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Living faithfully: 2008 Assembly and Summit


May 9, 2008
-Deborah Froese

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Mennonite Church Canada’s Delegate Assembly will take place this summer in Winnipeg, Man. at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) July 7 and 8, immediately followed by a joint MC Canada/MC USA Summit at the same location. The Summit begins on the evening of July 8 and concludes on July 10.

Both the Assembly and the Summit invite the body of Christ to determine a faithful response to God’s call in a world increasingly challenged by militarization, ecological concerns and a diverse faith society. The theme shared by these gatherings, “At the Crossroads: Promise and Peril,” expresses the urgency of the issues at hand and is based upon Deuteronomy 4:1-9, where Moses implores the Israelites to remember their identity as people of God.

Pam Peters-Pries, Executive Secretary of MC Canada Support Services, says that it is important for us to gather. “We are the church. We live in a global village in which our lives are interwoven with others around our globe. Others are watching us. We need to talk about our faithfulness in the midst of global realities.”

Each event must be registered for separately; both include morning and evening worship services, group sessions and a variety of speakers along with mealtimes and late-night activities to provide ample time for fellowship. In addition, both events have activities planned for children from nursery school age to junior youth to free older participants to engage in seminars and discussions. An afternoon festival and barbeque during the Summit will bring together people of all ages from both countries.

MC Canada Delegate Assembly

Registered adult delegates will engage in timely discernment sessions, address business items and budgets, and hear reports from the General Board, Christian Formation, Witness, Support Services and Finance.

Raquel Contreras, president of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Chile (UBACH) a new MC Canada Ministry partner, will be a special guest at the event. Contreras will have a display table set up to introduce her denomination and she will be available for discussion about the changing identity of UBACH as Chilean Baptists work at returning to their Anabaptist roots. (For more on this story, see

Of special note is the celebration of the new Partnership Covenant between MC Canada and each of the Area Churches and special recognition of congregations that are joining and leaving this partnership body.

Assembly discernment sessions include Thriving Pastors: Healthy Churches, Being a Peace Church: An Urgent Choice, Confessing Jesus Christ in a Religiously Pluralistic World and Greening the Life of our Church.

People’s Summit

A summit usually implies a gathering of political leaders for the purpose of addressing pressing issues. However, this MC Canada/MC USA event is referred to as a “People’s Summit” because it addresses the urgent question of how to live faithfully as a people of God in a world inundated with adversity and diversity – and it is open to everyone, including senior youth and young adults. Participants do not need to be delegates or representatives of any particular congregation to attend.

Keynote speakers for the event include Tom and Christine Sine, April Yamasaki and Tom Yoder Neufeld.

Seminars and other educational activities at the Summit will address four major subject areas. These “Learning Tracks” include developing leaders for the church in today’s world, living faithfully in challenging times, current world issues and the church, and a study of Deuteronomy 4:1-9, the biblical text upon which the Summit theme, “At the Crossroads: Promise and Peril,” is based.

A 90 minute plenary session on Thursday, July 10 moderated by Andrew Reesor-McDowell (MC Canada) and Sharon Graber Waltner (MC USA) is planned to reflect on and wrap up the Summit.

Advance registration is required for both the Delegate Assembly and People’s Summit. Register online at or call 1-866-888-6785 to request a registration form.

Read discernment theme resources before Assembly 2008