MC Canada update - February 4, 2019

Published February 13 (for week of February 4), 2019

International Witness


Bock Ki Kim (MC Canada Witness worker South Korea) gave a presentation on Anabaptist Community last month at the Third Annual Anabaptist Conference sponsored by the Korea Anabaptist Center. Bock Ki reported that there were about 90 participants who were engaged in good discussion throughout the day’s gathering. Some of the topics discussed were: Anabaptism and conscientious objectors in the context of North and South Korean conflict; and what are important elements to form Christian communities. 

We give thanks to God for the encouraging report from the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Vietnam where many new followers of Jesus have joined local congregations. This recent growth has come about because of evangelistic services that were held in several churches before Christmas. 



We join with MC Canada Witness workers Dann and Joji Pantoja as they continue to advocate for peace in the Philippines. On January 27, two bombings occurred at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the city of Jolo, on the island of Sulu of Mindanao. More than twenty worshippers were killed and dozens more were injured: the first blast happened inside the cathedral and the second blast was outside as armed forces arrived to investigate.

Sadly, three days later further destruction and bloodshed took place when an explosion at a mosque in Zamboanga City left two dead and four wounded. Pray for the many grieving families and loved ones affected by this violence and for the ongoing peacebuilding work of the Pantojas through PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee for Peace. 

As a short-term Ministry Volunteer with Mennonite Church Canada, Palmer Becker is serving in a volunteer teaching role in Tanzania and Ethiopia from February 4 to March 4. At the invitation of both Meserete Kristos Church & College of Ethiopia and the Mennonite Church of Tanzania, Palmer will offer his gifts in teaching from his materials, Begin Anew and Anabaptist Essentials. Please pray for strength and health for Palmer as he travels and teaches Ethiopian and Tanzanian church leaders these next several weeks. 


Indigenous-Settler Relations 


Closure of CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team 

For thirty years, Mennonite Church Canada has been a sponsoring body of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Since 2002, CPT has had a full-time team accompanying Indigenous communities in Canada as they defend their traditional lands from extractivist governments and corporations. Over these years, CPT’s Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team (IPS) has helped the church learn more about the violence of ongoing settler colonialism and has given us opportunities to live out our peace convictions right here, in this “home and native land.” It is with great sadness that CPT announces the closure of its full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity program due to shortfalls in CPT’s budget. Please pray for those currently serving on the IPS team: Chuck Wright, Kathy Moorhead Thiessen and Carolina Santana. Pray also for the many Indigenous partners that will be affected by this decision. 


Senators Receive Ecumenical Letter 

This week, Senators serving in the Upper House of Canada’s Parliament, will receive an ecumenical letter encouraging them to support Bill C-262 (The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act). Drafted and signed by leaders of various faith-based organizations—including the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, the Quakers, the Anglican Church of Canada, Mennonite Central Committee and more—the letter urges the Senate to “make a non-partisan decision in support of legislative reconciliation.” Please pray for the Senate as they discern how Canada can move closer to honest and fair relationship with Indigenous peoples. For more info on Bill C-262, and how to support, see




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


Cheaper By The Dozen: 

Cheaper by the Dozen is a bulk loan option for pastors, librarians and church committees to preview new materials, host thematic displays over several weeks or circulate items within the congregation. You’ll receive 12 different loan items that you can keep on hand for an extended period of six weeks. For more information on this great opportunity visit


Featured Resource:  

Two of the most authoritative voices on the funeral industry come together in The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care to discuss the current state of the funeral. Through their different lenses—one as a preacher and one as a funeral director—Thomas G. Long and Thomas Lynch alternately discuss several challenges facing "the good funeral." These include the commercial aspects that lead many to be suspicious of funeral directors, the tense relationship between pastors and funeral directors, the tendency to exclude the body from the service and the rapid use of cremation. It is an essential resource for funeral directors, morticians, pastors and anyone else with an interest in current funeral practices. Order at  


Field Notes Book Club: 

Blogger and speaker Sarah Bessey recently started a "spiritual formation book club." Included in her book selections are CommonWord favourites Four Gifts ( and Unsettling the Word ( If you would like to join the book club, you can sign up for Sarah’s monthly e-newsletter “Field Notes” ( CommonWord will special order any titles that you require in order to follow along.