Mennonite Church Canada updates and prayer requests

Published on September 15, 2021

 

 

 

Gathering 2022 in Edmonton 


We Declare: What We Have Seen and Heard is the theme for Gathering 2022 in Edmonton, July 29 to August 1. The webpage for the event is now live: www.mennonitechurch.ca/gathering2022. Learn about our speakers and what you can expect for our next nationwide gathering in Treaty 6!  Read our press release here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/12098-mennonite-church-canada-announces-theme-for-gathering-2022-in-edmonton 

 



Amplify! giving voice to what we’ve seen and heard – introducing our theme for Mennonite Church Canada nationwide youth (gr. 6-12) gathering, July 31- August 4, 2022, at Camp Valaqua, AB. Isaiah 40:3-5 will guide us as we spend time in the tall trees, meeting God in nature and creation: A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord”. Together, youth from across Canada will find their voices and raise them in raucous joy during worship, games and prayer. 

Follow us online at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/amplify for the latest updates and news or contact the Amplify! event planner: Joani Neufeldt youth@mennonitechurch.ca 

 


INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

 

Whose Land, Whose Promise?  Palestine, Justice, and the Bible 


Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network and three partner advocacy groups are hosting a two-part online series Saturday, Sept. 19 and Oct. 2, at 12 p.m. EDT /9 a.m. PST. Resource persons include Palesinian  pastor-theologian Alex Awad, political science professor Ron Dart, and professor Dan Epp-Tiessen of Canadian Mennonite University. Register: https://bit.ly/3BbaFOc. 


Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp is hosting its annual Fall Seniors Retreat virtually on Sept. 20 to explore the topic: "Journey Toward Justice: Equal Rights for Palestinians and Israelis" with Christian Peacemaker Teams and MCEC Palestine-Israel Network. For more information visit https://hiddenacres.ca/programs/seniors-retreat or email info@hiddenacres.ca to register. 

 

International Witness Sunday on Oct. 24 focuses on Vision, Hope and Healing 


Mennonite Church Canada invites congregations across its nationwide community of faith to celebrate International Witness Sunday on October 24, 2021. The focus of this year’s celebration is on experiencing God’s call, drawing inspiration from the Mennonite Church Canada denominational “Vision: Healing and Hope” statement. For more info, visit, mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday. 

 

Vietnamese fellowship in Canada and abroad 

Praise God for the meetings of the North American Vietnamese Evangelical Fellowship that took place at the Winnipeg Vietnamese Mennonite Church during September long weekend.  Leadership from the Evangelical Mennonite Church Vietnam joined the meetings (online) on Saturday evening. Participants shared stories of God’s work in changing lives in Vietnam and in Canada. 

 

Veiths on their way home 

Thanks for your prayers for Witness workers George and Tobia Veith as they make their way from China to Canada. They will quarantine for two weeks in Winnipeg before they can be reunited with family. Please continue to pray for their transition to life in Canada.   

 

Pray for our siblings at international schools 

As classes resume this fall, please pray for the faculty, staff and students in schools that Mennonite Church Canada Witness connects with internationally: Benin Bible Institute, Meserete Kristos Seminary, Bethlehem Bible College and Seminario Biblico Menonita de Colombia.    

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Prayers for Unist’ot’en 

Pray for Unist'ot'en Camp where Indigenous peoples are working tirelessly to exercise their jurisdiction as construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline escalates.  The pipeline is being built through Wet'suwet'en territory despite the fact that all five Hereditary Chiefs have unanimously opposed its construction.  Allegra Friesen Epp will be returning to Unist'ot'en from Sept. 16-Oct. 6, as part of her internship with MC Canada's Indigenous-Settler Relations Office and Christian Peacemaker Teams' Turtle Island Solidarity Network. 

Read more about Unist'ot'en Camp. 

 

September 30 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation  

In response to Call to Action #80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the courageous advocacy of Indigenous survivors (Orange Shirt Day) and the recent, stark findings of unmarked graves at residential schools, September 30th is now recognized as a federal statutory holiday. This is a day to provide Canadians with an opportunity “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process” (TRC). We encourage all our churches to participate in local commemorative gatherings, to take time to reflect on the TRC reports, to consider Mennonite involvement in the Indian school system and to prayerfully commit to a step of learning and action for right relations.  
 

September 27 – October 1: Truth and Reconciliation Week 

Hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, this five-day national event is geared for Grades 5-12 participants and educators, and will initiate vital conversations on Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims and the residential school system. This online event will provide historical workshops, exclusive video content, and activities for students — all supported by artistic and cultural performances by Indigenous artists. You can join for an hour or two, or for the full week of learning. See NCTR - Truth & Reconciliation Week for more info. 


News from our partners 

35 years of peacemaking 


Christian Peacemaker Teams is celebrating 35 years of action! To mark this anniversary, we’re hosting an online Peacemakers Congress on September 25from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. CST. There will be interactive workshops, team panels, an exciting keynote speaker and an auction! CPT couldn’t do its work without the amazing support of so many communities and friends. Join this celebration! Details and registration: www.cptaction.org. 

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Looking for a group study? Here are a few ideas from CommonWord to buy, borrow or access online: 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Fall 2021 CommonRead title – Tongue-Tied: Learning the Lost Art of Talking About Faith by Sara Wenger Shenk. On next summer’s MC Canada Gathering theme of testimony and evangelism – www.commonword.ca/go/2306  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum introducing Voices Together hymnal – www.commonword.ca/go/2373  

A series of “small books of radical faith” that make theology accessible – www.commonword.ca/go/2529 

Creation care curriculum from Mennonite Creation Care Network – www.commonword.ca/go/2528 

 

Mennonite Church USA’s training on dismantling patriarchy – www.commonword.ca/go/2460  and Mennonite Women USA’s latest annual Bible study - www.commonword.ca/go/2493  

  

Orange-shirt purchases support survivor advocacy groups

Remember the victims and survivors of residential schools on the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 – www.commonword.ca/go/orangeshirt.  A portion of the proceeds from orange-shirt sales will go to the Orange Shirt Society, B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society, the Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund and the Indian Residential Schools Thrivers Group at Swan Lake First Nation urban reserve in Headingley, M.B. 

Past updates

Published on September 1, 2021

 

 

 

Nationwide worship service for Sunday, Sept 5

This week our Mennonite Church Canada worship service is led by Altona Bergthaler Mennonite Church. Using Romans 8:18-28, the service explores the groaning of creation during the pandemic and shares the hope we have in the resurrection of Jesus, the first fruits. Available at www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube Channel. 

 

Gathering 2022 in Edmonton 


We Declare: What We Have Seen and Heard is the theme for Gathering 2022 in Edmonton, July 29 to August 1. The webpage for the event is now live: www.mennonitechurch.ca/gathering2022. Learn about our speakers and what you can expect for our next nationwide gathering in Treaty 6!  Read our press release here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/12098-mennonite-church-canada-announces-theme-for-gathering-2022-in-edmonton 

 



Amplify! giving voice to what we’ve seen and heard – introducing our theme for Mennonite Church Canada nationwide youth (gr. 6-12) gathering, July 31- August 4, 2022, at Camp Valaqua, AB. Isaiah 40:3-5 will guide us as we spend time in the tall trees, meeting God in nature and creation: A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord”. Together, youth from across Canada will find their voices and raise them in raucous joy during worship, games and prayer. 

Follow us online at https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/amplify for the latest updates and news or contact the Amplify! event planner: Joani Neufeldt youth@mennonitechurch.ca 

 


INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

 

Whose Land, Whose Promise?  Palestine, Justice, and the Bible 


Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network and three partner advocacy groups are hosting a two-part online series Saturday, Sept. 19 and Oct. 2, at 12 p.m. EDT /9 a.m. PST. Resource persons include Palesinian  pastor-theologian Alex Awad, political science professor Ron Dart, and professor Dan Epp-Tiessen of Canadian Mennonite University. Register: https://bit.ly/3BbaFOc. 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday    

Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday. 

