Community News

 March 18, 2022


Update from Ukraine: “We want to thank you for what you are making possible”

“Hi! I’m Linda Herr, and I work with my husband James Wheeler. We’re area directors for MCC for Europe and the Middle East. We are in close touch with the Ukrainian MCC staff in Ukraine in different locations and nearby, along with a network of pastors. We’re in touch with partners through staff, a few of them directly.

We just want to thank you for what you’re making possible even in this changing, somewhat chaotic situation. These are people who are working with volunteers in their churches or community organizations to buy food, fuel, diapers, mattresses to put on the ground that are available where they are available.

Right now there are people who are hungry and thirsty, whether they are caught in their homes and unable to leave them because of a variety of reasons – maybe they have a disability, or they’re elderly and can’t do that – or they’re passing through, moving towards western Ukraine and across the borders to find safety and a need to sleep, need some food on the way, or need some fuel to keep going.

Thank you for your support in this immediate moment of crisis. It’s very humbling to be able to work as part of connecting resources to needs that just continue to grow. So thank you so much for what you are making possible.”

MCC Thrift is celebrating 50 years of thrifting! The MCC Thrift network provides financial support for the work of MCC around the world. To date, MCC Thrift shops have contributed over C$305 million over the last 50 years to help people in need.

The very first MCC thrift shop in opened in Altona, Manitoba. The first MCC Thrift shop in Alberta opened a year later, in 1973, in Calgary. There are now four Thrift shops in Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Taber.

Secondhand shops offer individuals and families a unique shopping experience while extending the lifespan of clothing and housewares, helping to cut down on environmental waste. Plus, budget-friendly prices help hard-earned wages go a little further with current supply chain shortages and increasing prices on everyday essentials.

Many of us know that one of the best ways to share our love is through food.

Today, over 70 million people worldwide have been displaced from their homes by drought, conflict, flooding and other disasters. Share Your Table is a monthly giving program that helps feed families who have had to flee from home.

Even as donors share their love by helping families eat, they receive love back with a story of a family who has been helped by a gift like theirs, plus a recipe from that family’s region!

Learn more here.

In “a little more peace in the world”, Darrel Heidebrecht shares stories, insights and experiences from 35 years of restorative justice work with MCC Alberta. It’s a modest look at second chances and bringing people together. Order it by connecting with Darrel at


Music at CMU Open House, March 31, 1:30-4:00 PM CDT – For those considering a Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy, or a Bachelor of Arts with a Music major. Meet with professors, discover what classes are like, and tour the campus. To register click here.  

Science at CMU Open House, April 1, 1:00-3:30 PM CDT – Why science at CMU? Students have the opportunity for fieldwork and research, learn in small classes and labs, and talk about the relationship between science and faith. Join us to meet professors, take part in a university-style lab, go on a campus tour, and enjoy some time at our on-campus café. To register click here.  

CommonWord Webinar: 100 Years of Mennonite Central Committee. Join Alain Epp Weaver, Esther Epp-Tiessen, and César Flores for an online conversation on Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 PM CDT. Hear about MCC’s 100-year history of service and reconciliation, including the complicated ways Christian service has been intertwined with colonialism, racism, and regimes of power. Click here to register.

The March edition of On the Level is now available from Mennonite Disaster Service. In our current issue: Learn about the partnership between Fraser Valley Church and MDS Canada in response to last years devastating flood, read about MDS volunteers making a difference for hurricane survivors in Louisiana, and there is a need for volunteers in Princeton, B.C. Click here to read more…

Dear friends,
Last Saturday, the U of A Department of Music and the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies presented a Fundraising Concert in Support of Ukraine at Convocation Hall.
While the live audience was sparse, the concert was also live-streamed via YouTube and remains available for access free of charge.  Nonetheless, donations are encouraged to be made online to the  Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) (It is suggested that you designate “In support of the U of A relief concert” on a Memo line.)  Otherwise, you might also be inspired to donate to Ukrainian relief via MCC, Red Cross, or other humanitarian charity.
At the time of writing this memo, over 2,000 viewers have watched.
The program includes 3 choirs: Viter Folk Choir, Dnipro Choir and Kapella Kyrie.  It also includes 3 instrumental solos;  poetry;  a vocal solo accompanied by bandura; and a small instrumental ensemble.
There are 4 lengthy speeches that are well thought out and delivered effectively.  Yes, while the length of the program is daunting at over 2 1/2 hours, you may note that the beginning of the video is 14 minutes of stage silence. AND, if you wish to skip over the silence or any of the speeches, you may move the time-bar indicator.
Of interest to LMC is that Leanne Regehr accompanies 2 of the instrumental soloists.  Also, Donna Noton (of FMC) sings in the Kapella Kyrie choir.
Overall, this concert is intensely moving and inspiring.  I recommend using headphones to get a stereophonic experience.  With headphones, you will get a sensation of being “in the room” with sound-surround for the final Ukrainian national anthem with three choirs spread around the auditorium.
Enjoy and be inspired,

Al Lowrey

Click here to participate in the webinar. No registration required.