Volume 23 Issue 22

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Church publications: Which way to go?

'Recently, three Christian publications have each turned a different direction...' (Image by Pexels/Pixabay)

I know an intersection with three street signs: Eastglen, Westglen and Northglen. Delivery trucks sometimes end up at the wrong house for failing to notice which Glen they need. Making it worse, Eastglen and Westglen are semi-circles that connect to form one circle. You can turn East and get to West or vice versa.

Empower children . . . end poverty

Unlike their elders, who have more years behind than ahead, children and youth have the benefit of unlimited possibilities for their life. (Photo taken from povertyinstitute.ca)

‘Christ holds up children as a model for people to look to if we want to envision the kingdom of God . . . . This is a remarkable role reversal; typically adults try to find role models for children, not the other way around,’ writes Derek Cook. (Photo © istock.com/lmgorthand)

homelesshub.ca/gallery/bad-worse-child-poverty-rates-canada (Infographic created by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives based on 2006 Canadian census data.)

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Fittingly, the theme of the 2019 Universal Children’s Day, held on Nov. 20, was “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty.” 

Ted Regehr

Photo: The Canadian Mennonite / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

At the Public Archives in Ottawa in 1968, Ted Regehr, head of the Government Records Section, standing, helps research assistant Ernie Dick locate government files related to Mennonites. The two were assisting historian Frank H. Epp with a monumental history of Mennonites in Canada project.

Hope and optimism

'If God’s birth into the person of Jesus is a beacon of hope, then the light beam is the human beings who are the followers of Jesus. Those human beings are to fill others with hope...' (Image by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

Christmas is the season when we talk about how the birth of the baby Jesus brings hope. Hope implies some sort of betterment to come. So Jesus is our hope. But hope for the future is a crucial question for many people in these days of political polarization, rising global inequality, global ecological degradation and growing issues of mental health.

‘Tell God I say yes’

'I am reminded of the Mary who stands at the foot of the cross in tears...' (Image by Free-Photos/Pixabay)

They come through the church door into the foyer. My limited vision can make out only their forms, but I recognize them, desperate folks who stop by on occasion to check out the food supplies available that day.

Girls Club meets monthly because ‘God is fun!’

Members of the Holyrood Mennonite Girls Club stop to get their photo taken on their way to a sand sculpture competition this summer. Pictured from left to right: Helena Chokpelleh, Venissa Tumbay and Tarnisha Snogba. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

The Holyrood Mennonite Church Girls Club learns to make traditional food (spätzle) from Mennonite Voluntary Service members. Pictured from left to right: Venissa Tumbay, Marie Bickensdoerfer, Malin Huber, Nina Schulze and Tarnisha Snogba. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

Sue Taniguchi, left, helps members of the Holyrood Mennonite Church Girls Club make origami birds and an airplane. Pictured from Tanigughi’s left: Helena Chokpelleh, Venissa Tumbay, and Marie Bickensdoerfer, an MVS-Edmonton member. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

Tarnisha Snogba proudly holds up her talking crow she made at Girls Club. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

The Holyrood Mennonite Girls Club goes to a farm and corn maze in October. Pictured from left to right: Venissa Tumbay, Tarnisha Snogba and Helena Chokpelleh. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

The Holyrood Mennonite Girl’s Club goes to the home of Carol Lint, a member of Holyrood Mennonite Church, to make pizzas together and Valentine’s gift bags in February. Pictured from left to right: Tarnisha Snogba, Denise Tumbay and Venissa Tumbay. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

In 2001, Holyrood Mennonite Church sponsored four men who were living in a refugee camp in Ghana with their families due to a 14-year civil war in Liberia. Over time, the number of Liberian families in the church has grown.

At present, almost all the children in the church are West African, including four teenage girls, all from Liberia.

Called to care for the Earth

Edwin Sittler, an Old Order Mennonite, watches as a machine he designed turns a windrow of compost. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Noa Baergen, right, and Julie Moyer Suderman, a youth-mentor pair at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., have decided to take action by starting a congregational Climate Action Working Group. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Edwin Sittler, right, shows Glenn Brubacher, a member of First Mennonite Church’s Climate Action Working Group, a handful of quality compost. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

“A lot of people are talking about it. Not a lot of people are taking action,” according to Noa Baergen. So when it comes to the climate crisis, this 16-year-old is determined to act. 

Understanding the impact of Agent Orange

This image, from the War Relics Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, shows the devastating effects of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese countryside. (Photos courtesy of Garth and Claire Ewert Fisher)

Garth and Claire Ewert Fisher travelled with MCC British Columbia executive director Wayne Bremner to Vietnam, where they were met with MCC Vietnam staff and volunteers. Pictured, from left to right: Nikolai Mazharenko, MCC Vietnam co-director; Beth Kvernen, MCC volunteer; Eva Mazharenko, MCC Vietnam co-director; Ba Vinh, Vietnamese reference group; Co Mai, MCC Vietnam staff; Wayne Bremner; Ba Bai, Vietnamese reference group; Claire Ewert Fisher; Josh Kvernen, MCC volunteer; and Garth Ewert Fisher.

Garth Ewert Fisher sits with a Vietnamese man during a home visit.

Children who are impacted by Agent Orange receive physical and occupational therapy at a rehabilitation centre supported by MCC.

Decades after American military forces used Agent Orange to further their efforts in the Vietnam War, this deadly chemical continues to impact the lives of Vietnamese people.

Niagara Christian Gleaners repurpose food

Dehydrated fruit packages sit on the shelves of the South Porcupine (Ont.) Food Bank. (Photo by Peter Davis)

Fruit comes out of the Niagara Christian Gleaners’ food chopper. (Photo by Maria H. Klassen)

Chopped fruit sits on trays ready for the dehydrator. (Photo by Maria H. Klassen)

Boxes in the warehouse are ready for shipping. (Photo by Maria H. Klassen)

The Niagara Network Hub of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) recently toured the Niagara Christian Gleaners facility in Smithville. The new non-profit organization aims to divert nearly 3,200 kilograms of produce each day from the local landfill by chopping, dehydrating, packaging and shipping fruits and vegetables to areas where the food is needed.

Fun and fundraising at goods and services auction

Ministries in Vietnam benefited from the November goods and services auction at Langley (B.C.) Mennonite Fellowship. One of those ministries includes a new church plant in the neighbourhood of a music store owner in Saigon, second from left, who is returning to the Mennonite church after the lifting of persecution. The lifting of the persecution is mostly due to Nhien Pham, second from right, who built connections with the local authorities and helped them to change their attitude towards the Mennonite church. At left is MC. B.C. executive minister Garry Janzen, and at right is Pastor Hong, president of Evangelical Mennonite Church Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of Garry Janzen)

Raising funds for missionary or international purposes has been a tradition among local congregations for decades. That tradition has carried on at Langley Mennonite Fellowship, a congregation of some 100 participants, most recently on Nov. 16.

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