A much simplified Mennonite Church Canada organization turned an expected $239,000 deficit into a surplus of $42,000 for the fiscal year ended (FYE) Jan. 31, 2019. The modest surplus was the result of higher-than-forecast revenue from the regional churches, and lower- than-expected expenses in nearly every budget category.
The way of the missional God is that the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood, Elaine Heath told church leaders on June 28 at Gathering 2019’s Leadership Day. Heath is a former dean of Duke University Divinity School in Durham, N.C., and an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
“My job is to love the people in my neighbourhood, accept them for who they are and create a safe place where they are welcome,” said Lyne Renaud, pastor of Hochma in Montreal, as she shared her “firestarter story” to spark the imagination of the church at Mennonite Church Canada’s Gathering 2019.
With tears, hugs and 67 years of memories, participants at the Mennonite Women Canada annual luncheon meeting, held on June 30, said goodbye to each other and to their national organization.
For the first time since Mennonite Church Canada restructured, delegates from the five regional churches met in Abbotsford, B.C., to discuss the future of the nationwide church body.
Among these delegates were a number of younger adults who hope to contribute ideas from their imagination to the future of MC Canada as it shifts and adapts with the times.
Children at Gathering 2019, enjoys fresh bubblegum ice cream from Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford. (Photo by Hilda Bergen)
Maeve Goertzen, one of eight children at Gathering 2019, enjoys fresh bubblegum ice cream from Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford. (Photo by Hilda Bergen)
Children at Mennonite Church Canada’s Gathering 2019, held in Abbotsford, B.C., roast marshmallows over an open fire. (Photo by Hilda Bergen)
“Our God is a God who makes friends,” sang children from three provinces while playing a clapping game with a partner, laughing as the refrain and the clapping got faster. The words of this song by Bryan Moyer Suderman were ignited into action at Gathering 2019 as they participated in a weekend packed with relationship-building activities, excursions and service.