One thing became very clear during the Future Directions Task Force conversation: In the imagination of most of us, Mennonite Church Canada is an “it” or a “they.” Currently, we experience the larger denomination—including the area churches—as an entity apart or distinct from the local congregation.
Volume 20 Issue 13
I have always been part of the Mennonite world, having been called to Jesus Christ in my early years; active in the fellowship of the church throughout my youth; and trained by the church through Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Winnipeg, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, N.Y.
We expect a lot from our pastors, especially the part-time ones who are forced to be bi-vocational. They speak candidly about their roles and their congregation’s expectations in this issue beginning on page 4, as interviewed by our Saskatchewan correspondent, Donna Schulz.
In a recent Bible study, we were looking at John 20 where Jesus appeared to the disciples. Gathered behind locked doors, Jesus appeared in the midst of them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he did an amazing thing. He breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
A long time ago, my high school physics teacher defined work as moving something from one place to another. “You could work all day trying to move a boulder,” he expanded, “and if you hadn’t actually shifted the position of the boulder, technically speaking, you wouldn’t have worked.” His definition left its mark on my teenage brain.
Alexander Fast (1888-1942), front row right, and his second wife Selinde Fast (1894-1973) fled to Germany from Russia during the Russian Revolution and were immigrants to Canada in 1928. In this photo, taken in 1933, they are at the Winnipeg train station with friend C.F. Klassen (behind Alexander), leaving for British Columbia.
In an article entitled “Has militant atheism become a religion?” published on Salon.com (March 24, 2013), primatologist Frans de Waal writes, “In my interactions with religious and nonreligious people alike, I now draw a sharp line, based not on what exactly they believe but on their level of dogmatism. I consider dogmatism a far greater threat than religion . . . .”
The history of Youth Farm Bible Camp is, in no small sense, the history of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan. In the early 1940s, the Mennonite Youth Society began holding retreats at the Dominion Experimental Farm, just south of Rosthern. Several individuals saw the neglected farm as an ideal site for the ministries of Saskatchewan Mennonites. Henry W. Friesen, Isaac Epp and J. C.
Pictured from left to right: Paul Pulford, who conducted the orchestra in Glenn Buhr’s ‘Piano Concerto No. 3; Stephanie Martin, who composed ‘Babel: A Choral Symphony’; Buhr; and Lee Willingham, who conducted Martin’s piece, at the April 3 world premiere of the two works as part of the 40th anniversary of WLU’s Faculty of Music on April 3, 2016. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
The musical tower of Babel that played a key role in Stephanie Martin’s ‘Babel: A Choral Symphony,’ performed at an April 3, 2016, concert in Waterloo, Ont., to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Pictured from left to right: sopranos Midori Marsh and Sarah Amelard; mezzo-soprano Jamie Groote; Stephanie Martin and Carol Martin, the creators of ‘Babel: A Choral Symphony’; conductor Lee Willingham; baritone Dylan Langan; and tenor River Guard stand in front of the Wilfrid Laurier University Choir following the world premiere of the symphony as part of the 40th anniversary of WLU’s Faculty of Music on April 3, 2016. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Faculty of Music with a concert on April 3, 2016, that featured the premiere of works by two composers with Mennonite roots and connections.
Some teachers want their lessons to run smoothly, but not Benjamin Weber.
“I like a healthy amount of chaos,” says Weber, 29, who teaches the youth Sunday school class at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont. “I open the floor and let them ask me about anything. Usually it’s about current events, so we relate that back to the topic at hand.”
Watching great films is a spiritual experience for Winnipeg filmmaker Paul Plett. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
That filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was able to make Apocalypse Now given the obstacles he faced is part of what makes the film great, Paul Plett says.
“Watching great films is a very spiritual experience for me,” says Paul Plett. “It hits a tuning fork in [my] heart and my whole soul reverberates.”