“We know that the North American context and culture, and Christianity within it, is in the midst of immense change. Conversations with and feedback from hundreds of our constituents across Canada these past two years shows broad understanding that old assumptions about the place of church in society have changed.”
Today, our community of Anabaptist-related churches spans the globe, incorporating people from many different cultural, ethnic and political backgrounds. We are, without a doubt, a diverse community. Whenever we gather, we enjoy this diversity and feel enriched.
When I was a kid, I took great pride in taking the dimes that I earned from my paper route and placing them in the dime cards that we received from our denominational mission agency to support overseas mission. Mom took notice of my interest and told me more than once that she was praying that I would be a missionary.
Just before midnight on Dec. 29, with our little ones nestled snug in their beds, the earth shook. While earthquakes happen all the time—there were more than 40 in Canada in the past 30 days—this was the first we really felt while living in British Columbia. Our house popped as if one mighty gust had blown against the back of our house. It was confusing and unsettling.
I’ve written before about not driving to church and what this might mean for how we worship: planning a longer bike ride or walk each Sunday morning, trying out the church in our neighbourhood (even if it’s not Mennonite!). These are good ideas. But it’s time to go farther, which is why, this month, my family and I are getting ready to go car-free(er).
Climate is back on the global agenda, but still not squarely on the Mennonite agenda. Following a period of major global attention that peaked around 2007—with heads of state, celebrities and filmmakers backing the cause—the climate struggle bottomed out at the 2009 Copenhagen conference, which was clouded with pessimism and excuses. Now, the pendulum of public concern has swung back.
The illustration in the children’s story book showed a wagon with three flower pots. My three-year old grandson counted four. I asked him to count them again. “I don’t need to, Grandma,” he said. “I know there’s space in the wagon for four.”
Do you enjoy the TV show Star Trek? If so, thank Allan Kroeker, who directed 39 episodes between 1996 and 2005. Kroeker continues to direct and this year is working on two projects. Kroeker began producing for Mennonite Brethren Communications in 1976, Mennonite Central Committee, and MBMSI. Kroeker grew up in Winnipeg, Man., and credits his grandfather A.A.
It’s a nice problem to have. Grace Mennonite Church in Regina currently has almost $30,000 in donations and pledges designated for helping refugees. The donations come from a variety of sources, both within and outside the church.
Dr. Harvey Chochinov and his team at the University of Manitoba have been working to quantify the effects of psycho-social interventions in the care of patients in palliative care situations.
Late last month Canadian Mennonite University president Cheryl Pauls signed an unusual document, one that commits CMU to bringing indigenous knowledge and history into its classroom as well as creating a racism-free campus and working to better serve the needs of indigenous students.
Thanks to a question from Tom Roes, Mennonites in Botswana are thinking creatively about launching small businesses to support their families and the local church.
Peter Neufeldt lives out his commitment to Jesus’ way of peace as a member of his church and as a member of the Rotary Club. “There are so many different ways of making peace,” he says.
It wasn’t the premiere of The Elmira Case. That happened earlier at the Peace on Earth Film Festival in Chicago, which led to the film being shown in Mongolia. But on Nov. 19, 2015, the local premiere of a local story by a local institution and local film makers finally took place.
When Manitoba photographer Jay Siemens partnered with Friesens Corporation to create a 2016 calendar to benefit Syrian refugees, he had no idea they would print 1,000 copies and raise $20,000 for the cause in a matter of weeks. But that’s exactly what happened last month in the lead-up to Christmas.
Growing up, Allison Barron didn’t feel she could voice her interests in computer games and science fiction at church. (Photo by James Christian Imagery)
Kyle Rudge leads monthly Bible studies that explore faith by looking at television shows like Dr. Who, Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Photo courtesy of Geekdom House)
Allison Barron developed an interest in computer games and science fiction at an early age. Reconciling her pop culture interests with her Christian faith has not always been easy, though.
“I’ve never felt very ostracized or pressured because of my [interests],” says Barron, 26. At the same time, “I did not feel like that was something I could bring to church, either.”