Copy
The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
March 31, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer 
Prayers for Myanmar
Highlights from the ADS weekend
A Menno MInute -- Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, Executive Minister
One Good Thing  --Craig Janzen Neufeld
Mission and Service Update and corrections
Camp Valaqua Rentals 

Plus... updates from MC Canada, ISR, International Witness and CommonWord
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E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life

Our E3 Prayer

Oh God – this week is a reminder of all you have given and all you have done
– my thanks seems inadequate, yet is all you ask in return.  Thank you.

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.

Pray for Myanmar
Continue to pray for Myanmar, where two months after a military coup the crackdown on demonstrators has become increasingly violent. Pray for those seeking a peaceful resolution to conflict while resisting oppression, and for those suffering from the effects of the unrest. Several MC Canada congregations have connections to Myanmar, including the Calgary Chin Christian Church.

Mennonite Central Committee is working with partners in Myanmar to provide humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding training for groups that are affected by conflict and the current political situation. This includes the distribution of food, household items, and livelihood support, and training leaders for peaceful approaches to conflict. The projects are both located in Rakhine State as well as one in Chin State and both work with ethnic and religious minorities. They are currently hoping to build on this work and would further welcome support. 

To help support MCC’s humanitarian and peace-building efforts, donations can be designated for Myanmar https://donate.mcccanada.ca/cause/relief.

Photo caption:  At a Myanmar market, MCC alumni purchase cooking oil to be included in emergency food packages for families affected by food insecurity.

Highlights from our Annual Delegate Sessions and the all-MCA Worship Service are now available on the MCA website. 




 
Be sure to document the progress of YOUR bulb. 
Email photos to communications@mcab.ca to be included in this space
as well as in the website gallery. 
A Menno Minute

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, Executive Minister

A revisiting of Vision and Purpose

The document was ancient in appearance. An aged, grey tone. A hole punched through the cover. The reference to the “Mennonite Conference of Alberta” reflecting the language of a bygone era.  This was a scan of the MCA Constitution on file with government offices. For those of us working on updating MCA’s Constitution and Bylaws, we wondered how much had changed. In spite of many revisions, MCA had not updated its submission to government officials in almost 50 years. Opening its contents felt like uncovering a new layer of an archeological dig, providing a window into the deep past. 

Yet while much had changed in terms of language, style, and structure, we found the purpose statements revealed a surprising affinity to the purposes of MCA today. Over the years the number of statements in our documents had increased as we strove to capture more and more of what it means to be the church in today’s world. Careful examination showed that these all were essentially covered by the five statements found in this 50-year old document. 

When it comes to questions of purpose, vision, and identity, the challenges of the present lead us to grasp for new ways to describe what we are called to do and be. While the words we use may change, the principles behind them show remarkable consistency as we strive to live as Christ calls us to live. 

At times the process of reviewing of MCA’s Constitution and Bylaws may have felt more like sifting through grains of sand than thinking through important aspects of what it means to be the church. And yet documents like these name important aspects of who we are and what we aspire to be. May our new Constitution and Bylaws serve us well as they reframe our past in ways that allow us to live into the future together! 

Article 3 from MCA’s Constitution, approved by delegates at the Annual Delegate Sessions, March 20, 2021:

Our Purpose is:

  • To Promote the spiritual wellbeing and the unity of the Spirit among member congregations
  • To Provide mutual assistance in the work of the Kingdom of God
  • To Encourage a Christian faith from an Anabaptist-Mennonite Perspective
  • To Provide an avenue of engagement between the congregations of the region, between regional churches in Canada, with affiliated organizations, and with other faith traditions
  • To Provide an avenue of service within our membership and to those who are not within a member church organization
  • To Provide assistance to small groups or congregations who are not able to sustain themselves.
One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing. 
Craig Janzen Neufeld, First Mennonite Edmonton
It’s the lines in a just vacuumed carpet; fresh clean sheets on a newly made bed; the comfort of knowing all the laundry is washed, dried and folded.  It’s the smell of a clean bathroom, washed floors, clean showers, and toilets.  A kitchen with nary a dirty dish in sight.  And it’s seeing new sprouts in recently re-potted plants.  

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/

And ...

from Donna Entz at North Edmonton Ministry  

Peacemakers Confessing Christ International (PCCI)is a network of Mennonites who engage Muslims somewhere in the world.   NEM is now networking with PCCI.   Please join us for a stimulating discussion about engaging Muslims.  We will meet weekly in April and May on zoom for one hour starting April 10, every Saturday morning at 9:30 am.   Please spread the word.  Check out some sample videos.  

to sign up contact Donna Entz at lorenanddonna@gmail.com 


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.

