Gathering 2022

in Edmonton, Alberta, and online

Friday, July 29, to Monday, August 1

 

We declare to you...what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. 1 John 1:1

 

Join us on Treaty 6 territory as we re-examine what it means to tell the Good News and bear witness to the Gospel of peace.

 

Jump to registration!

"Energy is building in Edmonton as we prepare to host 'We Declare: what we have seen and heard'"

Meet members of the Mennonite Church Alberta Gathering 2022 planning team in our invitational video, and learn what to expect at our nationwide event this summer!

Share. Build. Nurture. Strengthen.

We gather to

  • share faith stories

  • build the ministry and mission of the church locally, regionally, nationally and internationally

  • nurture faith and fellowship

  • strengthen a nationwide Anabaptist Mennonite identity.

Gathering 2022 is worship centred

Worship times are enriched by:

  • speakers' presentations on our Gathering theme
  • faith stories from members across our nationwide community of faith
  • being situated locally, within the context of our Mennonite Church Alberta family.

Join us as we join together in praising our God!

Day for Spiritual Leaders - July 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Edmonton First Mennonite Church

The Day for Spiritual Leaders is a day intended for pastors, lay leaders, spiritual directors, parish nurses and deacons and is hosted by Mennonite Church Canada's Community of Spiritual Leaders.

Sarah Kathleen Johnson and Anneli Loepp Thiessen will lead worship. Time will be set aside for naming laments and grief from the past two years, with each other and before God, and a space provided to turn toward praise.

Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, and author of Reawakened: How your congregation can spark lasting change, will speak on reawakening to ministry.

Registration for the Day for Spiritual Leaders $75.

Contact your regional church leadership minister for more information.

COVID-19 protocols

Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church Alberta are aware of the current wave of COVID-19 cases this spring, due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. While we hope this wave will subside before our gathering in Edmonton, we continue to monitor and will abide by current and future public health orders in the province of Alberta. Alberta is currently (as of March 1) in Step 2 of removing its pandemic restrictions. 

Current guidelines do not require vaccination. However, Mennonite Church Canada will require the use of masks at Gathering 2022.

What to expect in Edmonton

Speakers

John Boopalan

Rev. Sunder John Boopalan, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Canadian Mennonite University, is the author of the book Memory, Grief, and Agency. He is the Series Editor of the Politics of Scripture (PoliticalTheology.com) that offers commentary on Sunday texts from the Revised Common Lectionary. John is a peer reviewer for journals such as Religions, Political Theology Journal, and Wabash Center Journal on Teaching. He has lived in India, the Middle East, and the United States. Married to Ester, he is the proud parent of their daughter, Junia. John loves cooking and believes in the wonder working power of God, food and laughter. 

Cheryl Bear

Cheryl Bear is from Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, is a respected voice and teacher on behalf of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and has traveled to over 600 Indigenous communities raising awareness and understanding of Indigenous issues. She is a founding board member of NAIITS, an Indigenous learning community; an Associate Professor at Regent College; earned her Doctorate from The King’s University, and Master of Divinity from Regent College. Her doctoral work presents an approach to First Nations ministry from the foundations of Indigenous worldview and values. She currently serves as Director of Community Ministry at First United Church in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Kara Carter

Kara Carter is lead pastor of Wellesley Mennonite Church in Wellesley, Ontario. She is a PhD candidate at Martin Luther University College, researching MCEC pastors’ lived experiences with barriers and facilitators as they lead cultural, organizational change. Kara is examining how God's people are being invited to "Go Local," to join with God in the neighbourhood to further God's mission.

Schedule

Please note that this is a working schedule and subject to change.

**Children's programming is planned for ages 5 to 12 all day, Saturday, July 30. 

Friday, July 29

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. - A Day for Spiritual Leaders for pastors, lay leaders, deacons, spiritual directors, etc. (Edmonton First Mennonite Church)

1 p.m. - 7.p.m. - Gathering 2022 registration (Evario Event Centre)

supper

7 - 9 p.m. - Opening worship/plenary - guest speaker John Boopalan

 

Saturday, July 30

breakfast

9 - 10 a.m. Worship/plenary - guest speaker Cheryl Bear

10:30 -11:45 a.m. workshops #1

lunch

1 - 3 p.m. Delegate session

3:30 - 4:45 p.m. workshops #2

supper (not provided)

7 - 9 p.m. An evening of story and song with Cheryl Bear

 

Sunday, July 31

breakfast

10 a.m. - noon nationwide worship service - guest speaker Doug Klassen

lunch

1 - 5 p.m. tours/outings

supper (not provided)

7 - 9 p.m. optional evening activities:

  • Worship time hosted by In This Together. Led by LGBTQ+ and allied siblings in faith, we will See, Hear, and Declare the goodness of God in the diverse gifts within Mennonite Church Canada.
  • "Treaty Talk - Sharing the River of Life is a 50-minute teaching tool to better understand our collective responsibility to treaty" (from www.treatytalk.com)  Join Dr. Pat Makokis (producer) and allies from Indigenous-Settler Relations and elsewhere as we learn and talk together about treaty, building bridges and building understanding.

