Great News! D H and her children, A & S arrived at Pearson Airport at 9:25 Monday morning! They endured at 4.5 hour delay at Beirut Airport, but with a shortened layover in Cairo, ended with only a 2.5 hour delay to Toronto. S & S A (the first family we sponsored) and four other BOH members from Beamsville Trinity United Church were there to welcome them to Canada. The family is settling into their apartment on Vine St, grateful to be safe but still feeling quite a lot of stress from all the changes in their lives over the past few years.
Brick Day!! Want to own a brick from the former St. Catharines General? Starnino Environmental Recovery is hosting Brick Day, Nov. 15, 10 am-2pm, in parking lot off Oakdale. Proceeds will go to the programs at Westview Christian Fellowship (Westview Centre4Women) and Westminster United Church (Out of the Cold). Come out for a coffee, make a donation and take home a bit of history with you! Hope to see you there.
Co-op Preschool Intergenerational Program Begins - For the past two years, the Preschool has enjoyed interacting with Grace folks in music or crafts or gardening or story-telling. On Wednesday, Nov 20, 10 – 11:15 am, come be part of a sing-a-long and create Christmas ornaments with the children. Joanne Janzen, program director, writes: "Studies have shown that preschool children that have participated have a more positive attitude towards seniors and a better understanding of the role that seniors have in our society. Seniors are given an opportunity to offer knowledge and life skills to a new generation."
Indigenous Rights Conference - Saturday November 16, 9am-8pm, hosted by the Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University, 15 Artists' Common, St. Catharines. Free admission with coffee breaks and lunch provided.
Photos from Unsplash.com
Church Planting in Seoul Korea - posted November 2, 2019
Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park are planting a Mennonite church in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. Around 10 people gather in a local cafe every Sunday. This group is called “Mennonite Seoul” and they are searching for a way of becoming an official Mennonite church in Seoul. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead each person to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and for the church’s formation process within Christ's body.
MCC News! Don’t forget the MCC Peace Conference - posted October 26, 2019
MCC News! Don’t forget the MCC Peace Conference to be held this year on November 16th, from 9am to 4pm at Bethany Community Church, located here in St. Catharines at 1388 Third Street Louth between the QEW and Lakeshore Rd. Registration forms were placed in your mailboxes a few weeks ago. The registration cost is $25. per person, which includes lunch. Many workshop options are available. If you wish to register and have questions or have misplaced your forms, contact Ted S. Registration closes November 12th.
Hope, Borscht, Singing and Volunteering - posted October 19, 2019
Bridge of Hope New Family - The new family (widow with 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son) arrives in Toronto on November 4. Grace Women's Group will donate all the cleaning supplies. If you can donate any of the following items, contact Doug Schulz or Lorraine Sawatzky: lamp; curtains; mirrors; four table chairs; mixing/serving bowls; kitchen utensils; can opener; toaster; kettle; dish towels; linens; pot holders; blankets & comforters (for 2 single and 1 queen beds), towels (bath, hand & wash); alarm clock; school backpacks; school supplies; lunch pails. (Photo from Unsplash.com)
Mennonite Food & Craft Bazaar features a borscht lunch, baked goods, preserves, crafts, quilts, silent auction and attic treasures and is held at St. Catharines United Mennonite Church, 335 Linwell Road on November 2 from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Proceeds are donated to local and overseas missions.
Bethany Mennonite Church Borscht Lunch & Bazaar will be held on November 9th from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. All are welcome!
Plan to come to the next Niagara Region Mennonite Hymn Sing: Singing Songs of Peace, Sunday, November 10, 3:00 pm. It will be held at St. Catharines United Mennonite Church. All are welcome.
MDS Needs Volunteers in Scenic Renfrew Country to help with the recovery from the 2019 Ottawa River flooding. The work will include rebuilding and repairing to get people back into their homes. Work is expected to go through the fall and possibly winter. Accommodations will be available in La Passe. Please consider this opportunity. To volunteer or for more info contact: Martin Durksen at 904-736-1060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outreach and Insight - posted October 12, 2019
Westview Church Addresses Addiction & Recovery - On Saturday, Oct 26, 7-8:30 pm, Westview will host a dessert and panel focused on the Consumption and Treatment Site in Queenston and how this site connects with addiction and recovery. Come discover why life-saving work done at the site is so essential to the city. They have developed a virtual tour of the site to help the uninitiated better visualize the work Positive Living is doing on Queenston St. No cost, all are welcome. Westview writes: "We want to deepen the conversation happening in the MCEC community of Niagara around harm reduction, addiction, and recovery."
