2014 Annual Report - Nutana Park Mennonite Church

 Nutana Park
Mennonite Church
Annual Report
Page No.
Mission Statement
Statement of Faith
Annual Congregational Meeting -March 23, 2014
Pastoral Staff
Caring & Visitation
Christian Education
Adult Education
Sunday School
Venture Club
Rosthern Junior College
Art in the Lounge
Community Life and Missions
Mennonite Central Committee Sask
Mennonite Church Canada
Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
Mennonite Disaster Service
Refugee Assistance Program
Ruth Mission Society
Saskatoon Mennonite Care
Village Green Stores
Building and Grounds
March 29, 2015
The Nutana Park Mennonite Church congregation meets annually to consider the work and
mission of this church. It is very important that you attend and share your wisdom and insights on
how best this Community of Christians can fulfill the mission we have accepted as a tangible
expression of our faith. All members may vote on decisions required. All adherents are welcome
to attend and participate as members, but do not vote.
Nutana Park Mennonite Church
Annual General Meeting
March 29, 2015
Opening Meditation
Adoption of the Agenda
4. Approval of the AGM Minutes of 2014
Deacon & Committee Reports
5.1 Christian Education – Renata Klassen
6. Report from the Treasurer – Bert Klassen
6.1 Auditor’s report and approval
6.2 Presentation of 2015 budget
6.2a Recommendation for surplus
6.3 Approval of 2015 budget
6.4 Appointment of Auditor for 2015
6. Nominations Committee – Tammy Forrester
Chairperson Report – Trish St.Onge
7.1 By-law revisions
7.2 Special Announcement
8. New Business from the Floor
9. Closing – Patrick Preheim
Mission Statement
The mission of Nutana Park Mennonite Church
is to be a biblically-based community for
- redemptive nurture
- worship
- invitation to faith
- prayer
- education
- outreach and service
in the context of the global church.
Statement of Faith
We believe in God
in the Father, holy and ever-loving,
in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son and Saviour of the world,
and in the Holy Spirit, divine power in us for prayer and service.
We believe
that God created the universe and pronounced it good,
that humanity sins and breaks faith with God
that God offers salvation from sin
and a new way of life to all people.
We believe
that the faithful church remains under the authority of the scriptures
as the new community of disciples, the Body of Christ,
sent into the world to nurture faith and to proclaim the reign of God,
that the church is called to become ever more like Christ
in its worship, witness, mutual love, care, and the ordering of its common life.
We believe
that baptism of believers with water is a sign of new life and forgiveness
through Jesus Christ
that the bread and wine of communion are signs of the gift of the new
covenant which Jesus established by his death and resurrection.
We believe that following Jesus involves
preaching the good news of salvation
giving full allegiance to Christ
making peace in every aspect of life
doing justice and showing compassion
practising stewardship
of money and possessions
of time and talents
of the earth and its resources
of a day of holy rest.
We believe
that God acts in all of the universe in wisdom, patience, and justice.
We look forward to the coming of a new heaven and a new earth,
and seek to live according to the model of the future reign of God.
This is our hope.
This is our faith.
Minutes from the Annual Meeting
Nutana Park Mennonite Church
Annual Congregational Meeting
March 23, 2014 1:30 p.m.
A quorum was present. Chair: Trish St. Onge.
1. Opening Meditation – Alison Jantz. The Board is looking at creating a short tag line that
expresses who we are, what we believe and what we hope to do for others. Two words,
“gathering and sending”, are central to our identity.
2. Welcome – Trish St. Onge
3. Adoption of the Agenda
Motion: that the Agenda be adopted with the addition of 5.2 Community and Missions
Deacon Report. Moved by Jake Ens, seconded by Val Epp. Carried.
4. Approval of AGM Minutes from March 17, 2013
Motion: That the minutes of the March 17, 2013 Annual Meeting be accepted as
presented. Moved by Gordon Peters, seconded by Marcel St. Onge. Carried.
5. Deacon and Committee Reports
5.1 Building & Grounds – Mitch Dahl/Darryl Epp
Numerous emergencies in the fall led to the creation of a handyman emergency
response team; thanks to John Siemens, Armin Krahn, and Peter Guenther for being part
of this team. Thanks also to former deacon Carl Wiens for overseeing several major
projects (new roof for the sanctuary, paving of the parking lot, foyer renovations).
Upcoming projects include a makeover of Patrick’s office, new carpet in the Education
Wing, and installation of an access ramp to the stage.
5.2 Community Life and Missions Deacon – Marlene Froese report read by Trish St. Onge.
More volunteers are needed to fulfill NPMC’s commitment to provide worship services six
times/year at Sherbrooke and four times/year at Bethany Manor. A committee will be
Worship Report update – Denelda Fast: Lydia Schroeder has volunteered to coordinate
greeters for 2014.
Motion: That the verbal and written reports be accepted as presented. Moved by John
Siemens, seconded by Luana Dueck. Carried.
6. Report from the Treasurer – Gordon Peters
6.1 Auditor’s Report and Approval
Net 2013 income over expenses was $9,793. Gordon thanked all who made donations.
Motion: To approve the 2013 audited financial statement as presented. Moved
by Gordon Peters, seconded by Allen Reese. Carried.
6.2 Recommendation on 2013 Surplus: Motion: To designate $1,000 of the 2013 surplus
to the CMU library fund, $1,000 to the Menno Media Sunday School project, and
$7,793 to the Capital Reserve Fund to replace a portion of the roof expense.
Moved by Gordon Peters, seconded by Renata Klassen. Carried.
6.3 Approval of 2014 Budget
Motion: To approve the 2014 Budget as presented. Moved by Gordon Peters,
seconded by Arnie Koop. Carried.
6.4 Appointment of Auditor for 2014:
Motion: That Virtus Group be appointed as the 2014 Auditor. Moved by Gordon
Peters, seconded by Kurt Sawatzky. Carried.
Trish thanked Gordon Peters and Carmen Epp for their diligence and commitment.
7. Nominations Committee Report – Tammy Forrester, Vice-Chair
Tammy thanked Nominations Committee members Mackenzie Fast and Wally Krause.
Openings include the Worship Deacon (Brent Guenther has let his name stand) and
Treasurer (incumbent Gordon Peters has not let his name stand).
Treasurer – No nominations put forward by the Nominations Committee.
Call to the floor for nominations for Treasurer. First call – no nominations; second call – no
nominations; third call – no nominations. Motion: That nominations for Treasurer close.
Moved by Tammy Forrester, seconded by Val Epp. Carried.
Take back to the Nominations Committee.
Motion: To accept the slate of nominations as presented. Moved by Tammy Forrester,
seconded by Alison Jantz. Carried.
Motion: To accept the Co-ordinators and Committee lists as presented. Moved by
Tammy Forrester, seconded by Bob Sawatzky. Carried.
Trish thanked outgoing deacons Gordon Peters and Denelda Fast.
8. Chairperson Report – Trish St. Onge
8.1 Pastoral Staff Reviews: A review of human resources practices is underway including
the process for staff reviews, an update of personnel files, etc.
8.2 Visionary Intentions: The goal is to define our success and guide in decision making.
8.3 NPMC 50 Anniversary in 2015: Persons interested in participating on a planning
committee are asked to contact Tammy Forrester.
9. New Business from the Floor:
9.1 Ernie Epp requested that the congregation receive information regarding the outcomes of
the MC Sask annual sessions. Alison Jantz responded that information will be included
in the bulletin and possibly The Cross Walk. An evening conversation was also
10. Closing & Prayer – Anita Retzlaff
Meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
Recorded by Bonnie Wyse
On behalf of the Board of Deacons, it is my pleasure to present to you the annual report for the
year ending December 31 , 2014. This past year we have continued to experience enlightened
growth and positive change. Investing our energy, time and resources that challenge the many
complex and often sensitive issues within our communities cannot be achieved without the
combined efforts and support of many individuals. This report will reveal the many ways we work
together to achieve our visionary intentions. We continue to enjoy positive opportunities while
navigating challenges and remain encouraged with the potential to provide relevant and
meaningful faith filled experiences for our congregation.
When I reflect on all of the work completed over the past year I am amazed at the number of
activities, events and considerations. We have looked after our facility both inside and outside,
sent delegates to conferences, participated in choir and attended music workshops at Shekinah.
We have supported refugees, participated in adult education, attended movie nights, organized a
yard sale and engaged the community with hospitality. We have provided bursaries, lead
children and youth in Sunday school, Venture Club and youth. We have reviewed by-laws and
organized church retreats. We have donated generously resulting in not only reaching our own
budget but also supporting other Mennonite organizations and contributing to our reserves. There
are so many wonderful parts of our church community.