 

Peace centre in Chuncheon has more reconciliation facilitators 

Celebrate with Bock Ki Kim, Witness worker in South Korea, who recently helped the Chuncheon Peace Center train nine facilitators, from May 26-July 28. This significantly increases the number of facilitators ready to respond to requests for reconciliation work.   

 

MKC postpones assembly due to security reasons 

Meserete Kristos Church president Desalegn Abebe asks for prayer for peace in Ethiopia. Due to security problems in the northern and western parts of the country, the MKC General Assembly planned for late August is now postponed. Pray for church leaders that continue to visit and encourage the church in various regions of the country.   

 

Annual AIMM meetings planned for October 

Please pray for the annual meetings of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission planned for October in Burkina Faso and Congo. Pray that COVID-19 restrictions and visa requirements will allow leaders to gather, to encourage each other and learn together. 

 

News from our partners 


Mennonite World Conference is calling on its members around the world to love their neighbour by donating to UNICEF’s campaign to share coronavirus vaccinations around the world. The Government of Canada will match, dollar for dollar, every donation made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, up to a maximum of $10 million, until September 6, 2021. 

Read more here: https://mwc-cmm.org/love-neighbours-give-vaccines 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Ongoing struggle in Minnesota against Canadian pipeline development  

More than 600 people have been arrested or received citations over protests amid growing opposition to the Line 3, a proposed oil sands pipeline expansion by Enbridge to bring Alberta tar sands oil to Wisconsin, through wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior. Native American tribes and Indigenous-led environmental organizations such as Honor the Earth are leading opposition efforts in court and on the ground. Learn more here. 

  

News from our partners 

35 years of peacemaking 


Christian Peacemaker Teams is celebrating 35 years of action! To mark this anniversary, we’re hosting an online Peacemakers Congress on September 25from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. CST. There will be interactive workshops, team panels, an exciting keynote speaker and an auction! CPT couldn’t do its work without the amazing support of so many communities and friends. Join this celebration! Details and registration: www.cptaction.org. 

 
 
 

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Published on August 18, 2021

 

Witness in Wet’suwet’en: What Mennonite Church Canada members saw and heard at Unist’ot’en Camp in northern B.C. 


In our latest interview, Allegra Friesen Epp and Josiah Neufeld share about their experience in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. this past June, near the planned site of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and what they believe the church’s role is in supporting Indigenous communities on the frontlines. 

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/12053-witness-in-wetsuweten 

 

Nationwide worship service for Sunday August 22, 2021 

Rosthern Mennonite Church shares a service with our nationwide family of faith for this Sunday. Available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices. 

 

Resources on creation care from the Sustainability Leadership Group  

  • Season of Creation - The Green Churches Network has prepared a set of resources to help Canadian churches engage with creation care during the upcoming Season of Creation (Sept 1 to Oct 4) “to help inspire educational, action-centered and spirituality-themed activities in your faith community” (https://greenchurches.ca/season-of-creation/). Additional resources are available from the international Ecumenical Steering Committee of the Seasons of Creation (https://seasonofcreation.org/) and the World Council of Churches (https://www.oikoumene.org/node/6282). 

 


INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday   

Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday.

Turmoil and rising cases in Bethlehem affect Bible college 

Bethlehem Bible College asks us to pray for their new academic year as they prepare for classes and enroll students this summer.  Located near the checkpoint and two refugee camps, they are often subjected to tear gas, shootings and turmoil in the street. They are also dealing with rising COVID-19 cases, a slow vaccine roll out and less than 15 per cent of the population vaccinated.   

Progress made in Siamou translation 

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission asks us to join them in praising God for progress made by the Siamou Bible translation team. Despite several months lost to public health restrictions, work resumed on the books of Mark, Acts, Galatians, 2 Corinthians and Colossians. Pray that progress will be steady so that the Siamou people will soon have the Bible in their own language.  

Bylers to lead EMU program in Thailand this fall 

Pray for Myrrl and Ruthie Byler, jointly appointed by Mennonite Church Canada Witness and Mennonite Mission Network to relate to ministry partners in Southeast and Northeast Asia.  Although experiencing travel restrictions in Thailand, they are connecting with various partners.  Pray for the cross-cultural program they will lead through Eastern Mennonite University in Thailand this fall.   

News from our partners 


Mennonite World Conference is calling on its members around the world to love their neighbour by donating to UNICEF’s campaign to share coronavirus vaccinations around the world. The Government of Canada will match, dollar for dollar, every donation made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, up to a maximum of $10 million, until September 6, 2021. 

Read more here: https://mwc-cmm.org/love-neighbours-give-vaccines 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

WEBINAR - On the Frontline with Indigenous Water Protectors: Stories of Accompaniment from Line 3 and Unist’ot’en 

August 19, 6 p.m. CT (recording available at cptaction.org)

As creation groans from global heating, Indigenous peoples around the world are defending waters and lands from fossil fuel expansion projects. Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams were recently on the frontlines in Minnesota and Wet’suwet’en territory. Join us for a webinar to hear stories from team members’ experiences and to discuss what it means for settlers to support Indigenous-led action. Free registration here. 

  

News from our partners 

35 years of peacemaking 


Christian Peacemaker Teams is celebrating 35 years of action! To mark this anniversary, we’re hosting an online Peacemakers Congress on September 25from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. CST. There will be interactive workshops, team panels, an exciting keynote speaker and an auction! CPT couldn’t do its work without the amazing support of so many communities and friends. Join this celebration! Details and registration: www.cptaction.org. 

 
 
 

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Pastoral resources from MennoMedia to help you navigate the regathering of your church this fall 


In August-October, MennoMedia will release a monthly toolkit addressing pressing topics faced by congregations and pastors. Sign up to receive the monthly email - https://mailchi.mp/mennomedia.org/what-now 

  

New titles from Friends of CommonWord: 

   

  • A book about the church for the church by former Mennonite Church Canada General Secretary Robert (Jack) Suderman.  Pastors receive a free copy! – www.commonword.ca/go/2320.   
  • A book of guided meditations and midrashic monologues by Mennonite Church Manitoba Spiritual Director-in-Residence, Laura Funk – www.commonword.ca/go/2503. 
  • A middle-grades adventure novel, set between Kansas and Saskatchewan in 1907, that follows a young boy (the author, MaryLou Driedger’s grandfather) who gets separated from his family en route to Canada – www.commonword.ca/go/2502 
  • A book of blessings beautifully illustrated by Gwen Stamm, one of the artists featured in Voices Together www.commonword.ca/go/2414 

  


Published on August 4, 2021

 

Nationwide worship service for Sunday, August 8, 2021 

Trinity Mennonite Church in De Winton, Alberta, shares a service this week with our nationwide family of faith. Pastor William Loewen takes us to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains for a sermon on hearing God's voice. Available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF6YmqipHx0 

 

Mennonite Church Canada welcomes new Witness workers in Ethiopia 


Mennonite Church Canada International Witness is pleased to announce Werner and Joanne De Jong, from Edmonton, Alberta, as new Witness workers in Ethiopia, working as relief faculty for Meserete Kristos College. 

Full story here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11996-mennonite-church-canada-welcomes-new-witness-workers-in-ethiopia 

 

Resources on creation care from the Sustainability Leadership Group 

  • Season of Creation - The Green Churches Network has prepared a set of resources to help Canadian churches engage with creation care during the upcoming Season of Creation (Sept 1 to Oct 4) “to help inspire educational, action-centered and spirituality-themed activities in your faith community” (https://greenchurches.ca/season-of-creation/). Additional resources are available from the international Ecumenical Steering Committee of the Seasons of Creation (https://seasonofcreation.org/) and the World Council of Churches (https://www.oikoumene.org/node/6282). 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday   

Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday.

 

 

Veiths prepare to come back to Canada 

Witness workers George and Tobia Veith have made their way around COVID-19 lockdowns in various parts of China and are now in Macau spending time with the Macau Mennonite Church. They are working on getting back to Canada. Pray for safety, good health and travelling mercies as they navigate daily changing regulations and flight availability.   

