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Vision 2020 Posts


Phase III - Complete

posted 20 Mar 2019, 19:56 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Thank you to all who came out for Phase III: Discerning God's Call. The Reference Group will meet April 3rd. Resources should be available by the following week.  Check back to the Vision 20/20 page for any updates.


















Top row: photos by June Miller
Bottom row: photos by Donita Wiebe Neufeld

Video 3: Die before you die

posted 20 Feb 2019, 18:23 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Video 3: Die before you die


Video 2: Preparing for Phase III

posted 13 Feb 2019, 13:22 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 20 Feb 2019, 18:25 ]

Vision20/20 Video Series - A Season of Prayer
Preparing for Phase III

Tools for Phase III


Video 1: What are we listening for?

posted 13 Feb 2019, 13:17 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 20 Feb 2019, 18:24 ]


A Season of Prayer, the inbetween of Phase II and Phase III. What are we listening for?

YouTube Video


Dear MCA, Jan 30, 2019

posted 30 Jan 2019, 16:34 by June Miller, MCA Communications   [ updated 30 Jan 2019, 19:24 ]

Dear MCA,

Greetings in the name of Christ! We are now well into the New Year of 2019, meaning that a new season of MCA’s Vision 20/20 process is upon us.

Our year-long process of visioning and renewal began early in Fall with a survey of congregational leaders. Phase II took place over a weekend in November during which we explored the challenges facing the church while also recognizing the deep spiritual longing in our world today. Betty Pries of Credence and Co. shared with us the grand narrative of spiritual renewal. When we yearn for renewal—for vitality, for Transformation—a key step is Opening Ourselves to God’s Leading. How might we open ourselves to God in a posture of listening, surrendering our own agenda and ideas so that we may truly hear God’s call for us today?  How might we prayerfully listen for the voice of God’s spirit?
Over the next two
months we invite all of us to enter into a season of prayer together. Whether this time of prayer is done individually, or as congregations in worship, or both, we are asking all of us to spend time in silent prayer, listening for God to speak into the life of our church today. We are invited to set aside our own ideas, ambitions, and uncertainties as we listen for what God may be calling us to be and do. How might we prepare the fertile soil of our hearts and minds to receive the seeds God has in mind for us?

During our November meeting time we, as a group, generated a list of many questions we had of God when it comes to the future of MCA. These included questions like: How might we open ourselves to the movement of God’s spirit? How might we overcome our fears, losses, and
self-judgement? How might we address the deep longing of our time? How might we live more fully into being God’s people?

To enter into a prayerful listening stance, we encourage you to frame your thoughts around two overarching questions: (1) What is God calling us to release? (2) What is God calling us to embrace?

In the weeks ahead watch for prayer notes and suggestions for how we as congregations and individuals may focus our time of prayer together. As we pray through these questions and the statements above, please journal, reflect, and take note of what comes to you. We will have the opportunity to share what has been heard at our upcoming Annual Delegate Sessions, which will take place March 15 & 16 at Bergthal Mennonite Church. As we listen to God and one another, we trust that God will speak into our life together.

New resources now available on the website
include a listing of ways to get involved, some guidance for how to enter into contemplative prayer, and a summary of questions to guide your prayer time. These and other resources can be found on the website at www.mennonitechurch.ab.ca/events/vision2020. If you have any questions about this Season of Prayer or the Vision 20/20 process do not hesitate to contact me, or any other member of the Reference Group: Debbie Baergen, June Miller, Kate Janzen, Paul Neufeldt, and Tracey Brown-Ewert

Yours in Christ,
 


Tim Wiebe-Neufeld
Executive Minister

Reflections from Tim

posted 11 Dec 2018, 11:36 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Reflections from Tim

To Guide Our Feet into the Way of Peace


By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79.

These words come from Zechariah's prophecy about the birth of Jesus. They provide a vision of a bright future. Dawn will break into the world. The new day will bring light to dark places and guidance for the way - a way defined by peace.

Zechariah’s words offer a profound message of hope. We live in a world yearning for a new day to dawn. In our society people are searching for meaning, purpose, and belonging. Instead, we experience anxiety, polarization, and fragmentation as we neglect to put our trust in God.

Every year the conference pastors and executive ministers from across Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church USA meet together for resourcing and mutual support. At our meetings this past week our presenters, Ched Myers and Elaine Enns, encouraged us to embrace Christ's calling to his followers to become "Ambassadors of Reconciliation". Together we explored how the coming of Jesus broke down barriers, challenged the status quo, and named injustice in order to bring about a new day of reconciliation with God, with each other, and with all of creation.

In a world of brokenness the birth of Jesus reveals a new way of peace - a peace our world is longing to experience. During this season of Advent and the celebrations of Christ's birth to come, how might we be challenged to allow our feet to be guided more fully into God's way of peace? How might we as a church live more fully into this vision of hope God has for us?

An invitation to a season of prayer.

posted 11 Dec 2018, 10:30 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Vision 20/20—An invitation to a season of prayer.

Advent is a season of prayerful waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. MCA’s Visioning and Renewal process is also entering a season of prayer. In coming months we are invited as individuals and congregations to open ourselves to God in prayer. We are invited to listen for God’s voice as we consider what God may be calling us to be and do. How might we prepare the fertile soil of our hearts and minds to receive the seeds God has in mind for us? As we celebrate the coming of the light of Christ into the world, may we open ourselves anew to hear the calling of God’s voice.




Transition to Phase III

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:32 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Listening for God’s Call in a Season of Prayer


During the upcoming months, as we prepare for Phase III of our Vision 2020 journey we are encouraged to:
  • Open our minds to the current reality of our church life and places in need of renewal
  • Open our hearts, wills & spirits through worship, preaching, conversations, and acts of commitment
  • Preaching, conversation, acts of commitment
  • Prayer focused on discerning the questions for which we are listening to God’s leading
  • Prayer to plough the fields of our hearts, so that we may hear the whisperings of God’s call and new seeds from God may grow.

Event Reflections from Tim

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:30 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Reflections from Tim



In this time in our history, how might we open ourselves to listen for God’s call? This was an overarching question posed during the Vision 2020 gathering at Foothills Mennonite Church this past weekend. The presentations by Betty Pries provided deep exploration of the social context of change in which we find ourselves as individuals and churches, while inviting us to see ourselves within the grand narrative of spiritual renewal we find throughout scripture.



 


Betty shared three things of which we can be assured:

  • the Awe and Wonder of God’s love and grace
  • Suffering and the need to Surrender our will to God
  • Transformation when God’s hand draws us back to new life.
We see this cycle in the story of creation. We see it in the Exodus story of freedom, wandering in the wilderness, and entry into the Promised Land. We see it in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

In her sessions Betty invited us to recognize this same cycle in the life of the church. Across North America the church as a whole is experiencing a time of challenge and uncertainty. While we may be tempted to respond by grasping ever more firmly onto what we have always been, Betty encouraged us to let go of past expectations in order to open ourselves to what God’s calling might be for us in this time and place. She shared how prayer is an act of surrender, a way to “plough the fields of our hearts” so that new seeds from God may grow.

During a pre-event meeting with pastors Betty Pries began by examining the “roller coaster of change” on which we find ourselves, with all its highs and lows. In the midst of the anxiety deep drops can bring, we are invited to surrender more fully to God’s leading so that God may transform us more fully into the people God is calling us to be.  I look forward to the ride!




 

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld
Executive Minister MCA

The Disconnect

posted 22 Nov 2018, 13:29 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Ryan Dueck, pastor at Lethbridge Mennonite, has a reflective post about the weekend. The Disconnect can be found at RyanDueck.com.

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