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Assembly 2010: Reclaiming Jesus


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February 19, 2010
-Deborah Froese

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — From June 29 to July 3, delegates from across the country will meet at Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alta. for Mennonite Church Canada’s Assembly 2010, Reclaiming Jesus™: Gladly wear the Name.

In an era where Christianity has been branded in ways that diverge from Anabaptist values, the Assembly will explore Colossians 3:15-17, and how we are shaped and hallowed by the One whose name we bear – the “Jesus” brand. Worship, seminars and discernment sessions are woven around this theme.

Keynote speakers for the event are Gareth Brandt, a theology instructor at Columbia Bible College, Lucy Roca, a Quebec church planter and former Colombian refugee, and Doug Klassen, senior pastor of Foothills MC in Calgary. Mennonite Church Canada General Secretary Robert J. Suderman will lead Bible Studies each morning.

Seminar topics for Assembly 2010 include creation care in the Alberta oilsands, the power stories have to transform us, discovering opportunities for peace and reconciliation in a Canadian context, the relationship between churches and residential school survivors, and how to represent the Jesus brand in the media, among many others.

A late-night gathering on opening night is planned to help young adults get acquainted, and a second activity will extend their Mennonite Church Canada/Canada Day evening celebration.

There is also plenty of room for the young at Assembly 2010. A Children’s Assembly from 8:30-5:30, June 30 to July 2 will be led by Jon Olfert, Director of Mennonite Church Alberta’s Camp Valaqua, offering child-care and activities for kids from infancy through grade six. For the first time ever, an official Youth Ambassadors program will welcome youth as participants in the adult delegate sessions and be encouraged to take part in discussions.  They will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other events including late night activities and a Peace Art workshop with Ray Dirks, curator of the Mennonite Heritage Gallery. 

Other activities for Assembly 2010 include a Peace Art Exhibit, a Canada Day celebration barbeque and local area tours.  Participants can choose from a variety of pre-planned, post assembly adventures such as an Aboriginal Learning Tour to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park in Cluny, Alberta, viewing a production of Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver at the Rosebud Theatre, a trip to the Calgary Zoo or the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

The registration booklet and other details will be posted at as they become available. Those who register before May 3 will receive a discount.

Sidebar: Workshop Sampling

Planners for Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2010, Reclaiming Jesus™: Gladly wear the Name, are organizing six workshop time slots over a three day period, with a selection of approximately 30 topics.  Here are a few examples:

Jesus Matters
Does Jesus still matter today?  Join younger and older adults as they discuss the role Jesus plays in their daily lives, and in their congregations.  The workshop is based on the book, Jesus Matters, recently published by Mennonite Publishing Network.

Claiming Jesus for the First Time
As we Gladly wear the Name, some around us will claim Jesus for the first time.  Learn from the faith of first generation Christians from Macau, Asia’s Las Vega – and our role in forming a people of God.

Congregations Go Global
Four congregations share their global partnership experiences and help participants explore how becoming a global church helps us gladly wear the name of Christ.  Come and share your congregational partnership experiences.

Frustrated in Doing Good?
Has your congregation been frustrated when intending to send ministry funds beyond Canadian borders?  Explore the complexities of what it means to be a “registered church” in Canada.  Learn how Canadian Revenue Agency impacts our congregational ministry options.  Share your questions and ideas on how we can continue to do “good” while obeying the law.

Make Way for the New Seniors
What opportunities and challenges does the boomer bulge reaching retirement hold for the church?  How does the national church best minister with and for older adults?

My Comfort Zone has Stretch Marks!
As we allow God to direct and shape us the church stretches our sense of comfort.  Come hear stories of congregations who are exploring and engaging different models of worship and organization.

Is Your Church Pregnant?
Wisdom of experience and passion of youth: can sage and novice learn from each other to grow a vibrant church?

What is Peace Anyway?
What is peace anyway?  What do we mean by the public square?  What ARE we doing to be people of peace in the public square?  This is your chance to think more deeply about our calling as a church and what it means practically.

Mennonite Church Alberta’s Live for Peace Campaign
1000 Acts of Peace – Mennonite Church Alberta goes bold!  Come hear their experience in putting up billboards and posters in Calgary, inviting people to give peace a chance.  A variety of leaders from Alberta and beyond will reflect on this experience and the response they received.