Announcements

Announcements

Coffee for Peace Awarded for Social Progress

posted 4 Dec 2018, 20:59 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 4 Dec 2018, 21:04 ]


Coffee for Peace Awarded for Social Progress



Joji Pantoja (MC Canada Witness worker in Davao, Philippines) received the 2018 Developmental Social Enterprise Award on behalf of Coffee for Peace. The award is given for being a multiplier of social progress through entrepreneurship. We celebrate along with Joji and the Coffee for Peace team as they continue to give back to their country by sharing the wealth with the poor, mentoring people to pay-it-forward and being an inspiration to others.

Burkina Faso’s 40th Anniversary

posted 4 Dec 2018, 20:53 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Burkina Faso’s 40th Anniversary

by Tany Warkentin


For the past 40 years, the Mennonite Church in Burkina Faso, West Africa, has been involved in sharing the Good News of Jesus in a number of local languages. Donna and Loren Entz were among the first Mennonite mission workers. Lives were transformed, churches emerged and multiplied, members were discipled and leaders trained. 


In response to God’s goodness and faithfulness during the past 40 years, what could the Burkina Faso church do but celebrate, and celebrate they did!  From November 23 to 25, at least 1,000 people gathered, including members from all of the 25 churches and over 30 international guests.  It was three days filled with worshipping, teaching, feasting, singing and dancing.  Special music groups and a marching band were invited, matching outfits were worn by each church, and women stayed up all night cooking for the final meal together (for which two cows were butchered).

Praise God for the joy and commitment with which the Burkina Faso churches serve God and share God's love with others. Also continue to support our sister churches in prayer - during the celebration last week, two Mennonite members passed away and delegates were sent from the celebration to the two villages for the funerals.  Pray that God's presence may be felt closely in times of joy and difficulty.






Photos courtesy of Tany Warkentin
Top Photo:

AS WE JOURNEY WITH INDIGENOUS CANADIANS

posted 28 Nov 2018, 21:08 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 28 Nov 2018, 21:15 ]

AS WE JOURNEY WITH INDIGENOUS CANADIANS

Submitted by Robert Proudfoot

Truth and Reconciliation Activities Group (TRAG) at First Mennonite Church Edmonton (FMC) is active and unapologetic in its efforts to learn about indigenous Canadians, engage them socially and participate in their events, as well as to inform / involve our wider FMC congregation, that we may journey in reconciliation and friendship together with indigenous neighbours.

Our Beginning
TRAG was formed in September 2016, after the 2013 Canadian Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC) Hearings into Indian Residential Schools held in Edmonton, and in response to the Calls to Action detailed in the Commission’s final report.

Suzanne Gross, FMC’s then congregational moderator, with assistance from Henry Janzen, a long-time government worker and advocate for indigenous peoples who currently works as a Policy Advisor for Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc., wrote a Letter of Response for FMC to Carolyn Bennett (federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs) and National Chief Perry Bellegarde (Assembly of First Nations) on April 10, 2016, acknowledging all TRC Calls to Action but specifically to 48 (IV).

This letter affirmed that the FMC congregation
This letter affirmed that the FMC congregation were “Treaty People” and beneficiaries of Treaty 6, and that our church building and members physically reside on Treaty lands.
were “Treaty People” and beneficiaries of Treaty 6, and that our church building and members physically reside on Treaty lands. We in south Edmonton are also located within the boundaries of the former Papaschase Reserve, which was extinguished by the federal government in the late 1800s and its members forced to relocate, to allow development of the city by settlers. FMC’s Letter of Response also affirmed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and quoted our approval of Article 10, which speaks of the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” as related to removal of indigenous peoples from their communities. TRAG’s formation, goals and activities follow FMC’s Letter of Response, continuing our work as “Treaty People” to heed truths and seek reconciliation.


