News

Error message

Deprecated function: Function create_function() is deprecated in eval() (line 1 of /home/canadianmenno/public_html/modules/php/php.module(80) : eval()'d code).

Picnics galore!

Springridge Mennonite Church tug-of-war at its annual picnic. (Photo by Del Willms)

Springridge Mennonite Church boot toss at its annual picnic this June in Pincher Creek. (Photo by Del Willms)

Springridge Mennonite Church egg toss with Chris Marten and granddaughter Claire. (Photo by Del Willms)

Springridge Mennonite Church traditional sack race. Pictured from left to right: Tany Warkentin, Kyle Janzen, Riley Diesty, Danika Warkentin, Andrew Janzen, Karl Janzen and Asher Warkentin. (Photo by Del Willms)

Springridge Mennonite Church sack race with Riley Diesty, left, and Jonas Anjo. (Photo by Del Willms)

Children participate in the sack race at this year’s church picnic at Trinity Mennonite Church in Okotoks, Alta. Pictured from left to right: Cole Schellenberg, Nate Lopaschuk and Ruby Loewen. (Photo by Jenna Hunsberger)

Springridge Mennonite Church congregants at their annual picnic this June in Pincher Creek, Alta. (Photo by Del Willms)

Many church programs eventually come to an end, but there’s one event that still remains after many decades—and that’s the church picnic!

‘Beyond expectations’ with the help of God

Children make planets at the VBS craft station, on the theme of ‘To Mars and beyond.’ (Photo by Barb Burkhard)

The intercultural Vacation Bible School planning committee from First Hmong and First Mennonite churches in Kitchener included, from left to right: Griselda Bevenborn, René Baergen, My Yang, Tina Heu, Charity Friesen, Dao Her and Gao Hlee; absent: Julie Lee. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

“I’m so sad that it’s over!” said one young participant after a week of high-energy Vacation Bible School (VBS) activities at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener last month. 

That is just what the eight-member intercultural planning committee wanted to hear after its first joint venture of leading VBS for children aged 2 to 11 each morning from Aug. 12 to 16.

West Hills congregation tries ‘messy church’

Children prepare to go for a tractor and wagon ride at a local farm for one of the West Hills congregation's ‘out’ Sundays. (Photo courtesy of West Hills Fellowship)

The West Hills congregation gathers for worship in a home on their ‘in’ Sunday. (Photo courtesy of West Hills Fellowship)

Two years ago, West Hills Fellowship, in Baden, Ont., faced up to its small-church realities. It had lost some families for a variety of reasons, and found it challenging to run programs and Sunday morning worship services.

That’s when the congregation tried a “messy church” model. 

Auction raises funds for Amish private schools

Horses were among the items for sale at the Amish school auction. (Photo by Se Yim)

Quilts were an important part of the Milverton Amish school sale held on July 20. (Photo by Se Yim)

Sprawled across a recently harvested hayfield on the Kuepfer farm, north of Milverton, Ont., the Amish school sale included lots of farm implements. (Photo by Se Yim)

The local Amish in their straw hats made up a big part of the crowd, but there were also lots of other bidders and onlookers. (Photo by Se Yim)

Rows of quilts wait to be auctioned. (Photo by Se Yim)

Each summer, on the third Saturday of July, the Milverton Amish communities organize a large auction to raise funds for their parochial schools. Hosted on Amish farms throughout the community, this year’s sale, held on July 20, was sprawled across a recently harvested hayfield on the Kuepfer farm north of Milverton.

Singing, serving and studying

Members of North Star Mennonite in Drake pack relief kits for Mennonite Central Committee as part of Sunday worship devoted to service. (Photo by Heidi Martens)

Members of Regina’s Grace Mennonite Church spent the month of August studying a single Scripture text. Using Lectio Divina, they listened to the text, meditated on it and responded in table groups. (Photo by Rose Graber)

Members of North Star Mennonite in Drake build picnic tables for a nearby hospital and seniors residence as part of Sunday worship devoted to service. (Photo by Heidi Martens)

Three congregations sing together as Eigenheim Mennonite Church hosts its neighbours from the Tiefengrund and Zoar Mennonite congregations. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Congregants from Tiefengrund and Zoar Mennonite churches enjoy a potluck lunch hosted by Eigenheim Mennonite Church. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

When summer comes, many churches experience a drop in attendance. But being fewer in number can be an opportunity to try new forms of worship.

Singing together

This summer, several Mennonite Church Saskatchewan congregations chose to worship in creative and perhaps less conventional ways.

12 organizations worth recognizing during Mennonite Heritage Week

Jasem Mohammed carries a food package distributed by MCC partner Zakho Small Villages Project at the Garmawa displaced persons camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. MCC is an example of an organization that expresses values important to Mennonites. (Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler)

At the end of May, Parliament passed a motion declaring the second week of September as Mennonite Heritage Week. 