Soup Supper Season Coming Soon - We aim to have three suppers this winter, so mark your calendars for the following Thursdays: November 21st; January 9th; February 27th. [This schedule differs from our previous 'first Thursday' format, so let your family and friends know of the change.] Watch for further announcements concerning the outreach/service projects to be supported at each supper.
Across the Street and Around the World - posted October 5, 2019
OUTREACH & INSIGHT
Faith Issues Presentation - A "Portable CMU" (Canadian Mennonite University) event is planned for Oct. 27th & 28th, between Niagara United Mennonite Church and the Pleasant Manor / Radiant Care chaplaincy program. They have invited Justin Neufeld, instructor of Philosophy & Theology at CMU, to speak about the faith issues around the legalization of medically assisted death. On October 27, Professor Neufeld will speak at the NUMC worship service (11 a.m.). There will also be an evening presentation at NUMC at 7 p.m. [See poster on Community Events bulletin board]
MCC remains committed to walking alongside individuals in our communities that are marginalized and disregarded. We are concerned about the Ontario government's plan to change the definition of disability in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). A letter of advocacy has been sent to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. You can read the letter on the MCC bulletin board.
MCC News! Posted September 28, 2019
MCC News – “Bucket of Thanks” – This Thanksgiving, give the gift of basic hygiene supplies which is commonly known as a Relief Kit. Last year 24,530 kits were shipped to countries such as Jordan, Korea, Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Haiti and Canada. A list of the contents of one kit can be found in your mailbox and a complete kit is on display on the MCC table. Please consider dropping a few of these items in the box beneath the table. If you would rather contribute a few dollars (over budget), please designate “Bucket of Thanks” on your envelope. This program will continue until October 20.
MCC Peace Conference – This year, the Conference is being held here in St. Catharines on November 16 (9 am – 4 pm) with lunch provided, at Bethany Community Church, 1388 Third Street Louth. You will find in your mailbox brochures containing a list of workshops and registration forms. You have until November 12 to register. We have requested some information on the timing of the various components of each workshop. We may be able to do some carpooling. If you have any questions, please contact Ted S.
Migrants and Samaritans on the U.S. Southwest Border: Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime
Peace of Cake Presentation - Earlier this year we hosted at Grace a monthly series of presentations/discussions on themes related to being people of peace in our time. Those events start again this Fall, to be hosted by Westview Christian Fellowship. The first one will feature Laurence Steven (of our congregation) presenting on the topic: Migrants and Samaritans on the U.S. Southwest Border: Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime. It happens Monday, September 30, 7 pm.
Focus Group - posted September 15, 2019
We have planned ahead to make our Sunday conversations challenging and nourishing. Each week we will begin with responses to the sermon. Then we will read chapters from the book Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be. The author, historian John Roth, tells inspiring and challenging stories from Mennonite beginnings in Europe, expansion in North America, and spread around the world. Come and join us in finding ways of being faithful and joyful Christians in a topsy-turvy world. We meet in Pastor Doug's office up the stairway at the back of the church hall.
New Bridge of Hope Sponsorship - posted September 8, 2019
BoH has received approval from IRCC (Immigration) to sponsor a refugee family from Syria, currently living in Lebanon. The mother is a widow. She has a son and a daughter. They should arrive any time from 4 to 12 weeks. BoH will be receiving $10,200 from a Refugee Hub Fund after they arrive, a grant BoH applied for. We are in need of an additional $20,000 to support them for their first year in Canada.
If you are interested in donating to support this family, BoH would be grateful for your gift. Cheques should be made out to Grace Mennonite Church, with Bridge of Hope written on the memo line or on your offering envelope. Bridge of Hope Community thanks you. Lorraine Sawatzky, Treasurer, Bridge of Hope.
