Annual Church Gathering 2022

“What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
- Luke 13:18-21, NRSV

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    Download the Discernment Documents,
Identity Statements/Priorities & Financials

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Courageous Imagination: Living into the Journey
April 29, 2022, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
April 30, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Redeemer University, Ancaster, ON

Join us online on Zoom or in-person in Ancaster.

black and white people around a table working on a problem with blue stringFriday evening

  • Celebrate together as a diverse and intercultural community of faith and welcome seven provisional congregations and one congregation into full membership in MCEC. Read their stories below!

  • We will also celebrate as 30 pastors from provisional congregations are installed as ministering persons within MCEC.

  • We will share communion. This will be a beautiful and sacred celebration in our family of faith.

four people praying for each otherSaturday

  • For the past year we have been on a journey of Courageous Imagination as we build a shared story about who we are and who God is calling us to become. Through interviews, social media, podcast episodes, conversation forums and regional gatherings, we received input and feedback on new identity and priority statements.

  • On Saturday we prayerfully receive and consider the updated MCEC identity and priority statements building on the feedback from the Courageous Imagination listening journey. Read the identity and priority statements in the discernment documents or at the links below. Translated into 20 languages!! This will be an exciting day as we live into the journey!

hands holding a medical crossPandemic Protocols:
We know that these are uncertain times. We are monitoring the Public Health guidelines closely. Based upon the April 12th recommendations from Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, we ask that all in-person participants wear a mask to our in-person meeting.

We will continue to monitor Public Health and Redeemer University guidelines. These guidelines are subject to change. All registrants will receive communication the week of the Gathering to confirm pandemic protocols.

We ask in-person guests to self-monitor for symptoms and switch to an online experience if you test positive for or show symptoms of Covid. At any time, for any reason, you can switch your in-person registration to an online experience by contacting Joan Schooley at jschooley@mcec.ca.

A Year of Courageous Imagination
Arli Klassen, Moderator

We look back at the last year with relief and gratitude, and look ahead to this next year with hope and faith. The Holy Spirit is at work among us as an MCEC community.

2021 was a challenging year, another pandemic year. Everyone is tired of COVID restrictions and relieved that we found our way through another year. We are deeply grateful for MCEC pastors, congregational leaders and staff who brought creativity and commitment in figuring out how we can continue to grow as a community of Jesus-followers together. These reports are the briefest of statements about the amazing things we were able to do in 2021 in and among our congregations as a community of faith. Let us give thanks together for all those who gave and served God and each other in some capacity in this last year.

It has been a year of Courageous Imagination – on a daily and weekly basis, and as a visioning and prioritizing process for us as a whole faith community in MCEC. I hope you too are encouraged by the broad participation and the seeds we are creating together. As your Executive Council, we look forward to the Annual Church Gathering when we will bring to you fresh ideas regarding our shared identity, vision, purpose, values and priorities. These ideas emerge from the 2021 consultations and will shape our work together and each of our congregations in the coming 5-10 years. The Holy Spirit is at work among us as an MCEC community.

Discernment Documents

Download the Discernment Documents

  • Discernment Documents
    pg 12 - 32
    Congregational Membership
    Motions
    Minutes
    Executive Council Actions
    Slate
    New Volunteers on Slate
    MCEC Identity Statement and Priorities

    Financials
    pg 34 - 43
    Balance Sheet and Operations
    Restricted Funds
    Spending Plan/Budget
    Legacy Initiatives Fund

    Year in Review
    pg 44 - 70

  • Download Audited Financial Statements

MCEC Identity Statement and Priorities

For the past year we have been on a journey of Courageous Imagination as we build a shared story about who we are and who God is calling us to become. Through interviews, social media, podcast episodes, conversation forums and regional gatherings, we received input and feedback on new identity and priority statements. On Saturday we prayerfully receive and consider the updated MCEC identity and priority statements building on the feedback from the Courageous Imagination listening journey.

Translated here in 20 languages! Praise be to God. 

A Generous and Hopeful People
Leah Reesor-Keller, Executive Minister

“We are a generous and hopeful people, willing to take a risk.”

I keep these words penciled on a sticky note tacked to the bulletin board by my desk. This simple sentence came from a feedback survey on who God is calling us to be as the people of MCEC, part of gathering input for our Courageous Imagination journey over the past year. To me, this sentence embodies the Courageous Imagination themes of openness to transformation, outward-focused hospitality and our identity as a people transformed by love, inspired by our hope in Jesus and our calling to action by the power of the Spirit. As we move forward in our discernment journey toward new language to define our identity, purpose and values, I am filled with hope at seeing how God is at work in our community of faith and beyond.

This has been a challenging year after a challenging year, with fatigue and burnout at play across our society. Yet I am awestruck to see the generosity of time and financial resources shared in our community of faith as congregations continue to innovate, worship and witness to God’s transforming love in the midst of hardship. We are learning new things together about how to be an intercultural church, how to respond faithfully in the face of the growing climate crisis and what creative ways of worship and outreach are possible. We are indeed a generous and hopeful people, willing to take a risk.

Looking to the future together, what seeds are we planting, and how are we preparing the soil for them to grow? Where are God’s seeds of healing and hope growing up, that we are noticing and nourishing? My prayer is that God will grant us the courage to plant with hope and generosity, willing to take a risk and create space for the Spirit to work in surprising, transformative ways among us and in the world.

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
Communion

  • 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.

 

 Our Sponsors

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