As the people of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, we’re going on a journey of courageous imagination. Over the course of the next year we will dream, imagine and listen to each other’s stories of faith as we seek to hear God’s voice and discern together where God is calling us in the years ahead.
The journey itself is as important as where we end up. Like a pilgrimage, it is a shared experience that will transform us along the way. The outcome is the mission, values and strategic priorities that will shape all of us in the years to come. Beginning this journey in prayer roots us in the past, grounds us in the present and stretches us into the future.
At the virtual prayer gathering on Feb. 14, MC Eastern Canada invited individuals from different faith communities and perspectives within the regional church body to lead prayers for the start of the journey. These prayers, offered live at the gathering and since shared in written forms on the regional church’s website, Facebook and Instagram accounts, are shaping how we understand our journey together and where we are going as we listen for God’s leading together.
David Brubacher’s prayer offered thankfulness for the many who have invested deeply to bring MC Eastern Canada and the nationwide church to where we are today.
Cedar Klassen’s prayer called us to listen for God’s voice, not only where we expect it but also from those who have been pushed to the margins.
Ly Vang prayed that we would walk humbly with each other, counting each other as equals and treating each other with love and respect.
Ardith Frey exhorted us to dream courageously, not for the sake of doing new things but so that we may be infused with the Spirit’s vision and leading for our community.
Francis Machichi’s prayer called on Jesus to strengthen and guide our regional church’s congregations and leaders.
These are just a few of the words shared in prayer that are shaping and guiding us to follow God’s leading on the journey of courageous imagination ahead of us as a regional church body.
Community prayer opens us beyond ourselves and our own experiences to hear God through the words and experiences of others. When you pray with others, coming together to praise, lament, listen and dream, you open yourself to transformation in a deep way as an individual follower of Jesus and as a community of faith. You hear God’s voice speaking to you in new words through the voice of your neighbour, friend or even your enemy.
To our sisters, brothers and siblings across the nationwide church, please join MC Eastern Canada in prayer that our eyes and ears will be opened as we seek God’s leading for the future.
Leah Reesor-Keller is MC Eastern Canada’s executive minister. She lives in Kitchener, Ont., and loves journeys of all kinds. She can be contacted on Instagram or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow along with the Courageous Imagination journey, visit mcec.ca/courageous-imagination.
—Corrected March 10, 2021