Number 14

Sunday school teacher, 103, had lasting influence

Eliesabeth Klassen celebrated her 103rd birthday on March 3. A few weeks later, six of her students from 60 years ago went to visit her at Blenheim Lodge. Pictured from left to right, front row: Lucy Meyer, Eliesabeth Klassen, Marie Penner and Margie Ewert; and back row: Elfrieda Klassen, Margaret Ewert, Helga Stobbe and Elvira Guenther.

Eliesabeth Klassen says she’s three. “Forget the other hundred years,” she says with a laugh, using a magnifying glass to scan familiar faces in old directories from Vancouver’s First United Mennonite Church, a congregation she attended from its humble beginnings in 1937.

‘We’re sorry’

Josiah and Mona Neufeld and son Elias of Hope Mennonite Church participate in the I’m Sorry event, part of the Pride Winnipeg Parade last month.

On June 3, a small group from Little Flowers Community and Hope Mennonite Church joined a crowd of upwards of 20,000 people who came out for the Pride Winnipeg Parade. They carried a simple message: “We’re Sorry.”

Coalition celebrates 25 years of aiding refugees

Executive director Eunice Valenzuela, left, and board chair Marlene Epp pose at the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support’s anniversary banquet on April 21 at Knox Presbyterian Church, Waterloo, Ont.

With a swirl of skirts, the stomp of dancing shoes and the flourish of a flamenco guitar, Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support celebrated its 25th anniversary with a banquet on April 21. The banquet was just part of the celebrations this spring that included an open house at the coalition’s new office space in Kitchener on May 25.

Suspicious hospitality

Khadijah, Yehia and Bashar are refugees from Iraq who arrived in Ontario in 2010. Threats of kidnapping and death forced their family to flee Iraq.

According to the UN, there are 10.5 million “refugees of concern” in the world. These are people uprooted from their homes, fleeing conflict, natural disaster or persecution. While roughly 25,000 of these people will be allowed to settle in Canada this year, Mennonite refugee advocates worry about recent changes to immigration policy.

The world comes to the farm

Eric Dyck of 4-D Farms, Springstein, Man., explains how a combine works to a class of English-as-an-additional-language students who meet at Bethel Mennonite Church, Winnipeg.

Most often people think of crops from our prairie farms going abroad to feed the world. So it was a bit of a shift on June 15, when 20 women and 15 children representing 10 different countries of the world boarded a school bus in Winnipeg to visit one of these farms in Springstein.

CMU announces $11-million capital project

Architect’s rendering of Canadian Mennonite University’s new library and learning commons, and pedestrian bridge.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) has made public its plans for a major new capital project that will significantly enhance CMU’s infrastructure for delivering quality post-secondary education. This important new campus asset will also serve as a valuable resource to the broader Manitoba community.

For discussion

1. How is the role of women understood in your congregation? Are women taught to be subservient and submissive? Are women given proper respect? Why might submissive women be more vulnerable to emotional abuse? What do you understand to be Paul’s message in Ephesians 5:22-33?

Gift discernment?

“Gift discernment,” as practised in many of our congregations, is neither. This sometimes agonizing ritual of finding enough willing members to fill the slots needed to keep the faith community functioning on an annual basis is often an arduous task for those assigned to find those volunteer bodies.

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