A relative of mine sometimes starts out a funny story with the line, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Ah, yes, how things can turn from well-intentioned to humorous! Or much worse.
Anneken Kendriks is burned in Amsterdam in 1571. (Etching by Jan Luyken, from Martyrs Mirror by Thieleman J. van Braght, Published by Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Va. Used with permission.)
Catharine Mulerin is apprehended. (Etching by Jan Luyken, from Martyrs Mirror by Thieleman J. van Braght, Published by Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Va. Used with permission.)
Children are among the most important things given to us in our lives. With this gift comes the responsibility of passing on our faith. This can be a daunting task in a cultural climate that isn’t always friendly to followers of Jesus.
Weiny Hablemichael, left, Tim Reimer and Aron Hablemichael discuss the presentations at the Anabaptist Learning Workshop event held at Danforth Mennonite Church, Toronto, on Nov. 18, 2017, that focussed on East African persecutions. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Sara Dula looks at a copy of Martyrs Mirror during a presentation about the suffering of 16th-century Anabaptists at the Anabaptist Learning Workshop event that focussed on the persecution of East Africans. Dula herself fled Eritrea because of the persecution and now lives in Toronto with her family. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
It was the Christian apologist Tertullian in AD 197 who first wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” As he watched Christians killed in the bloody entertainment of colosseums and in summary legal procedures, he saw the church grow.
Common knowledge helps to form our identity. It creates the basis from which to describe ourselves and helps us to understand others.
Change can create a crisis of identity. When what we thought to be fact changes, it can create a distressing cloud of confusion and uncertainty. We wonder if there is anything we can know. And we no longer trust what we think we know.
“Believe the best about each other.” When delegates met for the Mennonite Church Canada assembly this past fall, there were swirls of questions, confusion, caution and qualms. From the dense detail and multiple pages on denominational restructuring that we waded through, it was this phrase of hope and encouragement that jumped out at me, and others as well.
In the last few weeks, most of us have encountered some version of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge.
In Luke 10:40, Martha complains to Jesus about having to do all the kitchen work by herself. Jesus responds. “Martha, you’re distracted by many things, but only one thing is necessary.”
Notice that Jesus doesn’t give Martha a list of seven or 47 things that are essential to life. Just one thing. If that doesn’t give focus to our spiritual journeys, I don’t know what will.
Calvin Quan was “happily surprised” by the positive spirit and efficiency of the first meeting of Mennonite Church Canada’s new Joint Council. “There was a strong sense of collaboration and shared agenda [among regional representatives],” said MC Canada’s moderator of the two days of meetings held on Dec. 8 and 9, 2017.
The new Joint Council of MC Canada is composed of, from left to right, front row: Ken Warkentin, moderator, MC Saskatchewan; Paul Neufeldt, moderator, MC Alberta; Lee Dyck, moderator, MC B.C.; Paul Wideman, moderator, MC Eastern Canada; and Peter Rempel, moderator, MC Manitoba; and back row: Jacquelyn Janzen, MC Saskatchewan rep; Vince Friesen, interim MC Alberta rep; Betty Loewen, MC B.C. rep; Calvin Quan, MC Canada moderator; Alicia Good, MC Eastern, Canada rep; Allan Hiebert, secretary/treasurer; Gerald Gerbrandt, MC Manitoba moderator elect and MC Manitoba interim rep; and Geraldine Balzer, assistant moderator, MC Canada. (Photo by Ryan Siemens)
The newly renovated Westgate Mennonite Collegiate, featuring the atrium at the front. (Courtesy of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate)
The middle section of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate being demolished in the summer of 2016. (Courtesy of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate)
Visitors walk around Westgate Mennonite Collegiate’s new atrium at their building dedication in September. (Canadian Mennonite Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
They say it takes a village to raise a child. For Westgate Mennonite Collegiate, it takes a village to not only raise its 300 students, but also to complete a $10.3-million redevelopment project. Westgate, a private school located in Winnipeg, finished renovating its building just in time for the 2017-18 school year.
Jacqui Block, left, Peter Guenther and George Epp enjoy a light-hearted moment as they reflect on what they learned about Mennonite Central Committee’s disaster response. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
“There’s no such thing as a natural disaster,” according to Bruce Guenther. But Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada’s disaster response director wasn’t in denial.
Ed Zacharias started with Exodus, translating word by word into Low German (Plautdietsch). For a decade he worked at it, sometimes with institutional backing, sometimes as a volunteer hunkered in his home office, relying on help from interested Wycliffe personnel and a loose network of Low German promoters.
While some might see Low German as the arcane language of people stuck in the past, Jehovah’s Witnesses have embraced it. For years, they have dedicated considerable energy to learning the language, translating materials and reaching out to Low German-speaking peoples.
Jim Tubb sits in his Duke Street studio in Kitchener, Ont., surrounded by paintings, art supplies and the music—including jazz—that fuels his work. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Jim Tubb’s jazz-inspired paintings are stacked up to be chosen for a show in the spring at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Jim Tubb has lived on borrowed time for more than 40 years.
In 1975, he was told that he had only a short time to live due to respiratory issues, but he says that in the meantime he’s had “a fantastic life.”
AlbertaSat members, including Taryn Haluza-Delay, second from right, met with former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, centre, this past October. (Photo courtesy of Taryn Haluza-Delay)
Taryn Haluza-Delay had a hand in building Ex-Alta 1, Alberta’s first orbiting satellite. (Twitter.com/ualbertaScience photo)
For most people who dream of exploring outer space, the dream dies before they reach adulthood. That’s not the case for Taryn Haluza-Delay.
The 20-year-old Edmonton resident, who attends First Mennonite Church and is currently a third-year engineering physics student at the University of Alberta, hopes to one day become an astronaut.
Matthew Kopperud, right, spent 2017 touring with his Close Talker bandmates Will Quiring and Chris Morien. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)
Close Talker’s latest album, Lens, came out on Nevado Records last April. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)
2017 was a big year for Matthew Kopperud. The 25-year-old guitarist toured across North America and Europe with his band Close Talker in support of its most recent album, Lens.