MC Canada update - April 17, 2018

Published April 17, 2019


International Witness 

Witness worker Joji Pantoja speaks on women’s leadership 

On March 28, MC Canada Witness Worker Joji Pantoja was the keynote speaker at the provincial government of Davao Occidental’s 2019 National Women’s Month Celebration. Speaking on the theme “We Make Change Work For Women,” Joji emphasized the roles of women as community leaders. She shared her journey as a mother and her Coffee For Peace story. The government is exploring whether PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., and Coffee for Peace, can help establish a quality coffee industry, framed in Peace and Reconcilitation Principles and Practices. (Story adapted from


Pray for the continued growth and development of the MC Canada’s partner Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia. More than 1,700 graduates from Meserete Kristos College continue to make a strong, positive impact in the leadership of the church and in society.  

The Benin Bible Institute (BBI) in Cotonou, will experience significant transitions in the next few years as several professors and the current administrator, Bonaventure Akowanou, retire. Pray that both capable professors and an administrator will be hired in their place to continue the vibrant and impactful ministry in Benin, West Africa.  

Dann and Joji Pantoja invite prayers for peace due to armed conflict between government troops and members of the New People’s Army affecting five local municipalities. Bombing and shelling by the government troops have been observed. Over 900 families, mostly indigenous, have taken refuge in nearby halls, gymnasiums or among relatives and friends. Pray along that the warring parties stop their conflict and for protection for civilians. 


Indigenous-Settler Relations 


Bill C-262 stalled in the Senate 

Conservative Senators prevented the Indigenous Rights Act, Bill C-262, from getting to Committee this past week. Time is running out to pass this vital reconciliation legislation. For more on what happened, check out this thoughtful response piece by Christian musician Steve Bell Please pray for the Senate and email Opposition Whip, Senator Don Plett, urging him to support Bill C-262 and the basic rights of Indigenous Peoples—

Last Call for NAIITS applications!  

NAIITS is a Christian Indigenous Learning Community that hosts an annual intergenerational theological conversation (see Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations program wants to help sponsor a group of friends from across our nationwide church to attend this year’s gathering exploring “Land and Place,” June 6 to 8, at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. The deadline for applications is April 23. If you are interested, please email Steve Heinrichs for details ( 



Worship calendar: 

Apr 18                 Maundy Thursday -

Apr 19                 Good Friday -

Apr 21                 Easter -

Apr 22                 Earth Day –

May 15                International Day of Families –

May 30                Ascension Day –

Jun 9                    Pentecost -  

Jun 16                  Trinity Sunday –  

Jun 20                  World Refugee Day –  

Jun 21                  National Indigenous Peoples Day (Canada) -



He is Risen Indeed! A happy Easter from all of us here at CommonWord! May you find time this week to stop and thank God for all God has done. If you need last-minute resources to help you fully experience this season, you can find them here:  


Adult Curriculum 

Looking for a new study for a small group, a church, or yourself? CommonWord offers curricula on a number of topics. Simply visit, choose a topic that interests you, and explore a wide range of study material. There are studies on health, hospitality, or holiness. Whatever you choose, we have a great group of resources for you!  


Featured Resources

Part memoir, part tour of the apocalypse, and part call to action, Unraptured traces how the church’s focus on escaping to heaven has it mired in decay. Teetering on the brink of irrelevancy in a world rocked by refugee crises, climate change, and war, Zack Hunt argues the church cannot afford to focus on the end times instead of following Jesus in the here and now. Unraptured uses these signs of the times to help readers reorient their understanding of the gospel around loving and caring for the least of these. Buy or borrow at


Gathering 2019 - Igniting the Imagination of the Church 

Registration is now open for Gathering 2019 in Abbotsford, B.C., June 28 to July 1! Go to for the registration guidelines and link. A detailed schedule and descriptions of the workshops and events planned throughout the weekend is available at We look forward to seeing you there! If you have questions or concerns, please email the MC Canada Communication Officer at