How to use this Report Book

How to use this Report Book
This report book is an integrated presentation of
information in keeping with our desire to become a
more seamless church.
This book contains the reporting materials
reflecting our work of the past year. In the margins,
you will find an “at-a-glance” roadmap.The roadmap
also attempts to mirror the way Mennonite Church
Canada is organized, by integrating the reports
of affiliated national and bi-national entities into
related activity areas. Highlighted areas indicate
where you are on the roadmap.
For example, reports from WITNESS and their
related agencies (CWM, CPT, MCC, MDS)
appear in the WITNESS section. Reports from
schools, Mennonite Publishing House and
the Denominational Minister appear in the
section recognizes and represents the important
aspect of administration work that under-girds
everything, and includes reports from affiliated entities
that relate to the support of broader programs and
initiatives (e.g. Mennonite Foundation of Canada,
Canadian Mennonite). Then we move into the round
table discussion topics. Please read through these
discussion topics carefully and come prepared to
participate, whether you are seated around tables or
meeting with the larger body for worship.
A basic schedule for the proceedings can be found
on the back cover of this Report Book. An agenda is
provided on pages 102-103.
The reports and stories in this report book represent
the people and ministries in the Mennonite Church
Canada family. Together, they tell the larger story of
God at work in the world as we align ourselves with
God’s purpose.
We hope that you find this report book to be a helpful
way of visualizing relationships and getting informed.
ACOM .................................Area Conference Membership Only
KPMG ...........................Auditors for Mennonite Church Canada
AMBS .........................Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
AMIGOS ......... Mennonite World Conference Youth Committee
MC ................................................................. Mennonite Church
CAMS .................. Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools
MC SASK ............................. Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
CBC ....................................................... Columbia Bible College
MCA.................................................. Mennonite Church Alberta
CCC ........................................... Canadian Council of Churches
MCA........................................ Mennonite Camping Association
CCCC .......................... Canadian Council of Christian Charities
MCBC ................................ Mennonite Church British Columbia
CFC ................................................Christian Formation Council
MCC ........................................... Mennonite Central Committee
CGUC ................................... Conrad Grebel University College
MCCC............................Mennonite Central Committee Canada
CMU ......................................... Canadian Mennonite University
MCEC .................................Mennonite Church Eastern Canada
CPT ............................................. Christian Peacemaker Teams
MCM .............................................. Mennonite Church Manitoba
CWC .................................................. Christian Witness Council
MDS ............................................... Mennonite Disaster Service
CWM..............................................Canadian Women in Mission
MEDA .................... Mennonite Economic Development Agency
EFC ...................................... Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
MFC .......................................Mennonite Foundation of Canada
FLC ..................................................... Faith and Life Committee
MM ..................................................................... Mennonite Men
FPAC .............................. Financial Policy and Audit Committee
MOU .........................................Memorandum of Understanding
FYE ....................................................................Fiscal Year End
MPN............................................Mennonite Publishing Network
GAMEO ..... Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online
MW ................................................................Mennonite Women
GB ....................................................................... General Board
MWC.............................................Mennonite World Conference
GMF ............................................. Global Mennonite Fellowship
P2P .................................................................. Person to Person
IMPaCT ...... International Mennonite Pastors Coming Together
RJC ......................................................Rosthern Junior College
JEC ........................................................ Joint Executive Council
SSC ....................................................Support Services Council
Words from the Moderator
Peter’s words, which will be our scriptural guide
for the next few days, speak of calling, of peoplehood, of being light, of offering mercy. All of these
elements are part of what we are about as Mennonite
Church Canada. Through our congregations,
area conferences and national church, we long to grow more fully into
communities that “declare the praises of God” and celebrate being God’s
people here in this place, at this time.
We declare the praises of God as we reflect on the ways that God has
been with us through the past year in the various aspects of the ministry of
Mennonite Church Canada. This is the first assembly for Jack Suderman
in the role of General Secretary and we are appreciative of his leadership
during this time. We also recognize the many other staff that use their gifts
and abilities to work in and for the church. Thank you to all of you who give
of your lives to this ministry.
We declare the praises of God as we have ended our last fiscal year
meeting our budget. Thank you to the many of you – congregations and
individuals – who gave generously and sacrificially to continue the work of
our church in Canada and around the world. Without your faithfulness to
God in offering your gifts to God’s work, much of what we have been able
to accomplish would not have happened.
We declare the praises of God for the good work of our councils and
staff – in Formation, Witness and Support Services – as they have worked
diligently and carefully, tending to the many things that we have asked
them to do for the church. From caring for our workers globally, to providing
resources for Sunday morning worship, to helping in training new leaders
and encouraging intergenerational learning, to giving counsel to our
congregational treasurers for pastoral benefits and pensions, the areas of
involvement are multiple and varied.
We declare the praises of God for the many other parts of Mennonite
Church Canada that all contribute to our understanding of what it means to
be God’s people here in this place at this time. During our days together at
this assembly we want to be very intentional about how we spend our time.
We have been called together as a people of God and so whether we
meet in worship, in discernment times around tables, in fellowship, in our
meals together or in those all important visits in the hallways, we do so
recognizing that everyone we meet is a child of God, beloved and forgiven.
May God bless our time together and allow us to be a blessing to others.
—Henry Krause, Moderator
We declare the praises of God
God’s People Now! - an ideal theme for our 7th
annual delegate session of Mennonite Church
Canada. I look forward to spending time together in
Edmonton as we remember and look forward to being
God’s people now!
Once you were not a people
Words from the General Secretary
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you
to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you
have been called… (Ephesians 4:1).
Robert (Jack)
Secretary, MC
I can’t think of a more appropriate thought to begin
my report than these words from Ephesians. This is
the apostle’s request to the church: namely, to be who
we are meant to be and to become who God wants
us to become. This plea is not made from a position
of strength, but from the weakness of a prisoner. It is
ironic: a guy in jail telling the church to become what
it should be. The “calling” of the church to understand
its vocation to be the church seems too obvious and
simplistic. And yet it is an important reminder that we,
too, must take seriously. In this brief report I cannot
address all the items that have occupied us during this
last year. I will simply identify a few key items that we
want to draw to your attention.
The Calling to which we have been called:
Faith and Life Committee (FLC):
The newly established
FLC is up and running.
This group, together
with the Reference
Council, met at the March
Leadership Assembly
for an entire day to talk
about the spiritual health
and needs of the calling
to which we have been
called. I believe that our
church will be blessed
by our intensive and
interactive attention to
FLC chair Rudy Baergen
discerning the will of God
for our church. This committee is using the following question to guide all
of its deliberations: “What does it mean to be a faithful Christian church?”
It is the right question. From this perspective we want to address the
challenges that lie before us. For example, we have clearly heard the call
from some congregations that we need to nurture our capacity to read
and interpret the Bible together as a body, rather than yielding to non- or
partial-body-life interpretations that are so prevalent at the moment. How
do we pay attention to these hermeneutical dynamics so that we are a
faithful church and so that the Bible is not silenced as an effective guide
to life in our church?
There are significant conversations underway about our understandings of
membership: both in and of the church. The FLC has already been helpful
in sorting out these understandings somewhat. They have reminded us
that the essence of the unity of the church cannot (and should not) be
defined according to a particular type of structure, organization, or even
by theological agreement. Unity can exist within structural, organizational,
and theological diversity. Unity, rather, is related to covenant which, in turn,
is relational. Membership is unity symbolized by structural connectedness.
Membership in/of churches must be life-giving: grounded in covenant,
faithfulness, relationship, nurture, mutuality, communal discernment,
partnership, excitement, commitment, and so on. It is important not to
establish membership categories that are, or are perceived to be, secondclass or less than what can be enthusiastically and biblically justified,
defended, and encouraged. I trust that we can find the paths that will
permit us to engage such categories of membership both in the churches
and of the churches.
We are indeed pleased to be able to present to you for information the
three priorities that the General Board has approved for the national
church. A priority goes a step beyond purpose and indicates what is
needed in order for the purpose to come to life. Our purpose is to “call,
equip, and send the church to engage the world with the reconciling
gospel of Jesus Christ.” In order to move toward this purpose, the General
Board, with input from the delegates at Charlotte 2005, has decided that,
relying on God’s help, the three priorities need to be:
a) to form a people of God;
b) to become a global church; and
c) to grow leaders for the church.
I am grateful for these foci. They will be of significant help in shaping the
future ministry of our church.
