After 20 years of service as children’s choir director at Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Man., Lori Wiebe gets to sit back on May 8 and enjoy an encore of songs from past musicals she has directed over the years. Pictured at right is Mel Braun, who is also leaving his post as accompanist after 11 years.
For Lori Wiebe, the May 8 performance of The Rock Slinger and his Greatest Hit, a musical about David and Goliath, was a significant milestone in her life. After 20 years of directing the Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church Children’s Choir, this was her last musical.
As a young Christian man actively involved in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Mpho Putu knew that some of the movement’s protest songs included themes of revenge killing that posed challenges to what it means to be a faithful disciple of Jesus.
The 15th chapter of the Gospel of John begins with the verse, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener,” then it goes on to speak about the techniques and practices used to assure a rich harvest.
The Vancouver Canucks’ inability to score and some people’s penchant for blowing things up has caused me to agree with a zealous atheist. “Religion poisons everything,” contends Christopher Hitchens. He may be on to something—at least to the degree “Hockeyanity” has become Canada’s de facto religion.
In the past several years the Mennonite Church Manitoba board of directors consulted congregations to hear their wisdom and counsel for future direction. There was a desire for a more collaborative approach in bringing together congregations, individuals and other partners to build relationships and achieve ministry goals.
1. Does your church have ways to connect personally with the individuals it helps? How important is this personal contact? Have you ever experienced awkward moments while providing help to someone? What aspect of the exchange was most awkward?
My parents packed me, my sister and a Christmas hamper into the car. We were headed to an address provided by the local Cheer Board. The plan was for us to all go in for a short visit. I imagine the Cheer Board encouraged this to humanize the helping. Predictably, our venture took us to the run-down side of our Mennonite prairie town.