When the ‘grey’ is not holy

(Photo by Bernard Hermant/Unsplash)

Life is complicated. And this means “issues” are complicated.

The Bible doesn’t give us as “black and white” a picture of life and faith as some of us might wish. In fact, that’s one of the beautiful things about the Bible: It presents human experience in all its messiness. The older I get, the more I realize this truth: Life is complicated.

Evangelism congress

(Photo: Conference of Mennonites in Canada Photo Collection)

In 1966, Christianity Today magazine sponsored the World Congress on Evangelism, held in West Berlin from Oct. 26 to Nov. 4. It brought together 12,000 invited delegates from a hundred countries. The events were chaired by Carl F.H. Henry and Billy Graham. John M. Drescher reported on the event in a series of articles in The Canadian Mennonite.

What holds us together?

(Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor/Unsplash)

My father cleaned out his bookshelves recently, and I acquired some more books about Mennonite history. One is a book I read with great interest when it came out in 1988, Why I Am A Mennonite. Almost every chapter is written by a Mennonite with a very traditional Russian or Swiss Mennonite last name.

The church and mental illness

(Photo by Gadiel Lazcano/Unsplash)

I have lived with depression for most of my adult life.

When I began my role as a minister, I realized that, while I could mostly hold my depression at bay while I carried out my daily responsibilities, it was usually in the tiredness of my time at home that my depression would find its expression. Typically, that would play out as irritability towards the one closest to me.

An honest-to-God typo

(Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante/Unsplash)

Most of the time I can’t stand typos. They bug me. If I’m completely honest, I’m internally judgmental of people who don’t catch their typos, myself included. I love words, I love Wordle, I have a knack for spelling and, when I catch something spelled wrongly, I have a hard time looking past it and focusing on the intended meaning of the misspelled word in its context.

Grace, guilt and CO2

(Gary Campbell-Hall on Flickr.com / Creative Commons 2.0)

1. Grace
There is more grace in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

That does not let anyone off the hook; it promises that we can face the grim fate of the Earth and the compromises of our lives without being utterly overwhelmed. (And it means I can break bread with sisters and brothers who do not believe there is a hook that anyone needs to be let off of.)

Reflection on Ukraine

(Photo by Tina Hartung/Unsplash)

The horrific images from Ukraine jolt me from my comfort and I reflect on air-raid sirens, bunkers, explosions, refugees, civilian and military casualties.

Historical connections to the region seem to draw my curiosity closer. Ukraine is part of my family lore.

MWC Kansas banners

(Photo: Commission on Education of the General Conference Mennonite Church)

The variety of banners at the 1978 Mennonite World Conference assembly in Wichita, Kan., is a representation of the diversity of people at the assembly, with 9,500 people registered from 44 counties, including Canada.


East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/EastChestnutStreet)

I spent my high-school years in a congregation that was proud of our basketball hoops. Greenbelt Baptist Church decided to use public schools for worship and Sunday school, homes for Bible study, and a community centre for weekly youth events. This was a very intentional way of being visible and connected to the local community.

Christ in you

(Photo by Fa Barboza/Unsplash)

At the heart of the Christ path is a radical notion that our true identity is found in Christ. Paul says it is no longer he who lives, but Christ who lives in him. He says our true identity, our true self, is “Christ in you.” What does this mean?

Listen, debate, decide

(Image by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

In a few months Garry Janzen, the executive minister of Mennonite Church B.C. will retire. He’s served MC B.C. for 14 years in that role.

When he informed MC B.C. leadership about his upcoming retirement, we gathered to create a hiring process.

How will we discern God’s will for a future candidate?

Ukraine immigrant

(Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

What would you carry if you emigrated to another country? Twenty-three-year-old Anna Neufeld wore this locket in 1917 when her fiancé, Cornelius Tiessen, left, and brother Peter, both pictured in their Red Cross uniforms, served on medical trains during the First World War. Anna lived near present-day Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, now site of another war. Anna would marry Cornelius in 1918.

Becoming the enemy you hate

(Photo by Andre Hunter/Unsplash)

The story of Israel warns us of how easily we can become the very thing we hate.

The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, oppressed by Pharaoh and forced into slave labour to perpetuate the greatness of the kingdom. They suffered under oppression and longed to be freed from it. God heard their cry and set them free.


Subscribe to RSS - Opinion