Throughout my years of ministry, being involved in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. No, I am not an addict. But at times I’m called on to help addicts through their “fifth step.”
Recently, a Kubota utility vehicle pulled into my driveway where my sons and their friends were playing hockey. Out popped Tim Taylor, a former NHL player and two-time Stanley Cup champion, holding the Stanley Cup. He put it in the middle of our driveway where we all took turns touching it, kissing it and drinking from it.
I didn’t used to get nervous leading singing. There were times before leading at Mennonite Church Canada’s Gathering 2019 when I was nervous. I was less nervous leading 6,500 youth and sponsors at the St. Louis ’99 Youth Convention than some points before leading a few hundred in Abbotsford, B.C., last month.
New Canadian initiatives around multiculturalism in the 1970s—celebrating anniversaries like Canada’s centennial in 1967, Manitoba’s in 1970, and the arrival of Mennonites in Manitoba in 1974—created a new energy and appreciation for history in Canada. During these years, the Mennonite Heritage Centre and the Archives of Ontario hired permanent staff.
In early June, a sermon was delivered by a mother-daughter team in Tiefengrund Rosenort Mennonite Church in Saskatchewan. The daughter, Abby, is 12.
It is difficult to know what the future holds for youth ministry within Mennonite churches in Canada. Change is happening fast for some churches as they experience more immediate declines in the number of youth and children in their congregations.
No matter how many times you visit India, the overcrowded cities, hazy air and animal-people-vehicle-jammed streets of this country with more than 1.3 billion people are an assault to your physical senses and inner spirit.
CommonWord is just over four years old. In that short time we have doubled our sales (reaching more than 10,000 retail customers last year), more than doubled the number of website users, and have continued to circulate half of our loan materials outside Manitoba—and increasingly to people outside our immediate Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University communities.
From halfway across the world, a loyal MAID watcher noticed an error. This was not the Rainham church in 1965, as originally labelled by the photographer, but South Cayuga Mennonite Church, Dunnville, Ont. Comparing it to another photo of South Cayuga, he urged us to “look at the west end of this meetinghouse.
My pastor husband co-preached about living a front-yard life at a large joint worship service at the park last weekend. With three churches gathered together and probably half of our town at the park, the message of interacting with our neighbours in the front yard, instead of keeping isolated in a fenced-off backyard, rippled through our town this week.
Some years ago, I screwed up my courage and sent off an email to the editor of Canadian Mennonite. I offered to write a column on family relationships.
A recent CBC news article projected that 9,000 Canadian churches will close over the next 10 years. That’s approximately one-third of Canadian churches gone in a decade. It’s not news that the church in Canada is dying, but it is shocking how fast it’s happening.
“Yet we Christians have also been called to take a good hard look at ourselves. To reflect on our Christian beliefs, to scrutinize our missional practices. And to decolonize. It’s not that Christianity is inherently colonial, but for generations the church and its faith have been used —wittingly, unwittingly, and far too often—as instruments of dispossession in the settler colonial arsenal.
You are what you eat, or can it be said you are who you work with? There’s also the phrase, “two peas in a pod,” but this time there’s three of us.
On the surface, it could be said that Kevin Barkowsky, Garry Janzen and I are nothing alike, but, as Mennonite Church British Columbia staffers, we certainly can relate to each other in our personal lives.
A farmer cuts wheat on a farm in Namaka, Alta., in the 1920s. Food and its production continues to be a central driving force in society, affecting our health, quality of life and where we live. Forces such as mechanization, urbanization, and globalization have impacted the food matrix and our connection to the food we grow and eat.
A mentor once told me that, in her view, a female preacher should wear “straight lines” behind the pulpit. That is, a suit. Straight lines command greater authority, which means people are more likely to give your words credit. As someone who has never worn a suit in her life, this didn’t sit well with me and would make me feel like an imposter.
Jean Vanier, who died on May 7 at age 90, was a spiritual leader who shared the gospel in a way few, if any, had before.
I was recently invited with a handful of other clergypersons to lunch at a local seniors home. Between the main course and dessert, the conversation turned, predictably, to the decline of the church.
Streetscape of Nipawin, Sask., in the 1920s. Mennonites first began moving to Lost River in the Rural Municipality of Nipawin in the early 1900s. By 1906, they were meeting in homes for worship. In 1913, Bishop Abraham Doerksen of the Manitoba Sommerfeld Mennonite Church travelled to the Nipawin area, where he baptized 42 people and ordained Aron Doerksen and Abram R. Bergen as pastors.