"See, I am doing a new thing!
Do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way..."

- Isaiah 43:19

Annual Church Gathering 2021
April 23 - 24, 2021
Courageous Imagination

“Who are we together? What is the church that we are becoming?”
Register today for the virtual gathering and join in from the comfort of your home.

You are invited to register for the complete weekend but you can also register for one or two of the times if you are unable to attend all three.
Delegates should attend all three sessions as voting decisions will be in each.
See the descriptions below.

Register Today!

 

 

1. Courageous Journey Following God Together

Friday, April 23, 2021
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Who Are We Together?

Who are we together? What is the church that we are becoming? Let's vision, dream and imagine together the church that God is calling into being! This time will include panel discussions, breakout rooms and time to hear stories, reflections and hopes from each other.

We celebrate God's work throughout MCEC and Mennonite Church Canada as together we continue to grow as communities of grace, joy and peace. Hear about International Witness Support Networks, intercultural church, leadership transitions and more.

This is an interactive time. How might we courageously follow God together? We want to hear from you.

Overview

  • Welcome - Leah Reesor-Keller, MCEC Executive Minister
  • Worship & Dreaming Together - Courageous Imagination Break Out Discussions
  • Celebrating God's Faithfulness
    - Congregations and Staff
    - Financial Statements
    - Legacy Initiatives Fund
    - Offering
  • MCEC in Ministry Breakout Groups
    - Discover more about finances, leadership and mission

2. Kimchi with Pablo Kim

Saturday, April 24, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Following Jesus Together While Having Different Beliefs

Pablo KimSet up your laptop in the kitchen so that we can make kimchi together. Pablo Kim, pastor at Toronto Mennonite New Life Church, will guide us.

How can we follow Jesus when we follow His teachings with such variety? How can Christians live in unity even while they worship and believe in many different ways? Join us for an Anabaptist-Mennonite experience of bringing together kimchi-making and community-making. Imagine the church as a jar of kimchi (some Canadians think of kimchi as a Korean sauerkraut). Let's explore what it means to live as Christians who are as different from one another as cabbage is to garlic?

This workshop involves making kimchi (no experience required) interspersed with prayer, learning activities, and discussions about how to understand and embrace diversity. An ingredient list will be provided.

Ingredient List: Some ingredients may be hard to find in your area. Please contact Joan Schooley for assistance.

Cabbage Kimchi (simple version):

  • 1 kg (2lbs) of Napa cabbage (outer leaves and stem removed)
  • 1/3 C of coarse sea salt
  • 1/3 C of gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)
  • 2 Tbsp. of saeujeot (salted fermented shrimp)
  • 2 Tbsp. of myeulchi ekjeot (anchovy sauce)
  • ½ of Onion
  • ¼ of fuji or gala apple
  • ¼ of Asian pear
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp of fresh ginger, peeled and washed
  • 2 Tbsp. of cooked sticky rice
  • 1 Tbsp. of sugar
  • 5 green onions
  • 50g of chives

Overview

  • Courageous Imagination Session with Pablo Kim
  • Celebrating God's Faithfulness
    - Minutes and Actions from past year
    - Slate of elected volunteers
    - MCEC in Ministry updates
    - Mennonite Church Manitoba
    - Mennonite Church Canada

3. The Journey Forward

Saturday, April 24, 2021
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

What Is The Church That We Are Becoming?

We will continue to dream dreams, imagine and listen to each other as we discern God's direction together as siblings across our faith community in Eastern Canada. Reconnect on Saturday afternoon to celebrate how God's healing and hope flows through us to our neighbourhoods and around the world.

What is the church that we are becoming? How is God calling us as the church together? Meet the new congregations joining MCEC this year. Spend time with Sean East, financial manager, as he shares dreams for next year.

This will be an interactive time and will include panel discussions and breakout rooms. Let's continue together on the journey!

Overview

  • Celebrating God's Faithfulness
    - Spending Plan/Budget
    - Final Slate of Elected Volunteers
  • Courageous Imagination Breakout Session
  • New Congregations

Documents and Links

Discernment Documents

We will be discussing these documents - click on these links.

Ministry Highlights

We will be discussing these videos - click on these links.

  • Intercultural Ministry in MCEC
  • International Ministry in MCEC
  • Leadership in MCEC
  • Mission in MCEC
  • Youth Ministry in MCEC
  • Mennonite Church Canada
  • Mennonite Church Manitoba

Year in Review

It has been an exciting year of ministry. We may refer to some of these documents but may not be actively interacting with them during our meeting.

Question Or Comment?

Please submit your question or feedback prior to our Annual Church Gathering (April 23&24, 2021). Your inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate staff person who will contact you shortly.

Our Leaders 

MCEC elects a group of people known as the executive council to shape the identity, vision and purpose of MCEC.