The motion, put forward by Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, cited the role Mennonites have played “in promoting peace and justice both at home and abroad” as one of the reasons for the recognition.

‘We became Mennonites’

Lydia Grigoryevna, second from left, gets a birthday hug after worship at Nikolaipolye Mennonite Church on June 16. (Photo by Paul Schrag)

Ivan Kapelushniy, pastor of Nikolaipolye Mennonite Church, greets Mary Raber, who serves in Ukraine with Mennonite Mission Network. (Photo by Paul Schrag)

Welcoming visitors from North America, Ivan Kapelushniy, pastor of Nikolaipolye Mennonite Church, led his congregation of about 15 people in singing “For God So Loved Us” in Russian.

“There are no born Mennonites among us,” Kapelushniy said on June 16 as mission worker Mary Raber translated. “We became Mennonites.”

MCC partner serves people ‘society doesn’t want’

Natalia Mezentseva, second from left, director of New Life, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partner in Ukraine, accepts an MCC centennial paperweight from North American visitors. Looking on are MCC board member Robert Enns of Calgary, left, and Viktoria Rab­chen­yuk, second from right, and Tatiana Yorzh, right, New Life women’s house residents. (Photo by Paul Schrag)

Natalia Mezentseva oversees a household of “women in difficult circumstances.”

With an affirming and instructive place to live, thanks to a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partner, their circumstances are better already.  

A group of visitors on an MCC learning tour heard their stories, cuddled a baby, applauded a child’s poetry recital and prayed with them on June 21.

Shackled together in perfect unity— ‘Blame it on God’

‘It takes every ounce of . . . love to cope with the success of God’s gathering,’ Tom Yoder Neufeld told delegates at this year’s MC U.S.A. conference in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo by Vada Snider)

God’s success is our problem. But it’s a good problem. From these thoughts of Tom Yoder Neufeld came a catch phrase of MennoCon19: “The church is a mess. Thanks be to God!”

Who was Mary Magdalene?

Organizer Martha Smith Good, left, chats with Amanda Witmer, instructor and lecturer who led a group of women in exploring biblical and Gnostic references to Mary Magdalene, at an event held at Wilmot Mennonite Church on July 22. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Who was Mary of Magdala? What impressions do people have of her, and where do those impressions come from?

Fairy tales at the Fringe

The play’s five-member cast performed The Mennonite Fairytale 13 times in under three weeks. (Photo courtesy of Real Live Entertainment)

Hansel and Gretel—I mean Peter and Tina—enter the woods and end up at a house made entirely of waffles and white sauce, where they are led by their evil stepmother to pick rhubarb. And when they need to find their way home, they follow Peter’s trail of knaczot (sunflower seeds).

Grounded and shaken

Shake participants gather for a photo on the Shekinah Retreat Centre deck. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

The afternoon at Stoney Knoll, Sask., included a hoop dance presentation and instruction by Lawrence Roy Junior of Saskatoon. (Photo by June Miller)

Before departing Stoney Knoll, youth representatives from across Canada helped plant a tree as a sign of reconciliation between Mennonites and the Young Chippewayan First Nation. (Photo by June Miller)

Kirsten Hamm-Epp, left and Kathy Giesbrecht led in prayer for each regional church just before the end of Shake. (Photo by June Miller)

Kirsten Hamm-Epp, far right, looks on as Andrea de Avila, holding the microphone, responds to a question during a panel discussion in response to the theme ‘Hol(e)y, healthy, hopeful.’ Also pictured, from left to right, are: Miriam Huebner, Phil Campbell Enns, Nathan Bartel, Zachary Stefaniuk and Madison Harms. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Youth sponsor Chad Miller, right, anoints Caleb Gartner with oil and the words, ‘The God who gave you life calls you beloved.’ Both are from Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Comedian Matt Falk provided some ‘hol(e)y’ laughter for Shake participants. (Photo by June Miller)

“We want to be shaken not by what the world throws at us, but by what Jesus throws at us.”

With these words, Kirsten Hamm-Epp welcomed participants to Shake: Rattled by the Radical.

From Golgotha to the Pembina Valley

Bill Tiessen, right, has played Jesus for 12 years in Manitoba’s Passion Play. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Around 65 people make up the cast of Manitoba’s Passion Play. Pictured, the crowds welcome Jesus, played by Bill Tiessen, front right, as he enters Jerusalem. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Jesus, played by Bill Tiessen, right, is led before Pilate. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Manitoba’s Passion Play is set in the beautiful Pembina Valley at the Oak Valley Outdoor Theatre. (Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Passion Play)

Every summer, more than a hundred volunteers from across Manitoba gather in the rolling hills of the Pembina Valley to bring to life the most important event of the Christian faith: Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 

‘Won’t you be my neighbour?’

