God at work in the Church
Canadian Mennonite thanks everyone who took the time to fill out the reader survey distributed late in 2015. The responses were positive overall and showed that the magazine is generally well liked. Readers clearly prefer to read print, rather than online, and there is great resistance to the idea of making the magazine digital-only.
Conflict within, uncertainties without. Perhaps it was because of these that planners of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s annual delegate sessions chose “Bound together, freed to serve” as their theme for the March 11 and 12, 2016, event.
Chains encircling a Bible provided a visual reminder of that theme as three speakers shared thoughts on Ephesians 4.
In her opening address to this year’s Pastors Week event at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, held during the last week of January 2016, Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, the school’s dean of lifelong learning, highlighted widespread confusion in the church today about what to do with the Bible, but implored listeners not to “put the Bible on the shelf.”
Never let it be said that young people don’t care about the future of the church.
Late last year, Katrina Woelk, a sociology student at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and a member of the student council, was having a conversation with some other students and members of the university administration about the challenges facing Mennonite Church Canada.
What makes a quilt Amish? Does it have to be “quilted by a group of Amish women sitting around the frame in their sitting room?” Or does it have to have an Amish pattern, like the Amish Wedding pattern created and popularized by Rachel Pellman of the Old Country Store in Lancaster, Pa? Is appliqué or pieced the appropriate technique?
On Feb. 7, 2016, Edmonton’s First Mennonite Church voted to become an inclusive and affirming Christian community.
Journalism is a tense and often misunderstood business, especially within the church. Readers get riled, interviewees feel gypped, church leaders squirm. But in many ways the tension is the essence.
Hearing the word “archives” may conjure sneeze-worthy stereotypes. However, a visit to the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Archives in Calgary quickly dispels any dusty images.
A crowd of lively volunteers surrounded by history laugh around the lunch table, sharing discoveries made during their weekly volunteer stint to preserve the history of Mennonites in Alberta.
Helping those in lay and paid pastoral care roles better minister to their congregations, some of whom deal with issues of mental illness and addictions, was the goal of “Mental wellness,” Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual pastors, chaplains and congregational leaders event held Jan. 16, 2016, at Steinmann Mennonite Church in Baden.
Most Canadian Mennonites have not experienced war first-hand or had their pacifist beliefs tested, but the stories of those who have are an important part of the peace narrative. To address this, the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan hosted an afternoon of storytelling at Bethany Manor in Saskatoon on Nov. 15, 2015, to which 140 people came.
Mennonite Church Canada laid off five staff members on Nov. 28, as part of the cost-saving restructuring efforts that fall under the banner of the Future Directions Task Force.