In reflecting on Assembly 2016 in Saskatoon, one thing is certain: We are entering a period of uncertainty in the life of Mennonite Church Canada and its area churches. The most hopeful sign in this state of affairs is that the delegates had enough faith in our leaders to begin a new process with few specifics.
Peach Blossom Church almost always meets its budget, although some years involve more drama than others. It still engages a full-time pastor, fixes the roof and supports mission workers. In 15 minutes, it can raise $5,000 to send the youth group on a mission trip.
After nine years of working together on the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) process, by an 85 percent majority, delegates at Assenbly 2016 in Saskatoon approved the BFC7 recommendation. (See “Delegates vote to allow space for differences.”)
We have abandoned the battleground.
Helen Warkentin was a long-term missionary to India from 1920 to 1957, and took many orphans ‘under her wing.’ She received support from family and friends back in Winkler, Man. Pictured, Manitobans proudly gather around a large crate of goods they are sending to Warkentin, to be used for the care of the poor in India.
It had probably been a while since Horse Lake Mennonite Church welcomed so many worshippers. Filling every pew, they gathered to celebrate the life of this small country church and to grieve its closing.
During the decommissioning service, held June 26, Pastor Walter Jantzen shared the church’s history.
Hannah Taylor, left, Linda Ramer and Milissa Fortier stand beside an 'open door' welcoming guests to a barbecue and hymn sing that were part of Wideman Mennonite Church's 200th-anniversary celebrations over the weekend of July 23-24. (Photo by Joanna Reesor-McDowell)
Bob Wideman, chair of Wideman Mennonite Church’s council, and his young friends wait expectantly for the homemade ice cream to finish churning at the barbecue celebrating the Markham, Ont., church's 200th anniversary. (Photo by Joanna Reesor-McDowell)
Hundreds of friends from near and far attended Wideman Mennonite Church‘s 200th-anniversary celebrations over the July 23-24, 2018, weekend. It was a culmination of special activities over the past few months that helped members mark this significant milestone.
“We are not living in the 16th century, and whatever is called Anabaptism today inevitably looks and sounds quite different,” said Paul Martens during a recent talk entitled “Neo-Anabaptism is dead: Long live neo-Anabaptism” at the Menno Simons Centre in Vancouver. Hence “neo-Anabaptism” is a way of naming the connections between the past and present: a new way of understanding the past.
The ongoing discussion about medical assistance in dying has publicly raised questions that extend beyond the realm of politics and public policy to the bedrock of morality.
George and Jake are great friends
George, 3, is a child who attends Southview Child Care, located in the First Mennonite Church building. Jake Baergen is a member of First Mennonite and 77 years George’s senior.
True to its name, this year’s Skylight Festival focussed on how the church can regain its place in a post-Christian society, exploring a larger movement of faith, arts and justice for this time.
Yearning for eloheh (ae-luh-hay) is clearly evident in Randy Woodley’s new children’s picture book, The Harmony Tree, published by Mennonite Church Canada this year. Richly illustrated by Ramone Romero and with an afterword by theologian Walter Brueggemann, the story speaks about healing and community through a deeply rooted, God-centred indigenous view of creation.
“Three people in their early 20s—a Catholic, a Mennonite Brethren man and a United Church member—walk into a Mennonite Church Canada assembly.” It may sound like the set-up to a joke, but it’s exactly what happened last month.
Much of Claudia Dueck’s volunteer work at Kilometre 81 involved doing laundry. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)
Established by Mennonites, Kilometre 81 treats people with leprosy, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)
When Claudia Dueck thinks back on the voluntary service she did in Paraguay earlier this year, it’s the Tuesdays that stick out the most.
Volunteers on antique threshing machines raised funds that the Canadian Foodgrains Bank will use to help small-scale farm families in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya learn to grow more and better food, so they can better provide for their families. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Foodgrains Bank)
Manitoba became home to another world record on July 31, 2016, when 139 antique threshing machines harvested a field simultaneously for 15 minutes at the 62nd Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede held at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin. Nine others started, but, for various mechanical reasons, couldn’t finish the 15-minute test.