God at work in the Church
New school greets returning children
Mennonites learn about hospitality and living for others
The Goreme open air museum near Cappadocia, Turkey, includes rock-cut chapels that are part of an ancient Byzantine monastic settlement. A group of Ontario Mennonites visited the site in May as part of an intercultural learning tour.
The group who visited Turkey in May appreciated the warmth and hospitality of their host family, the Dogans. (From left): Mandy Witmer, Phil Witmer, Pat Manske, Josie Winterfeld, Leon Kehl, their host’s brother and his wife, the Dogan family with their daughter, the grandfather, a friend, guide Sezai Yeter, Steve Manske, Ross Weber and Carol Weber. Also included in the tour were: Fred Martin, Wanda Wagler-Martin, and Will Winterfeld.
On May 5, a group of eleven Mennonites from Kitchener-Waterloo area churches embarked on a ten day intercultural study tour of Turkey, sponsored by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI). The tour was co-led by Leon Kehl of Floradale Mennonite Church and Sezai Yeter, a member of the Turkish community in Kitchener.
Metzger meets with Harmony Group
Members of the Harmony Group, formed six years ago by Mennonites seeking inclusion of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) in Mennonite Church Canada, recently engaged in earnest dialogue with Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada.
Dust settles on prison chaplaincy controversy
After a series of bumps and scares in recent years, a new system of federal prison chaplaincy has emerged, with a single company, rather than individual denominations, holding the chaplaincy contracts.
No back row
Florence and Otto Driedger’s Regina living room is the opposite of the mega-church auditoriums that have become popular. On a typical Sunday, you might find a handful of refugees, a couple of people who have done time for sexual assault, and another handful of Euro-Canadian folk gathered around the retired couple’s living room, with Bibles open on their laps.
A call for Christians to be the kingdom of God
“Look like Jesus, love like Jesus, serve like Jesus.” Greg Boyd, Ph.D., repeated this line several times during his visit to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) over two days in late April.
Graduates challenged to imagine what the world could be
Make the future a figment of your imagination. That was the message delivered to 80 graduates at the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) graduation service on April 27.
Two topics were front and centre when the board and staff of Mennonite Church Manitoba travelled the province in April for face-to-face conversations with congregations in seven regional meetings.
Being a Faithful Church
‘The fruit of renewal’
The cross with the crucified Christ is an important icon for Greek Catholic worshippers. (Credit: George Dyck)
Exterior roof repairs to the former Mennonite church in the former village of Schoensee—now Snegurovka—are visible. (Credit: George Dyck)
A former Mennonite church building in Ukraine is being restored and transformed with the help of Canadian Mennonites into a Greek Catholic church.
According to observers, this development is an example of Mennonite-Catholic collaboration in the spirit of other exchanges over the past decade or so.
Gathered to grow . . . scattered to serve
Recent member Donna Bentz and founding member Ron Zehr look at photos from Hillcrest Mennonite’s 50 years at the anniversary celebration on May 24. Behind them are the 50 comforters knotted this year as an anniversary service project.
Founding member Earl Bender holds his great-grandson Jack at Hillcrest Mennonite’s 50th-anniversary celebration on May 24.
Hillcrest Mennonite Church’s present and former pastors pose at the 50th-anniversary celebration on May 24. Pictured from left to right, front row: Mary Schiedel, Maurice Martin, Jan Steckley and Glenn Zehr; and back row: Kevin Peters Unrau, Vernon Brubacher, Gerald Good and Harold Schlegel.
Things moved fast 50 years ago. On May 14, 1963, East Zorra Mennonite Church near Tavistock decided that it needed to plant a daughter church to alleviate crowding in the mother church. A building committee met the next day to plan where the new congregation’s building would be and what it would look like.
B.C. women ‘at a time of crossroads’
Seven-and-a-half decades after its founding, Women’s Ministry of Mennonite Church B.C. celebrated its diamond anniversary on May 3 with a day of memories and celebration. The annual spring Inspirational Day held at Emmanuel Mennonite Church drew 138.
Discovering faith in a consumer age
“We are formed to be consumers, wanting maximum value for the lowest price,” Scott Hagley of Forge Canada told a group gathered at Level Ground Mennonite Church for “Consumed: Finding faith in a consumer age.” Not only that, but he said people have come to “imagine God in economic-consumeristic terms.”
Four new directors named at 43rd annual CMPS meeting
Four new directors were named to the Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service (CMPS) board at its 43rd annual meeting held here from April 10 to 12. They are Henry Krause of Langley, B.C.; Ken Reddig of Pinawa, Man.; Bryan Moyer Suderman of Stouffville, Ont.; and Kuen Yee of Edmonton. All will serve three-year terms.
Mutual aid or financial institution?
Fifty years ago—March 21, 1964—22 Waterloo County Mennonites got together and deposited a dollar each in a cash box to create a credit union to serve members of their faith community. From the beginning it was envisioned as an extension of mutual aid, a significant component of Mennonite self-identity, practice and theology.
Breaking down walls in the name of Christ
Elaine Klassen and Noreen Neufeldt ham it up in the kitchen as they prepare food for delegates at the annual Mennonite Church Alberta assembly hosted by Lethbridge Mennonite Church. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)
Dan Graber, MC Alberta area church minister, left; Elias Miranda, pastor of Word of Life Mennonite Church, Calgary; Thomas Pham, pastor of Edmonton Vietnamese Mennonite Church; and Jon Olfert, Camp Valaqua director, lead the 2014 MC Alberta assembly delegates in a time of remembering those who have passed away in the last year, and celebrating those who have joined MCA through baptism. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)
“As a child, I didn’t see the wall,” Arlyn Friesen Epp told delegates to the 85th annual Mennonite Church Alberta assembly, as he spoke of growing up in small-town Saskatchewan with no real knowledge of, or connections to, first nations people other than negative stereotypes.
Fewer Canadians studying at AMBS
César García calls for ‘mission from below’
“What would happen if, following the example of monastic orders, there would be a ‘vow of poverty’ in multicultural mission teams for everyone?”
MC Saskatchewan adopts safe church policy
Representatives of the MC Saskatchewan council, Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization and Rosthern Mennonite Church flank new area church youth minister Kirsten Hamm in a prayer of commissioning at the annual delegate sessions.
Mennonite Church Saskatchewan now has a new safe church policy, ratified during the area church’s annual delegate sessions held in Regina on March 14 and 15.
It's been a year since Argentina's Jorge Bergolio became the 266th Roman Catholic pope. Although he is 77 years old, the new pope has brought fresh energy to one of the most staid institutions in history.
Let your hopes run wild!
Becoming missional communities in B.C.
Excitement and challenges in Mennonite Church British Columbia were a recurring theme when delegates met for their annual general meeting at Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack on Feb. 22, 2014.