The late John Howard Yoder has long been recognized as an important Mennonite theologian, but his work has mostly been used by scholars and has not been readily accessible to the people in the pew.
Government and media often brand people who have committed offences as “bad guys” to be feared and put away. But that’s not how their kids see them. In What Will Happen to Me? a 2011 book, Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz and Howard Zehr, the Mennonite pioneer of restorative justice, present the portraits and words of kids whose parents are behind bars:
In 1984, Cliff and Wilma Derksen’s 13-year-old daughter Candace was abducted and murdered. The case was not solved until 2011. Below are excerpts of Wilma’s presentation to a parliamentary committee considering Bill C-10 in November 2011. She speaks of her ongoing work with other victims of crime:
When John Hutton sees a person convicted of murder or assault, as he regularly does, he does not see a “bad guy” to be feared or reviled. Instead, he sees the potential for change.
From a wind-damaged Bible camp in northern B.C. to a flooded town in North Dakota, and even to storm-ravaged New York City, British Columbians gave of their time and talents to Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) projects this past year.
American theologian Harvey Cox wrote a book called The Future of Faith, in which he presents three major stages in church history. The first was the “Age of Faith,” when Christians focused on following the way of Jesus more than believing certain things about him.
It’s Easter and as Christians we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. God sent his Son to us to be crucified, to die and then to be raised from the dead. He gave us the gift of his Son so that we can have eternal life. As a Mennonite people we have a tradition of giving:
Weddings are natural places where we think and talk about love. At the two weddings I attended recently, love was all over the place—in the words of the preacher, in the warm support of gathered family and friends, in the vows exchanged by the bride and groom, and especially in their radiant faces, beaming as they sealed their commitment with a passionate kiss.
It seems like generosity is all the rage these days. Many retail outlets support one or more charities and invite their customers to join in by giving an extra dollar or two. We receive mailings, phone calls and door-to-door requests for support. We can even give a few dollars instantly by texting with our cell phone.
Several years ago, a former colleague asked a group of lay leaders in the church what they would expect to hear if their pastor ever talked about money in the church. One person quipped, “Money is evil. Give it all to the church!”
Sex reserved for heterosexual marriage partners
Out of the many discussions at Canadian Mennonite’s annual board meeting recently in Lethbridge, Alta., came the call, once again, for some clarification on two issues: “Whose voice is Canadian Mennonite’s?” and, “Do we print all the letters to the editor?”