“How do we speak of our faith in a society of many faiths and no faith, a society that has seen all too well the harm the church can inflict in the name of Jesus?”
At a recent annual gathering, Colombian Mennonites pray for outgoing denominational president Yalile Caballero, who was an influential advocate for peace and justice. Jeanette Hanson, MC Canada’s director of International Witness, says of the Colombian Mennonites that they do ‘amazing peace and justice work because they love Jesus.’ Reports produced by Justapaz, the peace and justice arm of the Colombian Mennonites, weave an overt spiritual intimacy into documentation of human-rights violations. (Photo by Jeanette Hanson)
Some Mennonites raise their hands when they sing. Others don’t.
Some attend climate rallies and examine decolonization. Others don’t.
Some Mennonites hear sermons focused on the Word and personal relationship with Jesus. Others hear sermons that draw on Pete Enns; Mary Oliver, a modern day mystic; or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The horrific images from Ukraine jolt me from my comfort and I reflect on air-raid sirens, bunkers, explosions, refugees, civilian and military casualties.
Historical connections to the region seem to draw my curiosity closer. Ukraine is part of my family lore.
The variety of banners at the 1978 Mennonite World Conference assembly in Wichita, Kan., is a representation of the diversity of people at the assembly, with 9,500 people registered from 44 counties, including Canada.
I spent my high-school years in a congregation that was proud of our basketball hoops. Greenbelt Baptist Church decided to use public schools for worship and Sunday school, homes for Bible study, and a community centre for weekly youth events. This was a very intentional way of being visible and connected to the local community.
The site of a camp that housed an estimated 64,000 Ethiopians displaced by violence in Afar state last year. As the violence shifted, these people returned home. (Photo by Rebecca Mosely)
A refugee camp in Debark, Ethiopia, set up to house people displaced by civil conflict. (Photo by Paul Mosely)
Pastor Desalegn Abebe’s message to North American Mennonites is simple. Abebe is the head of Meserete Kristos Church (MKC), the Anabaptist denomination in Ethiopia, where 17 months of civil violence has led to 12 MKC churches being burned, 44 displaced and 163 full-time ministers and their families displaced and without income.
Earthkeepers Kids Club, a collaboration of Jubilee Mennonite Church and A Rocha Manitoba, aims to connect children with creation. (Photos courtesy of A Rocha Manitoba)
‘You can’t love nature if you don’t experience nature . . . children need to learn how to love it and then learn how to take care of it,’ says Anna Marie Geddert, community ministry pastor of Jubilee Mennonite Church.
Many children today live in a nature deficit. As screens constantly command their attention, parents tighten their protective grip as dangers outside seem to increase, and a multi-year pandemic continues to spread. Children are spending increasing amounts of time inside at home.
Walking, biking or driving through twelve Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, April 15, residents of Yarrow, B.C., experienced the story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection together through interactive and creative artwork.
John L. Erb and Barbara Oesch were Amish Mennonites who farmed in Wellesley Township in southwestern Ontario in the late 1800s. They attended Maple View Mennonite Church. Together they raised eight children and had 29 grandchildren.
It’s hard to imagine when Ben Borne finds time to sleep.
“I have four jobs,” he says with an easy laugh. “It’s busy, but I love what I do.”
Borne works for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Saskatchewan, teaches at First Nations University of Canada, and is the co-president/co-founder of Symmetry Public Relations.
Anna-Lisa Salo, pastor of Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury, has taken advantage of Zoom’s free 40 minute limit. Two years ago, she reached out to four young women from her congregation who were heading off to post-secondary institutions.
During Holy Week, bright pops of colour appeared in a downtown alley amid the brown slush and litter of a Winnipeg spring.
At the heart of the Christ path is a radical notion that our true identity is found in Christ. Paul says it is no longer he who lives, but Christ who lives in him. He says our true identity, our true self, is “Christ in you.” What does this mean?
When I ponder the question of what Mennonites and Anabaptists can bring to the conversation about climate change, I think about the language that many governments and corporations use. The words “fight,” “tackle” and “battle” are commonly used when discussing the imperative to quickly solve the climate crisis.
Canadian Mennonite is launching an online discussion series exploring current events that are impacting the church and wider world, and the climate crisis is the subject of the first event.