Enjoying VBS craft time at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary are, from left to right: Arianna Toews, Kaylynn Toews and Zoe Willms. (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

John Wiebe serenades the children with his harmonica during snack time at the Compassion Café. (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

Pastor Chad Miller of Foothills Mennonite Church, left, and Pastor Leng Nawn Thang of Calgary Chin Christian Church lead worship together at the annual VBS program held at Foothills Mennonite Church last month. (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

Pastor Chad Miller, centre, introduces new neighbours Rabah Swaidek, left, and Mohammed Awada from the Centre for Newcomers in Calgary at this year’s VBS program, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ (Photo by Ainsley Dunn)

Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers asked the question, “Won’t you be my neighbour?” every day for almost 40 years on Mr. Roger’s Neighbourhood.

Crokinole boards sold for China mission

Sales of custom-made crokinole boards from Yarrow (B.C.) United Mennonite Church are helping support Mennonite Partners in China. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

Wooden game boards made in Yarrow, B.C., and a crokinole tournament at this summer’s Mennonite Church Canada Gathering 2019 have made a connection with modern-day Chinese Christians and a 16th-century Dutch Anabaptist martyr.

Peacebuilding beyond borders

Theatre of the Beat actor Lindsey Middleton performs at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference in the Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of Theatre of the Beat)

Theatre of the Beat actors Meghan Fowler and Brendan Kinnon perform at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference in the Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of Theatre of the Beat)

Silvie Kroeker speaks at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference in the Netherlands with her father, Gordon Zerbe. (Photo courtesy of Silvie Kroeker)

The second annual Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival took place in Elspeet, the Netherlands, between June 27 and 30. It brought people together with the aim of reflecting on Mennonite peacebuilding accomplishments, failures, opportunities and challenges in various settings.

Mennonites find warm welcome at Indigenous theological symposium

Daniel Dixon, left, and Adrian Jacobs take part in a Talking Circle following a plenary speaker at a recent NAIITS symposium held in Toronto in early June. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Terry LeBlanc, one of the co-founders of NAIITS, welcomes the 200 participants at the NAIITS symposium held in Toronto in early June. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Keith Starkengerg discusses his paper, “Falling and Standing: Learning a White Theology of Land in North America.” (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Cam Eggie, Adrian Jacobs and Ray Minieconn take part in a Talking Circle. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Danny Zacharias shares his paper, “Graceland: The Land as Relational Gift in the Bible.” (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Marilou Maissoneuve delivers her paper, “Being Christian and Innu: Is Reconnection with the Land Possible? A Historical and Anthropological Analysis.” (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Debby Krahn and Cam Eggie listen as Sara DeWeerd shares her reflections on the symposium. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Under the bright blue sky, on the grassy hill of Tyndale University in Toronto, situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat peoples, Casey Church performed an Anishinaabe pipe ceremony, acknowledging the Creator and the sacred directions. He gave thanks on behalf of the 200 or so people gathered in two large circles around him.

Not because they were male

Don Neufeld shares his reflections on the themes of masculinity and Anabaptism at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, Ont., on May 3. (Photo by Jonathan Seiling)

Don Neufeld shared his reflections on the themes of masculinity and Anabaptism at a “Probing the potential for peace” discussion series held at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines on May 3.

‘Working at home is over-rated’

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld (MC Alberta executive minister), left, Donita Wiebe-Neufeld (MCC Alberta development coordinator), Sonia Halliday and Dena Harris (MMI insurance advisors) now share a common space in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

Tim Wiebe-Neufeld (MC Alberta executive minister) and Donita Wiebe-Neufeld (MCC Alberta development coordinator), co-pastored First Mennonite Church in Edmonton for 15 years until 2017 and are now together again with only a wall between them at the new offices off Whitemud Drive in Edmonton. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

After years of dreaming of a Mennonite hub in Edmonton, it finally came to pass. Mennonite organizations that were formerly in basements, spare rooms and kitchens have come together to share space at the invitation of Mennonite Mutual Insurance (MMI).

A life-long journey for freedom

Daryl Redsky of the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation stands on a temporary bridge over the man-made channel that used to isolate his community but has now been replaced by Freedom Road. (2014 file photo by Will Braun)

Freedom Road is now officially open. (Churches for Freedom Road Facebook photo)

Workers construct the Greater Winnipeg Water District aqueduct between 1915 and 1919. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)

A worker stands on an incomplete section of the Greater Winnipeg Water District aqueduct. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)

Klaas W. Brandt’s dredge used to construct the aqueduct. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)

Klaas W. Brandt surveying for the aqueduct. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)

For the first time in more than a century, the isolated island of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is now connected to the rest of mainland Canada.

The Indigenous community, located on the Manitoba-Ontario border, just celebrated the official opening of Freedom Road, a 24-kilometre, all-season road that links to the mainland via the Trans-Canada Highway.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News