Volume 25 Issue 9

Phoebe, the bright one

Saint Phoebe the Deaconess. (Source and date unknown.) (pngkey.com image (public domain))

The Epistle to the Romans has been called the Apostle Paul’s great masterwork, the summing up of all his thought. It is a rich, dense and complex work of theology that has stimulated some of the most powerful reform movements in Christian history. But, once upon a time, almost 2,000 years ago, it was a letter carried by a woman named Phoebe.

Helping each other follow Jesus

(Photo by Jehyun Sung/Unsplash)

How can we help each other to follow Jesus? I’m sure I’m not alone when I relate that my own journey of discipleship has sometimes felt more like a solo expedition than a corporate adventure. I have longed for more camaraderie on the road, to share with fellow disciples the questions, doubts, struggles, joys and responsibilities that attend the life of following Jesus.

B.C. baptism

(Photo: Der Bote Photograph Collection /Mennonite Heritage Archives)

A baptismal group from 1967 at Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C. Baptism was an important event in the life of an individual and the church, and people dressed for the occasion. Baptism was often done in the spring around the Easter season. Standing in the very back is minister Jake Tilitzky.

‘I shall not be moved’

Henry Louis Gates Jr., host of 'The Black Church,' standing in front of stained glass at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of PBS.org)

Strong, hopeful and resilient. Are those words that describe you today, after a year of pandemic restrictions, with all the predictions of doom in regards to climate change, and ongoing evidence of systemic and individual racism directed against people of many colours in Canada? Are these words that you use to describe church in light of the pandemic, climate change and racism?

Digging into diet

Muscovy ducks dabble in one of their favourite mud puddles in the Wiederkehrs’ barnyard. They are kept for eggs, meat, fly control and because they are fun to have around. (Photo by Theo Wiederkehr)

Homegrown potatoes, carrots, beets, kale and cheese—all important parts of a local winter diet—are stored in the Wiederkehrs’ root cellar. (Photo by Theo Wiederkehr)

My family farms, raising plants and animals on a small scale—40 hens, five cows, two sows—both to feed ourselves and as a source of income.

Hanley Mennonite closes after nearly 100 years

The building that has served Hanley (Sask.) Mennonite Church since 1956. (Photo courtesy of MC Saskatchewan website)

At a church picnic in 1987, Ron Froese, left, steadies the boat as Nancy Martens, Joanne Patkau, Heather Peters, Lisa Martens and Nathan Froese paddle. (Hanley Mennonite Church photo)

Henry Peters, left, Hanley Mennonite Church’s pastor, stands with Margaret Ewen Peters and Gary Peters at their installation as lay ministers in 1989. (Hanley Mennonite Church photo)

The Hanley Mennonite Church congregation in 1992. (Hanley Mennonite Church photo)

The Hanley Mennonite Church choir in the 1990s. (Hanley Mennonite Church photo)

Steve Kroeger reads a story at Hanley Mennonite Church in 2019; listening, from left to right, are children Leena Robins, Callista Robins, Sophia Robins and Ayden Robins. In the background is Joy Kroeger. (Photo by Gary Peters)

“I understand this as part of the life cycle of the church,” says Gary Peters. “We’ve been in the process of aging, now we’re in the process of dying.”

Greetings and gifts on Good Friday

Byron Wiebe welcomes people to the Crossroads Community Church drive-through event on Easter weekend. (Photo by Cory Buettner)

Daniel Visser, a member of Crossroads Community Church, accepts donations to the food bank as part of the congregation’s Easter weekend drive-through. (Photo by Cory Buettner)

Members of Chilliwack’s Crossroads Community Church found a creative way on Easter weekend to both introduce its new pastor in person and to celebrate Easter with the community.

Palestine-Israel Network shares Undercurrents podcast

Peace activists, Sahar Vardi, right, a Jewish Israeli, and Tarek Al-Zoughbi, a Christian Palestinian, are pictured during their cross-Canada speaking tour in 2018 sponsored by MCC. They are also featured in ‘David and Goliath,’ an episode in MCC Ontario’s podcast, Undercurrents, which explores the history and current situation in Palestine and Israel. (File photo by Byron Rempel-Burkholder)

At its 2016 assembly, Mennonite Church Canada passed a resolution affirming nonviolent efforts of Palestinians and Israelis to overcome injustice in their region, and committing Canadian Mennonites to “deepen their understanding of Palestine-Israel relationships.”

The Gourmet Girls

The main course of a meal made by ‘The Gourmet Girls.’ (Photo by Daunine Rachert)

Some of ‘The Gourmet Girls’ meet in the Jeanette Thiessen’s backyard to celebrate Daunine Rachert’s birthday on Oct. 10, 2020. Pictured from left to right: guest Marjorie Kornelsen, Charlene Delcourt, Elaine Hovey and Daunine Rachert. (Photo by Jeanette Thiessen)

‘The Gourmet Girls’ enjoy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Pictured clockwise from top left: Daunine Rachert, guest Joanne De Jong, Marlene Nelson, Elaine Hovey, Charlene Delcourt, Jeanette Thiessen. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

A screenshot of ‘The Gourmet Girls,’ from left to right, top row: Daunine Rachert and Marlene Nelson; middle row: Jeanette Thiessen and Elaine Hovey; and bottom row: Charlene Delcourt. (Photo courtesy of Jeanette Thiessen)

Pear Tarte Tatin prepared by Elaine Hovey for ‘The Gourmet Girls.’ (Photo by Daunine Rachert)

Imagine if you could eat at a five-star restaurant every Saturday night, even during COVID-19. That’s what has been happening in one neighbourhood in Calgary since May 2020.

Making a difference

Grow Hope Niagara

Forty-one acres in Campden, Ont., are being cultivated, planted and harvested for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, with sponsorships of $400 an acre helping to plant a crop for the Grow Hope Niagara project. When the harvest is sold, farmers will donate the money to the Foodgrains Bank through Mennonite Central Committee.

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