Mennonite Church Canada updates and prayer requests

Published on November 25, 2020

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

Mennonite Church Canada calls for prayer for Ethiopia and Eritrea 

Mennonite Church Canada has just under a dozen congregations across Canada with roots in Ethiopia and EritreaMeserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia is the largest Anabaptist community worldwide with whom we have an intentional, sister-church relationship.  

Ethiopia is experiencing a threefold threat of pandemic, famine and war. Crops are devastated due to a locust infestation and Ethiopia is now in the midst of intense conflict, while in the grip of a global pandemic. Pray for peace and healing in Ethiopia. Pray especially for the children; 42% of the population is below the age of 15. Pray also for the congregations here in Canada in our nationwide community of faith who carry deep concern for Ethiopia and Eritrea and for loved ones. 

MC PIN organizes online meet-and-greet with Bethlehem Bible College 

Meet several college representatives from Bethlehem Bible College through a one-hour Zoom gathering on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. Bethlehem time (11 a.m. EST). This event is organized by the Mennonite Church Canada Palestine Israel Network. Email mcmfriendsofpalestine@gmail.com to register for this encounter. Keep the people of the Holy Land in your prayers during these tumultuous times. 

Witness workers responding to deadly typhoon 

Pray for strength and wisdom as PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI), together with Witness workers Dann and Joji Pantoj, respond to the disaster of the latest typhoon in the Philippines.  Typhoon Ulysses hit the north island of Luzon leaving an entire city submerged with more than 28,000 family homes under water. The PAR teams of Manila and Kalinga are responding. May God’s love be shown through them to people in need. Read more from the Pantoja’s blog. 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Wrongs to Rights: How Churches Can Engage the UNDRIP now free through CommonWord 

Over the next few weeks the Government of Canada will likely table legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is huge! According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Declaration is “the framework for reconciliation” for Canadian society. But what exactly is the Declaration? What does it mean for the church? To educate and raise public support, ISR is making Wrongs to Rights available for free through CommonWord. Short articles, poetry, artwork and a study guide make this resource perfect for individual or (online) group reflection. Order through CommonWord (shipping costs apply). 

 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 


CommonWord remains open during increased COVID-19 restrictions

Staff remain available for congregational resourcing questions and are here to help connect you with Anabaptist and related materials, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m, CDT. Browse our website (www.commonword.ca) to find thousands of free digital resources or to place your online retail or loan order, or contact us (204-594-0527; info@commonword.ca) for assistance.  If you’re in Winnipeg area, we are glad to arrange for curbside pickup. We don’t want you to go without your fair-trade coffee, other local specialty foods or a good book to read! 

 

Christmas Gift Ideas 

 

  • Stocking stuffersFrom chocolate to activity books, recommended reads to Sunday School ideas, there’s a gift for almost everyone. If you require shipping, please place your order before Dec 1. Curbside pick-up available to local residents.  https://www.commonword.ca/Browse/9352 
  • Gift cardsA flexible gift for your avid reader, student and loved one. Gift cards can be redeemed in-store or remotely by phone and used toward any purchase – merchandise, food, book or textbook.  https://www.commonword.ca/Browse/9372 

 

Two digital at-home family worship options for Advent-Epiphany 


  • We Wait for Jesus is a new family resource similar to previous At-Home materials Mennonite Church Canada has produced since 2002. 

 

Together in Worship has launched

Visit www.togetherinworship.net for hundreds of free, digital, Anabaptist worship materials. A collaboration of CommonWord, in coversation with Anabaptist Worship Network and Voices TogetherTogether in Worship curates words, music, other artistic expressions and teaching resources to support Christian worship. It’s also a platform for individuals and communities to create and contribute resources. Bookmark it for the next time you’re planning worship! 

 

Voices Together  

  

Congregations who pre-ordered the Voices Together hymnal and related products from MennoMedia will receive them soon! Individual copies of the pew edition of the hymnalthe Worship Leader’s edition, accompaniment edition, and audio recordings are available to order from CommonWord. T-shirts, masks and tote bags are also available to pre-order.  (We do not expect these to arrive in time for Christmas). www.commonword.ca/go/2199. 

  

Calendar 

 


Past updates

Published on November 11, 2020

 

Mennonite Church Canada congregations donate $40,000 to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund     

Since the spring, our nationwide community of faith we has raised over $40,000 for MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who struggle to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. We reached 80 per cent of our goal to match Mennonite Church Canada’s initial donation of $50,000 in the spring. Thanks to everyone for helping to build up our global body of believers. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

Remember Palestinians during their olive harvest 

Please remember Palestinian farmers in the midst of this year's olive harvest—a normally festive time for communities—who face the twin challenges of COVID-19 and harassment by Israeli soldiers and settlers. To learn more about the importance of the olive harvest for a just peace in Palestine, visit https://www.oikoumene.org/events/olive-harvest-initiative.  For Christmas gift-giving, consider purchasing fair-trade West Bank olive oil products through Zatoun. (from Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network) 

Colombia Mennonite Church calls for end to mass violence 

In a statement from the Colombian Mennonite Church on the massacres in communities and the assassinations of community leaders and former guerrillasthe church strongly calls the government, civic leaders and churches to work together to decrease violence and injustice in their society. There have been more than 60 mass killings so far this year. Adolescents, young people and small farmers are main victims. Please pray for safety, widom and peace for the pastors, leaders and congregations of the Mennonite churches as they take this courageous stand for peace and justice. 

Prayer as tensions rise in Ethiopia 

Pray that the Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia, the largest church in Mennonite World Conference, will be a strong voice for peace as ethnic tensions threaten civil war and nine million people are at risk of displacement due to increasing violencePray that the ethnic divisions will not spill over into the church. Pray for unity and peace.   

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Take action for the Declaration 

The Government of Canada promised to introduce legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the end of 2020. With only one month to go before the House of Commons breaks for the year, we are still waiting and praying! Please send the Minister of Justice and key politicians an urgent message—using MCC’s Take Action Letter—to support this “framework for reconciliation” (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada). 

 

Explore Mennonite advocacy for Indigenous justice 

In Nova Scotia, Ontario and B.C., we are witnessing conflicts over Treaty rights, Indigenous lands and resource development. What can the church consider these matters and how might we act? Be It Resolved, a new anthology, documents over 50 years of resolutions by Mennonite churches and partner coalitions to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples. An eight-session study guide helps us explore what these commitments mean for our responses today and will stoke group discussion or individual reflection. Study groups can purchase five copies for $75 through CommonWord. 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

 

Two digital at-home family worship options for Advent-Epiphany 


  • We Wait for Jesus is a new family resource similar to previous At-Home materials Mennonite Church Canada has produced since 2002. 

 

Together in Worship launches

Visit www.togetherinworship.net for hundreds of free, digital, Anabaptist worship materials. A collaboration of CommonWord, in coversation with Anabaptist Worship Network and Voices TogetherTogether in Worship curates words, music, other artistic expressions and teaching resources to support Christian worship. It’s also a platform for individuals and communities to create and contribute resources. Bookmark it for the next time you’re planning worship! 

 

Voices Together 


Congregations who pre-ordered the Voices Together hymnal and its related products from MennoMedia will receive them soon! Individual copies of the hymnal pew edition, Worship Leader’s edition, Accompaniment edition, and Audio recordings will soon be available through CommonWord.  Watch our website for more details. 

 

Virtual book launch 


Join us for a Zoom conversation with Ray Friesen on the launch of his book Wandering the WildernessNovember 12, 7:00 P.M. (CDT). Former pastor and lifelong “believing skeptic,” Ray will reflect on his own wilderness experiences and Brené Brown’s Wholehearted living research, while offering an ancient Biblical pathway for our own desert pilgrimage. Register at www.commonword.ca/go/2159. 

 

Voices Together merchandise 

  

Exclusively available in Canada from CommonWord: 

  

Worship Calendar 

 

CommonWord remains open during increased COVID-19 restrictions in Manitoba 

Staff remain available for congregational resourcing questions and are here to help connect you with Anabaptist and related materials, Monday-Friday, 9-5 p.m. CDT. Browse our website (www.commonword.ca) to find thousands of free, digital resources or to place your online retail or loan order. Or contact us (204-594-0527; info@commonword.ca) for assistance. If you’re in the Winnipeg area, although the doors to Marpeck Commons are now locked, we allow entry for walk-in traffic and are glad to arrange for curbside pickup. We don’t want you to go without your fair-trade coffee, other local specialty foods or a good book to read!

Published on October 28, 2020

 

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!       

We are close to our goal! As a nationwide community of faith we have raised $40,000, for MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Help us reach, $50,000! Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

Seeking feedback on International Witness Sunday   

Did your church participate in International Witness Sunday this month? If you did, we would love to hear from you. Tell us which resources were helpful and give us suggestions for what to include next year. You can contact your regional communicator or send feedback to Mennonite Church Canada communications coordinator Katie Doke Sawatzky. 

 

Prayer requests 

 Thailand Witness workers ask for prayers for peace 

International Witness workers, Tom and Christine Poovong, ask for prayers for peace in Thailand. Protestors and activists have been marching and demanding change in government since July. Pray for the safety of protestors and wisdom of government leaders and the monarchy as they respond to demands.    

 

New Anabaptist study groups in China 

Pray for the newly formed network of Anabaptist study groups in China. Pray that study resources and classes beginning next week will strengthen and encourage people’s faith. Pray that pastors and leaders guide with wisdom, led by the Spirit.   

 

AIMM annual meetings in November 

Pray for the online Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission annual meetings in early November. Pray for a Spirit of unity and understanding as people come together from five countries to discern and plan for this next year. Pray that the online nature of the meetings this year won’t stand in the way of strengthening relationships. Pray for wisdom as AIMM chooses a new executive director.  

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Explore Mennonite advocacy for Indigenous justice 

In Nova Scotia, Ontario and B.C., we are witnessing conflicts over Treaty rights, Indigenous lands and resource development. What can the church consider these matters and how might we act? Be It Resolved, a new anthology, documents over 50 years of resolutions by Mennonite churches and partner coalitions to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples. An eight-session study guide helps us explore what these commitments mean for our responses today and will stoke group discussion or individual reflection. Study groups can purchase five copies for $75 through CommonWord. 

 

Worship and Mission: Book reviewers wanted! 

What does worship have to do with mission? How should our worship look and feel in order to embody peace and embolden justice?  The Anabaptist Witness journal is creating an issue that explores the connections between witness and worship. We have a bunch of amazing books on the topic and are looking for people to read and write personal reflections that engage church contexts. If you are interested, please contact Steve Heinrichs.

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

 

New from Mennonite Church Canada 

This anthology brings together over 90 documents that trace the history of Anabaptist commitments to Indigenous justice and decolonization since the mid-1960s.  Includes a study guide. 

 

Join CommonRead

An important read during COVID-19 when we all have faced many losses.  Available to buy at discounted rates.  Group study guide and a link to a discussion with author Stephanie Lobdell is also available – www.commonword.ca/go/2124 

 

Voices Together 


Congregations who pre-ordered the hymnal and its related products from MennoMedia will receive them soon! 

Individual copies of the hymnal pew edition, Worship Leader’s edition, Accompaniment edition, and Audio recordings will soon be available through CommonWord.  Watch our website for more details. 

 

Virtual book launch 


Join us for an online conversation with Ray Friesen, November 12, 7 p.m. CDT, on the launch of his book Wandering the Wilderness. 

 

Salt of the Earth 


A unique Christian Seasons calendar - beginning Advent 2020. Buy - www.commonword.ca/go/2177. 

 

Watch Recent Recorded Webinars/Zoom Events  

Seeing through the Pandemic – CMU Face2 Face panel conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2144 

Liberating the Politics of Jesus: Women’s Wisdom and Experience – MC USA Women Doing Theology – www.commonword.ca/go/2153  

Doctrine of Discovery: Honouring our Connections to the Land – MCBC conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2154 

It Can Be Done: Children's Sunday School during COVID – MennoMedia Shine – www.commonword.ca/go/2155 

Treaty as Sacred Covenant with Myeengun Henry – MCEC conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2156 

  

Join an Upcoming Online Event 

 CMU’s Renew:  Resources for Preaching – Nov 24 

Voices Together Digital Launch – December 13 

For more information, see www.commonword.ca/go/events 

 

Contact Us 

CommonWord staff are very knowledgeable about the breadth of materials available (for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc.) and offer customer support, by phone (1-877-846-1593), email (info@commonword.ca) or in-person (public hours @ CommonWord, Mon-Fri, 11:00-3:00). 