I want to thank the Board of Deacons for their ongoing commitment to our church and
congregational life. I look forward to meeting with this group each month to hear about the work
that is happening and the dreams for the future. We are blessed with volunteers who “step up”
when asked and give of their gifts. The Board of Deacons remains steadfast in their commitment
to the people in our church community, our visionary intentions and the mission of our church.
I invite you to take some time to read this report as it will highlight the many ways that make
Nutana Park Mennonite Church a relevant, meaningful and vibrant place of worship.
Respectfully Submitted by
Trish St.Onge
Board Chair
2014 has been a year of change and challenge. Not all of the change that is taking place in our
congregation and in society at large is easy. Turning one's face to the future and moving ahead
means first having to say "good-bye." The Ruth Mission Society held its final formal meeting in
November and celebrated with a lovely Christmas banquet in December. Now there are new
possibilities for fellowship and friendship that will be explored for 2015.
Sunday School and Venture Club participation is dwindling. Several shifts in class size have
been made this year and still it has become evident that the "old" way of doing Sunday School is
not working. There are new and different options being considered for the next couple of years.
We are very excited to see all the young children who come to worship, the youth and young
adults that gather as friends and everyone who calls Nutana Park "home."
Though changes will take place for some of our youngest and oldest members here at Nutana
Park they will NOT be forgotten or side-lined. The board and our deacons are discerning ways in
which we can enhance our life together as a community of God's faithful.
We have taken obvious steps to be inclusive in our life together and have shared the joys and
struggles that come with these actions: attempting to live our Christian vocations with courage
and vision. In a world where violence is increasingly obvious through media reporting we are
called as Anabaptist Christians to address attempts to make peace and live together peaceably.
So, we have been both challenged and comforted as a congregation in this past year of
significant change. We have so many willing and committed people who like to work together
and make Nutana Park a special place of meeting and sharing. There is a deep desire to take
that care out into the larger community and make a difference wherever we work and interact with
others. I am humbled and blessed by the good will and caring of all of you. God's peace be with
you in 2015.
Anita Retzlaff
Earlier this year I had a conversation with a younger couple who has begun attending worship.
These introductory visits over tea are an opportunity for me to hear a bit of their journey which
has brought them to Nutana Park Church, and a chance for me to share a slice of my story and
the congregation’s story. It is a blessing to be in a job where I hear the ways God has been
present in the lives of people. I tell them it is a gift of my occupation that I am charged with
listening to a Biblical text and given opportunity to say something relevant about it. I tell them it is
a privilege to serve among the talented, committed and supportive people at Nutana Park
Church. I tell them about the ministry of the Nutana Park people through their business dealings,
their attitude on shift work, their conscientious parenting, their self-sacrificing volunteer hours.
These visits energize my faith. Sharing and hearing faith stories has been and is an important
way forward as we continue attending to our Visionary Intentions.
It is slightly over two years since the Deacon Board participated in a day long retreat establishing
Visionary Intentions. The list of intentions includes the following:
Caring, Respectful and Inviting Culture
Passionate Christ-Centered Commitment to Our Anabaptist Values
Vibrant Intergenerational Congregational Life
Nurturing and Joyful Worship
Relevant and Meaningful Programs for Congregation and Local Community
Community Service and Engagement
Openness to and Understanding of the Diversifying Community
Generous and Willing Sharing of Gifts
People want, and need, to tell their story. Sharing and listening respectfully helps create a caring
and inviting culture—intention I. Part of our Anabaptist tradition is sharing the hope we have
through word and deed—intention II. The young need the wisdom of our elders and our elders
long to hear the dreams of our younger members—intention III. In addition to theologically and
biblically based sermons during worship, people love it when congregational members offer
stories of hope from their lives—intention IV. Etc… The faith filled actions of Nutana Park
Mennonite people is never a question. Finding a vocabulary of faith, to use a Kathleen Norris
phrase, is sometimes more of a challenge.
Words do not always come easily when neighbours ask about the faith that motivates lifestyle
choices or when relatives ask about the biblical basis of a same sex wedding or when children
ask about the rational of church attendance. We need help finding appropriate words for our
faith. Much of our work centres on fostering venues where people can share with one another,
where people can hear God’s story, where people can engage with God in conversation. Bible
studies, visits, weddings, funerals, Sunday sermons are a few of the ways in which we develop a
vocabulary of faith in our church community. Facilitating this important work at Nutana Park
Mennonite Church will continue in 2015.
Patrick Preheim
Between a dwindling demographic of youth age kids in the congregation, youth attending RJC
and busy extra-curricular involvements, the youth group has seen a decline in numbers during the
2014/2015 year. However, this has not inhibited the opportunity for engaging conversation and
enthusiastic participation.
Discussion night topics in 2014 included the ten commandments, integrating faith and finances,
and the Christmas story. In addition, the youth have put together their own mission statement
which reads: ‘Nutana Park Mennonite Church Youth Group is a welcoming and outgoing group of
youth, open to all teenagers looking to meet new people, become closer to God and to learn
about Christian living. We aim to do this in an atmosphere of fun, friendship and safety. Opinions
matter, the vibes are good and we aim to be accepting and respectful to all!’
Writing their own mission statement has been vital in identifying why they thought youth was
important, who it was for and the environment they wanted to uphold.
Most recently, we have been talking about Question 1 (How shall we maintain our unity in Christ
as congregations, Area Church/National Church while understanding matters of same-sex
relationships differently?) posed by MCCanada in instalment 6 of the Being a Faithful Church
Process. This topic has led into further discussion about the institutional church and what a
‘perfect’ church would look like to them.
In addition to weekly discussion nights, social nights run approximately twice a month with
various volunteer opportunities and SMYO events included.
Fundraising will continue into spring as nine youth prepare to attend the Mennonite World
Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Sarah Unrau
Membership Statistics
Membership, January 1, 2014
Deaths (members)
Transfers out
Membership, December 31, 2014
Marriages (of members, or of members’ children)
Jennifer Regier
Elma Bergen
Herbert Peters
Bill Cairns
‘Recognizing our interconnectedness, we are asked to respect, support, and love one another.
New people will feel accepted quickly in the community and feel a true sense of relationship and
belonging. As a foundation of what we believe, we will care for each other and
others beyond our church.’
As we work to fulfill this Visionary Intention, our Caring and Visitation Committee responds to the
various needs of individuals as we become aware of them. Some of the ways in which we
convey our care are by making home and hospital visits, phone calls, writing notes, and praying
for others as they work through various changes and transitions in life.
This past year we have continued to meet on a monthly basis, identify challenges that individuals
in our congregation are facing, and strive to carry out John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I
give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I have appreciated the sensitivity and strong teamwork that the members of this group
demonstrate as we are charged with supporting others.
Respectfully submitted,
Debra Heinrichs
Caring and Visitation Deacon
The past year at NPMC has been filled with music! Music from the congregation, music from
choirs, music from instruments, music from soloists. This music was an integral part of the
worship services, concerts, recitals, rehearsals, picnics, garage sales and jam sessions that took
place within our church facility and beyond these walls.
Thank you to all those who involve themselves in the music programming. For those who would
like to become involved, please contact any one of the music committee members and let us
know. We are a church of the people, ALL people, who, through our collective musical offerings,
are able to glorify our God, while bringing joy to others.
Thank you Duff, Jake and Sharon for your leadership with the choir. Thank you to all the
accompanists and musicians, song leaders, and small groups for sharing your talents. Thank
YOU, young and old, for your voices that fill our sanctuary with wonderful music from the pews.
A big thank you must be extended to the music committee consisting of Ron Peters, Bonnie Dahl
and Aleta Martens who willingly assist with all planning and scheduling aspects of the music
programming at NPMC.
And the music will continue. Singing Sunday this year will be around the theme of Hymns from
our childhood. Our Sunday services will continue to include opportunities for kids to lead us in
singing the songs that will make us all feel younger. We will celebrate 50 years at NPMC with a
weekend of reminiscing, fun and a reunion choir, which will be open to anybody. And watch for
news coming of a worship music workshop with the energetic and talented Marilyn HouserHamm, that NPMC will be hosting sometime this fall. This will be a great opportunity for anybody
who has an interest in song leading, accompanying, or just singing along, to be infused with ideas
and enthusiasm for congregational worship music.
Respectfully submitted,
Peter Hooge, Music Deacon
It was great to have an opportunity to be part of the table discussions during the morning of
January 25. It was clear from conversations around the church that worship is a meaningful and
integral part of the life of those who attend Nutana Park Mennonite Church. Those at my table
shared how worship “grounds”, “inspires”, and “teaches”. Hymns, sermons, and sharing are
skillfully and meditatively woven together for worship services and it takes many individuals to
make them an essential part of our congregational life.
