I started out by digging into the commitments recently made by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) in relation to Indigenous peoples, commitments that include renouncing “white supremacy” and “unsettling” evangelical theology.
Ronald Kleinsasser prays during a Sunday morning worship service at Emmanuel Church, near Langham, Sask. Since resuming in-person worship, the church has been livestreaming services on its Facebook page. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Pastor Ronald Kleinsasser indicates the portrait of Emmanuel Church’s first pastor, Andreas Stahl. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Pastor Ronald Kleinsasser stands in the cemetery of Emmanuel Church, a church with Hutterite as well as Mennonite roots. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
It is not unusual to hear of a small rural church closing its doors. It is, however, a rare thing to hear about a rural church reopening after being closed for more than 40 years.
And yet this is the story of Emmanuel Church, a tiny congregation whose building is situated about 15 kilometres southwest of Langham, Sask., and 24 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.
Emily Unger’s mom, Tammy, is a Mennonite Nursing Home (MNH) resident. She escorted her daughter to MNH’s graduation celebration. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Don Regier, a resident of Pineview Manor, MNH’s assisted-living wing, accompanied his grandniece, Kate Hanson, to MNH’s graduation celebration. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Doug Knoll, a Mennonite Nursing Home (MNH) resident, escorted his granddaughter, Kendra Schlichemeyer, to MNH’s graduation celebration. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Mennonite Nursing Home honoured seven employees with a graduation celebration recently. Pictured, from left, are: Emily Unger, Hague High School; Kate Hanson, Rosthern Junior College; Kael Wilton, Waldheim High School; Micah Wood, Rosthern Junior College; Kendra Schlichemeyer, Rosthern High School; Rhoan Alfelor, Rosthern High School; and Alysia Wielinga, Rosthern High School. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Graduation was disappointing, or non-existent, for many high-school students this year thanks to COVID-19. So Karen Chaskavich and the team at Mennonite Nursing Home (MNH) held a graduation celebration of their own.
August 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
Mennonite World Conference (MWC) has joined a wide coalition of faith-based communities from around the world that issued a call to governments to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) leaders have been discerning plans for the 2020–21 academic year during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic—with the goal of giving students and employees safe access to campus spaces while making it possible to study or work from home for those who need this option.
Representatives of the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on baptism include, from left to right: Alfred Neufeld, Theodor Dieter, Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, Marie-Hélène Robert, Larry Miller, Friederike Nüssel, Fernando Enns, John Rempel, Luis Melo, Kaisamari Hintikka, Musawenkosi Biyela, William Henn, Avelindo Gonzalez. (Photo by Wilhelm Unger)
The final report on the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on baptism has been published. The report summarizes five years of theological consultations between the three communions on the understanding and practice of baptism in light of contemporary pastoral and missional challenges facing all three Christian communities.
An eastern black swallowtail has just shed its skin and has moved to the next size of caterpillar. It will turn around and eat that skin before moving on to some parsley or dill. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
An eastern black swallowtail has just emerged from her cocoon (to her right). This was Susan K. Harrison’s first successful attempt to raise the insect from egg to butterfly. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
Harrison releases a monarch butterfly at a farm in LaSalle, Ont., where the owner, Dick Wood, has allowed the land to naturalize, nurturing biodiversity including monarch and swallowtail butterflies. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
‘The nursery’ in Harrison’s kitchen. Each cage has a test tube holder and tubes full of water that hold cuttings from milkweed that have monarch eggs or newborn caterpillars on them. The other tent has tubes of water holding cuttings of parsley with eastern black swallowtail eggs and newborn caterpillars on them. When they get old enough to pose a threat of eating the other eggs, they are moved to an outdoor cage, where they will eventually form their chrysalides. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
A newly released female monarch butterfly decides it is not ready to leave Harrison, so it walked up her arm and sat on her shirt for the rest of the afternoon. It flew away later that evening. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
Monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed, and they only lay their eggs on the milkweed plant. Without an available supply of milkweed, they are at risk of extinction. To Harrison, they are pretty plants that people who want to help the monarch survive can easily incorporate it into their gardens. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
The human impact on climate and the Earth itself can often be seen on a massive scale. Think of the melting Arctic or check out the photographic work of Ed Burtynsky.
But Susan K. Harrison, a hospice chaplain and psychotherapist in Windsor, Ont., is doing her part to help on a much smaller and more local scale.
Amid the restrictions of COVID-19, pastors and families are still finding creative and meaningful ways to mark, grieve and ritualize the deaths of loved ones. But no two funerals are the same, and there are added stressors, frustrations and disappointments.
Assistant manager Alexandra Ketchum, left, and manager Roberta Taylor pose in front of the newly rebranded fair-trade store in Edmonton. The former Ten Thousand Villages store is now called Village Goods. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)
“What would it take to stay open?” asked members of the Edmonton Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) Society after the organization announced its closure in early January. Independently owned stores across Canada held emergency meetings to decide what to do next.
