Volume 23 Issue 15

Broad prayers in a time of fear

Call for volunteers

(Image by Jenny Friedrichs/Pixabay)

It has become a routine yet still shocking news report: another shooting in a quiet neighbourhood or at a shopping centre, nightclub, school or place of worship. Then come the familiar offers of “thoughts and prayers” for the victims and their loved ones. Sadly, there have been too many opportunities to pray these prayers recently. 

MCC celebrates, serves where its work began

Vladimir Kozlov of New Life, an MCC partner, distributes relief kits, school kits, comforters and canned meat in Nikopol, Ukraine, on June 21. (MCC photo by Matt Sawatzky)

Call for volunteers

MCC Ukraine staff Anna Proshak, left, and Olga Litvinenko serve corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa—a 1920s MCC “relief-kitchen dinner”—at a symbolic picnic on June 16. (MCC photo by Matt Sawatzky)

Mary Raber, left, a Mennonite Mission Network worker in Ukraine; Peter Wolfe of Langley, B.C.; Catherine Enns of Winnipeg; and J Ron Byler, executive director of MCC U.S., read from 1920s testimonies of aid recipients and MCC workers at the picnic in Khortitsa on June 16. Behind them is a memorial to Mennonite victims of Stalin’s repression. (MCC photo by Matt Sawatzky)

Under shade trees in a city park on June 16, about 40 Anabaptists shared a picnic of corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa.

 

The most important word

Call for volunteers

"With" may be the most important word in the Christian faith, Sam Wells argues in his book, "Incarnational Ministry." (Photo courtesy of stmartin-in-the-fields.org)

“With” may be the most important word in the Christian faith. So argues Sam Wells, an Anglican priest-theologian, in Incarnational Ministry, a book about being with the church.

The divine flame

"If the fire in your heart is out, pay attention to this deeper flame of God within you by spending lots of time in spacious prayer." (Image by Elias_S/Pixabay)

Call for volunteers

The song “Wonderwall” by Oasis came on the radio. I was about to change the station when these lyrics hit me, “Backbeat, the word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out.”

There are many fires that burn in one’s heart over a lifetime:

Igniting flames of hope in the midst of ending

(Photo by June Miller)

MW Canada members vote to dissolve the organization and turn the assets over to the five regional churches for future women’s ministries. (Photo by June Miller)

Call for volunteers

(Photo by June Miller)

Susan Martens Kehler (Photo by June Miller)

Elsie Rempel, left, and Shirley Redekop pack up MW Canada’s logo following the meeting to dissolve the organization at MC Canada’s Gathering 2019 in Abbotsford, B.C., on June 30. (Photo by June Miller)

On June 30, at our annual general meeting in Abbotsford, B.C., Mennonite Women Canada elected to dissolve our nationwide ministry for the purpose of releasing energy and assets to the regional churches so that they can grow stronger in their ministry with and through women within their contexts.

‘We became Mennonites’

Lydia Grigoryevna, second from left, gets a birthday hug after worship at Nikolaipolye Mennonite Church on June 16. (Photo by Paul Schrag)

Call for volunteers

Ivan Kapelushniy, pastor of Nikolaipolye Mennonite Church, greets Mary Raber, who serves in Ukraine with Mennonite Mission Network. (Photo by Paul Schrag)

Welcoming visitors from North America, Ivan Kapelushniy, pastor of Nikolaipolye Mennonite Church, led his congregation of about 15 people in singing “For God So Loved Us” in Russian.

“There are no born Mennonites among us,” Kapelushniy said on June 16 as mission worker Mary Raber translated. “We became Mennonites.”

MCC partner serves people ‘society doesn’t want’

Natalia Mezentseva, second from left, director of New Life, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partner in Ukraine, accepts an MCC centennial paperweight from North American visitors. Looking on are MCC board member Robert Enns of Calgary, left, and Viktoria Rab­chen­yuk, second from right, and Tatiana Yorzh, right, New Life women’s house residents. (Photo by Paul Schrag)

Call for volunteers

Natalia Mezentseva oversees a household of “women in difficult circumstances.”

