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Dear MCA Sept 18, 2019

posted 18 Sept 2019, 21:09 by Ruth Bergen Braun
September 18, 2019

Dear MCA,

“I thank God every time I remember you.” These words of Paul to the church in Philippi express well the sentiment I feel as I think about the connection we share as the churches of Mennonite Church Alberta. Summer can take us in various directions as we enjoy the warmer weather and more flexible schedules. Autumn brings opportunity to reconnect, as congregations and as the broader church family.

This Fall marks an important time in our life together as MCA. For the past year we have been working on a visioning process. The final gathering of Vision 2020 will take place November 1-2 at First Mennonite Church in Calgary. We hope every church will send a good representation of their congregation to this gathering.

During our time together our facilitator Betty Pries will lead us in absorbing what has been distilled from the previous two weekend visioning events this past March and November. As we commit to a renewed sense of direction in our faith journey together, we will also have the opportunity to receive practical suggestions of steps we can take as individuals, as congregations, and as MCA as a whole.

As I mentioned in my previous letter, the ideas that were generated during our visioning weekends centre around three important aspects of our faith in Jesus Christ:

               1. Our relationship with God. Interest surrounding prayer practices and spiritual nurture only touches the surface. What are the ways we experience and nurture our sense of encounter with God?

               2. Our relationship with each other. We belong in community. For many of us this is a primary place in which our faith in God finds expression. How do we take community to deep and profound places, with core commitments reflective of the character of Christ we long to emulate?

               3. Our relationship with the world around us. The mission and ministry exemplified by Jesus speak into the deep longings of our time. They touch the longing in each of us, and yearn to reach out into the world around us, offering Healing and Hope.

In preparation for our time of visioning together, watch for prayer notes to focus on during worship and devotional times.  These will begin next week, and continue until the November weekend.

In his letter to the Philippians Paul goes on to say, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6. I have confidence that as our visioning phase comes to a close, that its completion will lead us into a new phase in life as the Church Together, continuing a journey where we are made complete through the love, grace, and leading of Jesus Christ.

May it be so,