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Congregations connected through visits, Witness projects


November 21, 2002
by Daniel Rempel

Winnipeg, Man.—When 2002 ends, Mennonite Church Canada staff will have visited at least 115 congregations; 16,400 is the total membership of those churches. When multiple visits and Mennonite schools and other institutions are included the number of visits climbs to nearly 150.

The high level of contact in a single year with a major portion of MC Canada’s 250 member churches and 37,000 members grows out of a missional emphasis on involving all parts of the church in God’s mission. Contacts took the form of preaching, teaching Sunday school, leading workshops and visioning exercises, mission worker visits and drama presentations.

Since staff and workers respond to invitations, the number of visits suggests a significant level of enthusiasm. “This high level of excitement and passion for the activity of the larger church body is astounding,” said Steve Plenert, Constituency Connections Coordinator for MC Canada. “And catching!”

Mission Action Profiles

Mission Action Profiles (MAPs) are a new tool churches can use to connect with the work of the larger church.

MAPs have been developed for each project on the agenda of MC Canada Witness. They start from a vision that “Every congregation, and all parts of the church, will be fully engaged in God’s mission… reaching from across the street to around the world.” Many MAPs already list congregational partners.

MAPs are administrative tools outlining projects that churches and partner agencies can support; financial commitments range from less than $1000 to over $10,000. MAPs help congregations understand and articulate their involvement in a specific ministry, enabling them to know what their contributions are doing and learn more about those ministries.

MAP projects range from supporting Native Ministry day camps, helping an emerging church in Korea pay the rent, paying for Christian literature to be distributed in Macau, supporting the Mennonite seminary in Colombia and publishing a religious magazine in the former Soviet Union.

Congregations feeling left out in 2002 are encouraged to contact their area conference office; regional facilitators are available to coordinate connections with the work of the wider MC Canada church body (call 1-866-888-6785). Visits take place at the initiative of the local congregation.