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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
February 24, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer 
A Menno Minute --Robert Proudfoot
One Good Thing  -- Joanne De Jong
Upcoming ADS workshops
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

May the lengthening days remind me of your ever present loving care.

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.


A Menno Minute
Robert Proudfoot, First Mennonite Edmonton

One year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic attacked the world. Over 1,800 Albertans died, and thousands more suffered illness, but by following government-imposed social distancing restrictions, we flattened the curve, and earned Stage 1 of reopening our society. Despite falling patient numbers and advent of vaccines, however, hope is dampened by more virulent strains, and clumsy roll-out of the vaccine for ‘ordinary’ Canadians. I may not receive my inoculations until October! How can I stay positive? My children should stay in school. When I hear about fire chiefs jumping medication queues, provincial ministers holidaying abroad, or churches holding services in-person without masks, I feel betrayed. Let’s impose a ‘herd mentality’ for dealing with COVID19? My business is failing, my family is hungry, I am depressed without friends or team sports – why stay the course when it makes no difference? People, doing our part saves others.

Come By Here, My Lord, my new novel about building friendships across racial barriers in turbulent southern Africa during the 1970s, when Zambia was asserting her independence while colonialism and apartheid faded away, illustrates the importance of making good choices.     Orwell Hughes – 20 years old, active in sports, arts, and church – enjoys life as a young man coming of age in Lusaka, Zambia, where his father is a Canadian diplomat and Orwell attends the local university. Orwell endears himself to Zambian students and learns African languages, history, and aspirations well, yet he suffers racism and awkward social relationships that his father and older brother Richard can’t solve. Orwell invites Tracy MacDonachie, his former Sunday school teacher and youth leader back home in Canada – to safari in Africa, hoping that this wiser and more successful man can mentor him. 

Tracy and his younger sisters, Alicia and Kathleen, arrive in Lusaka during Easter 1974, but they stay longer than expected and are not as remembered. Bold MacDonachie avoids Orwell as he goes about his own, murky agenda of managing a promising young Canadian boxer for a high-stakes prize fight against the British Commonwealth heavyweight champion. Tracy, to retain Orwell’s friendship but stay free of him, provides the needy lad with tickets to the match, yet these, like the rascal’s devil-take-care lifestyle, are fake! Hughes does not realize Tracy’s rouge until he jumps queue and demands entrance into the stadium, only to be ordered by the stern gate keeper to buy legitimate tickets at the sales office, like thousands of other fans….

 “Orwell, let’s be polite, and do what the nice man says. He is boss,” Alicia coolly advised her frustrated escort. 

“We’ve lost our place! Now, we’ll never get inside!” Hughes berated Alicia with gulping breaths and gesturing hands as they hustled to the rear of the line, which was three blocks away!

“Yes we will,” she promised, gently pulling him into line. “God rewards those who patiently do the right thing—sometimes how we don’t expect.”

Orwell took comfort in her wisdom, and did not complain about Tracy’s slights against him. When the queue shuffled under the stadium bleachers, Orwell smiled appreciatively, and held Alicia’s hand. They were only two of many fans who wanted to watch the epic bout; did others fret about waiting in long queues or not getting choice seats? Hughes chivalrously bought two Cokes that a street vendor sold from an icebox lashed to his bicycle. Others, balancing trays of merchandise on their heads, offered cigarettes to bananas, sweets to shish-kabobs. It was Saturday afternoon, but folks were high on party mood, decked out in their Sunday best, many sporting Polaroid sunglasses or flashy watches, and listening to Afro beat or American pop chart toppers—“Stir It Up” and “Spirit in the Sky”—on their ghetto blasters.

Alicia offered her beau a satisfied smile as they went through the turnstiles on time. The gatekeeper was glad to see her again; he let them pass after Orwell provided proper tickets. The young couple found two decent seats near the middle of the stadium, close to ringside...amazing, since the must-see event was general admission, first-come, first-served….

Biblical prophet Isaiah promises that they who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; God is just, and longs to be gracious and show compassion to His creation - Blessed are those who wait for Him! King David waited for God, who with unfailing love redeemed him from sin, set his feet upon a rock, and put a new song of praise in his mouth. These wonderful testimonies carry me as I endure our present trials!

One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing.  

Joanne De Jong, Holyrood Mennonite

One (or two) good things: chocolate amaretto cheese cake with a side of real whipped cream and shaved chocolate AND the ability to enjoy it guilt free despite the fact that the cake was made with 2 bars of cream cheese and two big chocolate bars. 

