The MCA Communiqué
December 1, 2021

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer and  Prayer Updates
The MCA Advent Calendar goes LIVE
A Menno MInute -- Be It Resolved
Peacemakers Confessing Christ in Calgary (NEM event)
Camp Swag for sale.
PIN -- Remembering Palestinian people. 

And more from MC Canada, International Witness, Indigenous Settler Relations, our schools and Common Word. 
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MCA Calendar
December 11, Peacemakers Confessing Christ,Trinity Mennonite
March 18,19  Annual Delegate Sessions, First Mennonite Calgary 
July 29 - August 1, 2022    We Declare: Gathering 2022, Edmonton
July 31 - August 4, 2022    Amplify: Youth Gathering, Camp Valaqua

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

Our E3 Prayer
May the embodied love you sent in Jesus live in us, so others can see you in and through us.

International Witness Prayer Updates
Please pray for Werner and Joanne De Jong. With their date of departure, January 17, 2022, getting closer they continue to live with uncertainty. They are committed to serve at Meserete Kristos Seminary in Ethiopia and yet, they wait.

Starting today, December 1 and continuing to Christmas Day!

CLICK for the MCA Advent Calendar 
Created specifically for our MCA faith family by the E3 focus group! Enjoy and share!
A Menno MInute

Be It Resolved
by Ruth Bergen Braun (Foothills Mennonite) with Joani Neufeldt (Lethbridge Mennonite)

Be It Resolved: Anabaptists & Partner Coalitions Advocate for Indigenous Justice 1966-2020, edited by Steve Heinrichs and Esther Epp-Tiessen, was published by Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Church Canada in 2020. I first paged through the book, reading snippets. I was merely interested to see who I knew, who said what, and was curious about the mid 1970s as I did a short stint with Native Ministries in 1975.

Then this past summer, Steve Heinrichs issued the Be It Resolved Challenge and Joani Neufeldt (Lethbridge Mennonite) and I signed up — along with 130 others. I wanted a nudge to read the book more thoroughly and Joani, because she too felt she wanted to learn “the Mennonite piece” of being a settler in Canada. We wanted to be challenged, to learn to be active, not passive, allies.

When our (free) copies arrived, we started the recommended readings, beginning with the notes and resolutions from the 1966 Conference of Mennonites in Canada conference, working our way through the book.

Our first impressions


We have been talking about this way too long, reconciliation is not new, yet we are still talking about it. It was very interesting to read the litanies and thoughts of people who were fighting for reconciliation then. A sad connection to our history…


Similar to Joani, we’ve been talking about reconciliation for a long time. I discovered that my dad must have hired a man from Siksika to work on our farm after being encouraged to do so at the 1966 conference. Conference attendees prayed using a litany for forgiveness for cultural genocide in 1970 — 45 years before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought those very policies to light! This litany said “We have wanted you as converts but we weren’t sure that we wanted you as brothers.”  Ouch.

The Be It Resolved Challenge includes committing to a number of Zoom calls

I missed the first zoom call but asked:

Joani, what was your take-away from the first ZOOM call

People want to do better – we want to find tangible ways to be allies, we want to walk alongside our indigenous neighbours. There is a diverse group of people across Canada and across faith traditions that have intentionally gotten together for accountability.

I did join the second zoom call and came away with gratitude that I can count numerous Indigenous people as friends. In my breakout room I heard some lament that they want to be part of a reconciliation work but have found no way of doing so. Again I asked:

Joani, what stood out from the second ZOOM call?

Our diverse opinions and experiences guide us as we walk the path of reconciliation. There are so many different ideas on how to do the work of reconciliation, some want to write church worship resources, others want to explore reparation payments. Some want to offer free professional services. One thing is clear – we are tired of words being said into a void – it is time for us to not just mean what we say – we need to DO what we say.

We were all asked to make commitments, to say why this is important to us, and outline steps we will take to meet our commitments.

