Volume 26 Issue 15

Notes from afar

Participants worship on the opening night of Mennonite World Conference Assembly 17. Hundreds more took part via livestreaming. (Photo by Kresna Kurniawan for Meetinghouse)

In early July, I was in Indonesia—virtually. Like approximately 800 other Anabaptists around the world, I registered as an online participant of Indonesia 2022, the 17th assembly of Mennonite World Conference (MWC).

World assembly small but full of joy

Mennonite World Conference assembly participants attend the final worship service July 10 at the 12,000-seat sanctuary of JKI Injil Kerajaan, a Mennonite church known as the “Holy Stadium,” in Semarang, Indonesia. (Meetinghouse photo by Kresna Kurniawan)

A music ensemble with members from nine countries led conference goers in songs from the MWC International Songbook, singing in a variety of languages used in worship by Anabaptists around the world. (Meetinghouse photo by Kresna Kurniawan)

Indonesian volunteers carefully folded banana leaves to enclose the bread for a safe and environmentally friendly Lord’s Supper at Assembly 17. (MWC photo by Karla Braun)

With its national motto of “unity in diversity,” Indonesia proved a fitting host for the 17th assembly of Mennonite World Conference (MWC)—downsized by COVID-19 restrictions but full of joy, beauty and fellowship.

An undefended spirit

“A boneheaded mistake. A mistake undoubtedly connected to my grey-beard status.” (Photo by Mimzy from Pixabay)

Bought tires for my pickup and determined to install them myself. I no longer have the specific equipment, so tire work involves scrabbling on a concrete floor with hammer and pry bars.

Cycling the Black history of Ontario

The Voices of Freedom Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Photo by Randolph Haluza-Delay)

When I moved from Alberta last year, my explorations of Ontario began by bike. My cycling companions showed me things I had not heard of. Once, we biked past the towering statue of some military guy on the heights above the town of Queenston. Just a day earlier, we had cycled around another part of the Niagara Region and found a historical marker about a “negro burial ground.” Such wording!

A trickle of trust

“Do I believe that, by trusting enough and believing in God’s providence, I’ll be shown special favour as God’s child, a prosperity-promise kind of trust?” (Photo by bhossfeld from Pixabay)

The camping trip had a rough start. While packing to go we got a phone call with a heart-stopping estimate for our car repairs, the first of two vehicles needing work. We were definitely feeling the financial crunch.

‘It’s going to impact how I exist as a Christian’

Christen Kong, left, Nora Pederberg, Ashley Rempel, Rebecca Janzen and Andrew Klassen Brown represented Mennonite Church Canada at the Mennonite World Conference Global Youth Summit. (Photo courtesy of Christen Kong)

Andrew Klassen Brown wasn’t connecting with the worship at the Global Youth Summit until a quieter service on the final day moved him to tears.

Indonesian doctors use medical expertise to follow Jesus

Doctors Fennisia Wibisono and Elice Nurani lead a health ministry at their church, JKI Injil Kerajaan (Holy Stadium) in Semarang, Indonesia. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Two Indonesian doctors are using their medical degrees to follow Jesus Christ’s instruction to make disciples.

In an afternoon workshop at the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly in Salatiga, Indonesia, Elice Nurani and Fennisia Wibisono talked about the health ministry they operate an hour away at JKI Higher Than Ever in Semarang.

‘What we’re doing with MWC is incredibly radical’

Doug Klassen and Paulus Wijaya stand in a prayer garden in Wijaya’s hometown of Salatiga, Indonesia. The sign above them reads, ‘A house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:7.’ (Photo courtesy of Doug Klassen)

Incredibly radical, remarkably beautiful and significantly complicated—that’s how Doug Klassen summarized his experience at the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly earlier this month.

Camp Squeah featured on CBC National news

Rob Tiessen of B.C.’s Camp Squeah is interviewed on a CBC news broadcast, telling how camp attendance has been affected by fewer staff this summer. (Screenshot of CBC news clip on YouTube)

Rob Tiessen, executive director of Camp Squeah in Hope, B.C., was interviewed on CBC television’s The National broadcast on June 20 in a story about summer-camp staffing shortages across the country.

Lao translation of Anabaptist Essentials completed

Sririsack Saythavy, left, author Palmer Becker, Som Phanpha and Sangoune Ounbounheuang are very pleased to see the completed Lao translation of Anabaptist Essentials. (MC Eastern Canada photo)

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada hosted a book launch for the Lao translation of Palmer Becker’s book Anabaptist Essentials on June 18. In partnership with the Lao Mennonite Fellowship of Canada and MC Canada, 300 books were printed for use in MC Eastern Canada congregations and other groups in North America, as well as in Laos and Thailand.

Bursary helps recipients develop and explore

Alongside his degree work, Bryant Neufeldt has been working at CMU’s Folio café. It has been a great way for him to engage with friends, fellow students and faculty, and to find a joy and love for making coffee and non-caffeinated beverages. (Photo courtesy of Bryant Neufeldt)

Danika Warkentin

In 2021, there were three recipients of Mennonite Church Alberta tuition bursaries, which offer an incentive for young people who attend an MC Alberta congregation and have enrolled in a Mennonite/Anabaptist post-secondary institution.

A gift to share

Reuben Unger poses next to one of his wildfowl carvings at the World Carving Championship in Ocean City, Maryland. (Photo courtesy of Reuben Unger)

Unger’s most recent sculpture depicts a roadrunner chasing down a Texas horned lizard. (Photo courtesy of Reuben Unger)

A meadowlark created by Unger. (Photo courtesy of Reuben Unger)

Unger created this winter sculpture with two puffy chickadees for a woman’s 85th birthday. Chickadees were her lifelong favourite. (Photo courtesy of Reuben Unger)

"Well, I am a strong believer that all people have been given a gift,” says Reuben Unger of Clavet. “Whatever it is, everyone has a gift. If you have a gift, you use the gift, and don’t be afraid to tell people that you think it is a gift.”

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