Discomfort and courage on Orange Shirt Day 


In our latest interview, Paul Peters, director of Student Life at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, Man., shares about his school’s participation in the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s Orange Shirt Day, this year. 

 

Meet our Table Talk guest speakers: Jeremy Bergen


Jeremy Bergen, associate professor of Religious Studies and Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., is one of our guest speakers for Table Talk 2020: Does the church still have legs? Read more from our interview with him. 

Register for Mennonite Church Canada’s virtual study conference on Oct. 24, 2020.

 

REGISTRATION OPEN  


www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020   

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on Saturday, Oct. 24, on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.    

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!      

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020   


Online resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, (or any Sunday your congregation deems appropriate) are now available! These include recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire are now available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Go to mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday. 

 

Prayer requests 

Church leader tests positive for COVID 

Siaka Traoré, a church leader, pastor and church planter, is an integral bridge-builder in Mennonite Church Canada's longtime partnership with the Burkina Faso Mennonite Church.  We recently received news that after suffering from typhoid fever, Siaka has tested positive for COVID-19. Please pray that through God's power, Siaka's body and spirit would successfully recover from the virus. Pray also for his family as they await test results. 

 

Thai church ministry works with Laos migrants 

Friends of Grace Church Association, the Thai ministry group that Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong work alongside, is establishing a new ministry for Laos migrant labourers who work as manufacturers in a suburb of Bangkok. Pray that God will bless this ministry to help those who displaced due to economic need.   

 

Witness Support Networks taking off in Mennonite Church Canada regional churches 

Across all regional churches in Mennonite Church Canada, congregations are joining together to form support networks for international ministries. Pray that God will use these connections to strengthen relationships with international partners and to enliven and strengthen our faith here in Canada, as we grow and learn together.  (To learn more about Witness Support Networks go to www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday.) 

 

Witness worker honoured with peace award 

International Witness worker, Joji Pantoja, has been named one of three global honorees for the 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award. Praise God for this recognition of years of faithful work in the Philippines. Read more at https://waves.ca 

 

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Explore Mennonite advocacy for Indigenous justice 

Land reparations. Treaty rights. Political and spiritual covenants. Over the past 50 years, Mennonites – at their best – have publicly resolved to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples, and promised to work for change. Be It Resolved is a new anthology that shares the commitments that our churches and partner coalitions have made, and explores what it might mean for today. With an 8-session study guide, this is a great tool to stoke Adult Ed conversations over zoom, or individual reflection. Groups can purchase five copies for $75 through CommonWord 

  

Pray for Six Nations Land Defenders 

Since July 19, Haudenosaunee land defenders have mobilized near Caledonia, Ont., to stop a development in the Haldimand Tract that does not have the consent of the people. Many land defenders and their supporters have been arrested for violating an interim court injunction. Indigenous communities from coast to coast have demonstrated to show their solidarity for the land reclamation. On October 22, Justice R.J. Harper is set to rule on the injunction, but will not hear arguments from land defenders unless they vacate the occupied land. Please pray for a peaceful and just resolution to this situation. Christian Peacemaker Teams has been in touch with those at #1492LandBackLane site. Learn more. 


 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

 

New from Mennonite Church Canada 

Just arrived from Mennonite Church Canada!  Be It Resolved is an anthology that brings together over 90 documents that trace the history of Anabaptist commitments to Indigenous justice and decolonization since the mid-1960s.  A valued reference book and inspiring group study.  Affordable – and it ships free.  www.commonword.ca/go/2142      

 

Join CommonRead

An important read during COVID-19 when we all have faced many losses.  Available to buy at discounted rates.  Group study guide and a link to a discussion with author Stephanie Lobdell is also available – www.commonword.ca/go/2124 

 


Consider the Palestinian Christian call to “Preach Palestine” this November 29 (first Sunday of Advent and International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People).  Worship resources can be found here – www.commonword.ca/go/2157 

 

Watch Recent Recorded Webinars/Zoom Events  

Seeing through the Pandemic – CMU Face2 Face panel conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2144 

Liberating the Politics of Jesus: Women’s Wisdom and Experience – MC USA Women Doing Theology – www.commonword.ca/go/2153  

Doctrine of Discovery: Honouring our Connections to the Land – MCBC conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2154 

It Can Be Done: Children's Sunday School during COVID – MennoMedia Shine – www.commonword.ca/go/2155 

Treaty as Sacred Covenant with Myeengun Henry – MCEC conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2156 

  

Join an Upcoming Online Event 

MCA’s Engage: Learning to Walk with People from other Faith Backgrounds – Oct 14-Nov 18 

MCBC’s Searching for Peace in Palestine/Israel – Oct 15 

Mennonite Church Canada’s Table Talk:  Does the Church Still have Legs? – Oct 24 

CMU’s Renew:  Resources for Preaching – Oct 27, Nov 24 

Voices Together Digital Launch – December 13 

For more information, see www.commonword.ca/go/events 

 

Contact Us 

CommonWord staff are very knowledgeable about the breadth of materials available (for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc.) and offer customer support, by phone (1-877-846-1593), email (info@commonword.ca) or in-person (public hours @ CommonWord, Mon-Fri, 11:00-3:00). 

Meet our Table Talk guest speakers: Sheila Klassen-Wiebe 


Professor of New Testament at Canadian Mennonite University, Sheila Klassen-Wiebe will a Bible study at Mennonite Church Canada's study conference Table Talk 2020: "Does the Church still have legs?" on October 24. In this short interviewshe shares about Jesus invites us to the feast and all we need do is come 

Register for Mennonite Church Canada’s virtual study conference on Oct. 24, 2020. 

 

REGISTRATION OPEN  


www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020   

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on Saturday, Oct. 24, on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.    

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!      

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020   


Online resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, (or any Sunday your congregation deems appropriate) are now available! These include recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire are now available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Go to mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday. 

 

Prayer requests 

Church leader tests positive for COVID 

Siaka Traoré, a church leader, pastor and church planter, is an integral bridge-builder in Mennonite Church Canada's longtime partnership with the Burkina Faso Mennonite Church.  We recently received news that after suffering from typhoid fever, Siaka has tested positive for COVID-19. Please pray that through God's power, Siaka's body and spirit would successfully recover from the virus. Pray also for his family as they await test results. 

 

Thai church ministry works with Laos migrants 

Friends of Grace Church Association, the Thai ministry group that Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong work alongside, is establishing a new ministry for Laos migrant labourers who work as manufacturers in a suburb of Bangkok. Pray that God will bless this ministry to help those who displaced due to economic need.   

 

Witness Support Networks taking off in Mennonite Church Canada regional churches 

Across all regional churches in Mennonite Church Canada, congregations are joining together to form support networks for international ministries. Pray that God will use these connections to strengthen relationships with international partners and to enliven and strengthen our faith here in Canada, as we grow and learn together.  (To learn more about Witness Support Networks go to www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday.) 

 

Witness worker honoured with peace award 

International Witness worker, Joji Pantoja, has been named one of three global honorees for the 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award. Praise God for this recognition of years of faithful work in the Philippines. Read more at https://waves.ca 

 

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

New anthology documents Anabaptist commitments to Indigenous justice 


Indigenous-Settler Relations, together with Mennonite Central Committee, has just produced a new book to help congregations reflect on the radical history of Mennonite advocacy for Indigenous justice. Be It Resolved gathers more than five decades of church resolutions, official statements and public letters to help nurture education and solidarity action for today. Complete with a study guide, this is a great resource to spark group discussion. Visit www.commonword.ca/go/2142 to pre-order your copies. 

 

Canada at a Crossroads online bookclub Oct 8-Nov. 26, 2020 

  

Register at mennonitechurch.ca/crossroads-bookclub 

What are the things that separate and unite Indigenous and settler peoples? What can we do to challenge structural racism and repair broken relationship? Join Steve Heinrichs for an online book club this fall, exploring the new book Canada at a Crossroads by sociologist Jeff Denis. Beginning Oct. 8, we’ll gather by Zoom each Thursday at 7 p.m. (CST) for 8 weeks for a circle conversation, sharing our questions, learnings, hearts and hopes together. 

 

MCBC webinar on Doctrine of Discovery now available to wider church 


A webinar hosted on Sept. 29 by MCBC’s Indigenous Relations Group is now available to our nationwide community of faith. The webinar features a rich discussion with Alison Casella Brookins, Michelle Milne and Ted Swartz of the drama company Ted & Co., whose drama “We Own This Now,” focuses on the Doctrine of Discovery. The discussion is about the Doctrine impacts us today and how we might join others in the struggle to dismantle it. Available for viewing at https://youtu.be/SjRmlehQNng.  

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

 

New from Mennonite Church Canada 


  • Free shipping in Canada and United States; additional savings for group studies. 
  • This anthology brings together over 90 documents that trace the history of Anabaptist commitments to Indigenous justice and decolonization since the mid-1960s. While not exhaustive, this rich collection represents some of the ways Anabaptists have addressed concerns such as:  Indigenous land rights; access to water, education and housing; missing and murdered women and girls; the legacy of residential schools; restorative responses to crime; self-determination and sovereignty; and reconciliation. 
  • Includes a study guide. 
  • Pre-order – www.commonword.ca/go/2142. 

 

Join CommonRead

An important read (as a study group or reading club) during COVID-19, when we all have faced many losses. 

Buy at discounted rates: 

  • 1-6 copies are 10% off 
  • 7+ copies are 25% off 

Also available to borrow. Study guide and link to a discussion with author Stephanie Lobdell also available. Go to www.commonword.ca/go/2124. 


Watch the recent public conversation at CMU 


Seeing through the pandemic: The Art of Noticing

www.commonword.ca/go/2144  

 

Featured Resources 

 

In-Store Features 

If you are in Winnipeg, please stop by! COVID-19 protocols are in place for your safety: 

  • Our food sales resume next week! 
  • NEW!  Eco-friendly laundry detergent available. 
  • New public hours (11:00-3:00, Monday to Friday)                             
  • For more information on our In-Store services, see www.commonword.ca/go/2145  

 

Contact Us 

CommonWord staff are very knowledgeable about the breadth of materials available (for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc.) and offer customer support, by phone (1-877-846-1593), email (info@commonword.ca) or in-person (public hours @ CommonWord, Mon-Fri, 11:00-3:00). 

Meet our Table Talk guest speakers: Jesse Nickel 


Professor of Biblical Studies at Columbia Bible College, Jesse Nickel will be a guest speaker at Mennonite Church Canada's study conference Table Talk 2020: "Does the Church still have legs?" on October 24. He will present on worship in the New Testament. In this short interview, he shares about how the NT encourages us to be open to what worship can be. 

Register for Mennonite Church Canada’s virtual study conference on Oct. 24, 2020. 

 

REGISTRATION OPEN  


www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020   

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on Saturday, Oct. 24, on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.    

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!      

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020  

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, (or any Sunday your congregation deems appropriate) are now available! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire are now available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Go to mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday. 

 

Less violence in Burkina Faso 

Praise God for a recent decrease in violence in the area around the Burkina Faso Mennonite churches. Pray for protection of people and for the resolution to this conflict. Pray that the believers in this area will have strength and courage to work for peace in a difficult situation.  

 

First edition of peace journal launches in South Korea 

Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, Witness workers in South Korea, ask for praise and prayer in the release of the first edition of Peace Journal “Plan P.” May God use this journal to bring together many groups and individuals working for peace in this country and beyond.   

 

More opportunity to be peaceful presence 

Pray for Tobia Veith, Witness worker in China, as she ministers to university students who are isolated on campus. May her presence bring peace to them as they study and live through lockdown on campus. Pray that Tobia experiences God’s love and joy in the extra time she has to be with her students. 

