A peculiar thing happened to me last Sunday while I was on holidays. I felt a strong desire to attend a church service. Curious, to say the least. You see, by the time summer arrives, I’m usually churched out. As a pastor, church is not only my work life but a significant part of my personal and social life, too.
I’m more and more dismayed by the regionalizing trajectory we seem to be on. From national and international politics to neighbourhoods and churches, it feels like we are contracting our boundaries rather than expanding.
Like many women I know, my mother carries a deeply ingrained impulse to feed others. Once I watched her tend Penguin, her black and white tuxedo cat, clucking and fussing as she prepared and set food before him. To my eyes, the hefty Penguin was doing just fine, and the fuss seemed to be unnecessary. Who knows though?
I recently told someone that our family holiday plans this summer included tenting for 10 days in northern Ontario. They replied, “Why on earth would you do that? That sounds awful.” Unfortunately that’s the same reaction I get when I tell certain people I go to church.
In her article “From belief to belonging” (July 2, 2018, page 4), Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe describes how open communion is on the rise in Mennonite Church Canada congregations due to a concern for inclusivity and welcome.
George Bryant (standing) was a long way from the home of his birth when he posed with the Katie and Christian Bender family in about 1917. George was a British home child who arrived from Liverpool in 1907 and was sent to Stratford, Ont., for “distribution” to a local family. He believed his mother had died, but as an adult he discovered she was alive.
I have been thinking a lot about transition. Since early 2017, transition has been the theme of my life. When the expiry date of my work visa in the U.S. was nearing, and there was no clear path or short timeline to a new visa, my husband Allan and I faced many decisions about what we would do next, none of which offered completely satisfactory options.
Recently I spent a weekend at a discipleship retreat with a team of seven others from my church. It was great fun! As we learned and prayed, our inspiration for making disciples grew. We dreamed and planned for how we might develop leaders in our congregation. Truthfully, while it was energizing, it also felt more than a little overwhelming.
Cooking for one or two people can be a challenge, but Betty Ann Martin found that taking Food Fit courses at the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, Ont., expanded her food repertoire. She learned that roasted vegetables are delicious and that sweet potatoes are very versatile—and they don’t need added sugar.
Breakfast should be interesting, not boring! Betty Ann Martin expanded her food repertoire and gained new ideas for breakfast menus through her involvement with the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, Ont. See more of her story here.
Old black and white photos often leave us with the impression that past generations were dour, ridged, thought in terms of black and white, and had no fun. But the technology of photography has done us a disservice in masking some of the character of the past. Life was lived in full colour, was complex with multiple hues, people had a sense of humour, and had fun. This photo came from John P.
The May 7 and 21 issues of Canadian Mennonite deal in part with protests regarding the construction of pipelines. The editorial from May 21, “Questions of conscience,” asks us how we respond to concerns about pipelines and protests.
Here are five ways to remain connected with CommonWord in our new regional church model:
1. Keep reading
Many of us love a leisurely read on a summer beach blanket or in a hammock. Our 10th annual summer reading list might help you locate that perfect warm weather read.
What is flirting anyway? When is it a problem? When is it a delightful social interaction? I’ve been pondering these questions for years since a friend surprised me with the words, “You are such a flirt.”
Like more than 51 percent of all Canadian adults, Roger (a pseudonym) did not have a will. As a child, he had been adopted into a wealthy family and, although he loved them deeply, he struggled to form a strong relationship with his siblings. They never became close.
The Epp Garage in Fiske, Sask., suffered a devastating fire. When material, like this photograph, comes to the archives with little or no information, we can often learn about it from its context—the other “stuff” that comes with it. But in this case there was no contextual information. We don’t know the family, owner, photographer or date, to help us fully identify this photo.
It seems the majority of political, social and religious discourse today consists of knee-jerk reactions to the perceived agendas, biases, foolishness and dangerous “isms” of the “other.” This rampant reactivity makes constructive dialogue impossible. To make things worse, we all assume the log is in everybody else’s eye and the tiny speck is in our own. I’m no exception.
It’s not easy being single in the church
There were never many girls my age at the Mennonite church in Scarborough, Ont., prior to my adolescent years, nor did my becoming a teenager make much difference.
There were many personable Upper Canada College girls at the high school I attended. But Mom said, “No!” They were not “Deetch.”
In these recent years of walking with our Indigenous neighbours, I have been both blessed and intrigued by the words of encouragement often expressed at the end of a talk: “All my relations.”
Mountaintop experiences. Those moments where God is undeniably present. When he shows up in power and glory. We are left riding high on a spiritual wave, convinced that God is at work in wonderful ways. What have your mountaintop experiences been?
Tea is served on the front porch of Brubacher House Museum at its opening in 1979. The University of Waterloo, Ont., acquired the house and land to expand its campus. In 1968, the house suffered a devastating fire, but it was rebuilt with the help of Mennonite craftsman Simeon Martin.
I have a few observations to make about the open letter from the Mennonite Church Canada network of regional working groups on Palestine and Israel (“MC Canada working groups call for sanctions against Israel,” May 21, page 28).