Announcements

Announcements

Seeking Executive Minister for MC Canada

posted by Mennonite Church Alberta


We invite all congregations and members of Mennonite Church Canada to join with us in prayer as we seek an EXECUTIVE MINISTER. We invite applications and nominations for an individual who will work cooperatively with the Executive Staff Group to nurture, represent and inspire a unified vision of MC Canada.

This full time chief executive officer is accountable to the Joint Council, and responsible for working with the Executive Staff Group for the nationwide program of Mennonite Church Canada.

This position requires considerable travel within Canada, and occasional travel outside of Canada. Living in the Winnipeg area is required. Assistance will be provided to cover relocation expenses.

Start Date to be negotiated.

Inquiries, resumes and letters of interest may be directed to: searchcommittee@mennonitechurch.ca

Review of applications will begin on July 31, 2018 and continue until a suitable applicant is found.

Completion or updating of the Ministerial Leadership Information forms will be required as part of the process.

To view a full job description for the Executive Minister role, visit: www.commonword.ca/go/1551 or home.mennonitechurch.ca

Mennonite Church Canada Celebrates and Concludes Witness Worker Positions in Burkina Faso and Germany Norm and Lillian Nicolson (Burkina Faso) & Gregory Rabus and Jennifer Otto (Germany) return to Canada

posted 16 May 2018, 23:18 by Mennonite Church Alberta

Mennonite Church Canada Celebrates and Concludes Witness Worker Positions in Burkina Faso and Germany


Norm and Lillian Nicolson (Burkina Faso) & Gregory Rabus and Jennifer Otto (Germany) return to Canada
by
Staff
;
May 10, 2018
;
Mennonite Church Canada


Winnipeg, Man

“We are grateful for the depth of leadership and commitment Norm & Lillian and Gregory & Jennifer have brought to their work with Witness,” says Willard Metzger, Executive Minister of Mennonite Church Canada. “The words in Matthew 25 come to mind: ‘well done good and faithful servant.’”

Twenty years ago, Lillian (Haas) Nicolson (Bluesky Mennonite Church) was invited to Burkina Faso to minister in the work of literacy which then grew into Bible translation. Alongside literacy and Bible translation, she has also been involved in church planting within the community. Norm (North Peace Mennonite Brethren) has ministered in Burkina Faso since 2007. He taught and assisted people to develop trade skills that enabled them to better meet the needs of their families, congregations and communities. He also audio-recorded biblical and other teaching materials to share the gospel with those who have limited literacy abilities. Norm, Lillian and their children, Kenneth and Nadine, will return to Canada at the end of May. Celebrations of faithful ministry will be planned with the Nicolsons and the congregations who have supported them.

Jennifer Otto (Steinmann Mennonite Church, ON.) and Gregory Rabus (Montreal Mennonite Fellowship) were originally invited to plant a church in Mannheim, Germany six years ago in partnership with the Conference of Southern German Mennonite Congregations and the German Mennonite Mission Committee. Together, they established a community-building ministry in the Ludwigshafen Mennonite Church. They used their linguistic, organizational and hospitality gifts to develop Friedenshaus (Peace House), a community centre working especially with refugees offering German language instruction, community building events, friendship, and help settling into a new country and culture. As reported in 2017, Gregory, Jennifer and their children, Alex and Ian, will return to Canada in June 2018, where Jennifer has accepted a position as assistant professor of Christianity at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.

“The impact of these ministries will never be truly known,” says Metzger. “We call on our nationwide community of faith to pray for the Nicolson family and the Otto/Rabus family as they leave their communities and return to Canada.”

MC Canada continues to strongly affirm and be engaged in international ministry with its Witness partners. All Witness projects are currently being reviewed by Mennonite Church Canada – a process that has led to the conclusion of the involvement of MC Canada in the work in Burkina Faso and to the transition of the Germany ministry to local ownership and leadership.

Post Secondary Student Bursary

posted 16 May 2018, 23:13 by Mennonite Church Alberta   [ updated 16 May 2018, 23:15 ]

Post Secondary Student Bursary

Mennonite Church Alberta sponsors a bursary for students attending a post-secondary Anabaptist institute. Each year, $8000 is distributed evenly to those who qualify (and complete the application). 

Instructions and application are attached below. For Question, contact Will at mcatuitionassistance@gmail.com.

Deadline to apply is July 31, 2018 for 2018-2019 school year. 

A Refugee Story from MCBC

posted 10 May 2018, 19:01 by Mennonite Church Alberta

A Refugee Story from MCBC
by Kevin Barkowski


Leandre's family in Mission, BC, with a vehicle donated by a local car dealership

Leandre was a young teen, living in the Republic of Congo, when Rebels confronted his father to force him to join their cause. They threatened the father with harm to his family.  They killed Leandre’s mother, and the rest of the family fled.  Soldiers caught Leandre and brought him to a field, made him dig his own grave, and left one soldier to shoot him after the grave had been dug.  The soldier, however, said that he liked Leandre's father, shot a bullet into the air so the others would think Leandre was killed, and told him to run away into the jungle and never be seen again.

