The Winnipeg MVSA unit began in 1985 as an outgrowth of Bethel Mennonite Church's efforts to serve the wider Winnipeg community. The unit places volunteers in positions that align with Bethel’s mission to love God, each other, and our neighbours. This has included work at a local food bank, early childhood learning, community ministry and hospitality for new Canadians.


Winnipeg, Manitoba is the "Gateway to the Canadian West," located about 100 km north of the U.S. border, situated in the centre of Canada at the junction of two major prairie rivers. Winnipeg is on the Trans-Canada highway, and is easily accessible by road, rail, bus or air. It has a culturally and ethnically diverse population of over 750,000 and is home to a significant French-speaking population as well as many other European, Asian, African and Aboriginal groups. Manitoba is officially bilingual (French and English) and offers most services in both languages. 

Public parks, an internationally acclaimed zoo, playgrounds, swimming pools, golf courses and tennis courts abound. Professional sports teams include the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (football) and the Winnipeg Jets (hockey). The arts scene includes professional theatre, ballet and dance, symphony and choral music, opera, art galleries and North America's largest annual folk music festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Various community and ethnic groups sponsor recreational and cultural events throughout the year, including the annual festival of the nations, Folklorama. The city is home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and hosts a number of colleges and universities, including Canadian Mennonite University

Winnipeg is located near the southern tip of Lake Winnipeg,  one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, and on the eastern edge of the Canadian prairies. Manitoba experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures in winter can drop to -30 Celsius, with wind a common factor.  

Unit life 

The Winnipeg unit lives in a 3-story frame house located in Winnipeg's inner city. Unit members meet weekly to keep in touch, do household business and share joys and concerns. They also try to set aside time to develop relationships and enjoy each other's company. Monthly or bi-monthly unit recreation activities, such as attending a play or going out to eat as agroup help foster a strong sense of community in the unit.  


Winnipeg has a rich diversity of religious traditions, reflecting the city's rich cultural mosaic. The city has a high concentration of Mennonites--more than 10 Mennonite conferences or groups have congregations here. It is home to the offices of Mennonite Church Canada as well as the Canadian headquarters of the Mennonite Brethren church.

Bethel Mennonite Church, the sponsoring congregation for Winnipeg MVSA, is a large congregation with over 500 partipants, located in south central Winnipeg. Bethel has a history of responding to the needs of the community through generous financial assistance, material aid and volunteer services. Bethel welcomes each member of the MVSA Unit as part of its own church family and as an expression of the church's mission. The congregation also looks to MVSers for leadership in identifying new areas of witness and service in Winnipeg and in challenging the church to greater faithfulness in living out the Gospel.

Unit members meet with an MVSA Support Committee monthly, with retreats scheduled at least once a year. The committee functions as a support group for the volunteers with an emphasis placed on fostering relationships between volunteers and committee members. The committee, in conjunction with the MVSers, sets the service direction for the unit.



Winnipeg Harvest

Winnipeg Harvest

Carter Early Learning Centre

Carter Early Learning Centre

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 3:11
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