 

De Jongs prepare for service in Ethiopia 

As Werner and Joanne De Jong prepare for service with Mennonite Church Canada Witness in Ethiopia with Meserete Kristos Seminary, they must juggle moving, ending jobs, visa paperwork and travel plans. Pray that God’s peace and joy will guide them. Pray for the seminary as it prepares for the new school year in September.   

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

WEBINAR - On the Frontline with Indigenous Water Protectors: Stories of Accompaniment from Line 3 and Unist’ot’en 

August 19, 6 p.m. CT  

As creation groans from global heating, Indigenous peoples around the world are defending waters and lands from fossil fuel expansion projects. Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams were recently on the frontlines in Minnesota and Wet’suwet’en territory. Join us for a webinar to hear stories from team members’ experiences and to discuss what it means for settlers to support Indigenous-led action. Free registration here. 

  

News from our partners 

35 years of peacemaking 


Christian Peacemaker Teams is celebrating 35 years of action! To mark this anniversary, we’re hosting an online Peacemakers Congress on September 25from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. CST. There will be interactive workshops, team panels, an exciting keynote speaker and an auction! CPT couldn’t do its work without the amazing support of so many communities and friends. Join this celebration! Details and registration: www.cptaction.org. 

 
 
 

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Shine curriculum teachers 


  

Resources on dismantling the doctrine of discovery 


  • Stories from across the Mennonite church in the U.S. and Canada that offer next steps of reparative justice in response to the Doctrine of Discovery, from returning land to Indigenous communities, to including restitution funds in church budgets, to supporting Indigenous struggles to protect lands and waters – www.commonword.ca/go/2492. 
  • Faith Action Toolkit from Christian Peacemaker Teams – www.commonword.ca/go/2449 
  • Also see the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Podcast – a conversation between two Anabaptists – one Indigenous woman and one settler - www.commonword.ca/go/2494 

 

New Bible Study from Mennonite Women USA 


  • Leslie Hawthorne Klinger interviewed 10 Mennonite women from 10 decades of life about the 10 commandments – www.commonword.ca/go/2493.   

 

The Baby and the Bathwater by Robert J. Suderman 


  • A biblical portrayal of God’s plan for the Church. Buy or borrow – www.commonword.ca/go/2320. Available FREE to current MC Canada pastors, while quantities last! 

Published on July 21, 2021

 

Preston Mennonite Church shares nationwide worship service for July 25, 2021 

Preston Mennonite Church is a small congregation in Cambridge, Ontario. This summer we are preaching through the book of Acts, encouraging our congregation to read along two chapters at a time. This Sunday, we are reading chapters 17 and 18. We will look more closely at the work of the Holy Spirit in the story of Apollos found in Acts 18:24-28. Available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices 

Grassroots podcast launches for Mennonite Church Canada nationwide family of faith and beyond 


The MennoCast creates space for connection for Mennonite Church Canada’s nationwide community of faith. The pilot season features interviews with guests on the relevance of Scripture today, racism in the church, worship and Voices Together, and how each of us theologize in ordinary moments. Read our interview with the co-hosts here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11941-grassroots-podcast-launches-for-mennonite-church-canada-nationwide-family-of-faith-and-beyond 

 

Mission worker/administrator planted seeds of good news on four continents 


Erwin Rempel, who served with Mennonite Mission Network and a predecessor agency, Commission on Overseas Mission (COM), from 1975-2009, died June 25. Read our tribute here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11943-mission-worker-and-administrator-planted-seeds-of-good-news-on-four-continents 


Shine Webinar 


Date: Tuesday, July 27 

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 pm CT / 5:00 pm MT / 4:00 p.m. PT 

Title: Love Jesus, Grow in Faith, Change the World 

Register: https://shinecurriculum.com/resources/webinar-registration/ 

The creators of Shine: Living in God’s Light want children and youth to love Jesus, grow in faith, and change the world. The world and our church are not as they were in 2019—and neither is Shine. Shine staff will share new products and ideas to help you re-envision faith formation for a new day. Join us to learn more about what’s new in Shine for Fall 2021! 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

 

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday   

Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday 

Myanmar church suffering due to COVID and civil unrest 

  

Pray for the country and the people of Myanmar. Amos Chin, leader of the Bible Missionary Church (a Mennonite World Conference denomination) says, "The death toll has risen to the highest level in Burma's Kalemyo, which is suffering from the third wave of COVID-19. There is a shortage of oxygen for our patients. We have to supply our patients with oxygen and treat ourselves because there is no government treatment. Sixty-three Christian pastors, including two of our pastors, have died in Kalemyo. People are suffering and dying because of the civil war and COVID-19." 

China Mennonite Network meets for first time 

The first gathering of the China Mennonite Network takes place July 23-25, 2021. Pray for encouragement in this small group as they learn from each other and listen and discern God’s leading.  

AIMM offers community development training 

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission asks us to join them in thanking God for the recent training in assets-based community development (ABCD) that AIMM offered to the Christ Salvation Mennonite Church in Sierra Leone. Twenty-six church leaders learned strategies for building sustainability and making good use of local resources.

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Supporting #LandBack 

In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples stated that a central path to healing the broken relationship between Settler and Indigenous peoples was the reparation of a good amount of land. Hhow can churches support Indigenous #landback movements? A coalition of Anabaptists has assembled a booklet with stories from Canada and the U.S. that offers courageous imagination and “next steps”: from restitution funds in church budgets, to sharing inheritance monies, to supporting peaceful frontline reoccupations. Check it out here: https://dofdmenno.org/stories-of-repair/ 

Call on Canadian bishops to make papal apology possible 

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on the Pope to make an apology to survivors of Indian residential schools here in Canada (Call to Action #58). But the Pope—an ardent supporter of Indigenous peoples’ rights, dignity and wellbeing— cannot come without an express invitation from the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops. This is not just a Catholic issue, but a matter of concern for all Christians and all Canadians. We need the bishops to heed the call of survivors so that this vital step toward healing can take place. Consider signing the following petition, crafted by Catholic colleagues. 

 
 
 

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Resources 

  • The Baby and the Bathwater by Robert J. Suderman, former general secretary for Mennonite Church Canada. A biblical portrayal of God’s plan for the Church. Free for pastors. Buy or borrow – www.commonword.ca/go/2320 

  • Indigenous-Settler Relations resources: We have gathered over 350 introductory references, biographies, group studies on residential schools, treaties, decolonization, and more – www.commonword.ca/go/2098.

Published on July 7, 2021

 

Nationwide service shared by Eden Mennonite Church for July 11, 2021 

Eden Mennonite Church welcomes our nationwide community this Sunday. Mary Barg, an Eden congregant and gifted theological thinker and teacher, will offer a message focused into Psalm 121. We hope you can join us virtually for this service (and if you happen to be in Chilliwack, B.C., we would love for you to join us in-person). Available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices. 

“We cannot stand by silently in the face of injustice” 

How Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia is responding to ongoing violence 


In a recent Zoom conversation with Mennonite Church Canada International Witness, leaders of Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (IMCOL) described how their church is responding to ongoing protests in Colombia and promoting a message of peace to the government. Read the story here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11899-we-cannot-stand-by-silently-in-the-face-of-injustice 

“What we have seen...what we have heard” 

Six-session study guide for Gathering 2022 coming this fall 


To motivate discussion around our theme of “bearing witness” for Gathering 2022 in Edmonton, Mennonite Church Canada will soon publish a six-session study guide for congregations this fall. The series invites our family of faith to understand how we are living witnesses to the gospel and is perfect for use in adult education, care groups or even as a worship series. Available through CommonWord in August 2021. 