Twenty years later, Cedar Valley Mennonite Church (CVMC) was meeting to discuss how to bring Leandre's family, who had just achieved refugee status, to Canada.  When the church found out that the family had an extended family also with refugee status, they asked other Mission churches to help keep the families together.  Eight churches and multiple community groups, together with private individuals, responded with finances and support, enabling Leandre's entire extended family to immigrate to Mission.

Recently, Leandre's family received more great news from Africa - Leandre was alive.  After twenty-two years of separation, CVMC and MCC are working at helping Leandre achieve refugee status so he can join his family in Mission.

"God's Spirit was moving in many ways for this transition to happen!"  Pastor Dan Rempel, CVMC

Notes from Joint Council

posted 10 May 2018, 19:00 by Mennonite Church Alberta

Notes from Joint Council 
May 4-6, 2018


2019 Budget Approved

Joint Council approved in principle a budget of $2,085,746 for year ending Jan 31,2019. This represents a commitment to full Witness Worker funding through June, 2018 as promised by the former General Board. The target of $1,922,000 as presented as at Assembly 2017 will be achieved in fiscal year ending Jan. 31,2020.

Delegate Assembly Plans

The first Delegate Assembly of the newly formed MC Canada: our nationwide community of faith, will be June 29-July 1, 2019 in BC. A planning committee of representatives from each Regional Church will begin to develop the Inspirational Event that will be part of this exciting weekend.

Communication Strategy

Leaders have been developing a nationwide communication strategy for Regional Churches that have covenanted together as Mennonite Church Canada. Regional Church communicators will be gathering together May 28-30, 2018 in Winnipeg to work with consultants from Barefoot Creative. This is an important step in the development of the strategy.

Pastoral Leadership

What are the gifts and training required for congregational leaders in the future? That is the question before the Regional Church leaders and Presidents of our four Denominational schools who will be meeting together June 14 as part of the creation of a pastoral leadership development strategy. Being proactive in anticipating the future needs of pastoral leadership will be the focus of the gathering.

Indigenous/Settler Relationship

The recent participation of Steve Heinrichs, Director of Indigenous/Settler Relations at the Burnaby Mountain Prayer Witness was discussed at the Joint Council meeting held in Toronto May 5-6. While there is a difference of opinion regarding the resulting arrest of Heinrichs, the Joint Council remains committed to the ministry and the statements made by the church in the past. The topic will continue to be discerned together.

MCEC Feedback

As has become routine practice, congregational members were invited to meet with the Joint Council during their meetings in Ontario May 5-6. Participants were invited to express their dreams and anxieties for the newly formed nationwide community of faith. This important opportunity for face to face dialogue with the Council is an important avenue for congregational feedback.

MC Canada Executive Director to complete term after 8 years

posted 10 May 2018, 18:58 by Mennonite Church Alberta

MC Canada Executive Director to complete term after 8 years of service


After careful consideration and prayer the Joint Council discerned with Willard Metzger, Executive Director, that this was the time to seek new leadership for Mennonite Church Canada. The announcement came on May 7 following the Joint Council meetings in Ontario on May 5 and 6. The Joint Council has appointed a Search Committee, chaired by Geraldine Balzer, to determine leadership needs and to find Metzger’s successor.
Since the beginning of his tenure in November 2010, Willard has continued to express a deep commitment to Christ and a love for the church”, says Calvin Quan, moderator of MC Canada. “We have been blessed by Willard’s leadership which many have described as being approachable, pastoral, and articulate. He has a gift for connecting the diversity of cultures and generations reflected in our congregations across the country. This has served us well in light of the major shifts experienced by the broader church and society over the recent years.”

Metzger will continue with MC Canada until Oct 31, 2018. “My time with MC Canada has marked me, and I am a better leader and stronger person because of it. I thank God for this gift,” stated Metzger.

Click Here for Complete Press Release

A Reflection on Joint Council

posted 10 May 2018, 18:38 by Mennonite Church Alberta

A Reflection on Joint Council
By Brenda Tiessen-Wiens
MCA Moderator

May 4-6 Joint Council
 
Taking on a new role inevitably involves a round of “firsts.” The May 4-6 weekend was, for Margaret Kruger-Harder (MCA Representative) and myself, our first Joint Council (JC) meeting. This gathering of Moderators, Regional Church Representatives, Executive Council members and Executive Ministers was a time to learn about what’s happening in our regions, as well as to work at the concerns and responsibilities that we share as a national body. One of the affirmations that has emerged is the wide-spread sense that the regions are working together and connecting in ways that have exceeded initial hopes. The sense of covenant between regions is strong, and we’re learning that resourcing can happen in a variety of ways. The value of face-to-face gatherings is also seen as core to our understanding of church, and we already look forward to our nation-wide gathering in BC in July 2019.
 
