God at work in the Church

Murray shares Anabaptist vision in South Korea

With Mennonite Church Canada's help, Stuart Murray, chair of the Anabaptist Network in the U.K. and author of the Naked Anabaptist, facing camera right rear, engaged pastors and church leaders during a countrywide South Korean speaking tour from April 20 to May 3. Kyong Jung Kim, director of the Korea Anabaptist Center, seated next to Murray, served as Murray's translator. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Church Canada)

U.K. Anabaptist leader Stuart Murray engaged Anabaptists in South Korea during a country-wide speaking tour this spring.

Running on fumes

During its May 2013 meeting in Akron, Pa., MWC Executive Committee members planted a tree at the Mennonite Central Committee Welcoming Place. From left to right, taking their turn placing sod around the tree, are: Cisca Mawangu Ibanda, Democratic Republic of Congo; Ron Penner, Canada; and Adi Walujo, Indonesia.

“An excellent car, but little fuel.” This is how treasurer Ernst Bergen described the situation currently facing Mennonite World Conference (MWC) when the Executive Committee met in Akron in late May, in preparation for the next global assembly—the 16th—to be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa., in July 2015.

Walking humbly

‘Act justly,’ from Micah 6:8, was one of the three theme days at this year’s Walk, Witness, Worship Youth Retreat, held at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp on the May long weekend.

Lovette Nyembwa of Petitcodiac (N.B.) Mennonite Church, foreground, learns to ‘walk humbly’ by washing the feet of Jim Loney, keynote speaker at this year’s Walk, Witness, Worship Youth Retreat at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp, Hepworth, Ont.

Our youth group from Petitcodiac Mennonite Church in New Brunswick had the opportunity to travel to Silver Lake Mennonite Camp, Hepworth, Ont., on the May long weekend for the 2013 Walk, Witness, Worship (WWW) Youth Retreat.

Making a difference close to home

Douglas Mennonite young adults Emily Penner, foreground, and Kristi DeFehr help prepare a bed frame for assembly.

Megan Smith of Winnipeg applies glue to a piece of a bed frame held by David Hogue, manager of Camp Assiniboia.

You don’t need to travel the globe to find a place to serve. That’s what the young adults at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg came to realize when they decided on a local service adventure. For many months they looked and planned for a way to combine travel with service for the brief interlude between their university classes and the start of summer jobs.

‘Like a watered garden’

Bedding plants on a garden bench help participants get into the spirit of this year’s Saskatchewan Women in Mission Enrichment Day theme: ‘Like a watered garden.’

Water trickled through several water fountains in the foyer of Eigenheim Mennonite Church, Rosthern, on April 27 as a visual and audible depiction of this year’s Saskatchewan Women in Mission Enrichment Day theme: ‘Like a watered garden.’

The foyer of Eigenheim Mennonite Church, filled with bedding plants on a garden bench and trickling water from several fountains, visually and audibly depicted the theme of this year’s Saskatchewan Women in Mission (SWM) Enrichment Day theme: “Like a watered garden.”

Community means communication

César Garcia, Mennonite World Conference (MWC) general secretary, left, visits with Vidya J. Narimalla of Kitchener Mennonite Brethren Church at the MWC/Mennonite Central Committee Ontario-sponsored pastors breakfast on April 25.

Ears pricked up when César Garcia suggested that all national churches need to be in communication with other national churches about issues of faith and practice.

‘Seeds scattered and sown: In every seed a promise’

Rochelle Benny Gerard, Marisa Pathmanathan and Kameesna Kamal of the Markham Christian Worship Centre perform a worship dance about not needing to be afraid because ‘God most high’ is in charge.

Brent Horst from St. Jacobs Mennonite Church helps delegates and guests at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual church gathering focus on the theme of ‘Seed scattered and sown: In every seed a promise.’

Looking forward to the future, looking back to the past: Ruth Penfold peers over the shoulder of her father Josh Penfold, one of the pastors at Wellesley Mennonite Church, at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual church gathering last month in Kitchener.

Twenty-five years ago Mennonite Church Eastern Canada gathered at the United Mennonite Educational Institute in Leamington, Ont., for its inaugural annual conference.

Journalist honoured by Muslim community

Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association, left, presents Brenda Suderman, Faith Page reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, with the Ihsan Award for her journalistic bridge-building efforts.

Brenda Suderman, a member of Home Street Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, was one of two Winnipeg Free Press journalists to be honoured by the Islamic Social Services Association with its Ihsan Award recently.

Speak without fear amid political turmoil

Matt Groenheide, left, a well-known local percussionist specializing in classical percussion and world drumming, and Scottish singer/cellist George Fowler, provided the entertainment for Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service’s annual banquet held last month in Lethbridge, Alta.

Canadian Mennonite was urged at its annual banquet last month to “pass on the best of the Anabaptist faith” to its Mennonite readership and to speak without fear in the face of political turmoil to its own community and, increasingly, to the larger public sphere.

‘Hear O people’

Craig Neufeld, as Jesus, tells the parable of the Sower and the Seed during one of the worship sessions at last month's annual delegate session. Organizers chose to use a lot of Scripture as one way of 'dusting off the Bible,' says Jerry Buhler, area church minister.

At times, there seemed to be more questions than answers. But for those in attendance at the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan delegate sessions at the end of February, there was also a good feeling that people were in agreement.

“I was very pleased with how it went,” said moderator George Epp.

From pieces to peace

Speakers at this year’s Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand conference include, from left, Dave Andrews, who has lived among marginalized people groups for more than 30 years, and Nora Amath, chair of Australian Muslim Advocates for the Rights of All Humanity.

Australian aboriginal singer Johnny Huckle performs songs about what it is like to grow up in a land that took children from their parents and destroyed the aboriginal family structure in the process.

Jan. 26 is Australia Day, the equivalent of Canada Day. Over the Australia Day weekend the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand held its biennial conference in Sydney with the theme, “From pieces to peace: More than just neighbours in a multi-faith world.”

‘A place at God’s table’

Bernie Wiebe and pastor Lynell Bergen break bread during Hope Mennonite Church’s communion service officially welcoming the LGBTQ community in its midst. The special cloth draped over the communion table had been created for the event.

The welcome offered at the communion table on Jan. 20 at Hope Mennonite Church signalled the congregation’s arrival at a significant milestone on what has been a long, winding and sometimes painful journey.

Exploring mind, body and soul connections

Sitting in quiet, yoga retreat participants at Camp Squah experience the presence of God.

Determination to exercise more, or to improve one’s spiritual life, are on many people’s lists as they begin a new year. Thirty people who met at Camp Squeah from Jan. 11 to 13 found a way to do both through a retreat with the theme of “Breath of God” and the practice of yoga from a Christian perspective.


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