Pacific Centre for Discipleship Association
Abendmusik Vesper Choir and Menno Simons Centre

December 2013 - Issue 3.0
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Merry Christmas from the students at the Menno Simons Centre!

To find out more about PCDA activities, make sure to check out the Menno Simons Centre website at

  Greetings to all of the friends of the Menno Simons Centre (MSC) in this blessed season of Advent! We all have so much to look forward to, not only our seasonal celebrations, but also the assurance of a full realization of our Lord’s Kingdom. The full complement of voices in the Abendmusik Vesper Choir always inspires me to pause and prepare to share the joy of the gift of God’s son Jesus.

    I want to sincerely thank Ken Friesen for his decade of leadership as the past President of the PCDA, the society and registered charity that operates the MSC. Our Board of Directors is multi-generational and includes diverse perspectives from original founders, former student residents, local church members and new supporters from a variety of professions. 

    Our Residence Coordinators, Morgan and Benjamin Tipton, are continuing to serve the students for a fourth year and we are so grateful for their unique touch. Experiments with expanded gardening, recycling beyond the blue box, and “roving” gratis duties have all contributed to a growing sense of communal responsibility and highlighted the benefits of a well-shared home. As the Tipton family prepares to expand and move on to the next stage in their careers, we will appreciate your prayers as we seek new Residence Coordinators to carry on their good work with the students!

    Your generous contributions have allowed us to expand our student ministry, such as supporting a Faith and Life Integration Project by a student resident, Michael Thomas, on the topic of African Theology. After returning from Ghana he delivered a slideshow presentation at the MSC and spoke at the church in our chapel (Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship) on the following Sunday.
    Once again, thank you for sharing this time of Advent with us and supporting the Choir and the students of the Menno Simons Centre.

Kevin Hiebert


Answers: supportive, encouraging, honest, vulnerable, patient...
Abendmusik Vespers Concerts

Saturday December 7, 2013,
8 pm -
 Emmanuel Free Reformed Church
3386 Mount Lehman Rd.

Sunday December 8, 2013,
8 pm - 
Knox United Church
5600 Balac
lava at West 41st Avenue

Join musical director Michael Murray and the Abendmusik Choir for Lenten Vespers 2013!
Menno quotes! Of all the wonderful things said at the centre on a daily basis, here are the best, funniest, and most profound quips selected for your reading pleasure. 

I wish I could make a living off of playing Dominion. (Dominion is the card game that the engineers play on a daily basis.)

Aren’t we all just a little piece of bacon stewing in our own fat? Let’s pray.


Never apologize for your impromptu dancing.


I wake up, look in the mirror, and think 'I gotta go to school-why not look cute?'



Pie and Chai!

-all the engineers


I may have just said ‘I love you’ to the cashier.


Attention Alumni! 
Do you have some favorite Menno memories that you would want to share? Photos? We want to hear from you and hopefully include you in future e-newsletters. Perhaps reading some testimonials will jog your memory and remind you about Menno Simons Centre awesomeness.
It has been said many times here at the centre: this is simply the best place to live! Two residents, Rhys Williams and Kirsten Bale, volunteered to share their experience of living at Menno. Here's what they think.
What are the benefits of living in community?

Living in community has been hugely beneficial to me as a first year student and new resident of Vancouver. The Menno community has provided solid friendships and a support network to which I and all of my fellow housemates, can look when we are in need of a helping hand. 

RhysIt is an amazing way to get to know people and build lasting friendships. It also provides mutual Christian support and encouragement for those who might be going through difficult times. 
Sunrise at the centre, our million dollar view.
What are the challenges?

 Living in community requires effort. It is important to keep the living space tidy and clean, to be aware of the needs of others, even, or perhaps especially, at times when one is tempted to be selfish. When I say "one", I really mean "I", though I'm sure this experience translates to others. A constant consideration, when it comes to community, is that others have different likes and dislikes from you and different lifestyles. It is so important to be accommodating to the best of your ability and to be able to accept times when others will not be able to accommodate your needs or preferences. Noise levels, both the need to be conscious of them and the frustration of others being more noisy than you would appreciate, is something of a soft spot in this respect. 

R:  Not really a whole lot that I can think of to be honest. There are the occasional small problems that inevitability arise when a large number of university students share common spaces (kitchens, bathrooms) and have rooms in close proximity, but it is nothing that cannot be easily resolved. 
It was a very happy day when we got a  surprise visit from "Kitty".

What stands out most in your memory of the past three months at the MSC?

K: The last three months have been significant ones in a number of ways. Between moving away from home and adjusting to the weight of an increased learning curve, there have been times when I, personally, have felt exhausted, lacking in confidence, or just plain low. On the other hand, there have been times when I, thrilled to be an autonomous adult and enjoying the company of my new peers, have found my enthusiasm for life almost uncontainable. I have been amazed at how the community surrounds and supports each other through both of these experiences, and everything in between. Also, Same Page. This hilarious improv game has been the source of a couple of late nights and many laughs over the last few months.

RHow well this group has gelled together and how quickly it happened. I have lived here before, and groups normally gel together really well, but this group in particular seems to have become very close almost instantly after the fall retreat. There was even an instance recently where about seven of us guys crammed into one resident's room and started talking theology among other topics. 

What would you say to anyone who's considering living at Menno?

K:  I would say that Menno is a marvelous place to live. If you're willing to do a couple of chores here and there, it's hard to see any disadvantage to living here. The community is marvelously hardworking and fun. You just have to maintain a willingness to be a part of your community, whether through completing expected tasks, being there for a friend, or enjoying Wednesday common meal.


R Do it! You won't be sorry. I never was and never have been. 
Benjamin and Morgan Tipton are currently enjoying their fourth and final year as Menno Simons Centre's resident coordinators and their second  year of parenthood with number two on the way!
Pacific Centre for Discipleship Association : Abendmusik : Menno Simons Centre
4000 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6R 2L3

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