Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada, has been invited to comment on the complexities of the relationship between Canadian Mennonite and the denomination, in part as a response to Dick Benner’s three-part series of editorials published in September/October, 2013, a series explaining the history, governance and future of this publication.
‘End-of-life decisions will be more complicated as time goes on. It will be necessary for the church community to be aware of the complexity of cases and to seek to find appropriate Christians responses to them.’ (Marianne Mellinger)
David Schroeder, professor emeritus of New Testament and philosophy at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, says that we fail to recognize that death is always with us and every day we are making life-and death-choices.
When Susan Griffiths of Winnipeg went to Switzerland a year ago to die by doctor-assisted suicide, it was headline news and re-ignited the debate around end-of-life issues. Responses to her death revealed that we are living in a time of shifting public sentiment when it comes to end-of-life issues, especially concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide.
1. Have you participated in any end-of-life decisions? Under what conditions would you consider withholding possible treatment for yourself or a family member? How would you respond to a loved one’s request for assisted suicide? Why are we so reluctant to talk about death?
Reader responds to March 31 issue
Thank you for Dick Benner’s insightful editorial, “Who are the millennials?” on page 2. It seems I am in the silent generation category, which suggests this letter shouldn’t be coming from me.
I recently began another journey through the Scriptures, which offered a fresh look at the story of Caleb. As a young man, he was one of the 12 Israelites sent to spy out Canaan prior to the Israelites’ attack. He was one of two who returned with a positive report and faith that God would lead them. The other 10 spies swayed the crowd with fear-filled tales.
A fragment of a remark from long ago comes back. The context was a Sunday school class. I was young, just 18, a summer visitor in that church. The others were well into middle-age. The content was Matthew 5:27-30, where Jesus reframes the prohibition against adultery, declaring, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
By nature, people “accumulate and build . . . and you get to a point at which you have too much. . . . Perhaps God is inviting the church in North America to a time of disencumberment.”
(Willard Metzger, executive director, Mennonite Church Canada)
Twenty years ago, I read a word that transformed my understanding of the gospel. My mind was blown wide open by the use of two hyphens. “Atonement” suddenly became “at-one-ment.” Instantaneously I realized that being “in Christ” means living in a state of “at-one-ment” with all.
Seven-and-a-half decades after its founding, Women’s Ministry of Mennonite Church B.C. celebrated its diamond anniversary on May 3 with a day of memories and celebration. The annual spring Inspirational Day held at Emmanuel Mennonite Church drew 138.
Cheryl A. (Francis) Peters, right, holding the MCC blanket given her, in turn gives Forrest Johnstone a sparkling ball she had recently purchased for herself. Peters says she wanted to give one of her possessions to the child.
The former St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Mission drew 50 Fraser Valley Mennonites on May 10 to hear stories of history and culture by the Stó:lō Nation leadership.
Mennonite-style farmer sausage sizzles on the grill at many prairie gatherings, and a growing number of those gatherings serve sausage from Carmen Corner Meats.
All of the instruments played by members of Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra are made from garbage, including this upright bass fashioned from a discarded oil drum.
What do cake pans, candy tins, bottle caps and wooden pallets have in common? They were all found in a landfill, and they’ve all been made into musical instruments for Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra.
It would appear that 65 is the new 40 across Mennonite Church Canada. As Canadians continue to be active into their 60s, 70s and even 80s, so, too, are Mennonites remaining active in their churches well into their senior years.
Leland Harder, a scholar of both Anabaptist history and Anabaptists of the late 1900s, died at the age of 86 in North Newton, Kan. Harder was a pastor, seminary professor and sociologist, who combined all of these areas to make significant contributions to the church during his lifetime of ministry.
Madeline Spence of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation at Nelson House, Man., says ‘Our land used to be so good; the shorelines used to be so different.’
Herb Cook of the Misipawistik Cree Nation at Grand Rapids, Man., surveys a shoreline littered with logs from eroding shorelines on the Cedar Lake hydroelectric reservoir.
The director of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba at the time told me two issues stirred up the most flak from constituents: MCC’s work in Israel-Palestine and its involvement with hydropower issues in the north.
That was a dozen years ago. I was MCC’s hydro guy.
- Allow yourself to be open and vulnerable. People who suffer live with difficult questions. It is good to discuss them.
It’s hard to imagine a force powerful enough to keep an academic from his books, a father from playing with his children, a husband from attending to the wife he loves.
St. Clair O’Connor residents Julia Bringau, Jane Huggins, Mae King, Joyce Cockburn and Doris Cullen enjoy the community’s tea room, a place where residents and the public can enjoy a drink or shop for gifts.
As Canada’s population ages at an ever-faster pace, Toronto’s St. Clair O’Connor Community may hold the key to keeping seniors independent longer, and teaching young people to respect their elders. Since opening in 1983, the community has provided family townhouses, independent apartments for seniors and a nursing home all under one roof.
“There are some things I don’t understand,” opines Bruce Weber about his nephew, Tavis Weber. “The guy goes to school in music for four years and then he goes and buys a bakery.”
While topics regarding sexuality have dominated the mainstream headlines in the past several weeks, Mennonite Church Canada and area church leaders have made a move that points to a shift in values regarding sexuality within the denomination.
It’s no secret. Throughout church history, the unchurched have watched Christians closely, ready to assess, evaluate and judge how God’s people act and respond to the world around them. Christians judge each other, too, a simple and easy response when disagreements flare up.
Thirty years ago, Anna (a pseudonym) took her first tentative steps through the doors of Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in Kitchener, Ont., and entered a very different world than she was used to.
“It was hard explaining to my friends why I was going to a Mennonite high school,” she recalls. “They didn’t know what to make of it.”
The case for Mennonite schools is an increasingly complicated one as the values of our religious system and that of the dominant culture, of which we are a part, both change.