 

 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Canada at a Crossroads online bookclub Oct 8-Nov. 26, 2020 

  Register at mennonitechurch.ca/crossroads-bookclub 

What are the things that separate and unite Indigenous and settler peoples? What can we do to challenge structural racism and repair broken relationship? Join Steve Heinrichs for an online book club this fall, exploring the new book Canada at a Crossroads by sociologist Jeff Denis. Beginning Oct. 8, we’ll gather by Zoom each Thursday at 7 p.m. (CST) for 8 weeks for a circle conversation, sharing our questions, learnings, hearts and hopes together. 

 

MCEC TRC Working Group launches online storytelling series (2020-2021) 

Kickoff: Sept. 23, 7 p.m. EDT 

The Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Truth and Reconciliation Working Group has launched a year-long online story-telling series centred on covenants made, broken and renewed. This series includes Indigenous and Mennonite Settler voices, shining light on the history of broken covenants – and illuminating pathways of hope to a more just future for all nations on this land. Myeengun Henry is the first guest speakerRegister at https://mcec.ca/programs/truth-and-reconciliation.

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

 

Join CommonRead


Together with MennoMedia, we are encouraging congregations, nationwide, to study a common title this fall: Signs of Life: Resurrecting Hope Out of Ordinary Losses. In the context of COVID-19, we have all experienced losses of one type or another. This guide will inspire conversations of lament and hope. Listen to an inspiring interview with author Stephanie Lobdell, download the study guide, or purchase copies at a discount – www.commonword.ca/go/2124.   

 

Upcoming Webinar: It Can Be Done! Children’s Sunday School During COVID-19 


Join Mennonite Church USA and Joan Daggett of Shine curriculum to discuss new digital options for Sunday School during the pandemic. Shana Boshart Peachey from MC USA hosts the conversation – Canadians invited. Sept. 23, 2:30 EDT/1:30 CDT/12:30 MDT/11:30 PDT. Register at https://bit.ly/2FsN30d.     

 

New children’s stories from Kevin Drudge, pastor at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship in Winkler, Man. 


Borrow or Buy - $13.49 each 

 

Contact Us 

CommonWord staff are very knowledgeable about the breadth of materials available (for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc.) and offer customer support, by phone (1-877-846-1593), email (info@commonword.ca) or in-person (public hours @ CommonWord, Mon-Fri, 11:00-3:00). 

Published on September 2, 2020

 

Weekly worship service for September 6, 2020  

Join Morden Mennonite Church in their homes and backyards this Sunday as they share their worship service with our nationwide community of faith. Drawing on lectionary texts for this Sunday, the service focuses on the relationship between "the law" and "love." Through song and story, readings and meditation, may we be drawn afresh into Jesus' way of love. Join us at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices.   

This will be the last weekly shared nationwide service for the time being. Thank you to all the congregations who shared their worship with us over these past few months. 

 

Meet our Table Talk guest speakers: Gerald Gerbrandt 


President Emeritus of Canadian Mennonite University Gerald Gerbrandt lives in Winnipeg and will be a guest speaker at Mennonite Church Canada's study conference Table Talk 2020: "Does the Church still have legs?" on October 24. He will present on worship in the Old Testament. 

Register for Mennonite Church Canada study conference on Oct. 24, 2020 . 


Postures of trust: an interview with Tany Warkentin 


In our latest interview, Liaison to Ministry in Africa for Mennonite Church Canada Tany Warkentin shares about the relationships formed between our Canadian congregations and the Burkina Faso Church and ways congregations can learn more and become involved in International Witness ministry in Africa. 

 

October 24, 2020  

REGISTRATION OPEN 

www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020  

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.   

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!     

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations will go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020 

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, (or any Sunday your congregation deems appropriate) are now available! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire are now available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Go to mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday.

Prayer request for friend of Pantojas 

Please pray for Toto Balono, colleague of Witness workers Dann and Joji Pantoja. He is in hospital requiring surgery following a vehicle accident. Pray for his family and their financial situation as they face the cost of this medical treatment.   

Prayers for African churches dealing with COVID-19 

Our partner in ministry AIMM (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) asks us to pray for our African brothers and sisters in this time of COVID-19. Pray that those struggling to find resources to buy food and those needing medical attention find what they need. Pray that hospitals and medical staff will still provide care to the best of their ability even though ventilators and other important medical tools are almost nonexistent in most African countries.   

IW Sunday in October 2020 

Pray for congregations across Canada as they prepare for International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020. Pray that God will open our hearts and eyes to see God’s family around the world in a closer way.  

AMBS Global Anabaptist Education 

Pray that the Global Anabaptist Education Initiative begun by AMBS would be a blessing to Anabaptist/Mennonite leaders around the world. Pray that as we study, learn and grow together we would learn more about who God is through the eyes of others. 

 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

ISR a signatory on document demanding UNDRIP implementation 

Indigenous-Settler Relations is a signatory on a declaration statement by The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peopleswhich demands that the adoption of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People in federal legislation must not be delayed. The public statement was published August 17, 2020 and is available for download at CommonWord 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

 

CommonRead title announced 


Together with MennoMedia, we are encouraging congregations, nation-wide, to study a common title this fall:  Signs of Life:  Resurrecting Hope Out of Ordinary Losses.  In the context of COVID-19, we have all experienced losses of one type or another.  This guide will inspire conversations of lament and hope.  

Join us for a zoom conversation with author Stephanie Lobdell, Thursday, Sept 3 at 11:00 Central.  Register here. 

Copies of Signs of Life can be purchased at CommonWord at discount prices – www.commonword.ca/go/2124 1-6 copies – 10% off ; 7+ copies – 25% off.

 

Worship and curriculum resources for fall planning 


Through our partnership with Together in Worship, we are able to offer hundreds of new Anabaptist worship materials free online – www.commonword.ca/go/tiw 

  

Shine: Living in God’s Light 


A dynamic Anabaptist curriculum for age 3 to grade 8.   

  

Online samples,  

More information 

  

Purchase copies 

  

Preview loan copy 

  

www.shinecurriculum.com 

  

www.commonword.ca/go/1917  

  

www.commonword.ca/go/2111  

 

New website ready for fall planning 

Our new website (www.commonword.ca) has many new search features to help you find worship, study and devotional materials. 

  • Search by scripture text or keyword 
  • Filter search results by Type (e.g. videos), Genre (e.g. Curriculum), Expression (e.g. Drama), Topic (e.g. Indigenous-Settler Relations), Season & Event (e.g. Communion), Language (e.g. Korean), Availability (e.g. Buy), Audience (e.g. Children) 

Contact us 

CommonWord staff are very knowledgeable about the breadth of materials available (for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc.) and offer customer support, by phone (1-877-846-1593), email (info@commonword.ca) or in-person (public hours @ CommonWord, Mon-Fri, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.). 

Weekly worship service for August 23, 2020 

Langley Mennonite Fellowship will share a service with us this Sunday, drawing from Matthew 16:13-28. In the intimacy of Jesus’s and Peter’s master-disciple relationship, Jesus is recognized for who he is and Peter is blessed, ordained, confounded and sternly rebuked. Living with good news is so perplexing and surprising. Join us at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices 


 

October 24, 2020 

REGISTRATION OPEN

www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020 

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.  

 

News from our schools 

Early registration ends today! 
Exploring Anabaptist History and Theology 

An Anabaptist Short Course from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary 

Sept. 16 – Oct. 27 

Join Jamie Pitts, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anabaptist Studies, in this six-week online short course to survey the history and theology of the early Anabaptists, looking at various interpretations of “Anabaptism” and its meaning today. 

Register and save $50 today! 

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!    

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations will go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020 

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, are coming soon! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire will be made available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Questions? Email jhanson@mennonitechurch.ca. 

Prayer for Pantojas’ response to injustice 

“Jesus is our strength to ‘show and tell’ the Good News that indeed, the Creator is with us in the midst of the sufferings and injustices we are experiencing.” Pray with Dann and Joji Pantoja, Witness workers in Mindanao, Philippines, as they find practical ways to respond to the injustice they see around them. Pray God would give them joy, strength and peace for their work.   

First issue peace journal coming in September 

Pray for the first issue of Peace Journal: Plan P, coming out in September. Pray that Bock Ki Kim, Witness worker in South Korea, and the other editors continue as they finish editing. Pray that this journal will be a tool for gathering people of peace to work together throughout South Korea.   

Prayer for teachers everywhere 

Pray for Tobia Veith, Witness worker in China, and all teachers around you as they step back into classrooms. Pray that they will be given a spirit of courage, caution and love for their students. Pray that they will be a non-anxious presence in a difficult time.   

News from our partners 

Doctors in Congo church do 150 surgeries in July 

Praise God for the more than 150 surgeries performed by doctors within the Mennonite Church of Congo, in July. This was the second team to respond to an area that has seen increasing child deaths. The first team response in February treated 2,200 people with prevalent health problems such as malaria, diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, typhoid fever, flu and diabetes. Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM) is supplying funding for surgical supplies and a minimal stipend for the medical workers. 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

ISR a signatory on document demanding UNDRIP implementation 

Indigenous-Settler Relations is a signatory on a declaration statement by The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peopleswhich demands that the adoption of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People in federal legislation must not be delayed. The public statement was published August 17, 2020 and is available for download at CommonWord 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

CommonWord has reopened! 

CommonWord is now open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday – Friday. Come for your books and resources, fair-trade coffee and chocolate, local perogies and sausage, and much more! COVID-19 safety protocols are in place; please come wearing a mask. As always CommonWord's online retail, loan and digital services continue. 

 

Fall Congregational Planning

  • Shine curriculum, including new  – www.commonword.ca/go/2111
  • Worship resources, including hundreds of new online materials – www.commonword.ca/go/2070
  • New website with many new search features – www.commonword.ca
    • Filter search results by Type (e.g. videos), Genre (e.g. Curriculum), Expression (e.g. Drama), Topic (e.g. Indigenous-Settler Relations), Season & Event (e.g. Communion), Language (e.g. Korean), Availability (e.g. Buy), Audience (e.g. Children)
    • Search by scripture text or keyword
  • Contact us for assistance in locating resources for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc. – info@commonword.ca

 

CommonRead

The global pandemic has created faith formation challenges for churches. With isolation, digital issues, and Zoom fatigue setting in, CommonWord and Herald Press are again partnering to encourage Mennonites to engage in a “Common Read,” a shared reading experience focused on a specific book written to nurture Christian faith in this cultural moment. Signs of Life: Resurrecting Hope Out of Ordinary Losses by Stephanie Lobdell is the CommonRead book chosen for this fall. Whether it’s the demise of a relationship, career plans or our image of ourselves: we all experience losses. Lobdell leads readers to the power of the resurrection to heal daily hurts.

CommonRead kicks off with a Zoom event on September 3 at 11:00 CST with the author, Stephanie Lobdell.

Please register for this event.

25% off orders of 7 or more copies (after September 3). 

9% off 1-6 copies

www.commonword.ca/go/2124

 

Featured Pandemic Resources

See our Pandemic reading list - https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources

 

Featured Anti-Racism Resources

See our Racism/Anti-Racism reading list - www.commonword.ca/go/2054

Published on August 5, 2020

 

Mennonite Church Canada weekly online worship service for August 9, 2020   

Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg will prepare worship for us this week.  In Matthew 14: 22- 33, Jesus walks on the water and beckons Peter to follow him. How is the church being invited to step out of the boat and walk toward Jesus aa storm of injustice, crises and uncertainty swirls around us?  Please join us as we gather to praise our Lord, who calls out to us to say, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."  Watch at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices 


 

October 24, 2020 

REGISTRATION OPEN

www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020 

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.  

 

Latest interview from Mennonite Church Canada

“What would happen if my congregation was the natural world?” 

An interview with pastor Wendy Janzen from Burning Bush Forest Church in Kitchener, Ont., on worshipping with nature and how outdoor church challenges our need for control 

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!    

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations will go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020 

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, are coming soon! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire will be made available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Questions? Email jhanson@mennonitechurch.ca. 

Anabaptist training for local Chinese congregations 

Pray for George Veith, Witness worker in China, and Chinese colleague Yin Hongtao, as they organize and translate Anabaptist materials for congregations asking for training. Pray that they would produce a program that meets the needs of local believers and built on by local leaders.  Praise God for the opportunity to meet with congregational leaders face to face at the end of July.   

