Hungry children are being fed, students of peace are learning nonviolent responses to conflict, and ordinary people are making extraordinary sacrifices to bring hope and justice to those on the margins.
God at work in the Church
“Our children and young people have no idea what it means to be Anabaptist or Mennonite. What is MWC going to do about that?”
This concern, forthrightly expressed, came from a congregational leader in India during one of dozens of teaching sessions in which I participated last fall in India and Indonesia.
If you open the front cover of the Merriam-Webster’s Primary Dictionary, you’ll find acknowledgement of Victoria Neufeldt’s contribution in the preface. Lively illustrations make the book visually appealing and invite children inside where they can learn and discover the joy of words.
On Reformation Sunday, Oct. 31, Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington, Ont., was visited by neighbours and friends from the local St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Reformation Sunday marks the anniversary in 1517 when Martin Luther began public theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church that is considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
Historical records are shaped by the perspectives of those who write them, but perspectives that clash can cause centuries of pain.
On July 22, 2010, an apology from Lutherans for their historical persecution of Mennonites initiated a new relationship between these parts of the church and opened a door to revisiting their shared but distinctive histories.
At least 30 mission and church leaders represented Anabaptist-related communities at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in South Africa this fall. The gathering, which attracted 4,000 mission leaders, pastors and academics from 198 countries, grew out of the Lausanne Movement that followed the first congress in Switzerland in1974.
Why would several hundred people enter a storefront on Finch Avenue West in northwest Toronto late in the afternoon of Sept. 26? Not to get a haircut; that’s next door. No, these people were gathered to celebrate.
“Do we want to keep on doing what we are used to doing or do we want to think in new ways?”
More than a week after meeting with Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN) and Third Way Media reps to discuss a proposed merger of the two organizations, Mennonite Church Canada’s Formation Council has agreed to recommend to the denomination’s General Board that the merger be ratified.
Willard Metzger began his post as Mennonite Church Canada’s new general secretary on Nov. 1, taking over from the retiring Robert J. Suderman. Metzger has felt called to national ministry for many years, and brings many experiences to the table, including 18 years as a pastor, 10 years as chair of MC Canada Witness, and as the director of church relations for World Vision Canada.
Most 10-year-old boys express their dreams of being astronauts, firefighters or police officers when they grow up. For Willard Metzger, the new general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, who took office on Nov. 1, national ministry was his calling, even as a young child.
The 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Mennonite Mutual Insurance Co. (Alberta) Ltd. passed in understated Mennonite fashion, with cake and fellowship at the company’s annual meeting. The quietness belies the significance of this uniquely Albertan success story that has fingers in the past and present, while pointing into the future.
As the criminal investigation continues into allegations of gang rape in some Mennonite colonies in Bolivia, many local congregations see a need to reach out to people dealing with addictions, sexual abuse and violence against women.
Despite tragic reports of sexual assault, alcoholism and drug use among Old Colony Mennonite communities in Bolivia this past year, there are many good things happening there, which offer hope for a better future.
Technically, there is no such thing as a Mennonite monk. But if you travel to a remodelled century-old barn in the rolling countryside of southern Michigan, you will find some decidedly monk-like Mennonites. At the Hermitage—a Mennonite-run spiritual retreat centre—directors David and Naomi Wenger welcome pilgrims to a setting of quiet, stillness and prayer.
“Mennonite World Conference is in good shape. There are no crisis areas. What we agreed to do, we have been able to do.”
With those words, general secretary Larry Miller, who will leave his post in 2012 after more than two decades of service, summarized the work of MWC to the Executive Committee when it gathered in Addis Ababa this summer for its annual meeting.
In the town of Aberdeen, Sask., population 600, a small but committed group of Mennonites that call this place home gathered together in early June to celebrate 100 years of witness to the community.
A century-and-a-half after the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church and General Conference (GC) Mennonite Church divided, Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) held a “Celebrating 150 Years” event on June 5, in an effort to listen to the stories of each denomination and learn from them.
As delegates begin to register for Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2010, planners for Youth Assembly 2011 are remembering the future—a reference to the assembly’s theme text which calls on Christians to envision God’s future of a city where all people will live in harmony.
Willard Metzger has been appointed to the post of general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada. He will succeed outgoing general secretary Robert J. Suderman, who has served in the post since 2005 and who will retire this summer. The leadership transition will begin this fall.
Moderator Andrew Reesor-McDowell made the announcement to staff on behalf of the general board on May 20.