In our feature article, Carol Ann Weaver tells of two Mennonite evangelists who imposed a ban on musical instruments decades ago. It’s tempting to marvel at how utterly unenlightened such a response to perceived wrong now seems. Banning feels so backward.
Evangelist George R. Brunk II with his wife Margaret, and their kids, left to right, George, Conrad, Paul, Barbara and Gerald, at a 1952 revival meeting in Waterloo, Ont. (Mennonite Archives of Ontario photo by David L. Hunsberger)
Influential Mennonite evangelist George R. Brunk I. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Church U.S.A. Archives-Goshen, Ind.)
Carol Ann Weaver, left, Dorothy Jean Weaver and Kathleen Weaver Kurtz at the Chester K. Lehman family piano in 1952 in Harrisonburg, Va. (Photo courtesy of Carol Ann Weaver)
Chester K. Lehman and his sister, Elizabeth Kurtz, playing piano in 1952 at Kurtz’s house in Harrisonburg, Va. ( Photo courtesy of Carol Ann Weaver)
October 22 was a normal Sunday. I had just arrived at Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., when Conrad Brunk approached me. He is a fellow Rockway member, a former colleague at Conrad Grebel University College and a former next-door neighbour in Harrisonburg, Va. when we were very young. He wanted to talk about “the piano issue.”
A few weeks ago I sent a text to a friend who I hadn’t seen for quite some time. Although we’d been in touch several times throughout the pandemic, we were long overdue for a face-to-face visit. I had no idea that the timing of this text would set my schedule askew for the next few weeks in the way that it did.
My friend has lived through some significant life experiences.
I remember a difficult church meeting at my fiancé’s congregation when I was an active participant in the young adult group. I don’t recall the topic, but I do recall that I did not speak up during the meeting, but just listened.
It’s no secret that there are gaps in our congregational song. In particular, gaps in the kinds of words we have available for moments of crisis, despair and loss. Voices Together sought to speak into this opening, and features many resources that offer new words for these moments.
Some have described history as a series of pendulum swings, oscillating from one extreme to the other, between tyranny and freedom, conservatism and liberalism, progress and tradition. It has also been said, the pendulum always swings too far, meaning when we find ourselves in one extreme, there tends to be an overcorrection that takes us too far in the other direction.
At first I thought cancel culture was a good idea.
The phenomenon, which emerged a handful of years ago, refers to “ending (or attempting to end) an individual’s career or prominence to hold them accountable for immoral behaviour.” That’s according to University of Cambridge psychologist Rob Henderson.
The affirmation of a new executive minister highlighted the annual meeting of Mennonite Church B.C. at Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond on Feb. 25.
In an effort to strengthen communication and relationships between the nationwide and regional churches, Doug Klassen, Mennonite Church Canada’s executive minister, paid a visit to Saskatchewan last month.
As Roland Sawatzky gives a tour through The Manitoba Museum, his eyes light up and his hands animatedly point out the highlights and features of each gallery. It’s clear he’s passionate about his work.
While parenting can be a struggle, parenting through foster care or adoption has extra challenges, says Jenn Hook in Thriving Families. Her experience as a counsellor with a foster-care agency, and as the founder of a non-profit organization that supports foster and adoptive families gives her a solid understanding of these challenges.
In a meeting on Jan. 30, 2022, Mennonite Church Canada’s governing body, Joint Council, affirmed climate action as a nationwide ministry emphasis.