Over the years, Canadian Mennonite has reported on sexual misconduct within the Mennonite context. As a member of the church press, we have tried to carry out our ongoing commitment to report on such stories with journalistic integrity, respect and sensitivity.
A Mennonite World Conference delegation made church visits in India in December 2018. (Photo: Henk Stenvers / Mennonite World Conference)
Laston Bissani Mitambo, an evangelist who has planted many churches in the Palombe District in Malawi and in the Zambezia Province of Mozambique, prays for the communion bread. (Photo courtesy of Laston Bissani)
The world is getting smaller. Peoples, places and cultures that in the past existed in distant lands may today be just around the corner. Here in North America, because of migration, many neighbourhoods have become mosaics of people of a variety of skin colours, languages and cultures. Some of the newcomers are Christians and they exemplify what most of the Christian world looks like.
“Where are you, Mennonites?”
A colleague and I are in a Winnipeg café discussing the current land struggles of many Indigenous peoples. I listen intently as she speaks of the Unist’ot’en, Muskrat Falls and the Tiny House Warriors. I nod my head in understanding and offer affirming murmurs. But then, halfway through tea, she looks at me impatiently.
In 1968, 115 Westgate Mennonite Collegiate students joined 2,000 members of Students for Educational Equality and Democracy (SEED) for a rally at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg. These students of private and parochial schools were seeking provincial funding, as recommended by a royal commission in Manitoba a decade before.
After the hour-long drive home from my sister’s with my four very energetic kids, I had had enough! Trying to quiet down hyper kids while driving is not an easy feat. Not wanting to yell at them over and over, I gave up and succumbed to their antics, eagerly longing for our driveway. I called my husband and said I would need serious backup upon arrival; I was spent!
“The turkey tasted just like my mom’s turkey.” So said Sandra, a recent newcomer to Canada from Colombia. She was part of the First Mennonite Church (Kitchener) annual Christmas dinner. Our congregation’s tradition is to have both Canadian turkey and El Salvadoran turkey, mashed potatoes and rice, gravy and sauce.
Henry “Sherlock” Friesen is a long-time Abundance Canada client. He follows a well-thought-out generosity plan that includes making regular charitable donations from his gifting fund. This methodical approach to charitable giving suits his analytical nature.
I’ve become aware of various patterns and cycles in my life. One of them is a regular oscillation between two different “kinds” or phases of faith. Sometimes I remain in one phase for years and sometimes I alternate between the two phases multiple times a day.
The first phase is what I call pragmatic faith.
Gunungan is a figure from traditional Indonesian theatre that represents the world. The leaf-shaped art is used frequently around the country, including at the Mennonite church in seaside Jepara.
Gerry Binnema was invited to share news about United Mennonite Church, the congregation he pastors in Black Creek, B.C. Here is his creative and tongue-in-cheek response.
We are witnessing the first time in history when many young people in Mennonite Church Canada congregations are actively participating in the church but are choosing not to be baptized. Why is that? Irma Fast Dueck, associate professor of practical theology at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), is researching exactly that question.
Madelaine Kioke was born in the woods near Attawapiskat, in the James Bay region of northern Ontario, where her parents hunted and trapped. She lived out on the land until she was nine years old, learning to hunt and fish, and set traps and snares with her father. At age six, when her mother first gave her a sewing needle, her love for making moccasins began.
Eric Berg, a member of the St. Catharines (Ont.) United Mennonite Church, has been making blankets and donating them to MCC for a number of years. It all started years ago when he was helping his wife Marlies, an avid sewer and quilter, cut out squares. When he was cutting faster than she could sew and the squares were piling up, he started sewing them together.
Palmer Becker, left, presents a Mandarin version of his Anabaptist Essentials book to Yin Hongtao and Zhang Shaojie. (Photo by Myrrl Byler)
Tobia Veith, centre in blue top with scarf, teaches a group of Chinese women. (Photo courtesy of Tobia Veith)
The Friends of Grace Church Association opens its new office in Khon Kaen, Thailand. (Photo by Tom Poovong)
Mennonite Church South Korea members prepare for a peace march held last April. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)
Editors of the newly formed Peace Journal are pictured in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)
‘Our teams at PeaceBuiders Community, Inc., and [Coffee for Peace] are being led, spiritually, to work with leaders of Indigenous Peoples [in the Philippines] . . . .This spiritual perspective of partnership governs the inclusive development strategies we practise in the field,’ say Dann and Joji Pantoja, left. (Photo courtesy of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc.)
Why are we doing international ministry? As I engage with people in many regional churches I often get this question. It is my favourite question. Don’t ask unless you are prepared for my long answer, but I can also point you to the answers of others for a shorter version.