We are daily awash in choices and opportunities, and many of us are affluent enough to be able to choose among many options. Many of us make many choices even before we get out the door in the morning. Our stomachs are full, we live in fine houses, our income and assets have grown, our retirement funds are increasing, and our possessions keep multiplying.
The young couple was living far from home, juggling college studies and part-time work, in preparation for overseas missionary work. Their first child was due and then complications set in. It was a difficult birth, and the hospital bill totalled much more than their meagre budget allowed. When the time came for the new father to take mother and baby home, the hospital authorities balked.
Recently, I heard a story about a young prince named Hullabaloo. He lived in a land where everyone and everything was noisy. When people talked, they shouted at each other. When they ate their soup, they inhaled it with a loud air-over-tongue sound. When they worked, they clanked and bumped until the air was filled with noise.
The small church where I pastor, Grace Mennonite Church in Prince Albert, Sask., is probably not often accused of being “high church.”
“Pfeffernusse,” Dora repeated after me in amazement! She couldn’t believe that my Christmas treats were the same as hers.
It was Nov. 7, 2002, and we were sitting around the pool at Toddy’s Backpacker Hostel in Alice Springs, Australia. Nostalgia crept among us; we had wandered far and wouldn’t be home for Christmas.
What role do apologies play in healing from abuse? We may feel that we can’t go wrong by offering an apology. We encourage people to apologize to each other in church. Unfortunately, too often quick apologies lead to more hurt than healing, especially in the context of abuse, where the hurt done is so long-lasting and painful.
Here are six areas where apologies can go wrong:
Johnny Kehler, left, with his plane and George Groening, at Matheson Island, Man. Groening grew up near Lowe Farm, Man., and served the Mennonite church community for decades. As a long-serving leader, he not only witnessed change but instituted changes as well.
Bikers taking part in the Winnipeg Ride for Refuge, including those riding in support of MC Canada Witness workers, are pictured at Covenant Christian Reformed Church before the ride began. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)
Team FMC Edmonton rode to support Witness workers Michael and Cheryl Nimz in the United Kingdom. Team members pictured from left to right: Jacob Wiebe-Neufeld, Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, Karl Blank and team captain Ryan Andres, all of Edmonton First Mennonite Church. (Photo courtesy of Karl Blank)
Craig Neufeld, team captain of the Rosthern Rouleurs, in action. The Rouleurs raised $4,320, the most of any of the 12 MC Canada teams. (Photo courtesy of MC Saskatchewan)
The Tiefengrunters was one of four teams from Saskatchewan taking part in this year’s Ride for Refuge on behalf of MC Canada. The four teams Saskatchewan raised a total of $9,665, nearly half of all the funds raised for MC Canada Witness workers. (Photo courtesy of MC Saskatchewan)
Mary Anne Falk, left, and Tina Doell both of Carman (Man.) Mennonite Fellowship, were riding for Christine and Tom Poovong, Witness workers in Thailand. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)
Team Mennonite Boys and Girls Can Ride from Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church raised $1,765 for MC Canada Witness workers during this year’s ‘Ride for Refuge.’ ‘We had a great ride,’ says team captain Brian Quan. ‘It was a picture perfect day for our 15 riders. (Photo by Brian Quan, Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church)
A big thank you to our 75 participants on 12 teams, and to our generous Mennonite Church Canada family who sponsored these riders in this year’s Ride for Refuge event held in communities across Canada on Sept. 29, 2018. Together, we raised more than $19,500 towards our International Witness ministry.
Moments in time can change the course of history. Decisions made in Russia in the years following the Russian Revolution in 1917 changed life for thousands of Mennonite families.
Mennonite children learn patriarchy from a young age. Gender roles are strictly defined: men work the fields and women take care of the home. (Photo by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky noahfr.com)
Eight men went to prison, the media gaze moved on, and colony life resumed. But the saga of mass rape in the Bolivian corner of our family of faith is far from over.
The new home of Langham Mennonite Fellowship stands on the same site as the old Zoar Mennonite Church. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Ed Bueckert, Langham Mennonite Fellowship’s congregational chair, says the church wants its new building to be of service to the community. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
The church’s sanctuary is a multi-purpose room with space for about 80 worshippers. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Among items carried over from the old church to the new are this cross and the church’s communion table. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
The church’s foyer has doors leading to the pastor’s office, the church kitchen, the basement stairwell, washrooms and several storage spaces. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Zoar Mennonite Church in Langham has a new home—and a new name.
When the congregation discovered black mould growing in the basement of its old church building some years ago, it didn’t immediately decide to build a new church building. Instead, it gutted the basement and had it cleaned and disinfected. But the problem persisted, making some congregants unwell.
Public recognition of the traditional territory of First Nation groups that were signatories to specific treaties is a fairly new concept in Canada.
Every Tuesday, the bell at the front desk of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta headquarters in Calgary dings incessantly, whether a receptionist is sitting there or not. “Hi, Simon!” someone says, and Simon wanders off to get a coffee and a snack, and then he ambles down the hall to the material resources warehouse.
Bird-Bent Grass truly is a “memoir, in pieces” as it explores the lives of Kathleen Venema and her mother, with anecdotes from the past, excerpts from old letters and reflections on the present, all mixed together.
We love boundaries.
These boundaries may help us to define who we are, but they also can lead us to assume we know others based on appearances. Most of the time, if people aren’t like us, we consider them lost.
Avoidance may temporarily decrease your stressor, but it doesn’t solve the actual problem. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Do you ever find yourself starting something and not completing it? If so, then you’re familiar with avoidance behaviours.
The heartfelt songs of praise raised by the Meheret Evangelical Ethiopian Church filled the Kitchener First Mennonite Church sanctuary with adoration of God. With eyes closed and hands raised, and even a few tears, Meheret led the gathering in worship. (Photo by Arli Klassen)
It was a rich night of worship as a diverse group of people gathered at the third annual intercultural worship service at Kitchener First Mennonite Church on Oct. 20, 2018.