There is something eerily sad about summer coming to an end. One difference with living in Canada is somewhat more satisfying and uplifting than living in warmer climes—the warmth of the summer months seems to re-charge the human spirit, get one in touch with nature and families and unwind from the demands of a whirling, electronic-driven world.
It’s difficult to pinpoint just what made Assembly 2012 in Vancouver earlier this month a standout. Its rich textured fabric made it a many-splendored thing that made you want to dance despite the heavy theme of “Dusting off the Bible for the 21st Century.”
Dusting off the Bible we did. 21st Century it was.
“Gift discernment,” as practised in many of our congregations, is neither. This sometimes agonizing ritual of finding enough willing members to fill the slots needed to keep the faith community functioning on an annual basis is often an arduous task for those assigned to find those volunteer bodies.
“Discernment,” a word in vogue right now among church leaders and theologians, can seem abstract, almost pedantic, and elusive as an operative term for the person in the pew. We seem to use it a lot these days as we wend our way through issues that confront us as followers of Jesus in the 21st century.
Springtime was in full theatre as we travelled back from Virginia on a Sunday morning recently after a week’s break. Viewing the redbud, dogwood and lilacs providing the backdrop for lush green meadows was as much worship as meeting with the saints in song, scripture and sermon. We turned off the radio and drove in silence, soaking in all the beauty.
This is the time of year when Canadian Mennonite’s 12 board members gather for their annual meeting to look backward and forward to see how the national publication has met the needs of its readers, has ongoing financial viability and is meeting the challenges of a New Media age.
“True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love; it dies to flesh and blood; it destroys all lusts and forbidden desires; it seeks, serves and fears God in its inmost soul; it clothes the naked; it feeds the hungry; it comforts the sorrowful; it shelters the destitute; it aids and consoles the sad; it doe
Reflecting recently on 57 years of writing as “an icon of Canadian literature,” Ruby Wiebe told an overflow audience at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., that one of the lessons learned in all of his storytelling was that “Mennonites tended to always view their neighbours—whether in the Ukraine, Paraguay or the western Canadian Prairies—as
An Ontario pastor raised the question of not defining proof-texting and challenged my guideline of wanting only “new information” when calling for a “reasoned discussion” on sexuality, in his letter to the editor, “Let the Bible speak on sexual matters,” Nov. 28, page 13.
“Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed” (Psalms 2:1-2; Acts 4:25-26)