Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

Watch: MCEC church helps Montreal’s homeless

People in Montreal experiencing homelessness have access to 30 mattresses at Care Montreal, an outreach program of Hochma church. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Montreal has been hit with unseasonably cold weather this month, and a Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) congregation is doing what it can to help members of the city’s homeless population get by.

Hochma church is the home to Care Montreal, an outreach program that opens its doors to around 30 people every night. The program gives folks food to eat and a place to sleep.

‘Jesus Christ is present here’

Norm Dyck, right, the new MC Eastern Canada mission minister, presents Brian Bauman with a tribute T-shirt as part of retirement celebrations for Bauman held at the regional church’s fourth annual Mission Festival at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

People from the Chin Christian Fellowship share a cultural dance at this year’s Mission Festival on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

Women from the First Mennonite Church Hispanic congregation share a Colombian cultural dance at this year’s fourth annual Mission Festival on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

People from Meheret Evangelical Church in Kitchener sing at the fourth annual Mission Festival on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

“Jesus Christ is present here. Alleluia!” sang enthusiastic worshippers in many languages to begin the fourth annual Mennonite Church Eastern Canada multicultural Mission Festival, held on Oct. 26 at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener.

West Hills congregation tries ‘messy church’

Children prepare to go for a tractor and wagon ride at a local farm for one of the West Hills congregation's ‘out’ Sundays. (Photo courtesy of West Hills Fellowship)

The West Hills congregation gathers for worship in a home on their ‘in’ Sunday. (Photo courtesy of West Hills Fellowship)

Two years ago, West Hills Fellowship, in Baden, Ont., faced up to its small-church realities. It had lost some families for a variety of reasons, and found it challenging to run programs and Sunday morning worship services.

That’s when the congregation tried a “messy church” model. 

‘It’s all worship’

Refuge de Paix, Sherbrooke, Que., a Spanish-speaking congregation ministering to Hispanic refugees are welcomed into full membership in MC Eastern Canada by MC Eastern Canada moderator Arli Klassen, left, and Henry Paetkau, right, MC Canada interim executive minister. (D. Michael Hostetler)

Markham Christian Worship Centre, Markham, Ont., a Tamil-speaking congregation with roots in Sri Lanka. (CM photo by D. Michael Hostetler)

Representatives of 107 congregations from Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick gathered at Steinmann Mennonite Church for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual church gathering on April 26 and 27, framed around the theme of “Deepening our relationship with God.” 

Ending with hope

Henry Paetkau addresses the final Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment for Leadership Training fundraising dinner on June 5, 2018, five days after his retirement from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

May 3, 2018, was Henry Paetkau’s last day in the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada office, but he wasn’t quite done yet.

A picture of gradual decline

Above: Donations from congregations and individuals to national and area/regional church bodies. (All dollar figures adjusted to 2018 dollars.)

Above: Dollar amounts to be forwarded to MC Canada in 2018. (Not included are contributions from regional churches to post-secondary schools or added budget lines for staff to take over some tasks previously performed by MC Canada staff.)

Often our society relies too much on numbers. In gravitating to quantification we tend to short-circuit the truth, which is nuanced and multilayered.

But when it comes to our denomination, I would like to see more numbers. Specifically, how has overall giving to area/regional churches and Mennonite Church Canada changed over time?

‘Connected: Striving side by side with one mind’

Ellen Kim and Nick Hamm take part in an Anabaptist Learning Workshop exercise led by coordinator Matthew Bailey-Dyck at the 31st annual MC Eastern Canada church gathering at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont. The purpose of the exercise was to write and draw together, and then reflect on the experience. (Photo Dave Rogalsky)

Michel Monette, co-pastor of Eglise Hochma in Montreal, hands translation equipment to Michel Allionna of the Assemblée de la Grâce, also in Montreal, at the 31st annual MC Eastern Canada church gathering at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont. The sessions were translated into French and Spanish. (Photo Dave Rogalsky)

The theme of this year’s Mennonite Church Eastern Canada annual church gathering—stated in the headline—had many facets, both inspiring and challenging, for those gathered at Redeemer College in Ancaster on April 27 and 28, 2018.

Impassioned plea to stay connected

MC Eastern Canada welcomes two new congregations

Members of the Assemblée de la Grâce and the Matu-Chin Christian Church are welcomed into emerging church membership by Brian Bauman, mission minister, at the 31st Mennonite Church Eastern Canada annual church gathering. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Two new congregations were welcomed into emerging membership during Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual church gathering at Redeemer College on April 27 and 28, 2018. 

Finding God in my neighbourhood

Brian Quan (left) pastor of the Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church, and MCEC assistant moderator, and Missions Minister Brian Bauman give a plant to Jonathan Abraham, pastor of the Shalom Worship and Healing Centre, to welcome the congregation as an emerging congregation in MCEC. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Jordan Thoms, church planter from Toronto, is introduced by Colin McCartney who works with supporting and training church planters in under resourced neighbourhoods in Toronto. Thoms also released a CD of his Christian infused rap music which was produced with help from the MCEC Legacy Initiatives Fund. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Fred Driedger, Janet Woelk and Debbie Janzen welcome MCEC delegates to Leamington at the beginning of the birding season at Point Pelee National Park. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Church planters Lyne Renaud and Michel Monnette, a married couple from near Montreal, share their vision of a church in the highly secularized environment of Quebec at the MCEC annual church gathering. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Stuart Murray, author of The Naked Anabaptist, encouraged Mennonite Church Eastern Canada delegates to become mobile temples, moving out of their buildings and into the neighbourhood to speak out the good news of God’s redeeming presence.

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