Volume 23 Issue 15D

Leon’s ‘fifth step’ to sobriety

“Step 5 is a time when they acknowledge [their] transgressions to God and to one other person. Frequently, I am the one other person.” (Image by Free-Photos/Pixabay)

Throughout my years of ministry, being involved in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. No, I am not an addict. But at times I’m called on to help addicts through their “fifth step.”

Two big surprises, two big questions

An encounter with the Stanley Cup led columnist Troy Watson (right, kneeling) to wonder: "What do I ‘live out loud’ to my neighbours and the people at places I frequent?"

Recently, a Kubota utility vehicle pulled into my driveway where my sons and their friends were playing hockey. Out popped Tim Taylor, a former NHL player and two-time Stanley Cup champion, holding the Stanley Cup. He put it in the middle of our driveway where we all took turns touching it, kissing it and drinking from it.

From Golgotha to the Pembina Valley

Bill Tiessen, right, has played Jesus for 12 years in Manitoba’s Passion Play. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Around 65 people make up the cast of Manitoba’s Passion Play. Pictured, the crowds welcome Jesus, played by Bill Tiessen, front right, as he enters Jerusalem. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Jesus, played by Bill Tiessen, right, is led before Pilate. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Manitoba’s Passion Play is set in the beautiful Pembina Valley at the Oak Valley Outdoor Theatre. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Every summer, more than a hundred volunteers from across Manitoba gather in the rolling hills of the Pembina Valley to bring to life the most important event of the Christian faith: Jesus’ death and resurrection.


‘Won’t you be my neighbour?’

Enjoying VBS craft time at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary are, from left to right: Arianna Toews, Kaylynn Toews and Zoe Willms. (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

John Wiebe serenades the children with his harmonica during snack time at the Compassion Café. (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

Pastor Chad Miller of Foothills Mennonite Church, left, and Pastor Leng Nawn Thang of Calgary Chin Christian Church lead worship together at the annual VBS program held at Foothills Mennonite Church last month. (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

Pastor Chad Miller, centre, introduces new neighbours Rabah Swaidek, left, and Mohammed Awada from the Centre for Newcomers in Calgary at this year’s VBS program, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers asked the question, “Won’t you be my neighbour?” every day for almost 40 years on Mr. Roger’s Neighbourhood.

Crokinole boards sold for China mission

Sales of custom-made crokinole boards from Yarrow (B.C.) United Mennonite Church are helping support Mennonite Partners in China. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

Wooden game boards made in Yarrow, B.C., and a crokinole tournament at this summer’s Mennonite Church Canada Gathering 2019 have made a connection with modern-day Chinese Christians and a 16th-century Dutch Anabaptist martyr.

Peacebuilding beyond borders

Theatre of the Beat actor Lindsey Middleton performs at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference in the Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of Theatre of the Beat)

Theatre of the Beat actors Meghan Fowler and Brendan Kinnon perform at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference in the Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of Theatre of the Beat)

Silvie Kroeker speaks at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference in the Netherlands with her father, Gordon Zerbe. (Photo courtesy of Silvie Kroeker)

The second annual Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival took place in Elspeet, the Netherlands, between June 27 and 30. It brought people together with the aim of reflecting on Mennonite peacebuilding accomplishments, failures, opportunities and challenges in various settings.

Canoe trip deepens pastoral connections

The pastor-canoeists take a break on a rocky outcropping in Massasauga Provincial Park. Pictured from left to right: Mark Diller Harder, Yoel Masyawong, Yared Demissie Seretse, Chung Vang, René Baergen and Joseph Raltong. (Photo courtesy of Yoel Masyawong.)

Roasting a fish over the fire during their canoe trip into Massasauga Provincial Park are, from left to right: Chung Vang, Yared Demissie Seretse, René Baergen, Yoel Masyawong and Joseph Raltong. (Photo by Mark Diller Harder)

Six pastors relax at camp during their canoe trip in Massasauga Provincial Park. Pictured from left to right: Yared Demissie Seretse, Chung Vang, Yoel Masyawong, Joseph Raltong, Mark Diller Harder and René Baergen. (Photo courtesy of Yoel Masyawong)

For three days and two nights in June, six Mennonite Church Eastern Canada pastors journeyed by canoe and camped in the wilderness of Massasauga Provincial Park, near Parry Sound, Ont.


A blessing from God

A gift to Chris and Campbell Nisbet to remember their years at Hidden Acres was a blanket made out of Campbell’s many camp T-shirts. (Photo by Roy Draper)

The Nisbet family sang the words of the ‘love chapter,’ I Corinthians 13, as a blessing at their farewell at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp on July 13. Pictured from left to right: Campbell, Jessica, Rob, David, Rebecca and Chris. (Photo by Roy Draper)

The idea that Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp is a sacred space where God is at work came up over and over again at the farewell event for Campbell and Chris Nisbet, held on July 13 at the camp near Shakespeare, Ont.


Teaching the tabernacle

Eleanor Funk uses a large red umbrella to illustrate how Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross covers the sins of those who put their trust in him. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

The bronze altar dominates the courtyard of Eleanor Funk’s life-size model of the tabernacle. The model lamb sitting peacefully on the altar seems blissfully unaware of the fate that awaits it. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Inside the tabernacle, the priest stands beside the altar of incense, in front of the curtain to the most holy place. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Along the north wall of the tabernacle stands the table of showbread. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Two seraphs guard the Ark of the Covenant inside the most holy place. The walls are lined with mirrors to simulate the polished gold that would have overlain the wooden walls of the original most holy place. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Model sheep graze peacefully in the courtyard of the life-size tabernacle built by Eleanor Funk and her husband Don. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Eleanor Funk, wearing a blue jacket, teaches campers at Youth Farm Bible Camp about the tabernacle of ancient Israel and how it points the way to Jesus. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Eleanor Funk has been teaching people about the tabernacle for almost 40 years. “The passion has never left,” she says.


Hostess enjoys surprising her guests

Veg Weber, in the background, serves Frogmore stew to young adults from her congregation, Floradale (Ont.) Mennonite Church. She surprises her guests by serving the food with no plates or utensils. (Photo courtesy of Veg Weber)

Veg Weber knows how to do old-fashioned hospitality and she enjoys having people sit around her table. A few years ago, this hostess from Hawkesville, Ont., came across a recipe that gives her guests a surprise dining adventure as well as nourishing food.


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