Gathering 2019 events

Workshops and excursions to look forward to in Abbotsford, B.C., June 28 to July 1

April 24, 2019 | News | Volume 23 Issue 9
Katie Doke Sawatzky | Mennonite Church Canada

Workshops on Saturday, June 29

• Being Jesus in Today’s World
For many, the current post-Christendom reality is bad news, but for followers of Jesus this reality presents exciting opportunities for kingdom work. During this workshop, Colin and Judith McCartney of Connect City Ministries in Toronto will discuss opportunities to do effective and innovative ministry within post-Christendom culture.

• Beyond our Hopes and Expectations
Roberson Mbayamvula, pastor of Hagerman Mennonite Church, will talk about creating a multi-functional worship space. Hagerman shares worship space with Markham Chinese and the Tamil Church (Markham Christian Worship Centre) in Markham, Ont. The church’s partnership allows the groups to afford the costs of city property.

• Igniting the Imagination of the Church and Healthy Self-Care
Four Gifts author April Yamasaki speaks on how we can ignite our imaginations but not burn ourselves and others out. This workshop explores a Christ-centred framework for self-care that embraces ministry with and for others, and draws us to rest in God’s care, imaginations and all.

• What Excites Me about this Church
Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker Dann Pantoja will share field stories about the Witness partnerships between MC Canada and ministries in the Philippines. He will speak on the interfaith relational journey among Muslims and Indigenous peoples; peacebuilding challenges in a growing dictatorial regime; inclusive development through coffee farming; and new perspectives on what it means to be a witness for Jesus in the 21st century.

• Finding Innovative Ways to talk about God and Spirituality
In this workshop, Troy Watson, pastor of Avon Mennonite Church in Stratford, Ont., will examine how some “post-Christians” and “spiritual but not religious” types are talking about God and spirituality. There will be discussion on how our conventional church language, metaphors and analogies are barriers that hinder people from understanding the essence of Christ’s message.

MC B.C.’s Engagement with New Leaf Network
Kevin Barkowsky, MC B.C.’s church engagement minister, will talk about how the regional church is partnering with the New Leaf Network, a Canadian church-planting organization passionate about new initiatives.

Voices Together Hymnal
Come learn about a new worship and song collection for MC Canada and MC U.S.A. What are the ways Voices Together will be like and unlike hymnals that have come before? Members of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee will introduce this new resource and talk about the aspirations, joys and challenges of creating a new hymnal and worship book.

Excursions on Sunday, June 30

• Chinatown: The challenges and opportunities of an inner-city parish
Led by Tim Kuepfer, Chinatown Peace Church, Vancouver. What does it look like for a small Mennonite church to love and follow Jesus in a neighbourhood beset by homelessness, addiction and mental-health challenges, as well as the arrival of the hipsters, large new condo buildings and soaring home prices? This excursion includes a guided walking tour and conversations with community and Christian leaders in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

• Indigenous cultural and historical tour
Stó:lō territory is a cultural treasure within the Fraser Valley and into the Canyon, surrounded by majestic mountains and centred around the Fraser River. Discover the stories and Hal’qeméylem place names. Also included will be a guided tour to Xá:ytem in Mission (Hatzic), B.C., which includes a guided educational tour of St. Mary’s, a former residential school.

• A Rocha
Featuring a tour of A Rocha’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre, this trip includes a walk around the organic garden and a chance to see part of the Little Campbell River Watershed, where A Rocha staff conduct conservation education work. There will be time for active discussion, exploration and inspiration.

• Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C.
This excursion is a guided tour of Westminster Abbey, in Mission, B.C. Participants will learn the history of the Abbey and its Benedictine monks, and spend time in the sanctuary before walking through beautiful surrounding gardens.

• Bridal Falls/Bridal Falls Waterpark
A half-hour bus-ride from the conference centre, Bridal Falls is a family-friendly location where you can either enjoy the Waterpark or take a walk on the trails to the waterfall.

• Imagination Corporation
Guided by owner Dan Sawatzky, this tour will take you to downtown Yarrow to get a walking tour of the Imagination Corporation, a family company specializing in design and construction of theme parks, miniature golf courses, restaurants and more. Opportunities to shop at Inspired Arts, a local B.C. artisan shop, get Birchwood ice-cream at the Mighty Moose, and spend time in the park.

• Metzger Collection
The Metzger Collection at Columbia Bible College is a museum that sets the biblical story within the broader context of human history, from prehistory to the modern period, bringing it to life through replicas of artwork and artifacts. Experience the flow of time and the rise and fall of empires throughout history. 

Registration for Gathering 2019 is now open at

Further reading about Gathering 2019:
Gathering 2019 is for the whole family
Meet the speaker for Gathering 2019
Welcome to Gathering 2019
Raspberry capital beckons Gathering 2019
Places to visit while at Gathering 2019
Prepare for something new and yet familiar
Come and let your imagination be ignited

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