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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
May 5, 2021


In this issue

Our E3 Prayer 
A Menno MInute -- Carole Neufeldt
Camp Work Day photos
Highlights from the ADS -- our bulbs are growing!
E3 Resources!
One Good Thing  -- Jill Peters
Student Bursary Applications Open
Mission and Service Update
Camp Valaqua Rentals 

Plus... updates from MC Canada, ISR, International Witness and CommonWord
(If this newsletter does not format properly as an email, please click the link above to view in your browser)
 

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

 

Our E3 Prayer

Mothering God, you gave us birth. Hold us close, nurture us so to grow the confidence to spread your message of love.

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

A Menno MInute
Carole Neufeldt, Foothills Mennonite

“To pray, does not mean to listen to oneself speaking. Prayer involves becoming silent and being silent and waiting until God is heard” – Soren Kierkegaard.

There is a lot that connects us, theoretically. By clicking on some blue underlined jumble of symbols and letters sent in an email we are suddenly connecting with someone across the street, the country or another part of the world. Despite this, I can’t seem to shake a feeling of being disconnected, among all this “connectedness”. 

 In March of 2020, I was redeployed from my regular job to work alongside my colleagues to care and support seniors living in long term care who were on COVID outbreak. On a personal level, my family worried about our mother living in long term care. During that time, I really had to dig deep to find ways to mentally cope with many conflicting emotions. I had to slow the firing synapses in my brain, take a deep breath…slowly exhale. Through that process, I discovered my 3 P’s.

P1 – Patience. We live in a society where words are frequent and knowledge is assumed. It appears that everyone is right and everyone is wrong. There is little room for in-between. We are connecting with each other within these extremes and patience is not always demonstrated. I had to find the patience to see through each day, the good and the challenging.  Be patient with people I was connecting with, be patient for a time when family/friends could again connect in person to celebrate milestones. I needed to take time, focus on my breathing, my patience and being present.

P2: Being Present. There is so much discontent and anger these days about personal rights being taken away, theories of one thing or another related to COVID 19. I feel as if people are more interested in what is happening to themselves and perceived wrongs, then being present with their community or the world. I admit, I can get irritated when opinions differ than mine. However, despite differing perspectives around the pandemic I feel we all need to somehow learn to live in another person’s present (not necessarily agree), in order to help understand how others are living with this pandemic. Having conversations with people, despite differences, is important. We know there are job losses, people living with illness (not COVID related), relationships are challenged, children and teenagers have lost their routines, sports, and friend connections. Schools and hospitals are experiencing outbreaks. This is all happening, and so much more, right now, this is our present. We are on this roller-coaster of ups and downs. We can’t just sweep it away. We need to be present with what is going on, we need to calm down, take a deep breath, practice patience and pray.    

P3 - Prayer:  the word itself provokes peace in me. It’s calm amongst anxiety. Prayer teaches me patience. At one time I had wished my prayers would be answered in a way that I could understand. Now my prayers focus on helping me accept my circumstances. Prayer is the needed silence among the present noise. Prayer is the spiritual force that lets me be patient and present with those around me. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart ….and make the most of every opportunity (Colossian 4:2), even during a pandemic. 

A good-sized group worked hard Saturday, May 1, while still being careful to follow health restrictions. The theme seemed to be WOOD.  Trees were felled, logs were hauled, rolled and split. Firewood was stacked. And, of course, cabins were cleaned.

For more Camp Work Day images and a peek inside the yurts, see the Mennonite Church Alberta Facebook page or check out the Flickr album here.!

 

Just as a bulb can grow to show the beauty of its Creator,

we too are created with the potential to show
God and God's love to those around us. 

May these plants encourage us to show
God's love to others.

If you are a designated bulb grower,
email photos to communications@mcab.ca 
The Calgary (and area) bulb-keepers! 
Are you looking for ways that you and your congregation can connect with E3 Year 2?

As a Reference Group, we have agreed that hands symbolize community well. 

How do we connect with each other?  We give. We receive. My friend carries the plates out to the back yard. I pass them back. We serve each other. Hands symbolize reaching out -- we answer when needed, we forgive when our relationship is more important than the error. We do “things” with our hands as an extension of our hearts. 

This image expresses our longing for community and for meaningful, beautiful, sincere relationships.  As the hands tend to the flower, we also nurture our faith journeys together as a community.


 
We are delighted when others take E3 imagery and build on it to create meaningful resources to share.

Andrea Zapf, Trinity Mennonite, shared a collection of Word Cloud graphics this past week. 

These too are available as E3 Resources. 

