An hour’s walk from Nazareth, Sepphoris was the capital of the Galilee during Jesus’ formative years. Mosaics were common in this city, in both public and private buildings. In each mosaic, tesserae (small cut stones) were used to form a picture, giving us in some cases stunning representation of the people and way of life dating back as early as the first century.
The Anabaptist Mennonite Mosaic is a Canadian Mennonite initiative designed to capture our shared identity as Anabaptist Mennonites across Canada, ultimately making this available to all who have access to the internet. More than ever before, we are bombarded with information, with many good (and not so good) causes vying for our time and money. So the more clearly we understand who we are and what our shared calling as a church is, the greater the likelihood we will embrace and support the organizations we’ve put into place to engage in ministry, service, mission, business, and education.
The idea is simple. Canadian Mennonite invites organizations, congregations, businesses, professionals, and individuals to participate in creating the mosaic through a two step process storytelling process.
Create a back page ad to be printed in the Canadian Mennonite magazine. The plan is to gather enough commitments to run at least one per month (ideally one per issue) for half a year in order to create a critical mass. Prior to launching the ad series, Canadian Mennonite will run a series of display ads ramping up to the launch of the series.
- Begin by identifying an Anabaptist story from the recent or distant past dating as far back as the early Anabaptist movement. The idea is to find stories (ideally with some form of visual) which embody what and why you (as an organization, congregation, business, professional or individual) do what you do as followers of the teachings of Jesus.
- Tell that story.
- Explain how this story impacts you (ideally including a contemporary visual)
- We at Canadian Mennonite will work with you in shaping this into a “back cover” ad or if you have the resources you can work with your communications department to do the work in house.
- Each story should begin with “This is our story”
Once the ad has run in the magazine, Canadian Mennonite will post the ad in a special section of its website where further elaboration can be done on why the stories were selected. A landing page will be created from which browsers can select stories they would like to access. Long term, in addition to text and photos, provision will be made to include video.
The purpose for this part of the project, is to create resources that not only inspire but also become resources for congregational live through sermons, children’s stories, and committee meeting starters. As the mosaic becomes more “visible” the site also becomes a place we can point people who aren’t a part of our congregations as a way of getting to know who we are as Anabaptist Mennonite followers of Jesus.