  • “Do you see an end to this [Palestine-Israel] struggle?” asks Hannah, the protagonist of Syrian playwright Aksam Alyousef’s play Souls. Produced as Readers Theatre by Palestinian Edmonton-based actor and director Amena Shehab, this is a daring and sensitive play that explores the notions of justice, guilt, redemption, and the complex emotions and opinions that swirl around the complex history of occupation in Israel-Palestine.  Discussion to follow.

 

Monday, Aug. 1

breakfast

9 - 10:15 a.m. Delegate session

10:30 a.m. to noon - Closing worship/plenary - guest speaker Kara Carter

lunch

Gathering 2022 ends

Workshops

Our workshops highlight both regional and nationwide church initiatives and communities. They take place Saturday, July 30, in the morning and afternoon. 

 

SATURDAY MORNING

Ecumenical gift exchange: discoveries from the Anglican-Mennonite Dialogue

    

Facilitators: Rev. Canon Scott Sharman and Rev. Doug Klassen

Through video and stories, learn about the Anglican, Mennonite and Indigenous gifts given and received through this dialogue. Explore what local connections, partnerships and public witness could look like in various regions across Canada.

 

When evangelism meets interculturalism

 

Facilitators: Fanosie Legesse, minister of intercultural ministry for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada; José-Luis Moraga, discipleship pastor at Springfield Heights Mennonite Church

Mennonite Church Canada’s Intercultural Church Steering Committee will speak on sharing faith in different cultural contexts. 

 

"Family on mission is the music to the lyrics of discipleship." - INNOVATE Network

 

Facilitators: Norm Dyck and Sean East, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

Whatever your family looks like; be it a biological, blended, friends, extended community or whatever else, that is the place that God wants to transform into a seedbed for discipleship. Hear leaders in the INNOVATE Network share simple practices to encourage mustard seeds of discipleship to sprout and grow in your home and neighborhood.


Cultivating a culture of call


 

 

 

 

 

Facilitator: Michael Pahl, executive minister of Mennonite Church Manitoba

Across Mennonite Church Canada and other denominations, we see a growing need for good pastors to serve our congregations. While there are several important angles to addressing this problem, here is a crucial one: how can we renew a culture of call within our congregations and regional churches to discern and nurture pastoral gifts to meet our present and future needs for pastors?

 

"What do you have in your hands?" - Ministry in Thailand


 

 

 

 

 

Facilitator: Jeanette Hanson, director of International Witness

Join us for a digital tour of Thailand to witness how Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong are challenging new communities of Jesus followers to build self-sustainable missional congregations, through church planting and income-generation ministry. Discuss what Canadian congregations can learn from this approach and how we can work together to strengthen ministry on both sides of the Pacific.


Creation is waiting: how do we live into a more sustainable future?


 

 

 

 

 

Facilitator: Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, executive minister of Mennonite Church Alberta

Romans 8 tells us that creation waits for the children of God to be revealed. Join members of Mennonite Church Canada's Sustainability Leadership Group to discuss responses to climate change and other ways organizations and individuals can move into a more sustainable—and faithful—future! 

 


SATURDAY AFTERNOON

New resources and congregational resourcing tips from CommonWord and MennoMedia

Faciliators: Arlyn Friesen-Epp, director of CommonWord; Amy Gingerich, MennoMedia

MennoMedia is your publisher and CommonWord is your bookstore and resource centre. Learn how to best engage Anabaptist materials that are available for you and your congregation – to buy, borrow or access online. The workshop will include a profile of new resources.

 

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Young adults give voice to the church

Too often young-adult perspectives in our church are sidelined and lost as they step away from congregations. Hear from a panel of young adults leaders from MC congregations as they share their thoughts on the direction and longing of the church, both here at home and around the world.

