Despite a small survey sample—only 215 out of more than 14,000 subscribers took the time to send back the two-page questionnaire in our Feb. 21 issue—it is clear that readers still believe Canadian Mennonite “should be a primary source of information about Mennonite Church Canada”; 89 percent agree or strongly agree with this sentiment.
God at work in the Church
River levels are changing daily at Camp Assiniboia as the Assiniboine River ebbs and flows around the south and east boundaries of the camp. Unprecedented volumes of water are creating great stresses on the dikes and diversions that lie along the path of this major Manitoba waterway.
All indicators point to the old structures giving way to new ways of being the church, Willard Metzger told the nearly 400 delegates gathered for the 2011 annual church gathering of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Friday, April 29. “This is the new reality and we really don’t know what it is.”
In order to manage as yearly donations are decreasing, Mennonite Church Canada announced publicly on April 12 that, regrettably, it must reduce expenditures by terminating or altering positions and programs. The announcement comes a month after MC Canada councils met to identify the core responsibilities of the national church, those that are integral to its mission and values.
A public stand for peace, peace between believers and peace with their neighbours all came to the fore during the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions last month in North Battleford.
‘Mary With Tears,’ a sculpture of Mary, the mother of Jesus, by Vilius Orvidas, who did most of his work under the Soviet occupation of Lithuania. He died in the early 1990s. Photographed by Jerry Holsopple, a visual and communication arts professor at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Singing was a significant element of the two-day ‘Mary in Anabaptist Dress’ Conference. Paul Dueck, pastor of Windsor Mennonite Fellowship, Ont., acted as song-leader.
Panelist Irma Fast Dueck of Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Man., right, said, “We have only a few biblical accounts of Mary. That’s a blessing. We have to use our imaginations to shape our image of Mary that has an Anabaptist-Mennonite sensibility.” The panel included Adam Tice, associate pastor of Hyattsville Mennonite Church, Md., left
After two days of singing, discussing, pondering images and praying last month, questions continued to swirl around Mary, the mother of Jesus, and what she might mean for Mennonites and Anabaptists today.
Mennonite Church Canada leaders spent much of their spring leadership assembly last month preparing for a smaller national church structure in the near future.
“We have done all the tweaking we can do to provide sustainable programming within our current income level,” says general secretary Willard Metzger. “The signs are clear.”
Willard Metzger, Mennonite Church Canada general secretary, inspired MC Alberta delegates with the reminder that no matter how difficult things are for the church, “this is not the end; the end belongs to God.” Basing his keynote presentations to the 82nd annual assembly of MC Alberta, held last month at Holyrood Mennonite Church, Edmonton, on Revelation 21, Metzger noted that trends across den
With the theme of “Being a Peace Church,” 88 church leaders and others interested in the topic met at Living Hope Christian Fellowship, Surrey, for the annual Mennonite Church B.C. Leaders, Elders and Deacons (LEAD) conference on Feb. 25.
Reports on a new church plant model and passion for native ministries highlighted the annual delegate sessions of Mennonite Church B.C., held at Living Hope Christian Fellowship, Surrey, on Feb. 26. Delegates followed “Being a Peace Church” as a theme, carried out through both business and workshop sessions.
Henry Kliewer, standing, the director of Mennonite Church Manitoba Leadership Ministries, offers a prayer of blessing during the commissioning serv-ice for Ken Warkentin, the new executive director for MC Manitoba. “I am looking forward to the significant challenges that lie ahead,” said Warkentin, who has been involved in church work for 29 years.
The annual Mennonite Church Manitoba gathering did not bring forth momentous decisions, but it did cause the 147 delegates—representing 37 of the area church’s 50 congregations—to occasionally squirm uncomfortably, express exasperation at times, and grapple with several challenges.
Peace and justice projects in South Africa are creating a large appetite for the nonviolent peace principles of Anabaptist theology. Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers Andrew and Karen Suderman invite Canadians to feed that need by helping them to build the Anabaptist Network in South Africa Peace Library.
Hungry children are being fed, students of peace are learning nonviolent responses to conflict, and ordinary people are making extraordinary sacrifices to bring hope and justice to those on the margins.
“Our children and young people have no idea what it means to be Anabaptist or Mennonite. What is MWC going to do about that?”
This concern, forthrightly expressed, came from a congregational leader in India during one of dozens of teaching sessions in which I participated last fall in India and Indonesia.
If you open the front cover of the Merriam-Webster’s Primary Dictionary, you’ll find acknowledgement of Victoria Neufeldt’s contribution in the preface. Lively illustrations make the book visually appealing and invite children inside where they can learn and discover the joy of words.
On Reformation Sunday, Oct. 31, Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington, Ont., was visited by neighbours and friends from the local St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Reformation Sunday marks the anniversary in 1517 when Martin Luther began public theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church that is considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
Historical records are shaped by the perspectives of those who write them, but perspectives that clash can cause centuries of pain.
On July 22, 2010, an apology from Lutherans for their historical persecution of Mennonites initiated a new relationship between these parts of the church and opened a door to revisiting their shared but distinctive histories.
At least 30 mission and church leaders represented Anabaptist-related communities at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in South Africa this fall. The gathering, which attracted 4,000 mission leaders, pastors and academics from 198 countries, grew out of the Lausanne Movement that followed the first congress in Switzerland in1974.
Why would several hundred people enter a storefront on Finch Avenue West in northwest Toronto late in the afternoon of Sept. 26? Not to get a haircut; that’s next door. No, these people were gathered to celebrate.
“Do we want to keep on doing what we are used to doing or do we want to think in new ways?”