I am very pleased to report that the program of Mennonite Church Canada
is healthy, relevant, and contributing to the objectives that we have set.
This is due largely to the competent, innovative, and committed staff that
are giving leadership and working so hard in the various departments. We
do some things in order to empower congregations and area conferences
for ministry. We do other things on your behalf. Each of these is important,
and details of these programs and services are available elsewhere in this
book. I am grateful for the trust and encouragement that we are given to
implement the programmatic needs of our church in its engagement with
our society and our world.
But now you are God’s people...
Membership and polity:
Area conferences and congregations:
Mission Seminar 2005 Group in prayer
Ray Dirks’ Jesus portrait
created for and with the
students, on display in the
CMU chapel
Since beginning my work as General Secretary on
Dec.1/05, three congregations have informed us
of their decisions to disaffiliate their membership
from both the Area Conference and from Mennonite
Church Canada. These are the Vernon Mennonite
Church (MCBC), Cornerstone Mennonite Church
(MC Sask) and Neuanlage Grace Mennonite Church
(MC Sask). Receiving news of such decisions raises
mixed emotions in me. I respect the right and the
responsibility of each congregation to shape its own
character and forge its own future. I believe that these
decisions are done in good faith and with genuine
sincerity and that the Holy Spirit is present in the
processes that lead to such decisions. As such I want to bless and validate
the discernment of each local community of Christ in determining its best
path for faithfulness into the future. But I also have a profound sense of
sadness, failure, and even guilt. Such decisions point
to the fact that we haven’t been able to generate a
workable level of trust and agreement on our common
life, nor a commitment to our life in difference, nor an
ability to celebrate the diversity of our life in the body.
I am convinced that ultimately it must be possible to
do so.
The seriousness of these decisions challenges me
and I believe that it needs to challenge our church.
They speak of a need to learn to read and interpret
the Bible better as our corporate source to discern
the mind of God for our lives and our world. This
surely is a challenge we all agree with and thus
is common ground. They also question where our
ultimate authority lies. Does it lie in our concern
for unity, harmony, and consensus? Or does it lie
in our concern for faithful discipleship, knowing and obeying God’s truth?
Faithfulness and truth, they say, must not be sacrificed for the sake of unity
and consensus. Again, I assume that we would all agree that this perspective
is a legitimate one. I know of no one in our church who does not yearn to be
faithful, to know the liberating truth of God, and to live within it. This, too, is
common ground. So part of the sadness and failure I feel is that decisions to
separate seem to be made on issues on which we are agreed, issues that
are common ground among us. This is perturbing and simply highlights our
need to learn to live together, to communicate better with each other, to listen
to and hear each other, and to celebrate the common commitments that we
We are committed to listening to the voices that advocate for membership
disaffiliation so that we can discern what we need to learn from them.
We also commit ourselves to continue in relationship with these brothers
and sisters to the degree that it is possible, even though structurally and
organizationally we will be walking on parallel paths. And we want to bless
these congregations and pray that their journey will indeed be one of
joy, blessing, relevance, and effectiveness as they continue to search for
faithfulness and obedience to Christ.
Part of our time together at the assembly will be used to discern whether we
need to adjust the way in which membership is defined in Area Conferences and
in Mennonite Church Canada. One suggested change is
to make space for an “Area Conference only membership”
(ACOM) possibility. We pray for God’s Spirit to guide our
deliberation and discernment in this discussion.
I am grateful for the financial support of our church
during this year. We are aware that congregations have
given sacrificially to allow our programs to have the
impact they are having. We also know that individual and
corporate gifts have increased substantially this year.
Together with the vigilant and effective administration
of our staff, this has resulted in a small surplus of funds
for the FYE 2006. My gratitude reflects the gratitude
of the many partners we have in Canada and around the world. With
strong financial support the commitments with partners that you have
encouraged us to make can all be fulfilled. Your resources are effectively
transforming lives and communities around the world,
and for that many, many persons are very grateful.
We have in the last years issued a challenge to our
constituency, and you have responded. We want to keep
up the challenge. In the mini-assembly of the Mennonite
World Conference in Pasadena in March/06, Ron Sider
called on the North American Anabaptist constituency
to become more responsible in dealing with the stark
global inequity of resources. Eighty-eight percent of
Mennonite World conference family wealth is in the
hands of North Americans who represent 25% of the
membership and 8.3% of the wealth is in Africa that
represents 43% of the membership. This, in Sider’s view,
is serious agenda for our church: “Anything less than
dramatic, sweeping economic sharing in the worldwide
body of Christ today is flatly unbiblical, scandalously
disobedient and heretical,” Sider said. These were strong, un-nuanced
words. But in a global Anabaptist crowd, there was strong resonance
with what he said.
Gift sharing, a global window of
Sagrada Familia
door carvings,
Barcelona Spain
Scripture Foundation for Mennonite Church Canada:
We have taken seriously the delegate recommendation in the Winkler
Assembly/2004 asking the General Board to consider the need for a
scripture foundation for our denomination. We extended an invitation to
our constituency to share suggestions. It was indeed gratifying to see
how many did that, and how seriously some took this invitation. In all, 16
suggestions were received advocating for 15 different scripture verses. At
our Leadership Assembly in March/06, we spent two full sessions working
to provide enough feedback to the General Board so that they could make
a recommendation to this assembly. The leaders gathered had serious
questions about whether we need such a foundation.
Defining a foundation does not in itself determine whether or not we are
a “biblical” people. We do have a Confession of Faith, the Vision: Healing
and Hope, a Statement of Identity and Purpose, defined priorities, and
a visual logo for the church, all of which have profound and extensive
scriptural support and foundations. If a foundation would limit our
scriptural vision to one verse or another, it would not be a good thing.
One suggestion was to identify an annual foundation for purposes of
nurturing our church.
While recognizing the potential risks, the Leadership assembly also
identified some reasons why it might be good to have a foundation. Some
of these were: a) to have a focus that builds our identity; b) to have a
common sense of connectedness; c) to symbolize clearly what the basis
of authority is for us; d) to connect us with traditions that have seen this
as important even before the birth of Christ; e) to provide an opportunity
to highlight a distinctive emphasis that we want to nurture; f) to unite the
generations in a common purpose.
The General Board has taken seriously the pros and the cons of having a
foundation and is bringing forward the recommendation as distributed in
the work book. I trust that God may bless our discernment and help our
church to look to scripture for its inspiration, teaching, authority, life, and
‘God’s People Now’ Constituency tour:
At the time of writing, I am looking forward to visiting our constituent
congregations in their meeting places. My goal is to visit all, but we’re
still not sure whether this will be possible. The value of this orientation
and its learning for me will be enormous. The listening we do will give
us a snapshot of the life of our church: How are we? What are we
doing? What concerns us? What needs do we have? This experience
will also provide an opportunity for us to share some words of vision,
encouragement, and information with each congregation. I trust that such
an opportunity for mutual sharing will enhance the trust and relationships
that are so important for our life together.
By the time we meet in Edmonton, I trust that I will have completed the
lion’s share of this tour. I hope we can have opportunity there to report
and dialogue about this.
Wider-Church Relationships:
Mennonite Church USA: We continue to meet regularly with the
Executive Committee of Mennonite Church USA. There we attend to our
partnership and the programs that we operate jointly (MPN, AMBS). A
new initiative to meet jointly in a non-delegate assembly in July/2008 is
recommended. The focus of this gathering is still being defined.
Christian Council of Churches and Evangelical Fellowship of
Canada: We are slowly learning what it means to be full members of
the CCC and the EFC. Significant involvements are our participation
in the discussions with both about an eventual pandemic and the roles
of the churches in such an eventuality. We are also participating in the
“Micah challenge” and further reporting of this is available from www. There is much opportunity for involvement with our
partners in order to engage the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mennonite World Conference: Our relationship with MWC continues
to be strong. The MC Canada decision to offer some of my time to
the MWC for teaching purposes was amply recognized, affirmed and
celebrated at the MWC mini-assembly in Pasadena in March/06. That
affirmation resulted in expressions of gratitude to MC Canada from many
represented there. I gladly pass those on to all of you. It also resulted
in expressions of interest from Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola,
Kenya, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and
Colombia. We need to make some choices now in order to implement
this offer.
