a review of MCA’s Constitution and Bylaws, which had not been updated for some time. A number of revisions and updates have been made in response to this review.

The following documents have been prepared to assist in discernment.
--the proposed Constitution and Bylaws
--a report summarizing the changes proposed in these governing documents and the rationale for them
--a copy of the existing Constitution and Bylaws that have been registered and remain in force.

To register for the workshop and receive the workshop zoom link go to https://mcab.ca/
(Note the zoom link is the same for all pre-session workshops. If you have already attended a workshop, no need to re-register.)
 
March 13    Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m and CMU 11:00 a.m.    Check back next week for more information.

MCA Annual Delegate Sessions will be held via Zoom on March 20. Each congregation is entitled to send one delegate per 15 members (or part thereof). Registration by both delegates and guests is required and can be found on the MCA website www.mcab.ca.

The Zoom link will be emailed to those registered in advance of delegate sessions. Churches are asked to submit their delegate slate by March 12.

Report books are available here: https://mcab.ca/ads21  


Pre-assembly workshops have been on going. There's still time to take in a few!
Register at www.mcab.ca 

March 6               Mission & Service 10:00 a.mand  Constitution & Bylaws 11:00 a.m.
March 13             Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m. and CMU 11:00 a.m. 
Mark your calendars and plan to join our MCA family of congregations
for Worship via Zoom 


as we launch Year Two of our E3 Action Plan:
Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ in Community

March 21, 10:30 a.m.
See www.mcab.ca to register.
"God is doing a great work among us and it is in this light
that we want to share this important milestone in the life of Chin Church with you."

All are invited via Zoom. Read CCCC's celebratory Letter of Invitation 
linked from the MCA website home page.

Missions and Service Committee
is inviting you to join two events beyond our Mennonite family.

Continuing the Conversation. 

A three part monthly  series, which began in February, patterned after the yearly Christian Muslim Dialogue

This series brings together people in small Zoom Rooms,
on the first Tuesday of the month. 
Remaining date April 6.  7-8 p.m. Mountain Time.

Topics: Know your Neighbour, Hospitality, Embassy, and Unity.  

Registration required: http://acwalberta.ca/


Itching to get out of the city for the weekend? A night?
Or maybe you want to do school with your kids in nature for the week.

Rental options and inquiries at www.campvalaqua.com/rentals

We're renting individual units to members of the same household.
No shared space due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

 Just 1 hour NW of Calgary. Starting at $50/night.
Get access to:
- Outdoor firepits
- Walking trails
- Cross country skis and trails (weather permitting)
- BBQ
And of course, NATURE'S BEAUTY ❄️
STILL TIME TO REGISTER
Camp Valaqua's Family Feud Fundraiser  
March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 

Join us on March 6th from 7-8:30 for our first ZOOM Family Feud evening. 
Sign up with a group of people or sign up as an individual and I will find a team for you. Please fill out the Registration form. I look forward to seeing you all on March 6th. Feel free to email kbstoesz@gmail.com for any additional questions. 

RJC Virtual Choirs & Cakes fundraiser: Join us online on March 14 at 7:00pm (SK CST) for our annual fundraising concert and dessert auction. Enjoy an evening of good music and entertainment by the students, staff, alumni, and friends of RJC. Watch the event and participate in the auction at rjc.sk.ca/cakes

Call for RJC alumni & friends to join virtual choirs: We invite anyone interested to join one or both of the virtual alumni & friends choirs that Richard Janzen is putting together for RJC's upcoming Virtual Choirs & Cakes fundraiser event on March 14. There will be a mass choir (alumni, friends, greater community, & RJC students) and an alumni & friends choir. All are welcome. If you are interested in singing, email richard@rjc.sk.ca.  
CMU Webinar| Pre-Professional Studies at CMU – CMU prepares students exceptionally well to meet all admission requirements for studies in law, medicine, dentistry, education, social work – and many more. This Pre-Professional Studies Webinar will inform students and parents of prerequisite details leading to these professional tracks, and explain how study at CMU opens many vocational and career pathways. Wednesday, March 10, 4:00 PM (CST). Register Here. 

Congregations launch new websites through MC Canada congregational website hub 

 

Fifteen congregations have launched new websites through the Mennonite Church Canada congregational website hub. Read about the benefits of the platform during a pandemic and how congregations make use of other tools like online giving and registrations.

News from our partners 

Support human rights defenders in Colombia 

In 2020, more than 300 human rights defenders in Colombia were assassinated and more than 20 have already been assassinated within the first weeks of 2021. Christian Peacemaker Teams – which has accompanied oppressed peoples in Colombia for 20 years – invites us to sign the following international solidarity letter to demand the protection of human rights defenders. Together, we can cry out for an end to the cycles of violence and death. 

Sign the Letter: Raise Your Voice for Social Justice in Colombia. 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

MCEC TRC working group issues statement against violence at 1492 Landback Lane 

On March 2, the MCEC TRC Working group issued a statement calling on provincial and federal governments to end violence against land defenders of 1492 Landback Lane near Six Nations and Caledonia, Ont. The group also sent letters to the prime minister, premier and provincial police with three demands and a commitment to watch interactions closely.
                                               Link to the statement: https://mcec.ca/programs/truth-and-reconciliation

International Witness
 

Mennonite Church Canada PIN asks for prayer for Israeli election 

The Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network requests prayers that the elections scheduled for March 23 be fair and free for all citizens of the state of Israel (i.e., not including the occupied Palestinian territories), both for Jewish Israelis and for the Palestinian minority.  We ask that God will guide the elections so that justice, equality and peace may come to the land. 

New believers join Maliwan church 

Pray for the Maliwan Mennonite Church in Khon Kaen, Thailand, and for Christine and Tom Poovong as they give leadership to this congregation. Pray that believers who have come to faith in the last couple of months grow to become a strong support for this group and a blessing to the community where they worship.   

Farmers begin training from PBCI and Coffee for Peace 

Praise God for the 12 farming families that began the six-month training by the Inclusive Development Consulting Team of PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee for Peace. Pray for Joji and Dann Pantoja and their colleagues as they plan and train. 

More here: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/01/founding-leaders-of-kapeyapaan-farmers-association-alegre-start-their-training/ 

.                                           

New Guide - Season & Event Calendars 

A comprehensive set of links to church season resources, lectionary materials, thematic items for holidays and calendar events - www.commonword.ca/go/calendars 

  Lent 

  • Including resources for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/2213 

  • Lenten Guided Prayer from Mennonite Spiritual Directors of Eastern Canada – www.commonword.ca/go/2221 

 An At-Home devotional guide for families from Mennonite Church USA – www.commonword.ca/go/2240


Easter

Including resources for Easter Sunday and the season following Easter - www.commonword.ca/go/2231 

From Friends of CommonWord 

A family memoir, racial analysis and decolonization workbook by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers.  Due to be released in a few weeks.  Shipping generously subsidized by Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations office – www.commonword.ca/go/2243

New from MCC 

A look at the ministry of service and reconciliation through the lens of MCC’s work - www.commonword.ca/go/2314 

   
Calendar 
 

 

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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

MCA Calendar
ADS Pre-session Workshops
March 6               Mission & Service 10:00 a.mand  Constitution & Bylaws 11:00 a.m.
March 13             Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m. and CMU 11:00 a.m. 

March 6               Camp Valaqua Family Feud Fundraiser
March 14             Chin Church Grand Opening and 10 Year Anniversary



Saturday, March 20, 9:30 a.m.                            Annual Delegate Sessions -- via ZOOM
Sunday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.                  Online Worship for ALL MCA congregations
  
Have a story to tell? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
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