Canadian Mennonite
Volume 10, No. 06
March 20, 2006


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Mennonite Church Canada
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From our leaders

Mennonite Church Canada

Be ‘transformed’ by March Equipping

The March Equipping packet, now available in church offices, shares stories, resources and letters from leaders that inspire and highlight both personal and corporate opportunities for transformation:

• A celebration story from “Connexus,” a rapidly growing English language ministry of the Korea Anabaptist Center in Seoul, Korea, announcing the need for more teachers.

• A Resource Centre update introduces new Gather ’Round trainers and calendar of training events for the Mennonite Publishing Network’s new Sunday school curriculum.

• Inspirational reflections from MC Canada leaders, which touch on themes such as growing more leaders for the church (Sven Eriksson); practising unity through generosity (Dave Bergen); and reflections on a recent peace-building trip to Colombia in the context of one of three new denominational priorities—to become a more global church (Jack Suderman).

Prayer and praise

During this Lenten season, as well as sacrificing chocolate and coffee, consider adding on the discipline of prayer in a more deliberate way as you pray through, with, and for the following praise and petition items:

• Celebrate the growing relationships between native and non-native churches, and pray for the Manitoba Partnership Circle. Pray also for relationships with aboriginal people in B.C. as MC Canada Native Ministry, MCC B.C. Aboriginal Neighbours and Columbia Bible College co-sponsor sessions with native theologians Terry LeBlanc and Ray Aldred in Abbotsford on March 28 and 29.

• Give thanks for the peace-building progress as Colombian church leaders met together last month.

• Remember the Congo Partnership Council of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, which will be meeting in Elkhart, Ind., from March 27 to 29 with leaders from three Congolese Mennonite churches.

Mennonite Church British Columbia

Seminar introduces German hymnal

“A renewal of congregational singing” (Neubelebung des Gemeindegesangs) seminar took place at Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church, Abbotsford, earlier this month, with special guests George and Esther Wiebe of Winnipeg. Worship leaders, song leaders, accompanists and church worship committee members were invited to the musical weekend, held in both German and English.

A highlight of the weekend was the introduction of a new German hymnal the Wiebes helped to produce. Workshop input included sessions on congregational singing, and leading and accompanying hymns. Participants also worked on putting together a worship service and rehearsed as a mass choir.

To conclude the weekend, approximately 400 attended a joint German-English worship service at Eben-Ezer on Sunday morning, at which the choir participated.

Said Lucia Eitzen, music promoter at Eben-Ezer, “George and Esther gave us great encouragement to make use of the powerful potential hymns and modern songs we have in worship services. Making congregational singing functional makes it more meaningful. The congregation was surprised how enjoyable and refreshing congregational singing can be. It was a rich worship experience.”

Mennonite Church Alberta

Rosemary pastor suffers heart attack

On March 3, Rosemary Mennonite Church pastor Roy Hewko was taken to Foothills Hospital in Calgary, where doctors determined he had suffered a mild heart attack. Hewko was placed in intensive care for testing and treatment. Conference pastor Jim Shantz was able to visit on March 5, and said that Hewko’s prognosis looks good, but a period of rest and recovery for about a month is likely. Please pray for Roy, his wife Joyce, and the Rosemary congregation, as they seek God’s presence and healing touch during this stressful time.

‘God’s people now’ songfest theme

“God’s people now” is the theme of this year’s Alberta Songfest celebration. Songfest 2006 promises to be a musical banquet, as the adult mass choir will be bolstered by special guest conductor Rudy Schellenberg and the Canadian Mennonite University Chamber Choir. Cheryl Thiessen will conduct the children’s choir and Suzanne Gross will conduct the youth ensemble. All are welcome to come join the choir and the congregation at Edmonton’s First Mennonite Church on May 6 and 7 in praise to God.

Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

Pastoral openings in five churches

With the impending resignation of Marco Funk as youth pastor at Rosthern Mennonite, a total of five MC Saskatchewan churches will be looking for leadership. The large church in the prairie town of 1,500 lost their lead pastor last fall. Now Funk, who has worked with the youth group, will be leaving to consider further studies.

In Swift Current, Ray and Sylvia Friesen have left Zion Mennonite Church, leaving an opening for a pastor in the congregation of almost 200 members.

Superb Mennonite, in the town of the same name, is also without a pastor. The 30-member church family is considering the option of worshipping with another group in the area.

Henry and Erna Funk have finished their interim position in the rural congregation of Aberdeen Mennonite, and have left a vacancy there as well.

And Hope Mennonite in North Battleford, with a membership of 21, will again be minus a shepherd when Henry Patkau retires this summer.

Mennonite Church Manitoba

Women in Mission Enrichment Day

Manitoba Women in Mission will be celebrating their annual Worship and Enrichment Day on May 6, at First Mennonite Church, Winnipeg. This year’s theme is “Stewardship of time.” The day’s activities include a singspiration, brief business meeting and a service of remembrance for those Women in Mission who passed away in the previous year. Melissa Miller is the guest speaker. Following a bag lunch, three speakers will share brief stories and examples of being “stewards of time.”

Camps with Meaning updates

Lisa Martens of Hope Mennonite Church is compiling this year’s Bible curriculum for summer camp. Based on Jeremy Bergen’s curriculum “Click on radical,” the new curriculum is entitled “The everlasting story.” Staff and campers will explore the stories of communities and individuals of faith throughout history to learn how God worked through them.

This year, Camps with Meaning’s goal is to reach 1,300 individuals, up 100 from last year. By increasing promotion to MC Manitoba churches and to community schools, as well as participating in such events as Parade of Camps, Camps with Meaning staff hope to achieve this goal.

Julia Thiessen has been hired as the 2006 summer program assistant. She brings with her numerous gifts and abilities, among which is her love of camp and children.

Several new physical improvements to the camps represent sacrificial gifts of time and resources:

• The fireplace at Camp Moose Lake has been completely renovated, making it a net “exporter” of heat, rather than a heat loss. A convenient cloakroom replaces the former porch of the main lodge, and significant repair and improvements have been made to the foundation.

• At Camp Koinonia, the former nature centre has been transformed into a gleaming new all-season cabin.

• A new coffee centre has been installed at Camp Assiniboia.

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

‘More than enough’ room at assembly

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things” I Corinthians 12:4-6 (The Promise).

With this Scripture MC Eastern Canada members are invited to enter the world of “enough” in conference sessions to be held at St. Catharines United Mennonite Church on April 28 and 29. “More than enough: Releasing God’s gifts” is the theme for the delegate assembly hosted by the Niagara Peninsula Cluster.

The spring conference session is for everybody, not just delegates! MC Eastern Canada is not an address—4489 King St. E., Kitchener—but is 90 congregations representing 14,000 people who come together for worship, fellowship, sharing, reflecting and discerning in their walk with God and each other.

Come and celebrate the work of MC Eastern Canada as we look forward to the work of the five new councils that will pick up the torch and legacy of ministry from the eight commissions in the newly revised structural model.

Come and worship with sisters and brothers from across the area church. Come and hear testimonies of God at work in local congregations. Come and be introduced to two new MC Eastern Canada emerging congregations. Come to discern how members and delegates might release God’s gifts in their congregations and the conference.

Registration materials and delegate packets were mailed to congregations the first week of March. This as an event to which everyone in the congregation is invited. And pray for the host planners and those who plan the worship.

Website name has been changed

MC Eastern Canada has changed its web domain name; has expired. It has been replaced by This affects both the website and any staff e-mail addresses. Individual staff can be reached by simply adding their first name in front of

Unless otherwise credited, the articles in TheChurches pages were written by Canadian Mennonite’s regional correspondents.

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