Number 1

From program partners to friends

Gillian Mayers, left, was mentored by Maggie Martens for six years beginning in 2002 as part of an intentional intergenerational program at Edmonton First Mennonite, Alta. Although the mentorship relationship is now officially ended, the two remain close.

It is not normally an unusual sight, good friends finishing each other’s sentences and laughing, except that Maggie Martens and Gillian Mayers have something special, perhaps even rare. They have a true friendship that transcends age barriers.

The changing look of ‘peace’

Maria Krause, back row right, is spending a year working for MCC in Lusaka, Zambia, with the Millennium School Peace Club. Issa Sadi Ebombolo, front row right, is a Peace Clubs founder.

As a Mennonite, peace is a part of my everyday vocabulary.

I know it is a good thing—Jesus is the Prince of Peace after all—and I know that peace is found in right relationships, justice and grace. But what does peace look like, exactly?

Treasure in clay jars

This fall, a controversial exhibition in Winnipeg, Man., grabbed my attention. After weeks of plodding mindlessly past graphic advertisements with bold letters announcing “Bodies: The exhibition,” I belatedly clued in to the fact that the bodies in the exhibition were in fact very real, formerly live bodies.

Things I know

I was chatting with friends about the good old days. We recalled becoming independent adults and making our own decisions. We laughed as we reminisced about the wise decisions as well as the mistakes we’d made, consequences we’d survived and advice from parents that was usually right and sometimes ignored.

For discussion

1. Sue Steiner tells the story of her friend who emptied her wallet in the offering plate at a concert as a spontaneous act of love for God. How would you have responded in that situation? Do you admire this person for her gesture, which she described as an act of trust in God?

Embarrassing gratitude

Sue Steiner

A woman—a good family friend—pours perfume worth $25,000 on Jesus’ feet at a dinner party held at her house in his honour. She removes her head scarf, shakes her hair loose, bends over, and wipes Jesus’ perfumed feet with her hair. The fragrance fills the whole house. Surely that fragrance remains on Jesus’ feet—and in Mary’s hair—for days.

The past as prelude

As a people of hope, what should we, as a Mennonite faith community, expect on the road ahead in 2011?

If the past is prelude, as the adage goes, there are road signs, some of them giving helpful direction, others giving us warnings. At the risk of oversimplifying, we will deal with only three: cultural shifts, ecumenism and a new mission/service focus.

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