Bridge Building 

Join the Pow-wow Prep 101 Zoom discussion, June 13, 6:30 p.m. MDT!


Click HERE for more information. 


We live in the midst of diversity of culture and faith traditions, within our own MCA family, as well as in our unique geographical local contexts.  As we step into other cultures, traditions, and histories, Scripture invites us to adapt to and embrace these differences so that we might better represent Christ’s Kingdom to the world around us. 

Bridge building supports this work by helping to better equip individuals and congregations to identify, listen to, learn from and honour the different histories, cultures and faith traditions that are in our communities, so that, together, we can "heal and rejoice" the Kingdom of God into being for all of us.

More Bridge Building Events

On August 15 Bridge Building Facilitator Suzanne Gross  and Ruth Bergen Braun were invited to prepare Edmonton Mennonites for participation in a Powwow that was to take place Saturday, August 19.  As a result, ten Edmonton Mennonites and friends attended the Poundmaker's Lodge Annual Powwow to enjoy this intergenerational celebration of Indigenous culture. With some teaching in advance, they were able to notice details and better appreciate the solemn pride and joy of a Powwow.

Then, on Saturday, August 26, the Holyrood Community League hosted a ceremony to remember the signing of Treaty 6, on August 23, 1876. The Anglican diocese was instrumental in organizing this ceremony, and invited the Edmonton Mennonite community, but specifically Holyrood Mennonite to participate. After a smudge opening, 17 Holyrood congregants -- as settlers -- contributed what we agreed was a "song smudge"  inviting us to set good intentions through our eyes, ears, and heart, similar to what a smudge invites us to do. The words of the hymn are: "Open my eyes Lord, help me to see your face; Open my ears Lord, help me to hear your voice; Open my heart Lord, help me to love like you."  And the verse invites us into a new reality "where we'll see God's face in places we've never known."  A drummer shared a bit of his story, bannock was distributed, and then we learned Indigenous games together. Throughout this event, we were reminding each other that we are all Treaty people.  

Click HERE for a slideshow of these events. Background music, an Intertribal song, used with permission from the drum and song group, Blackfoot Confederacy. 


Suzanne Gross has been hired as MCA’s new Bridge Building Facilitator. This half-time position will resource MCA congregations and staff in building interfaith and cross-cultural relationships in their ministry contexts, while representing MCA in other interfaith ventures. 
The Bridge Building Facilitator is the next phase in the interfaith ministry that began with Donna Entz and her 10 years of relationship-building work with Muslims, particularly in North Edmonton. After Donna’s retirement in June of 2021 Suzanne served in an interim role as a new vision for this role was developed. This vision expands the focus to congregations across Alberta and builds off established relationships between Muslims and Christians to be a resource for these and other interfaith and intercultural interactions.

The Bridge Building Facilitator will collaborate with MCA congregations and MCA Staff to:
•           Explore existing intercultural/interfaith relationships and opportunities;
•           Expand intercultural/interfaith understanding and deepen relationships;
•           Develop intercultural/interfaith intentionality in our worship, invitations, and activities;
•           Capture and share stories to inspire others.

Suzanne began her role on September 19, and is looking forward to connecting with congregations and individuals as she lives into this new vision.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to join the MC Alberta team. I am very excited to be part of creating the next chapter of intercultural and interfaith relationship-building in Alberta. As I begin my first week, I wonder how God's spirit will move in the midst of our diverse and complex communities to bring us closer together as a human family across culture and faith traditions.  I look forward to our journey together on this!!

Suzanne Gross, Bridge Building Facilitator, Mennonite Church Alberta

 Mind the Gap: Reflecting on interfaith issues

Hospitality, Dialogue, Peacebuilding and Witness – a framework for building mutual relationships


Over the last two months, fifteen participants from Mennonite church communities across Alberta met on Saturday mornings to explore.the “Peacemakers Confessing Christ International” , discussion series.  This is an initiative rooted in the work of David Shenk, Jonathan Bornman, and Peter Sensenig.  

Participants were invited to share the impact of this series on their understanding of the value and importance of dialogue, but more importantly, how dialogue ultimately enriches our own faith understanding, even as we learn about and celebrate the best of each others’ faith traditions.  

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