Creative responses to pandemic in Philippines 

Dann and Joji Pantoja, Witness workers in the Philippines, and their organization PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., are creatively meeting the challenges of COVID-19.  Read their blog post for examples of five women working new jobs due to the pandemic. Praise God for seeds of resilience planted in the lives of these families and communities.   

Witness worker leads restorative-circle workshop this month 

Pray for Bock Ki Kim, Witness worker in South Korea, and the Chuncheon Community Peace Center as they work at restorative-circle practices in local families and schools. Pray for the three-day workshop on August 3-6, for training 20 facilitators to help in this work of healing in their communities.     

 
 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Final stages of new book project 

Indigenous-Settler Relations and MCC Canada are collaborating on an exciting new book—Be It Resolved, an anthology of commitments Anabaptists have made to walk in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. We are in the final stages of designing this work that’s intended for small-group and congregational engagement. Please pray for us, that the Spirit would use this resource to encourage and equip our community. 

Persistent widows needed for Declaration legislation 

Jesus reminds us in the parable of the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-1-8), that holy persistence can pay off. Over the last few years we have asked you, time and again, to advocate for legislation that implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We are so grateful! And we need you to keep at it. Please raise your voice and let the government know that you care by signing your name to this Mennonite Central Committee Canada letter to the Minister of Justice—see www.tinyurl.com/UNDRIPNOW. 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

New and expanded Sunday School resources from MennoMedia: 

Shine: A dynamic curriculum for age 3 – grade 8. 

Many new features: 

  • New weekly story cards help facilitate the teaching of the larger “biblical arc of shalom” by connecting the quarter’s stories each week 
  • All of Us retells the biblical story twice – a longer version, closely retold from the Bible, and a shorter version retold with pictures 
  • A stronger emphasis on the child’s active participation in God’s work of love and justice 
  • Teachers are generously affirmed and equipped as spiritual leaders with additional helps and lesson plans that are clean and simple 
  • The core outline is now the same for all age levels allowing greater coordination in worship and at home 

 Additional help during COVID-19 

  • Shine At-Home (for parents at home) 
  • Shine Connect (for online teaching) 

Online samples and more information 

Purchase copies 

Preview a loan copy 

Salt and Light 

A new quarterly Anabaptist Bible study that replaces the former Adult Bible Study series 

  • Includes daily spiritual practice suggestions for each week’s study 
  • Available in English and Spanish 

Purchase copies 

Preview a loan copy 

2020 Summer Reading List 

Our 12th annual list of recommended titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket during the summer months! 

Including: 

Anti-Racism Resources 

In this time of overt racial tensions (in the US ... and in Canada ... and confessionally, in ourselves), we humbly offer these resources - biographies, group studies, worship services, biblical retellings - to inspire us toward true reconciliation and love of neighbour. 

Including: 

Also see related “Decolonization” resources 

MennoMedia’s Adaptive Church Webinar Series 

Featured Pandemic Resources 

Over 1,100 new online Anabaptist worship materials 

With the launch of our new website, we also added over 1,100 free online Anabaptist worship resources - and expect to add many more this summer – through our partnership with Together in Worship, a bi-national Mennonite curation team committed to providing Anabaptist worship materials for free online. 

Borrowed items ship free with membership  

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material.  Have a book dropped off at your door!  

Published on July 22, 2020

 

 

Mennonite Church Canada weekly online worship service for Sunday, July 26, 2020  

First Mennonite Church in Edmonton, Alta., will share their service with our nationwide community of faith this coming Sunday, July 26. Pastor Craig Neufeld will use Romans 8:26-39 to explore the theme of "Scattered, but not Separated." Watch at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices. 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Table Talk: Does the Church have Legs? Mennonite Church Canada Study Conference, October 24, 2020    

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship. For more information, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020.    

 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!   

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations will go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020 

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, are coming soon! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire will be made available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Questions? E-mail jhanson@mennonitechurch.ca or kdsawatzky@mennonitechurch.ca 

 

Terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso 

Evangelical Mennonite Church of Burkina Faso asks us to pray for them as they continue to suffer terrorist attacks. Pray for protection, for the resolution to this conflict and for political stability. Mennonite Church Canada partner Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission supports the church in Burkina Faso through community outreach and leadership development.   

 

COVID-19 awareness project reaches many churches in Congo 

Evangelical Mennonite Church of Congo asks us to thank the Lord for the success of COVID-19 education workshops, which reached many of the local churches. Mennonite World Conference and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission provided funds for thprojectThank you for your support for these projects.   

 

Witness workers in China finish school year from home 

Praise God for another year of teaching in China for Tobia Veith.  She finished her classes and exams online from home. Pray for George and Tobia as they travel in China to visit Anabaptist study groups to encourage and collaborate on resource development.  

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

For the Love of Creation 

Churches and faith organizations across Canada have recently come together to pursue climate justice by forming an initiative called, “For the Love of Creation.” The goal is to facilitate climate conversation through theological reflection, congregational engagement and political advocacy. The most recent opportunity for action is a parliamentary petition calling on the Government of Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and to honour Indigenous rights, particularly around energy and infrastructure development. Learn more and sign the petition. 

Webinar: Stories of Decolonization 

What are Indigenous activists and settlers doing to understand and challenge settler colonialism in Canada? Join a screening and discussion of the documentary film, Stories of Decolonization: Land Dispossession and Settlement on July 29 at 7 p.m. Steve Heinrichs, director of Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations program, will be one of four panelists. Register here. 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

Summer Reading List 

Our 12th annual list of recommended titles is here for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket during the summer months! It includes:   

 

Living the Declaration:  A Webinar on Indigenous Rights

MCBC recently hosted this webinar, featuring Judy Wilson (Secwepemc) from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Romeo Saganash (Cree) who helped draft the Declaration, and Quaker advocate Jennifer Preston, who explored both the challenge and the promise of implementing the Declaration on the ground, with our communities, and in our lives. 

 

Featured Resource: 

“Virus as a Summons to Faith” by Walter Brueggemann   

Brueggemann explores how the devastating effects of COVID-19 summon us to renew our covenantal relationship with God and to renew our responsibilities within that relationship.  Available to borrow or special order. 

 

Anti-Racism Resources  

In this time of overt racial tensions (in the US … and in Canada … and confessionally, in ourselves), we humbly offer these resources – biographies, group studies, worship services, biblical retellings – to inspire us toward true reconciliation and love of neighbour.   

 

From MennoMedia: 

Expanding our Witness:  Equipping Ministry for Anti-Racist Change” webinar.  An Adaptive Church webinar that unpacks the work our churches have to do to bring about God’s vision of shalom. What does dismantling racism, racial justice and “no justice, no peace” mean in our congregations? 

Previous webinars: 

 

Free, extra edition of Leader focused on COVID-19  

Articles are written by pastors and practitioners from the U.S. and Canada on topics including trauma and grief, how to keep church members connected, and pandemic pastoral care for marriages, among others.  

 

Free digital special editions of Rejoice! during COVID-19 

 

Borrowed items ship free with membership  

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material.  Have a book dropped off at your door! Online retail, loan and digital services continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service for July 12, 2020 

Niagara United Mennonite Church will share their service with our nationwide community of faith this coming Sunday, July 12. Join Daniel Janzen from Niagara United Mennonite Church will reflect on Exodus 3:1-6: I am here. How many times did Moses walk by the burning bush before he noticed it? How long was God trying to get Moses' attention? It is often in the wilderness where God meets people. Go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices for the link or watch on our YouTube channel. 

SAVE THE DATE: Table Talk: Does the Church have Legs? Mennonite Church Canada Study Conference, October 24, 2020   

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship. For more information, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020.   

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!  

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations will go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020  

Mennonite Church Canada International Witness invites congregations across our nationwide community of faith to celebrate International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020. Come prepared to give, learn and get involved with International Witness ministries. To help church leadership prepare for this day, promotional material and worship resources, such as readings, prayers and music, will be made available in August. For more information contact the IW Communications committee via jhanson@mennonitechurch.ca. 

Community centre to be built by Maliwan church in Thailand 

Praise God for the land by the River Chi made available to the Maliwan church families including Witness workers, Tom and Christine Poovong. This will be the site of Peace House, which will be a community centre in this shanty town neighbourhood on the outskirts of Khon Kaen, Thailand. Pray that God will bless the Maliwan congregation as they become a presence of God’s peace in this community.   

Prayer request for Witness workers in Philippines 

Pray for Dann and Joji Pantoja, Witness workers in the Philippines, that they will be wise and make good decisions in the complex economic and political situation where they work. Pray for peace, joy and safety as they relate to many different groups and people.     

News from our partners 

AIMM supports churches in DR Congo as they educate on COVID-19 

CEFMC (Mennonite Brethren) and CEM (Evangelical Mennonite) churches in DR Congo are offering training sessions about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ensuring that all congregations have access to good public health information is crucial to the life of the church. AIMM (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) is supporting these churches in this project. 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

EFC makes commitment to ”relations based in justice” with Indigenous Peoples  

Imagine evangelicals across Canada walking in costly solidarity with Indigenous Peoples to pursue “relations based in justice”! The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has just made an amazing seven-part commitment to pursue this dream: a dream that Elijah Harper (Cree Member of Parliament) originally put before us in the 1995 Sacred Assembly, a dream that Evangelicals (including Mennonite leaders) said “Yes” to 25 years ago. To learn more about the EFC’s commitment, see: https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/IndigenousRelations 

Prayer: Please pray for the EFC’s Indigenous-Settler Relations Working Group as they discern how this profound commitment can be implemented (ISR director Steve Heinrichs is a part of this working group). 

Living the Declaration: A Webinar on Indigenous Rights 

Sponsored by Mennonite Church British Columbia and Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations 

Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 6:30 PM Pacific 

Link to event info and registration: https://www.facebook.com/events/274062560602645/ 

The church has been called by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission “to formally adopt and comply with the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Call to Action #48). The government has been called to do the same (Call to Action #43). Where are we on this journey toward right relations, and what are the next steps that we need to take? 
Join our webinar and hear Romeo Saganash (Cree) who helped draft the Declaration, Kukpi7 Chief Judy Wilson (Secwepemc) from the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and Quaker advocate Jennifer Preston. Together, we will explore both the challenge and the promise of implementing the Declaration on the ground, with our communities, and in our lives. 

 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

Summer Reading List 

Our 12th annual list of recommended titles is here for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket during the summer months! It includes:  

Over 1,100 new online Anabaptist worship materials  

With the launch of our new website, www.commonword.cawe have added over 1,100 free online Anabaptist worship resources (www.commonword.ca/go/tiw) through our partnership with Together in Worship (www.togetherinworship.net), a bi-national Mennonite curation team committed to providing Anabaptist worship materials for free online. 

Anti-Racism Resources 

In this time of overt racial tensions (in the US … and in Canada … and confessionally, in ourselves), we humbly offer these resources – biographies, group studies, worship services, biblical retellings – to inspire us toward true reconciliation and love of neighbour.  

 Also see related “Decolonization” resources: 

 

MennoMedia’s Adaptive Church Webinar Series 

Expanding our Witness:  Equipping Ministry for Anti-Racist Change 

Thursday, July 16, 1:00 PM, Central 

The church has been awakened and reawakened to racial injustice in our midst after the death of George Floyd.  There is no room for racism, inequality or injustice in God’s reign. What does dismantling racism, racial justice and “no justice, no peace” mean in our congregations?  

Register here. 

Previous webinars: 


Free, extra edition of Leader focused on COVID-19 

Articles are written by pastors and practitioners from the U.S. and Canada on topics including trauma and grief, how to keep church members connected, and pandemic pastoral care for marriages, among others. 

 

Guided Healing for those Harmed 

In spring of 2020, Mennonite Central Committee’s Abuse Response and Prevention program launched its updated website, abuseresponseandprevention.ca, which offers resources for victim-survivors of abuse, those supporting victim-survivors and churches looking to address abuse in their congregation. 

CommonWord contributes resources to the website – to buy, borrow or access online. 

Read the full interview with MCC’s Abuse Response and Prevention coordinator, Jaymie Friesen. 