Global Mission Fellowship: MC Canada became a founding member
of the GMF in Zimbabwe in 2003. Our contribution to this new initiative
has been both in terms of funding and in extensive staff involvement in
envisioning, shaping, and implementing this initiative. Peter Rempel, former
staff person, and Janet Plenert, our current Executive Secretary of Witness,
have dedicated their competence, energy, and vision to getting this off
the ground. The next gathering of the GMF will take place in Kazakhstan,
in September 2006. This is one more very practical and important way in
which our priority to “become a global church” is becoming reality.
On your behalf, the voice of Mennonite Church Canada has been heard in
key areas and issues all around the world. We have strong representation
on the Christian Peacemaker Teams steering committee and have
participated in the struggle of that organization in a difficult time. We have
responded to the requests from the Vietnamese Mennonite Church and
Mennonite World Conference to advocate on behalf of the leaders of
that church in regards to their imprisonment, torture, and pressure. We
responded to the invitation from the Colombian Council of Churches to
participate in a summit to help them shape their position and participation
in the peace process there. This process includes issues related to the
demobilization of some armed groups, the laying down of arms, their
reinsertion into civil society, and social/political response to the reality of
victimization that has occurred. Documents highlighting our participation
and the concluding documents are available at
news/releases/2006/.It is clear that such solidarity is highly valued by this
church under significant social and political pressure. We have participated
with the CCC in advocating to the Canadian government, including
concerns about the civil war in Sudan.
I return to my introductory comments. Each paragraph in this report is a
vignette, a marker on the road, of how we, as a church, are attempting
to “lead a life worthy of the calling to which we have been
called.” Our life together in prayer, dialogue, discernment,
encouragement, and decision-making are all processes
integral to our calling. I pray daily that the accompaniment of
the Spirit of God will be always recognized and sought out
in our journey. We need to carve out the path as we are
walking. May God guide and direct our calling.
—Robert (Jack) Suderman, General Secretary, MC
Joint Executive Committee (JEC)
of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA
Roy Williams, moderator, MC USA
The JEC continues to be an important place for leaders of MC Canada
and MC USA to process common or overlapping agenda, build
relationships between Canadian and US leadership, and to share
reporting from each national church. The JEC is the primary point of
accountability for Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN), a joint ministry
of both churches. It gives attention to other joint ministry and identity
concerns. The JEC meets face-to-face twice per year.
The report below focuses on MC Canada-MC USA inter-relational items.
Much of the information MC Canada leaders shared at these meetings
can be found elsewhere in this report book (e.g. MC Canada’s Identity
and Purpose statement and three priorities, formation of the Faith & Life
Committee, issues of Area Conference Only Membership, etc.).
• Met, welcomed, and interacted with Roy Williams, the new
moderator for MC USA.
• Roy shared the three MC USA church-wide
priorities: becoming a missional church, training
pastoral leaders and making global connections.
Another MC USA focus is reexamining the role of area
Reflections on Charlotte 2005
• MC Canada found there was a positive sense from
the assembly and worship was invigorating. Lower
Canadian delegate attendance than normal was a
concern. Some also had a sense of being participants
in a U.S.-style convention. Cost and distance were
factors that kept western Canadians from attending
the assembly.
Concerned assembly-goers gathered to
• MC USA delegates reported a growing interest in
march for peace at the Charlotte 2005
involving youth and young adults in the work of the
church. Delegates also struggled with how and when to
speak to government. Another key delegate discussion focused the
goal of becoming an antiracist church.
• Both church bodies are experiencing some theological
polarization, but the merging of theological and political polarizations
appears to be unique to Mennonite Church USA. The role of
the United States in the world as a super power heightens this
differentiation. For MC USA, its desire to be a missional church
means taking its national and cultural identity seriously so that it can
develop an alternative narrative.
MC Canada–MC USA Partnership
• The JEC provides oversight for ministries
shared by MC Canada and MC USA, such as
MPN, AMBS, ministerial leadership, and youth
ministries. Our organizational structures differ,
but much of the collaboration function rests with
the JEC. Ultimate authority for decisions rests
with the individual church bodies.
• Both U.S. and Canadian delegates at
Charlotte 2005 affirmed partnership ministries in
publishing, seminary training and other areas.
• Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite
Church USA are two national church bodies that
relate together through the family of worldwide
Mennonites, but also have a special “sibling”
relationship with each other through a shared
history and vision for ministry. The two church
bodies share a theological “oneness” through
our common Confession of Faith, vision statement, polity and visual
identity. The JEC will continue to work at defining the operational
relationship between the two church bodies as we look toward some
form of a shared future.
Discussion at 2005 Conference
Ministers and Mission Leaders
Future of Joint Assemblies
• One challenge of holding a joint assembly is building separate
identities for the US and Canadian church bodies. US and Canadian
delegates affirmed the possibility of meeting together in the future.
MC Canada Executive:
• Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada no longer
need to meet together in a joint delegate assembly for governance
purposes. Other alternatives for meeting together (delegate or nondelegate) and for enhancing the ministries of the two church bodies
should be explored.
Esther Peters
Henry Krause
Garth Ewert Fisher
Marlene Janzen
Clare Schlegel
• For Mennonite Church Canada, any future joint gathering must be
affordable and, if it’s a delegate meeting, “close enough” so more
delegates can attend.
—Henry Krause on behalf of the MC Canada Executive
Assembly 2005 Actions and
Motion 1
The delegate assembly adopts
the minutes of the 5th Annual
Session of Mennonite Church
Canada as recorded and
published in Minute Book 2004
issued by MC Canada.
Motion 2
The delegate assembly approves
the actions of the General Board
taken between July 10, 2004 and
July 5, 2005.
Motion 3
The delegate assembly approves
the audited financial statements
for MC Canada for the year ended
January 31, 2005.
Motion 4
The delegate assembly adopts
the Identity and Purpose
Motion 5
The delegate assembly refers the
Identity and Purpose Statement
to the Resolutions Committee for
further work and requests that
they bring a recommendation
back to delegates on Friday.
Motion 6
Be it resolved that Mennonite
Church Canada delegates
continue to meet in an annual
assembly and that we ask the
General Board to review this
decision in five years (i.e., 2010).
Motion 7
The delegate assembly adopts
the revised Statement of Identity
and Purpose for Mennonite
Church Canada as a substitute to
Motion 4.
Motion 8
Be it resolved that Mennonite
Church Canada transfer the title
of 600 Shaftesbury Boulevard to
Canadian Mennonite University
for the consideration of one dollar
($1.00) provided that:
1. MC Canada will be able to
use the conference offices and
Heritage Centre for as long
as it wishes, and will have the
same responsibility for utilities,
maintenance, taxes, etc. that it
has now.
2. MC Canada will be able
to recover the value of the
conference offices and Heritage
Centre if it chooses to move its
offices elsewhere. MC Canada
will share this value with MC
Manitoba according to its
share of the conference office
3. MC Canada will be able to
borrow against the value of
the conference offices and the
Heritage Centre. MC Canada
will share this borrowing
capacity with MC Manitoba
according to its share of the
conference office building.
4. MC Manitoba’s rights under
its current long-term lease are
5. CMU will own 600
Shaftesbury and will be free to
develop the property as needed
for its ministry, although it will
not be able to borrow against
the value of the conference
offices and the Heritage Centre.
Motion 9
The delegate assembly approves
the budget presented for the fiscal
year ending January 31, 2006,
as well as the projected budgets
presented for fiscal year ending
January 31, 2007 and fiscal year
ending January 31, 2008.
Motion 10
The delegate assembly appoints
KPMG as the auditor for
Mennonite Church Canada for
fiscal year ending January 31,
Motion 11
The delegate assembly approves
changes to the bylaws of
Mennonite Church Canada
to incorporate Section XIII
Moderators, Secretaries and
Conference Ministers Meeting,
Articles 36 and 37 as presented
in the Report Book.
Motion 12
The delegate assembly approves
changes to the bylaws of
Mennonite Church Canada to
incorporate Section XI Faith and
Life Committee, Articles 30 and
31 as revised by the Resolutions
Motion 13
The delegate assembly approves
all other changes in the bylaws
of Mennonite Church Canada as
presented on pages 73-80 of the
Assembly 2005 Report Book.
Amendment 13.1
The delegate assembly agrees
to keep Items (f) and (g) of Part
XI, Article 32 Section (1) in the
bylaws of Mennonite Church
Amendment 13.2
The delegate assembly approves
changing the proposed Item (c) of
Part XII, Article 33, Section (5) in
the bylaws of Mennonite Church
Canada as follows:
(a) Canadian Mennonite
elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools related with
MC Canada.
