The evangelical edge

(Photo by Gift Habeshaw/Unsplash)

Two readers recently wrote to me with concerns. “Over the years that we have received [CM],” wrote a Manitoba couple, “we have detected a constant shift toward liberal theology. . . . de-emphasizing evangelism, Christ’s life and ministry, and his death for our salvation.”

The holy paradox of modern Mennonite identity

Mennonite demographics have shifted greatly over the centuries. Perceptions need to follow. (Design: Betty Avery)

I grew up happily embedded in white Mennonite culture in rural Manitoba. Our family regularly travelled to Winnipeg and on the edge of the city we would pass a Chinese Mennonite church. I never visited, heard about, read about or asked about that church. I just saw that sign and wondered vaguely how we all fit together.

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.


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