As Israel obliterates Gaza, and hostages await sunlight, it’s easy to look away. Indeed, sometimes we must. Not everyone can take every war to heart. But this war demands something of us collectively.
Mennonite Church Canada issued a brief statement on November 2, calling churches to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia in Canada and pray for a “just peace” in the Middle East.
Bishara Awad stands outside Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem in 1985. Awad, a Palestinian Christian, founded the school in 1979. He had previously served with Mennonite Central Committee in a Palestinian school and attended Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California, in 1981-82.
In B.C. we’ve heard stories of churches in at least two denomina- tions choosing to use secondary or tertiary doctrines and opinions as litmus tests for belonging.
These groups are doubling down on the wrong ways of trying to maintain unity.
Uri Weltmann says support for Israel’s government and support for the people of Israel are two different things.
“This is not one and the same,” he says, speaking by video call from Tel Aviv, where he lives.
It is exactly 100 years ago that my congregation, First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, divided over
the issue of women’s head coverings. Two-thirds of the congregation left
because they did not want women to be forced to wear head coverings. They moved one block up the hill to create Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.
Growing up as a member of the Sumacher Indigenous peoples group in the Philippines, Tala Bautista listened to American music. She longed to see snow and perhaps roast chestnuts on an open fire. She wanted to see the West Virginia country roads of which John Denver sang.
Curiosity is a powerful spiritual discipline.
Curiosity has blessed me with many opportunities to spend time with kind, intelligent and reasonable people, in many different social, political and theological camps. I’m grateful for the privilege of hearing the typically calm and logical explanations they have for the positions they hold.
Working for a more peaceful world can take place anywhere. For Susanne Guenther Loewen it takes place at the front of the classroom at Saskatchewan’s largest public university. Guenther Loewen is in her third year of teaching Introduction to Peace Studies at Saint Thomas More College on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon.
One of the contradictions I have observed in intercultural churches in North America is that, while they intentionally strive to welcome all people, almost all of them stubbornly adhere to the “closed” communion tradition, which allows only baptized participants to partake.
A recent seminar in Abbotsford, B.C., considered how churches can help fellow British Columbians find reasonably priced housing. The November 18 event was hosted by Emmanuel Mennonite Church.
This six-part series draws on Kara Carter’s PhD studies, for which she conducted five focus groups with Mennonite Church Eastern Canada pastors.
How do you adjust after stepping away from the work to which you’ve dedicated two decades of your life?
That’s the question facing Kennert Giesbrecht now that he’s no longer the managing editor of Die Mennonitische Post, the German-language paper that serves conservative Mennonites throughout the Americas.
John Van Deusen plays in a pop band called Telephone Friends and a punk band called Buffet, but he suspects it’s his Christmas album that you’ll like best.
In the Bleak Midwinter features Van Deusen playing 14 holiday hymns, his acoustic guitar and tenor voice augmented by rich string arrangements. He released it digitally last year and on vinyl in October.
In her new book, Eating Like a Mennonite, Marlene Epp addresses the question of whether there is such a thing as “Mennonite food.” She assumes there is, and declares it should be celebrated, disagreeing with those who say “Mennonite” is a religious label that should not be used as an adjective for food.
The ruins of Al Zahra, south of Gaza City, after Israeli airstrikes. (Photo by Mohammed Zaanoun/Active Stills)
A child reacts during an Israeli military raid on Balata refugee camp near Nablus, West Bank, on November 9. (Photo by Wahaj Bani Moufleh/Active Stills)
What will Christmas be like in Bethlehem this year? What can we learn about the birth of Christ from those who live where he was born and where he lived?