|News » Report to Congregations, 2002|
|Report from the General Secretary at the close of 2001|
Report to Congregations, 2002
| December 17, 2001
Greetings in the name of Christ! The past year of transition has brought us all the prospect of an exciting future.
Abbotsford 2001: What is God Doing?
Over 1000 youth and adults attended our 2001 annual assembly. New structures for Mennonite Church Canada connecting our Vision: Healing & Hope to a missional church model were passed. We corporately resolved to consider a Healthcare Ministry for Mennonite Church Canada; to continue encouraging Northwest Conference to join MC Canada; and to work with MCC in peace building in Colombia.
From Transition to Implementation
New church structures will be implemented in 2002. We request your prayers for guidance, wisdom and discernment as we communicate the implications for the country-wide church.
We welcomed new staff to MC Canada this year: Gordon Janzen (Mission Partnership Facilitator, Asia & the Middle East & Pastoral Care Coordinator for mission workers); Pam Peters-Pries (Executive Secretary, Support Services); Janet Plenert, (Director, International Missions Facilitator, Latin America); Kirsten Schroeder (Director of Human Resources, Support Services). Some existing staff have made transitions to accommodate our growing work. Additional changes in staffing will shortly be announced in Canadian Mennonite and on our Web site.
We mourn the withdrawal of MacGregor Bergthaler Mennonite Church from their area conference and MC Canada. We continue to pray for this and other congregations who are considering their place in MC Canada.
In November the General Board and college/seminary representatives held a consultation on Canadian Mennonite Education. The resulting proposal will be reported shortly for public discussion. A new discussion-starter video on the missional church vision has been sent to congregations. We celebrate the 49 pastors who have moved into 42 congregations this past year. We continue to relate to you through the Canadian Mennonite. We continue building our relationships with churches in Cuba and Columbia.
Area Church Partnerships
Our area churches continue to be significant contributors to our collective work. In addition, area churches have been served by MC Canada staff in many ways. Discussions on sharing staff have moved forward. These arrangements will be tested when some joint staff begin assignments in 2002. We look forward to making our collective relationship even stronger.
On February 1, 2002, Mennonite Church Canada assumes full responsibility for its share of the merged bi-national programs of the Mennonite and General Conference churches. The support of our many shared ministries carries forward our witness and provides essential support to our country-wide church.
We are grateful for the financial support we continue to receive from our congregations. The 2002 fiscal year will be a critical time as we implement transformation plans. Therefore, we are asking congregations to transfer to MC Canada the contributions that they formerly sent to General Conference and/or Mennonite Church, and to increase their level of support by 2.7% for 2002. A Giving Guide for Mennonite Church Canada congregations appears on the reverse of this letter. Please note carefully the implications this will have as you plan your budget for the coming year.
Saskatoon 2002: "Tending God's Field, Forming God's People (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
This year's annual assembly (Saskatoon, July 3-7) will be a significant time of worship, prayer, celebration, and decision making for all of us. We ask for your continued prayer support as we plan this significant event in our church life.
-Dan Nighswander, general secretary