Our Members
TRAG currently has 16 members, including one indigenous person and two others with
extensive indigenous cross-cultural experience and / or ancestry. We meet for annual potlucks to check in with one another on activities and learning we do or connections we make, individually or as a group with indigenous friends.

Past Events
Documentaries  (Winter 2017) review of a series of documentaries featuring two filming arts students from Mount Royal College (one Blood First Nation member, one Chinese immigrant), that document many of the issues indigenous Canadians continue to struggle with.

Blanket exercise and church service  (June 4, 2017) Michelle Nieviadomy, Assistant
Director of Edmonton Native Healing Centre, led the blanket exercise (created in 1997
by KAIROS), assisted by Jim Shantz of MCC Alberta Indigenous Neighbours’ Network
(INN), who provided the Message and also led debriefing with selected participants.
Stew and bannock (provided by Native Delights) were served at an all-comer’s lunch.

Learning tour (May 12, 2018) learning tour to Blue Quills University (BQU) near St. Paul, Alberta, sponsored by INN and hosted by Sherri Chisan, BQU’s Acting President. We
participated in a preliminary smudging exercise, toured the former residential school
now repurposed by BQU for academic studies, administration and public awareness,
and discussed how visitors from mainstream society can advocate for and continue to
interact with BQU.

Walking tour and discussion
(October 14, 2018) North Saskatchewan River valley walking tour and discussion led by Lewis Cardinal, an indigenous actor, politician and booster for many local indigenous arts and cultural projects. We visited an outdoor art display reflecting “the stories of This Place”, created and installed by six artists with Canada 150 funding, to
show how indigenous people connect with the land in the river valley, a traditional place
for gathering, relationship building and commerce. Iniw, the Cree name for the Indigenous art park, is located on historic River Lot 11 within Queen Elizabeth Park, on land where originally lived Joseph McDonald, a Metis settler. Participants then crossed the North Saskatchewan River, itself a sacred water course, and visited a restored graveyard where First Nations, Metis and some white settlers were buried during the early 1800s, when Ft. Edmonton was located nearby on-site of the current EPCOR Rossdale Power Plant. This graveyard was forgotten by later generations after Ft. Edmonton was moved up-slope to its final location near the Alberta Legislative Building; it was partially covered by a roadway connecting to the Walterdale Bridge from the 1970s to early 2000s.

Upcoming Events
"Treaty Talk: Sharing the River of Life" (January 2019) view the film “Treaty Talk: Sharing the River of Life”, created in Saddle Lake / St. Paul by Patricia Makokis. A time of discussion would follow.

.Submitted by Robert Proudfoot, a TRAG member.


Reflections on Blanket Exercise during FMC’s June 4, 2017 Worship Service, by selected participants (left to right): Jim Shantz, Rebecca Janzen, Jessi Taves, Randy Haluza-Delay and Roger Epp. Donita Wiebe-Neufeld, Photographer.





Various participants at FMC’s Blanket Exercise on June 4, 2017. Donita Wiebe-Neufeld, Photographer.







Lewis Cardinal (left-centre at mid photo) chatting with various TRAG members at “Turtle” by Jerry Whitehead in Indigenous Art Park, during TRAG river valley walk October 14, 2018. Michael Buhr, Photographer.






“Iskotew” by Amy Malbeuf in Indigenous Art Park (INIW) on River Lot 11, with Rossdale Power Plant and Edmonton’s downtown skyline north across river in background, October 14, 2018. Michael Buhr, Photographer.

