Serving communion at the 16th Biennial Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) was a profoundly humbling experience for Willard Metzger.
“I felt as though I was surrounded by a huge cloud of Anabaptist witnesses from the past,” says Mennonite Church Canada’s executive director.
The significance of that statement is deeply rooted in history.
As the General Board of Mennonite Church Canada anticipates potential change following the Special Assembly, we are reminded of things done, and not done. We are deeply aware of weakness and strength. We are aware of successes and failures. We are aware that the journey is not over, and significant challenges remain.
Haze lingered over a wide area of British Columbia in early August, a reminder that wildfires in B.C.’s interior were affecting residents several hundred kilometres away. An air quality advisory index was issued in Metro Vancouver on July 31, 2017, and 10 days later was still in effect, the longest ever recorded.
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando earlier this month adopted a resolution entitled “Seeking peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution addresses the injustices of military occupation as well as the suffering caused by antisemitism.
When delegates to the July 2016 assembly of Mennonite Church Canada passed a resolution on Palestine and Israel with an almost unanimous vote, reactions varied widely from within the denomination and from outside.
In March 2017, I spent 10 days in Hebron and observed three throwing situations that showed a microcosm of the occupation in that Palestinian city. Hebron, a major city in the southern West Bank, is where some 800 Jewish settlers, protected by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, have moved into the old city, among the Palestinian population.