Photo from Unsplash.com
Outreach and Insight - week of September 1, 2019
"Challenge on the Climate" - This coming Wednesday evening (Sept 4, 7-8:30 p.m.) political party candidates will address their views/plans about climate issues at a community forum at Silver Spire United Church Auditorium, 366 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines. [Event convened by Extinction Rebellion Niagara (XRN) email@example.com.] (Photo from Unsplash.com)
Land Acknowledgement - In keeping with the topic of our relation to Indigenous history, culture and contemporary life, contemplate the following note that was created by Rose Marie Cipryk of Niagara Quakers:We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Anishbaabeq and the Haudenosaunee peoples whose ancestors preceded our settlements by 8000 years. They welcomed our ancestors and invited them to be a part of the Dish With One Spoon Treaty which directed all to peacefully share the resources around the Great Lakes. From that time to this, the Indigenous peoples have been allowed .2% of Canada’s land mass, which for context, is half the size of the Navajo reserve in the U.S. We modern day Canadian settlers are not guilty of setting colonization in place but we are all responsible to move toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. This land acknowledgment is, we hope, one step towardright relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
Help Wanted! :) - posted August 24, 2019
The Property Committee is always on the lookout for those who might be available to assist with “projects” that periodically come up around the church. This might include outside yard work, laying flooring, sidewalk snow shovelling and other general maintenance duties. If you are interested in helping out on occasion, please let Ted Kopp know…..we could always use some extra help!
Church Council is asking for an individual who would consider becoming a member-at-large (representing the congregation) for our meetings, which are held approximately 6-8 times a year. Please speak to Ted Kopp if you are interested. (Photos from https://unsplash.com.)
Outreach and Insight - posted August 17, 2019
Mission Support Opportunity:
Rudy Dirks - former pastor at Niagara U.M. Church and father of Nathan Dirks (Nathan, Taryn, & family) - grew up in the Congo as a child of missionaries. This October, Rudy will be partnering with Charles Buller under Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission and Congolese brothers and sisters, to provide training workshops and seminars. These seminars focus on leadership as well as trauma healing and community development after decades of wars. There is still an element of strain and danger for leaders attending these workshops. Rudy has sent a prayer letter to churches in which he explains this mission. If you would like a copy, talk to Pastor Doug. Or contact Rudy directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial contributions would also be welcomed.
Public Notice: Re. Climate Change Emergency!?
Mark your calendars for September 4, 7-8:30 p.m. when there will be an opportunity for political party candidates to address the topic "Challenge on the Climate" at a community forum at Silver Spire United Church Auditorium, 366 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines. This event is being convened by Extinction Rebellion Niagara (XRN) email@example.com. "The Lives of our Children and of our Species are at Stake"
REFUGEE STRESSES - [A mini-essay by Pastor Doug] - posted August 10, 2019
Some of us at Grace Mennonite Church came to Canada as refugees, or our parents or grandparents did. That means that oppression or war was a strong and sad part of our history. There is research being done that indicates something called "generational PTS" (post-traumatic stress). And that means that in our church, we are subject to 'carried forward' pressure or pain because of the effects of war on earlier generations. Now, our congregation is actively involved in sponsoring Syrian refugees at the present time. They are victims of war. That means that we (especially those more directly involved) are in contact with the stories of suffering (separations and losses) these newcomers bring to Canada, to our community. So we are under stress as we learn about their stories and 'absorb' their stress. Add to that the fact that not all of us agree on whether we should be involved with sponsoring refugees when there are other needs in our community and our world to be addressed. So even the legitimate question of whether or how to reach out to refugees is a source of stress! When I get "stressed out" by these sorts of considerations, I think of interesting questions to ask myself, such as: "How did my parents meet? Where did I sleep as a child? Where was my favorite hiding place? What were my parents' lives like? Did they find what they were looking for? What is my goal for my own life? What do I wish and pray for? Where do I want to be buried?" [These questions are adapted from Jenny Erpenbeck's novel about refugees, Go, Went, Gone]. Then I ask myself: What do these questions mean to a person living in a refugee situation with no hope of going home and little hope of finding a good new home? That question does not eliminate my stress. But it puts it into perspective. It helps me believe it's worth doing what I can to reduce the stress in a refugee's life, to make the sum total of stress in the world a wee bit smaller. Of course, there are other ways to address local or global stress. Let's be faithful to the ways God impresses our hearts to destress the world!
Annual Pergola Peach Party - Thursday, August 29, at 7 pm
Annual Pergola Peach Party - come to the courtyard on Thursday, August 29, at 7 pm for a lovely evening of poetry and music and storytelling, plus peach pastries and desserts galore! Like last year’s enjoyable evening, this will be a shared time for Grace and Good Shepherd people. If you would like to be part of the program, let Doug Schulz know.
Visiting Churches - posted July 20, 2019
Sunday August 4th at 10:00 am Grace will be visiting the Good Shepherd congregation for the Worship Service.
