Mother’s Day is past, and Pentecost and Father’s Day are still ahead. In this in-between time, I’ve been considering the ways in which we describe God. Humans long to know, to understand and to name God. But how can mortal imaginations grasp the Eternal One?
‘. . . that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ . . .’ (Colossians 4:3) (Photo by Jane Grunau)
When Hymnal: A Worship Book came out in 1992, “What is This Place” was chosen to be the lead hymn in the collection. The first line describes the church building as “Only a house, the earth its floor, walls and a roof . . . , windows for light, an open door.” But when the people enter, “. . . it becomes a body that lives when we are gathered here . . . .”
If you’ve travelled in central or eastern Europe, you may have come across a plague column holding a prominent place in a town square. Plague columns were constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries as a display of public faith in the church and in God.
J.J. Thiessen of Saskatoon served in many leadership roles at the congregational, provincial, national, and binational levels most of his adult life. He is quoted in A Leader for his Times: “What is the chief need of present day humanity? Depth! Truly, if anything increases from year to year, it is superficiality. . .
Church is about to start and the Zoom link doesn’t work! For some reason it keeps sending me to a YouTube video of “Seek Ye First,” and I can’t find my church!
These are days of information overload. There is so much news to follow! Local, regional, national, international, from this part of the country and from that part of the world.
In 1993, my friend Myron Penner introduced me to Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. I haven’t been the same since.
Lydia Ann (nee Horst) Bauman may be Canadian Mennonite’s oldest reader. At 104 years of age she still reads the magazine in her assisted-living suite at Fairview Seniors Community in Cambridge, Ont. She gets the magazine through nearby Preston Mennonite Church, where she attended until the COVID-19 pandemic closed churches.
When Bev Suderman-Gladwell was asked by a physician friend to “leverage her Mennonite connections,” to respond to a time-sensitive need, she had no way of knowing an “extraordinary project” would grow out of that request.
Vic Winter was admitted to hospital in Leamington on March 20. In short order his wife Marilyn was sent home while he was sent to the intensive-care unit at the Windsor Regional Hospital, where he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and placed unconscious on a ventilator to help him breathe as he fought for his life. He wouldn’t see his wife again for six weeks.
Sami and Amina (real names withheld for security purposes) were displaced from their home in Aleppo, Syria. This photo was taken in February 2018 in the home where the family of seven lives in Breike, in the Qalamoun valley. They receive monthly food packages from MCC through local partners. (MCC photo by Emily Loewen)
A century ago, bread was the beginning of the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Relief kitchens in Ukraine (then southern Russia) fed families who had been displaced and were starving. Neighbours from around the world provided loaves of wholesome dark bread.
Three times a week, Arnie Nickel leads a 45-minute exercise session for seniors on Zoom, a virtual-meeting app. Participants are enthusiastic and their numbers are growing.
Johann E. Funk took the cover photo for Mennonite Village Photography: Views from Manitoba 1890–1940 in 1903.
Photographer Peter H. Klippenstein took this portrait in the 1910s. Subject unknown. (Mennonite Heritage Archives photo)
Peter H. Klippenstein took this photo of the Altbergthal village road in the 1930s. Subjects unknown. (Mennonite Heritage Archives photo)
Hundred-year-old images on fragile glass negatives, discovered in a dusty barn in the heritage village of Neubergthal, Man., open a window to Mennonite life in Manitoba in the early 20th century.
Columbia Bible College student Claire Dueck, right, and new best friend Sarah Trentalance. (Photo courtesy of Claire Dueck)
Claire Dueck, 2019 recipient of a tuition bursary from Mennonite Church Alberta, given to any student attending a regional church congregation who has successfully enrolled in a Mennonite or Anabaptist post-secondary institution. (Photo courtesy of Claire Dueck)
Claire Dueck, third from left, and new friends, from left to right, Sarah Trentalance, Julia Derksen, Trever Renshaw and Zach Kitchener from the Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C. (Photo courtesy of Claire Dueck)
Group photo of Columbia Bible College’s 2019 Christmas banquet-2019. Claire Dueck is pictured fourth from left in the back row. (Photo courtesy of Claire Dueck)
Every year Mennonite Church Alberta offers education bursaries to students who attend a regional-church congregation who have successfully enrolled in a Mennonite or Anabaptist post-secondary institution. In 2019, Claire Dueck, a member of Lethbridge Mennonite Church, was one of eight recipients.
Garry Janzen and his wife Diane, who live in a condominium in Ladner, B.C., have found a new way to relate to those around them during the current pandemic: the Nextdoor.ca app.