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The MCA Communiqué
August 3, 2022

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer and Prayer Updates
Highlights from Gathering 2022: We Declare
MCA is hiring! Interfaith ministry is growing!
Camp Valaqua -- volunteers needed.
MCA Calendar

October 16, International Witness Sunday

E3 = MCA             Year 3  Christ in the World

Our E3 Prayer
Help me to see everything and everyone through the lens of your amazing love.

For our Prayers
Pray in thanksgiving for the life-giving days at Gathering 2022. Continue to pray for the staff of Mennonite Church Canada, the staff of Mennonite Church Alberta, newly appointed committee members, and the many volunteers as they recharge. Praise God that we experienced being God's church together again!

Pray in thanksgiving for Amplify!  -- for the organizers, volunteers and attendees. We are grateful to have been able to host the youth and young adults of MC Canada! 

Pray for the staff, volunteers and campers at Camp Valaqua as the summer unfolds. Pray for health, safety, and a sense of God's spirit under the tall, tall trees. 

Continue to pray for our MC Canada Witness workers: Werner and Joanne De Jong in Ethiopia and Tom and Christine Poovong in Thailand.

Highlights from the MC Canada Gathering 2022
in Edmonton, AB  

We will declare: 
what we have heard,  
what we have seen with our eyes,  what we have touched with our hands.  

We will declare the Word of Life: 
so that we might have fellowship with one another 
so that we might have fellowship with God and with Jesus Christ  
so that our joy may be complete 
We will declare the eternal Word of Life.  

Based on 1 John 1:1-4 
 


John Boopalan - "What is the gospel?" 

The gospel is good news that connects us to all humanity. It invites us into communities of belonging in which bodies depend on each other. The gospel invites us to turn and move towards places of suffering. The gospel mends and heals through enfleshment and accompaniment. We do the accompaniment. God does the healing. The gospel empowers the ordinary; it is in and through an empowerment of the ordinary that the gospel takes life. 

 





Cheryl Bear – “Where on Earth do we go from here?”  

“The Psalms are proof that God allowed us to be human," said Cheryl Bear. “We are allowed to have real, honest gut reactions to injustice.” She reflected honestly about how to take next steps together as a church in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. She recalled how the sound of the river outside her grandfather's home had changed from a calming and happy sound. She still finds the sound reassuring but also hears sounds of pain from the knowledge of how the river had been forced to move from it's original course. 




Doug Klassen – “Losing and finding” 

“The spiritual path is a journey of losing and finding. How I yearn for us in Mennonite Church Canada to get to a place where our collective life isn't fueled by our doctrines, confessions or covenants. I deeply yearn for us to be fueled by the seeing, the hearing, the touching, and the gazing upon. Instead of reading about Jesus, and praying to Jesus way off somewhere, we must recover a way of seeing and hearing Jesus who is still very much alive and present in his church.” 





 

Kara Carter – "Stumbling Blocks and Burning Bushes: Transformed and Transforming" 

“There is no 1-800 wilderness crisis line!” said Kara Carter. Reflecting of our wilderness wandering as a people of God, Kara encouraged us on a journey as those sent by Jesus. “The old tools we have used for 100s of years won’t be needed for where we are going,” she said. “Risky, radical, inclusive hospitality leads to mutual transformation."  Her homework assignment: When you go home, extend hospitality to one of your neighbours. 


Geraldine Balzer Elected as Moderator 
Geraldine Balzer is elected as moderator of Mennonite Church Canada. Geraldine has deep roots in the Mennonite Church and cannot remember a time when the life of the church did not play a significant role in her world. She is currently a member of Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon. Geraldine brings a deep commitment to the church and offers her gifts and skills in governance and strategic planning to the ongoing work of Mennonite Church Canada, envisioning a nationwide organization that supports the work of a diverse group of congregations who have covenanted locally, regionally and nationwide to work together, embracing cultural, linguistic, ethnic and theological 
diversity. She currently works as a professor of education at the University of Saskatchewan. 
 

About those Fish: A Short Film 
A video resource of a dramatization based on the story of Peter by the sea, from Luke 5:1-11.  Discover how Peter listened for God’s voice and witnessed echoes of God’s work as justice, relationships, spirituality and beauty flourish. This drama is written by Arlyn Friesen-Epp, with Arlyn and his wife Judith being the main actors. Free for use in your congregation. 

Download Today - https://www.commonword.ca/ResourceView/82/25722 

 

We Declare what We have Seen and Heard: A Study Guide and Sermon Series for our Nationwide Community of Faith 

 “We encourage congregations and individuals to work through this guide as part of collective discernment as a nationwide church,” writes co-author Michael Paul, executive minister for Mennonite Church Manitoba, in the introduction. “It can be used in Adult/Youth Education settings, small groups or even as a worship series.” 

A study guide is available to help congregations learn and discern together around evangelism and witness. The study includes six sessions on being a missional church, when the good news becomes bad news, biblical perspectives and bearing witness in a secular age. A sermon series resource, also available, is based upon the study guide. 

