Farming and education were two lifelong passions for Aaron Klassen, according to his daughter Sherri, who shared parts of her father’s life story and the “twists and turns” of his work life at his funeral in Kitchener on April 23. “Even more important than his work identity,” she said, “was his life in the Mennonite church community.”
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.
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.
You and Mary run a lemonade stand as 50/50 owners. You opened for business on a handshake. Mary dies. Do you still have a business?
Mary’s husband or child may be your new business partner. Do you have the opportunity, obligation or resources to buy them out? If so, at what price and what are the terms?
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.
Following the wrong drummer to Parliament Hill
The first in Dick Benner’s elections editorials, “Vote your core beliefs,” April 18, page 2, should have spoken to our constituency clearly. It should have delineated the political issues relating to our faith.
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?
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.
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.