On August 18th at 10:00 am Good Shepherd will be visiting Grace for worship.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE - Posted July 13, 2019
NEXT SUNDAY 9:30 am - Doug Schulz & Kevin McCabe, Speakers
Pastor David will be serving with the MDS Youth Project at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford for the month of July.
♫ Women’s Chorus Practices: Sunday, July 28, 9:00 am; Sunday, August 18, 9:00 am; Sunday, August 25, 9:00 am
Iced Tea and Cookies will happen in the Church Hall / Courtyard today July 14th and August 25th after the service.
Sunday August 4th at 10:00 am Grace will be visiting the Good Shepherd congregation for the Worship Service. On August 18th at 10:00 am Good Shepherd will be visiting Grace for worship.
MCC News – Grow Hope Niagara – We have completed the first month of our fundraising for “Grow Hope Niagara” which is the joint project of MCC and Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Vineland. To the end of June, Grace has contributed $2710.00 which at $400. per acre sponsors almost 7 acres of the 41 acre project. The Federal Government matches our donations at 3 to 1 or 4 to 1, depending on the emergency/disaster for which the funds are used. Our $2710. will become $10,840. to $13,550. and we are not finished. We’ve only just begun. Please remember that for Government matching we must designate “MCC Grow Hope” on your church envelope. Please be reminded that these contributions are above church budget. Our plans are to continue through July and August. Sincere thanks from MCC for your continued support.
Programs for Young Newcomers in St. Catharines - posted July 6
Lauren Anderson is working with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) this summer to serve as a Newcomers Engagement Assistant in the Niagara region. She will work with the MCC Refugee Team to plan and implement various initiatives to engage newcomer children and youth in summer programs and activities. These initiatives will include existing summer programs offered in the Niagara region as well as uniquely designed opportunities to bring privately sponsored refugees and their sponsors together.
Newcomer children and youth often have limited opportunities to engage because of various barriers including cultural norms, costs of programming, and lack of awareness. They hope to break down these barriers and help connect newcomers with their community. All the programs and activities will be held at Grantham Mennonite Brethren Church except for the library tours, which will be held at the Kiwanis Centre. Listed below are some free programs and activities already scheduled.
MCC’s Summer Splash: Saturday, July 6th, from 9am – 12pm. This event is for all newcomer families and sponsors. There will be plenty of water activities, a free pizza lunch, and a chance to learn more about what MCC is doing this summer. Library Tour and Activities: Wednesdays, July 10th and July 24th from 9:30am – 11:30am. Parents may attend and are encouraged to if they would like to sign their children up for library cards. Sports Nights: Fridays, July 12th to August 23rd, from 3pm – 5pm. Sports Programming: Saturdays July 13th - August 24th, 9am-12pm. Literacy Programming: Saturdays July 13th-August 24th, 2:30– 3pm.
Pray for Burkina Faso...posted June 20, 209
… We are one body: if one part of the body is joyful, the entire body rejoices; if one part of the body suffers, the entire body suffers. For more than two years, Burkina Faso has been going through very trying times due to terrorist attacks. The attacks targeted the institutions of the State, then civilians, traditional chiefs, imams, and for the past three weeks the attacks have targeted Christian religious communities. Pray that faith communities will continue to live in peace. Pray that God will transform the hearts of those who engage in such violence. —A message from Deacon Commission chair and Burkina Faso Mennonite church leader Siaka Traoré
World Refugee Day is June 22!
Refugee Settlement Efforts - June 22 was World Refugee Day. In the past four years, Grace Mennonite Church has provided home and a future to Syrian families through Bridge of Hope. On June 24 BOH meets to discuss the possibility of doing another sponsorship during 2019. More information will be provided to the congregation as this planning unfolds.
Meanwhile, note (from Guardian magazine) that "Canada took in more refugees than any other country in the world in 2018, according to a United Nations report, knocking the US from its position as global leader in resettling people fleeing war, persecution and conflict. Canada resettled 28,100 refugees in 2018, overtaking the US for the first time since the 1980 Refugee Act." [The US has reduced their refugee intake by 400% in the past two years.]
