God at work in the Church

Sunday un-schooling

Will Braun

My wife and I have chosen to keep our sons, aged 3 and 6, out of school, but we're not “homeschoolers.” The whole point of what we do is that it is not school and does not rely on the standard school mindset. Some call it un-schooling.

We're backed by a relatively seasoned body of thought that draws on Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Illich and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Youth learn to write their own obituaries

A reflection on the meaning of life, death and life after death by a Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization member attending this year’s ‘Zombie apocalypse’ winter retreat at the Shekinah Retreat Centre.

Youth at the Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization’s senior-high retreat keep the ball moving with a revolving ping pong game at their annual retreat.

A roomful of zombies set the frightful scene for this year’s senior-high retreat organized by the Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization (SMYO). While they weren’t real zombies, they were dealing with real life and death issues.

‘A part of who we are’

Suzanne Gross, back row left, a member of Edmonton First Mennonite Church, and Sam Semier, Julie Saby and Andre Tinio, students at the University of Alberta, pose with their Sudanese music students as part of an applied ethnomusicology course. Christmas Chany, Naigay Bhan and Changkuoth Tut hold instruments donated to Edmonton South Sudanese Mennonite Church by Mennonite Church Alberta; they began learning guitar last November and were able to help lead singing at their church’s anniversary celebration on Jan. 26.

“When people named Rueben, Peter, James, and John show up at your door, you realize it’s a sign from God. . . . When they say they want your help to start a church, you help in any way you can.”

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, co-pastor at Edmonton First Mennonite Church, voiced these words on Jan. 26 when he preached at the first anniversary service of Edmonton South Sudanese Mennonite Church.

Vietnamese Mennonites read the Bible in a year

Nine people from the Edmonton Vietnamese Mennonite Church pose with certificates earned by reading the whole Bible in 2013. Pictured from left to right, front row: Esther Pham, Rebecca Pham and Lily Hue Do; and back row: Pastor Kuen Yee, Vernie Yee, David Yee, Deborah Yee, Ut Van Ngo (chair of the board of elders), and Pastor Thomas Pham.

How would you respond if challenged to read the whole Bible in a year? When Kuen Yee issued the challenge to her congregants at Edmonton Vietnamese Mennonite Church at the end of 2012, the pastor couldn’t have guessed at the success her church would celebrate one year later.

Another Canadian ‘TiM’

Karen Martens Zimmerly, MC Canada’s denominational minister, helped to develop Transitioning into Ministry (TiM), the national church’s new two-year online coaching program. It is designed to connect beginning pastors via the Internet for conversation, networking and, perhaps, coffee.

TiM has been launched in Western Canada—and this isn’t another story about a coffee franchise. Transitioning into Ministry (TiM) is Mennonite Church Canada’s new two-year online coaching program that connects beginning pastors over the Internet for conversation, networking and, perhaps, coffee.

Generosity leads to generosity

David Martin, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada executive minster, centre, stresses to Arli Klassen, Mennonite World Conference (MWC) development manager, and Willard Metzger, executive director of MC Canada, the importance of the collaborative nature of ministry to MC Eastern Canada at a gifting event on Oct. 30. MWC general secretary César García watches the proceedings from South Korea via Skype.

The new meeting room at 50 Kent Avenue was full of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada staff and representatives from many other Mennonite organizations from the Waterloo area on Oct. 30, as the area church and the Shantz Mennonite congregation of Baden began "tithing" to the wider church money they had received as the result of a large bequest.

'We have to let go and dream differently'

Gabrielle Wiebe, Gerald Ens and Maria Dueck have worked at Camps with Meaning summer programs since 2006 or 2007. ‘We have to let go and dream differently,’ says Dueck of the proposal to allow MC Manitoba to divest itself of two of its camps.

"The 21st-century church will look very different from the patterns developed by the late 20th century, " Gerald Gerbrandt reported to Mennonite Church Manitoba delegates at their fall assembly on Nov. 7 at First Mennonite Church.

MC B. C. ponders future

Alan Peters of the MC B.C. Finance Committee, left, discusses area church budget concerns with Matt Horst of Bethel Mennonite Church, Langley.

The future direction of Mennonite Church B. C. was the main topic for delegates to the special fall meeting of the area church at Langley Mennonite Fellowship on Nov. 2.

Famous football player warms Mennonite crowd

Former Argonaut running back Michael 'Pinball' Clemons autographs Norma Rudy's program at the Fairview and Parkwood Mennonite Homes anniversary gala. Rudy worked at Fairview Mennonite Home for many years and her husband David served as executive director from 1961-88.

