Volume 20, Number 5
What our survey says about you
“Canadian Mennonite provides a vital service by keeping the congregations informed on church life issues and trends. It has a good balance on raising cutting edge questions.”
For what purpose has Christ grabbed hold of you?
A year ago, when a colleague and I spent an intense two days in the beautiful Fraser Valley of B.C. with the writing team for our Leader magazine, I met this passage again as part of the 2016 lectionary texts for Lent.
Readers write: February 29, 2016 issue
Magazine should ‘continue to challenge and question’
Re: “Do church and journalism mix?” by Will Braun and “Are congregations up to it?” by Dick Benner, Feb. 1, pages 14 and 2, respectively.
Last summer, the Mennonite Heritage Centre was given a German language database of more than 110,000 family registries. We were ecstatic! With this new resource, we could reconnect families torn apart during the Second World War. The “lost” had been found. A branch from our faith family tree could be grafted back on.
On a soft spring day, I looked out my window to see the neighbour’s mature crab tree in full bloom. Its tall, fully rounded shape was blanketed in a carpet of pink-lilac blossoms. Unbidden, a thought emerged, “I want to be like that when I’m old.” Years later, I can still recall the beautiful, magnificent tree and the visual it offered of aging well.
Autonomy and community
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. . . . The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip” (Genesis 32:24-25, 31).
First Mennonite Church in Greendale, B.C., 1948
In the spring of 1948, First Mennonite Church in Greendale, B.C., was inundated with water. Dikes had been built along the rivers some 50 years earlier, but they had suffered from neglect. During the winter of 1947 and early 1948, a lot of snow built up, and the late spring and fast melt triggered a sudden rise in run-off.
The pursuit of truth (Pt. 2)
I can’t imagine two scientists debating something of a scientific nature and concluding, “Well, you have your truth and I have mine.” Yet this attitude is quickly becoming the norm when discussing matters of spirituality in Canada today. Why is that?
What makes a quilt Amish?
What makes a quilt Amish? Does it have to be “quilted by a group of Amish women sitting around the frame in their sitting room?” Or does it have to have an Amish pattern, like the Amish Wedding pattern created and popularized by Rachel Pellman of the Old Country Store in Lancaster, Pa? Is appliqué or pieced the appropriate technique?
Edmonton church becomes inclusive, affirming
On Feb. 7, 2016, Edmonton’s First Mennonite Church voted to become an inclusive and affirming Christian community.
MC Canada wants to know who is caring for refugees
Mennonite Church Canada congregations are taking the words of Deuteronomy 10:18-19 to heart by caring for Syrian refugees. The passage shares God’s desire to clothe and feed strangers. It’s a rather fitting way for Mennonites to express God’s love, as many were once refugees to Canada themselves.
Is climate change real?
A reader of this magazine sent an e-mail admonishing me not to associate our Mennonite faith with the “fear narrative” of climate change. He provided some links to seemingly credible people who refute the common global-warming argument. My impulse was to either delete or politely—or impolitely—sidestep it. Instead, I took it seriously.
Breakfasts, burnt curtains and a surprising friendship
Across the parking lot from Altona Mennonite Church stands a long, yellow brick building with narrow halls and tiny bachelor suites that rent out for $285 per month. Friendship Manor is a government-run housing facility for people on social assistance.
Former soldier leaves legacy of Christian pacifism
Siegfried Bartel, the former German army officer who became an ardent advocate for peace and an influential Mennonite figure in Canada, died at the age of 101.
Camping ministry a common thread for AMBS students
What do 10 of the 33 first-year students at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) have in common? A background as staff members at Mennonite camps and retreat centres.
Deep in the marrow: Silver Lake Mennonite Camp
I never went to camp as a kid because growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan seemed sufficiently uncivilized that I didn’t need to spend another week or two sleeping in a forest.
CMU and Camps with Meaning prepare leaders of faith
Summer may be a distant memory at this time of year, but Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) student Jonas Cornelsen fondly recalls how he spent last July and August working as the Bible instructor at Camp Koinonia, one of three run by Mennonite Church Manitoba’s Camps with Meaning (CwM) ministry.
Camp installs ‘green’ roof
Last fall, workers installed a “green” roof over the Stonehouse meeting room at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp.
‘God has a vision for Shekinah that’s exciting’
It’s not the kind of news Shekinah Retreat Centre executive director Nick Parkes likes to share with his constituency, and it’s not the kind of news the constituency likes to hear. In a statement to Mennonite Church Saskatchewan dated Feb. 9, 2016, Parkes announced that Shekinah is in a deep financial crisis.
Making a Mennonite
‘Not going back to camp will be tough,’ says Andrew Brown of his experiences at MC Manitoba’s Camp Moose Lake. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)
I did not grow up attending a Mennonite church. Growing up two hours southeast of Winnipeg in Piney, Man., I attended International Christian Fellowship, a small congregation that includes an interesting mix of people and theological backgrounds. It is an international amalgamation of American and Canadian churches on the U.S.
Cohabitation focus of discussion event at CMU
What is the significance of youth pastors living with their partner outside of marriage? How do young people respond to this information? Sexuality, spirituality, marriage, cohabitation and the church community all pertain to this conversation. The reality of cohabitation questions long-held views of marriage.