Jake Neufeld, lay minister for 46 years, was released from his ordination to ministry last October in Whitewater Mennonite Church in Boissevain. Neufeld leaves ordination behind with a grateful heart for the life-changing course it set him on.
God at work in Us
“It was an amazing time when I think back,” says Henry Engbrecht. “How could I be so lucky to grow up in that experience?”
Three former staff members of Mennonite Pioneer Missions and Native Ministry, the predecessor organizations of Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous Relations, passed away in April and May of this year. Ronald Peters, Jacob A. Wiebe and Cheryl Fisch all based their lives and ministries on strong relationships, say former co-workers Neill and Edith von Gunten.
Amanda Falla believes that miracles appear to be uncommon because people don’t talk about them. But she cannot keep quiet about hers.
An unlikely but emerging friendship between Mzwandile Nkutha and Cobus van Wyngaard through the Anabaptist Network in South Africa (ANiSA) demonstrates in a small way what it looks like to overcome deeply rooted racial prejudices in South Africa.
It is an unlikely friendship because Nkutha is a black Zulu and van Wyngaard is a white Afrikaner.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) staff and volunteers are mourning the loss of their friend and long-term volunteer, Clyde Dougans. Dougans was a fixture at the annual MCC Festival for World Relief in Abbotsford, where he entertained crowds as an auctioneer, helping MCC to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the span of his career.
In his first year working in information technology (IT) in 1996, Nolan Andres was living at Conrad Grebel University College and his roommate was Tim Miller Dyck, later to become editor of Canadian Mennonite and now an owner-employee at PeaceWorks Technology Solutions of Waterloo, Ont., that Andres founded.
Bill Block has more than 1,300 sermons that sit in his bottom filing cabinet drawer, evidence of his many years of working for the Mennonite church as a pastor, chaplain and conference minister.
Paul M. Zehr is retiring after serving as chair of the editorial council of the Believers Church Bible Commentary (BCBC) series for more than 25 years. “While it’s been a labour of love,” says Zehr, a retired bishop and seminary instructor, “it is time for someone else to take over.”
Guelph Mennonite Church, which Martha Smith Good was pastoring, had requested ordination for her, but the then Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec wanted to license her instead.
Joseph S. Neufeld was born into a large Mennonite family and community in rural Alberta. Having many sisters and brothers, and growing up in the Dirty Thirties, he quickly developed an ability to accommodate others, and be resourceful and generous. He saw Christian faith-in-action modelled, a lesson he took as his own.
Dessert was artistically displayed against a candlelit backdrop at Wildwood Mennonite Church as a few dozen people gathered late last year to celebrate Anna Rehan’s long and fruitful ministry as area church youth minister for Mennonite Church Saskatchewan.
Shadrack Mutabazi is a Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) student who is trying to concentrate on his studies in spite of the trauma that plagues his family and his country. Mutabazi was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but lived for ten years in exile in Rwanda and five years as a refugee in Uganda.
Over the last number of years the St. Clair O’Connor Community (SCOC) Board has reviewed and renewed its mission statement and constitution. Through these evaluations many questions were raised about this multi-generational housing project that currently has residents from young children to those over 100 years old.
Although Odette Mukole has surely told her story hundreds of times, she speaks softly. She is patient, humble and gracious.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Throughout this commemorative year there has been much in-depth coverage of the Titanic but a little-known part of that story will hold particular interest to Mennonite readers.
Funeral services were held Sept. 23, for Elsie Cressman, a former Eastern Mennonite Missions worker in East Africa, who died Sept. 11. Cressman was known for her work among leprosy patients and her work as a midwife both in East Africa and in Canada.
The spring after I turned 15, Sam cornered me in the hallway of Steinmann Mennonite Church and said, “You’re playing church league ball this summer.” It was more of an instruction than an invitation, and thus began my relationship with Sam Gingerich, my ball coach.
After 12 years as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s conference minister, Muriel Bechtel will be moving into retirement this summer. On June 24 she also celebrated 20 years since her ordination, when she was pastor of Warden Woods Mennonite Church, Toronto.
Eliesabeth Klassen celebrated her 103rd birthday on March 3. A few weeks later, six of her students from 60 years ago went to visit her at Blenheim Lodge. Pictured from left to right, front row: Lucy Meyer, Eliesabeth Klassen, Marie Penner and Margie Ewert; and back row: Elfrieda Klassen, Margaret Ewert, Helga Stobbe and Elvira Guenther.
Eliesabeth Klassen says she’s three. “Forget the other hundred years,” she says with a laugh, using a magnifying glass to scan familiar faces in old directories from Vancouver’s First United Mennonite Church, a congregation she attended from its humble beginnings in 1937.
In 1947, Mario Snyder was an inaugural graduate from Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener, Ont.
All the fear, stigma and social prejudice that surrounds mental illness recently surfaced again in the media when a review board granted Vince Li temporary passes to take supervised walks in Selkirk, Man., where he is hospitalized. Li made headlines about four years ago with the horrific psychosis-induced beheading of a fellow bus passenger.
Dale Schiele sees value and worth in that segment of society that most people would rather shun. At age 60, he’ll be retiring from a 30-year career as director of Person to Person (P2P), a volunteer-based prison ministry in Saskatchewan.
For Bruno Epp, school was an exciting place to be. Before he was old enough to attend the one-room Plum Hollow school next to his family's farm near Lena, Manitoba, he would slip onto the playground when the school kids were out and then sneak into class with them, staying until the teacher would notice him and shoo him back home.