Volume 27 Issue 3

The evangelical edge

(Photo by Gift Habeshaw/Unsplash)

Two readers recently wrote to me with concerns. “Over the years that we have received [CM],” wrote a Manitoba couple, “we have detected a constant shift toward liberal theology. . . . de-emphasizing evangelism, Christ’s life and ministry, and his death for our salvation.”


The church in Pingjum, Netherlands where Menno Simons stood up to Catholic authorities. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

Norm Dyck (centre) of MC Eastern Canada and Jeanette Hanson of MC Canada with an Indigenous coffee grower in the Philippines. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

Pastor Endezinaw Tefera next to the baptismal tank at the Asela Meserete Kristos Church in Asela, Ethiopia. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

An 1814 edition of Martyrs Mirror in the library of the Tokyo Anabaptist Centre. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

Safari Mutabesha is a Congolese refugee and pastor at a camp in Malawi, pictured at the Mennonite World Conference Assembly in Indonesia. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

A room prepared for baptismal class at the Asela church in Ethiopia. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

The church in Pingjum, Netherlands where Menno Simons stood up to Catholic authorities. (Photo by Doug Klassen)

I stand on the very spot where it all began, in a former Catholic church in the village of Pingjum, Netherlands. Here, the priest Menno Simons was called to account by his superiors.

New ventures in faith formation

(Photo by Alex Shute/Unsplash)

Reflecting and reshaping is what I have been witnessing congregations doing in the ministries of formation. Across the board, in ministries that engage adults, youth, seniors and children, people are ready to venture into new territory. There seems to be a desire, perhaps prompted by new realities, to flex muscles that were awakened during the past few years.

Untidied worship

“God of Every Place” is an invitation to bring our whole selves to worship, no matter what space we’re in.

“When we gather for worship, we bring all of ourselves, though some experiences or emotions might feel harder to name. Or maybe we feel pressure to keep them tidied away,” explains Alissa Bender when describing her worship resource in Voices Together. Found at #859, “God of Every Place” is an invitation to bring our whole selves to worship, no matter what space we’re in.

The complexity and simplicity of Christian unity

“If you watch an orchestra tune at the beginning of a performance, you’ll notice the musicians don’t all try to tune to one another. That would be chaos...” (Photo by Larisa Birta/Unsplash)

Understanding how to pray and work towards unity with all “Christians” has been a struggle for me. How do I seek unity with people who call themselves Christian, but embody attitudes, values, behaviours and beliefs that, in my opinion, are diametrically opposed to the teachings, character and heart of Jesus.

This struggle is by no means new, or unique to me.

Forever hybrid

Niklaus Mikaelson, Valerie Tulle, Lizzie Saltzman, Stefan Salvatore . . . do you know who these folks are? If not, maybe that’s because they are not from the Mennonite heritage but from a supernatural world featured in the TV series, The Vampire Diaries. These beings are “hybrids,” born out of the cross-breeding of supernatural species such as werewolves and vampires.

Looking for leaders

“We’re looking for someone who can balance spiritual leadership with executive leadership . . . someone who can hybrid those two areas.” That’s how Arli Klassen, Moderator for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) describes the role of Regional Church Executive Minister, the senior staff position within each Regional Church.

Pianist, professor dies at 90

In a scene played out countless times in countless places, Esther Wiebe plays piano as her husband George conducts, in this case in Abbotsford, B.C. in 1986. (Photo by David Loewen. Courtesy of the Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia)

Esther Wiebe—long-time music professor, pianist and composer—died in Winnipeg on January 26 at age 90.

She is survived by her husband George; children, Robert (Verna) and Peter (Ruth); daughter-in-law Marlene Wiebe; 12 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; extended family and friends. She was predeceased by her son, Tim Wiebe.

House of Friendship opens new facility

Andy Fenske, a former shelter participant, shared a bit of his own journey with homelessness and addiction and his excitement over the new facility. (House of Friendship photo)

House of Friendship held an official grand opening celebration of its new ShelterCare facility in Waterloo, Ont., on Jan. 19. This renovated former hotel will provide shelter and other supports for 100 men experiencing chronic homelessness, including onsite health care and staffing 24/7.

A season of Spirit

(Photo by Aaron Epp)

Moses Falco with his pre-Lent indulgence from Georges Burgers and Subs in the kitchen of Sterling Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg where he pastors. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Moses Falco is a Mennonite pastor who grew up Baptist, but for six weeks each year, he takes his cue from the Catholics.

Saskatchewan historian receives award

Conrad Stoesz (left), president of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada presents the Award of Excellence to Leonard Doell. (Photo by Graham Schellenberg)

When the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada wrapped up its meetings at Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Sask., on Jan. 22, the freezing rain had started. Dick Braun loaded up the 15-passenger van with people going directly to the airport, but it was too late. The laneway at Shekinah was too slippery and he could not get up the long hill. Still, no one missed their flight back home.

T-shirt honours fierce biblical women

Arlyn Friesen Epp, director of CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre in Winnipeg. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

A new T-shirt celebrates women of the Bible who often get overlooked.

The shirt features 11 phrases, including “Teach like Junia,” “Preach like Mary,” “Lead like Esther” and “Risk like Ruth.” Rianna Isaak-Krauss, co-pastor at Frankfurt Mennonite Church in Germany, created it while pregnant with Noa Jubilee, now five months old.

Mennonite mission?

Amos Chin, left, and two Mennonite colleagues baptize young people in rural Myanmar. (Photo courtesy Amos Chin)

In her new memoir, The White Mosque, Sofia Samatar describes Mennonites as “something that seems very odd, at least at first: an evangelizing tribe.”

This tribe, she says, “travels the world to spread the universal love of God, and at the same time maintains the occult power of its family names, its language, its traditions, its alphabet of bone.”

Service through art

This poster by Eugena Lee won a national Remembrance Day contest. (Photo courtesy of MCI)

Menno Simons Christian School is proud of alumna Eugena Lee (‘20) who won first-place in the National Remembrance Day Poster contest held by the Legion National Foundation. After studying the Korean War in her high school social class, she became inspired to learn more about her grandparents’ experiences during the Korean war. Then artistic inspiration took hold.


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