As we explore what it means to be church together, there will naturally be aspects where we differ not only as regions but as individuals. Our discussion about changes in governance at AMBS is an example of this. One agenda item was a bylaw change proposed by the AMBS board to allow for some board members without MC Canada or MC USA membership. Final approval was deferred for a follow-up meeting in order to receive further background information. In our discussion we expressed our strong sense of ownership in AMBS and deep commitment to Anabaptist Mennonite faith formation and training. What governance will best achieve this is not always easy to discern. In our discussions about International Witness, we affirmed guidelines for engaging in new ministries and for how those will be supported. While uncertainties still remain for some workers, some congregations have found the new model of relational funding to be an exciting way to engage directly with workers and with faith groups in other locations.
With some topics, we continue to struggle with how to speak with a nationwide voice while at the same time recognizing our congregations are not all of one mind. Joint Council’s conversation around the participation of MC Canada’s Director of Indigenous-Settlers Relations, Steve Heinrichs, in an ecumenical protest of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline highlighted our varying regional perspectives and differences. Our faith in Christ calls us to work towards reconciliation of broken relationships, and as a larger church body we have made commitments to nurture justice-based relationships of peace between peoples of settler and indigenous background.  It has been a long journey to engage in healing with Indigenous people, and as we seek to honour the findings of the TRC, we find ourselves in positions where we attempt to balance and respect diverse theological, cultural, environmental, social and economic concerns. As we work through this in our local, regional and national churches, we find ourselves in uncomfortable discussions where there isn't consensus on expected or hoped-for outcomes.
 
While the overarching sentiment at JC was positive and forward-looking, our meetings ended on a somber note as we processed the decision that Willard Metzger will not be continuing with MC Canada past this fall. The last several years of envisioning a new church structure have not been easy, but Willard’s prayerful and pastoral leadership and presence helped to guide us to where we are today. And so the transition process will continue through the coming year. As we continue to move forward we are encouraged by the covenant that holds us together as regional churches, reflecting a strong commitment to respond to the leading of God’s spirit. In spite of the areas where there will inevitably continue to be uncertainty, the sense that God is, indeed, present and guiding us provides us with an underlying sense of calm and assurance.
 
Brenda Tiessen-Wiens
Moderator, MCA

Response from Tim: Kinder Morgan protest

posted 2 May 2018, 08:09 by Mennonite Church Alberta

Indigenous-Settler Relations:
a response from Tim Wiebe-Neufeld
Executive Minister, MCA

On April 20th, Steve Heinrichs, Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations coordinator, took part in a protest at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project on Burnaby Mountain. Steve refused to leave the protest line when asked to do so by police, leading to his arrest.  Steve is clear that he did not do this action on behalf of Mennonite Church Canada.  He did this in solidarity with Indigenous brothers and sisters who are also being arrested for blocking progress on this pipeline expansion project. The Canadian Mennonite magazine has an online article with more information.

In recent weeks the debate over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project has escalated and become ever-more polarized. The various perspectives expressed show how such projects are complex, involving issues surrounding indigenous-settler relations, care for creation, and economic interests that have wide-ranging impact. While the passionate response from various sides of this debate are understandable, I wonder how we as a peace church can speak into this situation. I admit that as an Albertan I find myself reacting to the opposition from the BC government to a pipeline tied so heavily to Alberta’s economic interests. At the same time, I share concerns about caring for creation and our relationship with indigenous communities. As a larger Mennonite church, we have repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, sought ways to live into the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and looked to respond to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

It seems to me that further polarization is not going to help solve the Kinder Morgan impasse. As a church and as individuals seeking to be followers of Christ, I pray that we may find ways for peaceful engagement with this pipeline conversation and the issues it raises. I pray that we as a church may encourage the movement toward resolution involving dialogue with indigenous communities, all levels of government, industry leaders, and other stakeholders. I pray that we may move from “us/them” to “we”, seeking a resolution together.

Toronto Tragedy

posted 2 May 2018, 08:02 by Mennonite Church Alberta   [ updated 2 May 2018, 08:15 ]

A Note from David Martin, MCEC Executive Minister

Toronto Tragedy
I invite your prayers for the victims of the tragedy that is unfolding in Toronto over these past days. In the midst of unspeakable horror, countless lives have been touched by disbelief, grief and tragedy. Pray for those who have lost loved ones, for those recovering from injuries, the friends and families who have been impacted and for the first responders who continue to address many challenges of investigation and cleanup. May our prayers for healing encompass all who have been affected by this tragedy, including the young man whose actions have taken such a devastating toll on so many.

In the face of such unsettling news, pray for our MCEC congregations in Toronto who are confronting this tragedy more directly and for whom this experience is much more immediate. Pray that they will have the appropriate words of wisdom that will bring comfort in the midst of grief and perspective in the face of bewildering circumstances. Pray too for all of us that when our world is shattered by violent acts, that we will remember the words of the Psalmist, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Public Event - Grown-Up: an eve of storytelling

posted 1 May 2018, 19:02 by Mennonite Church Alberta

This event will follow a variation of a model for community engagement through storytelling that has drawn intergenerational participants (including large numbers
of young adults) to share deeply, joyfully, and profoundly with one another in the UK, Netherlands, Chicago, Nashville, and Winnipeg. Our theme, grown-up, will encourage participants to listen closely to the unique experiences that different generations of Christians, and each individual Christian, can have with becoming or being “grown-up.”

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