Snow Camp 2019

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:37 by June Miller, MCA Communications


Save the Date for Snow Camp


Don't Stop Believing
Jan 11-13
Jr & Sr High combined event
Grades 7-12

Benin Bible Institute

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:26 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Benin Bible Institute (BBI) 



“St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, along with Wanner and Poole Mennonite congregations, welcomed our MC Canada Witness partners from Benin Bible Institute, West Africa, for a two-week visit this past October. This has been a relationship spanning over 20 years, in which we have developed a rich pattern of visiting each other, sharing prayer requests and updates on our respective ministries and learning from each other’s cultural and religious perspectives. We alternate visits on a yearly basis and this October welcomed BBI administrator Bonaventure Akowanou, his wife Clarisse, an educator, and BBI board chair Germain Dossou. Their visit provided opportunity for participation in our worship services, shared meals and rich conversations in congregants’ homes, visiting Mennonite organizations and hearing about the ongoing work and ministry of BBI.” (Sue Shantz, St. Jacobs Mennonite Church) 

For more information about BBI, please visit their website.

Ethiopia Tour Feb 5-23

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:25 by June Miller, MCA Communications


Experience Ethiopia Tour (Feb. 5 – 23/19)
10th Annual Experience Ethiopia Tour. 

On behalf of Meserete Kristos College, it is our pleasure to invite you to join us on another fascinating tour to experience Ethiopia. You will visit churches, see relief and development projects, experience historical sites and much more. Please contact either Destiny Krieder at destiny.joy.krieder@gmail.com or Carl Hansen at carlverah@yahoo.com for more tour details. 

Surviving & Thriving Despite Cancer

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:23 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 4 Dec 2018, 22:25 by Communications Director ]

Surviving and Thriving Despite Cancer
(and other major life crisis)




Dan Epp-Tiessen,

Associate Professor of Bible
Portable CMU





February 8-10
Trinity Mennonite


Dan and his wife Esther are both double cancer survivors, and they had a son, Tim who did not survive cancer. Dan shares stories of what it is like to be a familythat “does” cancer, and he explores the biblical and faith resources that have sustained him and Esther, and helped them not only survive but thrive, despitetheir journeys with cancer, loss, and grief. Dan’s hope is that these biblical and theological resources will comfort and strengthen persons who are hurting, and will prepare others for the pain and struggle that come with the territory of being human.

Update from Werner & Joanne

posted 14 Nov 2018, 10:07 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Update #2 from Werner & Joanne

November 12, 2018

I can’t believe we are already half-way through our assignment! We will be home in no time. We miss you and look forward to giving you a full report on the amazing things God is doing here.

Am not sure if it is due to all the pity prayers but I am no longer itching with mosquito bites, so thank you to all who carried my burden. Now let’s work on eradication of poverty in Ethiopia!

A couple of weeks ago we went to a student’s church in Addis Ababa for Sunday. Afterwards he invited us to their little apartment for lunch and then took us to a Rehab Centre he started with his parents. He himself had been an addict for 10 years before he gave his life to Christ and he wanted to help people like him. He wondered how he could be sure not to go back to his previous lifestyle and the answer the Lord gave him was “community”. His family were able to partner with a local hospital and have a little house with 15 beds open to all people.

Another exciting thing was the witnessing of 22 baptisms in Assele and the corresponding testimonies. Healings and persecutions were a common theme. We witnessed our 1st demon possession which I caught on video and even when I re-watch it I feel uncomfortable. The Christian world is diverse but here in Ethiopia there is no doubting the supernatural and healings are expected. A common question we are asked is, “Why do you think your churches are not growing like in Ethiopia?”. We generally say, “it’s complex”, but we do point out that they are in a harvest time and we seem to be re-tilling our soil.

Am slowly getting used to the food. Werner is better than me for sure. …

Werner’s classes have increased to 44 (Anabaptist History), and to 50 (Spiritual Formation). He really enjoys the discussions and debates around peace, sharing a common purse, how Anabaptists view the Bible etc. It’s very stimulating as the students are very serious about learning. Unfortunately, their English is all over the place and some really struggle.

I continue to do 50 small things a day that I hope adds up to something. I preach both in chapel and church, guest lecture, tutor, attempt counselling, and have many drinks a day: coffee, macchiato, tea, warm milk, spriss (half coffee-half tea) etc.

