That provocative question came not at a church revival meeting, but from a researcher speaking to a mostly secular audience about trends in Canadian philanthropy. Regular congregants give a disproportionately large share of all charitable donations, Penelope Burk told hundreds of fundraisers from across Canada at a national conference in Toronto, Ont., this spring.
After the long and sometimes exasperating car trip with her husband, Martha joked to her friends, “Anytime I got mad at him, I just climbed in the back seat with my book and stayed there till I cooled off.” Those who have been trapped in a car for extended hours with a frustrating companion—not to mention their own heated anger—might identify with the pride and satisfaction of Mart
Magazine makes for good ‘devotional’ reading
A place to belong: These few little words became especially important to me as I reflect not only on the upcoming 60th anniversary of Mennonite Women Canada in 2012, but also on a recent experience that helped me to see that such a “belonging place” had been missing in my own life since we moved and changed churches a few years ago.
A popular Mennonite plaque that has hung in many homes states: “True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant; it clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry; it comforts the sorrowful; it shelters the destitute; it serves those who harm it; it binds up that which is wounded; it becomes all things to all men.”
Once again, famine plagues the headlines and swollen bellies afflict the airwaves. The Horn of Africa is hungry. Babies are dying. Statistics are swirling. And the rest of the global village, wired as it is, has pulled up a front-row seat.
About 80 percent of Canadians are city-dwellers. Despite the expanse of our nation, slightly more than a third of us dwell in only three metropolitan areas: Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver. I live in one of them.
Whenever a congregation gathers to look ahead and contemplate its future, you can be sure that questions about the youth will be raised: Where are they? How can we keep them? We have all likely heard—and possibly have spoken—these concerns in various forms.
The guy on the bus was flirting boldly. First he locked a laser stare on the young woman in front of him. Then he shot her a wide smile. When she smiled back, he upped the ante by reaching both hands up to his ears and giving them a comical pull. At that point, as onlookers chuckled, his father, standing behind his stroller, said, “He’s a big flirt.
The 15th chapter of the Gospel of John begins with the verse, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener,” then it goes on to speak about the techniques and practices used to assure a rich harvest.
The Vancouver Canucks’ inability to score and some people’s penchant for blowing things up has caused me to agree with a zealous atheist. “Religion poisons everything,” contends Christopher Hitchens. He may be on to something—at least to the degree “Hockeyanity” has become Canada’s de facto religion.
In the past several years the Mennonite Church Manitoba board of directors consulted congregations to hear their wisdom and counsel for future direction. There was a desire for a more collaborative approach in bringing together congregations, individuals and other partners to build relationships and achieve ministry goals.