Untidied worship

“God of Every Place” is an invitation to bring our whole selves to worship, no matter what space we’re in.

“When we gather for worship, we bring all of ourselves, though some experiences or emotions might feel harder to name. Or maybe we feel pressure to keep them tidied away,” explains Alissa Bender when describing her worship resource in Voices Together. Found at #859, “God of Every Place” is an invitation to bring our whole selves to worship, no matter what space we’re in.

The complexity and simplicity of Christian unity

“If you watch an orchestra tune at the beginning of a performance, you’ll notice the musicians don’t all try to tune to one another. That would be chaos...” (Photo by Larisa Birta/Unsplash)

Understanding how to pray and work towards unity with all “Christians” has been a struggle for me. How do I seek unity with people who call themselves Christian, but embody attitudes, values, behaviours and beliefs that, in my opinion, are diametrically opposed to the teachings, character and heart of Jesus.

This struggle is by no means new, or unique to me.

Forever hybrid

Niklaus Mikaelson, Valerie Tulle, Lizzie Saltzman, Stefan Salvatore . . . do you know who these folks are? If not, maybe that’s because they are not from the Mennonite heritage but from a supernatural world featured in the TV series, The Vampire Diaries. These beings are “hybrids,” born out of the cross-breeding of supernatural species such as werewolves and vampires.

Gift for the Queen

(Photo: David L. Hunsberger/Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

Fifty years ago, in June 1973, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Waterloo region. What gift could she be given to represent the area? These two bronze figures of an Old Order couple by Waterloo artist Renie Ellis were chosen. At the time, Mennonites constituted about 10 percent of the area’s population.

Welding a Mennonite reality

Unfinished, food bank-inspired bookends on Ed Olfert’s workbench. (Photo by Ed Olfert)

In January I was tasked with providing a meditation on Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday at a local church. As I peck out this column, that day has not yet arrived and I’m spending my time welding up a sermon.

I’m not an historian, nor a learned interpreter of our faith heritage, so I am grounded in nothing . . . but reality.

Maria Kroeker

(Photo: Peter Kroeker Photo Collection)

In 1893, Maria Kroeker married Johann Neufeld in Reinland, Man. The couple moved to Lost River, Sask. in 1911. Then, in 1926, when the Saskatchewan government insisted that Mennonite children attend government schools, Maria and Johann moved their 11 children to Paraguay, where they helped establish the village of Bergthal.

Makin’ space

(Unsplash photo by Ambitious Creative Co.-Rick Barrett)

My youngest son, Cai, has developed a passion for working out, so for Christmas he asked for a home gym. More specifically, an Olympic barbell, bumper plate weights, an adjustable bench and a power rack. It was pretty expensive, so he offered to pay for half, and said, “You can use it too, Dad! It would be something we could do together.”

Apocalypse, peace, identity

Sofia Samatar speaks at Goshen College on Sept. 30, 2022. (Goshen College photo by Julian Gonzalez)

When Sofia Samatar took an American literature class at Goshen (Ind.) College more than 20 years ago, she wrote a paper about Walt Whitman, who is sometimes called the “good grey poet.” Among the thousands of student papers I read, this one stands out.

Actively watching

(Pixabay photo by PublicDomainPictures)

“I spy with my little eye, something . . . .” Most of you probably know the game. It’s one that has become a fun and important little ritual for me and my three-year-old daughter while I drive her and her sister to daycare in the mornings before work.

Vernon Ratzlaff in Eqypt

(Photo: Linda Herr, MCC photo collection)

Vern Ratzlaff, centre, worked much of his life within Mennonite institutions in western Canada and internationally, serving as a church pastor, Bible school teacher and radio preacher. From 1982 to 1987, Vern and his wife Helen served as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) country representatives in Egypt.

Christmas delight?

(Photo by Mariana B./Unsplash)

Christmas is a difficult season for many people, myself included. As a Christian, I “should” be celebrating the birth of Jesus. The angels sing of “great joy” as the lowly and the mighty come to bend the knee at the crude bedside of the baby. The Incarnation is what makes Christianity profoundly different from all other religions.


Subscribe to RSS - Opinion