 

Borrowed Items Ship Free with Membership 

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material.  Have a book dropped off at your door! Online retail, loan and digital services continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Published on June 24, 2020

SAVE THE DATE: Table Talk: Does the Church have Legs? Mennonite Church Canada Study Conference, October 24, 2020  

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for "“Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship. For more information, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020 

Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service for June 28, 2020 

Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, B.C. will guide our nationwide community of faith in worship as we gather this Sunday, June 28. The life of faith is not always a straight, upward line, but often a journey marked by victory, failure and restoration. Lead Pastor Winston Pratt will introduce a new sermon series, “When Heroes Fall,” which highlights God’s grace in our weakness, focusing on Gen. 12:10-20. Available at https://www.mennonitchurch.ca/worshipservices and our YouTube channel. 

Mennonite Church Canada AGM, June 27, 2020, 11 a.m., CST via Zoom 

If you are interested in attending Mennonite Church Canada’s AGM, please e-mail your regional church communicator to register. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom meeting link as well as a link to the financial documents. 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund! 

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations will go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

 

International Witness

Vietnamese Mennonite church trains 10 pastors 

Praise God for the week-long pastoral training in mid-June taught by leaders of the Evangelical Vietnamese Mennonite Church (EVMC).  About 10 pastors gathered to study, pray and fellowship together.  Pray for the president of EVMC, Rev. Hong Thi Nguyen, as she gives leadership to this group of congregations and develops resources for pastoral training.   

Remembering 70 years of war and working for peace 

Pray for Witness workers, Sook Kyoung Park and Bock Ki Kim as they work with others in South Korea to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean war on June 25.  Pray that the message of peace and reconciliation, through JesusPrince of Peace, will bring healing to people caught in this 70-year conflict.   

Prayer request for the Veiths and MPC 

As political and economic tensions between Canada and China increase, pray for George and Tobia Veith, Witness workers in China, and the Mennonite Partners in China program.  Pray that God strengthens their bonds of friendship, common purpose and fellowship with church and education partners in the country.   

Prayer request for AIMM executive coordinator search 

Pray that God will lead in the search for a new executive coordinator of the Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission partnership. Pray that the international search committee gives wise council during this process.   

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020 

Mennonite Church Canada International Witness invites congregations across our nationwide community of faith to celebrate International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020. Come prepared to give, learn and get involved with International Witness ministries. To help church leadership prepare for this day, promotional material and worship resources, such as readings, prayers and music, will be made available in August. For more information contact the IW Communications committee via jhanson@mennonitechurch.ca or go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/international-witness. 

News from our partners 

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission welcomes applications for position of Executive Director.  

Applications are due July 15, 2020. For information, visit http://www.aimmintl.org/executive-coordinator-search. 

News from Mennonite Church Canada Palestine and Israel Network 

Israel to annex Palestinian territory in West Bank 

Israel’s government has announced it will begin annexing significant parts of the Palestinian territory of the West Bank. The Palestinian people, including Christian partners of Mennonite organizations, are concerned that this violation of international law will further deepen the dire human rights abuses, land expropriation and economic injustice experienced under Israeli military occupation since 1967. Pray for Palestinians, Israelis and advocates around the world who promote a durable and just peace, with equal rights and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians alike, using what Palestinian Christians call “the logic of love.” 

Prayer: God of peace and justice, you have created all people in your image to serve both Creator and creation in love. We lift up the people of Israel and Palestine on the eve of the threatened annexation in the West Bank. May all recognize that the “earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24:1), and that the forced acquisition and use of the land by one people at the expense of another is far from your will. Strengthen and give courage to those who speak your truth to the powers of this world. Protect the weak and the dispossessed. May your people shine the light of your love and care for this troubled but “holy” land. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Amen. 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Make June a Jubilee!  

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. We encourage everyone to pick up a great book—like Chelsea Vowel’s Indigenous Writes, or Barker and Lowman’s Settler—to learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization (see www.commonword.ca/go/1512). To celebrate this time, all proceeds from purchasing ISR resources from CommonWord will go to Mennonite Church Canada’s Jubilee Fund, which supports Indigenous communities repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands (see www.commonword.ca/go/2042). 

EFC makes commitment to ”relations based in justice” with Indigenous Peoples 

Imagine evangelicals across Canada walking in costly solidarity with Indigenous Peoples to pursue “relations based in justice”! The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has just made an amazing seven-part commitment to pursue this dreama dream that Elijah Harper (Cree Member of Parliament) originally put before us in the 1995 Sacred Assembly, a dream that Evangelicals (including Mennonite leaders) said “Yes” to 25 years ago. To learn more about the EFC’s commitment, see: https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/IndigenousRelations. 

Prayer: Please pray for the EFC’s Indigenous-Settler Relations Working Group as they discern how this profound commitment can be implemented (ISR director Steve Heinrichs is a part of this working group). 

“Listen to the oppressed: stories from conflict centres around the world” 

Mennonite Church Canada writer Katie Doke Sawatzky spoke with Christian Peacemaker Teams’ program support coordinators this spring about their work and why the church needs to more actively support non-violent peacemaking. Read the full article here. 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

Worship Calendar 

Jul 30                     International Day of Friendship - https://www.commonword.ca/go/771 

Aug 6                     Hiroshima Day - https://www.commonword.ca/go/772 

Sept 20                 International Peace Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/169   

Sept 30                 Orange Shirt Day – www.commonword.ca/go/764 

Oct 4                      World Communion Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/1439 

For church bulletins 

The pandemic should not mean a lack of reading material.  Check out the new www.commonword.ca – your national online bookstore and resource centre with Anabaptist resources on COVID-19, anti-racism, and much more - to buy, borrow or access online.  All loan items ship free.   

2020 Summer Reading List 

Check out our 12th annual summer reading list – www.commonword.ca/go/2089.  Recommended titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket during the warmer months! Tip: These, and other titles, can be bundled together for an extended loan period with our Cheaper by the Dozen program. 

CommonWord launches new website 

On June 1 CommonWord launched a new website at www.commonword.ca that is mobile-friendly, easily searchable, and beautifully designed!  We are thrilled to offer this gift to the church and university communities, and the wider public – and invite you to take a peek, especially if you’ve never visited us before.  Our goal is to make Anabaptist and related resources easily found for the pastor and the parishioner, the student and the casual reader – and have them available in multiple forms:  to buyborrow or access online.    

Anti-Racism Resources 

In this time of overt racial tensions (in the US ... and in Canada ... and confessionally, in ourselves), we humbly offer these resources - biographies, group studies, worship services, biblical retellings - to inspire us toward true reconciliation and love of neighbour.  See www.commonword.ca/go/2054. 

COVID-19 Resources 

Resources to help communities of faith live well in this time of pandemic.  See https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources 

June is Indigenous History Month; make June a Jubilee! 

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. We encourage everyone to pick up a great book—like Chelsea Vowel’s “Indigenous Writes”, or Barker and Lowman’s “Settler” or other reads—to learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization.  

Purchase any of the following Indigenous-Settler Relations resource—including “Unsettling the Word” and the "TRC Trilogy"—and all proceeds, during the month of June, will go to the Jubilee Fund which supports Indigenous communities who are repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands. 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Make June a Jubilee! 

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. We encourage everyone to pick up a great book—like Chelsea Vowel’s Indigenous Writes, or Barker and Lowman’s Settler—to learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization (see www.commonword.ca/go/1512). To celebrate this time, all proceeds from purchasing ISR resources from CommonWord will go to Mennonite Church Canada’s Jubilee Fund, which supports Indigenous communities repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands (see www.commonword.ca/go/2042). 

Declaration legislation 

When the current Federal Government was re-elected, the Minister of Justice was mandated to “introduce co-developed legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the end of 2020.” Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations, together with ecumenical partners, wants to help make this promise—a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 43rd Call to Action—come true. Please pray for ISR and those who seeking to raise awareness of the need for Declaration Legislation—that we would have discernment in our engagement. Please also pray for the Minister of Justice, the Honourable David Lametti, as he seeks to implement this mandate. Communicate your support for this legislation by writing the Minister at David.Lametti@parl.gc.ca. 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

Worship Calendar 

Jun 20                   World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21                   National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  

Jul 30                     International Day of Friendship - https://www.commonword.ca/go/771 

Aug 6                     Hiroshima Day - https://www.commonword.ca/go/772 

  

CommonWord launches its new website, offers over 1,000 new resources with Together in Worship 

On June 1 CommonWord launched a new website at www.commonword.ca that is mobile-friendly, easily searchable, and beautifully designed!  We are thrilled to offer this gift to the church and university communities, and the wider publicOur goal is to make Anabaptist and related resources easily found for the pastor and the parishioner, the student and the casual reader – and have them available in multiple forms:  to buyborrow or access online.   

We have added 1,100 new free online Anabaptist worship resources – and expect to add several thousand more this summer – through our partnership with Together in Worship, a bi-national Mennonite curation team committed to providing Anabaptist worship materials for free online. 

Anti-Racism Resources 

In this time of overt racial tensions (in the U.S., in Canada, and confessionally, in ourselves), we humbly offer these resources - biographies, group studies, worship services, biblical retellings - to inspire us toward true reconciliation and love of neighbour.  See www.commonword.ca/go/2054. 

COVID-19 Resources 

Resources to help communities of faith live well in this time of pandemic.  See https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources 

CommonWord online service continues during the pandemic 

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material.  Loan items ship free. 

June is Indigenous History Month: Make June a Jubilee! 

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. We encourage everyone to pick up a great book—like Chelsea Vowel’s “Indigenous Writes”, or Barker and Lowman’s “Settler” or other reads—to learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization.  

Purchase any of the following Indigenous-Settler Relations resource—including “Unsettling the Word” and the "TRC Trilogy"—and all proceeds, during the month of June, will go to the Jubilee Fund which supports Indigenous communities who are repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands. 

Two new books in The Jesus Way series from Herald Press.  Available to buy or borrow. 

What is the Trinity and Why does it Matter?  www.commonword.ca/go/2082 

Why do we Suffer and Where is God When We Do?  www.commonword.ca/go/2083

Mennonite Church Canada study conference will be virtual one-day event on Oct. 24, 2020   

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for "“Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship. Pre-released and pre-recorded plenaries are planned to allow more time for questions and engagement between speakers and participants. Go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020. 

Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service for Pentecost Sunday May 31, 2020 

Theme: “Will the Fire Change You?  Text: Acts 2:1-4  

Springstein Mennonite Church from Springstein, Man., invites you to join in worship as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Our theme is taken from this spring’s Leader magazine resources written by Joani Neufeldt of Lethbridge, Alta. This service includes communion so please be prepared with bread/cracker and wine/juice. 

Available to view at www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on the Mennonite Church Canada YouTube channel. 

 

International Witness

Witness worker writes paper commemorating 70th anniversary of Korean War 

Bock Ki Kim, Witness worker in South Korea, has been asked by a group of Methodist pastors and scholars to contribute to a book commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.  They want the perspective of a peace church and the introduction of peace theology.  Please pray for insight and inspiration as Bock Ki meditates and writes on this important topic.   

AIMM asks for prayer amid COVID-19 in Africa 

Mennonite Church Canada ministry partner Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission asks us to pray for our African sisters and brothers as COVID-19 continues to spread. People visit markets to buy food almost daily because most don’t have fridges or other ways to preserve food from day to day. Pray for provision, for protection, for courage and strength during this period of isolation. Pray that hospitals and medical staff provide the best possible care despite the lack of ventilators and other important medical tools  

Give thanks for connections of Chinese small groups to Mennonite Church 

Join George Veith, Witness worker in China, in prayers of thanksgiving for the good connections small groups in China are making through Chinese colleague Pastor Yin Hongtao from Mennonite Partners in China. These groups describe their study of Anabaptist writing as a “coming home to a faith tradition we didn’t know existed.”  They are excited to be connected to Mennonites worldwide to learn together what it means to be faithful followers of Jesus in the 21st century.   

 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Make June a Jubilee! 

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. We encourage everyone to pick up a great book—like Chelsea Vowel’s Indigenous Writes, or Barker and Lowman’s Settler—to learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization (see www.commonword.ca/go/1512)To celebrate this time, all proceeds from purchasing ISR resources from CommonWord—like Unsettling the Word and the Intotemak TRC Trilogy—will go to Mennonite Church Canada’s Jubilee Fund, which supports Indigenous communities who are repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands (see www.commonword.ca/go/2042). 

