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Forgiveness to what end?

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Aug 26, 2010

The Lutherans have asked us to forgive them for their violent persecution of us in the 16th century, laying to rest, as the Mennonite World Conference reporter, Byron Rempel Burkholder puts it, “500 years of guilt.”

That new class of seniors

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Aug 17, 2010

“One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable,” was one of the more endearing lines coming out of Assembly 2010 in Calgary, Alta.

A leader for these times

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Jul 12, 2010

Because we are a priesthood and not a hierarchy, this space is sparing in calling special attention to any one of its “priests.” But the occasion of the closing session of Mennonite Church Canada’s assembly, held in Calgary, begs for an indulgence in marking the event of the retirement of Robert J. Suderman.

Lessons from the Third World

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Jun 23, 2010

In our presumed sophistication as First World residents, we often consider ourselves a gift to the rest of the planet. By comparison, aren’t we far more educated, resourceful, wealthy and technologically advanced?

Mission and identity under construction

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Jun 14, 2010

Not only is the younger generation, labelled “natives” in my last editorial, holding authority and institutions in less regard, the modality of leadership has also changed in the last half-century. This, too, represents a seismic shift in the perception of our mission and identity as a Mennonite culture.

The dollars are here

Editorial | By Dick Benner | May 31, 2010

With Andrew Reesor-McDowell, moderator of Mennonite Church Canada, we are concerned about declining giving to centrally planned ministries of MC Canada.

Giving to such ministries, he documents, has decreased by 13 percent over the past seven years, a downward statistic that is also reflected in congregational giving to area church ministries. If this trend continues, he predicts some of these ministries are “likely unsustainable.” At the same time, giving is increasing to non-Mennonite organizations.

Is our green green enough?

Editorial | By Dick Benner | May 17, 2010

Not very, unfortunately.

While Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is to be commended for its newly stated goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent over the next 10 years, we have to ask, with our New Order Voice columnist, Will Braun: “Why has it taken so long?”

To ‘clothed’ Anabaptists

Editorial | By Dick Benner | May 03, 2010

Sometimes it takes an outsider to tell us quiet, unassuming Mennonites that we do indeed have clothes.

‘Bombs bursting in air’?

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Apr 19, 2010

James Brenneman has dropped a bombshell.

At first blush, I decided not to join the fray over Goshen College’s decision to play the American national anthem at some sporting events, considering it something of a local theological/educational debate. Like the raging healthcare reform debate across the border, I thought Canadians might be at best amused or, at worst, detached from my homeland’s unique political complexities.

Words are powerful

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Apr 05, 2010

Speech seems to be on the public mind these days.

As I write this, much of the Canadian press and Ottawa University seem to be in a spat over the sanctity of free speech springing from the invitation, then the cancelling, of right-wing American pundit Ann Coulter, who was to speak to the students.

Cherish this magazine

Editorial | By Larry Cornies | Mar 22, 2010

Over the past six years, I’ve had the great privilege of serving on the board of Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service (CMPS), overseer of this magazine. It’s time now to say goodbye. By the time you read this, the annual meetings of CMPS will have been held in Abbotsford, B.C., and a new board chair will have been elected.

Computers, cell phones and camps

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Mar 08, 2010

I am not addicted to food or money, but I might be to my computer. I’m having difficulty remembering what life was like 25 years ago before this new technology ushered in a new era of electronic communication.

Lately, though, I’ve become aware of how much of my work, social and church life revolves around a screen, keyboard and cell phone. And I seriously doubt that the improved efficiency of it all has necessarily increased my quality of life.