God at work in the Church
Carol Penner went into ministry to be a “humble tool in God’s tool box—to preach, go to meetings and love people,” like the hammer she brought to the lectern with her. “But,” she said during her address to the annual Conrad Grebel University College pastors breakfast on Nov. 1, 2016, “the church is in a different space now.”
English is still the dominant language in Mennonite Church Canada as a whole, but worship also happens every Sunday in Cantonese, Lao, Tigrinya, Oromo and 14 other languages. Unfortunately, links between Euro-Canadian Mennonites and Mennonites of other backgrounds remain limited.
Selfies just might be God’s idea. Remember, you are smarter than your smartphone. What if virtue went viral?
Spending half of Canadian Thanksgiving in the U.S. away from my family is not how I usually like to plan things. But this past summer as I was thinking through my fall schedule, the speakers and themes from the Deep Faith conference that was being planned at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., kept coming back to me and drawing me in. And I’m glad I went.
With special “Menno-poly” Chance cards, five different Monopoly boards scattered throughout Saskatoon and fun team challenges, the Mega Menno Monopoly Rally kick-off got groups excited for another year of youth events in Saskatchewan. The event took place on Sept. 9, 2016, at Mount Royal Mennonite Church, with about 40 youth and sponsors from eight different congregations participating.
Keith Regehr, a managing partner working in the field of conflict resolution and restorative justice for the L3 Group in Kitchener, Ont., formerly known as Associates Resourcing Churches, has been named the new transition director for Mennonite Church Canada, according to a new website of the national church’s Future Directions Task Force.
Kuen Yee, pastor of English ministries at Edmonton Vietnamese Mennonite Church, has resigned her three-quarter-time position effective Oct. 31, 2016. Yee is Chinese and has an Alliance Church background. In September 2012, she began serving as the pastor of English ministries with Vietnamese Mennonites. She formerly served as a lay pastor at Edmonton Chinese Alliance Church.
Molly Schaeffer, standing rear, one of this summer’s resident managers, acts as emcee for Camp Koinonia’s 50th-anniversary celebration on Oct. 2. Close to 150 people gathered for the event that included camp activities like wall climbing, ziplining, canoeing and pontoon boat rides that were supplemented by tours and cinnamon buns in the afternoon. (Mennonite Church Manitoba photo)
Jake Neufeld, right, a long-time Camp Koinonia supporter and resident manager from 1977 to 1987, makes a huge batch of chili in the cauldron for the 50th-anniversary supper meal, with help from Jack Heide, left. (Mennonite Church Manitoba photo)
Molly Schaeffer, standing rear, one of this summer’s resident managers, acts as emcee for Camp Koinonia’s 50th-anniversary celebration on Oct. 2, 2016. Close to 150 people gathered for the event, which included camp activities like wall climbing, ziplining, canoeing and pontoon boat rides that were supplemented by tours and cinnamon buns in the afternoon. (Mennonite Church Manitoba photo)
“Are you on a tour?”
Squinting in the summer sunlight, we glanced across the street as a man stepped out of his car. Guilty as charged. Our walking neighborhood tour, composed of members and friends of Home Street Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, had come to stop at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Aboriginal Catholic Parish on Ellice Avenue in the heart of the city’s West End.
The road ahead for the recovery of Fort McMurray, Alta.—devastated this spring by wildfires that forced the evacuation of 88,000 residents while consuming and scorching large swaths of residential areas—will be dictated somewhat by the reality of the local and provincial economy, but also by when and if people return to the city.
One couple’s perspective
Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Ontario started discussions with Dave Erb, executive director of Silver Lake Mennonite Camp, over a year ago, to explore the possibility of partnering on a “family project.” The goal was to provide a service opportunity for families with younger children in a safe multi-generational setting while building new structures at the camp.
Kathy Reidt, representing the congregation, left, Pastor Walter Jantzen and Ryan Siemens, MC Saskatchewan’s area church minister of congregational and pastoral relations, lead worshippers in a litany of release and blessing at the closing service of Horse Lake Mennonite Church. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Walter Jantzen has ministered at Horse Lake (Sask.) Mennonite Church for 59 years. At the church’s closing service on June 26, Jantzen shared the congregation’s history, which dates back to the late 1920s. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Shelley Romanuk holds her daughter as she reflects on her experiences growing up in Horse Lake (Sask.) Mennonite Church, while her grandfather, Pastor Walter Jantzen, cradles his great-granddaughter. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
It had probably been a while since Horse Lake Mennonite Church welcomed so many worshippers. Filling every pew, they gathered to celebrate the life of this small country church and to grieve its closing.
During the decommissioning service, held June 26, Pastor Walter Jantzen shared the church’s history.