Save the Dates: Youth Gathering 2022 in Alberta 


Plans are underway for youth participation for Gathering 2022 in Edmonton. Stay tuned for more info this summer. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

 

Learning Together: an online conversation 

July 10, 11 a.m. CDT 


Join us for an online conversation with leaders of the Colombian Mennonite Church. We will learn about current events in our countries and share how our churches are responding. To register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/event/11867-2021-07-10-learning-together-an-online-conversation. Here is a list of the speakers:  

  • Martin Nates (director of Justapaz), Patricia Rosero, Andres Suarez 
  • Dorothy Fontaine, Mission ministry, Mennonite Church Manitoba 
  • Lyndsay Mollins Koene, Indigenous Neighbours Program, Mennonite Central Committee 
  • Will Braun, Canadian Mennonite senior writer

 

Military seizes Indigenous land in Philippines 

While Lakan and Lakambini Sumulong (Dann and Joji Pantoja), Witness workers in the Philippines, help to coordinate a Peace Memorial for the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe to celebrate peace made in this formerly violent area, 200 hectares of the tribe's farmland was seized by the military without proper ritual and respect. Please pray for peace and wisdom during this conflict. 

Witness worker continues restorative-justice training 

Witness worker Bock Ki Kim, together with colleagues at the Chuncheon Community Peace Centre, have been asked to instruct trainers in restorative justice practices in Chuncheon schools and police services. The end of June marked the 17th training course for school divisions in the Chuncheon area dealing with school violence and conflict transformation. We thank God for Bock Ki’s presence and work in this community. 

AIMM opens office in Kinshasa 

Thank God that the AIMM (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) Kinshasa office in DRC is now open and allows AIMM to be closer to African partners. Pray for God’s presence and wisdom as AIMM serves God’s people through the church.   

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Responding to Residential School revelations 

Over the last month and a half, more than a thousand unmarked graves have been identified at the sites of church-run residential schools. The discovery, long spoken-of by survivors, has shaken Indigenous communities and settler society. How might we respond? 

As we lament the violence of the residential schools, we need to learn more about the settler-colonial structures that created them. We need to support those who are addressing the past and present harms: 

  • Consider listening to recent podcasts from the Assembly of First Nations 
  • Reflect on the ways that Mennonites have been involved in the Indian School System: see Confessing the Past 
  • Prayerfully read through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, and discern what action you can learn more about and respond to.  
  • Follow Reconciliation Thunder’s #94in94 campaign which is highlighting one Call per day toward September 30, the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.  
  • Donate to one of the many groups that are supporting the ongoing work of survivors in their quest for justice. 

News from our partners 

Christian Peacemaker Teams is on the ground supporting Indigenous land defenders as they resist the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipe line in Minnesota, under the Mississippi River. Join their call to U.S. Secretary Deb Haaland to uphold treaty law by stopping Line 3 construction. Learn more about this call here: https://cptaction.org/urgent-action-ask-deb-haaland-to-stop-line-3/.

 
 
 

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SAVE THE DATE: Shine curriculum webinar hosted by MennoMedia on July 27, 7 p.m.

 

Indigenous-Settler Relations resources 

Over 350 introductory references, biographies, group studies on residential schools, treaties, decolonization, and more – www.commonword.ca/go/2098.   

 

The MennoCast

CommonWord is pleased to partner with the MennoCast team (hosts Moses Falco, Carrie Lehn, Ryan Dueck and their Advisory Group). The pilot season launched last week with a trailer and its first episode with guest, Meghan Larissa Good – www.commonword.ca/go/mennocast.

 

Children’s Illustrated Books 

Over 400 titles to buy, special order, or borrow - www.commonword.ca/go/2371 

 

Summer Reading List 


Our 13th annual list of titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket – to buy, borrow or special order - www.commonword.ca/go/2447. 

  

New digital worship resources available this summer 


Many new worship resources (music, visual, text) are being catalogued again this summer.  Available at both www.togetherinworship.net and CommonWord (www.commonword.ca/go/tiw).

Nationwide service for Sunday, June 27 – St. Jacobs Mennonite Church 

This Sunday join St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, St. Jacobs, ON, worship leader Zac Klassen and pastor Mark Diller Harder as they begin their summer worship theme “Come to the Water.” Mark will preach on the theme “A River Runs Through It,” naming how themes of water run through both the Scriptures and our lives. What do we learn when we pay closer attention to water? Available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on the MC Canada YouTube channel.

Reflections from NAIITS symposium 2021 


This year Mennonite Church Canada sponsored 20 people from across our nationwide community of faith to attend this year’s NAIITS - An Indigenous Learning Community’s virtual symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021, for a rich time of learning and relationship building. José-Luis Moraga and Justin Sun reflect on what they learned: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11861-reflections-from-naiits-symposium-2021. 

“What we have seen, what we have heard” six-week study guide for Gathering 2022 


Across the nationwide church, congregations are being invited to witness to what God has been doing among us. What have you seen? What have you heard God doing in your life and the life of your community? This six-weeks study series invite congregations to understand how they are living witnesses to the gospel. Consider using this study guide this fall for adult education, care groups or even as a worship series. Available through CommonWord August 2021. 



INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday  

Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday 

Support the dehydrator project in Philippines 


Learn how a request for funds for a simple food dehydrator from Witness workers Lakan and Lakambini Sumulong (Dann and Joji Pantoja) motivated generous giving from Mennonite congregations in MCEC and across our nationwide family of faith. https://mcec.ca/article/13354-the-pennies-were-already-there 

COVID restrictions reduce connection for Witness workers 

Travel restrictions within Thailand due to COVID-19 have limited the amount of time that Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong spend with the network of 40 congregations that are part of the Friends of Grace Church Association. Pray that the Poovongs will continue to find creative ways to connect and that the local leaders of these congregations will grow in confidence and wisdom. 

Learning together – online conversation with Colombia Mennonite Church 

July 10, 2021, 11 a.m. CDT 


Pray for the planning and the speakers in the online conversation between the Colombian Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church Canada. We will learn about current events in our countries and how our churches are responding. To register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/event/11867-2021-07-10-learning-together-an-online-conversation 

Calls for unity amid election in Ethiopia 

Pray that the recent elections in Ethiopia will help bring unity not division to ongoing ethnic tensions. Pray that Meserete Kristos Church will be strengthened as a living example of Jesus’s prayer for his disciples.   

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Bill C-15 reaches Royal Assent! 

Bill C-15, An Act regarding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2021, National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a victory to celebrate! Many thanks to everyone who showed their support through written e-mails and letters the Senate. Our work on the path towards reconciliation continues. To learn more about this bill and the Declaration, visit https://www.faithinthedeclaration.ca/ 

Join the Be it Resolved Challenge 


The Be it Resolved Challenge is a nationwide initiative encouraging Mennonite Church Canada members and congregations to create and commit to new resolutions for Indigenous justice. Learn more here:   

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11800-indigenous-settler-relations-launches-be-it-resolved-challenge 

Faith Action Tool Kit: 1492 Land Back Lane 

Joint-intern for Indigenous-Settler Relations and Christian Peacemaker Teams Allegra Friesen Epp has put together a faith action toolkit to help churches engage with 1492 Land Back Lane, a site within the Haldimand Tract in southwestern Ontario where Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Land Defenders are mobilizing to stop a new subdivision from being built on their lands. Free downloads of the kit available here 

https://cptaction.org/faith-action-toolkit-1492-land-back-lane/?blm_aid=62157 

 
 
 

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Summer Reading List 


Our 13th annual list of titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket – to buy, borrow or special order - www.commonword.ca/go/2447. 

  

New digital worship resources available this summer 


Many new worship resources (music, visual, text) are being catalogued again this summer.  Available at both www.togetherinworship.net and CommonWord (www.commonword.ca/go/tiw).   

  

Featured resources: 

  

Nationwide worship services coming this summer 

Mennonite Church Canada is once again coordinating worship services this summer. We will join Sherbrooke Mennonite Church in Vancouver on June 20. The services will be available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube channel.  