All E3Y2 Resources are available HERE.
One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing. 
Jill Peters, Foothills Mennonite

Spring is here and the robins are claiming territory in our neighbourhood.
My children love chasing after them and the robins are having fun swooping to a new perch.
Instead of cat and mouse, it’s a game of bird and child.

Did you see One Good Thing in your life this week?
Don't wait to be invited -- please share! communications@mcab.ca  

Need a break?
Considering a night or two in a yurt at Camp Valaqua?

Yes!!

 $75 per yurt per night. Accepting bookings now. 
Contact the camp office at 403-637-2510 or email manager@campvalaqua.com 

RJC Virtual Info Night: Prospective students and their families are invited to a virtual information evening on May 17, 2021 at 7:00pm (SK CST), featuring a Q & A with staff and students. Register by email to admissions@rjc.sk.ca.  

Basic Boundary Training - May 11, 2021

Basic Boundary Training for Pastors

May 11, 2021 - 1:00pm - 4:30pm

Facilitated by Jayme Friesen and Val Hiebert from MCC Manitoba’s Abuse Response and Prevention program.

For new pastors or pastors who have not had previous boundary training.
Open to MC Manitoba, MC Saskatchewan and MC Alberta pastors.

Witness workers embrace Indigenous names and identities 

Dann and Joji Pantoja, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in the Philippines, wish to be acknowledged as Lakan Sumulong and Lakambini Mapayapa, names given to them by their Tagalog elders. Read more.


Peace Africa
Peace Africa explores how the global Mennonite community can support peace-building initiatives between Christians and Muslims in African countries,” says Tany Warkentin, Mennonite Church Canada’s liaison to ministry in Africa.
_________

In November, Traoré was approached by a member of his church to meet with Muslims in the community. In a recent post for Mennonite Mission Network, Traoré shares that Christian-Muslim relations are often violent in the region, with over 2,000 deaths caused by religious conflicts last year.

In the meeting, Traoré shares in the post, he learned the Muslim community needed a hearse. They had tried to get one for 30 years and usually asked to borrow one from other communities. After discussion, the church members decided to acquire one to share with the Muslim community.

Read More about the Hearse Project. 

International Witness

Maliwan welcomes new believers 

The Maliwan Church in Khon Kaen, Thailand, welcomed four baptisms on Easter Sunday. Thank God for this growing group of Jesus followers who share life together in worship, income-generation work, discipleship training and community service. Pray for Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong as they provide leadership and mentoring to this group.   

Donors raise funds for dehydrator for Coffee for Peace 

Praise God for the generosity of Canadian donors which enables Coffee for Peace in Mindanao, Philippines, to purchase a dehydrator to dry surplus vegetables grown by their coffee producers, and to make cascara tea out of coffee pulp waste. Witness worker Lakambini Mapayapa (Joji Pantoja) gives leadership to this social enterprise that supports the work of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., in several areas of the Philippines.   

Rising virus cases in Ethiopia 

Rising COVID-19 cases in the midst of complicated ethnic division in Ethiopia are affecting the ministry of Meserete Kristos Church. We pray for God’s peace to reign and unity within the church to be strengthened. 


  CMU Admissions Webinar: Get to know your professors! One of the advantages of being part of a small university is that faculty, staff, and students get to know each other and develop mutually trusting relationships. In this webinar you will get to know a few of our friendly faculty and hear about new upcoming courses. Wednesday, May 12 at 4:00 PM (CDT). More information and registration at www.cmu.ca/webinar.
 
CMU Fall Planning: For the upcoming school year, starting September 2021, CMU is planning for primarily in-person classes, with some accommodation via hybrid/online formats where needed. As it has over the past 12 months, CMU is following all guidelines put forth by Manitoba Health. Check out more details on fall plans at media.cmu.ca/news-release-fall-2021-plans
 

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Featured resources: 



CMU, MCC Manitoba, A Rocha, Canadian Foodgrains Bank have published Germinating Conversations after many years of dialogue on food, faith, farming and the land. Study guide included. 
Buy or borrow - www.commonword.ca/go/2248. 







 

From MC USA, a guide for congregations who are desiring to begin or continue their reflection on what it means to engage the forces of state, their commitments to non-violence and how to act to end policing and police brutality. More information - www.commonword.ca/go/2397. 


 





Imagine a church where it feels safe to talk about money. You could bring your debts, job losses and joys, like inheritances and new jobs. Peace Blossom Church is such a place. While fictional, it is based on churches and donors the Lori Guenther Reesor has met - and stories that are flat-out miraculous. 
Buy/borrow – www.commonword.ca/go/2327. 

 

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
June 12 Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon
July 31 Deadline for Student Bursaries
Have a story to tell? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
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