Amendment 13.3
The delegate assembly agrees to
strike the proposed Item (vii) from
Part X, Article 29, Section (g) of
the bylaws of Mennonite Church
Motion 14
The delegate assembly agrees
the nominations cease and the
slate be approved as presented.
Motion 15
The delegate assembly agrees
that the composition and
mandate of the Faith and Life
Committee be reviewed in five
(5) years, that is 2010, by the
General Board.
Resolution of Thanks:
We recognize the significant
amount of organization and
work that is necessary to put
an assembly together. We have
had an inspiring and challenging
week. We listened to stories, we
sang the Gospel, and we made
progress in understanding our
mission as the people of God.
• Thank you to the staff of MC
Canada and to every person on
each committee that planned this
• Thank you to the Convention
Planning Office of Mennonite
Church USA, which did much
of the initial planning regarding
• Thank you to the volunteers
who guided us on our way.
• Thank you to the workshop and
seminar leaders who educated
and informed us.
• Thank you to all the members
of boards and councils, and
especially the moderator.
• Thank you to the leaders of
worship and those who spoke
words of exhortation and
inspiration to us.
All have contributed tirelessly to
the ongoing work of promoting the
Kingdom of God.
Thank you.
General Board Actions – 2005
MAR 2005 – NOV 2005
Cost of Living
First Fruits Giving
The General Board agrees to a 1.8% cost of living
increase for all staff for the 2005-06 fiscal year. This
increase is in accordance with MC Canada policy
(equivalent to the September 2003 – September
2004 Consumer Price Index).
The General Board approves the action of the
Joint Executive Committee to determine a First
Fruits contribution of $25,000 US from Mennonite
Publishing Network to MC USA (75%) and MC
Canada (25%) for FYE’04, FYE’05 and FYE’06 and
to be reviewed thereafter. The General Board agrees
to return the MC Canada funds to MPN for debt
2005 Budget
The General Board agrees to recommend that
delegates at Charlotte 2005 approve the budget for
FYE 2006 as presented.
MPN Board
The General Board agrees to designate Abe Bergen
as having a four (4) year term that expires in 2007,
and Laverne Brubacher and Carry Dueck as having
two (2) year terms that expire July 31, 2005. Subject
to their acceptance, the General Board appoints
Laverne Brubacher and Carry Dueck to the MPN
board for a second term (4 years expires 2009).
Statement of Identity and Purpose
The General Board affirms the work done by
the committee to develop this statement and
recommends the delegates approve the Mennonite
Church Canada Statement of Identity and Purpose as
General Secretary Items
Fund Transfers
The General Board agrees to:
A. Transfer from General Treasury to Internally
Restricted funds the following:
1) Witness Council
2) Formation Council
a) $5,000 to an Archive fund
3) Support Services Council
a) $7,000 to a Communication fund
B. Transfer from Internally Restricted funds to the
General Treasury the following:
1) Witness Council
a) $1,899 from the Partner
Project Korea fund
C. Transfer the Witness Council’s Internally
Restricted Capital fund of $101,598 to two Witness
Council Internally Restricted funds.
1) Native Ministries $94,258, and
2) International Ministries $7,340.
The General Board accepts the notice of resignation
from Dan Nighswander as General Secretary and
expresses sincere appreciation to Dan for his
contributions to the church.
The General Board agrees to grant Dan Nighswander
a professional development and service leave
effective December 1, 2005 through May 31, 2006 for
personal renewal, study and to write a commentary
on I Corinthians for the Believers’ Church Bible
The General Board agrees to review the job
description of the General Secretary at the April
meeting, looking specifically at what the GS needs
to do more of and what they could do less of as they
work to fulfill the vision and mandate of MC Canada.
Property Transfer
The General Board agrees to:
a) Recommend to the board of Canadian
Mennonite University and the board of MC
Manitoba the restructuring of the ownership of
600 Shaftesbury Boulevard according to the
proposed transfer and conditions outlined in the
recommendation from Support Services Council
[Proposed Restructuring of the Ownership of 600
Shaftesbury Boulevard, March 5, 2005]
b) If CMU and MC Manitoba accept the proposal,
recommend this proposed transfer and conditions
to the delegates at Charlotte 2005.
c) If either CMU or MC Manitoba does not accept
the proposal, they are requested to provide a
counter-proposal to GB for its consideration. If
a counter-proposal cannot be available for the
GB meeting in April 2005, the GB may choose
to defer any recommendation regarding the
ownership of 600 Shaftesbury Blvd. to delegates
until Edmonton 2006.
The General Board agrees with the principles of the
“Memorandum of Understanding on Dissolution” and
recommends Support Services proceed with a legal
The General Board asks Dan Nighswander to
keep the MC Canada representative on the CMU
board (Ruth Friesen) informed about the proposed
restructuring of the ownership of 600 Shaftesbury
Boulevard and the MOU of Dissolution.
Resource services
The General Board has learned, through the
Christian Witness Council evaluation of the
Congregational Partnerships Department, that
congregations are calling for consulting services
of various kinds. The GB requests that the General
Secretary initiate conversations between area
conferences about how to address this need for
The General Board agrees to use the budget
planning worksheet tool for setting FYE’07 budget
priorities at the April meeting.
Charlotte 2005
The General Board agrees that delegates should
discuss the following issues at Charlotte 2005:
Purpose, identity, function and priority
statements (or portion thereof)
ii) The future of funding the church
iii) Definition of membership (provincially active
only?) [now known as Area Conference Only
iv) Resolution re: continuing with annual
v) Future joint assemblies
vi) Education funding
Constituency Survey
The General Board approves the Support
Services Council request for $10,000 in funding
for a constituency survey from the New Initiatives
Reserve fund. This survey will help MC Canada
better understand our constituency’s perceptions
and needs, and better plan our communications and
ministries in the future. The survey will take place
during FYE’06.
General Secretary Search
The General Board appoints Louie Sawatsky, Doug
Epp, Andy Reesor-McDowell and Henry Krause to
the General Secretary Search Committee, and seeks
one additional representative (who is not from GB) to
represent MCA/MC Sask on this committee.
The General Board asks executive staff to follow up
on the recommendation from Witness to engage in
conversations with other parts of the denomination
to find ways to strengthen ministries promoting
congregational partnership foci.
APRIL 2005
Faith and Life Committee
The General Board agrees to revise the General
Bylaws of Mennonite Church Canada to include a
Faith and Life Committee (see Bylaw, page 95).
The General Board agrees to appoint Andrew
Reesor-McDowell as spokesperson at Charlotte
2005 for matters relating to homosexuality, and to
appoint Sue Steiner, Doug Epp and Esther Peters as
a reference group for Andrew.
The General Board agrees to bring to the delegates
at Charlotte 2005 the resolution for continuing
annual assemblies (as outlined in the docket, page
The General Board agrees to review the practice
of continuing to meet in an annual assembly, in five
years (i.e., 2010).
Statement of Identity and Purpose
The General Board agrees to bring to the delegates
at Charlotte 2005 the resolution for approving the
Statement of Identity and Purpose for MC Canada.
MC Canada - MC USA Relationships
The General Board agrees to recommend to the
Executive Board of MC USA that Parts A, B, and D
of the draft “The relationship between Mennonite
Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA” (dated
March 30, 2005) be presented to delegates for
discussion at Charlotte 2005.
Educational Funding Proposal
The General Board agrees in principle with the “MC
Canada Educational Funding Proposal” and asks the
Education Funding Review Committee to continue
working, in consultation with the schools and with
input from the Denominational Minister and the
Executive Secretary of Christian Formation Council,
on appropriate strategies for allocating national
pastoral leadership development funds.
General Board agrees to issue the
Education Funding Review Committee
report titled “MC Canada Educational
Funding Proposal” (dated April 15,
2005) to the post-secondary schools
and area conferences under cover
of a letter that provides context and
invites feedback on how to integrate
a national strategy for pastoral
leadership development.
Title Transfer
The General Board agrees to bring to the delegates
at Charlotte 2005 the recommendation to transfer
the title of 600 Shaftesbury Boulevard to Canadian
Mennonite University for consideration of one dollar
($1.00) per conditions 1 through 10 as outlined in the
proposal (dated April 13, 2005).
