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Apr 28th, 2023 - Apr 29th, 2023Annual Church Gathering 2023

Transformed. Inspired. Called.

MCEC is a diverse community, transformed by the love of God, inspired by the hope we find in Jesus, called to action by the power of the Holy Spirit.

bibleTherefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. - Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)

Join new and now friends as we grow, learn and serve together as a community of faith. Fanosie Legesse, MCEC Intercultural Mission Minister, will encourage and challenge us on Friday night at an Intercultural Worship Service. Saturday is filled with celebration, learning, much discussion and worship. All are welcome! How do we choose to live a life of constant transformation, unceasing inspiration and filled with courage to stay strong in our calling? When we worship and pray togther, we become grounded in God's love and conected to the Spirit's movement. Come and gather as God's people across MCEC.

April 28-29, 2023
Rockway Mennonite Collegiate
Kitchener, ON

Scroll Below for

Our Time Together

6:00 - 9:30 p.m.

  • Registration Opens 6:00 p.m.

  • Intercultural Worship Service 7:00 p.m.
    • Fanosie Legesse, MCEC Intercultural Mission Minister
      From where does our Transformation, Inspiration and Calling come?
      Fanosie LegesseHebrews 12:1-4 is a text where the author intensifies the exhortations woven in the previous chapters. The author uses running an agonizing race as a metaphor to describe the believer’s current situation. However, the emphasis of the text is on the active effort to never give up the race despite the agony. In other words, this is a call to carry one’s cross and walk to calvary where all that is against God’s eternal will is crucified.

      As believers in all the local churches of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, why should we persist on transforming our holistic being to fit the course instead of changing the course itself to fit our situations? Why are we intentional on being inspired to be strong and courageous to continue the journey despite the struggle to have consistency in our spiritual disciplines? Why do we believe that our covenant relationship with God and with each other is our calling in life not just temporary pledge?  Hebrews 12:1-4 gives us at least two answers. 

      We choose to live a life of constant transformation, unceasing inspiration and filled with courage to stay strong in our calling!

    • Responses to the Message
      Arnold Neufeldt-FastArnold Neufeldt-Fast. Arnold attends Community Mennonite Church (Stouffville) and is Vice-President and Dean of Seminary at Tyndale University. He is an MCEC ordinated minister.

      Rebecca Riek.
      Rebecca attends First Mennonite Church in Kitchener where she is an integral part of the Intercultural Committee. She is pursuing a Mastger of Divinity with a major in Christian Faith Formation at AMBS. She has served on the MCEC Mission Council.

    • Welcome of Congregations in Transition and their Pastors
      Hochma (Full Membership)
      Shalom Worship and Healing Centre (Full Membership)
      Église Bethésda Mennonite de Saint-Hyacinthe (Provisional)
      Église Jésus-Christ Appelle Tous (Provisional)

8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • Registration Opens at 8:00 a.m.

  • Welcome Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, MC Canada International Witness workers, upon their return from South Korea

    Bock Ki and Sook Kyoung smiling outsideWhile a tiny minority within the larger Korean Christian community, Mennonite churches in Korea are beginning to relate to each other through the formation of Mennonite Church South Korea. Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park have been instrumental in the formation of this church body, while also church planting in Seoul.

    Known as a peace-church pastor in a time where many Christians in Korean are eager to know more about biblical pacifism and conflict transformation, Bock Ki is called upon as a resource to the wider church on these topics. He participates in presentations and lectures as well as writing and translation. He has translated more than 30 books on Anabaptism and peace theology and helped found the Korean Anabaptist Journal. Sook Kyoung Park runs an after-school program, teaching and English and peaceful education skills to children and youth.

  • Celebrate MCEC Ministry
    • MCEC's Slate of Volunteers
    • MCEC Financial Story
    • Bequest Fund Update and New Directions
    • Moving into our Strategic Priorities

  • Break Out Rooms: What do you want to talk about? - We've gathered questions from across MCEC. Choose your area of interest and let's talk with each other! Topics may include:
    • Anabaptist heritage
    • Church property redevelopment and stewardship
    • Congregations supporting each other on jouney of relationship with Indigenous neighbours
    • Declining attendance challenge
    • Environmenal impact of a peace church
    • Hospitality
    • Living out our core beliefs

  • Where do we go from here as a transformed, inspired and called peoplehood? Afternoon panel and table discussion.
    Charles TabenaSara Garnet in library
    Charles Tabena.
    Charles is lead pastor in charge of evangelism at Centre Béthésda Mennonite de Québec, an MCEC provisional congregation since 2022. He moved to Canada in early 2009 from the Democratic Republic of Congo, fleeing war and insecurity. He is married and a father of three children.

    Sara Garnet. Sara is the Connections and Education Coordinator at Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington. She connects with neighbours of Faith Mennonite to implement new education opportunites in the community, with a focus on children and youth.

Discernment Documents


  • Discernment Documents
    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

    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

  • COMING SOON: Audited Financial Statements

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

"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