Volume 26 Issue 24

My prayer

Peter and Elfrieda Dyck share a laugh during a commissioning for an MCC speaking tour in 1994. (MCC photo/Canadian Mennonite files)

Let me share some wishes for Canadian Mennonite, which are largely my prayer for the overall endeavour of faith. These are topics I’m drawn to and challenges I note.

Women who prepared the way for Jesus

This artwork was submitted to the Canadian Mennonite call for student art by Aishel Nag of Bethesda Mennonite Church, Champa, Chhattisgarh, India.

From Expecting Emmanuel: Eight Women Who Prepared the Way. (Artwork by Michelle Burkholder)

“May the ‘Light that has Lighted the World’
fill your Christmas with cheer
and your New Year with blessings.”
(‘Canadian Nativity No. 1’ / Christmas card by Ross W. Muir)

Rahab acts by faith
Joshua 2:1-21; 6:22-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:29-31; James 2:23-26.


(Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

There is a lot to take in on this photomontage of the Mennonite Brethren Church Choir from Badamsha, Kazakhstan—in Soviet parlance, a “closed city”—in 1971.

Who is my Samaritan?

(Image by falco/Pixabay)

In a conversation with an educated religious scholar, Jesus agreed that the most important thing is to love God and love one’s neighbour as oneself. Then the scholar asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbour?” In typical Jesus fashion, instead of answering directly, he told a story: the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Pain, longing, hope and joy

Virginia musicians Christopher and Maria Clymer Kurtz wrote ‘Solemn Stillness, Weary Streets,’ No. 276 in Voices Together. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Clymer Kurtz)

On a Monday in the fall of 2014, Christopher Clymer Kurtz was supposed to be teaching middle-school English, but was distracted with an idea for a song. On Tuesday of that week, he worked out a melody. On Friday, his spouse Maria dove into older Christmas songs, like “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Joy to the World,” gleaning ideas for the text.

Indonesian peacemaking

Sufi Islamic dancers participate in a July 6 Mennonite World Conference assembly worship service at Congdut GITJ Jepara, a Mennonite church in Central Java. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

I am frequently asked, “What was it like to be in Indonesia for the Mennonite World Conference [MWC] assembly?” There are many possible answers, but today I want to focus on learning from our Indonesian Anabaptist sisters and brothers on how and why they build strong invitational relationships with their Muslim neighbours.

Fun, smart and committed

(Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/Oslermennonitechurch)

One of my farmers annually invites me for a combine ride to educate this city slicker on “Ag 101.” It’s a thrill to watch the header of the harvesting machine munch through swaths, hawks diving behind us for mice. He’s a captive audience for my complaints and occasionally hits a badger hole on purpose. Good thing I have a seat belt! Generally it’s a cushy ride.

Eyes to see

Jared Siebert, right, founder of the New Leaf Network, shares his story of encountering God in the failures of church planting, as Cindy Wallace of the Backyard Church in Saskatoon looks on.

In the current cultural climate, many churches, Mennonite ones included, are wrestling with the question of how to help members talk about faith and God’s work in their own lives. At a time when “evangelism” can seem almost like a four-letter word, how can people of faith bear witness to God’s movement in honest and authentic ways?

People at Play

Greg Thiessen, manager of the Metzger Collection at Columbia Bible College, discusses the origins of dice, chess and other ancient games at the museum’s current display of ‘Let’s Play!’ The exhibit invites visitors to explore the origins of table games and their place in cultures throughout history. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

The commonality of playing games throughout history, and how and why civilizations have played those games, are the foci of the current featured exhibit, “Let’s Play!” at Columbia Bible College’s Metzger Collection museum.

‘MDS was such a big part of her life’

Evelyn Greenwood, who died a year ago in September, was remembered for her dedication to Mennonite Disaster Service’s mission at a ceremony in British Columbia, where her husband, son and son-in-law were volunteering in Monte Lake. (Photo by Kevin Greenwood)

Steve Billing, left, Kevin Greenwood and Ben Greenwood are pictured at a memorial service for Evelyn Greenwood on an MDS worksite in Monte Lake, B.C., in September. (Photo by Roman Heuft)

All was quiet on Sept. 6, at 9 a.m., as Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers in Monte Lake put down their tools and paused for a moment of silence.

They were doing it in memory of Evelyn Greenwood, a long-time volunteer with MDS, who was killed in a tragic accident exactly one year earlier.

MCC gala dinner features Malcolm Gladwell

Ian Thomas, left, of Kindred Credit Union and Malcolm Gladwell. Kindred was an important sponsor of the MCC fundraising dinner. (MCC photo by Shoua Vang)

Malcolm Gladwell, a widely acclaimed writer and podcaster, drew a crowd of 650 people to a fundraising dinner hosted by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario on Oct. 27 at Bingeman’s in Kitchener. As is his style, Gladwell wove together interesting stories, while the audience wondered about the connections between them.

Drawing the circle bigger

The annual Christian-Muslim Interfaith Dialogue at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Edmonton. (Photo by Suzanne Gross)

“Our theme for the dialogue today is ‘Drawing the circle Bigger,’ ” said Scott Sharman, emcee for the annual Christian-Muslim Interfaith Dialogue, held on Oct. 29 in Edmonton. “We are asking our speakers to help us understand how our call into dialogue as Muslims and Christians also calls us to broaden the dialogue further.

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