As Voices Together nears publication, the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee editorial team has assigned the roughly 750 songs across the table of contents and selected the song that will appear first in the collection.
Prairie Mennonite Fellowship gathered for the first time at an outdoor worship service on June 28. (Photo by Jill Hildebrand)
Pastor Erin Morash speaks to Prairie Mennonite Fellowship at its first gathering. (Photo by Jill Hildebrand)
There is a new church among the farmlands of southwestern Manitoba, but it has more than a hundred years of history.
This spring, Crystal City Mennonite Church and Trinity Mennonite Fellowship in Mather merged to create the new Prairie Mennonite Fellowship congregation.
Mennonite pastors Hieu Do and Hong Thi Nguyen, standing left and right, teach theological foundations in Daklak, Vietnam, in June. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Mennonite pastors and leaders share a meal at training conference in Daklak, Vietnam, in June. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Worship time at a Mennonite teaching conference in Daklak, Vietnam. Reverend Hong Thi Nguyen is wearing the purple T-shirt. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Vietnamese Mennonite pastors, including Hong Thi Nguyen, right, receive bags of rice to distribute to those in need due to COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Hong Thi Nguyen, with arms raised; Y Ya, on guitar; and Hieu Do, right, lead worship at a teaching conference in Daklak, Vietnam, in June. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
In Vietnam it is still uncommon to see female pastors. But the president of the Evangelical Vietnamese Mennonite Church (EVMC) is a woman and also a pastor. Reverend Hong Thi Nguyen is the leader of 40 Mennonite congregations throughout the southern part of Vietnam.
Johise Namwira, a human rights activist and member of Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg, takes part in a MennoMedia ‘adaptive church webinar’ addressing racism in the church. (Screenshot by Janet Bauman)
Participants in the MennoMedia ‘adaptive church webinar’ addressing racism in the church are pictured from left to right, top row: Dennis R. Edwards, Johise Namwira and Amy Gingerich; middle row: Chantelle Todman, Jerrell Williams and Leah Fulton; and bottom: Delonte Gholston. (Screenshot by Janet Bauman)
Acknowledging that “the church has been awakened and reawakened to racial injustice in our midst after the death of George Floyd,” MennoMedia, an agency of Mennonite Church Canada and MC U.S.A., dedicated one of its ‘adaptive church webinars’ to addressing racism in churches.
Northgate Anabaptist Fellowship members meet in their church building on the second Sunday of Lent, shortly before the pandemic forced them to worship from home. Ernie and Eileen Klassen, facing the front of the church, listen as Wayne Plenert leads worship, with Delores Plenert at the piano. (Photo by Esther Klassen)
With eight members, Northgate Anabaptist Fellowship of Dawson Creek is the smallest congregation in Mennonite Church British Columbia. It is also the most remote, located about 1,880 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, near the Alberta border.
Like many rural congregations, Pleasant Point Mennonite Church isn’t as large as it once was. But, although small in number, the church enjoys a rich and interesting congregational life.
Pleasant Point also has an intriguing history. It’s the only Mennonite Church Saskatchewan congregation with a building that boasts a steeple and a church bell.
Riverton (Man.) Fellowship Circle decided on June 24 to close its doors, passing a motion to dissolve the church corporation and its assets.
Doug Johnson Hatlem, former co-pastor at Erb Street Mennonite Church, Waterloo, Ont., believes Mennonite Church Eastern Canada ‘persistently mishandled’ its investigation into Wilmer Martin. (Photo courtesy of Doug Johnson Hatlem)
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada terminated Waterloo resident Wilmer Martin’s ministerial credentials last month, citing ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. (Facebook photo)
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada conducted its investigation fairly and in good faith, says David Martin, the regional church’s executive minister. (MC Eastern Canada photo)
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada should have taken action against Wilmer Martin at least two years ago, says one of the people responsible for bringing complaints against him to the regional church.
At 7:30 on Monday mornings, members of Mennonite Church Alberta wake up to pray together on Zoom.
Sara Wenger Shenk, president emerita of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, is one of four plenary speakers at Mennonite Church Canada’s virtual study conference, ‘Table talk: Does the church have legs?’ on Oct. 24. She will speak on the nature and identity of the church. (Photo by Gerald Shenk)
How has COVID-19 affected you and your community?
Mennonite Educational Institute in Abbotsford, B.C. plans a Stage 1 reopening of school in September for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Province of B.C. defines Stage 1 as a regular school opening with a 100 percent density target for students and five days per week of Kindergarten to Grade 12 in-class instruction.
“Worship is the beating heart of the Christian church,” says Carol Penner, who teaches practical theology at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo.
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) supporters, whose efforts to create business solutions to poverty, enjoy getting together. In normal years, groups across North America have regular meetings throughout the year, and annual barbecues in the summer to raise funds for MEDA projects.