Annual Church Gathering 2022

Joyfully Transformed, Inspired and Called
Arli Klassen, Moderator

Last April our Annual Church Gathering was a joyful re-gathering of our whole MCEC community, worshipping together with energy, hybrid after two years on Zoom only. We celebrated our new member congregations. We approved new statements on our identity, vision, purpose, values and priorities, leading us forward. We came together then, as now, for fellowship and worship, encouraging and inspiring one another.

Our values of Beloved-ness, Spirituality, Transformation, Community, Hospitality and Peace and Justice keep us grounded in our Anabaptist faith.

It has not been an easy year. The pandemic hastened many trends in our churches and society. Congregations gathered in person, but many in smaller numbers than before, and some much older. Some pastors are very tired. There were changes in MCEC staff with the resignations of our executive minister, Leah Reesor-Keller, as well as Sean East, finance manager, and Yeabsra Agonfer, events and communications coordinator. Congregational contributions for our shared MCEC ministries are declining. Just like Canadian society, MCEC is increasingly diverse in culture, and in separation between rural and urban ways of being.

It has also been a joyful year, seeing God at work among us, even in the midst of navigating change. These pages help us celebrate the joys in our MCEC community:

  • new members in our MCEC community,
  • resourcing of pastors and congregations,
  • congregational anniversaries,
  • pastoral transitions,
  • stronger connections in neighbourhoods,
  • and stronger voices on social justice issues such as the climate crisis and indigenous/settler relations.

We are delighted to have a willing and eager Intentional Interim Executive Team Leader in Ann L. Schultz for this year. We are grateful to have financial resources through the Legacy Initiatives Fund/Schmidt Bequest to assist with sustainability in these changing times.

This is exciting and profound!

Our values of Beloved-ness, Spirituality, Transformation, Community, Hospitality and Peace and Justice keep us grounded in our Anabaptist faith. MCEC staff are using our five new priorities to shape all of their activities: navigating change, developing leaders, intergenerational discipleship, embracing diversity, and seeking peace and justice.

As the MCEC beloved community, we together are transformed by the love of God, inspired by the hope we find in Jesus, and called to action by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is exciting and profound stuff to celebrate together!

- Arli Klassen, Moderator

Discernment Documents

Skip the print and download the documents to your device. Please download documents prior to meeting.

Download Discernment Documents

  • Discernment Documents *documents required for meeting
    Greetings from Arli Klassen, moderator
    Greetings from Ann L. Shultz, Executive Team Leader
    Vision, Identity and Priority Statement
    Congregational Milestones
    - The Church at Nairn, Toronto United Mennonite Church, Tree of Life/Arbre de View
    Congregational Transitions
    - Eglise Bethesda Mennonite de Saint-Hyacinthe, Eglise Jesus-Christ Appelle Tous, Hochma, Shalom Worship & Healing Centre, Bethel Ethiopian Evangelical Church
    Executive Council Actions
    New Volunteers on Slate

    Financials *documents required for meeting
    Balance Sheet and Operations
    Restricted Funds
    Legacy Initiatives Fund
    MCEC Bequest Funds - Update and New Directions
    Spending Plan/Budget

    Year in Review
    Mission Office
    Leadership Office
    Pastoral Ministry Transitions
    Pastoral Introductions
    MCEC Staff
    Mennonite Church Canada
    Mennonite Church Manitoba
    Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
    Mennonite Church Alberta
    Mennonite Church British Columbia

  • Audited Financial Statements
    The internal statements have been revised based upon the audited financial statements. The revised internal statements are not materially different from the ones that have already been circulated. Copies of the audited financial statements and the revised internal statements will be available hard copy at the registration desk at Annual Church Gathering.

"Why" Annual Church Gathering?
Ann L. Schultz, Executive Team Leader

Greetings and Welcome to ACG 2023!

It is a pleasure and an honor to serve as MCEC’s Intentional Interim Executive Team Leader for 2023. I thank you all for your words of support and words of challenge during this time of transition at MCEC.

In my early months at MCEC I have been asking the question “why” a lot, as we advance our work together. Using Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, I have impressed on the MCEC team that when we are clear on why we are doing something, it will inform how we will accomplish our goals and what we need to do to accomplish them.

We gather together to celebrate how God is alive and at work in our churches and our communities both near and far.

