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Church planting grant awarded
April 23, 2003
Winnipeg, Man.— Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church (TCMC) will hire a pastor for its new Mandarin ministry with $25,000 in grants from Mennonite Church Canada’s Churches Planting Churches (formerly called City on a Hill), a program of Outreach and Church Planting, and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. The MC Canada funding was part of the program budget of the previous fiscal year.
Jameson Sung, pastor of TCMC, says in recent years Canada has seen an influx of Mandarin immigrants from mainland China. “A lot of them settle in our community, and as immigrants they look for various kinds of help.” TCMC has responded, helping new immigrants find lodging, employment, furniture and in other ways. TCMC's membership consists of Cantonese people from Hong Kong, meaning they have an entirely different economic, cultural and linguistic background.
This new reality prompted the church to set up a Mandarin Ministry. “We are excited, we are very excited,” said Sung. “We have a mentoring gathering of 100-120 every two weeks.” About 20 attend a Mandarin worship service and Sunday School.
“We try to build a ministry that's solely for their own language — we are not trying to integrate them. It's a wide gap culturally between the two groups.” Bible study and Sunday worship began in January 2002, Discipleship classes in February 2003. A children's ministry is planned to begin in May 2003, and a youth ministry in January 2004.
“So far we have enough budget to support the ministries,” said Sung, “but to hire a pastor is a big chunk of money.” That's where the help of the broader church comes in; with $5,000 from MCEC and $20,000 from MC Canada, TCMC will be able to hire a pastor to help the Mandarin ministry grow into a self-supporting congregation.
TCMC, itself only a few years old, is now a thriving church with a strong missional vision to become “a meeting place of the community, and not just the Chinese community.”