Previous to becoming the worship deacon, I was naïve to much of the work that goes on behind
the scenes for a worship service. There are many people involved every Sunday, and I am so
thankful that there are individuals who are so giving of their time to help make services a time and
place where we can be in the presence of God. I want to especially thank our outgoing worship
deacon, Denelda Fast, for the many years she has shown leadership in this position. She
continues to be a great support to me and to the church.
The first sense of God’s community that people experience when they enter NPMC are our
greeters and I want to thank those who have extended smiles and handshakes to new faces and
regular attenders alike. Thank you to Evelyn Roden for her work in coordinating greeters in the
past, and thank you to Lydia Schroeder for organizing greeters for this past year. Ushers create
continuity and a second chance for fellowship for those coming to worship. Thank you to Ross
and Hedie Borne, Bob and Joan Sawatzky, Ernie and Donna Epp, Arnie and Lorene Nickel, Elly
and Orv Neufeldt, Elva and Ernie Epp and Merv and Dorothy Sorensen for their commitment to
making sure people feel welcome as they enter our sanctuary.
Our audio visual technicians show commitment all year round as they take turns working each
Sunday morning. Their work ensures that communication is clear and that our services can be
enjoyed by others in the future. Thank you very much to Arny Kroeger, Dave Wieler-Tiessen,
Terry Harding, and Don Froese for their continued work, and for responding so willingly and
quickly when their services are needed. In order to alleviate some of the work that these
individuals do, I would encourage anyone interested in volunteering to work with the sound
system to contact me. Training is free of charge!
God’s presence can truly be felt when worship leaders, song leaders, and pastors work together
in planning worship. This is evident every Sunday morning at NPMC. Thank you to the worship
committee for planning and organizing our services, for being patient with me as I started this
position, and for being so willing to work together. Thank you to Peter Hooge for his work in
organizing music leaders, accompanists, and special music for our worship services and for his
sense of humour during worship committee meetings. Thank you to Nicole Tiessen for her fresh
perspective and creativity in making our worship space intentional and thoughtful. Thank you to
the many worship leaders who continue to create purposeful services with their unique
perspectives, personalities, and tone. Finally, thank you to Patrick and Anita for their strong and
supportive leadership. Patrick and Anita’s perspective and spiritual guidance continue to make
our worship services relevant, encouraging, and challenging. Their messages not only ground,
teach, and inspire us, but their abilities in relationship-building create a context where people can
feel confident and comfortable planning meaningful worship services. May we continue to seek
God’s guidance as we plan and worship together in the future.
Respectfully submitted,
Brent Guenther,
Worship Deacon
The Christian Education Deacon is responsible for overseeing three aspects of the faith
enhancement program for our congregation: Adult Sunday School, Children’s Sunday School
and Venture Club. Each of these programs is organized by a committee. Their reports, which
follow, detail their activities for the year. The deacon’s role is to support the committees and
coordinate the activity as required. I thank all the committee member, teachers and leaders for
their dedicated work to education and faith development in our congregation. The programs are
appreciated by those who chose to participate.
Our congregation has a strong history of commitment to Christian education. In the fifty years of
our history, we have always had Sunday School classes for all ages, weeknight clubs for children,
and usually formal youth programs. After some lean years, we once again have a sizable group
of toddlers and young children.
However we live in new and different times. There are more community options for sports, arts,
and music activities that our children participate in. Activities occur on weeknights and on
Sundays, including Sunday mornings. There are many new demands on parents to support their
children’s programs as volunteers. Our past structures and ways of supporting them are no
longer serving our needs.
This has affected all our children’s programming. Three years ago we moved children’s Sunday
School to the worship hour, reducing the time from 1 hour to 30 minutes and eliminating
children’s singing. Parents strongly support this change. However attendance continues to be
very sporadic. The age of Sunday School classes has been reduced from age 3 to grade 12 to
age 3 to grade six. Even now, some of the older children ask to be excused from attendance.
In the past year, we have had two new teacher volunteers. We rely heavily on teachers who
have been teaching for years and are burning out. We have trouble replacing program leaders.
Most of the young adults who attend the Thursday evening discussion group are not those who
grew up in our congregation. What does this mean?
We see parents of toddlers who spend time caring for their children while they visit with each
other during the worship service, rather than placing their children into the supervised daycare
room. How are we supporting young families in the challenge of raising their children?
Those of us who are involved in program planning in Christian Education have concerns. We are
looking to the entire congregation to help us reflect on Christian faith and how it grows. As we
reflect together on our joint experience, we expect to receive new insights that will help us plan
more effectively for the future. Thanks to those who participated in the discussion on January
25 .
For the coming year, beginning in September 2015, I propose that we take a one year
(September 2015 to June 2016) sabbatical from Children’s Sunday School and Venture
Clubs. This allows our teachers to have a break and gives us the space, time slots and creative
energy to try some other options. We encourage the congregation to bring forth ideas and to
volunteer to help implement them for trial periods during the year. I would envision a variety of
activities that would integrate children into intergenerational activities such as choir, a
drama/readers’ theatre/scripture-reading group, short term intergenerational study groups
(possibly before Christmas and Easter) that could contribute to congregational Christmas/Easter
events. We could also try an “ informal church” format in the education wing during the latter part
of the worship service that would allow a parallel more relaxed worship for those who choose it.
These are only examples of what we could try. Some of them would happen on Sundays, others
could be on a weeknight. We commit to careful evaluation in June 2016 before planning for fall
programming begins.
Renata Klassen
The work of the Adult Education Committee (currently includes Edna Froese, Renata Klassen,
Patrick Preheim, Alan Reese, Anita Retzlaff, and Winona Senner) seems simple and straightforward: choose material and teachers/discussion leaders for the hour before the worship service.
That clearly focused task actually includes, to begin with, careful listening to all involved to
determine what issues should be discussed and what biblical teaching should provide the basis
for the discussions. The resulting plans are shaped by our various conversations with individuals
(both in and outside NPMC), our reading, and our experiences. Our work is made much easier by
the thoughtful, engaged responses we get from attendees during the Sunday discussions and
comments we receive on other occasions. Guest speakers often observe that the NPMC Adult
Education class is a lively, interested group deeply concerned about faithfully living out the Word.
This past year (2014) began with a guest instructor, Carman Bellamy, leading us through a study
of Ephesians. Then, beginning in March, we did a series on “The Vocabulary of Faith,” looking at
theological words that are sometimes freighted with more meaning than we know what to do with.
We had some stimulating discussion about the language that we use to talk about God. In fall,
when the adult education sessions began again, we did a series on “How Can We Create
Authentic Community?” We invited various guest speakers and members of NPMC to tell us
about their experiences of community and their suggestions of how Nutana Park Mennonite
Church might offer community in the midst of a culture that is often disconnected and fragmented.
We talked with two city councilors about NPMC’s role in the City of Saskatoon. We discussed our
relationship with social media. We listened to young people share their passions for communitybuilding in challenging neighbourhoods. All in all, the discussions opened enough questions, that
we as committee planned a follow-up series, beginning in January 2015, to continue the
discussion about what practical steps NPMC could take to foster Christian community. During the
season of Advent, the Adult Education classes offered a more contemplative series with Scripture
readings and reflections on those scriptures.
We welcome all who wish to attend, and we’re happy to receive suggestions for future series.
Edna Froese
Sunday School has continued to operate beginning about 15 minutes into the church service from
September through June. Special events have included traditions such as Palm Sunday, the
Sunday School picnic, and participating in the church advent Christmas program. Parents and
grandparents continue to serve as teachers along with other members of the congregation from a
variety of generations.
In the fall of 2014, the Sunday School program was reduced down to serving children from
preschool through grade six, who are divided into two groups. The Sunday School program
consists of approximately 20 students in this age range, with attendance varying from week to
week. Another change was a new curriculum entitled “Shine”.
Thank you to all those who have given of their talents by volunteering to teach Sunday School
and to the children for their participation.
Teresa Koop-Hunter
Last spring, Arnie and Vickie Neufeld and Graeme and Karen Linsley competed a most
successful year of coordinating a Venture Club with 26 members. Thank you to the Neufeld’s
and Linsley’s for their years of leadership, and to all who made the 2013-14 program so
My search for new coordinators was unsuccessful. After strong encouragement from continuing
leaders not to abandon the program, I took over as coordinator of the Venture Club in September.