Raise hard truths and turn towards healing: an interview with Elaine Enns and Ched Myers on new book 

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11341-raise-hard-truths-and-turn-toward-healing 

In their new book Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization (Cascade Books, 2021), authors and life partners Elaine Enns and Ched Myers confront hard truths about settler complicity in historic and ongoing injustices perpetrated against Indigenous peoples. They also offer a way toward healing. 

Mennonite Church Canada issues call to prayer 

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/news/11360-mennonite-church-canada-issues-call-to-prayer-for-bethlehem-bible-college 

In the midst of the worst-yet coronavirus outbreak in Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) invites us to pray with them for students, staff, faculty, families and all Palestinians. 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Indigenous climate action webinar  

We are in a climate crisis and Indigenous peoples are on the frontlines defending Mother Earth. How can we support and join in their struggle? Join a panel of amazing land and water protectors for a rich and challenging webinar conversation on April 7 at 6 p.m. CDT — register here. This event is co-sponsored by Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Central Committee MB, KAIROS and the office of MP Leah Gazan.   

Lectionary resources on Indigenous solidarity available for April 25, 2021 

Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams Turtle Island Solidarity Network have partnered to create lectionary resources on Indigenous solidarity for Sunday, April 25. We invite congregations to take part in this Sunday of prayer and action as we strive to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Water Defenders in Minnesota. To participate, please email outreach@cpt.org



NAIITS virtual symposium, June 3-5 - A Mennonite Church Canada ‘virtual delegation’ 

Mennonite Church Canada is sponsoring 20 friends from across our nationwide community to attend this year’s virtual NAIITS symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021. It will be a rich time of learning and relationship building. For more information and to register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/naiits-2021

International Witness
 

Continued prayer for Myanmar 

We continue to pray for people in Myanmar who experience ongoing violence. Pray also for our nationwide siblings in our community of faith, many of whom are still unable to reach their family members in Myanmar. We invite you to reach out with encouragement to:   

Anabaptist resources in Mandarin growing 

The number of Anabaptist resources available online in Mandarin is growing. We are thankful for a small group of Chinese writers that are beginning to add to these.  pray for these writers, their writing will have an impact far beyond their congregations.   

Witness worker teaches restorative justice to school board committees 

Witness worker Bock Ki Kim, together with others in the Chuncheon Community Peace Center, has been invited to visit all 17 school boards in the area to talk about restorative justice/education with committees involved with student violence and conflict. Pray for Bock Ki as he does this training every Thursday and Friday until the end of May.  

Income-generation in Thailand 

Income-generation training and discipleship training go hand in hand in the church communities of northeastern Thailand, served by Witness workers, Tom and Christine Poovong. Pray that the trained leaders will find ways to support their families and become strong anchors in their communities. 



Spring at CMU is online Tuesday, April 13, 7:00 PM CDT.
Join us at www.cmu.ca/springatcmu  to hear stories from students, faculty, and alumni including a spotlight on Science (Can you spot a good scientist?); CMU Singers’ premiere of Breathe by Leonard Enns (commissioned by the CMBC class of 1970); and some campus humour. Following the event, participate in an optional Zoom conversation with President Cheryl Pauls and others at 8:00 PM CDT. RSVP to development@cmu.ca by April 9 to receive the conversation Zoom link.

.                                           

RECALL NOTICE: Voices Together Accompaniment Edition (effective until May 1, 2021) 

Due to a manufacturing defect, the Voices Together Accompaniment Edition is being recalled. The end sheets used in binding were not reinforced and therefore the book’s interior is pulling through at the punches. MennoMedia has been in close communication with the printer, and the printer with the bindery, on how to correct this problem. 

  • Replace your current copy – please fill out this form by May 1, 2021 

  • If you wish to keep your copy, you do not need to do anything. 

  • Buy a new copy – www.commonword.ca/go/2318 (Expected to be available to ship by mid-April) 

  • If you have questions about the recall, please contact MennoMedia, 1-800-245-7894 


Virtual Book Launch with Lori Guenther Reesor 


Online Book Club with Steve Heinrichs 


Spring/Summer CommonRead title is Raising Disciples 

  • Our next recommended title for Mennonite Church Canada congregations. 

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

  • Buy or Borrow book – www.commonword.ca/go/2347.  Bulk discount available when buying 5 or more copies. 

  • Free study guide available. 

  • Join a conversation with the author, Natalie Frisk, on April 9, noon CDT.  Register - https://www.mennomedia.org/register-now/ 

Calendar and resources 

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
May 1 Camp Valaqua Work Day
June  Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon

  
Have a story to tell? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
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