New from Canadian Mennonite: digital issues for the summer slowdown - posted June 15, 2019
The magazine will print one issue in July and one in August during our annual summer slowdown but subscribers are eligible to receive a digital issue by email in two week intervals. If you already receive digital delivery throughout the year, you do not need to sign up again. To add digital issues to your subscription, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, address and subscription number (see your mailing label; it begins with an A). https://canadianmennonite.org/
Outreach and Insight - posted June 8, 2019
National indigenous Peoples’ Day, Friday, June 21st - God has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), and in Canada there is no greater need for reconciliation than with the indigenous peoples. Canada has been a place where most of us have found safety and blessing; sadly this is not the case for many indigenous people today. National Indigenous Peoples Day is a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, discover their unique accomplishments, and celebrate their significant contribution to our cultures & societies. Please join in the celebrations taking place on June 21 at the Virgil Sports Complex, 1565 Four Mile Creek Road, in Virgil, 3:00 till Sundown.
Northend Cooperative Preschool Graduation - The children of the Preschool would like to invite Grace seniors to their graduation night on Tuesday, June 18th at 6:30 pm. They say: "During our program we will be acknowledging the wonderful times we have spent with the seniors this past year as they volunteered their time and talents with us. The children would like to present the Exceptional Volunteer award."
MCEC/Niagara Area Truth and Reconciliation Working Group – Since November a small group of volunteers has been meeting to foster reconciliation between Indigenous and Settler peoples in Niagara. We would love for every church in the MCEC Niagara Cluster East of Hamilton to have a representative on this team. If you are interested in joining this group please contact Herb Sawatzky at email@example.com. Our next meeting is June 18, 7pm at Bethany Mennonite Church.
Again this year we have an opportunity to support Larry and Marg Dyck from Vineland with the “Grow Hope” project on behalf of MCC and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. They have access to a 41-acre field generously made available by Bethesda Homes which they plant and grow a crop and sell the crop to raise funds to help Foodgrains Bank in its battle against hunger. Sponsorship is $400. per acre which Larry and Marg use for seed and other inputs. The crop is sold for about $500. per acre which is donated to MCC’s account at Foodgrains Bank. Our Federal Government matches our $400. donation at 3 to 1 or 4 to 1, depending on the nature of the emergency/disaster for which the funds are used. Our donation of $400. can become $1600. or even $2000. Last year Grace sponsored almost 8 acres. Can we make it 9 acres this year? It is important for government matching to designate “MCC Grow Hope” on your church envelope. This project will probably run June, July, August, but of course the planting costs are incurred at the outset. Thank you from MCC for your support.
Across the Street and Around the World - May 25, 2019
A message from Silver Lake Mennonite Camp: THANK YOU to Paddle the Grand Supporters!!! A record $35,000 raised! Anabaptist Heritage Concert: Sunday, May 26, at 7 pm, St. Catharines United Mennonite Church, Freewill offering - MCC
June 22nd: Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario Spring Meeting will be held at 2:00 pm, at Elmira Mennonite Church, Elmira, Ontario. Following our annual meeting, Retired ELAWS teacher Janice Harper will speak on the topic: The Elmira Life and Work School: An Innovative Collaboration between Public Secondary Schooling and Conservative Mennonites.
Consider a visit to The Mennonite Story in St. Jacobs. Come as a family, church group, or with visitors this summer. Let the Mennonite Story’s multi media exhibits inspire and inform you. For more information: MennoniteStory@st.jacobs.com, www.mennonitestory.com or 519-664-3518.
Join Professor Gordon Matties as he leads a CMU Study Tour to Israel and Palestine in March 2020. Get off the beaten path on this hiking tour in the Holy Land. Space is limited. See www.cmu.ca/studytour or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park - South Korea
On April 27, Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, along with members of Mennonite Church South Korea, other denominations, and non-faith people participated in a nationwide peace event. Kim and Park joined others to form a human peace chain near the de-militarized zone between North and South Korea. The event was held on the first anniversary of the peace summit between Kim Jung Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, and Moon Jae In, the president of South Korea. Kim estimated that there were 200,000 participants. The April 27 peace event is seen as a grassroots movement among all people seeking peace on the Korean peninsula. Bock Ki said, “It became the event that all people could join. There was no difference between men and women, old and young, ethnicity, religions etc. Many people have hope for the peace movement here in the future.”
New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale ~ Friday May 24th, 5-9 pm; Saturday May 25th, 6:45 am – afternoon.
The Relief Sale was started in 1967 by individuals from Mennonite churches in southwestern-Ontario in response to the ever-growing world-wide need for relief from hunger, poverty and natural disaster and for development and peace-building activities. The net proceeds from the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale are forwarded to Mennonite Central Committee Ontario (MCCO), a not-for-profit relief, service and development and peace agency of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in North America. MCC seeks to demonstrate God’s love by working among people around the world suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression and natural disaster. Started in 1920 in response to hunger in the Ukraine, MCC strives for peace, justice and dignity of all people.