Last chance to register for Indigenous theological online gathering (June 4-7) 

Want to explore Indigenous and decolonizing theology that’ll help you live into right relations? Next week, the North American Institute for Theological Studies (NAIITS) is meeting by Zoom for its annual symposium, from June 4-7. We would love to see a good number of participants from our regional church bodies join in this community of learningISR haseveral scholarships to help cover half the cost of registration. For more information and a schedule, visit https://naiits.com/sym2020.html#2. Contact Steve Heinrichs (sheinrichs@mennonitechurch.caif you would like to receive support from Mennonite Church Canada to attend. 

News from our partners 

Book a peacemaking preacher! 

If your congregation is connecting online, Christian Peacemaker Teams would love to be a part of your virtual gatherings. We have CPTers from around the world available to either give a 10-minute sermon relating peacemaking and faith or a 5-minute highlight on CPT’s ongoing work and how your support makes it possible. Be inspired by stories of change and help support collective efforts to transform violence and oppression. To coordinate, please email Julie at outreach@cpt.org or visit  https://www.cpt.org/participate/outreach. 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

Worship Calendar 

 May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

Jun 7                     Trinity Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1769 

Jun 20                   World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21                   National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  

Jul 30                     International Day of Friendship - https://www.commonword.ca/go/771 

Aug 6                     Hiroshima Day - https://www.commonword.ca/go/772 

  

CommonWord online service continues during the pandemic 

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material.  Loan items ship free. Visit www.commonword.ca.  

  

Featured Resources 

Pandemic materials for home and congregation - https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources 

Including: 

  • Preaching to the Screen webinar – www.commonword.ca/go/2043.  MennoMedia’s Leader magazine hosted a discussion with a panel of Anabaptist pastors and church leaders to unpack practical advice as well as theological considerations for effective online preaching. 
  • Hope Unleashed – www.commonword.ca/go/2044.  A Mennonite Church Manitoba collection of congregational resources for use during the pandemic. 
  • Caring for the Mental Health of Youth and Families during Physical Isolation – www.commonword.ca/go/2045.  Includes ideas from MCEC youth ministers, workers and sponsors, online resource suggestions and links. 
  • Technology Best Practices for Virtual Meetings – www.commonword.ca/go/2046 and Work Tools - www.commonword.ca/go/2047.  Created by Crystal Washington, a technology strategist and certified futurist, for Mennonite Church USA. 
  • Copyrights During COVID-19 – www.commonword.ca/go/2048, and Ways to Sing Together if you are gathering online for worship – www.commonword.ca/go/2038.  By members of the Voices Together hymnal committee. 

 

New from Herald Press 

New from Herald Press – I am Not Your Enemy:  Stories to Transform a Divided World by Michael T. McRay – www.commonword.ca/go/2049.

Published on May 13, 2020

Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service for Sunday, May 17 

Message:"An Accompanied Life" 

Text: John 14:15-21  

Holyrood Mennonite Church from Edmonton, Alta., invites you to join in worship as we consider Jesus' parting words to his disciples, words intended to comfort and strengthen them for the very uncertain days which lay ahead. View this service at www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and the Mennonite Church Canada YouTube Channel. 

Administrator’s Day 2020 
Developing great content and layout
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 
12:00 p.m. (EDT) 
Online Networking and Resourcing Day for Administrative Assistants 

MCEC invites all congregational administrative assistants to a conversation designed specifically for you. From bulletins to newsletters, websites to emails - what is good content and layout? With so much information bombardment, how do we develop or edit pieces that rise to the surface? Join Gayle Goossen, Barefoot Creative, in this three-hour on-line interactive and informative discussion for administrative assistants across Mennonite Church Canada. In this time of physical distancing and even isolation, this is a day set aside for administrative assistants across the country for networking, information and fun. Catch a quick peek into the Mennonite Church Canada Congregational Website Hub. Register today for this on-line FREE event! 

Mennonite Church Canada study conference will be virtual one-day event on Oct. 24, 2020  

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for "“Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship. Pre-released and pre-recorded plenaries are planned to allow more time for questions and engagement between speakers and participants. Go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020. 

 

International Witness

Sermon by IW director offered for use in congregational services 

In a recorded sermon “The Kingdom of God is like a banyan tree,” originally for Morden Mennonite Church, International Witness Director Jeanette Hanson looks at Ephesians 2:17-22 and shares how each expression of church enlivens the whole, using examples from International Witness ministries around the world. Share this resource with your church community. Available at https://youtu.be/fjYi7PcnFTY. 

Korean Mennonite church eager to meet face to face 

Pray for the Mennonite Seoul meeting group led by South Korea Witness workers Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park. They have cancelled meetings since the first Sunday of March due to COVID-19 and gather through online Zoom meetings. The group is eager to meet face to face.  Pray that they find peace as they stay at home and find ways to support one another.   

New worship building for Vietnamese congregation 

Pray for the construction of a worship place in Di Lang, Quang Ngai, Vietnam. This is one of the 78 congregations that are part of the Evangelical Mennonite Church Vietnam (EMCV). North American Vietnamese Evangelical Fellowship relates to this conference.  

Witness workers getting vegetables to the hungry in Philippines  

In response to urban food security issues during the COVID-19 lockdown, Witness worker Joji Pantoja in the Philippines has secured food lane passes that allow vegetables to be transported into the cities from the 400 farmers that work with Coffee for Peace. Pray for Dann and Joji as they organize this social enterprise initiative through their Peace and Reconciliation teams in various parts of the country. Read more about this story here. 

 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Indigenous theological gathering online – June 4-7, 2020 

The North American Institute for Theological Studies (NAIITS) is moving its annual symposium online, bringing Indigenous and settler peoples together to explore “Community Health and Well-Being: Conversations on Wholeness.” Indigenous-Settler Relations would love to see a good number of participants from each of our regional church bodies join in this rich learning. We have several scholarships to help cover the cost of registration. For more information and a schedule, visit https://naiits.com/sym2020.html#2. Contact Steve Heinrichs if you would like to receive support from Mennonite Church Canada to attend (sheinrichs@mennonitechurch.ca). 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

Worship Calendar 

May 21                 Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

Jun 7                     Trinity Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1769 

Jun 20                   World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21                   National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  


CommonWord online service continues during the pandemic 

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material. Visit www.commonword.ca to explore over 13,000 resources. You can also pick up a Herald Press title – for sale or loan at www.commonword.ca/go/heraldpress. 


CommonWord is curating pandemic materials regularly 

 Here are a few of the recent COVID-19 resource additions: 

  • Pandemic materials for home and congregation -  https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources
  • Seeking a Common Word: A Local Christian-Muslim Dialogue Guide.  A good primer for engaging inter-faith dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Representative of MCA’s work in Edmonton - www.commonword.ca/go/2032. 
  • Suffering the Truth: Occasional Sermons and Reflections by Chris K. Huebner.  A collection of chapel presentations, sermons and meditations by CMU prof, Chris Huebner – www.commonword.ca/go/2010. 
  • Bible Storytelling with Carrie.  Video stories for children, presented by Carrie Martens, former pastor in MCEC - www.commonword.ca/go/2022. 
  • Wandering the Wilderness:  A Guide for Weary Wanderers and Searching Skeptics.  Recent title by Ray Friesen, retired pastor in MC Sask - www.commonword.ca/go/1967. 
  • Advocating for Peace:  Stories from the Ottawa Office of Mennonite Central Committee, 1975-2008.  Recent title by William Janzen, former Director of MCC’s Ottawa office - www.commonword.ca/go/1954. 
  • New from Herald Press - Speak Your Peace:  What the Bible Says about Loving Our Enemies by Ron Sider – www.commonword.ca/go/2034. 

Check https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources for all the materials.

Published on April 30, 2020

Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service for May 3, 2020

Join Niagara area pastors as we reflect on Acts 2:42-47 – All Things in Common in Uncommon Times. Louise Wideman (Vineland United Mennonite Church), Alissa Bender (Hamilton Mennonite Church) and Renate Klassen (Niagara United Mennonite Church) will guide us as we gather as a nationwide community of faith. 

Live-streamed at https://www.hmc.on.ca/mc-canada at 9:45 a.m. (EDT). Recorded service available afterwards at www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices.

Mennonite Church Canada Study conference goes virtual on October 24, 2020 

During this global COVID-19 pandemic, the Holy Spirit calls us to re-examine what it means to be the church. While technology allows us to join each other on Sunday mornings, without gathering together how can we be Christ’s Body? What does this crisis reveal about our current practices of being the church? Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for a time of discernment on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Sara Wenger Shenk, former president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and several other scholars from our Mennonite schools will reflect on themes related to 1 Peter 2:9-10. 

 

International Witness

Financial strains for small schools in Thailand 

Pray for Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong as they, together with many around the world, homeschool their children Joseph and Phim. The children’s school is small and the COVID-19 lockdown puts it under severe financial strain. Pray that this place that has been life-giving for their family will re-open in the fall so that the Poovongs can continue ministry in this location.    

Uncertain futures for young adults 

As borders are closed and travel is restricted, pray for young adult children of Witness workers who are separated from parents at a time of uncertainty and anxiety.  Pray for those dealing with job losses and uncertain futures.  Pray that God will be near to them and that our family of faith will come be near to them.   

Rural healthcare and job loss in Vietnam 

Mennonites in Vietnam have asked us to pray for them during this pandemic. They ask for prayers for good health and safety especially for those in rural areas where the health care system is inadequate for this challenge.  Pray for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic in a system with no employment insurance.  The churches continue to minister in this difficult time. Pray for wisdom and strength.   

Church closures in China affect salaries of staff 

The closure of churches in China due to COVID-19 has had devastating financial effects on several large congregations that have worked with Mennonite Partners in China for decades.  With no opening dates in sight even though other aspects of life are starting to get back to normal, church staff are taking drastic reductions in salary and making difficult decisions about selling property.  Pray that God will give wisdom and peace in this difficult time.  

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

News from our partners 

Wet’suwet’en Resistance webinar – May 5 at 7 p.m. EST 

In February and March of this year, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) sent two teams of legal observers to unceded Wet'suwet'en territory in northern B.C. With no consent from the hereditary leadership of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have maintained a militarized occupation of their lands in order to enable ongoing construction of a fracked gas pipeline—even during the current pandemic. Join Jennifer Wickham from the Gidim'ten clan and three CPTers – including Mennonite Church Canada’s Steve Heinrichs – as they share stories from the frontlines of the Wet'suwet'en resistance on May 5 at 7 PM EST. Register for free online.   

Indigenous theological gathering online – June 4-7, 2020 

The North American Institute for Theological Studies (NAIITS) is moving its annual symposium online, bringing Indigenous and settler peoples together to explore “Community Health and Well-Being: Conversations on Wholeness.” Indigenous-Settler Relations would love to see a good number of participants from each of our regional church bodies join in this rich learning. We have several scholarships to help cover the cost of registration. For more information, visit https://www.naiits.com/sym2020.html. Contact Steve Heinrichs if you would like to receive support from Mennonite Church Canada (sheinrichs@mennonitechurch.ca). 

 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

 

May 15                 International Day of Families - www.commonword.ca/go/1751 

May 21                 Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

Jun 7                     Trinity Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1769 

Jun 20                   World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21                   National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  


CommonWord online service continues during the pandemic 

Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material. Visit www.commonword.ca to explore over 13,000 resources. You can also pick up a Herald Press title – for sale or loan at www.commonword.ca/go/heraldpress. 


CommonWord is curating pandemic materials regularly 

 Here are a few of the recent COVID-19 resource additions: 

 

Check https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources for all the materials 

  

New title from CMU Press 


Suffering the Truth: Occasional Sermons and Reflections by Chris K. Huebner, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Canadian Mennonite University 

Chris K. Huebner invites us to reflect on how we might inhabit truthfully the strange new life into which we have been called by God. Structured around the Christian liturgical calendar, Suffering the Truth begins with a meditation on Advent as a time during which we are called to cultivate a readiness for the unexpected presence of God and concludes with a sermon that challenging the conception of peace frequently celebrated on the day Mennonites call Peace Sunday. Huebner’s sermons elaborate a liturgical counter-temporality and display what it might look like when its rhythms inform the way we go about our ordinary lives. Available through CommonWord.

