Editorial

My prayer

Peter and Elfrieda Dyck share a laugh during a commissioning for an MCC speaking tour in 1994. (MCC photo/Canadian Mennonite files)

Let me share some wishes for Canadian Mennonite, which are largely my prayer for the overall endeavour of faith. These are topics I’m drawn to and challenges I note.

Three questions about content

(Photo by Climate Reality Project/Unsplash)

Movies and TV shows about journalism always catch my attention. How do publishing enterprises work? How do reporters and editors gather information? How are decisions made about the content that the public will see?

Here are questions that readers have about the content you read on the print and web pages of Canadian Mennonite.

Change ahead

(Photo by Gaelle Marcel/Unsplash)

I once knew a young child for whom change was extremely difficult. Whether the change came as a surprise or whether the child anticipated the happy results of an expected change, it was hard to move from “here” to “there.” Change can be difficult for people of all ages.

Senses open new doors

Stella and Rebecca Liu of Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church help file documents and shelve books in the former Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford, Ont. In the summer of 2019 Mennonite youth and leaders participated in a Mennonite Disaster Service project there to help the Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence campaign. “It’s personal, there are names and faces. It’s not just textbook information now,” said one participant. (Photo by John Longhurst)

The Friesen Housebarn at Neubergthal Heritage Site in Altona, Man. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/NeubergthalCommons)

First, a disclaimer: I love books. With a father in the bookstore and publishing business, I grew up in a household that always had books available. I’ve volunteered and been employed in a library. I currently own cards to two local libraries. For me, books have been a source of learning, inspiration and connection to people in other places and times. 
 

‘We Declare’ and beyond

Fanosie Legesse, part of Mennonite Church Canada’s Intercultural Church Steering Committee, leads a workshop at Gathering 2022 entitled ‘When evangelism meets interculturalism.’ (Photo by Jessica Evans)

In this issue you will find reports about Mennonite Church Canada’s Gathering 2022. Recently over 300 of us met in person and virtually to explore the theme, “We declare.”

Acting ‘a little strange’

So, who wants to be weird? Is “countercultural” still a descriptor we Mennonites want to claim today? (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

“When you learn to follow Jesus, you will act a little strange.” This memorable line comes from a song by Mennonite singer/songwriter Bryan Moyer Suderman. Besides being an earworm, this simple song encourages children, youth and adults to consider what their lives will look like as they’re learning to walk in the way of Jesus.

Responding, faithfully

(Photo by Ashni on unsplash)

What is a faithful response to the news in the world around us? Canadian Mennonite posed this question in our annual spring fundraising appeal. Each year CM needs to raise $150,000 on top of advertising and subscription revenue to ensure that people across the church, and newcomers online, have access to the important church stories of today.

Hybrid church

(Photo by Samantha Borges/Unsplash)

When you hear the words “church,” the first thing that pops into your head is probably not “tech team.” And yet, as we’ve lived through two years of pandemic worship, those folks operating the video camera, microphones and the Zoom controls have been vital to the church’s life together. The people managing the congregation’s YouTube channel and Facebook page have played important roles.

Two things not up for debate

(Photo by Johny Goerend on Unsplash)

This editorial is not about abortion. Or maybe it is.

I write this on the day after Mother's Day, at a time when conversations are intense about the rightness or wrongness of ending a woman’s pregnancy. There is a lot to be said about the medical, legal and religious aspects of abortion, but not by me right now.

Two years in

(Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino/Unsplash)

Since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic came into the lives of Canadians, this magazine has published many accounts of life in pandemic times. There have been reports on how Mennonite churches and organizations have adapted to health restrictions, found new ways to care for others, and even managed to have fun, despite the challenges.

Learning to listen

(Photo by Etienne Boulanger/Unsplash)

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

This proverb, attributed to the first-century Greek philosopher Epictetus, is still good advice. In a time where there is no lack of speaking—whether with actual voices, through written words or even with visual symbols—the art of listening is one we need to continually cultivate.

Thanks to you

(Photo by Kevin Butz/Unsplash)

Thanks to you, this magazine has entered its 25th year of publishing under the name Canadian Mennonite. We picked up the mantle in September 1997 from The Mennonite Reporter, a bi-weekly newspaper for the 26 years before that.

Telling your stories

(Photo by Etienne Girardet/Unsplash)

As we launch into 2022, it’s helpful to reflect on the year that has passed. It’s also a time to consider what’s ahead.

With a presence both in print and online, Canadian Mennonite reaches readers within the Mennonite Church Canada family and readers who observe us from outside. I spent time looking at the 2021 content that resonated for both sets of readers.

Digital connections

(Screenshot from Christmas at CMU 2021 video)

Living in pandemic times, we have realized how important it is to stay connected with each other, as friends, in our own neighbourhoods and as church communities. We need contact with real people, and we’ve found ways for in-person connecting to happen safely.

December patchwork

A Nativity scene from Bethlehem. (Photo by D. Michael Hostetler)

As the year 2021 winds down, this slightly distracted editor is trying to wrangle disparate ideas into a cohesive whole. What I offer here instead is a sort of patchwork quilt of thoughts, resembling the traditional coverlets created from fabric of varied colours, sizes and textures.

Claiming the story

The feast of grace

Babette, portrayed by Stéphane Audran, prepares the titular meal in the 1987 film, ‘Babette’s Feast.’

Recently, I found myself hungering for grace. With the world still entrenched in this pandemic, we witness the complexities around public safety, the angry words, the strained relationships, the exhaustion, and the challenges to everyone’s mental well-being. Is there any good news?

A new call for MC Canada

Steve Heinrichs, Will Braun, Jennifer deGroot, Mona Neufeld and Doug Klassen stand outside Mennonite Church Canada during a meeting related to the 7 Calls to Action for Mennonite Church Canada grassroots effort. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/7callstoclimateaction)

The Earth is in trouble. As I write, international leaders, scientists and activists are meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, for COP26, a forum discussing actions the worldwide community must take to address the ongoing effects of climate change, effects that threaten every creature on our planet.

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