As we explore new possibilities in our journey with a new church structure, the Mission and Service Committee of Mennonite Church Alberta has been dreaming about possibilities in a variety of areas. Some of these dreams will remain dreams, while others, hopefully, will come to fruition.
Our most significant Mission and Service program in Alberta at present is the North Edmonton Ministries, through which Donna Entz does amazing work establishing relationships between Christians and Muslims. One of our dreams is to establish a similar program in Calgary. We are also dreaming of organizing a Muslim/Christian Dialogue event in Calgary, like the one held in Edmonton.
One area of church growth has been in helping groups whose backgrounds are from Africa establish new churches in Alberta. At present, we are working with a group of South Sudanese individuals who are dreaming about the possibility of starting a South Sudanese Mennonite Church in Calgary. Some of our existing churches with African connections are also exploring leadership development possibilities in Ethiopia and South Sudan.
In keeping with the new structures of MC Canada, MC Alberta’s Mission and Service Committee is discussing ways to assist churches that have partnerships with Witness workers and looking forward to imagining how mission will look in the future.
Another idea or dream that has been proposed is the establishment of a chaplaincy program at the University of Alberta. This would be done in partnership with some Mennonite Brethren churches in Edmonton. We are also considering becoming sponsors of the Mennonite Central Committee Alberta prison visitation program, as MCC Canada is ending its coordination of this initiative.
These are a sample of the dreams we have about where the future will take us. We are filled with optimism that Christ’s work will blossom in our midst, and we pray that a significant number of our dreams come to be fulfilled.
Vince Friesen is chair of Mennonite Church Alberta’s Mission and Service Committee.