We registered 13 young people for this fall’s club. Most of the participants from last year were
unable to return because of conflicting activities. In our club this year, 5 children have some
connection with Nutana Park church. The others are friends or children who responded to
advertising in school newsletters. Rachel and Jared Regier, Emily and Lauren Hooge and
Macaila Funk joined our leadership team. James Funk and Dave and Lori Weiler-Thiessen
continue to lead skill groups and Val Epp has returned for another term, having previously
provided years of leadership. Our program consists of a half hour of singing and a variety of
activities around the theme of being peacemakers, followed by an hour spent in skill building
groups. Special thanks to Peter Epp, for allowing us to use his shop for the woodworking group,
and for making sure it is heated and inviting every Tuesday! Several social and service nights
round out the program. The club operates during October and November, and January through
Submitted by Renata Klassen
Venture club Coordinator
The library is maintained by the team of Susan Ens Funk, Dennis Breen, Patty Friesen and Lori
Weiler-Thiessen. This sharing of the load makes the work manageable and fun. Dennis Breen
takes care of the bulletin board outside the library and does regular shelving duties. Patty
Friesen purchases adult fiction, non-fiction and DVDs. Lori Weiler-Theissen purchases materials
for children and youth. Susan Ens Funk helps with shelving work.
The materials of the library are catalogued in an online database available at
http:///www.librarything.com/catalog/NPMC. The catalogue can be searched by author, title and
section. New materials are shelved using the first three letters from the author's last name.
Older materials are shelved using the Cutter system which represents the author's name with a
numerical code.
This year, we spent $340.07 on books and DVDs. Thank you for your ongoing support through
the budget and for making use of the resources in your church library.
Susan Ens Funk
Dennis Breen
Patty Friesen
Lori Weiler-Thiessen
2013-2014 was a great year of learning, fun, adventure and challenge for the Rosthern Junior
College school community. Numerous highlights occurred in classrooms, gyms, the residence,
performance halls, chapel and in service locations near and far as students and staff worked and
learned together. And none of it could have happened without the cooperation and support of
many many witnesses that make up the RJC cloud, namely individuals and organizations who
partner with us and make an RJC education rich, full and rewarding.
RJC welcomed Emily Dueck (ELA), Myrna Wiebe (Residence Director), Rianna Isaak (Women’s
Dean), Joel Siemens (Men’s Dean) and Timothy Block (Men’s Dean) to the campus and
residence. Collectively, the teachers, administrative support, custodians, cooks and residence
staff work hard to create a warm, supportive and safe school community in which students are
challenged to learn, grow and live.
RJC provides a strong and supportive academic program for students. Dedicated teachers,
student peers and parents partner together to provide all students with an opportunity to acquire a
sound education. RJC continues to provide its students with a well-rounded academic program
including all core subjects and a variety of electives including classes in the arts, social sciences
and practical and applied arts. Science teachers Karalee Kuny and Adam Ens demonstrated
leadership both for RJC and also wider educational circles by participating in the pilot
programming of new science curriculum in grade 11.
Nurturing Faith and Life in 2013/14 school Year
1. Chapels:
The Faith and Life Committee chose the theme “What is Love?” based on I Corinthians 13 for
the school year. Many guest speakers reflected upon this theme, and the school community
was strengthened as a result of this scriptural grounding and focus. Wednesdays were set
aside as chapel times specifically for pastors, leaders and representatives from our churches
and related organizations.
2. Retreats:
All students attended spiritual class retreats in September 2013. The grade 10s and 11s
traveled to separate camps at Christopher Lake, and the grade 12s visited Beaver Creek
Salvation Army Bible Camp south of Saskatoon. The fall retreats continue to be an important
time to build class cohesion, and to enjoy the outdoors. We are grateful to all of the guest
speakers who gave spiritual direction at the retreats.
3. Deeper Life Days:
Deeper Life Days included guests from other schools this year as we hosted a Youth
Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Summit (YESS! Summit). Students and
guests from a variety of neighboring schools attended a series of seminars and workshops
centered on the themes of environmental stewardship and sustainability. The closing plenary
session included a brainstorming session about action steps toward a greener future.
4. ALSO (Alternative Service and Learning Opportunities):
The ALSO theme for 2013/14 was “To participate is to be fully human”, a quote from C. S.
Lewis. The accompanying scripture was Luke 10:25-37, the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Students were encouraged to participate in their worlds, and to act as instruments of social
change, like the Good Samaritan. Students traveled to Guatemala with MCC, Alabama with
Habitat for Humanity, High River with MDS, and around Saskatoon with MCC and local aid
agencies including the Saskatoon Food Bank, the Lighthouse and community schools.
5. “Have a Heart” Faith and Life Fundraiser:
The Faith and Life Fundraiser “Have a Heart” campaign saw students and staff creatively
raising money (snow shoveling, coffee houses, bake sales, etc.) for the Rosthern Elementary
School breakfast program, The Recycled Orchestra, and for the ANADESA community in
Guatemala. Incentives included duct-taping teacher Karalee Kuny to the wall at $1000 and
shaving a mohawk on teacher Ryan Wood’s head at $5000. A total of over $5,500 was
6. Recycled Orchestra Visit & Peace and Justice Recycled Art Exhibit:
On Tuesday May 6, 2014 Rosthern Junior College and Eigenheim Mennonite Church cohosted two performances of the Paraguayan Recycled Orchestra in the RJC Auditorium. The
Recycled Orchestra is comprised of students from Cateura, Paraguay who play instruments
made from recycled goods collected from a garbage dump near where they live. It was an
honor to host them and assist in their fundraising efforts. In conjunction with the event the
Peace and Justice Studies class hosted a Recycled Art Exhibit during the intermission in the
Rehearsal Hall.
Sports continue to be an important part of the RJC community. It provides a forum for personal
growth and development and is a lot of fun! Through participation in both team and individual
sports activities students are active and involved, fostering healthy attitudes regarding teamwork,
discipline and fair play. We are thankful for all the coaches who commit countless hours to our
teams, and dedicated parents and fans who support our students as they compete!
RJC is a member of the Central Valley Athletic Conference and competed in the following SHSAA
sanctioned sports:
Boys’ and Girls’ Volleyball
Cross Country
Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer
Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball
Track and Field
In addition, both boys and girls played hockey through Rosthern Minor Hockey.
included Provincial silver medals in Football and Badminton singles (Haley Enns).
Performing Arts
The majority of performing arts opportunities for students at RJC come in the choirs. Almost all
the students in the school participate in Concert Choir (only 4 did not sing in a choir last year!)
and many more get involved in Chorale, ManChoir and Women’s Choir. Highlights include
annual visits to local churches (and the potlucks that are generously provided), large concerts at
Knox United Church (Christmas) and Third Avenue United Church (Festival of Choirs).
Collaboration with other groups is an important part of the students’ experience. Thank you to
Sonrisa, A Buncha Guys, CMU Singers, Musica Intima, and Pembina Trails Voices (Winnipeg) for
sharing the stage with us.
Two particular highlights for Chorale last year were ChorFest in Regina and the Canadian
Association of Mennonite Schools Music Festival in Calgary.
Theatrical performance is also a highlight. The Theatre Arts class presented an evening of short
plays at the end of Semester One to full houses in the Pit Theatre. The spring musical for 20132014 was the ever popular “The Sound of Music” which was performed in front of sell-out
audiences in June.
Extra-curricular participation in music arts remains high with many students taking voice, guitar,
and piano lessons from private instructors here on campus. Thank you Louella Klassen Friesen,
Tim Campbell, Sharryl Riekman, and Audrey Falk Janzen for the excellent teaching of our
Connecting with the Community
1. Friday Night Live:
Over 200 guests were in attendance from many of our area schools and youth groups as
RJC transformed its gym into the wild west for the annual Friday Night Live. This event is a
highlight for the audience and for RJC students who prepared and performed. RJC students,
when given to opportunity to get creative, rise to the challenge each time!
2. Youth Night Takeovers:
2013 saw a new version of TRAVELING OPEN HOUSE with the start of Youth Night
Takeovers. Working with youth leaders RJC staff and students helped to “takeover” an
evening on a regularly scheduled youth night at area churches met with a positive response.
RJC students who participated were encouraged by the positive reactions and feedback they
received from these evenings and RJC has been encouraged by the youth leaders to
continue this event.
RJC’s most important partnerships include you – the supporting constituency and the church.
RJC exists to serve God and the church through the education of young people where the
curriculum extends well beyond the one mandated by the Ministry of Education to include
important kingdom lessons about faith, community, service, discipleship and peacemaking.
Firmly rooted in faith and with the support of all these partners RJC nurtures growth in all of our
students as children of God.
