Dreams and Visions do come true...

New Church

Tofield Mennonite Church dedicates it's sanctuary

May 27, 2007 marked the date for Tofield Mennonite Church as we dedicate our new sanctuary to the Lord. Well over 250 people who were past & present members and affiliates were out for this celebration. The program began with an instrumental arrangement of Amazing Grace by musicians from First Mennonite Church in Edmonton. Our worship leader Robert Janzen opened the service by acknowledging what a privilege it is to worship in this place.

Scripture was read by 9 year old Cynthia Bergen and 10 year old Daniel Schmidt from Psalm 147: 1-11.

Pastor Bob Crosland had a stirring meditation, asking the congregation "Why should we praise the Lord?" and "Why should we come to worship?" He discussed the history of our people in exile, who had been forced to leave their homes and countries. It was October of 2002 when we left our previous church home due to its deteriorating state of repair. Pastor Bob spoke of how God gathered His people many years ago into a congregation of exiles. Just as in Ps. 147:2 God also gathered those who began the Tofield Mennonite Congregation in 1934. Tofield Mennonite Church has strong world connections. We are people of the land. We are no longer just Russian-German Mennonites. Pastor Bob asked the question, "What now?" We need to look to the past: our roots, and look to the future: our children. "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord"  Psalm 150:6.

The choir sang, "Blessed are They". The words to this seem to answer Pastor Bob's opening questions. "Blessed are they who trust in the Lord, Guide us O Father along your way." Irene Crosland performed solo selections, as Kay Woelk directed the choir. Congregational singing was nothing short of remarkable. As we sang "Oh Worship the Lord", "Be Thou My Vision" and a Mennonite favourite: "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" we experienced music like we haven't in years.

Church council shared in a litany of dedication followed by a slide show presentation prepared by Michael Ewert on the history of Tofield Mennonite Church and the construction of this building. Irene Crosland and Brittany Huebert accompanied on guitars.

Loretta Kroeker church chairperson shared her thoughts with the congregation. The following is only a portion of her thoughts: "With God at the helm, all things are possible. From the oldest members in our congregation to the newest, God has a plan for our future and us. This building is only part of the plan. We as a church family need to uphold Christ's teachings both at home and in the community. Our new church is a symbol of our faith in this community. But, it is still only a building and we want the community to know that our faith is built on a rock, Jesus Christ and all the visionary work that comes with that commitment. We need to work together, support each other both in good times and during struggles. In the old church we had Hebrews 13:8 displayed and it is as relevant in the new church as it was in the old. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."

Greetings came from Mennonite Church Alberta Conference Pastor Jim Shantz. Jim's allegory of this being our current home after being without a permanent sanctuary for 5 years was very true.

Lloyd Brandt, draftsman responsible for the design and technical drawings shared congratulations and thanks to all the committee members who worked along side him. Gary Sawatsky shared his best wishes on behalf of Mennonite Foundation who have been in operation for 34 years, representing seven different denominations across Canada.

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, pastor of First Mennonite in Edmonton shared his spirit of excitement for our congregation as they, just ten years ago dedicated their new church building...  Our two churches have a long common history.  Tofield helped establish First Mennonite Church and more recently they (First Mennonite) have provided us with musicians when we were short as well as their encouragement to us during the drought.

Merlin Stauffer, previous Pastor shared his memories of a sod turning sixteen years ago when we began this two part building project. Merlin was the pastor at that time and shared our vision. Merlin also shared greetings from another previous pastor Walter Braun who has retired with his wife Erna in Manitoba.

Other greetings and best wishes came from Lynden Willms, Mennonite Church Alberta moderator; Kevin Langager, Tofield Ministerial; George Baerg, previous pastor; Peter Bartel, Altona, Manitoba; Mal Braun, North West Conference Pastor; Camrose Mennonite Church; Henry Goerzen, Didsbury Mennonite Church; and Peter Braul of Rosemary Mennonite Church.

Many people have worked hard for this day, for which we are very thankful, but it is to our Lord and Saviour that we acknowledge all the good gifts He has provided.

Crowded Sanctuary

A crowded sanctuary for the dedication service.


Children Reading Scripture

Scripture reading.


Viewing a Slideshow

The congregation watches the slide show.

A different view....

On June 24, 2004 the Tofield Mennonite Church, Tofield, AB was demolished. Having served the community for sixty plus years it was with fond and sad memories that the congregation said goodbye to the old building. A very meaningful service with singing and much reminiscing a decommissioning was held on August 17, 2003. A new sanctuary is being constructed, but the old church will linger on in our memories.

Demolition

On April 30, 2006 a new page was turned, as the sod turning ceremony took place beside the existing Fellowship Hall. A new sanctuary for the church soon began construction at that location.

For more pictures see the photo gallery.