Weekly service provided by churches across Mennonite Church Canada

"The Marvelous Grace of Insecurity"

Text: Luke 24: 13-32

This week’s national Sunday service will be shared from Mennonite Church British Columbia’s Crossroads Community Church. Pastor Len Hjalmarson will be teaching from the road to Emmaus. The service will be available to view at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices.

Transcript of sermon: Getting to Hopelessness

 

International Witness

 

Online teaching and learning adjustments 

South Korea Witness worker Sook Kyoung Park’s faithful presence in her English classroom everyday has been transferred to online and telephone connections. Please pray that her caring heart and efforts to make a safe space for her students will be portrayed as well in this way. Pray for her students as they interact with her in this time of anxiety.    

Complications with Anabaptist event planning for Latin American youth 

The Colombian Mennonite Church asks for prayer for the Anabaptist Andean youth meeting happening in Colombia on July 20-24. Three hundred youth usually come from Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, San Salvador, Argentina and Brazil. The theme of this meeting is "Anabaptist identity in the Latin American context." Pray that leaders know how to proceed with planning for this important event, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Technology challenges older generation of Thailand ministry 

Pray for Witness workers Christine and Tom Poovong as they reach out to new believers in the congregations around them in Thailand. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help them and other disciples make good use of technology to communicate since many are from the older generation and do not have a computer. 

News from our partners 

Please pray for the staff and students of Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) in the West Bank. The campus has been closed since March 5 and faculty scrambles to teach online. One faculty member and several students have been infected by COVID-19. BBC president Jack Sara says this has "put an edge to our prayers." In addition, the all-city lockdown has been devastating to Bethlehem's tourism-dependent economy, adding to the many restrictions that Palestinians already endure under Israeli military occupation. Pray that BBC and the Palestinian churches may be a beacon of hope amidst the suffering (from the Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network. Mennonite Church Canada is exploring a more formal relationship with BBC, where Mennonite Church Canada short-term volunteers have served.)  

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

 

Act for Indigenous Right to “Restrict Access” 

In this COVID-19 crisis where all Canadians—except “essential service” workers—are urged to stay home, thousands of resource workers are currently entering into remote Indigenous territories to build mega projects (e.g., the Site C Dam and the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia) and endangering the well-being of vulnerable Indigenous populations. The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples—which Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations is part of—has released a statement calling governments to respect the right of Indigenous communities “to set conditions of entry into their territories.” Historically, Indigenous peoples have been disproportionately impacted by disease and illness—and the same is true today. We invite our congregations to pray that those in authority would honour the rights and lives of Indigenous peoples. We also invite you to write Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (pm@pm.gc.ca) and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett (carolyn.bennett@canada.ca) to express your concerns and hope. 

News from our partners 

Prayers for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) 

Between April 22-25, Christian Peacemaker Teams will have its spring Steering Committee meetings, with participants zooming in from all around the world. Mennonite Church Canada is one of seven sponsoring bodies, and Steve Heinrichs (director of Indigenous-Settler Relations), serves as representative. It is a strange time for CPT. Due to COVID-19 there is the need for physical distancing, yet CPT field teams in Colombia, Iraqi-Kurdistan, Palestine, and Lesvos (Greece) continue a strong commitment to advocacy and online connections. COVID-19 has also brought uncertainty to CPT finances. Please pray for the CPT Steering Committee—that we would have wisdom, courage, and even the joy of the Spirit as we discern how to support the work of building partnerships to transform violence and oppression. To learn more about CPT, and to donate, please see www.cpt.org. 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

Worship calendar: 

Apr 22                  Earth Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1733  

May 15                 International Day of Families - www.commonword.ca/go/1751 

May 21                 Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

Jun 7                     Trinity Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1769 

Jun 20                   World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21                   National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  

  

  

CommonWord online service continues during the pandemic. Please visit www.commonword.ca! 

 Self-isolation should not mean a lack of reading material. Have a book dropped off at your door!   

(Loan items ship free.) 

  

CommonWord is curating pandemic materials daily 

Here are a few of the recent COVID-19 resource additions: 

 Check https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources for all the materials 

  

Shaping Faith in a Digital Culture 

Six video plenary sessions from the Deep Faith conference held at AMBS March 2-5. 

These discussions are perhaps more poignant now than even a few weeks ago!  Visit www.commonword.ca/go/2011. 

  

MennoMedia offers free Shine curriculum during the pandemic 

for use by churches for online learning or to send to parents for use at home 

https://shinecurriculum.com/shineathome/free-resources/. 


CommonWord physical store closure 


As a part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have closed the physical CommonWord store to the public and have our team working from home. Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean a lack of reading material.  Our staff are still hard at work, making sure you receive the best resources. You can continue to contact us by phone or e-mail and we continue to ship resources to your door. Peace and good health to everyone during this time.

Published on April 1, 2020

 

Mennonite Church Saskatchewan provides Palm Sunday service for nationwide community of faith 

As part of Mennonite Church Canada’s weekly sharing of worship services, Eigenheim Mennonite Church, together with Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, will collaborate this week to bring a service to our nationwide community of faith for Palm Sunday on April 5. Ryan Siemens, Executive Minister for MC Sask, will focus on Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11) and help prepare us to walk with Christ to the cross. Go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices to view the video this weekend. 

 

International Witness

Prayer request to ease fears in Thailand 

On March 26 Thailand declared a national state of emergency. People in the Issan province, where Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong are working, are afraid that closing businesses in Bangkok and other cities will send people back to their homes in the rural areas, further spreading COVID-19.  The Poovong family is practicing social distancing in their home and ministering to congregations and church leaders online and by phone. Tom asks for prayer that the hope that is within them will shine to those around them in this dark time.   

China churches reach out to help equip Canadian congregations 

Churches in China are praying for our Canadian congregations and offering their help as we begin to face what they have lived through in the last months. Praise God for the nearly daily messages of support and offers of masks and other protective gear from Mennonite Church Canada China ministry colleagues and friends, sent in the midst of the Canadian COVID-19 crisesThank God for this global family of faith that walks together in times of difficulty and times of joy.   

Prayer for Witness workers in quarantine 

Pray for George and Tobia Veith in their second week of quarantine in a hotel within walking distance of their home in Harbin, China. Praise God that they arrived back in China before the borders were closed to foreigners. Pray that their work on creating on-line classes and resources for the church engage them while they wait to return home.   

Coffee for Peace affected by COVID-19 shutdown 

Pray for Witness worker Joji Pantoja as she makes decisions for her business, as CEO of Coffee for Peace.  “As a social entrepreneur, I have to think of our workers at Coffee for Peace Café and their needs,” Joji says. “I have to think of our workers at Malipayon Peace Hub as they sort our coffee so that in their struggles to make ends meet while under community quarantine, their families will still survive, will eat, and will stay healthy.” Read more from Joji and pray that God will give her wisdom and peace as she serves.

 
 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

NAIITS bus trip cancelled, but virtual gathering happening! 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAIITS: Indigenous Learning Community is cancelling its annual June symposium. But there’s good news! Though Mennonite Church Canada can no longer send a delegation to participate in person, NAIITS plans to create a virtual, on-line symposium. We hope to have a significant number from our nationwide church take in the experience. Stay tuned for details in the weeks ahead! 

Jubilee Fund Praise 

Each year, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Central Committee issue grants to Indigenous organizations seeking to rebuild and renew connections to the land. The grants come from the Jubilee Fund, created in 1992the quincentennial of Columbus’ non-discovery of the Americas. Over the years, we’ve helped an incrediblarray of Indigenous communities with land-based education, healing programs, repatriation efforts and more. This year we give thanks for an opportunity to give to two initiatives seeking to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together on the land, to learn traditional ways of relating to the world of which we are a part. Find out more about and give to the Jubilee Fund. 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

Worship Calendar: 

Apr 5                    Palm Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1463  

Apr 7                    World Health Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1324  

Apr 9                    Maundy Thursday - www.commonword.ca/go/1462  

Apr 10                  Good Friday - www.commonword.ca/go/1461  

Apr 12                  Easter Sundaywww.commonword.ca/go/1460  

Apr 22                  Earth Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1733  

May 15                 International Day of Families - www.commonword.ca/go/1751 

May 21                 Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

Jun 7                     Trinity Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1769 

Jun 20                   World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21                   National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  

  

Pandemic outbreak resources from CommonWord: 


The current climate around the COVID-19 virus has many of us feeling out of sorts. To help, CommonWord has put together a list of pandemic resources and response that you can use to help you navigate this difficult time. We continue to update the list as congregations and organizations create new resources. 

 

Cheaper by the Dozen:


You can order resources through our Cheaper by the Dozen program, which allows congregations to borrow our resources for a longer loan period. Your congregation can also share the materials among members during the loan period.

 

Featured Resources

Mennonite Church Canada Director of Indigenous-Settler Relations Steve Heinrichs recently spoke with Liam Miller of Australia’s “Love – Rinse/Repeat” podcast about editing the book Unsettling the WordSteve speaks of his own journey with Scripture and decolonization, how the book came together, what surprised him in its compilation and how churches in settler-colonial contexts might start hard but necessary conversations.

 

 

CommonWord physical store closure 


As a part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have closed the physical CommonWord store to the public and have our team working from home. Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean a lack of reading material.  Our staff are still hard at work, making sure you receive the best resources. You can continue to contact us by phone or e-mail and we continue to ship resources to your door. Peace and good health to everyone during this time.

Published March 18, 2020

 

A message for Mennonite Church Canada congregations

Mennonite Church Canada executive minister will record a sermon for churches to use this coming Sunday 

Video will include sermon and worship music, recorded in Winnipeg church 

March 18, 2020 

Mennonite Church Canada leadership recognizes the difficult situations in which many congregations now find themselves as they take measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. To meet federal and provincial public health recommendations, it is expected that many of our congregations will not meeting this coming Sunday and for several Sundays afterwards.  

We know that the leadership of many churches across our denomination are working hard to come up with alternative options for worship services. Churches in large cities are choosing to video stream their sermons so congregants can view them at home. In an effort to help congregations that aren’t able to do the same, this week, Mennonite Church Canada will post a sermon preached by Executive Minister Doug Klassen for congregations to view this coming Sunday, March 22, 2020.  

Klassen will preach on John 9, which is the lectionary text for this Sunday. The sermon will be recorded later this week at a church in Winnipeg. Musicians leading worship music will also be recorded. The video will be no longer than an hour. 

“The beauty of John 9 is that while healing happens, other complications are introduced,” says Klassen. “The COVID-19 crisis is immensely complicated, but where is Jesus coming to us in the midst of it all? Let’s explore together.” 

The video is a resource for congregations to use, if they would like, as part of their alternative worship practices. The video will be uploaded to the Mennonite Church Canada YouTube Channel and available through a link on the nationwide homepage: https://www.mennonitechurch.caRegional church communicators will e-mail congregations the links once the video is up and ready for viewing. 

If you have questions, please contact your regional church communicator or Katie Doke Sawatzky, Mennonite Church Canada Communications Officer. 

We continue to pray for you congregation’s health and spirits, 

Katie Doke Sawatzky 

Communications Officer 

Mennonite Church Canada 


Mennonite Church Canada updates pandemic web resources 

As schools cancel classes across the country and congregations gauge whether or not to hold services,  Mennonite Church Canada has updated web resources created by the Mennonite Church Canada Pandemic and Response Taskforce during the last flu pandemic in 2009-2010. Go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources for information on how to adjust congregational practices before, during and after an outbreak. At this time, Mennonite Church Canada urges every congregation to stay up to date with recommendations from their provincial health authorities on appropriate measures to take for limit the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Table Talk: Does the church still have legs? 

A Mennonite Church Canada Study Conference  
Thursday, October 22 – Saturday, October 24, 2020  
Steinmann Mennonite Church, Baden, Ont.  

Does your congregation seek renewal? Does it feel as though you are “going through the motions”? Is the church still the answer to corporate discipleship? Why continue to invest in the church when religious structures are buckling under the weight of our time? Why the church when so many people are content to live life without stepping into a sanctuary or being part of a small group?  

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather around the table in Ontario this fall for Mennonite Church Canada’s inaugural study conference. Together we will lament, listen and learn, moving forward with hope, as we ask these important “Why?” questions. Sara Wenger Shenk, former president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, will help us to reflect on the scripture text from 1 Peter 2. Mark your calendars; more details will follow. 