All the girls have now moved into the new women’s dormitory and they had their 2nd dedication on Thursday. Previously the girls we are all cramped into a couple of classrooms. It was very moving as female students from each program shared their gratitude. Now we need to pray that more women will come to the College. There are currently 35 women and the dorm has room for over 200.

Thank you to everyone once again for your love and support. We really appreciate it! Each day we receive a zillion hugs and we will be looking for you to replace the students when we return!

With appreciation,

Joanne and Werner


...

Doug Klassen Appointed as Executive Minister of MC Canada

posted 4 Nov 2018, 14:04 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 5 Nov 2018, 14:21 ]


November 4, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Doug Klassen Accepts The Call to Lead Mennonite Church Canada
Calgary Pastor Appointed As MC Canada’s Executive Minister

Winnipeg, MB - Mennonite Church Canada is pleased to announce that Doug Klassen has accepted our call to the position of Executive Minister. “It is an exciting time in Mennonite Church Canada. I want to help inspire a vision for what it means to be a nationwide church. I firmly believe that congregations are the foundational unit of the church and that congregational revitalization is critical,” says Doug. “There is a hunger in our culture for a witness to Jesus Christ that is rooted and grounded in love.”

Doug is currently one of the pastors at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary, AB and has ministered there since 1998. He was instrumental in establishing the Foothills Mennonite Guesthouse, a home for out of town guests visiting friends or family in Calgary hospitals. He formed a “Buffalo Shout” book study group that brought together First Nations people and settlers and is chair of a Palestine/Israel resolution working group in Alberta. He has written feature articles for Canadian Mennonite, volunteered as chaplain at Camp Valaqua in Alberta, was on the board of directors of Menno Simons Christian School in Calgary and is a current Master of Arts student at Canadian Mennonite University.

“We’re thrilled to have Doug join us in the role of Executive Minister,” says Calvin Quan, chair of Mennonite Church Canada’s Joint Council. “The combination of his experience, drive and love for the church makes him an ideal fit. His passion for working with people, along with a strong history of building highly engaged teams, is a wonderful gift that he brings as we seek new ways to collaborate across our nationwide community of faith.”

Born near Vineland, ON, Doug’s ministry began in 1992 at St. Catharines United Mennonite Church as associate pastor. He moved to Winnipeg, MB in 1995 and served as director of young adult ministries with Mennonite Church Manitoba, pastored at Sterling Mennonite Church and co-taught at Canadian Mennonite University. Doug also served on MC Canada’s Faith and Life Committee for five years.

“I have lived my whole life inside the extended family of Mennonite Church Canada and have experienced the blessing of a nationwide family of faith,” Doug reflects. “While I grieve the thought of leaving the congregation that I have loved deeply for 20 years, I look forward to the challenge of this new position and serving alongside the faithful staff, volunteers and members of our denomination as we seek together to be witnesses for Christ in the world.”

Doug, and his wife Rose, live in Calgary, AB, near a ranch where they spend time with their horses and bees. Their three young adult children and one son-in-law live in Winnipeg, MB. Doug is a classically trained singer, a hockey and baseball player, and has a deep love for the Church. Doug and Rose will move to Winnipeg when he begins his ministry as Executive Minister in June 2019.

N Edmonton Ministry Fundraiser Nov 10

posted 31 Oct 2018, 22:21 by June Miller, MCA Communications


“Among & Beyond” by North Edmonton Ministry (a fundraiser) – November 10, 2018, 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm at Lendrum Mennonite Church (11210 – 59th Avenue NW). Donna Entz will be speaking and leading conversation about moving beyond negative experiences of sharing our faith and exploring personal healthy ways of sharing. Children will play games, while learning about peace and a song in Arabic!  A concert of Middle-Eastern, African and Asian music will follow a potluck meal. Please bring a dish to share. Free admission, with donation opportunity available. Contact Robert Proudfoot for details by e-mail at georann@telus.net or telephone at (780) 465-6083.

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