Make Coints Count! Week of May 5, 2019
The annual MCC New Hamburg Relief Sale is now in sight on our calendars at the end of this month and our coin collection will be delivered to the site as in the past. Our coin jug has again been cleared and counted. Our year-to-date count now stands at $186.15. My calculator tells me that we need only $13.85 to reach that nice round number of $200. Grace can do it! p.s.: An anonymous donor has agreed to match $13.85 if we can otherwise raise $13.85.
Remember to Pray for ... Week of April 28, 2019
… those facing health challenges and those experiencing recent and continued grief.
… each week MCEC staff pray for the faith communities within our MCEC community of congregations. Join MCEC in praying for Hunta Mennonite Church in Cochrane, ON.
… the remote First Nation community of Kashechewan who have, once again, been forced into evacuation centres due to flooding. Please pray for the Canadian government to meet their 2005 commitment to move this community to safe ground and off a flood plain.
… those in the correctional system who are sick or need medical care. Many on parole don't have resources to buy medication and lack a consistent health care provider.
… the more than 2 million people affected by Cyclone Idai that swept over the eastern part of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in what the UN is calling possibly the worst disaster to hit the region. Flood waters continued to rise days after landfall, causing increasing numbers of deaths, displaced people and spread of disease. “We thank God the church all around has risen in the midst of the emergency and is doing all it can to collect needed items for survival of the victims,” says Mennonite World Conference Southern Africa regional representative Barbara Nkala.
… praise God for drawing together Anabaptist-related churches into a communion (koinonia) linked to one another in a worldwide community of faith for fellowship, worship, service and witness. Leaders of the Mennonite World Conference Executive Committee met in Costa Rica to discern how we can continue to operate well together as churches in the world.
Across the Street and Around the World - Week of April 21, 2019
Another Anabaptist Heritage Concert is planned for Sunday, May 26 at St. Catharines United Mennonite Church. John and Kathy Rempel invite singers to join them for rehearsals at SCUMC on Tuesday, May 7, 14, 21, at 7:30 pm.
♫ Niagara Area Mennonite Hymn Sing ~ April 28th at 6:30 pm at Vineland United Mennonite Church.
MEDA Breakfast Tuesday April 30 7:30 – 8:30 am at Sweets Café, 600 Ontario St. Speaker: Nick Hamm. $15 at the door. RSVP by April 27 by emailing Maria at email@example.com.
Anabaptism and the Challenge of Masculinity" - May 3, 7 pm at Grace Mennonite Church
Don Neufeld will present on the topic of "Anabaptism and the Challenge of Masculinity" on May 3, 7pm at Grace Mennonite Church in St Catharines.
Melissa Bollinger Seiling will respond. Both are social workers with perspectives on the struggle of modern men to come to terms with changing expectations of gender. Don Neufeld is the co-editor with Steve Thomas of the book, "Peaceful at Heart: Anabaptist Reflections on Healthy Masculinity" to be released this Spring by Wipf&Stock press.
A very manly dessert will be served afterward! No cost, open to all.
Some Thoughts on Living and Dying (a mini-essay by Pastor Doug)
Recently a friend of mine said, "We will all die of heart failure." By which he simply meant that someday, for every one of us, our heart will stop beating. Knowing that this is true is not exactly comforting, but admitting it is a potential source of real strength. It allows us to look at life day by day as an opportunity to make the most of our 'heartbeat health'. We can maintain heartbeat health physically and spiritually. Physically, by doing a bit of whatever kind of exercise we can practice at our age and stage of life. We may have limitations to how much exercise we can do. But if we do whatever we can, we reduce weakness and build strength - often including strength of mind. Spiritually, our heartbeat health is kept up by regular disciplines such as Bible and devotional book reading, church participation (worship and community times), prayer (whether alone or in groups, and spoken or silent), and thinking about things 'beyond' our comfort zone. Thinking about death is not exactly a comfortable activity, but it is healthy if we consider the idea, as put forth by author Kathleen Dowling Singh, that death is "our final stage of growth" [The Grace of Dying]. She says that dying has "transformative and transcendent power". There is an answer to the question "Why do we die?" and that is "Because we are alive." [This applies to natural or accidental or self-chosen death.] If you are reading this, you are alive. Singh says that as long as we are alive, "creation is unfolding". Therefore, we can welcome the final stage because it is taking us toward "radical transformation". This is precisely what the Bible teaches. It is what Jesus embraced even as he moved toward the cross. "Into God's hands I give my spirit," he said. So can we.