During the year 2014 it was our privilege to once again display the works of a variety of
Saskatchewan artists. The artists were from within our NPMC congregation, our sister
congregations and also from the local and wider community.
Our objectives for displaying art in the lounge are:
-to provide an opportunity for artists to showcase their work
-to give people an opportunity to view these works
-to encourage the artist within each of us
-to honour God and creation through art
The displayers of art in the lounge for 2014:
January - February:
Donna Delainey - watercolour paintings
March - April:
Debbie Unrau - photography
May - June:
Betty Ann Whittaker - acrylic paintings
July - August:
No show during these months
September - October:
Cam Forrester - acrylic paintings
November - December:
Gus Froese - paintings
Marjorie Moore - quilt hangings
Thank you to all the artists who showed their work during this past year.
Respectfully submitted by
Hedie Borne
Nutana Park Church and Community Life have a goal that is exactly the same. We both want
others to know that God is among us and very alive and at work in our midst. We strive to make
our life a God centered experience and want worship and activities to be celebrated and enjoyed.
So what do we have to engage in at our church? We have ongoing Care Groups that host
lunches on given Sundays that are open to everyone that wants to participate. We hold special
events for differing age groups, young and senior. We celebrate with wedding couples and
parents expecting families. Hopefully celebrations of this nature send the message of our best
wishes as they await new beginnings.
We hold fun gatherings such as: the Fall Festival evening and our Garage sale day that includes
the community and is an outreach of fellowship. Once a month we have a movie night that brings
people together to relax and enjoy being entertained.
In our community we try to be involved in a worship service at Sherbrooke Community Centre
and at Bethany Manor. This involves a variety of people who are willing to share the love of God
in worship outside of our walls.
Keeping the focus, sharing the joys, supporting each other in our church life is the focus. May all
the people we connect with feel the God among us and through us. May our church be a home
of love.
Submitted by
Marlene Froese
2014 was a year of excitement, enthusiasm, serious questioning and brainstorming, and most of
all, openness to change and the rethinking of our mission and purpose as a board. In the midst
of thinking and imagining, it became obvious that the position of Conference Deacon needed to
change and reform into something different. I see the position of the Conference Deacon
expanding beyond the Mennonite Church conference aspect and into a community relations and
communications coordinator. As a board we envision our congregation do the following: be one
of welcome and hospitality, promote and encourage diversity, commit to communicating with our
surrounding community, and work for peace and solidarity in a divided and conflicted world. The
communities in and by which we live are in great need of assistance, participation, and advocacy.
One way we may be able to provide a kind of participation and advocacy is to have a board
member connected with city council, and with various outreach and community service
organizations to see where Nutana Park Mennonite Church might participate and become
Conversation within Mennonite Church Canada, and specifically, Mennonite Church
Saskatchewan has been very active this past year on the topic of human sexuality. In October,
there was a listening conversation at First Mennonite and that emphasized yet another reminder
that great division and disagreement exists between people and between congregations. But a
feeling of unity, support, and encouragement also surrounded those of us that met that day.
The MCC AGM in November was held at Cornerstone and was a wonderful opportunity to hear
how MCC is working in Korea in the midst of political and military tension. We heard stories of
people, committed to the Korean army, make countercultural decisions to leave the army and
follow the way of peace, at great risk to their safety. The bold witness of peace and the
determination to live as Christian followers led to the development of the Northeast Asia
Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI).
As the Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church Saskatchewan governing bodies
continue to change and reorganize, the way we participate and represent this congregation within
those bodies will also change. This work is ongoing in small ways within our congregational
community through the commitment and actions of us all. The work of discipleship and service
Respectfully submitted by
Alison Jantz
Christians from many denominations helping each other in faith, evangelism and service: One
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Parent of us all, Ephesians 4: 4-5, Mission Statement,
Nutana Park Ecumenical Committee.
The 2014 Ecumenical Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began the new year of ecumenical
events. The theme for the services was taken from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians 1, verses
1-17, focused on the question: “Has Christ been divided?” The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
has been celebrated in one form or another for over one hundred years. It is traditionally
observed around the world in mid-January to cover the days between the Feasts of St. Peter and
St. Paul. This year in Saskatoon we began our celebrations on January 19 with an Opening
Worship Service at Mount Royal Mennonite Church and concluded with a Closing Service on
January 26 at Knox United Church. In between these Sundays we had ten scheduled services,
ranging from Monday to Friday morning services at 7am, to an evening Healing Service, Jazz
Service, and Ukrainian Catholic Vespers Service.
In the Nutana Park area, the annual joint Ecumenical Lenten Prayer Services have been a
tradition since 1994, continuing to be attended by growing numbers, with approximately 60 to 90
people from seven or more congregations attending the 2014 services. These services were
hosted by St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic parish Wednesday mornings at 8:15 from March 5 to
April 16. Another well-established activity is the Ecumenical Bible Study series led by Vern
Ratzlaff at NPMC since the 1980’s on Monday afternoons in the winter/spring and fall seasons,
attended by a dedicated group of 25 to 30 people from several congregations.
On September 14, we had a spotlight on ecumenism at NPMC as we hosted Dr. Darren Dahl, the
director of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism as a presenter and discussion leader at the Adult
Education session with discussion on the topic “ How can we create authentic Christian
community?” Darren also was the guest for our morning worship service with a sermon entitled “
One Lord, One Call, One People”.
The Prairie Centre for Ecumenism organized and presented several events and workshops
throughout the year to promote ecumenism in the Saskatoon and North Saskatchewan region.
One such event was the spring workshop on April 26, “Care of the Earth, Care of the Church,
What does the Environment have to do with Ecumenism?”
The PCE marked a special occasion in 2014, the 30th anniversary of its formation in 1984,
celebrated with a banquet held at the Willows on June 26. This year also marked the launch of a
Program in Ecumenical Studies and Formation, the pilot program running from June 23 to 27 with
the title “Educating for Ecumenism: Christian Formation in the Whole Body of Christ.” The theme
and plenary sessions/workshops focused on ecumenical understanding and practice of Christian
education. The program in Ecumenical Studies series will be developed and presented in
subsequent years.
Another event of great significance to ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism in 2014
was the publishing and launch of a book entitled “In God’s Reconciling Grace”authored by Father
Bernard de Margerie. Fr. de Margerie is a retired, well respected Roman Catholic priest residing
in Saskatoon.He is an ecumenical pioneer having devoted himself to the work of ecumenism
since he was ordained as a priest in 1958. In the preface of his book, the current Roman Catholic
Bishop of Saskatoon, Don Bolen states the following in referring to Fr. Bernard de Margerie: “In
preaching and teaching about Christian unity, in building relations with Christians of diverse
Christian communities, in founding the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, and in a persevering
commitment to pray for the unity Christ wills, he has been a pioneer who has reminded us that
faithfulness to Christ impels us to seek and to pray for reconciliation among Christians.” In an
interview printed in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on November 15, 2014, Fr. de Margerie says
“The prayers and reflection texts are intended to help members of all Christian churches learn
and grow into ways of thinking, desiring, hoping and praying for the healing of divisions among
Christians according to the unmistakable will and prayer of Christ. The book is meant for private
and corporate prayer, and meditative readings propose new ways of thinking, new paths of
wisdom, new ways of relating to the Church-the Body of Christ on earth.”
Respectfully submitted,
Kurt Sawatzky
Potlucks are a great way to come together to fellowship and share a wonderful meal. Our
monthly potlucks continue to be enjoyed by many. As members returned from summer vacations
and students began the school year they were welcomed with a farmer sausage on a bun
potluck. Later in September we were blessed with a warm day as we enjoyed live music, hot
dogs and fresh veggies from the youth garden during the Fall Festival. In November the
Fellowship Committee prepared and served at the MC Canada Fall Leadership Assembly. Thank
you to the Fellowship Committee as the kitchen continues to be a place of hard workers, positive
energy and great visiting. Potlucks are enjoyed by all through helping with set up, clean up and
sharing delicious food.
We appreciate Lois Tiessen and the many volunteers who provide the lunch at funeral services
throughout the year, thank you.
Fellowship Committee: Debra Heinrichs and Stan Bartel
Valerie and Darryl Epp
Glenis and Garry Koop
Edith and Armin Krahn
Rhonda and Eldon Krahn
Elisabeth and Henry Reimer
Lois Tiessen
Respectfully submitted,
Carolene Funk
Faith in Action
Rooted in the fertile meters-deep top soil of Ukraine, the MCC story begins. Representatives
from Russia in 1920, came to North America to describe how famine was causing misery in their
land. Within two years, newly formed MCC had shipped 25 tractors and plows to their sisters and
brothers in the ‘old country’. Soon soup kitchens were providing food for Mennonite and Russian
In today’s conflict in eastern Ukraine, over 1 million people have been displaced and made
vulnerable. MCC’s largest Ukrainian partner, the Zaporozhe Baptist Union church has become
the last hope for many. MCC assists the church through shipments of relief buckets and blankets,
and the purchase of food stuffs. Internally displaced people are finding places to live, food to eat
and gatherings to attend as they work through their own trauma and wait to return home. Church
leaders are asking us to pray for peace in their land while they demonstrate God’s love and
compassion through their own actions of hospitality and care.