Joani’s include both finishing the readings in Be it Resolved plus “read 3 more books by Indigenous authors.” She would like to involve local elders in crafting a land acknowledgement for her congregation and learn about Blackfoot traditions asking her nearby Indigenous community what they want from us as part of the TRC. Mine include better tying my faith commitment to my friendship commitments and inviting others, settler friends and family, to meet my Indigenous friends. I committed to encouraging my congregation to continue using land acknowledgements and inviting Indigenous speakers. I’m happy to say that my congregation, Foothills Mennonite, had Tony Snow, an Indigenous speaker as out guest on October 31!

As the Be It Resolved Challenge continues throughout the winter we and others continue to ask:

Are we ready to hear what Indigenous peoples require of us? Are we, as individuals and as the Mennonite Church, fully ready to hear the Truth and take action (not just pass formal resolutions) on Reconciliation?

(If you have an idea for a Menno Minute or know a writer you would like to see here -- send any and all suggestions to 

MCA regularly mails updates to our previous donors. You may have received one.
Some prefer to receive these by email.
If you were missed, both the letter and the specific ministry inserts are available here

December 11

Time:  11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Who is your neighbor next door or down the street? What is their story?

Do they know your story?

Does religion enter into the conversation? And how about Jesus?

Here is a fine opportunity for Calgary and Didsbury Mennonites to learn together how to share our faith for stronger relationships with our neighbours.  Details and to REGISTER HERE.

Order your Camp Valaqua SWAG today in time for Christmas!
And remember Camp Valaqua is again open for rentals. Contact Jeff   (
Camp has some groups booking the whole camp, as in previous years, with strict Covid protocols. There are other spaces (the white house, the brown house, the yurts) that are available for rentals -- a perfect family getaway? Call (403) 637-2510) or email for details. 
Pastors Retreat
Our pastors and pastoral leaders spent a relaxing few days at Camp Valaqua, November 25, 26. We are grateful for their presence and work with and among us!


Remembering the Palestinian people this Advent

The first Sunday of Advent this year, November 28, falls on the day before the United Nations’ International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. What better time to remember our brothers and sisters in the land of Jesus’ birth! This advent, you can make a difference in their lives by:

  1. Praying for peace with justice to take root between Israelis and Palestinians. As Christmas approaches, our PIN is focusing on the children of Palestine. Many of them, along with their families, are traumatized by Israeli military forces.
  2. Buying fair trade Palestinian products as part of your Christmas shopping. MC Canada PIN is recommending three outlets, listed here. Please click on the links to access their websites to learn what they do and how you can order or find local stores that carry their products.


"May our hearts reflect the hope and generosity of the shepherds, the magi and most of all our God, who came to us this season in Jesus Christ"
Advent greetings from Mennonite Church Canada

“Both despair and hope have come to life for me in deeper ways” 

Read our interview with Kari Miller about her experience at COP26 in Glasgow earlier this month. She shares how powerful civil society can be and what she believes the church can and must do in the current climate crisis. 



Bill C-15 ‘a tangible win’ for Indigenous rights 

Read our interview with former MP Romeo Saganash and ISR director Steve Heinrichs about the passing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act this past June, a win at a time of deep mourning for Indigenous communities. 


Mennonite Church Canada announces speakers and registration fees for Amplify! 2022 

Christy Anderson and Christine Kampen Robinson will speak at Amplify! the nationwide Youth Gathering happening next summer in Alberta at Camp Valaqua from July 31 to August 4, 2022. Read more: 


International Witness

Nov 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 

Please pray for all living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In addition to the ill economic and health effects of the pandemic, Palestinians continue to suffer under Israel's military occupation of their lands through home evictions, demolition of homes and orchards, incarceration of children as young as 12 and the killing and injuring of protesters. Consider giving fair-trade Palestinian products this Christmas. For more info, visit MC Canada PIN 

Tany Warkentin provides update from latest trip to Africa 

“This is your family,” writes Tany Warkentin, Mennonite Church Canada’s Liaison for Ministry in Africa, as she returns from meetings with Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission in Burkina Faso and D.R. Congo this past October. Meet members of your global faith family through Tany’s photo journal documented here

Thailand church leaders meet in person 

Praise God for the early November gathering of more than 30 church leaders in northeastern Thailand for a retreat and training organized by Friends of Grace Church Association, including Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong. This was the first in-person gathering since the beginning of COVID-19. It was an important time of sharing and providing resources for these leaders, most of whom are lay leaders with limited biblical and theological training.    

