Over two days at Mennonite Church Canada’s Assembly 2016, “God~Faith~People,” keynote speaker Safwat Marzouk addressed the topic of covenant that was central to the theme text, Jeremiah 31:33.
During the July 7 worship service, he explained that covenant is an agreement of mutual obligation, in which each party has the ability and responsibility to uphold his or her side.
“Too often Mennonites have focussed on disunity.”
With these words, Gareth Brandt began his seminar, “Running towards community,” and he then showed how Mennonite/Anabaptist history is pockmarked with splits and schisms. But Brandt said that he sees these splits as inevitable. “If everybody has a voice, then you’re going to have these splits,” he said of Mennonite polity.
The seminar title started in response to the young adult “problem.”
“[‘Young adults don’t need the church’] is not meant to be a defiance statement, but a statement of fact,” said presenter Chris Brnjas, a co-founder of Pastors in Exile (PiE) in southwestern Ontario. “The church is no longer a central force in the lives of young adults.”
Although a concrete picture of what Mennonite Church Canada might look like in two years isn’t yet determined, 318 delegates voted to approve in principle the direction proposed by the Future Directions Task Force to develop a more integrated nationwide church body; 21 voted against, and 4 ballots were spoiled.
Did you know that if all of the textual records and photographs in Winnipeg’s Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) Archives and Gallery were stacked on top of each other, they would be taller than the CN Tower?
That was one of the facts Korey Dyck shared during a seminar entitled “History matters: A new vision for the Mennonite Heritage Centre” that he led.
Nine years of careful study, sensitive listening, deep engagement by many, but not all, congregations—and innumerable meetings of the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) Task Force—led to a large majority vote in favour of creating space for congregations to differ from one another when it comes to same-sex relationships.
In his seminar “Confessions of faith: Sources of unity or division,” Karl Koop told the story of 3,000 Mennonites who met during a five-hour meeting in Amsterdam in 1639 to bring together three Mennonite groups that had been severely divided.
Following on the heels of the delegate sessions for Mennonite Church Canada, about 40 interested leaders got together at Wanuskawin Heritage Park in Saskatoon to think about how to move forward the agenda of creation care, particularly the issue of climate change, in Mennonite congregations across Canada
We just dipped our toe into the world of youth sports by signing our seven-year-old son, Sam, up for a T-ball team. Last summer he discovered a love for baseball and loves playing in the backyard with his little sister and my husband. He even sleeps with his baseball glove, so joining a team seemed like the next logical step.
Coffee for Peace won a certificate of achievement from the United Nations Development Programme. It was one of six winners in the UN’s IIX N-Peace Innovation Challenge for “sustainable, scalable, inclusive peacebuilding, that has long-term and transformative impact.” The award was presented to Coffee for Peace founder and CEO Joji Pantoja in New York City on Oct. 23, 2015.
Changing Lenses: Restorative Justice for our Times. Howard Zehr. Herald Press, 2015.
First published 25 years ago, Herald Press has re-issued this textbook on restorative justice. As well as updated terminology, this edition provides additional resources and recommended reading.
Consultation participants work in groups to review current realities for the church and the surrounding cultures. Working with factors related to congregations and religious groups are Yoel Masyawong, pastor in Kitchener, Ont., left; Safwat Marzouk, professor at AMBS; Karen Martens Zimmerly, MC Canada denominational minister; Leonard Dow, a pastor in Philadelphia, Pa.; and Anna Geyer, a farming entrepreneur in Oxford, Iowa.
Designs for equipping multi-vocational leaders with entrepreneurial skills and a view toward mission took shape as 23 business, mission, pastoral and educational representatives gathered for a three-day consultation in Chicago last fall at the invitation of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS, Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) and Mennonite Church Canada Witness.
From June 5 to 7, MCI (Mennonite Collegiate Institute) will celebrate 125 years in Gretna, Man., by throwing a party. Given who we are, we are likely to sing a few songs. We will pitch a tent, prepare a feast and tell stories. We will remember classes, athletic fields and musical stages, quonsets and halls, roommates and friends, teachers and parents, road trips and school trips.
Paula Weaver had to take a moment to let a substantial blessing sink in. The 1988 social work graduate of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, Va., had just heard that her agency was the winner of the top award from a local organization called 100 Women Who Care.
More than 100 guests gathered for the launch of the Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre for Faith and Learning at Trinity Western University (TWU) late last fall.
Day and night, children love to play on the metal playground equipment, placed there haphazardly many decades ago. . . . The rusted slides have gaping and jagged holes, and can’t be used except to scramble up and down; children do this each day, still wearing their blue and grey school uniforms as they pause for some fun. (Photo: Nathan Dirks)
When entering Bontleng in Botswana’s Gaborone Region from the southeasternmost road you find yourself passing tall grass, wrought-iron covers and headstones of a large cemetery.
Good News: The Advent of Salvation in the Gospel of Luke. Darrin W. Snyder Belousek. Liturgical Press, 2014, 140 pages.
William Loewen has written a theological book disguised as a novel. This makes it challenging to classify, but it also opens new possibilities for how it can be used. I would recommend this book for a book club or other group discussion, especially for young adults who are exploring their own spirituality.