Volume 25 Issue 26D

Digital connections

(Screenshot from Christmas at CMU 2021 video)

Living in pandemic times, we have realized how important it is to stay connected with each other, as friends, in our own neighbourhoods and as church communities. We need contact with real people, and we’ve found ways for in-person connecting to happen safely.

The heart of evangelism

(istock.com photo by doidam10)

In warmer months, a circle of seven or so adults gathers in my backyard on Sunday afternoons. We earnestly discuss Scripture, share the highs and lows of our lives, ask what God may be saying to us this afternoon. We pray. We pass bread and glasses of grape juice. Sometimes we even sing.

A small effort is ‘making a difference’

‘Whether stretching our bodies for fitness, or stretching our spirits in worship, we experienced the empowering sabbath rest of God as we pulled “away from the crowds” for this short time,’ says Rudy Dirks. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)

Abigail is the niece of the key leadership couple, Leonard and Antoinette Kiswangi. Through the help of some friends in Canada, it was possible to get her special eyeglasses for her unique optical needs. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)

Mama Germain, the wife of a Mennonite pastor in Kikwit, prepared one main meal each day for the leadership coaching group that came to her home every afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)

Members of the Africa Leadership Coaching Network, pictured left to right: Antoinette Kiswangi, Leonard Kiswangi, Andre Kalenga, Maria Gomes, Daniel Canganguela, Berci Mundedi, Rudy Dirks, Albert Mulamba, Gomez Miranda, Charles Buller and Abertine Mulamba. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)

Travelling from Canada to meet with Congolese and Angolan church leaders in Africa, Rudy Dirks is struck not by the cultural, social and economic differences between himself and those he meets, but rather their similarities.

Mennonite Heritage Village donates season passes to Steinbach community

Gary Dyck, left, MHV’s executive director, is pictured with Carolyn Peters, Steinbach Community Christmas hamper’s co-ordinator.

In response to a fundraising appeal letter from Steinbach Community Christmas in October, Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) determined that it didn’t have any money to give, but decided that it could give of itself.

Shekinah Retreat Centre installs electric vehicle charging station

An electric vehicle ‘fills up’ at the charging station at the Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Sask. (Photo by Jared Regier)

The Shekinah Retreat Centre, located near Waldheim, Sask., is now home to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station.

Shekinah, which is one of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s camps, had the station added to the grounds this fall.

Art project brings congregation together

Pastor Rachel Navarro, left, and Angelika Dawson, right, reveal the finished artwork that members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., worked on collaboratively in fall. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

A new art project on the subject of “journey” that members of the Emmanuel Mennonite Church congregation took part in painting is now hanging above the building’s front doors.

The idea for the collaborative art project came from member Angelika Dawson, who has spearheaded previous art displays at Emmanuel, and Rachel Navarro, the new family pastor.

CMU music students break pandemic ‘fast’

Two CMU students offer musical talents to community orchestra in Winnipeg. (Photo by Stanley Wiebe)

The Mennonite Community Orchestra (MCO) broke the pandemic silence with a concert featuring two Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) students on Nov. 14 in Winnipeg.

The concert was the ensemble’s first since November 2019, after which the novel coronavirus postponed all further productions.

A little SALT goes a long way

In December 2018, Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike and her husband Christopher Eigbike visit the church she had served at while with SALT in 1982. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike)

Members of Brethren in Christ Church in Mpopoma township, Zimbabwe, gather to bid farewell to Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike at the Bulawayo Airport as she ends her SALT term there on Sept. 1, 1983. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike)

Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike, bottom right, poses with some of the second SALT cohort of 1982 during orientation in Akron, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike)

In the summer of 1982, 20-year-old Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike was about to get on a plane bound for Zimbabwe. She didn’t know it yet, but this trip was going to change the trajectory of her life.

She was going to Zimbabwe for a year-long term with Serving and Learning Together (SALT), a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) program that was in just its second year.

Foodgrains Bank continues to feed hungry with help of local community

The Common Ground Growing Project near Rosenfeld, Man., harvested 12 hectares of wheat in August. (Photo by Gordon Janzen)

The coronavirus has intensified a multitude of world issues, including hunger. The United Nations’ State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report revealed a big increase in the number of people facing hunger in 2020.

Warm but not fuzzy in 2050

Highway 1 in B.C. washed out by severe rain on Nov. 17. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Flooding in B.C. on Nov 22. (Province of British Columbia photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Climate change has been on the agenda of our global village for a generation. The science, the discourse and the mood have shifted over time. As has reality. What was once a dark cloud in the distance has become an atmospheric river overhead.

MCC reverses decision to close Plum Coulee warehouse

Pictured above is a Mennonite Central Committee relief kit filled with towels, shampoo, soap and other essential items. (MCC photo by Paula Holtzinger)

In January 2021, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada and MCC Manitoba declared that they would close their warehouse in Plum Coulee, Man., about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, and move material resource operations to New Hamburg, Ont.

‘A compelling example of leadership’

Pursuing a career in music education was a dream for Ann L. Schultz, who was always passionate about making music. Now after 30 years and on the cusp of retirement from Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener, Ont., as a music teacher and principal, she has been announced as the recipient of Conrad Grebel University College’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Service Award. (Photo courtesy of Ann L. Schultz)

Pursuing a career in music education was a dream for Ann L. Schultz, who was always passionate about making music. Now after 30 years and on the cusp of retirement, she has been announced as the recipient of Conrad Grebel University College’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

Pastor, conference leader dies at 96

In this 1983 photo, Jake Tilitzky, left, moderator of the General Conference Mennonite Church, and Ross Bender, moderator of the (Old) Mennonite Church, lay their separate stones on the one stone (symbolizing Jesus Christ), as the two denominations moved toward union. (Mennonite Library and Archives photo)

Jacob “Jasch” Tilitzky, longtime pastor and leader in Mennonite Church British Columbia and the wider Mennonite church family, died on Nov. 9 in Abbotsford.

A pastor in the digital age

Lisa Martens Bartel preaches to her congregation in Kelowna, B.C., via Zoom from her home in Drake, Sask. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Martens Bartel)

Over the course of the pandemic, many pastors and church leaders have grumbled about the woes of technology and the rise of Zoom worship gatherings. But for Lisa Martens Bartel, the move to online worship provided an unexpected ministry opportunity.

‘Gratitude abounds’ at retirement celebration for Rockway’s principal

Ann Schultz, in her final address to the Rockway community during her retirement celebrations on Nov. 28, reflected on her 30-year career with deep gratitude. (Photo by Charles Kruger)

Rockway alumni Jenny Enns Modolo, left, and Justin Martin sing snippets from musicals that Ann Schultz directed during her career at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener, Ont., as part of retirement celebrations for Ann Schultz on Nov. 28. (Photo by Charles Kruger)

With laughter and tears, stories and good music, family, friends, colleagues and students past and present celebrated Ann L. Schultz’s retirement from Rockway Mennonite Collegiate on Nov. 28.

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