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Mission awareness event draws 160

Members of First Hmong Mennonite Church, Valleyview Mennonite Korean Ministry, and Lao Christian Fellowship catered a delicious meal for a mission awareness evening at Breslau Mennonite Church. The event was coordinated by Mennonite Church Canada Witness.
Photo by Bev Raimbault

Breslau, On.— "Everyone says they are tired of hearing about transition within Mennonite Church Canada, but when it comes down to it, it can be hard!" said Steve Plenert, constituency connections coordinator for Mennonite Church Canada.

People who are used to relating to Mennonite mission institutions such as Mennonite Board of Missions (MBM), the Commission on Overseas Mission (COM), and the Commission on Home Ministries (CHM) are having to change their connection to Mennonite Church Canada Witness. For folks with these long-standing connections, things just don’t seem the same yet.

So on April the 13th following the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada spring sessions in St. Catharines, 160 mission supporters gathered at Breslau Mennonite Church to hear what was new in Mennonite mission, what was continuing and how they could get or remain involved.

The evening started auspiciously with a delicious Asian meal catered by First Hmong Mennonite Church, Valleyview Mennonite Korean Ministry and Lao Christian Fellowship. Dan Nighswander, general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada introduced Witness and its staff as the team that assumes direct responsibility for overseeing mission agenda under the new structures in Canada. Witness brings together activities such as International Ministries, Outreach & Church Planting, Multicultural Ministries, Christian Service Ministries, and Congregational Partnerships. The highlight of the evening was presenting Erwin and Marian Wiens who have been appointed as Witness workers in South Korea starting in June of this year.

Participants in the event were encouraged to continue to participate in mission by praying, forming partnerships with workers and ministries and learning more about what God is doing across the street and around the world. Marilyn Houser-Hamm lead the gathered in worship through music and joyful sharing of God’s richness.

An opportunity for questions and comments was very significant. Sadness was expressed over the loss of former mission institutions, but there was also a clear commitment to move ahead and be a part of the new. MC Canada Witness staff were energized by the level of commitment displayed by this group of God’s people gathered. Their generous hearts, faithful prayers and genuine interest and involvement are at the heart of the missional church vision of MC Canada.