Volume 19, Number 10
$3.33 a day does it
That’s right—the mere cost of a cappuccino at Starbucks by 33 of your friends every day for three months provides relief for 1,000 refugees or some 200 families in war-torn Syria.
A love for all seasons
“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come . . . . Rise up my love, and come away” (Song of Songs 2:10b-12a, 13b, KJV)
Readers write: May 11, 2015 issue
Polarizing sexual debate distresses reader
I am distressed by the polarizing debate on sexuality in Mennonite Church Canada congregations. I wonder if adequate consideration is given to two questions that are central to a more productive dialogue:
Where are things not right in your world?
I have been caught by the need for justice in our world of late. I am on the e-mail list of Rabbis for Human Rights who are actively standing up for justice for all people who are getting a bad deal in Israel and Palestine.
Do we love him?
My beautiful wife and I had the pleasure recently of leading a couple’s retreat on an island just off British Columbia’s mainland. It was a glorious weekend—sans kids for us—with glorious blue skies and majestic panoramic views of the coastal mountains. Precious memories.
A different kind of disaster
My family and I often walk through the old-growth forests that surround the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus and then down to the waters of English Bay. There is lots to look for along the way: pileated woodpeckers and black-capped chickadees in the trees, slugs on the trails, and, when we get to the water, crabs under the rocks at low tide.
‘Burning bush moment’ leads to refugee children singing
Karen children—refugees from Myanmar—sing at a Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan event last fall. (MCC Saskatchewan photo)
It was a “burning bush moment” that got Marian Hooge Jones of Rosthern (Sask.) Mennonite Church started on her lengthy involvement with the sponsorship of refugee families from Myanmar (formerly Burma) living in refugee camps in Thailand. While glancing through a church bulletin one Sunday, she read that refugee sponsors were urgently needed by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
Chin Christians receive Mennonite teaching with joy
David Martin, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada executive minister, centre, poses with the baptismal candidates from the addictions recovery group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Pastor Jehu Lian Ching, left, and David Martin of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, right were accompanied on their trip through Myanmar by Sui Sui, centre.
David Martin was invited to Myanmar (formerly Burma) in March 2015 to preach two or three times and to teach from the book of Galatians in four sessions over two days. By the time he returned he had also performed two graveside memorial services, baptized six, preached at a wedding, and took part in many more services in Myanmar and Malaysia.
MCC 50th full of historic symbolism
Elder Margaret Harris and Donna Roach flew in from Vancouver to celebrate with MCC Manitoba at Knox United Church in Winnipeg. (MCC photo by Alison Ralph)
MCC Manitoba executive director Ron Janzen, left, presents a gift of handmade moccasins to Joe Clark, a former prime minister of Canada, in gratitude for his participation in the celebration of MCC Manitoba’s 50th anniversary last month in Winnipeg. The moccasins bear the MCC logo on the top in intricate beadwork. (MCC photo by Alison Ralph)
As the choirs’ final note of “Die Zeit ist Kurz” hung sublimely in the sanctuary of Knox United Church on April 18, the indigenous drums began to beat and the Buffalo Gals started into the “Wolf Song.” Once they were done, it was back to the Faith and Life choirs and the University of Manitoba Women’s Chorus for “Come Let Us All Unite to Sing.”
MC Eastern Canada gathering hears stories of faith
Chris Brnjas, left, Dimitri Faludy, Rachel Brnjas and Esther Kissor talk about their work at the 2015 Mennonite Church Eastern Canada annual church gathering. The Brnjases work in churches in Kitchener, Ont., and attend The Gathering Church. Faludy and Kissor are from the Jane Finch Faith Community in Toronto. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Brandon Leis, music director at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., leads singing. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada executive minister David Martin, with hand raised, prays for the Jane Finch Faith Community Church during the area church’s annual church gathering on April 25 after church members learned of a fire in the building where the church meets to worship and where many members live. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Paul Wideman, moderator of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, challenged the 28th annual church gathering, saying, “How can we encourage one another by sharing our faith?” The day-and-a-half event was filled with faith stories and had little actual business.
Building houses and learning to serve
Participants in the Youth Farm Bible Camp’s recent trip to Mexico mix cement for the foundation of the house they built. Pictured from left to right: Brandon Wurtz, Holly Epp, and Dawson Dueck. (Photo by Mark Wurtz)
It may not be typical summer camp staff training, but Mark Wurtz says the Youth Farm Bible Camp’s annual trip to Mexico is “probably more worthwhile than orientation.” The camp has been taking senior staff members and youth on short-term mission trips for the past eight years, and Wurtz sees the trips as highly valuable in developing camp staff.
A warming world should make us uncomfortable
It’s time for some uncomfortable conversations about climate change and poverty, says Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada.
Churches ‘on the healing side’
“We are all equal. Not one person is above others.” Elder Marie Linklater’s words set the tone for a day of learning and discerning on April 18, when about 200 women and men from Saskatoon and area gathered at Mayfair United Church for an ecumenical response to murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.
Saskatchewan youth take small steps toward big changes
Worms, balloons, dolly carts and minimal sleep were all part of a Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization event held in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan on April 8 and 9. This year’s Honouring the Earth event focussed on how making small changes to food consumption habits can have a big impact on the global food market.
A giant has passed
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) lost one of its most enduring and faithful supporters on Feb. 11 with the passing of Roy G. Snyder of Waterloo, Ont. He was 99.
Lewis Burkholder’s A Brief History of Mennonites in Ontario, published in 1935, is a “brief” book compared to Sam Steiner’s new book on the same topic: In Search of Promised Lands: A Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario.
Youths change lives on MDS trip . . . including their own
A group of Manitoba youths and young adults from the Bunker, a ministry of Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church, recently went to High River, Alta., to work with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS).
The Mennonite and the Lurmen
Are there parallels between the Star Wars universe and Anabaptism?
I asked myself that recently after watching an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated TV series.