Classification scheme: 
XXXI

Title: Mennonite Church Canada fonds

Dates of creation:2000-2006, 2008, 2016
Note: Further accruals are expected

Physcial description: 10 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The formation of MC Canada was the culmination of a process that began in July, 1989 with the decision of two North American church bodies – the Mennonite Church (MC) and General Conference Mennonite Church (GC) – to explore integration. Discussions included the Conference of Mennonites in Canada (CMC), which had congregational and conference ties to the MC and GC bodies. A recommendation to proceed with integration was accepted at Wichita in 1995, with the stipulation that the CMC should be consulted at every step. Intensive consultation followed with the Canadian membership, whereupon proposals were brought to joint GC and CMC sessions in Winnipeg in 1997 and then to a meeting of all three delegate groups – CMC, GC and MC – at a joint assembly in St. Louis in 1999. At the St. Louis assembly, delegates adopted recommendations that led to the formation of MC Canada and MC USA, along with guidelines for partnership between these two denominations.

At annual sessions of the CMC in Lethbridge (2000) and Abbotsford (2001), a new constitution and by-laws were accepted and structures adopted. The birth of MC Canada occurred officially with two decisions in 2001 – the passing of the Act of Incorporation by the Canadian government in June of 2001 and the acceptance of the new bylaws by the delegate body in July of 2001. Implementation of the new structures culminated in February of 2002.

In 2002 MC Canada was comprised of about 250 local congregations with about 35,000 members (organized into six area conferences – Mennonite Church British Columbia, Mennonite Church Alberta, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, Mennonite Church Manitoba and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada). Congregations date back to the beginning of the 19th century, when families of Swiss Mennonite origin came from Pennsylvania to present-day southern Ontario. A large number of the congregations of the CMC originated when German-speaking immigrants arrived from Russia in the 1870s and the 1920s. Today MC Canada includes not only churches of traditionally Swiss and Germanic background, but also churches comprised of Chinese, Hispanic, Hmong, Japanese, Laotian, South Korean, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, and First Nations peoples. Meanwhile, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds have also joined congregations that were formerly only Swiss and Germanic.

Three Councils and a General Board attend to the ministry of MC Canada. The Christian Formation Council gives oversight to youth and young adult ministries, congregational and ministerial leadership, publishing and resources, and Christian education and nurture. In 2004 the Council assumed responsibility for coordination of MC Canada's relationship to Mennonite post-secondary schools as well as secondary and elementary schools. The Christian Witness Council facilitates and develops programs in evangelism and church planting, national and international missions, native ministries, peace and justice advocacy, and service ministries. The Support Services Council oversees communication, development and constituency relations, human resources, property management, and annual assembly planning. Originally the Finance Department was also part of the Support Services Council, but was shifted to direct accountability to the General Board through a Financial Policy and Audit Committee after a financial crisis in 2002/03.

The church paper of MC Canada is the Canadian Mennonite, with offices in Waterloo, Ontario. The General Board oversees the entire work of the church and oversees grants to the Canadian Mennonite and Canadian Mennonite University . The General Board and the Councils are accountable to an annual delegate assembly.

MC Canada is one of the Mennonite groups sponsoring the Canadian Mennonite University, the Mennonite Central Committee Canada , and the Mennonite Foundation of Canada. A women’s organization, Canadian Women in Mission, is integrally related to MC Canada. MC Canada is a member of Mennonite World Conference. After years of observer status, it took action to become fully affiliated with the Canadian Council of Churches and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in July 2004. Denominational offices are located at 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 0M4.

Scope and content: Contains minutes, reports, and some correspondence.

Custodial history: The materials were donated to the Archives by Sam Steiner

Notes: Original description created by Sam Steiner, June, 2004

Series 1: Annual & Special Delegate Meetings

(includes report book, some minute books and other materials related to the assembly. Minute books are also catalogued in the Library (search under Mennonite Church Canada)

2000-2006, 2008, 2016

Series 2: Mennonite Church Canada General Board

Sub-series 1: Minutes and reports
1999-Feb 2003

Sub-series 2: Correspondence
05 Jun 2000-31 July 2000

Series 3: Mennonite Church Canada Executive

Mar 1999-2002

Series 4: Joint Executive Committee of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada

2000-2002 
Note: Some records in this series are confidential.

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Last updated 14-Dec-2010 by Laureen Harder-Gissing

Hours

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Making an appointment with the archivist in advance is strongly recommended.

Contact

Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238

Email: marchive@uwaterloo.ca