Mennonite Church Canada joins MCBC in lament of children's remains discovered at residential school 

As regional and nationwide church communities we grieve together with all the families and all those who have been impacted by the news of these deaths. We pray for all those who have memories and scars from their time in residential schools and for those who have been retraumatized by this discovery. Full response here: 

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11819-mennonite-church-canada-joins-mcbc-in-lament-of-childrens-remains-discovered-at-residential-school 

Mennonite Church Canada AGM – Saturday, June 19, 2021, 1-2:30 p.m. EDT 

Join our nationwide community of faith for Mennonite Church Canada's AGM. Along with our business agenda, we will hear updates from our program directors, enjoy worship and reflect together as joint council members share what God has showed them over the past year. All are welcome. Register here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/event/11737-2021-06-19-mennonite-church-canada-agm-2021. 

“What we have seen, what we have heard” six-week study guide for Gathering 2022 

 Across the nationwide church, congregations are being invited to witness to what God has been doing among us. What have you seen? What have you heard God doing in your life and the life of your community? This six-weeks study series invite congregations to understand how they are living witnesses to the gospel. Consider using this study guide this fall for adult education, care groups or even as a worship series. Available through CommonWord this August 2021. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday 

Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday 

Situation in Colombia still dire 

The Colombian Mennonite Church asks us to continue to stand with them in prayer. Churches supporting protesters have received death threats from paramilitary groups. Yalile Caballero, IMCOL president, says that youth feel hopeless because the protests and strikes do not bring change. Along with violence against protesters and illegal detentions, COVID-19 continues to spread, with more than 500 new cases daily and ICU beds at capacity. 

New faith siblings in Burkina Faso 


Please pray for the 28 newly-baptized believers in the Mennonite churches in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, that their faith and witness continue to grow in life-giving ways. In the words of Siaka Traoré, founding church-planter and pastor of the churches in Bobo, "Thanks be to God who makes the church grow."  

Witness workers move to expand peace education 

Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers, Sook Kyoung Park and Bock Ki Kim have moved to a new community in Chuncheon, South Korea, this month to expand their children’s ministry in peace education.  Pray that their community will benefit from Sook Kyoung’s peace presence as she interacts with children and their families.   

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Mennonite Church Canada and ecumenical groups across Canada mobilize around Bill C-15 


Bill C-15, an Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is in its second reading by the Senate. Time is running out for it to reach royal assent and ensure that Canada takes a hard look at its laws to make sure they are in line with UN Declaration. Read our story on how why faith groups are mobilizing around the Bill:  

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11739-mennonite-church-canada-and-ecumenical-groups-across-canada-mobilize-around-bill-c-15 

For information on action you can take, visit www.faithinthedeclaration.ca. 

 

Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams form accompaniment team in Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en territory 


Mennonite Church Canada, together with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has responded to an invitation to accompany Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territory. A five-person team comprised of CPTers and members of Mennonite Church Canada arrived at the camp in northern B.C. on May 26. Read their statement here:  

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11783-mennonite-church-canada-and-christian-peacemaker-teams-form-accompaniment-team-in-unistoten-camp-in-wetsuweten-territory 

 

ISR launches Be it Resolved Challenge 


The Be it Resolved Challenge is a nationwide initiative encouraging Mennonite Church Canada members and congregations to create and commit to new resolutions for Indigenous justice. Learn more here:  

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11800-indigenous-settler-relations-launches-be-it-resolved-challenge 

 

Faith Action Tool Kit: 1492 Land Back Lane 

Joint-intern for Indigenous-Settler Relations and Christian Peacemaker Teams Allegra Friesen Epp has put together a faith action toolkit to help churches engage with 1492 Land Back Lane, a site within the Haldimand Tract in southwestern Ontario where Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Land Defenders are mobilizing to stop a new subdivision from being built on their lands. Free downloads of the kit available here 

https://cptaction.org/faith-action-toolkit-1492-land-back-lane/?blm_aid=62157 

 
 
 

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Summer Reading List 


Our 13th annual list of titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket – to buy, borrow or special order - www.commonword.ca/go/2447 

 

Worship Resources for Ordinary Time 

  

Spring/Summer CommonRead Title 


  • Our recommended title for Mennonite Church Canada congregations.
  • Read individually or as a group.  Great title for a parenting group!  
  • Buy or Borrow book – commonword.ca/go/2347.  Bulk discount available when buying 5 or more copies.

  

Events 

"The promise is for you!" - Pentecost greetings from Mennonite church Canada

 

Germinating Conversations:  a grassroots model for navigating difficult conversations 

 

Read our latest interview with Marta Bunnett Wiebe, editor of Germinating Conversations, a project that opened up space for listening, discernment and dialogue on faith, food and farming. 

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11682-an-interview-with-marta-bunnett-wiebe-on-germinating-conversations 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

Veiths devote time to relationships before leaving China 

Witness workers George and Tobia Veith are visiting places in China they have ministered, strengthening connections as they finish their time in China in the next few months. Pray that these relationships are strengthened and that Chinese colleagues have a sense of peace and clear vision for the future.   

COVID complicates ministry in Thailand 

COVID-19 restrictions on travel in Thailand are keeping infection rates down but also making ministry more difficult for Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong, and Myrrl and Ruthie Byler, who work jointly for Mennonite Church Canada and MC USA in Asia. Pray that relationships can be formed and maintained in creative ways.   

Witness Support Networks meet this summer 

Witness Support Networks joining congregations across Canada meet virtually in June. Pray that God will give a sense of excitement and commitment to these joint ministries that we share. Pray that more congregations will join in this life-giving connection to international churches.  For more info on the Networks, visit: mennonitechurch.ca/witness-support-networks 

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Support Bill C-15 – time is running out...again! 

Last year, Bill C-262 died in the senate in June on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Now Bill C-15, “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” is in its second reading in the House and pre-study in the Senate. There is now only a month to see it get royal assent and, once enacted, ensure Canadian laws are consistent with the Declaration. This is an important step toward reconciliation. Faith in the Declaration, an ecumenical coalition, has a list of actions individuals and congregations can take to show support. Visit https://www.faithinthedeclaration.ca/take-action-1 

 
 
 

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Special orders 


We gladly special order your retail request when we don’t have the title in stock. Our prices are competitive and you support your own bookstore/resource centre. 

  

Intercultural church 


Resources that foster just diversity, different cultural articulations of faith and an alternative to the politics of assimilation and segregation - www.commonword.ca/go/2214 

  

Partnership with Together in Worship 


Summer is a concentrated time for resource curation!  Watch www.togetherinworship.net and www.commonword.ca for additional free worship resources in the coming months. 

  

Events 

Published on April 28, 2021

 

Witness workers embrace Indigenous names and identities

Dann and Joji Pantoja, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in the Philippines, wish to be acknowledged as Lakan Sumulong and Lakambini Mapayapanames given to them by their Tagalog elders. Read more: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11497-witness-workers-embrace-indigenous-names-and-identities. 

Peace Africa network nurtures peace between Christians and Muslims

“Peace Africa explores how the global Mennonite community can support peace-building initiatives between Christians and Muslims in African countries,” says Tany Warkentin, Mennonite Church Canada’s liaison to ministry in Africa. Read about how a hearse project provided an opportunity to build bridges and show that Christians are people of compassion and peace.  

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

 

Maliwan welcomes new believers 

The Maliwan Church in Khon Kaen, Thailand, welcomed four baptisms on Easter Sunday. Thank God for this growing group of Jesus followers who share life together in worship, income-generation work, discipleship training and community service. Pray for Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong as they provide leadership and mentoring to this group.   

Donors raise funds for dehydrator for Coffee for Peace 

Praise God for the generosity of Canadian donors which enables Coffee for Peace in Mindanao, Philippines, to purchase a dehydrator to dry surplus vegetables grown by their coffee producers, and to make cascara tea out of coffee pulp waste. Witness worker Lakambini Mapayapa (Joji Pantoja) gives leadership to this social enterprise that supports the work of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., in several areas of the Philippines.   