Across the Street and Around the World for March 31
MCC is responding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe: On March 15, Cyclone Idai destroyed 90 percent of Beira, one of Mozambique’s largest cities, and affected nearly 3 million people with widespread flooding up to six metres high. Bridges, roads, fields, farms and millions of homes were violently washed away. Your gift will help MCC provide emergency assistance to those in dire need. You can donate online at mcco.ca/cyclone-idai or by calling 1-800-313-6226.
MCC News – Elmira Meat Canning and Sale - Posted March 24, 2019
The announcement is a bit late this year, but this annual event is being held in Elmira during the week of April 22 – 26. Our Grace volunteers headed up by George Janzen intend to work the afternoon shift on April 24th and will bring our orders back early that evening. There are some order forms available on the MCC table in the lobby or see Ted S. Cheques should be made payable to MCCO, dated April 26th, and given to Ted S. with your order form by April 1.
Remember to pray for...Week of March 17, 2019
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
… those facing health challenges and those experiencing recent and continued grief.
… the New Zealandcommunities affected by the shooting rampage in two mosques this week. Pray for healing of the wounded and for hope of safety and strength in community life and throughout the nation.
… each week MCEC staff pray for the faith communities within our MCEC community of congregations. Join MCEC in praying for Hamilton Mennonite Church.
… adequate resources and leadership to provide over a third of First Nations in Ontario with access to clean potable water.
… individuals in the correctional system who have experienced childhood trauma. Pray for healing and hope. Please also pray for the understanding and compassion of the staff members and correctional officers who work so closely with traumatized individuals.
… the families of those affected by the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy
…theMCEC Mission Minister search team as they seek to discern God's leading in fulfilling this position. Please pray for the individual who will lead our church family in this important ministry.
Kathy Bergen of Kitchener has been in Israel/Palestine many times in her work with MCC assignments and with other organizations that seek to educate North Americans about human rights issues and about the struggle for freedom and equality. We will have Kathy as a speaker at Grace in Fall.
For more information, talk to Pastor Doug to pick up an excellent one-page (2-sided) handout called "What We Can Do".
Indigenous-Settler Relations Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) Colombia Delegation What does practicing Christ’s way of peace look like in a conflict zone? Mennonite Church Canada wants to introduce a group of sisters and brothers to the nonviolent accompaniment work of Christian Peacemaker Teams by sponsoring four persons in a delegation to Colombia, from June 26 to July 6, 2019. Meet human rights defenders who are working for a just peace in the Magdalena Medio region; learn how CPT supports those who are undoing violent structures that threaten their ability to live on their lands; and explore questions of faith and discipleship. If you’re interested in joining, please email Steve Heinrichs (firstname.lastname@example.org), director of Indigenous-Settler Relations, for more details.
This Week of March 3, 2019...
Ernie Janzen Celebration of Life – A Celebration of Life Service for Ernie Janzen will be on Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon. Visitation will be on Friday, March 8, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. in the Church Hall.
Soup Supper on Thursday March 7 – Cancelled Please let friends know that this event is cancelled.
Daylight Saving Time – A reminder to put your clocks ahead 1 hour on Saturday night, March 9.
♫ Women’s Chorus Practice ~ Sunday March 10th, 11:00 am; Thursday March 21st, 6:30 pm; Sunday March 24th, 9:00 am, Sunday March 31, 9:00 am
Gatherings - Posted for February 24, 2019
Soup Supper on Thursday March 7th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm Please sign up on the bulletin board if you can bring donations of soups, bread or desserts. Soup Supper donations will be directed to the Brock University Indigenous Students Emergency Fund.
MCEC Annual Church Gathering ~ April 26 & 27, 2019 Deepening Our Relationship With God with April Yamasaki Steinmann Mennonite Church, Baden, ON
Mennonite Church Canada Gathering 2019 - June 28 – July 1 Abbotsford, B.C. Theme: Igniting the Imagination of the Church Guest speaker Dr. Elaine Heath
Across the Street and Around the World - Week of February 17, 2019
Peace of Cake, Friday March 1st, 7:00 pm at Grace Mennonite Church “Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron? Examples from the Dutch Republic, 1780-1820” by Michael Driedger, PhD, Professor of History, Brock University. Response by Christina Moss, PhD Candidate, University of Waterloo.
