Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

John Reimer appointed MC Eastern Canada operations director

John Reimer has been appointed the operations director of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, as of Oct. 18. As a member of the executive staff team, he will give leadership to operational systems and processes to strengthen the regional church’s ministry supporting pastors and congregations to thrive. He will lead the development and implementation of the physical, technological, communications, financial and human resources needed to operate MC Eastern Canada. Previously, he worked in management with cause-related or faith-based organizations.

MC Eastern Canada looks to where God is calling the church

Craig Frere takes in MC Eastern Canada’s spring gathering from his backyard. This was the second year the annual event was held online due to pandemic restrictions. (Photo courtesy of Craig Frere)

Leah Reesor-Keller, MC Eastern Canada’s executive minister, shares the kimchi-making process from her kitchen. The hands-on project got a little messy. (Photo by Leah-Ressor-Keller)

Muriel Bechtel takes in MC Eastern Canada’s spring gathering from her dining-room table. (Photo courtesy of Muriel Bechtel)

Norm Dyck, MC Eastern Canada’s mission minister, top left, welcomes new congregations and their pastors: Rheau Jean-Claude and Marjory Brutus of Ma Destinée, in Montréal, bottom right; and Fitsum Debesay and Habte Araya from Hiyaw Amalak ( Living God) Evangelical Church in Ottawa, bottom left and top right, respectively. (Screenshot courtesy of MC Eastern Canada)

Norm Dyck, MC Eastern Canada’s mission minister, top left, welcomes new congregations and their pastors: Rheau Jean-Claude and Marjory Brutus of Ma Destinée, in Montréal, bottom right; and Fitsum Debesay and Habte Araya from Hiyaw Amalak ( Living God) Evangelical Church in Ottawa, bottom left and top right, respectively. (Screenshot courtesy of MC Eastern Canada)

Pablo Kim Sun preps ingredients for kimchi as he explores how the traditional Korean dish is a good metaphor for the church. The cooking demonstration was part of MC Eastern Canada’s annual Spring Gathering, held virtually April 23 and 24. Participants were invited to follow Kim Sun’s cooking demonstration in their own kitchens. (Screenshot courtesy of MC Eastern Canada)

Paul Brubacher measures ingredients for making kimchi as part of MC Eastern Canada’s annual Spring Gathering, held virtually on April 23 and 24. (Photo by Marilyn Brubacher)

How is the church like kimchi? At Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s spring gathering, held virtually on April 23 and 24, many of the more than 250 in attendance tried making the traditional Korean dish while following Pablo Kim Sun’s demonstration from his kitchen in Toronto.

Deborah Tewelde sets her faith in action

Deborah Tewelde received an award late last year given by the Province of Ontario to youth who have shown strong leadership in eliminating racial discrimination.

Deborah Tewelde, a member of Meheret Evangelical Church in Kitchener, Ont., a Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregation, received the 2019 Lincoln M. Alexander award given by the Province of Ontario to youth who have shown strong leadership in eliminating racial discrimination.

Celebrating the life of John Cornies (1940-2020)

John Cornies with his grandson Henry at the Out-Spok’n Bike-A-Thon, MennoHomes Ride for Refuge in support of affordable housing. (Photo courtesy of the Cornies family)

“Leadership can be rewarding as well as lonely,” wrote the late John Cornies in his memoir. “I have, however, felt God's leading and calling in these endeavours. While I felt that God called and equipped me when placed in positions of leadership, my human failings got me into difficulties at times. And yet, I have felt blessed by a very generous God throughout these experiences."

MC Eastern Canada terminates retired pastor’s ministerial credentials

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated Waterloo resident Wilmer Martin’s ministerial credentials, citing ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. (Facebook photo)

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated a retired pastor’s ministerial credential after investigating him for ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. The regional church made the announcement about Wilmer Martin, 75, of Waterloo, Ont., on June 16.

‘He kept looking ahead’

From their home, David and Doris Martin watch the virtual celebrations in honour of David’s retirement as executive minister from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, after 15 years of service to the regional church and 25 years as a pastor in the regional church. (Photo courtesy of MC Eastern Canada)

David Martin is passionate about curling. He is competitive and once won Steinmann Mennonite Church’s version of The Amazing Race. He is a bit nerdy and techy, and he loves a great superhero movie now and then.

French Anabaptists gather online to worship, celebrate

Michel Monette, catalyzer minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, back row centre, is pictured with the Centre Bethésda Mennonite de Quebec, a French-speaking church plant. (Photo by Charles Tebena)

Serge Gravel describes meeting with other French Anabaptists online like getting a dose of Vitamin C fortified with Vitamin D and zinc, in order to gain spiritual victory and encouragement, enthusing about how good it was to see the radiant faces and shining eyes of everyone.

Three churches withdraw from MC Eastern Canada

Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church, pictured last month. (Photo courtesy of Instagram.com/kingsfieldzmc)

Earlier this spring, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada released the following statement: “We announce with great sadness Kingsfield-Clinton and Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church, Living Water Christian Fellowship and Maple View Mennonite Church have left the MC Eastern Canada family.

‘I hear you, I see you’

Participants at a recent MC Eastern Canada youth workers retreat take part in a super heroes’ cape blessing, reminding each other that they are covered with the love of God. (Photo by Brent Musser)

“Youth need to experience God for themselves. . . . We need to offer Jesus to our youth,” said Michele Hershberger, a Bible and ministry professor and department chair from Hesston (Kan.) College with experience in youth ministry and postmodern culture, at a recent Mennonite Church Eastern Canada youth workers event.

MC Eastern Canada appoints first intercultural mission minister

Fanosie Legesse has been appointed as the first intercultural mission minister of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, a new position within the regional church team. He will begin his duties on March 1. More than 20 percent of MC Eastern Canada’s 104 churches are newcomer or first-generation Canadian congregations. “Intercultural awareness has become a growing edge” of the regional church, says David Martin, executive minister. “It is exciting as we move toward being an intercultural church, but it also generates some challenges as we learn to integrate various cultural backgrounds.

Three congregations leave MC Eastern Canada

The sign in front of Calvary Church in Ayr, Ont., hints at the significant shift taking place as the church merges with Calvary Pentecostal Assembly of nearby Cambridge. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

In September 2019, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada reported: “We announce with great sadness that River of Life, Calvary Church Ayr (Mennonite), and Milverton Mennonite Fellowship [all in Ontario] have left the MC Eastern Canada family.

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. 

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