As we gather this week-end, I believe it is important for us to reflect on why we have an Annual Church Gathering. As a non-profit entity, we must have an annual meeting to read and correct the minutes of our meeting from last year, approve the audited financial statements, approve amendments and additions to bylaws, and call for nominations for the board and/or receive the reports from the Gift Discernment Committee. It is a tangible way for you, our membership, to hold the MCEC Staff and Board accountable to advancing MCEC’s purpose, vision and values.

While the business is an important and essential element of our time together, MCEC’s Annual Meeting has several other very important “whys?” I offer you some additional reasons of why I believe it is important and valuable to come together for MCEC’s Church Gathering each year.

We gather together to:

  • be reminded of MCEC’s purpose: to energize congregations in worship, discipleship and mission, encourage leaders of hope, vision and transformation and embody God’s reconciling ministry for all creation;
  • reinforce our Mennonite identity;
  • learn about the progress of the Strategic Priorities 2022-2027;
  • celebrate how God is alive and at work in our churches and our communities both near and far;
  • commemorate and welcome new members into our church;
  • honor our diversity and our ever changing landscape;
  • embrace new ways of doing and being;
  • worship, sing and pray together, because “worship and work must be one;”
  • listen to how God may guide us now, and into the future

May you be transformed, inspired and called as we worship and work together. May our time together provide the opportunity for us to see and experience how God is working among us and through us today and into the future, and may it inspire us to “to run the with endurance the race God has set before us….keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

- Ann L. Schultz, Executive Team Leader

Friday, April 29, 2022  

  • 6:00 p.m. - Registration
  • 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Worship

Worship with Lao Mennonite Fellowship Canada
Becoming A Global Church with Jeanette Hanson, Mennonite Church Canada
Celebration of Congregations - Welcome of seven provisional congregations and one full member congregation
Offering - Support the resourcing and training of church planters and new congregations and enable them to participate and attend the Church Planters Retreat and ACG through travel subsidy.
Celebration of Pastors - 30 pastors received and recognized in MCEC

  • 9:00 p.m. - Celebration Reception and Fellowship

Saturday, April 30, 2022

  • 9:00 a.m. - Worship Session

Worship with Lao Mennonite Fellowship Canada
The Thanksgiving Address - Janis Monture, Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre
Celebration of MCEC Ministry - page 17-32 Discernment Documents
- Minutes & Actions
- Introduce Slate - Gladys Bender, Gift Discernment Committee Chair
- Financial Statements

  • 10:30 a.m. - Break
  • 10:45 a.m. - Worship Session

Worship with Lao Mennonite Fellowship Canada
Courageous Imagination: Leah Reesor-Keller, Executive Minister
Table/Zoom Discussion: Listening for God - page 33-34 Discernment Docs

Worship with Lao Mennonite Fellowship Canada
Courageous Imagination Reporting / Open Mic
Celebration of Nationwide Community of Faith
- Mennonite Church Canada - Doug Klassen, Executive Minister
- Mennonite Church British Columbia - Garry Janzen, Executive Minister
Celebration of MCEC Ministry
- Spending Plan - page 40-42 Discernment Documents
- Slate of Volunteers
Offering - Support the Leadership Formation Fund to enable pastors pursuing workshops or degree programs and sabbaticals
Celebration of MCEC Ministry
- Identity Statements and Priorities - page 33-34 Discernment Documents

  • 4:30 p.m. - Closing Worship

Break Out Rooms

Register for an informal break out room which will take place after lunch on Saturday. These are informal discussion groups. Learn more about MCEC ministry. Courageous Imagination 2023 with Leah Reesor-Keller is the hybrid option. Please see descriptions below. You will be asked to choose a break out room upon registration.

Marilyn Rudy-Froese wearing a red shirt with a tree backgroundFinding a pastor in 2022 (and what does it mean to be a pastor in 2022?)

Marilyn Rudy-Froese
Church Leadership Minister
Pastoral leadership isn’t the same as it was. Congregational search processes are taking longer to complete. Ministry roles and positions have changed. And yet, God is still at work, calling people to ministry. Join the Church Leadership staff for a conversation about the evolving nature of pastoral leadership and ministry transitions, and partnering with God on this journey.

John Reimer wearing a blue shirt with a tree background

Sara and ShannonClimate Action within the Mennonite Church

John Reimer, Operations Director
Sara DeWeerd, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church
Shannon Neufeldt, Toronto United Mennonite Church
Is your congregation taking action? How are we responding nationwide, regionally, and as congregations?