The General Board agrees to approve “Memorandum
of Understanding Regarding Dissolution between
Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Brethren
Church of Manitoba and Menno Simons College”
for independent legal council, and if there are no
concerns, report to the delegates at Charlotte 2005 a
summary of the memorandum.
Subsidy Request
The General Board agrees to send a letter to
area conferences and constituent congregations,
encouraging them to appoint as delegates and
if possible cover or subsidize cost of attendance
at assembly for any General Board, council or
committee members.
The General Board asks Sven Eriksson to represent
and send greetings from MC Canada to the
Mennonite Brethren at the opening and dedication of
their new offices.
Audit Items
The General Board accepts the audited financial
reports for Mennonite Church Canada FYE’05 as
The General Board agrees, subject to receiving an
acceptable fee proposal from KPMG, to recommend
the delegates at Charlotte 2005 appoint KPMG
as MC Canada’s auditor for the fiscal year ending
January 31, 2006.
JULY 2005
The General Board agrees:
Assembly 2005
a) That we dispose of the property in Selkirk,
MB and that the proceeds from the sale (net of
legal fees and other related expenses) be added
to an internally restricted reserve to fund future
Native Ministry program;
b) That we authorize the General Secretary
and/or the Executive Secretary of Support
Services to sign on behalf of Mennonite Church
Canada any documents necessary for this
Longevity Leave Policy
The General Board approves implementation of the
Longevity Leave Policy effective April 15, 2005.
Response to BC Ad Hoc Committee
The General Board asks the Moderator and General
Secretary to draft, in consultation with other executive
staff and board members, a response to the letter
from the Ad Hoc Committee of MCBC (dated March
16, 2005). The GB encourages the Moderator, if
possible, to attend the next ad hoc or executive
meeting of MCBC to report that MC Canada will
continue to work at these issues, and welcomes the
opportunity to meet together in Charlotte.
Area Conference Only Member
The General Board asks the executive staff to draft
a proposal, for General Board review at Charlotte
in July 2005, regarding an “area conference only
member” status that encourages congregations to
remain in relationship with each other.
Leadership Items
The General Board agrees to move actively towards
empowering the General Secretary and executive
staff team with leadership and visioning authority,
within the context and under the responsibility of the
General Board.
The General Board affirms the following officers for
Assembly 2005:
• Listening Committee: Ron Braun, Irene Crosland,
Nancy Brubaker
• Resolutions Committee: Jeremy Bergen, Helen
Kruger, Hugo Peters
• Parliamentarian: Sam Steiner
The General Board approves revising the budget for
FYE’06 to include a one-time expenditure of $30,000
from the 1-1140-6600 (Native Ministries grant line)
with offsetting revenue from 1-1140-9010 (Native
Ministry transfer from internally restricted fund).
The General Board affirms the direction outlined by
executive staff in the recommendation to GB “Section
3.3 status for constituent congregations in MC
Canada”, and agrees that the primary focus of the
round table discussion on membership will be how
to accommodate requests for different membership
affiliations [Question 2, (Charlotte) Report Book pg
The General Board accepts the recommendation
from MCBC to strengthen the mandate of the Faith
and Life Committee and agrees to do further work on
the revision at the November GB meeting.
The General Board agrees to send this letter
and supporting documents to the MCBC ad hoc
committee, noting that we cannot control how these
words are received or used by those who receive a
The General Board asks that the constituency be
informed that church/university venues were explored
but suitable space was not available and therefore
GB supports proceeding with the hotel venue
for Edmonton 2006 provided there is a range of
accommodations made available for delegates.
The General Board agrees to ask the executive staff
team and executive committee of the board to do the
ongoing work of monitoring, reporting and making
recommendations to the General Board regarding
emerging strategic issues.
The General Board agrees to appoint Ernie Epp to
fill the vacant position on the Search Committee for a
General Secretary.
The General Board notes with concern the challenges
that farmers and farm communities are facing in
Canada, especially in areas where crops have been
flooded and those whose cattle cannot be marketed
because of the BSE threat. In the broader context of
food and agricultural issues nationally and globally:
a) We recognize that MCC, MEDA, Canada
Foodgrains Bank, Mennonite Publishing Network,
our schools and the ecumenical organizations of
which we are a part are already contributing to the
church’s understanding of and response to food
and agricultural issues, and we encourage them to
continue in that.
b) We recommend that the planners of future
assemblies plan for seminars that deal with these
c) At our General Board meeting in July we prayed
for the people and communities most directly
involved, and we urge all of our churches to take up
those prayers, to pay attention to these issues, and to
educate themselves about the theological, ethical and
practical implications of the production, distribution
and consumption of food.
MC Canada and MC USA Gathering
The General Board asks staff to explore alternatives
and bring a feasibility study, for a gathering of MC
Canada and MC USA or a broader Anabaptist
context in Canada in 2008, to the GB meeting in April
The General Board agrees to make a $2,500
donation to the Canadian Council of Christian
Charities in recognition of the good job done
preparing and winning the appeal of the Canada
Revenue Agency Employment Insurance
The General Board agrees to increase the mileage
rate to $0.38 per kilometer effective November 1,
The General Board affirms the appointment of Helen
Kasdorf as a member of FPAC for a 3-year term,
effective July 2005.
The General Board affirms the appointment of Betty
Pries to the Faith and Life Committee for a 3-year
term effective July 2005.
General Secretary Call
The General Board recommends calling Robert (Jack)
Suderman as new General Secretary for Mennonite
Church Canada, recognizing implementation will
involve making structural changes within our financial
The General Board recommends contacting the
current nominees about serving on the Faith and
Life Committee, and returning to GB for additional
suggestions if they both decline.
Pension Plan
The General Board asks Belton & Grom and Group
Retirement Services to move our pension plan core
option to the alternative described as “Option 1” in
their presentation to the Pension Advisory Committee
on 22-Oct-2005.
Native Ministry title transfers
The General Board agrees to:
a) Transfer Mennonite Church Canada’s
property at Cross Lake to Living Word Church Inc.
for consideration of one dollar ($1.00);
b) Allow Native Ministry staff to negotiate with
Living Word Church Inc. a mutually agreeable
arrangement for payment of the fees related to the
transfer; and
c) Authorize the Executive Secretary, Christian
Witness and Executive Secretary, Support
Services to sign all documents necessary to effect
this transfer.
The General Board agrees to:
a) Transfer Mennonite Church Canada’s
property at Manigotagan to the Manigotagan
Community Chapel Inc. for consideration of one
dollar ($1.00);
b) That Mennonite Church Canada should
have the right to decide upon lease termination,
whether Mennonite Church Canada wishes to
subdivide the property or receive cash from
Canadian Mennonite University,
b) Allow Native Ministry staff to negotiate
with the Manigotagan Community Chapel Inc. a
mutually agreeable arrangement for payment of
the fees related to the transfer; and
c) That Mennonite Properties Inc. and Canadian
Mennonite University both be made parties to
the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding
Dissolution, and
c) Authorize the Executive Secretary, Christian
Witness and Executive Secretary, Support
Services to sign all documents necessary to effect
this transfer.
d) That the Financial Policy and Audit
Committee shall advise the General Board
whether another property appraisal is needed on
600 Shaftesbury, and which method of valuation
should be used to determine the value of the
mortgage that Canadian Mennonite University will
grant to Mennonite Church Canada.
The General Board agrees to:
a) Transfer Mennonite Church Canada’s
property at Matheson Island to Mennonite Church
Manitoba for consideration of one dollar ($1.00),
provided that Mennonite Church Manitoba
develops with the Matheson Island Community
Fellowship the trust agreements and processes
necessary to ensure the property is used for
church development, community outreach, and
partnership ministries as desired by the people of
Matheson Island;
The General Board approves the addition of group
insurance for interim pastors to our group insurance
program, with the parameters as outlined in the
recommendation from Support Services Council
(docket Item 14a, page 7).
International Personnel Policy
b) Allow Native Ministry staff to negotiate with
Mennonite Church Manitoba a mutually agreeable
arrangement for payment of the fees related to the
transfer; and
c) Authorize the Executive Secretary, Christian
Witness and Executive Secretary, Support
Services to sign all documents necessary to effect
this transfer.
CMU title transfer
The General Board agrees to transfer the title to
600 Shaftesbury Boulevard to Canadian Mennonite
University for consideration of one dollar ($1.00) as
outlined in the “Proposed Transfer of 600 Shaftesbury
Blvd. to CMU”, draft dated June 15, 2005 and subject
to the following additional conditions:
The General Board approves the International
Personnel Policy and asks staff to seek legal counsel
on the policy.
