Only the air wasn't for sale

Mapleview Mennonite Church dedicates new building, benefits African congregation.






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Publication: Canadian Mennonite
Author: Rogalsky, Dave
Date published: November 15, 2010

Mapleview Mennonite Church, which recently moved into its new building, celebrated a "transition service" on Aug. 22. With pastor Bruce Sawatsky leading, congregants participated in "the Last Supper" commemorating their unity and then followed a processional as the elders carried the communion table to their new building.

A few weeks later, on Sept. 8, a public sale was held in the old building. Auctioneer Gary Jantzi, a member at Mapleview, encouraged the sale of anything and everything in the building. Sawatzky donated some 100 books, bought them back, and took them to the thrift store in New Hamburg. More than $22,000 was raised through the sale of pews, light fixtures, furniture, heating oil and even an electrical panel. The committee organizing the sale had toyed with the idea of selling the air in the building, but that didn't happen.

On Sept. 12, Rebecca Yoder Neufeld of Mennonite Church Canada Witness received a cheque for the entire amount on behalf of Foyer Evangélique Mennonite de Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso from Brian Jantzi, the building committee chair.

Foyer Evangélique Mennonite is a recent church plant with ministry focused on university students. Many of these students come from rural areas and this first Mennonite congregation in the capital is a welcome church home for them. In addition, a student residence on site provides opportunities for good lodging and community seven days a week. MC Canada Witness workers Jeff and Tany Warkentin accompany local leaders in this ministry. After years of renting, they are seeking a more permanent and sustainable facility.

The day after the Mapleview auction, church leaders in Burkina Faso recorded a thank-you video during their Bible study that arrived in Canada in time for Mapleview congregants to view it in their new sanctuary on Sept. 12.

At a celebratory dedication service on Sept. 19, MC Eastern Canada executive minister David Martin challenged the congregation to be "ambassadors of change" by doing mission as ambassadors of Christ and carrying on building the kingdom of God.

Congregants are enjoying the new building as it is wheelchair accessible and offers more space for programs and resources for reaching into the community.

Author affiliation:

BY DAVE ROGALSKY

Eastern Canada Correspondent

WELLESLEY TOWNSHIP, ONT.

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