With an affirming and instructive place to live, thanks to a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partner, their circumstances are better already.  

A group of visitors on an MCC learning tour heard their stories, cuddled a baby, applauded a child’s poetry recital and prayed with them on June 21.

Shackled together in perfect unity— ‘Blame it on God’

Call for volunteers

‘It takes every ounce of . . . love to cope with the success of God’s gathering,’ Tom Yoder Neufeld told delegates at this year’s MC U.S.A. conference in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo by Vada Snider)

God’s success is our problem. But it’s a good problem. From these thoughts of Tom Yoder Neufeld came a catch phrase of MennoCon19: “The church is a mess. Thanks be to God!”

Who was Mary Magdalene?

Call for volunteers

Organizer Martha Smith Good, left, chats with Amanda Witmer, instructor and lecturer who led a group of women in exploring biblical and Gnostic references to Mary Magdalene, at an event held at Wilmot Mennonite Church on July 22. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Who was Mary of Magdala? What impressions do people have of her, and where do those impressions come from?

Fairy tales at the Fringe

Call for volunteers

The play’s five-member cast performed The Mennonite Fairytale 13 times in under three weeks. (Photo courtesy of Real Live Entertainment)

Hansel and Gretel—I mean Peter and Tina—enter the woods and end up at a house made entirely of waffles and white sauce, where they are led by their evil stepmother to pick rhubarb. And when they need to find their way home, they follow Peter’s trail of knaczot (sunflower seeds).

Queer hymns now online

Cedar Klassen presents the new collection to The Hymn Society. (Photo courtesy of The Hymn Society)

Call for volunteers

Songs for the Holy Other is a project of The Hymn Society. (Photo courtesy of The Hymn Society)

Cedar Klassen is the coordinator of the working group that put together Songs for the Holy Other. (Photo courtesy of Cedar Klassen)

Growing up, Cedar Klassen loved singing hymns.

A journey from fundamentalism to freedom

Donna Dinsmore, interim pastor of Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary, is pictured with her beloved seven-year-old Tucker. ‘Tucker makes every community more human,' she says. (Photo courtesy of Donna Dinsmore)

Call for volunteers

Donna Dinsmore served from 2015 to 2017 as minister of the Bella Coola Pastoral Charge while living on the Nuxalk First Nation in British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Donna Dinsmore)

Donna Dinsmore never felt she fit into church life.

Grounded and shaken

Shake participants gather for a photo on the Shekinah Retreat Centre deck. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

The afternoon at Stoney Knoll, Sask., included a hoop dance presentation and instruction by Lawrence Roy Junior of Saskatoon. (Photo by June Miller)

Before departing Stoney Knoll, youth representatives from across Canada helped plant a tree as a sign of reconciliation between Mennonites and the Young Chippewayan First Nation. (Photo by June Miller)

Kirsten Hamm-Epp, left and Kathy Giesbrecht led in prayer for each regional church just before the end of Shake. (Photo by June Miller)

Call for volunteers

Kirsten Hamm-Epp, far right, looks on as Andrea de Avila, holding the microphone, responds to a question during a panel discussion in response to the theme ‘Hol(e)y, healthy, hopeful.’ Also pictured, from left to right, are: Miriam Huebner, Phil Campbell Enns, Nathan Bartel, Zachary Stefaniuk and Madison Harms. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Youth sponsor Chad Miller, right, anoints Caleb Gartner with oil and the words, ‘The God who gave you life calls you beloved.’ Both are from Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Comedian Matt Falk provided some ‘hol(e)y’ laughter for Shake participants. (Photo by June Miller)

“We want to be shaken not by what the world throws at us, but by what Jesus throws at us.”

With these words, Kirsten Hamm-Epp welcomed participants to Shake: Rattled by the Radical.

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