Number 13

Winners announced

After winning Mennonite Church Canada’s draw for Chris and Selah action figures, Rebecca and Andrew Stoesz place them in the family worship centre. The action figures are based on Mennonite Church Canada’s ‘At-Home’ family worship resources, written by Elsie Rempel, designed by Megan Kamei and sewn by Mary Funk.

Chris and Selah have found a new home. The action figures based on Mennonite Church Canada’s Advent- and Lent-at-Home resources were awarded to Rebecca and Andrew Stoesz, aged eight and 10, respectively, after a draw held on May 1.

Facing the mental health frontier

Chris Summerville in his executive director office at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society.

All the fear, stigma and social prejudice that surrounds mental illness recently surfaced again in the media when a review board granted Vince Li temporary passes to take supervised walks in Selkirk, Man., where he is hospitalized. Li made headlines about four years ago with the horrific psychosis-induced beheading of a fellow bus passenger.

Indigenous day school survivors initiate class action lawsuit

Henry Neufeld, right, a former day school teacher in Pauingassi, Man., presents a talking stick that he crafted to Joan Jack, who is heading up the National Day School Class Action Suit.

Elder Elmer Courchene of Sagkeeng First Nation addresses those who gathered for the first National Day School Class Action Conference in Winnipeg last month.

Official government apologies and the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process do not include all prior students of government-funded, church-run schools for Indigenous Peoples, a handful of which have associations with Mennonite communities.

Walking the talk on reconciliation

The opening ceremonies at the Meeting Place featured music and dance from various indigenous communities.

Brian McIntosh, centre, shares about the United Church’s work on reconciliation, while Jennifer Henry, executive director of Kairos, left, and Steven Heinrichs, director of indigenous relations for Mennonite Church Canada, right, listen.

How can Canada’s churches move past their residential school history into a positive relationship with Indigenous Peoples? That was one question asked during The Meeting Place conference in Toronto, hosted by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre with support from the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) earlier this month.

U.S. pastor elected as next MWC president

Church leaders pray for J. Nelson Kraybill, second from left, president-elect of Mennonite World Conference (MWC). Also pictured from left: Danisa Ndlovu of Zimbabwe, MWC president; Ervin Stutzman, Mennonite Church U.S.A. executive director; and Janet Plenert of Canada, MWC vice president.

Larry Miller, left, general secretary emeritus of Mennonite World Conference (MWC), and Thobekile Ncube of Zimbabwe hold a quilt that was given to Miller at the MWC General Council meeting in Switzerland in May. Every delegate brought a piece of fabric, and in three days the pieces were assembled.

It took three impromptu songs to count the ballots and confirm the results, but Anabaptist leaders from around the world elected J. Nelson Kraybill as president-elect of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) at the organization’s General Council meetings from May 20 to 27 in Basel.

A long way home

Ambroise Kabeya Kanda Mwanda of the Democratic Republic of Congo looks across the Limmat River as it passes through Zurich, Switzerland, where Anabaptist martyr Felix Manz’s death sentence was read on Jan. 5, 1527.

Thioro Bananzoro of Burkina Faso stands at the foot of a statue of militant Reformed Church leader Ulrich Zwingli in front of the Wasserkirche (Water Church) in Zurich, Switzerland.

Walking along the bank of the Limmat River, Thioro Bananzoro ponders the challenges Anabaptists have turned into opportunities over the last five centuries.

For discussion

1. How does your congregation go about making important decisions? Do you use discernment language? How do you listen for the voice of God when you are wrestling with an issue? Who takes leadership in discernment? What is the relationship between discernment and decision-making?

Try a little discernment

Because of their belief that everyone was a ‘priest’ in discerning biblical truth as members of the body of Christ, the first Anabaptists of the 16th century were forced to meet in caves, such as this one outside of Zurich, Switzerland. Modern Mennonites frequent the cave in their tours of Europe, such as this group in 2007.

Discernment is a common topic in our congregations these days. We discern a pastoral call, a building program, theology and biblical texts.

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