Rising virus cases in Ethiopia 

Rising COVID-19 cases in the midst of complicated ethnic division in Ethiopia are affecting the ministry of Meserete Kristos Church. We pray for God’s peace to reign and unity within the church to be strengthened. 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS



Tuesday, May 4, 2021 

5 – 6:30 p.m. CST 

Register here: https://tinyurl.com/TRCBillC15 

The three former commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will discuss Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Please join us for this critical conversation with Honourable Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild. Together, we'll explore whether C-15 is in keeping with the spirit and intent of the TRC, and how it might serve as a tangible step in the reconciliation journey! 

 
 
 

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Events: 

 

 

Featured resources: 

  • CMU, MCC Manitoba, A Rocha, Canadian Foodgrains Bank have published Germinating Conversations after many years of dialogue on food, faith, farming and the land. Study guide includedBuy or borrow - www.commonword.ca/go/2248. 

  • From MC USA, a guide for congregations who are desiring to begin or continue their reflection on what it means to engage the forces of state, their commitments to non-violence and how to act to end policing and police brutality. More information - www.commonword.ca/go/2397. 

  • Imagine a church where it feels safe to talk about money. You could bring your debts, job losses and joys, like inheritances and new jobs. Peace Blossom Church is such a place. While fictional, it is based on churches and donors the Lori Guenther Reesor has met - and stories that are flat-out miraculous. Buy/borrow – www.commonword.ca/go/2327. 

 

Calendar: 

Published on April 14, 2021

 

 

CommonWord to host virtual book launch with author Lori Guenther Reesor 


April 22, 6:30 p.m., CDT. 

In our latest interview, member of Hamilton Mennonite Church Lori Guenther Reesor introduces us to her new book on generous giving, why churches struggle to talk about money and why stewardship is not about a budget. Read here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11425-lets-talk-about-our-generosity-an-interview-with-lori-guenther-reesor 

 

Susan Reynar joins Mennonite Church Canada staff 


Susan will be our new executive assistant, beginning May 1. To learn more about Susan and why she applied for the job, read our release: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/news/11423-susan-reynar-joins-mennonite-church-canada-staff 


 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

Palestine-Israel Network urges advocacy against destruction of Palestinian homes


Church leaders in the Holy Land urge the global church to advocate against the demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to expand Israeli settlements--moves that contravene international law and human rights. Go to the links at the Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network (PIN) web page for information on a letter-writing campaign asking Ottawa to speak out against this injustice. 

China Witness workers to return to Canada 

After 30 years of service in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China, George and Tobia Veith will return to Canada this summer. Pray for them as they adjust to this shift in their lives and ministry. Pray for their family in Canada and colleagues in China and for the changes this will cause in their lives.   

Prayer for young adults during pandemic 

The fall-out of the pandemic has been particularly difficult for young people just graduating and starting their work lives. Three of our Witness worker families have young adults living in Canada, while their parents serve internationally.  Pray their children find the emotional and financial help that they need.   

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS


We need your help to support Indigenous Rights!  

The Faith in the Declaration Coalition invites everyone to send a letter to Hon. Pablo Rodriguez – the Government Leader in the House of Commons – calling on him to expedite the passage of Bill C-15 (An Act to Respect UNDRIP), so that it reaches Royal Assent. This is a vital response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

 

 

NAIITS virtual symposium, June 3-5 - A Mennonite Church Canada ‘virtual delegation’ 

Mennonite Church Canada is sponsoring 20 friends from across our nationwide community, and the Unsettling the Word (New Leaf Network) Book Club, to attend this year’s virtual NAIITS symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021. It will be a rich time of learning and relationship building. For more information and to register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/naiits-2021. 

 

News from our partners 

Support human rights defenders in Mexico– message from Christian Peacemaker Teams 

Two members of a CPT partner organization in Mexico were kidnapped on April 13, while traveling to go to a workshop on human rights. The link to the call to action is: https://frayba.org.mx/arbitrary-detention-of-human-rights-defenders-of-frayba/Please sign to support them.   

 
 
 

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Voices Together supplementary resources 


 

MCC Sask to host virtual launch for Healing Haunted Histories 


  

Bring a great library to your home 


Did you know borrowed items ship free with a membership to CommonWord?

Set one up today: https://www.commonword.ca/Content/Become-a-Member

 

Calendar 

Published on March 31, 2021

 

 

Raise hard truths and turn towards healing: an interview with Elaine Enns and Ched Myers on new book 

 

In their new book Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization (Cascade Books, 2021), authors and life partners Elaine Enns and Ched Myers confront hard truths about settler complicity in historic and ongoing injustices perpetrated against Indigenous peoples. They also offer a way toward healing. 

 

Mennonite Church Canada issues call to prayer 

In the midst of the worst-yet coronavirus outbreak in Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) invites us to pray with them for students, staff, faculty, families and all Palestinians. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

 

Continued prayer for Myanmar 

With news of increasing violence in Myanmar, we invite you to continue to pray for the people of Myanmar. Pray also for our nationwide siblings in our community of faith, many of whom are still unable to reach their family members in Myanmar. We invite you to reach out with encouragement to:  

Anabaptist resources in Mandarin growing 

The number of Anabaptist resources available online in Mandarin is growing. We are thankful for a small group of Chinese writers that are beginning to add to these.  pray for these writers, their writing will have an impact far beyond their congregations.

 

Witness worker teaches restorative justice to school board committees 

Witness worker Bock Ki Kim, together with others in the Chuncheon Community Peace Center, has been invited to visit all 17 school boards in the area to talk about restorative justice/education with committees involved with student violence and conflict. Pray for Bock Ki as he does this training every Thursday and Friday until the end of May.

 

Income-generation in Thailand 

Income-generation training and discipleship training go hand in hand in the church communities of northeastern Thailand, served by Witness workers, Tom and Christine Poovong. Pray that the trained leaders will find ways to support their families and become strong anchors in their communities. 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Indigenous climate action webinar 


We are in a climate crisis and Indigenous peoples are on the frontlines defending Mother Earth. How can we support and join in their struggle? Join a panel of amazing land and water protectors for a rich and challenging webinar conversation on April 7 at 6 p.m. CDT — register hereThis event is co-sponsored by Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Central Committee MB, KAIROS and the office of MP Leah Gazan.   

 

Lectionary resources on Indigenous solidarity available for April 25, 2021 

Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams Turtle Island Solidarity Network have partnered to create lectionary resources on Indigenous solidarity for Sunday, April 25. We invite congregations to take part in this Sunday of prayer and action as we strive to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Water Defenders in Minnesota. To participate, please email outreach@cpt.org. 

 

NAIITS virtual symposium, June 3-5 - A Mennonite Church Canada ‘virtual delegation’ 

Mennonite Church Canada is sponsoring 20 friends from across our nationwide community to attend this year’s virtual NAIITS symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021. It will be a rich time of learning and relationship building. For more information and to register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/naiits-2021. 

 
 
 

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RECALL NOTICE: Voices Together Accompaniment Edition (effective until May 1, 2021) 

Due to a manufacturing defect, the Voices Together Accompaniment Edition is being recalled. The end sheets used in binding were not reinforced and therefore the book’s interior is pulling through at the punches. MennoMedia has been in close communication with the printer, and the printer with the bindery, on how to correct this problem. 

  • Replace your current copy – please fill out this form by May 1, 2021 
  • If you wish to keep your copy, you do not need to do anything. 
  • Buy a new copy – www.commonword.ca/go/2318 (Expected to be available to ship by mid-April) 
  • If you have questions about the recall, please contact MennoMedia, 1-800-245-7894 

 

Virtual Book Launch with Lori Guenther Reesor

 

Online book club with ISR director Steve Heinrichs

 

  • Our next recommended title for Mennonite Church Canada congregations. 
  • Read individually or as a group.  Great title for a parenting group!   
  • Buy or Borrow book – www.commonword.ca/go/2347.  Bulk discount available when buying 5 or more copies. 
  • Free study guide available. 
  • Join a conversation with the author, Natalie Frisk, on April 9, noon CDT.  Register - https://www.mennomedia.org/register-now/ 

 

Calendar and resources

Published on March 17, 2021

 

Mennonite Church Canada is hiring!