 

International Witness

Increasing threats to pastors and farmers in Colombia 

The Colombian Mennonite Church ask us to pray for peace in Colombia. Although there has been a peace plan signed with the FARC forces (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), they report an increase in threats and violence against peasant leaders and pastors in some areas. Pray that God’s peace that transforms lives will reign in this region.  

MWC pastor visits prairie provinces and urges prayer over terrorist activity in Burkina Faso 

In the last few weeks Pastor Siaka Troare from Burkina Faso, chair of the Deacons Commission for Mennonite World Conference (MWC), has been speaking in several places in Manitoba and Alberta. He urges us to pray for peace as terrorist groups randomly kill people gathered in churches, mosques and markets. After a visit from the MWC leadership to pray for groups in Burkina Faso, the head of the military said that this cannot be changed by military force but only by prayer that God will transform the hearts and minds of these groups. Pray that God’s power of transformative love will flood this land.  

COVID-19 emergency eases for Witness workers in Asia; self-isolation in Philippines begins 

As the COVID-19 emergency begins to ease for Witness workers in China and South Korea, Dann and Joji Pantoja in Mindanao, Philippines report the beginning of their time of self-isolation. They report on the devastating effects of this pandemic on the poor in the cities. Read their blog post for more informationPray that God’s healing and hope will flow through us to those around us at this difficult time. 

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

ISR organizing bus journey to NAIITS 2020   

Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations (ISR) is organizing a bus journey to take 50 Indigenous and settler persons to this year’s NAIITS gathering in Sioux Falls, South Dakota—June 4-6, 2020. Would you like to join us? NAIITS is a Christian Indigenous Learning Community that hosts theological gatherings intended for pastors and activists, young and old. ISR wants to bring a diverse group of friends from across our nationwide church to attend this event that will explore “Conversations on Health and Wholeness.” The bus ride from Winnipeg is free, registration is covered, and we’re looking to crash at a local church (dorm rooms are an option, but at your own expense). If interested, please e-mail Steve Heinrichs for more details (sheinrichs@mennonitechurch.ca). It’s going to be a lot of fun! 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

Worship calendar: 

Mar 21                 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -   www.commonword.ca/go/1693  

Mar 22                 World Water Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1694  

Apr 5                    Palm Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1463  

Apr 7                    World Health Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1324  

Apr 9                    Maundy Thursday - www.commonword.ca/go/1462  

Apr 10                  Good Friday - www.commonword.ca/go/1461  

Apr 12                  Easter - www.commonword.ca/go/1460  

Apr 22                  Earth Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1733  

May 15                 International Day of Families - www.commonword.ca/go/1751 

May 21                 Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

  

Pandemic outbreak resources from CommonWord: 


The current climate around the COVID-19 virus has many of us feeling out of sorts. To help, CommonWord has put together a list of resources on pandemic preparedness and response that you can use to help you navigate this difficult time. 

 

Share your works 


Are you writing an original Lenten resource?  CommonWord would love to share it further by posting it on our site.  Please visit www.commonword.ca/go/1666 for more information about our “Community-Developed” materials. 

 

Featured Resources

Wandering the Wilderness is a guidebook for individuals who are unsure of their path or are questioning the trails they were taught in the past. Author Ray Friesen is a former pastor and, at the same time, a life-long "believing skeptic." He's an advocate for "abundant living" and the guideposts that mark it. This informs Friesen's thoughtful submission for a renewed approach to finding meaning in a life informed by the Bible in a time when the relevance of those ancient writings is often thrown into question. 

Due to measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the decision has been made to postpone our March 26 book launch for Wandering the Wilderness. However, you can still show your support of author Ray Friesen by ordering the book from our website. 

 

CommonWord physical store closure 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 we have closed our physical CommonWord store to the public. However, our staff are still hard at work, making sure that you receive the best resources. You can continue to contact us by phone or e-mail. Peace and good health to everyone during this time.

Mennonite Church Canada Study Conference

Table Talk: Does the church still have legs?

A Mennonite Church Canada Study Conference 
Thursday, October 22 – Saturday, October 24, 2020 
Steinmann Mennonite Church, Baden, Ont. 

Does your congregation seek renewal? Does it feel as though you are “going through the motions”? Is the church still the answer to corporate discipleship? Why continue to invest in the church when religious structures are buckling under the weight of our time? Why the church when so many people are content to live life without stepping into a sanctuary or being part of a small group? 

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather around the table in Ontario this fall for Mennonite Church Canada’s inaugural study conference. Together we will lament, listen and learn, moving forward with hope, as we ask these important “Why?” questions. Sara Wenger Shenk, former president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, will help us to reflect on the scripture text from 1 Peter 2. Mark your calendars; more details will follow.

 

International Witness

Coronavirus affects daily life of Witness workers in South Korea 

In the last week the rise of coronavirus in South Korea has changed affected millions of lives. Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, Witness workers in Chuncheon, write:  

“In the last four to five days there was a public announcement that most public systems will be closed for one or two weeks. These include kindergarten, public libraries, public schools, universities and religious institutions. We have cancelled or postponed all our meetings, including Mennonite Seoul (our church group).” 

Bock Ki Kim writes, “The coronavirus is overwhelming many people and many of us stay at home these days. I am no exception. The situation outside the house is difficult; the number of infected people is rapidly rising. But I don't want to spend time in vain, so I am finishing the final proofread of two forthcoming books that I am translating into Korean: one is new, John Roth’s Stories, one is old, Waldemar Janzen’s Work and Rest.” 

Prayer: Please pray for public health authorities in South Korea as they deal with the spread of the virus. Pray that Bock Ki and Sook Kyoung will be a presence of peace to their community.

 
 
 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

ISR organizing bus journey to NAIITS 2020   

Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations (ISR) is organizing a bus journey to take 50 Indigenous and settler persons to this year’s NAIITS gathering in Sioux Falls, South Dakota—June 4-6, 2020. Would you like to join us? NAIITS is a Christian Indigenous Learning Community that hosts theological gatherings intended for pastors and activists, young and old. ISR wants to bring a diverse group of friends from across our nationwide church to attend this event that will explore “Conversations on Health and Wholeness.” The bus ride from Winnipeg is free, registration is covered, and we’re looking to crash at a local church (dorm rooms are an option, but at your own expense). If interested, please e-mail Steve Heinrichs for more details (sheinrichs@mennonitechurch.ca). It’s going to be a lot of fun! 

 
 
 

CommonWord logo


 

 

Worship Calendar: 

Mar 8                    World Women’s Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1692  

Mar 21                 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - www.commonword.ca/go/1693  

Mar 22                 World Water Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1694  

Apr 5                    Palm Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1463  

Apr 7                    World Health Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1324  

Apr 9                    Maundy Thursday - www.commonword.ca/go/1462  

Apr 10                  Good Friday - www.commonword.ca/go/1461  

Apr 12                  Easter - www.commonword.ca/go/1460  

Apr 22                  Earth Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1733  

May 15                 International Day of Families - www.commonword.ca/go/1751 

May 21                 Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31                 Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

  

Lent 


Lent is a time of reflection, fasting and prayer as we prepare for Easter. Whether you’re looking for a family or adult study, a DVD series, or a book of prayers, CommonWord has lots of resources to choose from. 

  

Share Your Works 


Are you writing an original Lenten resource?  CommonWord would love to share it further by posting it on our site. Check out our community-developed materials for more details. 

  

Featured Resource 


“During Lent God’s children reflect on the life and death of Christ. This year we are invited to ask God to show us how to find our hidden God as well as our own safe hiding place; how to remember God’s faithful, loving presence; how to reconnect with the Rock of our salvation; how to really see. As we do so, our Lenten journey will help us remember God’s power over death and help us learn how to balance joy and sorrow from Jesus on the hard but worthwhile path to resurrection.” 

This resource for the home is adapted from congregational worship resources for Lent, printed in Leader magazine, which is published by MennoMedia.

International Witness

News from our partners 

AIMM asks for prayer over violence in Burkina Faso 

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM) asks us to pray that God restores peace to the continually deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso. Thousands of people have been displaced by increasingly frequent, violent attacks by radical Islamic terrorist groups. These attacks target mosques, churches, schools and government military and police outposts. Pray for courage and trust for leaders and members of the Evangelical Mennonite Church in this challenging environment. Pray for acts of love between Christians and Muslims that show a better way forward. 

Upcoming AIMM event in Winnipeg: how is God at work in Burkina Faso? 

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission International Central Council is holding an event in Winnipeg on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 p.m. Featuring a complimentary supper buffet, the evening will feature a report from Pastor Siaka Traoré, who will report on how the Spirit is leading the church today in Burkina Faso amid significant national turmoil due to increasing terrorist attacks on churches, mosques, schools and police outposts nationwide. To RSVP call 574-612-6091 or e-mail rod@aimmintl.org. Or just show up with a friend or two! 

Mennonite Church in Colombia faces much need by Venezuelan refugees 

Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia asks us to pray for the situation in Venezuela. At this time more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled to Colombia in absolute poverty. As church members in Colombia reach out to these people, they are also supporting Mennonite congregations in Caracas, Isla Margarita and Yaracuy, Venezuela. Pray that the church in Colombia will be given God’s strength and wisdom as they seek to provide in the face of overwhelming need. Pray that the Mennonite congregations in Venezuela will feel God’s presence in this difficult time.  

Christians provide masks in Wuhan communities 

“God loves you and is walking with us through this difficult time.” This is the message that Christians in Wuhan, China, are giving to people as they provide much needed face masks to people in their communities.  Please continue to pray for those affected by this epidemic. Pray that believers in China will be able to share the reason for their hope in a dark time. Pray for wisdom as plans are made for Mennonite workers in China in the next few months.   

MCEC pastors return from Thailand 

Pray for pastors from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada as they return from visiting and ministering with Tom and Christine Poovong in Thailand. Pray that God will speak to their hearts about what they have seen and heard. Pray that Tom and Christine will be encouraged by their visit and that the ministry will be strengthened through these relationships.

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Mennonite Church Canada offers resources to help us learn about and from Wet’suwet’en 

A message from Steve Heinrichs, director of Indigenous-Settler Relations for Mennonite Church Canada: 

“Over the last weeks, the eyes of Canadians have turned to Wet’suwet’en territory in north-central British Columbia as the Crown, RCMP and Coastal Gaslink have sought to remove Indigenous land defenders from their homelands in order to continue work on a natural gas pipeline. Many in the church have questions about how to understand the situation. This resource list contains news articles, videos, church statements, technical reports, books and more—that can help us learn, facilitate further, and different, questions, encourage prayer…and maybe even acts of solidarity. It is by no means exhaustive, and the content varies in substance and the ways in which it narrates the various relationships. Nonetheless, we hope it will serve to open compassionate conversation and deeper comprehension.” 

 

CommonWord logo

Worship Calendar: 

Feb 20                  World Day of Social Justice - www.commonword.ca/go/1690  

Feb 23                  Transfiguration Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/1886  

Feb 26                  Ash Wednesday - www.commonword.ca/go/1691  

Mar 8                    World Women’s Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1692  

Mar 21                 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - www.commonword.ca/go/1693  

Mar 22                 World Water Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1694  

Apr 5                    Palm Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1463  

Apr 7                    World Health Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1324  

Apr 9                    Maundy Thursday - www.commonword.ca/go/1462  

Apr 10                  Good Friday - www.commonword.ca/go/1461  

Apr 12                  Easter - www.commonword.ca/go/1460  

Apr 22                  Earth Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1733 


Lent 

 

The season of Lent is rapidly approaching. This season is a time of reflection, fasting and prayer as we prepare for Easter. Whether you’re looking for a family or adult study, a DVD series or a book of prayers, CommonWord has something for you. Resources can be found here

  

Share Your Works 


Are you writing an original Lenten resource? CommonWord would love to share it further by posting it on our site.  Check out more information about our “Community-Developed” materials. 

  

Featured Resources 


2020 Lenten Guided Prayer Experience 

Participating in this six-week experience will take you on a journey of discovery and challenge.  

As you pray with the scripture texts for Lent, you will be invited to consider how God is present in the gritty or difficult places in life in order to find grace and hope. Visit this link to participate.