The morning begins with many hugs, some handshakes and the hearty, infectious laugh of Kathy Giesbrecht, or “Kathy G.” as many refer to Mennonite Church Manitoba’s energetic associate director of leadership ministries. There is a sense of reunification as we tell stories of our summers and new things that are happening in our lives this fall.
Volume 18 Issue 21
Did you know that there’s an illustrated Bible that retells the stories in Scripture using Lego? The Brick Testament is a series by a man in California named Brendan Powell Smith, who has spent thousands of dollars using those small, colourful bricks recreating biblical stories and then photographing them.
Several months ago, our editor heard complaints from someone who wanted Canadian Mennonite to stop carrying letters to the editor because letters often cause too much friction.
1. Where would you place yourself and your congregation: believing in absolute truths, wondering if there really is any truth, or somewhere in between? Do you agree that many Christians are finding they need a new way to think about faith?
“Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘I find no case against him’” (John 18:37-38, NRSV).
A curious lyric caught my attention as I was listening to “Don’t Swallow the Cap,” a song by The National, a melancholic indie rock band: “I have faith but don’t believe it.”
Pride goeth before a fall, I ruefully thought last month, as I limped away from the place where I had taken a nasty tumble.
I remember a special gift from my Grandpa: a $20 bill in a Christmas card. It came with one instruction: Grandpa had to see my purchase. It was a lot of money for a 10-year old! It was the first time I’d had that much money, and I was a little concerned about using it wisely. It took a few weeks to decide, but eventually Grandpa was shown a sweater and a few books.
Part of my role in overseeing Mennonite Church Canada’s assemblies includes reading every word on assembly feedback forms. As I reviewed the 128 forms we received this year—a record number—I was struck by how often people stressed the importance of being together as members of our national faith community.
Rockway Mennonite Collegiate decided that not only did it need to focus on sexuality for its students in grades 7 to 12, but it needed to invite the community, including Canadian Mennonite, to hear what was being presented and to have an opportunity to respond.
Phil Kleinsasser urged the faithful to "sow" their money in the offering plate in order to “reap” abundance in all areas of their lives.
Before 120 political leaders gathered at the request of the United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon for a summit on climate change, and before more than 300,000 people marched through the streets of New York for the People’s Climate March, religious leaders from around the world gathered to consider the threat posed by climate change.
Even urban Mennonites lay claim to an agrarian heritage. According to many speakers at Rooted and Grounded: A Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship, held last month at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), this is important despite the urbanity of most Mennonites and North Americans in general.
Melanie Kampen camped out at the Native Women’s Protest site near the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg earlier this month, to protest the government’s lack of response to the 1,182 missing and murdered indigenous women from across Canada. (Photo by Chris Swan)
On a very windy, cold and dark Oct. 3 night, Steve Heinrichs, director of indigenous relations for Mennonite Church Canada, and a few others strung 20 dresses on fishing line on both sides of the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge that spans the Red River near The Forks in downtown Winnipeg.
“Everything I’ve done has been a team sport,” quips Ray Funk as he reflects on his life’s achievements.
Good News: The Advent of Salvation in the Gospel of Luke. Darrin W. Snyder Belousek. Liturgical Press, 2014, 140 pages.
William Loewen has written a theological book disguised as a novel. This makes it challenging to classify, but it also opens new possibilities for how it can be used. I would recommend this book for a book club or other group discussion, especially for young adults who are exploring their own spirituality.
After getting a coffee I sat down to read The Winter We Danced.
On the table next to me I noticed a book someone left behind. On the cover was a bold notice stating “2.5 million copies sold.” The book was a contemporary work of fiction re-telling the conquest narrative of America expanding into the West doing battle in “Indian country.”
Village houses face the main street with barns attached behind and fields beyond that. Young people gather for “singings.” A bone setter relieves headaches by carefully manipulating the neck. These are all aspects of Mennonite life in Russia as presented by Janice L. Dick in her new novel, Other Side of the River.
Amsey Martin, an Old Order Mennonite deacon and long-time parochial school teacher, loves books. While most people in his community are farmers, he says that sitting in his study surrounded by books is “a dream come true.”
A 50th wedding anniversary traditionally calls for a gift of gold, but Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba is getting something a little different for their 50th anniversary. Theatre of the Beat is preparing a play in honour of the relief and development organization.