In September 2019, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada reported: “We announce with great sadness that River of Life, Calvary Church Ayr (Mennonite), and Milverton Mennonite Fellowship [all in Ontario] have left the MC Eastern Canada family.
change in the church
Swirling around with ideas of strategy, focus, and “We used to do it this way,” change is messy. Grappling with the in-between is messy. Living in the liminal space between what was and what will be is messy, yet here we are, wondering, “What did I get myself into?”
May 3, 2018, was Henry Paetkau’s last day in the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada office, but he wasn’t quite done yet.
This past weekend, I was invited to one of our small rural congregations to help it discern the future. The concern, as expressed by the congregation, is that if the status quo remains, the church will have to close its doors in a couple of years.
It was my first day on the job as associate pastor. I enthusiastically unlocked the door to my new office and was taken aback by the writing on the wall. Literally. There was a massive white banner hanging on the wall with a warning, handwritten in giant red letters, that read, “We don’t like change!”
Pope Francis on his 2013 visit to Brazil. (Photo by Agencia Brasil, from Wikimedia Commons.)
God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts, and guiding us in unexpected ways. –Pope Francis
Being the theology enthusiast that I am, I was pleased to discover a cover story on Pope Francis when I unwrapped this month’s issue of National Geographic magazine. In case you haven’t been following his two-year career, Pope Francis is perceived by many as a breath of fresh air for the Catholic Church, and as something of a radical who is not afraid to break some of the taboos associated with the role of pope.