Applications for young adult representatives to the Global Youth Summit (GYS), to be held from July 2 to 5, 2021, in Salatiga, Indonesia, are being sought by Mennonite Church Canada’s Joint Council. The theme of GYS 2021 is “Life in the Spirit: Learn, serve, worship.” MC Canada is looking for one young adult from each of the five regional churches—one of whom will be the official delegate—to represent the nationwide church at GYS 2021, and also to attend the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly a few days later.
Pictured from left to right: moderator Irma Fast Dueck and panellists Colin Friesen, Emily Hunsberger, Maria Klassen, Yeabsra Agonfer and Jonathan Klassen speak on the topic ‘Taking the plunge: Young adults and the church,’ as part of this year’s Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College. (Grebel photo by Jen Konkle)
Christian youth and young adults are seeking church spaces that are authentic, safe and open, but also supportive of their role in leadership.
At least, that’s what five people who took part in a youth panel had to say at the 2019 Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., on Feb. 8.
In the midst of significant structural change in Mennonite Church Canada, a group of Canadian Mennonite University students came together in December 2015 around the question, “Do young people care about the future of the church?” This initial gathering generated surprising energy among the participants.
Terri Lynn and Thomas Friesen are the founders of the Vine and Table intentional community. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)
Located in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood, the Vine and Table can accommodate 10 residents. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)
Eating delicious, healthy food is central to life at the Vine and Table. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)
When Thomas and Terri Lynn Friesen met, Terri Lynn was a guest at the Burrow, an intentional community Thomas was living in with eight other young adults.
This coming September, a few weeks before the couple’s second wedding anniversary, they will embark on a new adventure together: opening their Saskatoon home to form an intentional community called the Vine and Table.
Jessica Reesor Rempel leads a session at PiE’s recent Winter Camp for Grown-ups’ retreat. (Photo by Jacquie Reimer)
‘I don’t think anyone else has a job quite like this,’ says Jessica Reesor Rempel, right, pictured with PiE co-founder Chris Brnjas, left, and Tamara Shantz, centre, PiE’s current pastor. (Photo by Dave Klassen)
Jessica Reesor Rempel lives in Kitchener, Ont., with her husband Steven and their daughter Anna Julian. (Photo by John Rempel)
Jessica Reesor Rempel enjoys bringing people together and helping them find meaning.
James DeGurse, centre, a Roman Catholic, finds value in reading the Bible communally. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Braden Siemens’s take on Scripture is informed by attending both Pentecostal and Anglican churches. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Claire Hanson, Braden Siemens, James DeGurse, Marnie Klassen and Kenny Wollmann share their views of Scripture at CMU on Feb. 5, 2018. (Photo courtesy of CMU)
Scripture is a massive, ancient, messy archive of God’s relationship with humanity that many claim to interpret correctly.
But with such diverse understandings of the Bible, how can Christians approach it with humility while granting God’s words authority over their lives? How can young people take Scripture seriously in an increasingly secularized world?
Emerging adult: it’s a relatively new category to describe the life stage between adolescence and the adult they will become.
‘In the last couple of years, I’ve been embarrassed to tell people that I went to church or was a Christian.’—Aaron Dawson (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)
‘I have also been deeply hurt by experiences in the church and have sometimes wondered why I stay. But I have stayed because, in the end, unlike Aaron, I find that it does matter to me. This is my tribe, warts and all.’—Angelika Dawson (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)
A lot has been said and written about millennials: What’s wrong with them? What’s influenced them? What does their future hold?
Clockwise from left: Sara Erb, Steph Chandler Burns, Kathy Janzen, Ed Janzen and Chris Brnjas consider the questions posed at the second Emerging Voices Initiative listening tour event on Nov. 11, 2016, at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
During the EVI meeting in Saskatoon on Nov. 26, 2016, Graham MacDonald, second from left, discusses his views on the future of Mennonite Church Canada, while, from left to right, David Epp, Terri Lynn Friesen and EVI members Madeleine Wichert, Katrina Woelk and Kathleen Bergen listen attentively. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Over the past three months, the Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI) conducted a cross-country listening tour, endeavouring to gauge the mood of Mennonite Church Canada congregants on what should happen next with the national church following the presentation of the Future Direction
EVI members Laura Carr-Pries and Peter Epp speak to delegates during a seminar at Assembly 2016. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
When Laura Carr-Pries got together with fellow students at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg last year to discuss the challenges facing Mennonite Church Canada, she wasn’t sure how things would go.
Never let it be said that young people don’t care about the future of the church.
Late last year, Katrina Woelk, a sociology student at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and a member of the student council, was having a conversation with some other students and members of the university administration about the challenges facing Mennonite Church Canada.
Both Jessica Reesor Rempel and Chris Brnjas are fond of puns, as perhaps only geeks are.
Self-professed “church geeks,” they kicked off their new ministry, Pastors in Exile (PiE) at the Queen Street Commons café in downtown Kitchener on Sept. 27, 2015, with many pies being consumed by the 85 people who attended.
A 17th-century Dutch church. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Earlier this month, I was one of many who gathered in the new Marpeck Commons building at Canadian Mennonite University to hear from a panel of “young adults” on their age group and the church.  Judging by the size of the audience (they had to go get extra chairs!), and a feature article on a similar topic in the Feb. 16, 2015 issue of Canadian Mennonite,  this is an issue that many churches are currently profoundly concerned and anxious about.
Hearing the stories of both Israelis and Palestinians was a highlight of the Middle East learning tour Seth Ratzlaff participated in two years ago. (Photo by Seth Ratzlaff)
It’s easy to get fed up with talking about things while studying in college or university; the desire to do something hands-on can be overwhelming. When my religious studies professor told me about a three-week learning tour of Israel and Palestine called Yella, organized, by Mennonite Central Committee Ontario and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.