For the past 50 years, MCC in Saskatchewan has joined in the work of MCC, providing
humanitarian assistance to people in 60 countries, with 520 partners in 729 projects. Each month
last year, we gave thanks and celebrated at gatherings with local volunteers and staff. During the
International Development Week in February, the Saskatchewan Council for International
Cooperation presented MCC volunteers with a Global Citizen Award in honour of 50 years of faith
in action.
Bethany College
For the past dozen years, MCC and Bethany College have worked together to companion and
inspire young adults through service-learning opportunities, internships, classroom instruction,
orientation on First Nations reserves, and mutual friendship and support. MCC program staff have
partnered with Bethany College to deliver classes on Restorative Justice and are currently
supervising the Service-Learning practicum for the school.
Just before Christmas we were informed that the college’s ministry would finish at the end of this
academic year. It is with thanksgiving that we acknowledge the deep and fertile soil of our shared
ministry. Many lives were impacted through these mutually transformative experiences. We are
saddened by the school’s closure. Bethany College president, Howie Wall expressed
appreciation for our partnership and commitment to the service focused experiential learning
experiences which MCC offers. He encouraged us to continue serving as a catalyst for youth in
the Mennonite Brethren churches.
Relief Sale
Since 1970 – that’s 45 years –volunteers have hosted a relief and auction sale in Saskatoon.
From 1973 -1989 – that’s 16 years – there were sales in Swift Current as well. Over $3,000,000
has been raised through this type fund raising activity.
For the relief and auction sale in 2015, Peter Guenther, MCCS board chair, and Renata Klassen
have agreed to work with staff to plan and manage this festive social fund raising event. This
year’s plans include a bike-a-thon in addition to the dependable delicious food, high quality quilts,
photos and crafts and the opportunities to visit with family and friends. We are most appreciative
for all the volunteers who make this sale a priority throughout the year as they prepare for and
then host the event.
MCC is also a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) together with 14 other church
and parachurch organizations. Each June, a week or two after the Saskatoon Relief Sale, CFGB
has a sale just north of Saskatoon. The items for sale include food, livestock, farm supplies and
garage sale items.
In the country of Burkina Faso, MCC and CFGB were able to provide food security and
nutritional support to 5,401 households by helping farmers improve their grain and vegetable
production in the off-season, increase the income they receive from their farming and help
women, youth, and migrant workers obtain access to land in Nayala Province.
Bread for Success
Bread for Success, one of only two Canadian Global Family projects, has been in operation for
the past six months in the Meadowgreen community of Saskatoon. This core community is home
to many newcomers and lower income families. The families identified lack of academic success
and nutrition as the two primary challenges facing their children. And so Bread for Success was
MCC Saskatchewan Kids and Youth Club workers partner with volunteers from volunteers from
Frontier College, a literary organization who recruits and trains volunteers, and St. Thomas
Moore, the Catholic College on the University of Saskatchewan campus. After school on
Tuesdays the students and volunteer instructors come together for cooking classes, and on
Thursdays they gather again for homework help.
For the past 10 years since Kids Club began, MCC has been working rent free out of a two
bedroom apartment. The policy of the owners has now changed and the major threat to the work
on Appleby Drive is the loss of a meeting space. We are engaging our creativity to find another
way to continue this valuable peacebuilding work in the heart of Saskatoon.
On-campus Student Club
On January 15, 2015, the MCC student club on the University of Saskatchewan became a reality.
Community Engagement staff persons, Myriam Ullah and Kaytee Edwards while studying on
campus, took the opportunity to encourage faith in action among their fellow students.
“We wanted to create a community space for students interested in exploring peace, relief and
development work through a faith-based approach,” Ullah says.
Fellow U of S student David Epp, recently returned for a SALT assignment in Guatemala, is the
interim president of the club. Seventeen students have signed on to “apply theory, skills and
backgrounds in an Anabaptist setting … and to put these to use in local service opportunities and
in developing a greater understanding for the world in which we live,” Epp says.
MCC is excited to see how this new platform for MCC’s witness will impact the work we do
around the world.
Thank you for your financial, prayer and volunteer support of the church’s ministry through MCC.
Submitted by
Claire Ewert Fisher
Executive Director
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. – Romans 8:24-25
It’s been an exciting, whirlwind year across our national church family!
In 2014 NHL hockey players Nick Spaling and Mike Fisher were guests at a Faith and Hockey
youth event in B.C and at Camp Valaqua in Alberta. Many excited youth were there to get
autographs. Also in Alberta, many Mennonites participated in the final Truth and Reconciliation
event in Edmonton. It was a moving event for many. It’s now up to the citizens of Canada to carry
on the work of reconciliation with First Peoples. In Saskatchewan, your church was represented
at the Citizens’ Hearing on Climate Change. Coffee for Peace – part of our Philippines peace
building ministry – was introduced at the Juno Awards in Manitoba as the charity of choice for
Warner music. In Ontario, we collaborated with partners on a Faith and Sports event with Cindy
Klassen, six time Olympic medalist, as the keynote speaker. Across Canada you formed teams of
recreational bike riders to help raise money for ministry in Botswana. And it’s been a joy for staff
to participate in the annual general meetings of each of the five Area Churches that comprise
Mennonite Church Canada.
The general assembly, which for the first time was live streamed on the web, had 521 on-site
attendees and 80 volunteers from across Canada. Others joined in online and followed the event
on Facebook and Twitter. We are grateful for the gifted contributions so many attendees made to
the discernment and worship times we spent together. Evaluation forms showed a significant
positive response to the Assembly. “The overall worship experience at Assembly was wonderful.
The visuals, singing and meditations were amazing,” wrote an attendee.
The responses to Native Assembly – the first one to ever be held in an urban setting – were
overwhelmingly positive. About 240 people attended, and most were able to stay for the entire
four days. Thirteen First Nations communities were represented, with guests coming from eight
states, five provinces and seven denominations. Eighty volunteers helped with a variety of tasks
www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/2413 will give you a taste of the event.
CommonWord (www.commonword.ca) is the new home that combines Mennonite Church
Canada’s popular Resource Centre with its catalogue of 11,000 unique Anabaptist resources,
and Canadian Mennonite University’s Book Store in the university’s new Marpeck Commons
building. Now, walk-in clientele will have better physical access to resources and services that
distant, online and phone users have come to enjoy over the years.
Our two task forces – the Being a Faithful Church Task Force and the Future Directions Task
Force – continue to seek answers to questions about being faithful in a contemporary context as
we try to discern God’s will for the future of our church. They have a challenging task and they
appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement.
We are becoming an increasingly global church in Canada and beyond. Here at home, the largest
growth in our church family is in congregations of new Canadians. It’s exciting to see that 40 of
our 225 congregations worship in 20 different languages! This is both a joyful opportunity and a
challenge as we work to support these congregations with resources that are suitable for such a
diverse linguistic and cultural context.
Globally in 2014, your Witness program saw 15 worker units (couples, families, and singles)
engaged in Long Term Ministry in 13 countries. Ten of these worker units have served more than
one three-year term. Our longest serving workers, George and Tobia Veith and Todd and
Jeanette Hanson have served the church internationally for 23 years (since 1991), primarily in
Asia. In 2014 you also helped 14 worker units (couples and singles) complete 15 ministry
assignments in eight different countries. These assignments ranged from Bible teaching, church
planting, and peace building to community and entrepreneurship development to help churches
become self-sustaining.
With the help of your finances and prayers, you also support partner programs in 13 additional
countries where we do not have workers on the ground.
Over the years and on your behalf, we have also sent advocacy letters to places in the world
where the Christians and the church are persecuted. Vietnam is one country that continues to
endure hardship and lacks freedom to worship. It is a situation we continue to monitor.
This year Mennonite Church Canada staff and itinerating Witness international workers visited
over 120 congregations, pastors, and leaders to preach, teach, and bring updates on the work we
do together. These visits have been delightful, and we look forward to doing more. If you would
like someone to visit your congregation, download the Speaker’s Bureau listing from
www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1899. If you would like to book an itinerating Witness worker,
contact Monica Krahn at 1-866-888-6785 or email [email protected]
Financial Update
2015 Year End Donation Budget:
*Donation Income (congregational and individual donors):
*Donation income still needed by Jan. 31, 2015:
*Total Expenses (core budget):
* As of Nov. 30, 2014.