MEDA Niagara Special Event, $15 at the door Saturday March 9, 8:00 – 9:00 am Sweets Café, 600 Ontario Street, St. Catharines Speaker: Catherine Sobrevega, Myanmar Country Project Manager RSVP by March 6 to MARIA.H.KLASSEN@GMAIL.COM
The Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) is excited to announce that our public lecturer this year is Dr. John D. Rempel. Thursday March 14th at 7:00 pm. John's lecture is drawn from his current work and is entitled "An Impossible Task: Trinitarian Theology for a Radical Church?" Dr. P. Travis Kroeker of McMaster University will be responding to the lecture. Rides will be available.
Outreach and Insight - Week of February 10, 2019
Make a Painting with a Pre-Schooler! - Joanne Janzen (Supervisor of the PreSchool downstairs) invites Grace folks to join the children on Tuesday, February 19 at 10 am to help them make abstract paintings, and perhaps make a painting of our own! Enjoy the creative process with a child - bring back your childhood, beautiful (and maybe wild!).
A Taste of Syria at Niagara United Mennonite Church on Saturday February 16th, 6:30 pm. Authentic Syrian dishes will be served, proceeds to the Mission Fund. Tickets are $30 per person, they are limited and sales close today February 10th. Contact the church office at 905-468-3313 or email Rachael email@example.com to purchase tickets.
Let There Be Food - Week of February 3, 2019
Perishky (Meat Buns) Baking ~ Monday February 11th at 9 am. All women are welcome, soup lunch will be provided. Orders will be taken – a limit of 2 dozen per family, $10 per dozen.
Soup Supper on Thursday February 7th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm Please sign up on the bulletin board if you can bring donations of soups, bread or desserts. Soup Supper donations will be directed to Pastor Accilien’s work in Haiti.
Across the Street and Around the World - Jan 27, 2019
Vineland United Mennonite Church is in need of a part time office administrator to begin immediately. Please forward resumes to the VUMC office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Catharines United Mennonite Church is looking for a part time office administrator to begin in May 2019. Interested applicants should apply by no later than February 19, 2019. Only those who will be interviewed will receive a call back. For further information and job description visit our website at www.scumc.ca or contact Kevin Ens at 905-397-4865.
Radiant Care Tabor Manor recently opened a Fitness and Wellness Centre and is offering seniors living in the north end of St. Catharines who are affiliated with Radiant Care the opportunity to join as members, for a nominal fee, to pursue your health and fitness goals. Please see the bulletin board notice or call 905-934-2548 for more information.
MCC Ontario - January 20, 2019
A portion of a letter received from MCC Ontario under the date of January 2, 2019 reads....MCC is a ministry of the church - of your church. We commit to carry out that ministry with the highest standards of effectiveness andgood stewardship. We are deeply grateful for your role in this ministry and your incredible generosity again this year.
Make Coins Count – The second quarterly count of coins in the jug has provided MCC with another $40.20, bringing us up to $77.75 since the last New Hamburg Relief Sale. Last year we raised just over $241. We have some catching up to do, but MCC thanks Grace for its continued support for this project.
"Peace of Cake": A Series of Discussions starting February 1 - 7 pm
"Probing the Potential for Peace" - Mark your calendar to come to Grace on Friday, February 1 at 7 pm, which will be the launch of a series of seminars exploring peace-making. Presentation by Max Kennel and response by Carol Penner on "A Peace Church in A Cultural War". Followed by discussion and refreshments. Bring your friends!
Quilting and Soup! January 6, 2019
Grace Women will begin quilting (tying) on Thursday, January 10th at 9 am. Everyone is welcome, no experience required. We will be happy to teach you. We usually end with a communal lunch, so please bring a packed lunch. For more information call Irene Seager.
Soup Supper on Thursday January 10th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm Please sign up on the bulletin board if you can bring donations of soups, bread or desserts. Soup Supper donations will be directed to the Westview Centre4Women.
Shining a Light in Our Community - January 1, 2019
Niagara folks are invited to join as community on January 1st at 6 pm at Montebello Park to turn on the light we each have brought at 6:15pm. Bring your phone, a flashlight, a candle, lantern, etc. This initiative comes from Silver Spires United Church who say: "Come have conversation and stand in light together and be a community safety net. Together our hope is to spark a change for the New Year. Please understand that this is not a rally, a vigil or a protest. Our hope is for our community to come together and be together."