God at work in the Church

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.

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

Greg Boyd, a best-selling author and cofounder of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., was this year’s “peace and justice guest” at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind.

“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

Cheryl Pauls, Canadian Mennonite University president, centre, awarded President’s Medals to valedictorian Scott Sawatzky, left, and Justin Rempel, both English majors in the four-year bachelor of arts program, in recognition of their qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service.

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.

‘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)

The sanctuary of the Greek Catholic church today. (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.

Beth Ann Lichti, a young adult who returned for the 50th-anniversary celebrations at Hillcrest Mennonite, sings at the Saturday evening music and video event. Behind her is the anniversary wall hanging that was dedicated that evening.

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’

Cutting the celebratory birthday cake for B.C. Women’s Ministry are members of the planning committee: Cheryl Dyck, left, Waltrude Gortzen and Rita Siebert.

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.

Four new directors named at 43rd annual CMPS meeting

Bryan Moyer Suderman

Henry Krause

Ken Reddig

Kuen Yee

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.

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)

Cheryl Bear-Barnetson poses with a copy of her 2013 book, Introduction to First Nations Ministry, at the MC Alberta assembly. (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.

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.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, pastor of Saskatoon Vietnamese Mennonite Church, chats with Elmer Regier of MC Saskatchewan’s Ministries Commission. Regier serves as an informal liaison between the area church and the Vietnamese congregation.

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.

Rome relaxes

As Pope Francis finishes his first year as pontiff, 85 percent of Americans have a favourable view of him, but the number of people attending Catholic churches in the U.S. has not increased.

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.


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