A Window Into...First Mennonite Church Edmonton

First Mennonite Church, Edmonton asks us to pray

  • We invite our fellow MCA churches to join us in a prayer of gratitude. We are grateful for the blessings that God has given this community, for the ways that our church is growing in vibrancy and joy, for the many new people who are finding a home in our church, and for the ways that our church offers a prophetic witness to the world.
  • We ask our sibling churches to join us in praying for wisdom. Our church has welcomed many new people who are neurodivergent, LGBTQ+, and/or who have been harmed by churches in the past. We pray that God will grant us the wisdom to meet the spiritual needs of all who attend First Mennonite and the grace to accept with joy any changes that naturally come with church growth.
  • We invite MCA churches to join us in a prayer of blessing. We ask for God to bless volunteers who do the work of the church and bring God's love to those who cannot physically come to church on Sunday mornings. We pray especially for the volunteers who bring a worship service to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital on the third Sunday of each month as well as those that bring "Carry-out Worship" to those who cannot attend worship online. 
  • We ask MCA churches to join us in praying for sensitivity and flexibility as our church continues in a time of change. We are grateful for the ways that our church is growing in numbers, vibrancy, and joy, while also knowing that growth brings change--and change is hard! We ask God to bless us as we welcome more of God's beloved children, to help us be aware of the needs that draw people to the church, and to give us the ability to flex and shift as we grow. 

First Mennonite Church Edmonton, Interviews

Irene Baergen

Originally moving to Edmonton from Tofield, Irene Baergen and her late husband Jake were charter members of First Mennonite Church Edmonton when the church was formed. They raised their family in the church. Irene recalled those years, saying that FMC Edmonton was a good place to raise kids She noted that there was always an active Sunday school program, for a time there was a children’s choir and there was always good youth support. For her own spiritual growth, she particularly appreciated the adult Sunday school classes. Usually there were two options – one Bible-based, the other topical. Irene has served FMC Edmonton in many capacities. She and her husband were deacons for many years, were involved with refugee sponsorship, and on other committees.

She is grateful that they have always had strong leadership which helped them stay connected to the wider church:  Mennonite Church Alberta, Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Central Committee. She commented that FMC Edmonton supporting the vision of Mennonite Centre for Newcomers was particularly important to both her and her husband.

She recalled that the process to becoming a supportive and inclusive congregation for LGBTQ people was particularly meaningful to her. Although it seemed long at the time, she now sees the time spent as necessary. Today Irene is pleased that all can be comfortable at First Mennonite Church Edmonton.

Since the death of her husband Jake in November 2020, she continues to find love and support in her church. She enjoys her quilting group, has many friends and is grateful that they are back to meeting in person but also appreciates having the zoom option for those Sundays when attending is difficult.


A story from First Mennonite Church, Edmonton

First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, began in 1949 as a ministry with and for young people who had gravitated to Edmonton for work and university studies.  Formally established in 1959, FMC formed an active and engaged community that actively helped in the creation of Camp Valaqua, supported SongFest, sent curlers to Didsbury, led Women in Mission and served on provincial committees and executive. From having the first seminary-trained pastor in the province to providing the first lay-person as conference chair and the first woman as chair of MCC Alberta, FMC has striven to be attentive to the Spirit's whispers that we "go where I send you."  The Welcoming Statement we adopted in 2016 was another example of this and continues to be a commitment that we attempt to live into.  Most recently, conversations about climate change and our responsibility as stewards of God's good Creation have led us to commit to installation of solar panels, scheduled for this summer.

The First Mennonite Edmonton Video

(or click the photo)


Get to know them by visiting their website, reading (or re-reading) their history and their story in Our Stories. 


 A few photos from First Mennonite Edmonton


Pastor Debbie's installation


 Pastor Rachel's installation

Coffee Time after a 90th birthday!

A summer coffee -and-conversation


A Covid-time outdoor service