Mennonite Church Canada is accepting applications for the position of executive assistant. The position is full-time and located in Winnipeg, Man., but applicants from across Canada (who are permanent residents or Canadian citizens) are welcome to apply. For the full job posting visit: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/get-involved#exec-assistant.

 

Meet Mennonite Church Canada’s Sustainability Leadership Group 

 

View press release 

The SLG, which began meeting in February 2020, focusses on the environmental and social impacts of Mennonite Church Canada activities. It identifies ways the regional churches and nationwide community can improve in these areas while remaining economically sustainable. Visit our Sustainability webpage: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/sustainability. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

 

Continued prayer for Myanmar 

With news of increasing violence in Myanmar, we invite you to continue to pray for the people of Myanmar. Pray also for our nationwide siblings in our community of faith, many of whom are still unable to reach their family members in Myanmar. We invite you to reach out with encouragement to:  

 

Colombia Mennonite Church asks for prayer amid violence 

Mennonite Church of Colombia (IMCOL) asks us to pray for them as they support congregations in areas of violence. “Violence is widespread and affects us all. There is not a day that goes by that we do not hear of deaths, fighting and coca crops and fear for the welfare of children, young people and the whole church. But as a Church we cannot fall into despair. These events pain us but we must strengthen our hope in God.” Praise God for the witness of peace they bring to the region and the strong message of hope in darkness. 

 

Pray for the future of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. 

PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., in Mindanao, Philippines, invites you to pray with them as they plan with Witness workers, Dann and Joji Pantoja, a sustainable future of training for peace and reconciliation and economic development with marginalized communities.  Pray for wisdom as they seek God’s vision for peace and harmony with the people and the land.  

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

ISR online book club runs this April

Join Steve Heinrichs (director of Indigenous-Settler Relations) for an online book club this April on Beloved Amazonia. Beginning April 8, we’ll gather by Zoom each Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (CST) for five weeks of circle conversation. Together, we will dream new paths for the Church in these lands now called Canada. Together, we will consider what roles we can play to help make this gospel dream a reality. To register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/beloved-amazonia. 

 

NAIITS virtual symposium, June 3-5 - A Mennonite Church Canada ‘virtual delegation’ 

Mennonite Church Canada is sponsoring 20 friends from across our nationwide community to attend this year’s virtual NAIITS symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021. It will be a rich time of learning and relationship building. For more information and to register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/naiits-2021. 

 
 
 

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New Guide - Season & Event Calendars 

A comprehensive set of links to church season resources, lectionary materials, thematic items for holidays and calendar events - www.commonword.ca/go/calendars 


Healing Haunted Histories by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers 

A family memoir, racial analysis and decolonization workbook from members of Nutana Park Mennonite Church. Shipping generously subsidized by Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations office – www.commonword.ca/go/2243. 

 

The Confession by Richard Toews 

The Confession – Richard Toews examines questions of theodicy, culpability and loss of story in this novel of Mennonites in Ukraine during the years encompassing the Russian Revolution and Hitler’s invasion of Stalin’s USSR - www.commonword.ca/go/2325. 

 

Calendar and resources: 

Congregations launch new websites through Mennonite Church Canada congregational website hub 


Fifteen congregations have launched new websites through the Mennonite Church Canada congregational website hub. Read about the benefits of the platform during a pandemic and how congregations make use of other tools like online giving and registrations here.

  


INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

Bylers to begin Anabaptist training in Asia 

Pray for Ruthie and Myrrl Byler sent jointly by International Witness and Mennonite Mission Network to support Anabaptist training in Asia. Pray their visas for Thailand will be available soon so they can start working with various partners in the region.   

Partnership sees new literacy teachers trained in Congo 

Praise God for four recently completed teacher training events for the Congo Literacy Project, held in MutenaKamijiKamayala and Bita in December and January. Pray that 80 newly trained teachers would have the courage and determination to begin literacy classes in their respective congregations. The literacy project is supported by International Witness and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. 

Connection with Colombia churches amid violence 

Pray for groups meeting in both Colombia and Canada to work on ideas for bringing our churches into closer relationship. May we support each other in the issues that face us. Pray that the violence threatening rural Colombian congregations decreases.   

 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Canada, The Churches, & Bill C-15: A Webinar Discussion

The church has been called by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to adopt and comply with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But what should we make of the government’s newly proposed Bill C-15 legislation? We’ve got a fantastic webinar event coming up on February 18th to help us understand these matters. Join a brilliant set of panelists— land defender Ellen Gabriel, professor Sheryl Lightfoot, Chief Wilton Littlechild and Archbishop Mark MacDonald— and invite your friends to take part in the discussion. Everyone is welcome! To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/canada-the-churches-bill-c-15-le-canada-les-eglises-et-le-projet-de-tickets-140299007107 

 

Prayer for new Mennonite Church Canada-CPT Internship 

 

Please pray for Allegra Friesen Epp (Home Street Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Man.) as she begins a joint internship with Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams' Turtle Island Solidarity Network. Allegra will work out of Winnipeg (Treaty 1 & the Homeland of the Metis Nation) for a six-month term, relating to churches, CPT partners and Indigenous solidarity groups. Pray for strength, wisdom and joy as she navigates this work and builds new relationships. 

Read an interview with Allegra and CPT Canada coordinator Rachelle Friesen.

 
 
 

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Season & Event Calendars 


A comprehensive set of links to church season resources, lectionary materials, thematic items for holidays and calendar events - www.commonword.ca/go/calendars 

 

 Lent

      

 

From Friends of CommonWord 

   

  • A family memoir, racial analysis and decolonization workbook by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers. Due to be released in a few weeks. Shipping generously subsidized by Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations office – www.commonword.ca/go/2243.

 

Voices Together licensing guide

Here’s a comprehensive spreadsheet, compiled by the Anabaptist Worship Network, noting whether a Voices Together song is licensed by OneLicense, CCLI, or is Public Domain – www.commonword.ca/go/2266  


A narrative look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, by Lorne Brandt from Mennonite Church British Columbia – www.commonword.ca/go/2254. 

 

Calendar 

Published on January 20, 2021

 

CommonWord, Herald Press and MC USA partner for Common Read winter title 

 

The book chosen for Common Read's winter title is I Am Not Your Enemy: Stories to Transform a Divided World by Michael T. McRay. Read more about the author and book here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/10893-commonword-herald-press-and-mc-usa-partner-for-common-read-winter-title 


INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

Anabaptist Global Fellowship Sunday – January 24, 2021 

Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, is Anabaptist Global Fellowship SundayMWC calls us to prayer on this day. Praise God that Anabaptists around the world are united in faith in God’s kingdom across language and cultural differences. Give thanks for the growing networks in the MWC family: mission, service, health, peace and education.  

Myanmar congregation builds church 

Pray for the Mission Anabaptist Church in Chin State, Myanmar, as they build a place where they can worship with and train members of their community. Pray that God will bless this place and use it to be a blessing to their region and country.   

Daycare program offered by Bolivia Mennonite Church forced to close 

Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de Bolivia (IEMB) community daycare program for vulnerable and marginalized children in Santa Cruz has been forced to close due to COVID-19 numbers in the area. Pray for the families affected by this closure. Pray they can find ways to work while taking care of their children. Pray for the staff of the daycare program who have been without work for many months due to the closure. 

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

 

Join a February bookclub on Unsettling the Word

In partnership with the New Leaf Network, Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations is co-hosting a four-week book club on Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization. Join editor Steve Heinrichs, along with Indigenous authors and activists Cheryl Bear and Sylvia McAdam, for life-giving conversations on justice, faith, reparations, and healing. Borrow or order the book through CommonWordFor more info, and to register, click here. 

