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Announcements

DNA & Geneology

posted by Mennonite Church Alberta


DNA & Genealogy with Tim Janzen MD

Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Fall Conference Nov. 24, 2018, 10 AM - 4 PM
Lendrum Mennonite Church, Edmonton

Registration - $20.00

dmtoews@gmail.com

MC Canada Communications Survey

posted 19 Sep 2018, 14:15 by Mennonite Church Alberta


MC Canada Communications Survey

Anyone who attends a MCA church is invited to participate in a 10-minute survey. The intent of the survey is to assists with planning MC Canada's communications strategy. The survey can be found online at mccanada.respondnow.ca. Paper copies are available as needed. Please contact your church office.


Oct 27 Christian-Muslim Dialogue

posted 18 Sep 2018, 22:22 by Mennonite Church Alberta   [ updated 18 Sep 2018, 22:25 ]

Walking Together:
Experiencing Peace in our Midst

Zaid A Rawni (Burlington, ON), CEO of Islamic Relief Canada.

Dr. John Hartley
(Yale University, New Haven, CT), Founder of "Pathways for Mutual Respect."

October 27, 208
ARCA Banquet Hall
14525 127 Street NW
Edmonton, AB

Doors Open: @ 9:30 am
Session @ 10:00 am
Admission $10

Register at https://acwab.eventbrite.ca

Valaqua Fall Work Day

posted 18 Sep 2018, 22:09 by Mennonite Church Alberta


Help us get camp ready for winter! We'll split wood, clear brush, take down tipis, and remove docks. Lunch, coffee and snacks are provided.

Saturday, September 29 9am - 4pm


www.campvalaqua.com
(403) 637-2510
valaqua@xplornet.com

Prairie Youth Gathering

posted 4 Sep 2018, 09:03 by Mennonite Church Alberta   [ updated 4 Sep 2018, 09:13 ]


SAVE THE DATE:
Prairie Youth Gathering 2019
July 28- August 1 (2019)
Shekinah Summer Camp, SK
.  


This event is open to youth from across Canada entering grades 6-12 in the 2018-19 school year, and is being created to nurture, infuse, and expand our life in God and our life together. More information, fun promo videos, and updates will be available soon at www.prairieyouth.ca, and by following us on Instagram at prairieyouth.ca.

DeJong's head to Ethiopia

posted 29 Aug 2018, 18:03 by Mennonite Church Alberta

Joanne and Werner De Jong (Holyrood) leave tomorrow (Aug 30) for time with family in Ontario before heading the Ethiopia on the 9th, returning Jan 10, 2019. 

Werner will be a guest teacher at Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia. Joanne will serve as a student mentor. 

Please keep them in your prayers.

According to anabaptistwiki.org, the Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia is the largest national Anabaptist Conference in the world. In 2009, they had over 170,000 members,  484 churches, and 834 planting centers. 

BC Fires - Burns Lake First MC

posted 29 Aug 2018, 17:47 by Mennonite Church Alberta

Aug 27 2018, By Kevin Barkowsky

Continue praying for the folks of Burns Lake First Mennonite Church.   Pastor Rob of Church of the Way in nearby Granisle reports that many people in the Burns Lake area have been forced into evacuation because of the multitude of fires in that area.

“It is a stressful, frustrating time for the area,” says Pastor Rob, ”especially when it doesn’t seem all that can be done is being done in a timely manner.  We’re praying for a good rain.  Mercy drops round us have fallen, but for the showers we plead. Isaiah 65:24 promises that He hears and the answer is on the way before the words are off the lips. We stand on the promise and wait, sadly not all that patiently at times.  Thanks again and keep praying.”

Paetkau Named Interim Executive Minister

posted 24 Aug 2018, 11:00 by Mennonite Church Alberta

The search committee for MC Canada Executive Minister is happy to announce that Henry Paetkau has agreed to serve as the Interim Executive Minister for Mennonite Church Canada. Henry will begin his employment on October 16, 2018 and continue until a permanent Executive Minister is in place.

Henry brings with him a diversity of experience which we believe meets the current needs of MC Canada as we continue the transition to new structures. Most recently, Henry served as Area Church Minister for MCEC. Previous to that, he was President of Conrad Grebel University College for eight years and Denominational Minister for MC Canada for three years. 

The search committee thanks you for your ongoing prayers throughout this process.

Update by Steve Heinrich

posted 21 Aug 2018, 14:49 by Mennonite Church Alberta


I was released from prison this afternoon [Sunday, August 12]. Going in, I prayed that God would use the experience to teach me more about the justice system and the lives of those who spend so much time behind bars. I learned much, and it wasn’t, at times, easy. I give thanks to the many friends and allies who supported me and my family in prayer. I give thanks to fellow inmates that showed me kindness, shared stories, talked about spiritual matters and politics, lifted weights and played 21 with me. I pray for the many brothers I met who are struggling deeply with loneliness, addictions and boredom. And above all, I hold in the light my younger brother, who speaks no English, who wept for days, who tried to kill himself this morning. Mothering God, have mercy on us. Hold us all in your embrace.