 

“What’s Next?” - In This Together

 

Facilitators: Peter Niemeyer, Toronto United Mennonite Church; Alissa Bender, Hamilton Mennonite Church

In This together is grassroots group of people within our nationwide community of faith working to resource congregations and raise awareness in the area of LGBTQ inclusion. Wherever your congregation is on the spectrum of LGBTQ+ inclusion, there is something for you to learn. Three representatives from three different congregations share their experiences on the journey of creating safer spaces for LGBTQ+ people.

 

Sharing creation care stories

Facilitator: Joanne Moyer, associate professor of Environmental Studies and Geography, The King's University

How are you and your churches responding to changing environmental realities, such as climate change? What barriers and opportunities do you face? Contribute to research about Mennonite/Anabaptist engagement with the environment. Learn how churches can support flourishing communities.


 

 

Bees for Burkina and other creative ways to become a global church

Facilitator: Jeanette Hanson, director of International Witness

Hear about congregations across Canada who are living into the reality of a global body of Christ by sharing resources and building relationships with siblings in faith from Burkina and Burma to DR Congo and Colombia.

 

Congregational stories of intercultural community

This panel discussion will feature churches where different cultures come together as one faith community. Participants include Holyrood Church in Edmonton, a congregation that brings together members from African and European backgrounds, and Sherbrooke in Vancouver, a “faith community with a joyful sprinkling of English, Korean & Spanish Ingredients.” Come hear about the joys and challenges of walking together in faith when people come together from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Come and learn from Mennonite Church Alberta congregations and ministries and explore the many sights that Edmonton and the North Saskatchewan River Valley have to offer.

  • Tours take place Sunday afternoon, July 31, from 1 to 5 p.m. (exact times may vary per tour).
  • The cost for tours, per adult, is $65. This amount covers transportation and admission costs, and a portion will be donated to the ministries of Mennonite Church Alberta and its congregations.
  • Children/youth (ages 5 -17) attend tours for free.
  • Please note that capacities for some tours are quite limited.

 

Worship with Edmonton’s South Sudanese Mennonite Church

In 2012 a group of leaders from Edmonton’s Nuer community approached First Mennonite Church about their dream of becoming a Mennonite church. They wanted to be a church that “believed in peace” and “helped people.” For the past 10 years the ESSMC has been part of Edmonton’s diverse Mennonite community. They have opened their afternoon worship service to the nationwide community of faith, extending their hospitality to the broader church family. Come and experience God—and a warm welcome--with this part of our church family!

 

Worship with Edmonton’s Bethel International Church (Oromo-speaking; Ethiopia)

The Bethel International Church Edmonton Oromo Congregation was established in 2016 by Pastor Mezgebu Tucho, an Ethiopian-born church planter from the large Oromo ethnic group. He had earlier pastored an Oromo congregation in Toronto for seven years.  Bethel International became a member of Mennonite Church Alberta in 2018. Pastor Tucho said that he had worked with Meserete Kristos churches in Ethiopia when he was affiliated with the Full Gospel Church. This led him to seek affiliation with Mennonites in Canada.

 

Watershed discipleship walk, with Joanne Moyer

Take a leisurely guided walk through Mill Creek ravine within Edmonton's extensive river valley park system. Your guides will point out sites of historical and environmental interest, considering how this park came to be, how this "natural" space has been used in different ways, and whose histories are remembered and forgotten on the landscape. The walk illustrates principles of watershed discipleship, a creation care approach focused on building local knowledge to learn to live well on the land.

  • Outdoors
  • Trails are both gravel and paved paths.
  • Bring a waterbottle.
  • Transportation to and from provided.

 

Intersections of eco-sustainable church design and interfaith work, with Susanne Gross

Join us for a tour of Westmount Presbyterian Church, which decided five years ago to replace their aging church building and redesign the property to downsize and include affordable housing for newcomers using net-zero construction principles. The affordable housing supports large immigrant families, and includes inter-cultural support in the elementary school and in the larger community. Then we'll go to Al Rashid Mosque – the oldest Muslim community in North America to have built a mosque, and a key partner with MCA's North Edmonton Ministries over the last ten years. Learn about eco-friendly models for church redesign, as well as how God’s spirit works in the spaces where people of different cultures and faiths celebrate and learn together to be witnesses of God’s love.

  • Indoors
  • Transportation provided.

 

Fort Edmonton Park

History comes alive for all ages at Fort Edmonton Park! Experience Edmonton's beginnings in the 1846 Fort and walk through how it's changed in the decades to follow. Learn and listen to the voices of the region's Indigenous Peoples with the newly opened Indigenous Peoples Experience.

  • Family friendly
  • Transportation is not provided for this tour - it is a 20-minute drive from the hotel to the park
  • Outdoors (walking) and indoors
  • Supper meal available for purchase inside the park.

