These Saskatchewan ladies are hovering over baked goods at a sale circa 1964. “Ladies groups” have been significant organizations that have contributed to the social and spiritual well-being of women, their families, communities and beyond. Over time, the organizational structures grew to include local, regional and nationwide organizations.
A few months ago, a preacher at our church included suicide in his sermon. Philippians 1 was the text, where the Apostle Paul sets out his dilemma between preferring life or death. “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you,” Paul writes.
As a mother of four little ones, I find church can be pretty chaotic. For six years while living in Manila, our Filipino church gathered in our home while my kids played around the family room.
I’ve run into a number of people who are “spiritual but not religious,” who have recently started attending church. They told me they skip the opening worship and just show up to hear the message. When I asked why, one person said, “The music doesn’t resonate with me or the world I live in. It often hinders my ability to connect with God, to be honest.”
During this past year, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan has focused on the theme of “Deepening our walk with Christ,” in the hope of increasing our openness to encounters with God’s presence in our lives. This theme grew out of an awareness that, if we desire to live well in this day of great turmoil and uncertainty, we need to come back to the One who calms the storm and brings us peace.
An accordionist serenades a literary society meeting at Chesley Lake Camp in Ontario, in 1949. Chesley Lake was the first Mennonite church camp in Ontario and one of the first in Canada. Literary societies were common in Ontario Mennonite churches at the time, as social outlets and avenues for artistic expression.
I drove to the nursing home to visit a dear old friend. She was sleeping when I entered her room, so I pulled up a chair to wait.
Last fall, ignited by curiosity about what we would hear if we invited women to share their experiences of life within Mennonite Church Manitoba congregations, Mennonite Women Manitoba decided to host two Conversation Circles, one in Winnipeg and the other in southern Manitoba.
This past week I attended a cluster meeting with a small group of pastors from southern Manitoba to talk about mission and church engagement in their communities. The pastors talked about the work that their congregations are doing locally and many voiced the need for more resources and support for their mission committees and the members who serve on them.
When we pulled up the steep driveway of my grandparents’ old house, I was overcome with tears of nostalgia and tears of loss for the love that this space once held.
“I wondered if pacifist Christians, who hold a strong commitment to preserving life, had the capacity to consider the possible merits, even mercy, in assisting someone to die. I wondered about how a theology of suffering, redemptive suffering even, so basic to Christianity, would inform the choices we make.”—Melissa Miller
In June 2016, the government of Canada enacted legislation that enabled eligible adults to seek medical assistance in dying (MAID). At the time, I followed some of the debate with many questions and a mixture of hope and dread. My questions included the incongruity of lodging the matter with healthcare professionals, who are committed to saving and serving life.
In 2013, I embarked on an ancestral pilgrimage to Scotland. The first site I visited was Lochmaben Castle, where, according to my Aunt Faye’s genealogical research, one of our ancestors was born.
Why do you travel? For fun, to learn, to connect? All three combined for Dorothy, Lorna and Gertrude Bergey as they joined a Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario bus tour to Pennsylvania in May 1983. Here, they stand in front of the Pennsylvania home of European emigrant Hans Ulrich Bergey in Salford. In 1897, Pennsylvanian David H.
I often have the same thought when visiting a first-generation Canadian congregation: I wish my home congregation of Rockway Mennonite could see this!
In The Pastor-Congregation Duet, Gary Harder weaves together his love of pastoral ministry and his love of music. It is clear from the outset, that his call to ministry ran deep, and his love for making music and appreciating music helped to sustain him in his call, feeding him in times of drought and comforting him in times of discouragement.
J. Lawrence Burkholder’s experiences as a relief worker in China in 1947 caused him to think about the nature of power. His dissertation, “The problem of social responsibility from the perspective of the Mennonite church,” was completed in 1958 but not published at the time because it challenged Mennonite teachings.
“Igniting the imagination of the church.” That’s the theme of Mennonite Church Canada’s Gathering 2019, to be held from June 28 to July 1 in Abbotsford, B.C. Powerful words, those! What might they mean for us as congregations comprising five regional churches and the nationwide church?
Over the course of our lives, we likely offer many prayers in a variety of ways. Some are formal, memorized prayers said for specific occasions. A family table grace recited before meals. The comforting words of Psalm 23. The Lord’s Prayer spoken as one body during worship.