My church experience has included at least 13 Mennonite churches, a Baptist church, an inter-denominational church and two Catholic schools. That represents more worship services and Sunday school lessons than I can count! Not many details from the sermons and classes stick in my mind, but those experiences taught me many lessons over the years. Here are a few.
Sean Gortzen got his first taste of baroque cantata repertoire during his time at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), both on campus and through his involvement with local groups like the Mennonite Festival Chorus.
Religious wars raged in 16th-century Europe between Catholics and Protestants. In northern Holland, Jan Smit was captured by the Catholics and was being pressed into service as an oarsman. His captors commanded him to join a crew of prisoners and row across the lake for a battle against Haarlem.
‘The faith of our fathers lives on’
There used to be a hymn we sang in our congregation: “Faith of our Fathers, Living Still.”
At my first Mennonite Church Alberta assembly as area church minister, one of my official tasks was to offer a prayer of release to Calgary Vietnamese Mennonite Church. It was one of two congregations that had withdrawn its membership from the area church in response to the Being a Faithful Church decision at MC Canada’s 2016 Saskatoon assembly.
We must not hand them back.
Others before us fought long and hard to get them back into our hands. Through blood, sweat and tears, they were returned to the rightful owners. And now, slowly but surely, we are returning the Holy Scriptures to those who hoarded them for so long.
Boys on horseback pose in front of the main entrance to the Ailsa Craig Boys Farm, a home for troubled boys, in the 1960s. The farm, begun in 1955, was the brainchild of Jack Wall.
Retired physician Arnie Nickel, wearing the headset, is one of five volunteer trainers who lead the Forever in Motion Club that meets at Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
June Giles, left, is the coordinator for the Forever in Motion Club that meets at Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Everyone’s welcome, it’s free of charge and refreshments are served. Those selling features should attract Mennonites by the dozen. Surprisingly, though, most participants in Nutana Park Mennonite Church’s seniors exercise club aren’t Mennonites at all.
More than just food will be on the menu when the Abby Eats Café opens here next year. The non-profit eatery, according to founder and proprietor Kyle Dyck, will focus on social justice and food insecurities and offer a culture of welcome for customers of all socioeconomic groups. The unique twist is that this restaurant will be “pay what you can.”
Seven years ago, two friends and I from Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., agreed to begin a book club with inmates in the local Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal prison.
As the government of South Vietnam teetered on the brink of collapse in the spring of 1975, Mennonite missionaries living in Saigon agonized over whether to leave or stay. In the end, mothers and children left the country, and only a few men stayed to experience the communist takeover.
Christine Penner Polle knows well the warning in Al Gore’s presentations and his 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth. It is possible to move from denial to despair in regard to climate change, both of which result in nothing being done and people being frozen in place.
Anabaptist Essentials: Ten Signs of a Unique Christian Faith. Palmer Becker. Herald Press, 2017, 182 pages.
“Fear[full]: We shall [not] be consumed” was the theme at this year’s Mennofolk, an annual event that celebrates art and music made by people associated with the Mennonite community in southern Manitoba.
More than 30 artists submitted artwork to the event, held on March 25, 2017, at X-Cues, a café and lounge in Winnipeg’s West End. Local bands Rosebud and Darling Twig performed.
For Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) student Erin Froese, taking a break from studying in the classroom has allowed her to pursue her interest in healing broken relationships between indigenous and settler peoples.