Volume 22 Issue 23

‘Fear not’

In the Advent and Christmas stories, fear is a prelude to God’s bringing new and wonderful things into the human story. (Photo from Pixabay)

Call for volunteers

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. 

Women in church vocations

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Photo: The Canadian Mennonite / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

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 rush

Mel’s ‘Martha,’ left, enjoys Christmas cookies with her daughter Madison and her mother, Wendy Desmarais. Mel is trying to find a time and a place to be both Mary and Martha. (Photo courtesy of Mel Harms)

Call for volunteers

Mel’s ‘Mary’ pays close attention to the words of Jesus. (Photo courtesy of Mel Harms)

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.

‘Opening to God’s leading’

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John Neudorf speaks with Betty Pries of Credence & Co. during a break in the Nov. 16, 2018, session of Mennonite Church Alberta’s first Vision 2020 gathering at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

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.

‘Much is expected’

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Roberson Mbayamvula, left, lead pastor of Hagerman Mennonite; Paul Mo, Markham Chinese Mennonite’s pastor; and Joseph Savarimuthu, pastor of Markham Christian Worship Centre, a Tamil congregation, cut the ribbon on their renovated church building on Oct. 14, 2018. (Photo by Godfrey Cheng)

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.

‘Living our values’

Michael Sambrook guides members of the Canadian Mennonite Health Assembly in drafting a statement on medical assistance in dying based on the group’s values. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Call for volunteers

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:

‘Bring us beyond our own stories’

Call for volunteers

Case descriptions for thousands of Mennonites who disappeared in Ukraine are now available online. This one shows an Abram Klassen.

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.

Young people invited to be ‘rattled by the radical’

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)

Call for volunteers

‘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)

Kirsten Hamm-Epp is co-organizing ‘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.

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