Wherever Jesus goes, we see God’s kingdom descending from heaven to earth. Wherever Jesus appears, God’s loving power takes hold. A hemorrhaging woman is healed of her infirmity; a rich man gives away half his wealth. In Jesus’ healing, teaching, dying and rising, God is rescuing the world; the mending of creation has begun. Yet paradise has not yet been restored.
Last week, Makai started Kindergarten at the same school in Metro Manilla as his older brother, Cody, who is now in his second year. Although we are very happy with the school—and Cody loves it—a complaint arose for me within Makai’s first three days, after his teacher played a television show during the 30-minute recess as students ate their snacks.
Tsar Nicholas II, seated on a chair at centre of this photograph, is surrounded by patients, Red Cross workers and other staff at a hospital for wounded men in Ekaterinoslav, South Russia. Abraham Dick, a Mennonite non-combatant serving in the medical corps, was present that day. He carried this photograph with him when he emigrated to Ontario in 1924.
Regional Church moderators signed the Covenant and Operating Agreement that form the newly structured Mennonite Church Canada on Oct. 15, in Winnipeg. Pictured from left to right, seated: Ken Warkentin of MC Saskatchewan; Paul Wideman of MC Eastern Canada; Lee Dyck of MC B.C.; Paul Neufeldt of MC Alberta; and Peter Rempel of MC Manitoba; and standing: MC Canada moderator Calvin Quan. (MC Canada photo by Coreena Stewart)
A Covenant and Operating Agreement describing the intent of both the spirit and function of the new relationships among the five regional churches (formerly area churches) comprising Mennonite Church Canada were affirmed in principle after robust discussion by delegates on Oct. 14 at Special Assembly 2017.
The terms “financial plan” and “budget” were used somewhat interchangeably in reference to a spreadsheet in the Discernment Guide Supplement outlining how Mennonite Church Canada will be funded following the restructuring taking place after Special Assembly 2017 in Winnipeg l
“We don’t all see things through the same lenses. We don’t all agree on every little or big thing, but we are loved by you, and we love.”
That prayerful acknowledgement of diversity and unity as God’s community by Vernelle Enns Penner opened Mennonite Church Canada’s Special Assembly 2017 on the evening of Oct. 13 at the Radisson Hotel in Winnipeg.
While some delegates at Special Assembly 2017 looked forward to the nationwide church restructuring process, others mourned the loss of what has been an important part of their church life.
At this juncture in Mennonite Church Canada’s history, it seems appropriate to reflect on the church’s work and the impact that work has had on the lives of MC Canada’s people across the country:
Ruth Friesen of First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, says her congregation has always had a strong connection to the Mennonite Church Canada national office in Winnipeg and the worship and education resources that came from there. Individuals from the congregation were involved in the larger national efforts, and they kept members informed about what was happening beyond their doors.
After 11 Koreans—two families plus two teenagers—began attending Point Grey in late 2016, interest in their intentional communal living was piqued. The 11, ranging in age from 11 to middle age, live in one home in Vancouver. They share meals, household tasks, money (one adult handles the finances), and all major decisions.
- Donna Dinsmore began a one-year term as interim pastor of First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, on Oct. 1, 2017. Dinsmore is an ordained United Church minister who has served in various congregations. Most recently she was in Bella Coola, B.C., ministering to Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
“What are the dreams that have been placed in us? What has God whispered in our ears? How has God invaded our thoughts?” asked Willard Metzger, Mennonite Canada’s executive minister (formerly executive director). Thus began his final address on Oct. 15 to those who gathered for Special Assembly 2017.
Decisions made at Special Assembly 2017 have resulted in staff reductions at Mennonite Church Canada and program realignment to regional churches serving congregations. (See “Overwhelming vote in favour of new MC Canada structure.”)