Volume 24 Issue 3

Preacher calls mission and service workers to Jesus-centred discipleship

Bruxy Cavey addresses the Council of International Anabaptist Ministries at its annual conference, held from Jan. 14 to 16 at The Meeting House in Oakville, Ont., where he is the senior pastor. Cavey called for Jesus-centred, relational discipleship as the way to engage new missional church leaders. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Bruxy Cavey’s message to mission and service leaders in Anabaptist organizations was plain. “We have lost a younger generation of leaders because the church has been so divided,” he said. “To fight for unity will be one of the most powerful things this next generation of leaders, young and old, can do together.”

MCC celebrates 100 years of global ministry

This feeding centre in Trans-Volga, Russia, circa 1922, was one of 140 MCC-supported centres in southern Russia that distributed 38,600 rations daily at the peak of the relief effort in 1922. This kitchen excelled most other kitchens in cleanliness and orderliness. (MCC photo)

A Spanish child benefits from an MCC feeding program in Lyon, France, in 1941. MCC began work with Spanish refugees who had fled to France in the wake of the Spanish Civil War. This relief work continued into the early years of the Second World War. Throughout 2020 MCC is celebrating 100 years of global service. (Photo: Mennonite Central Committee)

Marlene Epp, left, Shirley Froese, Katie Harder and Betty Brown tie a comforter at Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury, Alta. (Photo by Veronica Morales)

Comforter knotters at First Mennonite Church in Edmonton were joined by members of the Islamic Family and Social Services Agency. Pictured from left to right: Joan Perrott, left, Dolly Jeffares, Marah Rafih, and Sana Almotlak. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

Sharlene Christie, Jeanette Thiessen and Barb Goosen work on a comforter at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary. Twenty-eight people worked together to complete eight comforters. Three men made lunch for the 25 women and one child who worked on the comforters. (Photo by Linda Dickinson.)

MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up in B.C. drew several generations of volunteers to work together on blanket-making at Ross Road Community Church in Abbotsford. The youngest were Brielle, 5, and Hannah Balzer, 8, who helped their parents and grandparents tie comforters . Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond held its own event the same day. Altogether, B.C. stitchers completed 615 blankets. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

Many hands came together to pin, stitch and fold material into comforters and blankets for MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up Jan. 18 at Ross Road Community Church in Abbotsford, B.C. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

Volunteers at the MCC Christian Benefit Thrift Shop in St. Catherines, Ont., show customers how to knot comforters. (Photo by John Himes)

Tim Albrecht, general manager of the Christian Benefit Thrift Store in St. Catharines, Ont., third from left, helps volunteers knotting comforters for MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up event. Over three days, 18 comforters were created with the help of 21 volunteers. (Photo by John Himes / Text by Maria H. Klassen)

Clockwise from left, Tracy Wright, Rebecca Janzen, Daniela Stahl, Isaac Wright and Lena Regier tie a comforter together at North Kildonan Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, where 350 participants and volunteers made 210 comforters. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Participants learned each step of the comforter making process, from cutting squares to sewing edges to proper knot-tying etiquette, with this sample comforter. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

During a break from the annual meeting of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada on Jan. 18 at Camp Peniel, north of Montreal, Alain Després and Richard Lougheed take time to tie a few knots in a comforter for Mennonite Central Committee. (Photo by Barb Draper)

Barb Wolfe ties a quilt at Rosthern (Sask.) Junior College during MCC’s Great Winter Warm-up. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

One hundred years ago, calls for help came from Mennonites in southern Russia, where war, disease and famine had left them in desperate straits.

Life on the geographic fringes of MC Canada

Nordheim Mennonite Church in the village of Winnipegosis, Man., is a four-hour drive northwest of Winnipeg.

Mennonite Church Canada is characterized by various geographic concentrations of churches, some thicker than others. But a few congregations exist far from any other MC Canada sisters and brothers. What is church like in the farther flung reaches of our denomination? What do congregations do to stay connected? What are the advantages of remoteness?