The GB asks Andrew Reesor-McDowell and Jack
Suderman to prepare some case studies showing
what the bylaws, GB agenda and Council agenda
might look like under the Relationship Model™, for
the March meetings.
The General Board affirms Andy and Jack to work
on the case studies for the March meeting, with
authorization to consult with Les Stalke if they would
find it helpful.
a) That Mennonite Church Canada enter into
a written commitment with Canadian Mennonite
University to retain the same lender with regard to
600 Shaftesbury;
The General Board, agreeing with the direction
outlined in the “Priorities of a Missional Church”, asks
staff to articulate the three priorities with more clarity,
and we will continue to work on the core processes
The General Board affirms the “Report to General
Board” from the Faith and Life Committee (Nov 3)
and encourages the committee to proceed to work
on the first issue, “the meaning of membership in MC
Canada” and to engage the Reference Council in this
discernment at Leadership Assembly in March 2006.
The General Board affirms the work done by
Christian Formation staff to set up the education
leaders gathering in November, and encourages
discernment of how the schools can help MC
Canada achieve its vision for being the church
and specifically its mandate of pastoral leadership
The General Board has not reached a decision on
how to allocate education funds in the future, which
means there are no planned changes to allocation of
education funding (subject to normal budget review)
while we continue to work with the report from the
educational funding review committee and to engage
the schools in this discernment. The General Board
affirms pastoral leadership development as a priority
for MC Canada, and strongly affirms the value of all
the schools in fulfilling this mandate.
The General Board continues to affirm and carry MC
Canada’s responsibility for governance of CMU and
AMBS, and recognizes that General Board has not
connected with our appointed representatives as well
as we should have. The General Board also affirms
that its preference is to exercise this governance
responsibility through Christian Formation Council,
but has not set a timeline for moving in this direction.
The General Board asks staff to research and
document our obligations, the historical flow of
financial decisions and commitments made with
CMU/CMBC by the April GB meeting.
Area Conference Only Membership (ACOM)
The General Board asks the General Secretary,
Marguerite Jack and Garth Ewert Fisher to look at
the MC Canada bylaws, and membership guidelines
to bring forward in March a framework of the potential
membership obligations, privileges and expectations
of membership in MC Canada for different categories
of membership.
More detailed documents on these and other General
Board activities are available on request.
God calls us
to be followers
of Jesus Christ,
and by the power
of the Holy Spirit,
to grow as
of grace, joy,
and peace,
so that God’s
healing and hope
flow through us
to the world.
God calls, equips
and sends the
church to engage
the world with the
reconciling gospel
of Jesus Christ.
To engage the
world with the
gospel of
Jesus Christ,
with God’s
help we will:
Core processes for each priority:
Form a people of God by:
We are a
community of
disciples of Jesus,
A part of the
Body of Christ,
together as
area conferences,
and a national
church body.
responding to
God’s initiatives
and empowered
by the Holy
Spirit, we commit
ourselves and
our resources to
calling, equipping
and sending the
church to engage
the world with the
reconciling Gospel
of Jesus Christ.
• Form a
people of God.
• Become a
global Church.
• Grow
leaders for the
• Discerning, calling forth, and equipping the
gifts of the Spirit that are among and within us;
• Discerning the “signs of the times,” i.e.,
understanding the terrain in which we minister
and the world we need to engage;
• Nurturing and strengthening the “body-life”
of our church;
• “Extending our table:” being intentional
about inviting people into relationship with
Jesus Christ, and nurturing our capacity for
hospitality within the life of our community.
Become a global church by:
• Strengthening our capacity to engage with
and learn from the diversity that God nurtures
among us and beyond us;
• Committing to reconciling ministry “from
across the street to around the world;”
• Nurturing a growing accountability to the
global communion of faith, especially to the
community of Anabaptists:
• Embracing and fostering our Mennonite
identity as a perspective of Christian faith
within all cultures and ethnic identities.
Grow leaders for the church by:
• Strengthening the family and the home as a
seed-bed for emerging church leadership;
• Becoming more intentional about broadlybased leadership training;
• Focusing resources on educating pastors
to be leaders and some leaders to become
• Encouraging new models and styles of
leadership for a missional church.
Mennonite Church USA
Healing & Hope
God calls us
to be followers
of Jesus Christ,
and by the power
of the Holy Spirit,
to grow as
of grace, joy,
and peace,
so that God’s
healing and hope
flow through us
to the world.
We rejoice in the wonderful experience we had together last
summer in Charlotte, North Carolina, when more than 8,500
Mennonites from Canada and the United States gathered for a
joint convention. And we want to encourage you as you gather
this summer to consider what it means to be God’s People Now!
We are grateful for the many ministries we share.
We celebrate . . .
• The release of the new Gather ’Round Sunday school curriculum through
Mennonite Publishing Network, in collaboration with Mennonite Church Canada
• The ministry we share through Christian Peacemaker Teams.
• Our common experience with the global Anabaptist family through the
Mennonite World Conference General Council meetings in Pasadena, California,
last March.
• Opportunities to focus on our common Confession of Faith in a Mennonite
Perspective such as the conference in June at AMBS.
• The collaborative work of Mennonite Church Canada Witness and Mennonite
Mission Network.
• Relationships between Mennonite racial/ethnic groups that span the
Canadian/U.S. border, including Hispanics, Asians, and native North American
and aboriginal groups.
• The continuing collaborative work of Mennonite Men and Mennonite Women.
• The shared ministry of our denominational ministerial staff, including the
annual gathering of the Youth Ministries Council.
• Other opportunities for shared ministry like Leadership magazine and our
common Special Sundays for peace, mission, publishing, stewardship and more.
Twice each year, the Joint Executive Committee (the executive committees of
Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA) meets to implement
our partnership covenant and to build on each other’s strengths. We are
currently exploring the possibility of a joint leadership (non-delegate) event in
Canada for summer 2008.
From our understanding of our past journey and our current realities, we
covenant to move forward together in ministry – exploring and defining new ways
of relating, sharing and serving – even as each of our national bodies continues
to mature in their separate identities and missions.
The next churchwide gathering for Mennonite Church USA will be in San Jose,
California in summer 2007. Pray that we, too, will experience what it means to be
God’s people. We will be learning what it means to Live the Call! as we focus on
Ephesians 4:1-6.
We are praying for you as you gather in Edmonton to celebrate what it means to
be called out of darkness into God’s wonderful light.
—Jim Schrag, Executive Director, Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite World Conference
Making our communion in
Christ real
Mennonite World Conference is called to
be a communion of Anabaptist related
churches linked to one another in a
worldwide community of faith for fellowship,
worship, service and witness.
Today MWC represents ninety-five
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ national
churches from fifty-one countries on six
continents. Close to 1,300,000 believers
belong to this faith family; at least 60% are
African, Asian or Latin American.
• MWC’s next global gathering is in
Paraguay in 2009, but MWC is much more
than a gathering every six years. Strengthening our global links is done
in a variety of ways. Special support is given to churches under duress,
such as relaying appeals for prayer in 2005 when Vietnamese Mennonite
pastors were imprisoned. MWC plans to nurture the capacity of the
Congolese Mennonite Churches to interact with each other.
• The Shared Convictions Statement, first drafted in 2003, was agreed
upon in Pasadena in March 2006 and will be distributed worldwide.
• In the Mennonite History Project, the volumes for Europe and Asia are
to be released in 2006.
• The website, Courier magazine and World
Fellowship Sunday continue to be ways for our congregations to be
• A network of “Connectors,” people interested in MWC, receive regular
newsletters electronically.
• The youth committee, AMIGOS, works at building communications
among youth and young adults worldwide. Nicole Cobber-Bauman is MC
Canada’s representative.
• MC Canada has offered the services of Jack Suderman to MWC. For
two weeks in 2006 he will be available for teaching ministries within the
global family.
• MC Canada has budgeted $38,000 for MWC. This amount does not
meet the Fair Share allotment which we are invited to give for MWC’s
operating expenses.
The General Council of MWC
met from March 7-15, 2006
in Pasadena, California to
conduct business, worship
and fellowship together, and
to participate in consultations
and discussions.
