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Multicultural Mennonites

   
 


The brochure “What makes a Mennonite” has been translated into Spanish, Traditional & Simplified Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Chin while other language translations such as Hmong & Laotian planned. These resources are available in the Resource Centre.

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July 17, 2010
-Deborah Froese

Calgary, Alta.  Once upon a time, Mennonite congregations in Canada could largely define themselves by German or Swiss Mennonite heritage, but no more. Our congregations represent an increasing variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and currently, 49 of them worship in 19 languages other than English or German including; Amharic (Ethiopian & Eritrean), Cantonese, Chin, Hmong, Japanese, Karan, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Spanish, Tamil, Thai and Vietnamese.

What a gift to the church! As the tapestry of Mennonite Church Canada grows more diverse, we have increased opportunities to learn about Christians from around the world and we strengthen our relationship with the global Mennonite Church. Some of our nine Spanish-speaking congregations – like First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, First United Spanish Mennonite Church in Vancouver and Iglesia Nueva Vida in Toronto – relate to Iglesia Menonita Hispana, the North American conference of Spanish speaking Mennonites. Lao, Vietnamese and Korean congregations also belong to North American bodies.

According to Samson Lo, Director of Multicultural Ministry, Anabaptist Mennonite peace and justice theology attracts and stirs passion in newcomers to Canada.

“Some of these people were refugees and had experienced persecution in their home countries. That’s why they fully appreciate and agreed with the Anabaptist values,” Lo wrote in an update on multicultural ministry.

Multicultural Celebrations

This year, several of our multicultural congregations celebrated anniversaries and special events:

  • 30th anniversary of Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church
  • 15th anniversary of First United Spanish Mennonite in Vancouver
  • Calgary Chinese Mennonite Church celebrated the installation of lead pastor Joseph Liou
  • Western Hmong Mennonite Church in Maple Ridge joined both Mennonite Church British Columbia and Mennonite Church Canada
  • Calgary Vietnamese Mennonite Church Vietnamese Sunday Service in Saskatoon, Sask.
  • Korean Anabaptist Fellowship in Canada celebrates their annual gathering in Calgary now, as Assembly 2010 is underway

“What makes a Mennonite” is available in the Resource Centre