‘A fantastic model at Springridge’

A 2019 Lenten service at Springridge Mennonite Church in Pincher Creek, Alta. Plants were grown at the front of the sanctuary and then compared to how congregants nurtured God-like growth in their own hearts and lives. Pastoral leader Tany Warkentin is pictured at right. (Photo by Del Willms)

Hugo Neufeld, left, a guest speaker from Trinity Mennonite Church in DeWinton, Alta., invites a variety of people from Springridge Mennonite to the front, representing the rich diversity of God's people in the Pincher Creek congregation. (Photo by Del Willms)

A small rural church had a 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) pastor. Now its pastor has retired and it decides to hire a 0.3 FTE pastor. Is this realistic? How will the new pastor spend her time?

In January 2019, Springridge Mennonite Church in Pincher Creek approached Tany Warkentin, a long-time member, and asked her if she would be willing to serve as its part-time pastor. 

For 22 years it was ‘all about the residents’

Linda Tiessen, who recently retired from her administrative duties at the Leamington (Ont.) Mennonite Home, is pictured in front of the facility with her granddaughter Larissa. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Growth, change and progress are three big words that come to mind when looking back over Linda Tiessen’s time as administrator of Leamington Mennonite Home. And after serving nearly 22 years at the home, she is ready to enjoy retirement.

Homeless find shelter in MCC building

Frigid, snowy days don’t occur often in B.C.’s Fraser Valley but, when they do, some homeless seniors have at least one warm place to spend the night. MCC B.C.’s Material Aid warehouse provides temporary sleeping space for street people, operated by a local ministry. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

By day, the material aid warehouse at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) B.C.’s headquarters is used to store and process items such as school kits and blankets to be shipped overseas. But, in the colder fall and winter months, by night the space is converted into an extreme weather shelter hosting the city’s most vulnerable.

Limits and surprises

‘I’m the kind of person who likes to know what’s ahead on the path, to predict exactly what I can expect and what is expected of me.’ (Image by David Mark/Pixabay)

I had other plans for this space; this is not the editorial I was intending to write. But, reading over this issue’s proof pages, I saw some unexpected themes emerging.

Several contributors highlight ways in which we humans try to limit the intentions/purposes of our Creator.

Who was I that I could hinder God?

‘Vision of Cornelius the Centurion,’ by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-1674). In the collection of the Walters Art Museum. (wikimedia commons photo (public domain))

‘Peter’s Vision,’ from Charles Foster’s The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, 1873. (wikimedia commons photo (public domain))

The Book of Acts is the record of what happened to Jesus’ followers when their universe exploded, when the Holy Spirit, the embracing presence of God, came upon them. Their world was turned upside down. Jesus’ friends were baffled by the wildness of God’s new presence: The Spirit kept going ahead of them; they couldn’t hold the Spirit fast. 

Expressions of encouragement

Activist Victoria Redsun stands among the symbolically dead at the Manitoba Youth for Climate Action’s Die-In on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by Josée Levesque)

Over the years, I’ve attended many youth gatherings, even organized a few. But none were like the one I attended on Sept. 20, 2019, when the Manitoba Youth for Climate Action called students to gather for a Die-In in Winnipeg.

Cornelius Penner

Photo: Joel Landau, United Press International

In 1944, Cornelius Penner was separated from his wife and four children in Poland. He was sent to a German work camp while the rest of the family was taken to Siberia and later Tajikistan. Cornelius came to Winnipeg in 1949, and worked at the Mennonitische Rundschau newspaper.

Giving up a dream

‘We came incredibly close to buying our dream house, and then we gave it up.’ (Image by Comfreak/Pixabay)

I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions this year but I definitely jumped into this new decade with a challenge to choose what matters most to our family.

'We discuss and we divide'

(Image by OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay)

In early December, I received an email from Jeremiah Choi, our Mennonite World Conference (MWC) regional representative for Northeast Asia, about the situation in Hong Kong, where he lives and pastors: “Please pray for Hong Kong churches for unity. We were not used to discussing political issues. Now we discuss and we divide.

Dwell in, not on

'Prayer is more like a game of Jenga than releasing a genie.' (Photo by Antony Mayfield/flickr.com)

Scripture encourages us to bring our requests to God in prayer. The problem is when we get attached to our desired outcome, which we usually do, resulting in our joy, peace and contentment becoming dependent on things turning out the way we want them to.

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