Approximately ninety delegates
from member churches were
present, but fifteen delegates
from eight countries were
denied visas to enter the
United States. Each day,
these absent delegates were
prayed for, as well as for the
immigration authorities. On
the Sunday afternoon worship
service, fifteen empty chairs
lined the front of the platform.
This, together with
the death of CPTer,
Tom Fox, was a
powerful reminder
of the need in our
world for God’s
kingdom of justice
and peace.
It is a joy to belong to Mennonite World Conference, so let’s become
connected and supportive in order to make our communion in Christ real.
—Naomi Unger, Laura Loewen and Andrew Ressor-McDowell, MC
Canada representatives at MWC
Mennonite Church Alberta
Annual Budget: $455,000
Executive: Verna Froese, Secretary;
Noreen Neufeld, Finance Chair; Linden
Willms, Vice Moderator; Marguerite
Jack, Moderator
Staff: Keith Hunsberger, Treasurer;
Jim Shantz, Minister to Conference;
Jeff Schellenberg, Camp Valaqua
Manager; Jon Olfert, Camp Valaqua
Director; Don Stoesz, Bowden
Penitentiary Chaplain.
MC Canada Staff:
Marvin Baergen, Missional Formation
and Partnership Facilitator
Mennonite Church Alberta is a small conference comprised of 18
churches with approximately 1800 members. And we speak different
languages: Cantonese, Lao, Spanish, Vietnamese, German and English!
We are thankful that we have diversity and that we can learn to discern
God’s voice together – in a variety of ways.
We continue to meet annually at our delegate sessions. This year our
conference was held at Foothills Mennonite Church, Calgary in April. We
had our first “Round Table” discussions around “seeking a new vision” for
Camp Valaqua. Our various Committees provided workshops for our
delegate sessions. We interacted with the ideas and dreams that our
committee members have worked at over the past year and heard what
is being planned for the coming year. The committee’s gifts are in the
areas of missions and service, congregational life, finance, youth, history,
planning for conferences, congregational leadership, songfest and women
in mission. We are thankful for all our volunteers – for their work and for
their commitment to the church.
The Pastors Council continues to play an
important role in the life of our conference. This
group meets regularly to discuss issues within
the conference, to share with each other the
experiences in their own congregations, to pray for
each other, and to learn together. Jim Shantz, the
conference pastor, leads this group.
Camp Valaqua
campers to wade
into a relationship
with God, each
other and the
Camp Valaqua is our largest program and it
receives a large portion of our resources – energy,
time and money. At the end of our last summer
season we said fond farewells to Don and Tanya
Dyck Steinmann and this January welcomed Jon
Olfert and his family as our new Camp Director.
Together with Jeff Schellenberg, the camp
manager, Jon will be busy hosting the regular
campers during the summer, and will also host
youth events, church retreats, and educational
sessions throughout the year. The Youth from the conference converge
on the camp during the winter snow camps as well – enjoying the quiet
and beauty of Valaqua’s wilderness setting.
Don Stoesz works as a chaplain at the Bowden Penitentiary. This
chaplaincy is totally funded through Correctional Service Canada and
is an important component of Mennonite Church Alberta. The Bowden
facility is located midway between Calgary and Edmonton on the Queen
Elizabeth II Highway.
We continue to struggle through important issues affecting our church and
we ask that you as the wider church keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
We welcome you to Alberta this July, and look forward to meeting and
worshipping with you at the Edmonton Annual Delegate Assembly.
—Marguerite Jack, Moderator, Mennonite Church Alberta
Mennonite Church British Columbia
Will you welcome them?
It is like God has been saying, “I am bringing you these people, will you
welcome them?” This is the story of Sherbrooke Mennonite Church
in Vancouver. We are slowly becoming an intentionally intercultural
church. I sometimes think it is our intention to design an intercultural
congregation, but reality suggests that it has been God’s intention,
and we, for the most part, have reluctantly joined the ride, resisting
and rebelling at every bump on the road. Right now we are building
relationships among people of at least six cultural groups: German,
Canadian, Vietnamese, Korean, Azerbaijani and marginalised people in
our neighbourhood. There are a number of other cultural groups in our
neighbourhood; we just haven’t found a way to welcome them yet.
Activity/Program: An Area Conference
desiring to work together to achieve
those things which we cannot do easily
as separate churches.
In the Fall of 2004, we were introduced to a well-groomed, statelylooking gentleman who had come to Canada seeking refuge. His grace
and outward appearance did not reveal the pain, suffering and traumatic
journey that had led him to this place in his life. He was not only seeking
refuge in this country, but was also seeking Jesus. He had been
severely tortured and imprisoned in his home country for revealing truths
about human rights violations. He had also come to understand that
Jesus is not a God who tortures and kills, but One who loves, heals and
forgives. He soon confessed Jesus as his Saviour and Lord and became
a member of our congregation. He continues to suffer as a result of
the trauma, yet his devotion to Jesus and commitment to prayer has far
surpassed many of us in the congregation. His wife and children have
suffered in their home country because of his departure, so we are in the
process of helping them to reunite.
Ministry goals and objectives:
To sow, grow and reproduce healthy
churches and believers within British
Average Annual Budget: $465,500
(excluding Camp Squeah)
Henry Kliewer, Conference Minister;
Edgar Rivera, Part-time Evangelism and
Church Development Administrator;
Janette Thiessen, Office Administrator
Board of Directors Executive Officers:
Gerd Bartel, Moderator
Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen, ViceModerator
Don Teichroeb, Finance Committee
MC Canada Representatives:
Gerd Bartel, Western Director of
Resource Development
A number of Korean families have come
to Sherbrooke, but they came already as
Christians. They are looking for a church
that is congregational in its leadership
structure and has a strong emphasis on
community, and they have found this in the
Mennonite Church.
I believe that our experiences are an
expression of what it means to be the
people of God, according to 1 Peter 2:910, receiving and extending God’s mercy.
—Garry Janzen, pastor
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada
Identity & Vision Statement:
Extending the peace of Jesus
Christ, Making Disciples, Growing
Congregations, Forming Leaders.
MCEC Staff:
Brian Bauman, Mission Minister
Muriel Bechtel, Conference Minister
David Martin, Executive Minister
Marianne Mellinger, Coordinator of
Leadership Formation
Ester Neufeldt, Operations Minister
Bev Raimbault, Administrative
Karla Richards, Administrative
Joan Schooley, Administrative
Jeff Steckley, Congregational
Ministries Minister
Lisa Williams, Director of
Extending the peace of Jesus Christ, Making Disciples,
Growing Congregations, Forming Leaders.
200 Junior Youth and their teachers met together to explore what
extending the peace of Jesus Christ may look like. They worshipped,
examined and discussed what it means to extend this peace to those
around them – the school bully, friends and family. We celebrate the
rich growth in our Junior Youth as they were challenged through this
interaction. The peace of Christ extended.
“How do we become a part of MCEC?”
MCEC heard this question, not only once, but twice, as two new
congregations have formed over the past year. We are excited as new
congregations engage and reach out to their communities around them;
we look for ways to walk alongside them as they develop and grow.
The peace of Christ extended.
Four hundred people gathered together for a weekend conference
with Tony and Peggy Campolo on the subject of homosexuality. We seek
God’s leading and wisdom as we continue to work through tough issues,
like this one, through our Season of Discernment. How do we extend the
peace of Jesus Christ when we disagree? What does the peace of Jesus
Christ look like during these times? We ask for prayers and grace from
our fellow sisters and brothers across Canada.
The peace of Christ extended.
Non-violence training, non-violent demonstrations and reflections
on what it means to be a Christian witness for peace in today’s
world -- the lives of ten youth and young adults may forever be
changed. As participants in an MCEC learning trip to the peace
demonstrations at the School of the Americas in Georgia, they were
challenged and encouraged. The peace of Christ extended.
MCEC celebrates all areas of ministry over the past year and thanks
God for the growth and nurture we have experienced. We also
celebrate the hard work which has taken place as we continue in our
transition to a new ministry model and anticipate the new ministry that
this structure will foster.
and Valleyview
Church youth
explore what it
means to extend
peace at the
Junior Youth
During the fiscal year ending January 2006, Congregations in MCEC
contributed a total of $2,307,836 to the ministry of MCEC and MC
Canada. In accordance with a covenant arrangement between MCEC
and MC Canada, $1,388,394 remained in MCEC to fund regional
ministries while $919,442 was forwarded through MCEC to MC Canada
to support the ministry of the wider church.
