Sibiri Samuel Zongo, a student at LOGOS University in Burkina Faso, lamented that the church in Africa is “like a canoe that passes without leaving a trace.” Anicka Fast, serving with Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Mission Network, is committed to changing this reality, through teaching courses that hone skills in writing oral history.
Web First - Opinion
In its third live-streamed pandemic church service, Comunidad Evangélica Menonita of Barcelona, Spain, celebrates Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday in 2021. Joshua Garber records Estrella Norales, left, and Aïdeis Martín Mallol as they observe social-distancing guidelines while reading the liturgy. (Photo by Alfred Lozano Aran)
“We’re all going through the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat. Context is everything.”
These words, spoken by a North American pastor, address the divergent responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many congregations in Canada and the United States continue to experience restrictions on in-person meetings, while others have had the freedom to safely gather again.
Many congregations struggle with finances, wishing their members would contribute more towards the budget, while assuming that no one wants to talk about money. In her book, Growing a Generous Church, Lori Guenther Reesor says this kind of thinking is backwards.
When I was a pastor, I learned we had a few young people with autism in our youth group. In order to begin creating an environment that felt more comfortable, I provided a big basket of fidgets on the table in the centre of the room. I expected that youth with autism would use them to help reduce anxiety and increase focus.
I sit in my backyard watching my dog as he rolls in the grass, pressing his back as deeply into the ground as he can. He moves freely, alternating his rolling with digging into patches of the earth that intrigue him.
Does the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) mean the federal government is paying people to not work during the COVID-19 pandemic? Does this prove that a universal basic income would cause a mass exodus from workplaces and weaken our economy?
On Feb. 22, L’Arche International released a summary report of the abuse investigation of their deceased founder, Jean Vanier. It concluded he had sexually abused six women over a period of 35 years.
In 2012, I spent two memorable hours in Smithers, B.C., with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale), one of the chiefs at the centre of the Coastal GasLink crisis now confounding our nation. I also spent time with the chief and other members of the Haisla Nation, which supports the pipeline.
Because we live in a time of change and upheaval in our culture, Anthony G. Siegrist argues that the church needs to improve its biblical and theological literacy, writing, “It’s important that Christian communities nurture their ability to speak about God, about Scripture, and about our lives with care and attention.”
I like to bring simple card-making supplies into the secure unit of the Edmonton Institution for Women. The inmates enjoy the chance to be creative but, more than that, they crave an opportunity to make something to send to family on the outside. Life stories bubble up as they write in the cards, and I listen.
“Most of us harbour a degree of financial neurosis, tinged with religious uptightness,” Will Braun, Canadian Mennonite’s resident ranter, says at the start of his latest video.
Follow our pigpen pundit once around the barn on his southern Manitoba farmyard as he explains what really gets his goat about Mennonites and money.
Since Rachel Held Evans’s sudden death on May 4, the internet has been filled with tributes to the beloved Christian author and her work. Her willingness to be honest about her faith journey left many readers, especially those who grew up in conservative evangelical churches, feeling less alone.
Grab your cowboy hat and don’t mind the barn smell! Join Will Braun, Canadian Mennonite’s resident ranter, once around the barn on his southern Manitoba farmyard. This time he challenges you to cue up the country music twang. (See the video below. Then scroll down and check out some more rants.)
Every year on the Sunday closest to January 21, Mennonite World Conference (MWC) invites its 107 member churches to join in a celebration of World Fellowship Sunday. (See the 2019 worship resources here.)
He’s our resident ranter, our pigpen pundit. Canadian Mennonite writer Will Braun rants around the barn on his southern Manitoba farmyard. This time he’s got opinions on how Mennonites talk about their generosity. (See the video below. Then scroll down more and check out more rants.)
Tilahun Beyene is coordinator of International Missions Association, affiliated with Eastern Mennonite Missions. A long-time leader in Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos Church, he authored I Will Build My Church, the Amharic language history of the growth of the MKC.
Conrad Kanagy is professor of sociology at Elizabethtown College, Pa., and pastor of Elizabethtown Mennonite Church. He authored Road Signs for the Journey, based on the 2006 Mennonite Church USA Church Member Profile.
Anabaptist churches in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have grown rapidly in recent years, while membership and attendance numbers in North American and European churches have declined.
“Mush!” the hunter cried into the wind, through the rising vapour of a northern Manitoba February, so crisp, so dry, the snow creaked underfoot, the caribou hunter Abraham Okinasis drove his sled and team of eight grey huskies through the orange-rose-tinted dusk.”
Is the New Testament inherently violent? What does Jesus’ brutal death on the cross mean to persons holding a more passive view of non-resistance? How does one seriously read the text and make sense of Jesus’ teaching of non-violence and his behaviour with the money-changers in the Temple, for instance?
In this wonderfully crafted booklet, the last before his untimely death, Reimer gifts his readers with a succinct summary of a topic that has preoccupied much of Christian theology. The genius of this work lies in a careful and eminently fair portrayal of how warfare has been understood in church history.
When Felix Mendelssohn died in 1847 aged 38, it marked the close of a life which increasingly was lived in the glare and demands of great fame, public adulation, high honours at home and abroad, especially in Britain, and personal relationships with kings, queens, princes and nobility in general.
Leo Driedger is professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Manitoba, where he taught, researched and published for more than 40 years, and as Senior Scholar still writes today. This is his 19th book. For more than 20 years, Driedger has served on boards of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC Manitoba, MCC Canada, MCC International).
As a relative newcomer to the Canadian scene, I found Driedger’s latest book on the Mennonites in Winnipeg, his 19th, a virtual map as he traces their development in what has become the largest concentration of them in the world, surpassing Amsterdam.
Tongue Screws and Testimonies, a book of essays, poems and artwork reflecting on the Martyrs Mirror, is written by insiders for insiders. In the introductory essay, Kirsten Beachy, the editor, states that this volume reflects a wide variety of opinions and attitudes to the role that the Martyrs Mirror has played and is playing the Anabaptist community.
Enough with trying to save the world – that’s an impossible and thankless job. Our real task is to save Baby Jaguar. As I sit on the living room couch with my youngest child nestled on my lap and a “Dora the Explorer” book in my hand, I’ve concluded that we can accomplish this task with God’s help. Then there will be some peace in the world.
This highly detailed and comprehensive biography of Wilhelm H Falk (1892-1976), founding bishop of the Rudnerweide Mennonite conference, is an important addition to the history of Mennonites, particularly in southern Manitoba. It provides a rich account of that era with an acknowledged bias in favour of the subject—Bishop Falk.