‘Audacious preacher’ tackles racism at School for Ministers

‘Audacious preacher’ Anthony Bailey is pictured with Marilyn Rudy-Froese, MC Eastern Canada’s leadership minister, at this year’s School for Ministers event. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Through worship, workshops and keynote addresses, Anthony Bailey challenged participants at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual School for Ministers to be audacious: bold, daring, provocative and courageous.

New structure brings challenges and opportunities

Nearly 150 delegates and other attendees representing 35 churches attended the annual delegate meeting at Steinbach Mennonite Church. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

Henry Paetkau, interim executive minister of MC Canada, holds the covenant document between the regional churches that make up MC Canada. He said they are now more connected with each other than before. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

A Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey was spotted in Winnipeg Blue Bombers territory. Ken Warkentin, executive director of Mennonite Church Manitoba, speaks at the MC Manitoba delegate gathering in Steinbach, Man., on March 2, as Ryan Siemens, executive director of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, looks on. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Ken Warkentin, executive minister of MC Manitoba, accompanies the congregation in worship. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

Delegates connect with each other over morning coffee at the MC Manitoba annual general meeting. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

The people of Mennonite Church Manitoba discussed and dreamed what the new structure of MC Canada means for their regional church, at this year’s annual delegate gathering. 

Nearly 150 delegates and other attendees representing 35 churches from across Manitoba gathered at Steinbach Mennonite Church on the first weekend in March. 

Budget matters

B.C. delegates engage together in ‘God’s mission’

MCBC executive minister Garry Janzen, right, gives a blessing to Tammy and Rob Wiebe of the Church of the Way in Granisle, as they leave MC B.C. for partnership with another denomination. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Delegates at the Mennonite Church B.C. annual meetings at Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, Feb. 23, found themselves walking alongside each other, encouraging each other and sometimes disagreeing with each other, yet with a common goal to fulfill “God’s mission: Our mission” as a church body.

Teaching horse sense

Cheralyne Gibson is horsemanship director at the Valley Equestrian Centre, a ministry of Youth Farm Bible Camp. She appreciates being able to offer equine-assisted learning in a Christian setting. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Youth Farm Bible Camp’s new riding arena will soon be the scene of both riding lessons and equine-assisted learning sessions.

No one likes to be told, “Hey! You need to change your attitude!” But that bitter pill is much easier to swallow when it’s administered by a horse.

The future is now

Mennonite places of worship across Canada.

I posed one question to the 186 Mennonite Church Canada congregations for which my search engine found email addresses. My question: “What changes has your congregation experienced as a result of the Future Directions decisions of October 2017?”

Going solar

Wayne MacDonald sees installing solar panels on the roof of Wildwood Mennonite as “an expression of what we value as a congregation.” The 20 panels are expected to cover 60 percent of the church’s energy costs. (Drone photo by Les Klassen Hamm)

Wildwood Mennonite Church recently became the first Mennonite Church Saskatchewan congregation to go solar. But, as with all major spending decisions, this one wasn’t made overnight.

RJC and MCC Saskatchewan celebrate collaborative relationship

Following the concert, guests enjoyed conversation over coffee and Syrian pastries prepared by Basem Ahmad and Fadia Almasalma, a Syrian couple who have recently settled in Saskatoon through the help of MCC. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Richard Janzen led the RJC Ensemble as well as the Global Mass Choir, in which supporters of RJC and MCC Saskatchewan joined students to perform several works, including ‘Freedom Come’ by Ben Alloway. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

The Alsheikh family are Syrian refugees who recently moved to Saskatoon. Accompanied by their brother Abdul on keyboard, sisters Zina and Janna Alsheikh entertained the audience with songs sung in both Arabic and English. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Saskatchewan and Rosthern Junior College (RCJ) joined forces to host a unique fundraising concert. 

Held on Feb. 10, 2019, at Grace Westminster United Church in Saskatoon, Global Songs and Sweets featured music and musicians from around the globe. Interspersed between the songs were times of sharing. 

Youth panel explains what keeps them in church

Pictured from left to right: moderator Irma Fast Dueck and panellists Colin Friesen, Emily Hunsberger, Maria Klassen, Yeabsra Agonfer and Jonathan Klassen speak on the topic ‘Taking the plunge: Young adults and the church,’ as part of this year’s Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College. (Grebel photo by Jen Konkle)

Christian youth and young adults are seeking church spaces that are authentic, safe and open, but also supportive of their role in leadership.

At least, that’s what five people who took part in a youth panel had to say at the 2019 Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., on Feb. 8.

Bethany Mennonite helps Wells of Hope in Guatemala

Members of Bethany Mennonite Church shovel gravel onto a truck to transport it to the next well site in the mountains of Guatemala. (Photo by Herb Sawatzky)

Colton Sawatzky, Evan Vanvliet and Ryley Vahrmeyer collect donations during a Jan. 27 fundraiser at Bethany Mennonite Church, Virgil, Ont. (Photo by Maria Klassen)

Before there was a mission trip to Guatemala last month, there was a fundraising lunch of hot chili the month before.

Militia lays down arms in Congo

Militia members enter the Congolese city of Tshikapa in a truck to lay down their arms on January 29. (Photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

(Photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

Joseph Nkongolo leads a literacy training session. (Photo by Zachary Cooke)

(Map by Betty Avery)

As truckloads of militia drove into Tshikapa to lay down their arms, Joseph Nkongolo went to meet them. Nkongolo—Coordinator of the Service and Development Department of the Mennonite Church of Congo—spoke of militia members saying they want to re-enter civil life. “Pray for us,” they said to him, “we have done horrible things; forgive us for what we have done.”

‘How can I help?’