Although Michael "Pinball" Clemons is famous for his exploits in the Canadian Football League, he talked about the importance of humility and living for others when he spoke at an anniversary gala held at Bingemans banquet hall in Kitchener, Ont., on Nov. 4.

Program for youth confirms seminary students’ call to ministry

Youth from the !Explore program at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary worked with Pedal Power, a ministry of the Voluntary Service unit in Elkhart, Ind., connected to Prairie Street Mennonite Church. From left: Isaiah Friesen, Sara Erb (event pastor), Nick Simons (from Prairie Street), Ryan Miller, Madeline Gerig, Lynea Brubacher Kaethler.

As two Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary students led a program that encourages high school youth to consider ministry, their own call to ministry grew stronger.

‘Blessed by God to be a blessing’

Rachel Kehl makes her own path to the future at First Mennonite Kitchener’s 200th anniversary fiesta.

Christina Edmiston, worship and music pastor, guides a young participant at First Mennonite Kitchener’s 200th anniversary fiesta on Sept. 28 to hear Ronno, an internationally known children’s performer who makes First Mennonite his home.

Dave Rivera cooks up dinner at First Mennonite Kitchener’s 200th anniversary fiesta.

Brent Martin, chair of the First Mennonite Church Kitchener leadership team, left, and Nancy Brubaker, lead pastor, right, along with many member of the congregation, watch as Noa Baergen helps plant a tree at the church’s 200th-anniversary celebrations on Sept. 29.

The Women’s Missionary and Service Commission (WMSC) held a Pioneer Tea to celebrate the contributions of women like Mary Brubacher, Barbara Bowman Shuh and Mary Ann (Nahrgang) Cressman. A commemorative wall-hanging by Lisa Packull, second from right, and sewn, quilted and appliquéd by members of the WMSC was unveiled. Also pictured, from left to right: Grace Weber, Pat Janowski, Judy Gascho-Jutzi and Elizabeth Rudy.

A 200th anniversary fiesta broke out on First Mennonite Church’s parking lot on Sept. 28 with a bouncy castle, face painting, and worship in Spanish and English with the invitation “¡Bienvenidos todos y todas!”

Black Creek joins MC Canada . . . again

Pastor Gordon Carter of United Mennonite Church, Black Creek, B.C., is flanked by Garry Janzen, executive minister of Mennonite Church B.C., left, and Willard Metzger, executive director of MC Canada, during a July 7 service that involved the congregation rejoining the national church.

When United Mennonite Church of Black Creek joined the Mennonite Church Canada family at a worship service on July 7, it was more than a welcome. It was a welcome back.

A golden weekend for Grebel’s 50th

To kick off Conrad Grebel University College’s 50th-anniversary celebrations, president Susan Schultz Huxman, centre, and board chair Susan Taves prepare mortar to lay a date stone in a wall of the institution’s new $8.7-million addition. More than $6.2 million has been raised already for the project that is to be completed late next spring.

A Bow Tie Gala was held at Grebel’s 50th-anniversary weekend to honour founding president J. Winfield Fretz, who usually wore a bow-tie. Four of the remaining living presidents were in attendance. From left to right: past presidents Ralph Lebold, John Toews and Henry Paetkau, and current president Susan Schultz Huxman.

Author and professor Marlene Epp launches Bridging Mind and Spirit: Conrad Grebel University College 1963-2013 at Grebel’s 50th-anniversary weekend last month. The colourful 92-page retrospective, created with the assistance of archivist Laureen Harder-Gissing and graphic designer Jen Konkle, was well received by alumni and friends.

Conrad Grebel University College celebrated an anniversary last month that many in the Mennonite world thought would never happen.

Music festival brings Mennos together

Gordon Allaby, pastor of Osler Mennonite Church, performs with his 14-year-old daughter, Katherine, at a Mennonite Church Saskatchewan gathering in Saskatoon on Aug. 14.

Saskatchewan Mennonites of all ages gather in a park near Mount Royal Mennonite Church on Aug. 18 to listen to local musicians and get updates on different area church programs.

Val Wiebe of Langham Mennonite Church, left, prepares to sing at a Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s ‘day in the park’ in Saskatoon on Aug. 14. She is accompanied by Carole Epp and Anna Rehan (on flute).

It was the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon on the Prairies. Saskatchewan Mennonites gathered in a park near Mount Royal Mennonite Church in Saskatoon on Aug. 18 to listen to local musicians and get updates on different area church programs.


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