The leadership, staff, and volunteers together make it a joy to serve Mennonite Church Canada.
Please know that we frequently pray for you. As you prepare for and meet at annual meetings,
our wish and prayer for your congregation is that wise discernment be found and that
overwhelming joy in following Jesus may be yours.
Thank you and God bless.
Willard Metzger,
Executive Director
No Report
The cameras have long packed up and left. The news reports no longer focus on these events.
It is far from the public’s mind. ‘So it’s been a quiet year for MDS, right?’ Not at all! It is exactly
when the media and focus is gone that MDS shines most brightly. We shine, because we – all of
you and many others from other Anabaptist churches – keep showing up. 2014 brought fewer
new weather related disasters in Canada and the U.S., but the hard work of repairing homes and
restoring hope – that takes years. As one person in High River, Alberta wrote us, ‘Your service
isn’t a flash in the pan media event. You carry on faithfully seeing the project through long after
the cameras stop rolling. Thank you!”
Throughout the entire year we have worked hard in High River, Alberta repairing and building
homes. We have worked with about 70 families in this year, helping each one recover a bit more
from the devastating floods of June 2013. We have built deep relationships in the community as
we have kept on working, week after week, throughout the town. The community keeps showing
their appreciation in all kinds of ways. Those thanks belong to you – churches who support and
participate with and through MDS in this work.
MDS is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christians love to those
affected by disasters in Canada and the United States. While our main focus is on clean up,
repair, and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.
We are poised to respond, be it for a local house fire, or a national event.
2014 MDS Highlights from a Canadian perspective include:
ü High River project diligently working all through the year to help the community. The year
was capped by the joy of hand delivering Christmas cards and small gifts to every single
client we had served during the year. A moving experience for all!
ü Staten Island (New York City) project wrapping up at the end of August. This became a
key destination point for many Canadians who faithfully served following Superstorm
ü Summer Youth Project in High River, Alberta, where youth groups were able to integrate
into a regular MDS project and help repair flood damaged homes. (Summer Youth
Project 2015 will be in Sask.)
ü Family Project, Camp Valaqua, Alberta – our second ever Family Project again
successfully integrated the small and tall as they learned about putting all gifts to work to
serve others. They build new cabins for the camp, and had a great time doing it. Family
Project 2015 will be in Sask.
ü MDS Manitoba Unit has been raising a house (yes – the whole thing) and building the
basement walls higher. This is a house damaged in the 2011 floods.
ü MDS Ontario Unit has been completely rebuilding a downtown Kitchener home damaged
in a fire a year previously.
ü About 300 Ontario volunteer stormed the US border to help dig Buffalo out from their
blanket of snow in early December.
ü US projects continued or began in Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Florida
We count on you – our congregations – because you have called and sent us to do this work.
We value your participation in prayer, finances and volunteering. Together, we are helping
hundreds of families recovery hope. THANK YOU for being a part of this great ministry!
Prepared by Janet Plenert
Director of Canadian Operations
2014 has been a very eventful year for the Refugee Assistance Program. For several years prior,
NPMC had three outstanding sponsorship applications. This came about because the civil war in
Syria caused major delays in our two sponsorships there and so in the meantime we applied for a
family from Myanmar/Thailand. (Karen ethnicity). In March of 2014 the first Syrian family, a single
male, arrived. Hussein Hassan had friends here already so the settlement moved along nicely until
the friendship broke up. This put the onus on us to increase the intensity of our support, as frequent
unforeseen problems arose and continue until today.
In August the Karen family of three arrived from the camps at the Thai/Myanmar border. This family
had been in the refugee camp all of their lives except for the husband, and so were very excited to
start a new life in Canada. This sponsorship has been very much aided by the fact that there are
many Karen relatives and extended families living in Saskatoon and Rosthern. They are adjusting
well to life in Saskatoon, including their own Karen Christian church. The six year old boy, Soe Doh
Wah is attending W.P. Bates School and the father, Blaw Saw, is taking English at Open Door. The
recent exciting news in this family is that Wah Hsa Paw and Blaw Saw are expecting their second
child, who hopefully will be born as their first Canadian child before our sponsorship is completed.
In November of 2014, the third family of four were able to escape the horrors of Syria and come to
Saskatoon. Ali Qadoora is the brother of Yousef Mahmood whom we sponsored four years ago. This
connection has facilitated the settlement of the Qadoora immensely. Shahed, the nine year old girl, is
happily going to school at Greystone Elementary and picking up English quickly. Her mom, Muna
Asfoor and dad are taking English at Open Door who also are providing child care for six month old
Malak, thanks to funding from the provincial and federal governments.
The RAP committee has been very fortunate to enlist the help of the many resource people in our
church community. These folks have been essential in helping the settlement of the new Canadians.
Also of vital consideration is the financial support of the congregation to maintain the basic living
standard of the new families. Up to the end of December the refugee financial contribution for these
three groups has amounted to somewhat over $51,000! In order to complete all of our commitments
we will need another $5000 in 2015. This record is truly amazing and we in the RAP committee are
very grateful, as it has made the settlement of these families so much easier.
In view of the large amount of funding needed for sponsorships as well demand on the resources
within our church, we think any application for refugees should not be considered until we have
completed our present obligations.
Gratefully submitted,
Arnie Nickel on behalf of RAP
Motto: “Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we will harvest if we faint not”.
Galatians 6: 9
During the year, ten meetings were held with an average attendance of twenty one members. Six
of these meeting were business meetings, while the other four were social events.
Speaker: James Funk. His topic was The Joy of Running.
Speakers were Anita Retzlaff and Patrick Preheim. They led the discussion on
“Preparing for Change: Do we still need the Ruth Mission Society”?
Fellowship Evening: An afternoon of games and visiting.
Speakers: A continuing discussion with Patrick and Anita: “How can we meet our
goals differently? Is there a mission beyond ourselves”?
Speaker: Patty Friesen: “Chaplaincy at the Mennonite Nursing Home”.
Social Evening: Potluck at Bethany Manor.
September: Fellowship Night: Potluck.
Speaker: Esther Patkau: Spiritual Care Coordinator at Bethany Manor.
November: Speakers: Anita and Patrick led us in the discussion of “Decision Time - Our
December: Christmas Dinner and the celebration of “Forty eight Years of Ruth Mission
Cash Projects:
The projects that the Ruth Mission Society supported in 2014 are as follows:
Saskatchewan Women in Mission, Canadian Women in Mission, Interval
Crisis Nursery, MCC kits, Shekinah Retreat Centre, Rosthern Junior College,
Ronald McDonald House, Quilts for Ronald McDonald House, Prayer Shawls
and Nutana Park Church Kitchen.
Ongoing collection items: Tabs from drink cans, items for The Egadz Centre, labels from
Campbell’s, V8, Prego, Swanson, and Pepperidge Farms and items for babies for Dr. Annette
The Ruth Mission Society will officially end as of December 31, 2014.
Submitted by
Margaret Krause
I am pleased to report that Bethany Manor has moved on to 2015. This may seem a strange way
to introduce a report about 2014 but the difficult changes of last year make 2015 a welcome fresh
start. As our supporting church congregations, we shared our challenges with you and our
successes in 2014 are due significantly to the consistent and thoughtful support you provided. We
appreciate your prayers and continue to rely on the family and friends from your congregation
who visit, volunteer, and contribute in so many ways.
The Board has reported financial challenges to you and has faced these challenges in a number
of ways. A significant step was adjusting fees and rents which, unfortunately, were not keeping
pace with costs. Our twenty-five year reserve fund management plan helped target replacement
and upgrading spending and this plan will be supplemented in 2015. As an unexpected cost,
SaskPower advised us of a longstanding error in their billing that had to be partially made up.
Even the negotiated reduced cost was significant, and our monthly power bill will be higher from
now on. At the same time, we continue to work with our suppliers to reduce costs. Our 2014
insurance renewal saw a significant reduction in premiums based on maintenance policies and
practices, risk anticipation and planned response, emergency management capability, and the
general cleanliness and good condition of the facilities. We will economize even more in 2015.