Download the resources - https://www.commonword.ca/ResourceView/82/24191 

International Witness Sunday, October 16, 2022
Plan to celebrate with congregations across Mennonite Church Canada. Check here (https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday) by the beginning of September for worship resources, videos, sermons and more!


Employment Opportunity with Mennonite Church Alberta:
Bridge Building Facilitator


MCA is hiring! 
This half-time position will resource MCA congregations and staff in building interfaith and cross-cultural relationships in their ministry contexts, while representing MCA in other interfaith ventures. 

The Bridge Building Facilitator will collaborate with MCA congregations and MCA Staff to:
  • Explore existing intercultural/interfaith relationships and opportunities;
  • Expand intercultural/interfaith understanding and deepen relationships;
  • Develop intercultural/interfaith intentionality in our worship, invitations, and activities;
  • Capture and share stories to inspire others.
Applications will be accepted up to August 15 or until a suitable candidate is found.

Click for job posting and description. 




Over 10 years ago, MCA initiated North Edmonton Ministries (NEM) to plant a Mennonite presence and witness in North Edmonton, building relationships and sharing the Christian faith from a Mennonite perspective across cultures and faiths.

This seed that was planted and nurtured first by Donna Entz, and more recently by Suzanne Gross, has grown and matured.


Where to now?



MCA is planning to expand the work started through NEM and take it across the province with a program called Bridge Building.

The Bridge Building Facilitator will resource MCA congregations and staff to better build cross-cultural and inter-faith bridges in their own lives and work, while continuing to represent MCA in other interfaith ventures.





 

Summer Camp continues!





Campers are (always) HUNGRY
and the Camp kitchen
nee
ds your help!

Volunteer for a day, or two, or the whole week.
Bring a friend!


As they say, many hands make light work. Add your hands to Rudy's hands!

Contact Jon at (403) 637-2510 or director@campvalaqua.com
As with E3 Years One and Two, the E3 Reference group has created worship resources for Year Three for our MCA congregations.


NEW! Worship service options, Commitment Cards, and Bucket Lists,  posters and even a sermon are now available for download on our website. 

We celebrate those in our community gifted with the skills to create worship material to be used to bring our E3 vision to life.

All E3 Resources found HERE. 

It’s not too late! CMU is still accepting applications for fall 2022 classes. Whether full- or part-time, while on a gap year, check out our course offerings at cmu.ca/courses. Apply at cmu.ca/apply

Want to do some in-depth Bible study or delve into key theological questions? Consider taking a course through CMU’s Graduate School of Theology and Ministry for personal enrichment, professional development, or for academic credit. All courses offered in-person and online. For more information, visit cmu.ca/gstm

Xplore: At the Intersection of Faith and Life – Xplore offers life-long learning courses investigating dimensions of the Christian faith, our world, and life in it—all without any assignments or examinations! Join one or more of our six courses in-person or online Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, beginning October 5. For information and to register visit cmu.ca/xplore

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Summer Reading List 

Recommended titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket! - https://www.commonword.ca/go/3034  

  







Eco-spiritual resources 

Worship outlines and spiritual practices set outside in/with creation by Wendy Janzen, pastor at Burning Bush Forest Church in Kitchener, Ont., and Eco-Minister at MCEC – https://www.commonword.ca/go/3077


Visio Divina project 

  • Our Visio Divina Project is a collection of “scripture-photos” for personal and congregational use.  Print them, sit with them, distribute them.  Or project these images in your congregation’s worship.   

  • Please also consider contributing “scripture-photos” of your own. We will soon be posting materials from Linda Thiessen-Belch and Len Rempel, in addition to Ruth Boehm who inspired the collection.   

  • Please see the Guide, written by Ruth Boehm, for more information on how to use these materials and how to contribute your own – https://www.commonword.ca/go/2969.  Submissions can be made via this electronic form – https://www.commonword.ca/go/3032.  The Collection can be viewed here – https://www.commonword.ca/go/2970.   

Cheaper by the Dozen 

Bring CommonWord’s loan library to your congregation!  Receive 12 different titles for an extended loan period (6 weeks).  Circulate among congregational members before returning.  A free way to encourage reading and enhance your own library!  For more details see https://www.commonword.ca/go/2253.   


New from Mennonite Church Canada 

Walking Together: Intercultural Stories of Love and Acceptance by Edith and Neill von Gunten. Covering almost fifty years of peace and reconciliation work--from the Black-led civil rights struggles of the 1960s to decades-old relationships with Indigenous peoples on both sides of  

Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba--these stories draw similarities between familiar biblical concepts and Anishinaabe seven “A Way of Life Teachings.” Includes a study guide. 

Book Launch will be held in person and by livestream on Thursday, September 29, 7:00 PM (Central). 

Buy or borrow the book - https://www.commonword.ca/go/2987

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