Wendy Janzen outside with trees in background

Eco Ministry: Deepening Our Faith

Wendy Janzen, Eco-Minister
From Forest Church to Church of the Wild, how can engaging with God’s Creation deepen our faith and lead to new expressions of church? How does our worship, ministry and witness connect with how we care for God’s creation?


Leah Reesor-Keller with trees in background

Courageous Imagination 2032 (Hybrid Option)

Leah Reesor-Keller, Executive Minister
Join Leah Reesor-Keller for a conversation about how the proposed MCEC identity statement and priorities may shape and change us as a church body together following Jesus. Who are we together? What is the church God is calling us to become 10 years from now? What do we hope will grow from the seeds that we are planting and entrusting to God today? What do you think your congregation might look like in 10 years? As a regional church, what might we be like? 

Fanosie Legesse wearing white shirt with trees in background

Intercultural Ministry

Fanosie Legesse, Intercultural Mission Minister
We believe God is calling MCEC to be a diverse, inclusive and intercultural church body. What does this mean for us as congregations and as a regional church? A church that fosters intercultural identity learns how to embrace and celebrate difference, which in turn enriches its worship and ministry. Join Fanosie for an engaging conversation about challenges, encouragement and vision of growing into an intercultural church. 

Jeanette HansonWhat in the world is God up to? International Witness

Jeanette Hanson
Director, International Witness
How can you Witness God at work in your global family of faith? How can the experience of your siblings in faith inform, inspire and ignite us in following Jesus here in Canada?  Hear voices from Philippines, Ethiopia, China, Colombia and more.  Learn how you are part of what God is up to in the world.

Kathy BergenPalestine-Israel Network

Kathy Bergen
MCEC Palestine-Israel Network Working Group
Discover how together we can educate ourselves, engage our neighbours and encourage sustainable justice and peace for Palestinians and Israelis. The MCEC Palestine-Israel Network (PIN) builds relationships and advocates for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. 

Rebecca Seiling wearing a colourful jacketPeter Haresnape wearing a suit jacket and shirt

 Developing and Using Land and Territory Acknowledgements

Rebecca Seiling, MCC Ontario
Peter Haresnape, MCEC Truth & Reconciliation Working Group

Over the past decade many churches and other communities have created written or spoken Land (or Territorial) Acknowledgements to begin worship services and include on websites, bulletins, etc. We will explore why this practice is a meaningful way to explore and express solidarity with Indigenous Nations, and how it can be a part of worship. We will identify potential problems and things to consider when creating a statement for use by your congregation. Come with listening ears and a copy of your own community's land acknowledgement if one exists already. 

Doug AmstutzAnabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary Alumni and More

AMBS logoDoug Amstutz
AMBS Development Associate for Canada
Calling all AMBS alumni - a great opportunity to spend time together, reconnect and recall AMBS moments. Future students or those who know students who are currently attending AMBS can hear first-hand stories from those who have attended AMBS. We value our alumni community. We hope to continue to encourage you in the ministries to which you have been called.

Sean EastJanel Hiemstra smiling to camera

Planting Mustard Seeds at Home
"Family on Mission is the music to the lyrics of discipleship."

INNOVATE colour logoSean East and Janel Hiemstra, INNOVATE
Family on Mission is the environment where discipleship thrives. Whatever your family looks like; be it a biological, blended, friends, extended community or whatever else, that is the place that God
wants to transform into a seedbed for discipleship. Come to hear leaders in the INNOVATE Network share principles and simple practices to encourage mustard seeds of discipleship to sprout and grow in your home and neighbourhood.

Provisional and Full Membership Transitions

Mennonite Church Canada Videos

Mennonite Church Canada ministry is an important part of MCEC ministry. Discover more about our ministry across the nationwide family of faith and around the world.

  • Executive Minister
    Executive Minister Doug Klassen shares an update on the work of Mennonite Church Canada in 2021.

  • International Witness
    Director Jeanette Hanson provides an update for MCBC from Mennonite Church Canada International Witness.

  • Indigenous - Settler Relations
    An update from Indigenous-Settler Relations director Steve Heinrichs, looking back on 2021 and forward to 2022.

  • CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre
    Director Arlyn Friesen Epp looks back on 2021 and gives an update about the ongoing work of the resourcing arm of the nationwide church, CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre.


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