Volume 22 Issue 12

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Paving the way to the Promised Land

After serving as interim pastor at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, Ont., Waldo Pauls ended up staying on as minister for seven years. He is pictured with his wife Pam at their farewell service following Waldo’s retirement in 2014. (Photo by Ernie Janzen)

Pictured from left to right, top row: Claire Ewert-Fisher, David Brubacher, Gerry Binnema, Harold Schegel. Bottom row: Waldo Pauls, Wanda Roth Amstutz and Melissa Miller.

“You don’t go quickly from Egypt to the Promised Land,” quips Harold Schlegel. “The wilderness is where God forms us.”

The wilderness Schlegel speaks of is the transition in a congregation’s life between one pastor and another. Church leaders suggest it’s a time that’s ripe for interim or transitional ministry.

Brubacher House opening

Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario

Tea is served on the front porch of Brubacher House Museum at its opening in 1979. The University of Waterloo, Ont., acquired the house and land to expand its campus. In 1968, the house suffered a devastating fire, but it was rebuilt with the help of Mennonite craftsman Simeon Martin.

Carrying seeds from Colombia to Palestine

Bladimir teaches his son Bladimir Jr. to plant yucca. (CPT photo by Caldwell Manners)

Rubiela, left, outside her house during her last visit with Hannah Redekop. (CPT photo by Caldwell Manners)

The lush green hills of Dos Quebradas, Remedios, Colombia. (CPT photo by Caldwell Manners)

Dora Guzman of the Organización Femenina Popular talks about a new mural representing the organization as a phoenix rising out of the ashes. (CPT photo by Caldwell Manners)

Five years ago I set out on a journey with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), providing international accompaniment to human rights defenders in Colombia.

A picture of gradual decline

Above: Donations from congregations and individuals to national and area/regional church bodies. (All dollar figures adjusted to 2018 dollars.)

Above: Dollar amounts to be forwarded to MC Canada in 2018. (Not included are contributions from regional churches to post-secondary schools or added budget lines for staff to take over some tasks previously performed by MC Canada staff.)

Often our society relies too much on numbers. In gravitating to quantification we tend to short-circuit the truth, which is nuanced and multilayered.

But when it comes to our denomination, I would like to see more numbers. Specifically, how has overall giving to area/regional churches and Mennonite Church Canada changed over time?

Kindred partners with Rockway to serve the community

John Klassen, a Rockway alumnus and board member and Kindred’s finance and compliance chief, right, helps a Rockway student mulch flower beds at Mennonite Central Committee Ontario’s building in Kitchener, where Thrift on Kent is located. (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)

Rockway principal Ann L. Schultz sorts donations at Thrift on Kent in Kitchener with a group of students. ‘All in all, students witnessed first-hand how, when we work together with shared values, we come closer to the peaceful, just communities to which we all aspire.’ (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)

Rockway alumnus Ben Janzen, left, now Kindred’s values integration director, loads wheelbarrows with earth for the planting of kale at Hacienda Sarria Market Garden, along with a Rockway teacher and students. ‘Looking back, I can see how Envirathon Servathon helped to shape my view of the community and what the purpose of education is,’ Janzen says. (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)

Kathy Clemence, right, a Rockway alumna and Kindred’s member support manager, helps with the gardening at the Steckle Heritage Homestead in Kitchener. (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)

As the presenting partner of this year’s Rockway Mennonite Collegiate Envirathon Servathon, Kindred Credit Union had its staff join 300 students and teachers, who fanned out across the region on May 7, 2018, to do everything from planting trees and preparing garden beds, to sorting clothing donations and serving meals.

Serving in Japan as ‘ordinary people’

Mary Derksen of Abbotsford, B.C., has chronicled the story of her Canadian missionary family serving in Japan in her new book, Rise and Shine! 45 Years in the Land of the Rising Sun. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Retired missionary Mary Derksen didn’t start out to write a book about the 45 years she and her late husband spent as missionaries in Japan. But she has just completed the story of the couple’s ministry there: Rise and Shine! 45 Years in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Forming intentional community with young adults

Terri Lynn and Thomas Friesen are the founders of the Vine and Table intentional community. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)

Located in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood, the Vine and Table can accommodate 10 residents. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)

Eating delicious, healthy food is central to life at the Vine and Table. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)

‘It’s kind of a step in faith,’ Terri Lynn Friesen says of starting the Vine and Table. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)

When Thomas and Terri Lynn Friesen met, Terri Lynn was a guest at the Burrow, an intentional community Thomas was living in with eight other young adults.

This coming September, a few weeks before the couple’s second wedding anniversary, they will embark on a new adventure together: opening their Saskatoon home to form an intentional community called the Vine and Table.

Worth the wait

No stranger to the stage, Kenzi Jane grew up performing music with her family. (Photo by Lynette Giesbrecht)

Kenzie Jane recorded her EP in Altona, Man., where she grew up. (Photo by Robyn Adam)

‘Love Me From Scratch [means] love me for who I am,’ Kenzi Jane says. (Cover art by Sydney Friesen)

If good things come to those who wait, exciting times are ahead for Kenzie Jane.

The Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter recently released her debut EP, Love Me From Scratch, more than three years after she first started recording it.

Winnipeggers take to the street in support of Nakba survivors

Around a hundred people gathered at a busy intersection in Winnipeg on May 15, 2018, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Protesters held signs with the names of villages that were destroyed when the State of Israel was created. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Around a hundred people gathered at a busy intersection in Winnipeg on May 15, 2018, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic. The Nakba refers to the dispossession of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands that followed the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

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