In the past few weeks, a theme has emerged in my Advent singing and Scripture reading: fear.
Fear is all around us. A recent book about a fearmongering president is on the bestseller list. Politicians and pundits stoke a public paranoia, using it to boost their own power. Credible scientific reports alert us to the troubling facts surrounding present and future climate change.
The Christ Child has arrived. We’ve waited through four weeks of Advent to light that fifth candle, the Christ candle, symbolizing the presence of Christ in our midst. And we feel ready to welcome this baby with open arms. Don’t we?
Kudos for ‘apologetic’ column
Re: “‘I’m sorry’: Apologies and abuse” column by Carol Penner, Nov. 5, page 11.
Thanks for some very good thoughts about how apologies can make things worse for victims of abuse.
We are uniquely created in God’s image. The key phrase for me is that we are unique, and with the uniqueness comes a journey that is all our own. Our journey may look vaguely similar to that of those around us but could also look vastly different to the journey of others.
At 9:30 a.m., the church door opens. A young woman, a girl really, slips in quietly. She asks quickly, “Can I use the washroom?” My reply is to the already closed bathroom door.
To encourage women to enter church-related work, the General Conference Mennonite Church began the “Women in Church Vocations” program in 1957. Pictured, Elmer Ediger discusses the new program with interested young women at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg.
Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. Everyone is so joyful! We get excited for tree decorating, Christmas shopping, starting our Christmas baking while playing Christmas carols in the background, and preparing for the many gatherings that are soon to follow.
Mennonites in Canada today are a diverse group, and the old stereotype of Mennonites as German-speaking agrarian people fits only a small part of the picture.
In opening comments at Mennonite Church Alberta’s first of three Vision 2020 gatherings, Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, the regional church’s executive minister, asked people in the crowd to stand if they had left their place of birth in search of new life and opportunities.
After more than three years and with a budget of $1.4 million, Hagerman Mennonite Church in Markham, Ont., has completed a significant building renovation. But more than efficient space and a sleek exterior, the project represents the power of this church, a diverse partnership of different congregations, to work together as the body of Christ to accomplish big things as a community.
When members of the Canadian Mennonite Health Assembly gathered at Menno Place in Abbotsford in early November 2018 to discuss this year’s theme, “Living our values,” medical assistance in dying (MAiD) was on the agenda.
During the business session, members drafted the following statement:
Among the voluminous lists of those disappeared during the dark times in what is now Ukraine, researchers have found roughly 400 pages of Mennonite names, with five or six names per page. That is just for Zaporizhzhia province. The lists for all Ukrainian provinces are available online, though printed in Cyrillic script.
Eva Klaassen lives in a seniors housing complex in Prince Albert. She doesn’t own a car, so every Sunday morning she takes a taxi to Grace Mennonite Church. Many of the drivers are new to Canada, she says, but all are very friendly.
Although Bruce Guenther set out to write a biography of his grandfather, Herman D.W. Friesen, it turned out to be more of a history of the Old Colony Mennonites in the Hague-Osler area of Saskatchewan.
Choir conductors Ben Pauls and his son Matthew share enthusiasm, talent and a passion for choral music. This fall, they had the unexpected opportunity to share the stage at a fundraising concert for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
Shekinah Retreat Centre is located on 116 hectares in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Mennonite youth from across Canada will gather there in the summer of 2019. (Photo by Irma Sulistyorini)
Leaders from MC Saskatchewan and MC Manitoba are planning a youth gathering in Saskatchewan this summer. (Photo by Krista Loewen)
‘We want [youth who attend] to encounter the living God,’ says Kathy Giesbrecht, co-organizer of ‘Shake: Rattled by the radical.’ (Photo courtesy of Kirsten Hamm-Epp)
Leadership from two of Mennonite Church Canada’s regional churches are inviting youth from across Canada to a gathering in Saskatchewan next summer.
“Shake: Rattled by the radical” is happening from July 28 to Aug. 1, 2019, at Shekinah Retreat Centre, near Waldheim. The event will feature worship, learning and activities for young people in grades 6 to 12.
Canadian Mennonite asked eight young adults from across Mennonite Church Canada to look back on the year that was and to look ahead to the year that will be. These are their reflections, which have been edited for length and clarity.