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10th Man Gift Keeps on Giving: Seeds of Life

Seeds of Life, Altona, Manitoba, receives a Tenth Man grant of $50,000 for their first meeting place. The presentation took place at Saskatoon 2002. l-r: Ron Sawatsky, outgoing moderator of MC Canada, Jean-Jacques Goulet, national representative for Tenth Man and MC Canada director of Outreach and Church Planting; Issac Bergen and Ella and Wes Sawatsky accept the cheque on behalf of Seeds of Life.

What’s in a name?

How 10th Man got its name likely lies buried deep in some archive of Mennonite Men Building Project records and meeting minutes, says Jean-Jacques Goulet. What’s important though is how the name "10th Man" allows for some creative imagining. For instance, if every 10th person would make a pledge to contribute $100 every six months towards the Church Building project, the potential for helping congregations realize their first House of Worship would increase dramatically. Or, a congregation could seek out ten 10th Man champions and encourage a gift of $10/month for ten months (does a two month summer break from giving sound appealing?). The possibilities are limited only by the imagination!


Winnipeg, Man.— A Mennonite Men dinner at the Mennonite Church Canada Saskatoon Assembly in July helped raise awareness of the 10th Man bi-national building program, and celebrated a $50,000 grant to the Seeds of Life congregation in Altona, Manitoba.

Seeds of Life members Wes and Ella Sawatsky were on hand to accept the $50,000 cheque, the maximum any congregation may receive from 10th Man. The amount represents twenty per cent of the total cost of either constructing a new building or buying and renovating an existing facility.

But Seeds of Life is making sure their gift keeps on giving. The congregation has decided to donate ten per cent of all monies raised by their own members for their Church building project back to 10th Man. Wes Sawatsky then handed over the first installment—a check of $3,000 in the form of a brick—to Jean-Jacques Goulet, Tenth Man representative in Canada and Director of Outreach and Church Planting for Mennonite Church Canada. When Sawatsky announced that ten per cent of the grant money they had just received would also find its way back to 10th Man, a murmur of approval swept through t

he room. As a result, at least two persons signed pledges in support of 10th Man.

The fact that ten per cent of all monies received by 10th Man is allocated for congregations outside of Canada & the US was noted by the presence of Isaak Bergen, church worker in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, the most recent recipient of an international 10th Man grant. In a special moment, the Sawatskys, Bergen & Goulet passed the cheque, a symbol of true partnership in God’s work.

In response to the enthusiasm of the evening, Jake Harms, 10th Man representative in Manitoba, said, "I am pleased to be part of 10th Man and invite people to join this team of Church Builders. Donating $100 twice a year is well within our means and becomes a powerful blessing to those congregations struggling to own their very first church building."

Goulet adds that in addition to donating money, inspired individuals may also consider volunteering to be a Tenth Man representative in their region. In addition to Jake Harms in Manitoba, Gordon Erb represents Ontario. Volunteer reps are currently being sought in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Colombia.

The dinner closed with the introduction of two resources now available for Men’s ministries: Momentum, a guide to beginning a men’s ministry, and a new study, Closer than a brother, the first in a book study series.

For more information about the 10th Man Church Building program contact Jean-Jacques Goulet, or a regional 10th Man representative. For information on resources for Men’s ministries, contact Maurice Martin, director of lay leadership development for Mennonite Church Canada. Callers (in Canada) can dial 1-866-888-6785 and request specific contact information for these individuals.