 

University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Located 20 km southwest of Edmonton, the U of A Botanic Garden features enchanting cultural architecture set in harmony with natural ecosystems and introduced plant collections. Thematic outdoor arrangements include Aga Khan (designed in the Mughal style of ancient India), Indigenous Peoples (featuring plants traditionally used for medicines, food and ornamentation), Kurimoto Japanese (with arched wooden bridges over tranquil ponds, gurgling waterfalls, a stylized entrance gate, pagoda and teahouse), Herb & Sensory (to stimulate human senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) and Alpine gardens (featuring plants that grow above the tree line). Showhouses display plants from arid, temperate and tropical climates, with the latter also home to exotic butterflies.

  • Transportation provided
  • Outdoors and indoors
  • Guided tours available at added cost
  • Patio Café onsite.

 

Royal Alberta Museum

Come visit the largest museum in Western Canada and one of the top museums in Canada. Located in the heart of the downtown, RAM exhibits include the Human History Hall (experience the history of the province through the eyes of Indigenous people), the Natural History Hall (the rocks, fossils, plants and animals found in Alberta), the Children’s Gallery and the Bug Gallery.

  • Transportation provided
  • Indoors – self-guided
  • Café on site; numerous food service options downtown.
  • Open until 4:00 pm.
 

Art Gallery of Alberta

Located in the heart of downtown, the Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas.

  • Transportation provided
  • Pop-up food services available on site.
  • Open until 5:00 pm. 

Early bird registration

Full-time $550 ($600 after May 20)

Part-time $275 ($325 after May 20)

Children's program, ages 5-12 (part-time/full-time): $50

Youth attendee, ages 13-17 (part-time/full-time): $100

 

Meals included with full-time registration

  • Friday supper
  • Saturday breakfast, lunch, two coffeebreaks
  • Sunday breakfast, lunch, one coffeebreak
  • Monday breakfast, one coffeebreak

 

Meals included with part-time registration

  • Friday/Saturday: Friday supper; Saturday breakfast/lunch, two coffeebreaks
  • Sunday/Monday: Sunday breakfast, lunch, one coffeebreak; Monday breakfast, one coffeebreak

 

Questions about registration? E-mail us.

Children's program

Children aged 5-12 are invited to join together for a full day of activities on Saturday, July 30 at Edmonton First Mennonite Church. The program includes games, crafts and songs outdoors, as well as learning about God and each other. Lunch and snacks will be provided. 


Accommodation

We Declare will take place at Evario Events Centre, which is located in the Holiday Inn South Edmonton, 950 Parsons Rd SW. Gathering 2022 participants are encouraged to book their accommodations with the Holiday Inn:

  • for a discounted rate of $109 plus taxes and fees for a total of $122 per night for either a room with a king bed or one with two queen beds.
  • Rates are available for one additional day prior to and one following our event, that is from July 28, 2022, to August 2, 2022.
  • A booking code is available upon registration.


Ready to register?

We Declare - Gathering 2022

July 29th 7:00pm - August 1 12:00pm

Edmonton, Alberta

Registration deadline is June 28!

We Declare - Virtual Gathering 2022

July 29th 7:00pm - August 1 12:00pm

Join us online for Gathering 2022

Participate in live worship and plenary sessions throughout the weekend and take part in a unique virtual experience with members from across our nationwide community of faith.

Offset your GHG emissions with a carbon levy

Gathering 2022 registrants can offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their travel to Edmonton by donating to a new fund established by Mennonite Church Canada.

The carbon levy contributes to MC Canada’s creation care fund. The levy amount ($/tonne of CO2e) is set by Joint Council and is currently $50.

For information on how to calculate your contribution, click here.

Gathering 2022 Carbon Levy

Contribute a carbon levy to MC Canada's creation care fund to help congregations offset their GHG emissions in the future!
Donate

We Declare study guide now available for congregations

Mennonite Church Canada has published a study guide in preparation for Gathering 2022 in Edmonton, Alberta, July 31 to Aug. 1.

The guide is centered around the Gathering 2022 theme, We Declare: what we have seen and heard, and explores what it means to share the good news in today’s context.

The study includes six sessions on being a missional church, when the good news becomes bad news, biblical perspectives and bearing witness in a secular age.

Each session is accompanied by Scripture readings, reflection questions and links to reading lists curated by CommonWord for further reading.

News

Location

Evario Events Centre - Holiday Inn South Edmonton

950 Parsons Rd SW, Edmonton, AB T6X 0J4