Number 4

Mennonites can dance

Émilie Durville (Claudel) and Marcin Kaczorowski (Rodin) dance in Peter Quanz’s ballet Claudel/Rodin at Les Grands Ballets Canadien in the fall of 2011.

Choreographer Peter Quanz, centre, sits in the kitchen of the home of his parents, Ken and Lil, in Baden, Ont. His parents have posted the clippings of his latest dance on the fridge.

At the age of 17, dancer Peter Quanz of Wilmot Mennonite Church was already living in Winnipeg on his own. Before heading to Winnipeg, he commuted to an arts high school in nearby Kitchener, instead of attending his local high school. His parents had always supported his interest in dance, although they all kept it quiet in the congregation and community.

Hard truth about hunger:

Bokayo Kanchoro collects water in Berena, Ethiopia, from an underground system filled with Oxfam tankered water. There are 3.2 million Ethiopians affected by the current drought and food crisis.

In a January report, two major humanitarian agencies confessed that they, along with the rest of the world, responded too slowly to the food crisis in East Africa last year, and that thousands of people died unnecessarily.

Are we asking the right questions?

Last fall, the leadership in Mennonite Church Saskatchewan organized regional  consultations with congregational leaders. We were very pleased at the thoughtful participation from almost all the churches. We heard that the membership in many congregations is getting older. Some congregations are getting smaller. Commitment to church is changing as other things compete for time and loyalty.

For discussion

1. What are the demographics of your congregation? What percentage is over 65? How many of those are frail elderly? What programs or ministries are designed specifically for seniors? Do the older members of your congregation feel involved and engaged?

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