Reflections on the Healing Journey after Genocide

posted 21 Aug 2018, 14:47 by Mennonite Church Alberta

Audrey Brooks stands outside her home by the Genocide Memorial Garden she started 10 years ago (2008). In conjunction with the garden, Brooks began the Genocide Memorial Service. For the first nine years she held services at her home.  But this year her church, the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, helped her expand the celebrations by hosting this year's memorial.


Reflections on the Healing Journey after Genocide
 
July 15, 2018 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Genocide memorial service*, a yearly event usually held at the home of Audrey Brooks, founder and organizer.

For this special occasion, the service was held in the Unitarian church.   I had found the services meaningful in the past, but this time it was planned for Sunday morning so I would be missing the worship and singing in a Mennonite church.   I had also promised Jasmina Colic, from Bosnia, that I would be there.  She told me she was going to talk about me.  I found a spot with the folks of her community, wearing a T-shirt with the Srebenica massacre featured on the front. 
 
It truly was a special service with music, singing, poetry and yes of course the difficult stories from places around the world, like one from Venezuela which was heart-breaking. It was one of those rich interfaith events where you might find yourself inspired by those of faith different than your own. 
 
Jasmina then spoke, not of the Srebenica massacre, but of her journey toward healing here in Edmonton. This focus was a worthy addition to the memorial service, though not verbalized otherwise until she shared.  She spoke without notes and with passion, highlighting four people she has encountered. 
 
The first was a Serbian orthodox woman.  They spent time together, and Jasmina felt very positive.   But one day the friend happened to mention that everybody had suffered equally in that war.   Jasmina asked her, “But how can you think that way, there were no orthodox women raped, there was no big massacre.   The violence was not equal at all.”    The facts were just too different from what this woman was saying, and eventually Jasmina walked out of the relationship.
 
Another day, Jasmina was with a man in an elevator.  He asked if she was perhaps Polish, or Ukrainian.   She said, “No, I am from Bosnia.”   He said she must be Serbian, and she said, “ No”.   “Then you must be Croatian”.  She said, No”.  She waited.  He had nothing more to say.    Finally she said, “I am Bosnian Muslim”.   He said they needed to go for coffee.  She said, “How can we go for coffee when you cannot even acknowledge that I exist.”  She walked away.  The encounter was troubling to her. 
 
Then she spoke of Donna, her Mennonite Friend.   She described how we met many years ago at Al Rashid Mosque for Friday prayer.  She thought that because I was there,  I must be a convert to Islam.   I told her that “No” I am Mennonite Christian but came here because I lived in West Africa for many years.  From that day onward, we both felt that we needed to keep in contact.  and it  deepened.  We met for coffee, celebrated religious holidays in each others homes etc.    I listened to her stories , told my stories and we cried together.  I then invited her to our Christian/Muslim book club.  Then she said that I was there sitting with her people in solidarity.   
 
Then she spoke of a Bosnian Orthodox woman who attended the service as well.  She said that they are spending time together and getting closer.  She is very thankful for their friendship.
 
As the service ended we were invited to light candles for any situations around the world that needed prayer.  I went forward to light a candle for the Fulani people of West Africa who this year have been killed in excessive numbers.   My son’s work is focused solely on them, but our daughter also serves people of that tribe in her hospital. 
 
At the end, the organizer said that next year, she wanted me to speak as well.   I believe that Jasmina’s presentation shifted the focus from past back home to present life in Edmonton. 
The day after the Genocide memorial service a Bosnian Muslim was my bus driver.   He is the one that stopped and waited for me one night where there was no bus stop.   I told him on Monday that I was touched by his stopping for me.   I told him, “Horrible things were done against your people but instead of being bitter you have chosen to go beyond what your job requires to help someone out.  That is living with integrity.  You are a true person of faith”.  
 
I realized that what Jasmina had said carries lessons that apply to any of us who struggle to walk with others in solidarity as allies.
  • Put your self in spaces where “other” people are found.   Where people don’t expect to find you. 
  • Be open to meet with them setting the parameters.
  • Reciprocate hospitality.
  • Listen to their stories. 
  • Share your stories. 
  • Be empathetic.  Cry together.
  • Invite into a larger circle of connection, and create a space where all can be comfortable. 
 
Donna Entz




Postscript by Jasmina. I am the lucky one. I live in this multi-cultural society called Canada. In Bosnia there is one village where 40 nations are represented and all live together peacefully in one little town. We were used to being multi-cultural. But now Bosnia cannot be that place for me that it used to be. North is the concentration camp where I stood for hours in 35 degrees. South brings remembrance of where my father was held. It would have been so hard to relate to all the Serbian people in Bosnia. I would have been constantly triggered as I am when I go back. So Canada is good because it gives me other options of kinds of people to relate to. Donna was so helpful because unlike some people she never put pressure on me to forgive or to tell me to just forget it and move on with life in the present. Donna has all those years of experience in Africa and that shapes her response to others.

* According to this year's invitation, "the annual Genocide Memorial Service began as a witness to violence committed against human beings because of wars, greed, ethnic cleansing, slavery, gender bias, colonial appropriation of people and their lands, instances of neglect and political oppression, that resulted in mass extinction of helpless men, women and children. "

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