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.
God at work in the Church
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.
Grace Mennonite Church is engaged in an ongoing and earnest conversation about the Anabaptist peace position.
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?”
Willard Metzger began his post as Mennonite Church Canada’s new general secretary on Nov. 1, taking over from the retiring Robert J. Suderman. Metzger has felt called to national ministry for many years, and brings many experiences to the table, including 18 years as a pastor, 10 years as chair of MC Canada Witness, and as the director of church relations for World Vision Canada.
Most 10-year-old boys express their dreams of being astronauts, firefighters or police officers when they grow up. For Willard Metzger, the new general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, who took office on Nov. 1, national ministry was his calling, even as a young child.
The 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Mennonite Mutual Insurance Co. (Alberta) Ltd. passed in understated Mennonite fashion, with cake and fellowship at the company’s annual meeting. The quietness belies the significance of this uniquely Albertan success story that has fingers in the past and present, while pointing into the future.
As the criminal investigation continues into allegations of gang rape in some Mennonite colonies in Bolivia, many local congregations see a need to reach out to people dealing with addictions, sexual abuse and violence against women.
Despite tragic reports of sexual assault, alcoholism and drug use among Old Colony Mennonite communities in Bolivia this past year, there are many good things happening there, which offer hope for a better future.
Technically, there is no such thing as a Mennonite monk. But if you travel to a remodelled century-old barn in the rolling countryside of southern Michigan, you will find some decidedly monk-like Mennonites. At the Hermitage—a Mennonite-run spiritual retreat centre—directors David and Naomi Wenger welcome pilgrims to a setting of quiet, stillness and prayer.
Martyrs Mirror is newer than the Bible and longer than some copies of it.
“Mennonite World Conference is in good shape. There are no crisis areas. What we agreed to do, we have been able to do.”
With those words, general secretary Larry Miller, who will leave his post in 2012 after more than two decades of service, summarized the work of MWC to the Executive Committee when it gathered in Addis Ababa this summer for its annual meeting.
Many people with ties to the Tiefengrund Mennonite Church near Carlton, Sask., came to relive the past, rejoice in the present and anticipate the future of this church community on July 24 and 25.
In the town of Aberdeen, Sask., population 600, a small but committed group of Mennonites that call this place home gathered together in early June to celebrate 100 years of witness to the community.