Stronger bonds with Colombian Mennonite Church 

The Colombian Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church Canada are beginning to partner congregations from each Church together for mutual support and learning. Please prayerfully consider if your congregation is willing to enter a relationship with a Colombian congregation. Contact Jeanette Hanson, director of International Witness, for information. 

Are you looking for ways that you and your congregation can connect with E3 Year 2?

Worship Leaders, are you looking for a pre-recorded sermon to use as part of your E3 Sunday? 

All E3 Y2 Resources, including sermons by Tim, Will, and Brenda, are available HERE. 

Thank you to Common Word for again compiling E3 Resources for us!
Indigenous Settler Relations

Wet-suwet-ten Solidarity webinar – Learning and supporting together]
Monday, Dec. 13, 2021 – 7 p.m. CDT

Join Esther Kern and David Janzen (Valleyview Mennonite Church, London, Ontario), and Allegra Friesen Epp (Home Street Mennonite Church, Winnipeg), who recently spent time in Wet'suwet'en territory in northwestern B.C. Hear stories from the frontlines of the Wet’suwet’en struggle for land sovereignty and get updates about the current situation on the ground.

Repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery: A Litany for Churches 

In 2016, in response to TRC Call to Action #49 Mennonite Church Canada committed to repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. The MCEC Truth and Reconciliation Working Group has created a litany to help the church publicly acknowledge a long, untold history and to re-imagine our life together in a new way that respects all peoples, Indigenous and Settler. Free for download through CommonWord - 

Prayers for RJC students & staff. RJC students will be participating on their grade-based initiative travel week to Winnipeg, Regina, and Camp Valaqua, AB for a time of out-of-classroom learning November 29- December 3. We ask that you pray for positive learning experiences and safety during this time. 

RJC Christmas Concert - December 15 | 7:00pm (SK CST). Join us as we celebrate the Christmas season! Music and performances by RJC students and staff. Livestream for those who wish to enjoy the program at home can be found at Saskatchewan public health orders will be followed at this event. 

Music at CMU information webinar. Join us on Wednesday, December 8 at 6:00 PM (CST) to discover how studying music at CMU provides you with a breadth of skills and depth of knowledge to be a creative and analytical thinker, prepared to pursue a range of vocations and careers. If you are considering studying a Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy, or a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music, this webinar is for you! To register visit

Book Launch - Suffering the Truth: Occasional Sermons and Reflections. CMU Press invites you to join Chris Huebner, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at CMU, to celebrate the release of his collection of provocative explorations and meditations on the Christian life. Thursday, December 9 at 7:00 PM (CST). Visit for in-person registration and livestream details. 

Christmas at CMU. Join us on Saturday, December 11 at 7:00 PM (CST) from the comfort of your home for this year's Christmas at CMU program. With Christmas favourites performed by a variety of CMU's music ensembles, this is our gift of glad tidings and joy to you! Watch the video premiere, or anytime later at


Upcoming book launches (in-person in Winnipeg and livestreamed) 

Dec. 2, 7 p.m. CDT, Benchmark:  Countering COVID through Painting and Poetry by Mary Reimer and Susan Moore. Registration available here – 

Dec. 9, 7 p.m. CDT, Suffering the Truth:  Occasional Sermons and Reflections by Chris K. Huebner. Registration available here – 



Many Christmas gift ideas, including seasonal books, recommended books to gift, stocking stuffers, Christmas cards and more – Order soon - while quantities last, and to ensure you receive your purchase in time for Christmas! 


Christmas Sale Week: November 29 to December 3 

We’re discounting select book titles and other gifts for one week, while quantities last.  Download our flyer in advance –  


Video interview with author Lorne Brandt 

Watch our recent video conversation with the author of A Sword Shall Pierce Your Soul: The Story of Jesus’ Mother on his “historical biblical fiction” account of Mary.
A good Christmas read! 


Borrowed items ship free with a CommonWord membership! 

It’s true – there are no shipping costs – to your home or back to Winnipeg –on any of our 7,500 loanable titles – 

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