Spiritual care is a constant need and high priority. This need is met in many ways from private
prayers and loving contact with family, friends, and staff, to the Sunday worship services and
regular Bible studies, Esther Patkau’s tireless visits, special services, and counseling. The
Worship Committee is the head, heart, and hands of Sunday worship, supported by much
appreciated church volunteers and service contributions. During 2014 we learned that no amount
of tinkering with our sound system makes it work reliably, so a new system is planned. We
learned that ushers are in short supply and that volunteer ushers from visiting congregations can
be most helpful. We hosted many funerals with sad moments and quiet rejoicing at the memory of
those passed, and so it will be. In the year ahead we hope to strengthen ties to our founding
churches and keep spiritual care needs always in our deliberations.
Two new board committees were formed: the Audit and Finance Committee, and the Cheerful
Giving Committee. The exciting agendas of the Audit and Finance Committee would fill
paragraphs but, at the risk of offending them, I will focus here on the Cheerful Giving Committee.
This committee includes residents, staff, and board members and we have volunteers from the
larger Bethany Manor community, all with a passion for fund development (fundraising of all
kinds). This new committee already exceeded the exciting challenge of raising $50,000 to match
a $50,000 anonymous donation to a new Housing Assistance Fund. This fund supports the
Board’s promise that no one will have to leave Bethany Manor because of recently announced
fee and rent adjustments. Thank you to all who helped and all who gave. We look forward to the
future successes of these volunteers.
We learned in 2014 that incorporating licensed personal care into Bethany Manor facilities and
services is possible, but licensed care may not be easy or the best option. In exploring the idea of
personal care we discovered that we can adapt our facilities but offering personal care services
may be difficult and costly. We did, however, provide a workspace for Home Care staff and our
residents now see familiar care providers more often. Resolving personal care at Bethany Manor
is a 2015 priority. An ad hoc committee of volunteers assists this process and we appreciate their
interest and input. With the average resident’s age in the 80’s and many people over 90 years of
age, the required care and associated costs present ongoing challenges.
We are proud of the many services we provide. Some, like serving 140,000 meals, assisted living
for over forty people, quality of life programs and special events, the Nook, Bistro, office services
(stamps, parcels, copying, etc.), bed bug extermination, and many others are provided by staff
with support from contractors and volunteers. Other services like Connie Norrington’s hair salon,
Medicine Shoppe foot clinics and other services, Dr. Taratibu’s medical practice, and Mennonite
Trust financial services are valued tenants. Outside service providers add to the mix of
professional and volunteer caregivers like Home Care and V.O.N. nursing, physiotherapy and
massage therapy, foot care, on-site flu shots, and numerous presentations on health care issues.
These services add to the community activities in our many common areas, inside and out,
permitting residents to find, or create, the quality of life they want.
Our department managers report a year full of activities and achievements. Over 120 programs
were offered and we hosted more family gatherings than ever before. A new Music and Motion
group formed and Russ Regehr’s new Ukulele Club held its first performance. Villa residents
enjoyed a cookie bake, pumpkin carving, and the annual Christmas party was, again, a great
success. We have more residents in assisted living, and recreation events for these residents will
be a higher priority in 2015. Food services used 6,996 lbs. of flour in 2014, transforming it into all
manner of fresh baking for meals and for sale in the very popular Nook convenience shop. The
“relaxed” breakfast worked well and the Christmas banquets were a hit. Maintenance work often
is unseen in boiler rooms and on the roof but elevator upgrades were noticed and we were very
pleased to get parking lot repairs done before winter. Thank you all for your patience while
parking off site. The office has reorganized with a new accounting and financial control system, a
new and very busy Housing Coordinator position, and Bonnie Wyse has shifted her focus part
time to fund development work with the successful Housing Assistance Fund campaign being a
first success. While the days were full of activity, Ken Epp and Willard Wolfe did their security
rounds to make sure everything was safely closed up for the night. We are grateful for the
dedication and good work of the staff, resident assistants, and volunteers who look after the place
and the people of Bethany Manor every day.
Last year brought me to Bethany Manor many, many times to chair meetings, attend to board
business, and to visit my mother. I continue to see God present and at work in the hearts and
hands of staff and volunteers at Bethany Manor. We continue to provide good, affordable
housing and many services. I still see people eating good food served by wonderful staff and
volunteers. I see activities, I hear singing and music, I chat with people drinking coffee or working
on flower beds, I hear the sound of birds and the flash of sunlight on goldfish scales in the pond,
and I find so many other blessings including some very gifted and generous residents. I still see
Bible study groups, church services every Sunday, and I chat with old friends at funerals. The
busy staff always offer a warm greeting and I see them helping others in so many ways. Year
after year there is no end to the reminders of God’s presence.
I am pleased to report that Bethany Manor residents nearly all tell us that they would not live
anywhere else and they love the community they are part of at Bethany Manor. There are
concerns ranging from missing light bulbs to more effective resident input; however, we continue
to look for new ways to improve facilities and services and still take the time for a short visit or to
offer a hand, or a hug. We are not a care home, but caring about each resident now and in the
future is what motivates us. Applicant waiting lists remain long.
Bethany Manor was built over many years and we will ensure it is a good home for many years to
come. Last year was challenging for everyone. We all know that changes can be difficult. With
your support we are beginning 2015 positively and well prepared to adjust to changes and take
advantages of new opportunities. With confidence, we see 2015 as a year of celebration. There is
much to be grateful for and even daily blessings, big and small, warrant celebration. We hope you
will celebrate with us. Sharing blessings and celebrating with you are the best ways we can think
of to thank you for your commitment and contributions.
I especially thank you for the dedicated, hard-working people you have appointed to the Bethany
Manor Board of Directors. We have a fine Board and I congratulate each congregation for
providing the integrity, wisdom, commitment, energy, and appropriate understanding that your
appointed member brings to our Board. They worked very hard last year, attended what surely
was a record number of meetings, and worked through some very difficult decisions. Please keep
these people, and Bethany Manor, in your prayers and, when you can, come and join us in work
and celebration.
Respectfully Submitted,
Joe Guenther – Chair
No Report
As a facility that is not only home to NPMC services and congregational functions, but also host
to a multitude of community based events and programs, the ongoing maintenance of our NPMC
building and grounds is a project that reflects the efforts of a large team of congregational
As in prior years, maintenance of several key facility components is ongoing: electrical, lighting,
plumbing, HVAC, structural, etc. Similarly, several annual tasks including gardening, snow
clearance, and others are well in hand.
Three major projects have been completed in the recent past at NPMC: the foyer renovation, the
parking lot, and the sanctuary roof. Moving forward, Building & Grounds will be investigating and
coordinating the completion of several additional projects: re-finishing key exterior building
components; the sanctuary ramp/lift; refurbishing the roof over the education wing; and replacing
carpets in the education wing and rear entry.
This report would be remiss without recognizing the significant time, effort and dedication
contributed by our NPMC handyman team: Peter Guenther, John Siemens, and Armin Krahn. In
addition, we would like to also thank the many informal members of the congregational B&G team
that help keep the NPMC facilities ticking, and looking great. From minor electrical work, to
planting flowers, to painting, to shoveling snow, the congregational community continues to
supply generous and enthusiastic volunteer hours. Thank you.
Respectfully submitted
Darryl Epp & Mitch Dahl
NPMC buildings & Grounds
Pastoral Staff: Anita Retzlaff
Patrick Preheim
Youth Leader: Sarah Unrau
Building & Grounds
Caring & Visitation
Christian Education
Community Life & Missions
Trish St. Onge
Tammy Forrester
Bonnie Wyse
Bert Klassen
Carmen Epp
Mitch Dahl
Darryl Epp
Debra Heinrichs
Renata Klassen
Marlene Froese
Alison Jantz
Carolene Funk
Peter Hooge
Brent Guenther
Adult Education
Art in the Lounge
Saskatoon Mennonite
Care Services
Ruth Mission President
Sunday School
Venture Club
Village Green Stores
Edna Froese
Hedie Borne
Virtus Group
Carolene Funk
Senayit Woldemicheal
Nicole Tiessen
Lydia Schroeder
Anne Klaassen
Merna Ediger
Patty Friesen
Susan Ens Funk
Dennis Breen
Lori Weiler-Thiessen
Wally Funk
Arnie Nickel
Edith Krahn
Teresa Koop-Hunter
Brenda Klassen
Brent Guenther
Renata Klassen
Jake Rempel
Jared Regier
Debra Heinrichs
Tam Ha
Alma & Jim Archer
Jean Wiens
Walter Wall
Ruth Wiens
Marian Driedger
Anita Retzlaff
Patrick Preheim
Carolene & Wally Funk
Lois Tiessen – Funerals
Valerie & Darryl Epp
Debra Heinrichs & Stan Bartel
Elisabeth & Henry Reimer
Glenis & Garry Koop
Rhonda & Eldon Krahn
Edith & Armin Krahn