Our partnership with MC Canada remains a vital link as we continue to
look for ways to enhance our ministry, both for MCEC and for MC Canada.
Recognizing that we are God’s People Now empowers us to move ahead in
the ministry that God is leading us to. May we continually be challenged to
extend the peace of Jesus Christ in our congregations, our communities and
our world.
— Lisa Williams, Director of Communications, MCEC
Mennonite Church Manitoba
Theme for Our Work:
The theme for Mennonite Church Manitoba in 2005 was “Rooted in the
Centre – Living on the Edge” and is reflected in Isaiah 49:6 “I will give
you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of
the earth”. As a body firmly rooted in Christ, we are called to reconcile
everything and everyone to God. We will continue to use this theme for
the next two years. In 2006 we will focus on being “Rooted in the Centre”
and in 2007 will emphasize what it means to be “Living on the Edge”.
Activity: A community of 50
congregations, together presenting
Jesus Christ to the world.
MCM Ministries:
1. Education Ministries encompasses both Outdoor Ministries (Camps
with Meaning) and Congregational Ministries (Equipping, Youth and Young Adults).
2. Evangelism and Service Ministries is focused on evangelism and
missional formation, church planting and congregational development,
and service ministries.
3. Leadership Ministries provides pastoral support through
encouragement, peer support, opportunities for education, accountability
and spiritual care; pastoral placement in congregations; university
chaplaincy and hospital chaplaincy; administration and disbursement of
pastoral training scholarships and bursaries.
4. The Church Community Building Ministry tells the stories of
ministry in MCM congregations, of activity within the ministries of MCM,
and provides support services for MCM ministries.
New Member Congregations: At the 2006 Annual Delegate Session,
the Riverton Fellowship Circle and the Living Word Church at Cross Lake
were received into membership. Both congregations worked through the
Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, and participated in an
interview to discuss the meaning of membership, among other steps.
Issues and Initiatives: A proposal outlining ordination expectations
for MCM congregations was adopted at the 2006 Annual Delegate
Session, providing congregations with guidelines for credentials, ongoing
education, formation and growth in ministry for
persons called into pastoral ministry.
In 2005 we began a process called “Our
Health and Our Future” to examine the
health and future of MCM. We will ask
questions about purpose, reflect on aspects
of organizational life that are life-giving
and nurturing, identify activities and practices that have lost their
effectiveness, and discern trends, with the goal of enhancing the overall
direction, purpose and activities for the time in which we live.
An Education Ministry review took an in-depth look at the outdoor
(camping) ministries and congregational ministries of MCM to determine
where we need to change and grow. The review comes at a critical time
when financial and personnel resources are being stretched to the limit.
It will be completed in early 2006.
—Edgar Rempel, Executive Director, MCM
Ministry Goals and Objectives:
The MCM mission is to resource
and empower each other, and to
facilitate spiritual growth, service and
Annual Budget: $1,695,000
Reporting to: Board of Directors and
congregational delegates at delegate
Board: Bernie Tiessen, Moderator;
Directors: Gordon Driedger, Julie
Derksen, Don Bergen, Hans Werner,
Kathy Hogue, Ruth Falk, Peter Epp.
Staff: Administrative Staff:
Edgar Rempel, Executive Director;
Tom Seals, Treasurer; Gina Loewen,
Leonore Peters and Eva Loewen,
Administrative Assistants; Ministry
Staff: John P. Klassen, Director of
Leadership Ministries; Norm Voth,
Director of Evangelism and Service
Ministries; Bob Wiebe, Director of
Education Ministries; Elisa Suderman
Barkman, Associate Director of
Summer Camp and Youth Ministry;
Darryl Neustaedter Barg, Associate
Director Media Ministries; Dorothea
Rempel Kampen, Frohe Botschaft
Producer; Camp Managers and Staff.
Riverton Fellowship
Circle joins Mennonite
Church Manitoba
Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
(MC Sask)
MC Sask staff
Conference Minister: Jerry Buhler
Youth Minister: Anna Rehan
MC Canada staff in Saskatchewan
Eric Olfert
Missional Formation and Partnership
Moderator: Henry Block
Deputy Moderator: Gary Peters
Secretary: Denise Martens
Finance Chairperson: Doyle Wiebe
At the 2005 Delegate sessions MC Sask accepted in principle a vision
statement that calls us to be “Christ Centred and Sent…” This vision was
fully accepted at our delegate sessions held February 24-25, 2006. Our
activities and programs need to answer the question, “Does this activity
or program call us to be Christ centred and then sent by Christ?” This is
to guide us in future planning.
MC Sask is engaged in a variety of programs. We have a camping
ministry that reaches over 800 campers every year. More than one
third of our campers have no church affiliation. Our camps are on three
locations, Camp Elim, on the shores of Lake Pelletier, Youth Farm Bible
Camp at the Rosthern Youth Farm, and Camp Shekinah at the Shekinah
Retreat Centre.
Person to Person (P2P) is a friendship based prison visitation ministry
involving about 150 volunteers. This ministry is also branching out
to “Circles of Support and Accountability” to give ongoing support to
released offenders. At this time volunteers are involved in about six
support circles. As we are Christ centred we are sent to those in
prison and to those released from prison.
For over one hundred years, Rosthern Junior College has been
offering secondary students a high quality education experience.
The impact of this school is felt across the province, the country,
and around the world. RJC is a joint project with MC Alberta.
Jerry Buhler, Conference Minister,
MC Sask
Early in our history members of MC Sask saw thring care to our
senior citizens. We operate a 68 bed nursing home at the Youth
Farm Complex in Rosthern. This same project has 32 assisted
living units. A significant change in our service to seniors this
past year took place with the decision to transfer ownership and
operation of the Herbert Nursing Home to the Cypress Regional
Health Authority. This was primarily done in the interests of the
community as the local hospital was to be closed with acute care to be
annexed to the nursing home. On February 7, 2006 we had a service in
Herbert celebrating 54 years of MC Sask ministry to the seniors.
We mourn the loss of three member congregations this past year. Two
were by congregational vote – Cornerstone in Saskatoon and Neuanlage
Grace Mennonite near Hague – and one by closure – Bethany Mennonite
in Watrous – a result of rural depopulation. We pray God’s blessing on these
congregations and members as they seek God’s direction into the future.
The summer of 2005 will be particularly remembered by 95 youth and
sponsors from across Saskatchewan who traveled by bus through two
provinces and 9 states to arrive in Charlotte, North Carolina in 40 hours
to take part in the bi-national youth event in July. They represented
Saskatchewan well.
—Henry Block, Moderator, MC Sask
Mennonite Church Canada
Organizational Chart
Area Churches and their Congregations
Delegate Assembly
Financial Policy & Audit
Committee (FPAC)
Faith and Life
Committee (FLC)
General Board
General Secretary’s Office
International ministries
Youth and Young Adult Ministries
* Executive
Staff consists of
General Secretary,
Formation, Witness,
Support Services
Executive Secretaries,
Minister, and the Director
of Finance.
Asia and Middle East
Latin America
Youth ministry
Mennonite Camping Association3
Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools (CAMS)3
Congregational and Ministerial Leadership
Calling and formation of pastors
Pastoral placement
Company of 1000
Seminary and Church colleges3
National ministries
Multi-cultural ministry
Native ministry
Congregational Partnerships
Missional education
Facilitate congregational partnerships
Partnership education
Publishing and Resources
Resource Centre
Mennonite Heritage Centre and Gallery
Der Bote
Mennonite Publishing Network3
Mennonite Central Committee3
Mennonite Disaster Service3
Canadian Women in Mission
Christian Peacemaker Teams3
Mennonite World Conference 2
Christian Education and Nurture
Children’s ministry
1. The General Board is
Family-based ministry
responsible for relationships with
Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite
World Conference2, other Mennonite
Churches, Canadian Council of Churches,
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and other
inter-church relations.
Historic relationships with AMBS and
CMBC and new relationships with CMU,
CGUC, and CBC are evolving and are the
responsibility of the General Board.
2. One member of each council and one
member from General Board is an appointee to
Mennonite World Conference.
Support Services
Communication/Constituency Relations
Annual Assembly
Stewardship (Mennonite Foundation of Canada3)
Canadian Mennonite3
Pension plan
Property management
Human resources
Information technology
3. These ministries are related to Mennonite Church
Canada, usually through the appointment of board
members, but are shared with ther partners.