Chris Steingart, as Joseph, shows off his amazing Technicolor dreamcoat while his brothers look on with disgust from the background. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Narrator and musical director Stacey VanderMeer, far right, takes a selfie with the whole family of Jacob in Breslau Mennonite Church’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Joseph, played by Chris Steingart, accuses Benjamin, played by Jonathan Klassen, of stealing his cup. Narrator Stacey VanderMeer, in red, registers shock while the chorus joins in the blame. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Matthew Rappolt, left, Karl Braun, Brent Schmidt and Nick Martin, as some of Joseph’s brothers facing famine, long for ‘Those Canaan Days’ when they had plenty to eat. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Janice Klassen, left, Amanda Snyder and Karl Braun dance and sing, ‘Go, Go, Go Joseph,’ to assure him that he’s not beaten yet, and his fortunes will change. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Justin Martin, right, who played Issachar and served as production manager, explains to his father Jacob, played by Phil Martin, left, what happened to Joseph, and why there will be ‘one less place at the table, while one of the brothers look on. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Chris Steingart, Joseph and artistic director, and Stacey VanderMeer, narrator and musical director, begin to tell the children the story of Joseph and his dreams. (Photo by Christine Saunders)

Driving to the cottage while listening to a recording of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Justin Martin had an idea. Could Breslau Mennonite Church stage it? More than a year-and-a-half later, that dream came true. 

‘We really need each other a lot’

Werner and Joanne DeJong spent September to December of last year at Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia. They are pictured with a couple of college staffers on New Year’s Eve. (Photo courtesy of the DeJongs)

Werner and Joanne DeJong visited an Ethiopian prison that had received donated sewing machines from Mennonites. Joanne also preached at this prison. (Photo courtesy of the DeJongs)

Werner and Joanne DeJong returned to Edmonton’s Holyrood Mennonite Church excited about the Anabaptist church in Africa and at home. They see possibilities for ongoing partnerships that benefit both the rapidly growing church in Ethiopia and the declining church in Canada. “We really need each other a lot,” Werner says.

‘Passing quilt’ gives dignity in death

The family of a recently deceased Menno Place resident watch as their loved one is escorted out under the ‘butterfly passing quilt’ made for this purpose. (Photo by Austen Holmquist)

Dolores Martens, left, and Lenora Zacharias, members of the Menopositives quilting group, view the ‘butterfly passing quilt’ they sewed for Menno Place care facility. (Photo courtesy of Menno Place)

Death is a frequent visitor at Menno Place, B.C.’s largest senior care facility.

MCC cuts Canadian programs to focus on advocacy

Labrador Innu elder Elizabeth Penashue, left, hosts an MCC learning tour. (2016 MCC Newfoundland and Labrador Facebook Page photo)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada is cutting about $350,000 from its Indigenous Neighbours, Restorative Justice and Low German programs. The changes are driven by a decrease in thrift store income, a shift to more international spending, and a decision to “go deeper” rather than wider. 

‘This is about us’

Emily Cohen, left, a workshop leader, chats with Matthew Bailey-Dick, coordinator of the Anabaptist Learning Workshop, at a ‘Caregiving in a #ChurchToo world’ seminar on Jan. 19, 2018, at Steinmann Mennonite Church in Baden, Ont. Behind them on the wall, coloured heads represent people's stories and experiences of sexual abuse that are known to workshop participants. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

How do churches prevent sexual harassment and abuse in their midst? How do they respond when abuse happens? How do they shift the culture in their ranks so that victims feel safer to share their stories?

Church steps up to help local food bank

Pictured from left to right, Elaine Lepp, Pastor Karen Sheil, Margaret Wieler and Elma Lepp pack Christmas hampers for the local food bank in a Sunday school classroom at Harrow Mennonite Church. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

In December, Essex County was preparing to rest. The land had done its work, providing crops for farmers to harvest and get to market. The temperature dropped and the workload followed suit. Tractors were in the sheds and off the roads. Farmers and rural folk became shoppers and headed to urban centres to hunt down that perfect gift for Christmas.

Viral theology

‘It was basically a joke at first,’ Micah Enns-Dyck says of his popular Facebook page. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

The Facebook page bills itself as ‘the ultimate destination for dank theological memes from a pacifist/Anabaptist/Radical Orthodox/post-liberal perspective.’

One of Micah Enns-Dyck’s Hauwerwasian memes.

When Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) students Micah Enns-Dyck and Nathan Dueck created the Facebook page Hauerwasian Memes for Pacifist Teens last April, they thought its appeal would be limited to their classmates. Not so.

Introducing The Ferment

Musician Alana Levandoski and author Marcus Peter Rempel co-host the new podcast, The Ferment.

At his home on Ploughshares Community Farm in South St. Ouen’s, Man., Marcus Peter Rempel chops a lot of cabbage. But, instead of making a salad or throwing it in a soup, he squishes it in a giant bucket, covers it and lets it sit at room temperature for several weeks. He lets it ferment, a step required to make sauerkraut. 

MWC census shows increased numbers

‘Anabaptists around the world’: A 2018 map. (Mennonite World Conference)

Worship at a Uganda Mennonite Church congregation. ‘The Mennonite Church Uganda is quite happy and honoured to be member of the global family of the MWC,’ says Bishop Simon Okoth, national coordinator of Uganda Mennonite Church. (Uganda Mennonite Church photo)

“Uganda is ripe for evangelism and the church is growing,” says Bishop Simon Okoth, national coordinator of Uganda Mennonite Church. The new Mennonite World Conference (MWC) member church, accepted by the Executive Committee in 2017, grew from 310 members in seven congregations in 2015 to 553 members in 18 congregations in 2018.


Subscribe to RSS - News