News from our partners

35 years and going strong: A webinar with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) 

 For more than three decades, Mennonite Church Canada partner CPT has been transforming violence and undoing oppressions around the world. Join us for a webinar this Jan. 28, noon CT, to learn about the current work in Colombia, Greece, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine and here on Turtle Island. Be inspired and discover ways that you can support. To register, visit https://cptaction.org/looking-back-acting-now-planning-ahead/. 

 
 
 

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  • Including resources for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/2213 
  • [image] Lenten Guided Prayer from Mennonite Spiritual Directors of Eastern Canada – www.commonword.ca/go/2221 

 

CommonRead 


Our winter 2021 CommonRead title – www.commonword.ca/go/2215.  Additional savings for group studies:  20% off when purchasing 5 or more copies! 

  

 Featured resources: 

What happens to Mennonite Church Canada plastic communion cups once they are blessed and then used?  In 2016 Lois Siemens was asked to "take care of them." So she did! She began to photograph them in Mennonite worship spaces across Canada to remind us that we are all beloved children of God - www.commonword.ca/go/2236.

 

A personal memoir by Jack Suderman, former General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada - www.commonword.ca/go/2238.

 

A novel set in Lusaka Zambia in 1974 by First Mennonite Church, Edmonton writer – www.commonword.ca/go/2239  

 

A new companion study guide by Dan Epp-Tiessen for Peaceful at Heart, Anabaptist Reflections on Healthy Masculinity – free to download at www.commonword.ca/go/2224.   

 

MC USA devotional guides for family  


An At-Home devotional guide for families from Mennonite Church USA – www.commonword.ca/go/2240. 

 

Calendar 

Published on January 6, 2021

 

Mennonite Church Canada annual report available online 

Mennonite Church Canada’s annual report, “Looking Back on 2020,” is available through CommonWord. A one-page summary and full report are both available for congregational AGMs. 

Voices Together hymnal launch on Jan. 9, 2021 

Voices Together is holding a second hymnal launch this Saturday afternoon, Jan. 9, at 2 p.m. EDT, as a free three-hour webinar. Visit http://voicestogetherhymnal.org/2020/12/30/launch-event-ii/ to register for the Zoom link. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 

International Witness invites congregations to join Witness Support Networks 

Thirty-five churches already part of five networks 


Is your congregation interested in mutual faith learning with brothers and sisters around the globe? Join a Witness Support Network and connect with other congregations who support International Witness ministries. Five networks currently support ministry in China, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Burkina FasoLearn more awww.mennonitechurch.ca/witness-support-networks. 

Vietnam believers celebrate 

Praise God for the Christmas celebrations and services held by the Evangelical Mennonite Church in Vietnam. Over 2,000 people attended multiple gatherings during Christmas week in six different counties. Pray for the leadership of these congregations and for the new believers that are worshipping with them.   

Peace in South Korea 

This month pray for Song Kang-ho, founder of Frontiers (a Christian-based peace organization), who is appealing a two-year sentence for trespassing onto a military base during a peaceful protest. Pray for Witness workers Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park as they support and provide study resources for the Christian peace community in South Korea. 

Outbreaks in China put student holidays at risk 

Pray that the students of Tobia Veith, in Harbin, China, are able to end the semester well before returning to their homes for the Chinese New Year holiday. Students under end-of-term exam pressure are worried about being caught in Harbin for the holiday due to COVID-19 outbreaks and a potential lockdown. Pray for Tobia as she provides support and a calm presence in their lives.   

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Join a February bookclub on Unsettling the Word

How might we read the Bible so that it can be an instrument of reconciliation and decolonization? In partnership with the New Leaf Network, Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations is co-hosting a four-week book club on Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization. Join editor Steve Heinrichs, along with Indigenous authors and activists Cheryl Bear and Sylvia McAdam, for life-giving conversations on justice, faith, reparations, and healing. Borrow or order the book through CommonWordFor more info, and to register, click here. 

 

 
 
 

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Epiphany 


Resources for the season between Christmas and Lent – www.commonword.ca/go/2212 

CommonRead conversation with author Michael McRay 


Join us for a conversation with CommonRead author Michael McRay, Thursday, January 14 at noon, Eastern.  Register here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPZBTRx9nS6-7lWcndIlpLtD__hKmWFuWh1gVOGZ_SimmaEg/viewform. Our winter 2021 CommonRead title – www.commonword.ca/go/2215. 20% off when purchasing five or more copies! 

 New Peaceful at Heart study guide 


A new companion study guide for Peaceful at Heart, Anabaptist Reflections on Healthy Masculinity – free to download at www.commonword.ca/go/2224Watch for additional resources, including free audio book and video interviews, in the coming months. 

Calendar 

Published on December 12, 2020

 

Together in Worship launches in collaboration with CommonWord 


Together in Worship, at www.togetherinworship.net, is an online, curated collection of free and downloadable Anabaptist worship resources. It’s also a place where contributors can submit their own resources to be shared by the wider Anabaptist and ecumenical community. Read full story here. 

 

‘For God all things are possible’: Mennonite Church Colombia continues its witness despite great risk 


In late October, Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia issued a public statement declaring that there have been 60 massacres (killings of five people or more) so far in Colombia in 2020. Victims include young people and small farmers, as well as 200 civic leaders. The violence stems from a decades-long, multi-layered conflict between guerilla, paramilitary and drug cartel groups who fight for control of the country’s land for their own interests. Read full story here. 

 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

Advent meet-and-greet with Bethlehem Bible College 

Join a live online gathering to hear from representatives of the West Bank’s Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). Tuesday morning, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. EDT. The one-hour gathering  is with BBC president Jack Sara and community outreach director Shireen Awaad HilalA Q&R will follow with hosts Jeanette Hansondirector of International Witness, and Doug Klassen, executive minister of Mennonite Church CanadaThe event is sponsored by the Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network in collaboration with International Witness. Registration is free: write to mcmfriendsofpalestine@gmail.com for the Zoom link. 

 

AIMM appoints new executive coordinators: John Fumana and Bruce Yoder 

John Fumana of Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bruce Yoder of Listowel Mennonite Church in Ont. will work as a team to give leadership to this Africa Inter-Mennonite MissionFormer executive coorindator Rod Hollinger-Janzen says, "The complementary skill sets of Bruce Yoder and John Fumana, together with their shared passion for Christian mission... position AIMM well for an exciting future." Read the press release here 

 

Restorative circles in Chuncheon well received by schools and teachers 

Praise God for response to recent restorative circle processes led by Witness worker Bock Ki Kim in South Korea. Schools have been asking trainers from the Chuncheon Community Peace Center for training in communication and conflict transformation. One teacher responded, “I realize that I haven’t been really listening to my students. Today they expressed themselves so well.” Pray that God will use this training to bring peace to schools and homes in Chuncheon.

 
 
 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS

Federal government tables Declaration legislation 

On Dec. 3, the Government of Canada tabled Bill C-15, An Act Respecting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples“It is a good day!” said Chief Wilton Littlechild, former commissioner of the TRC. If Bill C-15 reaches Royal Assent, it will affirm the Declaration’s application in Canadian law and provide a framework to align law and policy with the standards and rights affirmed in the declaration. To read the full text of the legislation, see Bill C-15To read the Declaration Coalition’s statement of support, and resources for further learning, see www.declarationcoalition.com.

 

 
 
 

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 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 

 

Christmas resources 

Resources for Christmas Eve, Day and Season - www.commonword.ca/go/2191 

 

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. 

  

Worship calendar 

Christmas Season – www.commonword.ca/go/2191 

Christmas Eve – www.commonword.ca/go/2192 

Christmas Day – www.commonword.ca/go/2193 

Epiphany Season – www.commonword.ca/go/2212 

Lent Season – www.commonword.ca/go/2213 

 

Free book

The Government of Canada has introduced legislation (Bill C-15) to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  To educate and raise support Mennonite Church Canada is offering this study for free - https://www.commonword.ca/ResourceView/82/18343 

 

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!