Arli Klassen leads that group as the elected moderator of MCEC.
Leah Reesor-Keller is the executive minister hired to nurture the mission of MCEC.

"Great is thy faithfulness"
Arli Klassen, Moderator

“Great is thy faithfulness” was my grandparents’ favorite hymn, who came to Canada as teenage refugees in the late 1920s. They fled violence in what was then south Russia, and began married life as farmers in the Dirty Thirties.

We too have lived through a very hard year in 2020, a year unlike anything we have known or experienced before. I see God’s faithfulness in our MCEC family.

It is wonderful to see how congregations pivoted to find new and creative ways to continue being the Body of Christ on earth: online worship, telephone trees, small groups, reaching out to those around us who have practical needs. I know it has been stressful, particularly for pastors doing new things every week. As Christ’s Body we are faithful in figuring things out. And God is faithful.

It has been a year with a few significant staff transitions in MCEC staff. David Martin retired after 15 years of leadership. Leah Reesor-Keller accepted our invitation to become our new Executive Minister. Fanosie Legesse accepted our invitation to become our Intercultural Mission Minister. Both of them began formally and informally in their roles just as the pandemic restrictions settled in. They are faithful in responding to these calls to lead and serve. And God is faithful.

In Deuteronomy 31:6 we hear the encouragement: “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread (of them), because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” I know we have all struggled with fear in this last year. I am encouraged that we were faithful in following Jesus through those fears, as congregations and as an MCEC community. God is faithful.

Courageous Imagination
Leah Reesor-Keller, Executive Minister

See, I am doing a new thing! Do you not perceive it? I am making a way …. - Isaiah 43:19

As I start off my ministry with MCEC, I’ve been delving into the theme of courageous imagination. In this time of uncertainty within the church and globally, I believe we need to grow our capacity to dream & imagine a way forward, seeking after God. In this time, faith calls us to look with courage to see where God is already at work, making a way despite the challenges. Where do you see God at work in your family, in your community, in your congregation? This has been a hard year, and there are significant challenges still ahead locally and globally. Yet even now, especially now, following Jesus calls us to be salt for the earth, and a city on a hill, to quote from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:13-16. 

  • Perhaps your congregation is exploring new ways to connect with the community around you as part of a ReLearning Community cohort.
  • Maybe you are a pastor beginning your ministry, drawing on mentorship and peer support from the Transitioning into Ministry program to help you infuse fresh perspectives and energy into your new congregation.
  • You might be church council members looking at your structure and pastoral needs, prayerfully considering what changes may be needed to support the well-being of your congregation and its witness.  

Where is God calling you? What are new ways of being salt and light in your community at this time? I pray that God will grant us courage and faith on this journey together as an MCEC community, seeking to follow Jesus and live into God’s Shalom.

On-Line Meeting Platform: Zoom

Sessions:

Please join 15 minutes early

  • Friday, April 23, 2021  7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 24, 2021  10:00 - 12:00 noon
  • Saturday, April 24, 2021  12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

 

Test Meeting:

Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021 7:00 p.m
A time to ensure your computer is connecting probably. Test out polling, chatting and interpretation features. Important for first time Zoom users.


Notes:
  • The links will be provided to you by email. If you need assistance, please contact Joan Schooley at jschooley@mcec.ca.
  • Joan Schooley will be available as Tech Support throughout the Session and Test Meetings. You can reach her by email at jschooley@mcec.ca or through the zoom chat.

Before the Meeting

  • It is our suggestion that you download the app to your computer as opposed to using the web browser version which does not have access to the full features of the program. If you are on a tablet, you may also have limited options available to you. The instructions here are based on using the downloaded app version on your computer/laptop.
  • If you attend the meeting by phone or if you use the phone for audio, please contact Joan Schooley at jschooley@mcec.ca with your phone number so that she can verify you in the waiting room and admit you into the meeting.
  • Meeting questions can be submitted before the meeting via email at annualchurchgathering@mcec.ca

Entering the Meeting

  • When you log into the meeting, you will be placed into a waiting room until ushered into the meeting room.
  • Upon entering the meeting, please open your "chat" windows (located at the bottom of the zoom screen).

During the Meeting

  • In the "chat" window, you are able to ask questions. Please chat your questions during the meeting. Please do not chat directly with the presenters as they will not necessarily by monitoring the chat feature.
  • Voting will be done through the "polling" feature. Instructions will be given at that time.
  • Translation is available. Please be in touch with Joan Schooley (jschooley@mcec.ca) for more information. Please also note that you will need to choose translation when you return from a breakout room. 
  • Please note that this conference will be recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded, please ensure that your camera is off and your microphone is muted. You can also change your visual name. You can still participant in chat and polling options but your identity will not be public.