Saturday February 27
This week's Pre-session ADS workshop 


11:00 a.m. Rosthern Junior College
Alex Tiessen & David Epp from RJC High School will provide a school update, as well as information about the exciting opportunities we have planned for students during this unique school year.  We look forward to hearing from you, our MCA supporting churches, on how we might continue to grow our relationship together.  

1:30 p.m. MCA Executive
What does the Executive do, anyway? Join Brenda, Paul, Elizabeth, Wayne & Tim to talk about the shared work of our congregations. Get a sneak peak at the 2021 budget and offer your thoughts on the direction we're moving and how to get there. Same Zoom link as previous workshops.
The zoom link is the same as the previous workshops. If you haven't been to one, please register.
 
The Proposed Constitution and Bylaws are available!
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.
Download here.

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.
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.)
"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 dates:  March 2, 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 ❄️
Camp Valaqua's Family Feud Fundraiser 
March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 

We are changing things up this year for our annual Camp Valaqua Fundraiser! Join us on March 6th from 7-8:30 for our first Family Feud evening. This event will be held over Zoom.

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. 

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.

Just prior to the Delegate Sessions, a zoom link will be sent out by email. 

Pre-assembly workshops have been scheduled for the dates and times below. 
Register at www.mcab.ca 

February 20         MC Canada (Indigenous Settler Relations. International Witness) 1:30 p.m.   
February 27         RJC 10:00 a.mand MCA Executive 1:30 p.m.
March 6               Mission & Service 10:00 a.mand  Constitution & Bylaw 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.

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.  

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.

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Prayer for new Mennonite Church Canada-CPT Internship 

Please pray for Allegra Friesen Epp (Home Street Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Man.) as she begins a joint internship with Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams' Turtle Island Solidarity Network. Allegra will work out of Winnipeg (Treaty 1 & the Homeland of the Metis Nation) for a six-month term, relating to churches, CPT partners and Indigenous solidarity groups. Pray for strength, wisdom and joy as she navigates this work and builds new relationships. 

Read an interview with Allegra and CPT Canada coordinator Rachelle Friesen.

International Witness
 

Bylers to begin Anabaptist training in Asia 

Pray for Ruthie and Myrrl Byler sent jointly by International Witness and Mennonite Mission Network to support Anabaptist training in Asia. Pray their visas for Thailand will be available soon so they can start working with various partners in the region.   

Partnership sees new literacy teachers trained in Congo 

Praise God for four recently completed teacher training events for the Congo Literacy Project, held in Mutena, Kamiji, Kamayala and Bita in December and January. Pray that 80 newly trained teachers would have the courage and determination to begin literacy classes in their respective congregations. The literacy project is supported by International Witness and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. 

Connection with Colombia churches amid violence 

Pray for groups meeting in both Colombia and Canada to work on ideas for bringing our churches into closer relationship. May we support each other in the issues that face us. Pray that the violence threatening rural Colombian congregations decreases.   

Exciting news from the Burkina Faso church.  The church's long-time objective to train church leaders for their growing congregations and church ministries, is bearing much fruit.  Last month the church celebrated the ordination of nine pastors (pictured below with their wives).  Although these pastors were already engaged in ministry in different cities and villages, they will now take on increased responsibilities. 
In addition, another three young leaders graduated from the Biblical Studies program offered by the Mennonite Church, to begin church ministry nother significant event also happened last month with the elections for the nation-wide church Executive Committee.  Not only were two of the newly-ordained younger leaders elected into Executive roles, but it was also the first time ever to have a woman elected to this level of leadership (new Executive committee pictured below).  This is the committee of which Pastor Bananzaro is now president - your congregation will know Bananzaro from when he visited you in the summer of 2019.  Your prayers for the leaders of the Burkina Faso Mennonite Church are very much appreciated, as the country is challenged with on-going terrorism and violence as well as a second wave of Covid-19. Thank you Tany for sharing!

.                                           

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 

  

From Friends of CommonWord 

This is 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

 

Copyright and Recording Information for Voices Together 

Here’s a comprehensive spreadsheet, compiled by the Anabaptist Worship Network, noting whether a Voices Together song is licensed by OneLicense, CCLI, or is Public Domain – www.commonword.ca/go/2266  

  

New book by Lorne Brandt from MCBC 

A narrative look at Mary, the mother of Jesus – www.commonword.ca/go/2254

  

Calendar 

 

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? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
MCA Calendar
ADS Pre-session Workshops
February 27         RJC 10:00 a.mand MCA Executive 1:30 p.m.
March 6               Mission & Service 10:00 a.mand  Constitution & Bylaw 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



March 20-21, 9:30 a.m.                            Annual Delegate Sessions -- via ZOOM
Sunday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.                  Online Worship for ALL MCA congregations
  
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