Number 13

Moving forward

MCC Binational chair Herman Bontrager, left, praises executive director Arli Klassen for her role in the New Wine/New Wineskins process.

The last Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) annual meeting likely to be held in Canada addressed issues related to the implementation of the New Wineskins strategy, a three-year process nearing its end.

Life lessons in a garden

When I was asked to reflect on the joy of serving the church, the word “joy” stuck in my throat. My thoughts immediately turned to the recent challenging conversations and difficult decisions those of us who serve on the General Board of Mennonite Church Canada had to make this year. Instead of “joy,” words like “pain” and “loss” came to mind.

Drawing a line

The decisions we make as parents have long-term implications. This obvious reality made itself even more clear to me one night recently when we hosted our young adult son and several of his friends. The topic under discussion was wrestling, the made-for-arena-over-the-top-kind, that drives fans to squeal and non-fans to ridicule or bemusement.

For discussion

1. Have you ever attended a worship service where you didn’t understand the language? What was your emotional response? For how many months or years would you be willing to worship in a setting that included a mixture of languages or simultaneous translation?

‘New’ Mennonite congregations face same issues decades later


In the late 1950s and early ’60s, the Conference of Mennonites in Canada saw the inauguration of English-only churches across the country. These were often difficult transitions, as those left behind in the “mother” congregations felt that the new congregations were leaving behind something of the faith as they left behind language and culture.

A teachable moment

Have we learned anything about resolving church conflict in the past 50 years?

After reading the painful account of the German/English language dissension resulting in several congregational splits (“Changing the language of worship is a test of love,” page 4), our faith community should take a contemplative look at how to redeem this blot on our past.

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