MC Canada update - February 20, 2019

Indigenous-Settler Relations


Walk for Common Ground 

Between May 31 and June 14, 2019, 30 Indigenous, unionist and church friends will journey 340 kilometres from Edmonton (Treaty 6) to Calgary (Treaty 7) on the Walk for Common Ground. Stopping at a dozen sites to host “Treaty Talks” (see, the walk seeks to honour the sacred covenants of these lands and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call for “public education and dialogue” on Treaties. Would you like to join? We have space for four to eight core Mennonite walkers, and we would be thrilled to have Albertans in the mix! If you are interested and available for seven to 15 days, please email Steve Heinrichs (, director of Indigenous-Settler Relations, for more details and a registration form. 

Christian Peacemaker Team Colombia Delegation 

What does the Way of Christ look like in a conflict zone? Mennonite Church Canada is a sponsoring body of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), and we’d like to introduce a group of sisters and brothers to the nonviolent accompaniment work of CPT by financially assisting the participation of four persons in a delegation to Colombia, June 26 to July 6. Participants will meet human-rights defenders in the Magdalena Medio region and will learn how CPT seeks to support those who are undoing violent structures that threaten their ability to live on their lands. If you’re interested in joining, please email Steve Heinrichs (, director of Indigenous-Settler Relations, for more details. 


International Witness


Dann Pantoja (Witness worker in Philippines), along with three other Filipino religious leaders, attended the Global Conference of Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi from February 3 to 5, at the invitation of Dr. Sultan Al Rumaithi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders. Dann reported: “This gathering of religious leaders helped me love the Great Creator more as a grateful and humble witness to the beauty of human beings embracing each other. This historic event also strengthened my hope for peace among differing members of one humanity.” (The full story of Dann’s experience at the Global Conference can be read at: 

Werner and Joanne DeJong give praise and thanks to God for the amazing experiences during their four-month short-term assignment at Meserete Kristos College, Ethiopia. Werner served as guest professor and Joanne as student mentor. The couple returned home to Edmonton and remain inspired by the vibrant faith and spirituality the Ethiopian believers demonstrated through their eagerness to learn, their belief in and experience of physical healing and the many hours spent on their knees in prayer before and during worship services.  


Continue to remember Palmer Becker (Waterloo North Mennonite Church, MCEC) as he serves in a short-term volunteer teaching role among sister Mennonite Churches in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Pray for perseverance and inspiration for Palmer and open hearts for the leadership to receive the teaching.  

Tom and Christine Poovong (Witness workers in Thailand) are grieving the loss of Christine’s father who unfortunately succumbed to his ailments and old age. Christine’s father passed away peacefully nearly two weeks ago. Tom and Christine expressed much sadness at her father’s death, but also great hope because he committed his life to Christ a few years before. Pray for God’s peace and comfort to surround the Poovong family.  




Worship Calendar: 


Feb 20                 World Day of Social Justice – 

Mar 6                  Ash Wednesday – 

Mar 8                  World Women's Day – 

Mar 21                International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - 

Mar 22                World Water Day – 

Apr 7                   World Health Day - 

Apr 14                 Palm Sunday - 

Apr 18                 Maundy Thursday - 

Apr 19                 Good Friday - 

Apr 21                 Easter - 

Apr 22                 Earth Day – 





The season of Lent is rapidly approaching. This season is a time of reflection, fasting, and prayer as we prepare for Easter. Whether you’re looking for a family or adult study, a DVD series or a book of prayers, CommonWord has something for you. Resources can be found here at


Share Your Works

Are you writing an original Lenten resource?  CommonWord would love to share it further by posting it on our site.  Please see for more information about our Community-Developed materials. 

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Bill C-262 has passed 3rd reading in the House of Commons and is now up for debate in the Senate. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has stated that the adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is the key to genuine reconciliation between Indigenous and settler peoples in Canada (Call to Action #43). Bill C-262 can help make that happen. You can show your support for Bill C-262 using the attached poster ( or find out more about the ecumenical support for the bill by reading the attached letter ( Or, if you would like to become more involved you can send a package of 120 postcards to the Senate sharing your support and urging them to do the same (  


Field Notes Book Club: 



Blogger and speaker Sarah Bessey recently started a "spiritual formation book club." Included in her book selections are CommonWord favorites Four Gifts ( and Unsettling the Word ( If you would like to join the book club you can do so by signing up for Sarah’s monthly e-newsletter Field Notes ( CommonWord would be happy to special order you any titles that you require in order to follow along.