“It was an amazing time when I think back,” says Henry Engbrecht. “How could I be so lucky to grow up in that experience?”
During its May 2013 meeting in Akron, Pa., MWC Executive Committee members planted a tree at the Mennonite Central Committee Welcoming Place. From left to right, taking their turn placing sod around the tree, are: Cisca Mawangu Ibanda, Democratic Republic of Congo; Ron Penner, Canada; and Adi Walujo, Indonesia.
“An excellent car, but little fuel.” This is how treasurer Ernst Bergen described the situation currently facing Mennonite World Conference (MWC) when the Executive Committee met in Akron in late May, in preparation for the next global assembly—the 16th—to be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa., in July 2015.
A group of Old Order Mennonite families who moved from southern Ontario to rural Manitoba just over six years ago, to escape the encroachments of society, have run headlong into the expectations of that society.
Events over the past few months have left the reclusive community of about 90 in turmoil and despair.
The best part of growing up in a close-knit church community is the sense that people who are not your relatives become your extended family. At Sherbrooke Mennonite Church in Vancouver, and then at Peace Mennonite in Richmond, where I was baptized, I was part of a community with common values and lifestyles.
In an increasingly polarized culture, we seem to be plagued more and more with labels that define us. Driven by an obsession to organize our society, we put each other into the categories of liberal or conservative, pro-life or pro-choice, fundamentalist or social gospel, traditionalist or progressive, pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian, Oil Patch worker or anti-pipeline crusader.