Number 11

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Senior tour guides inspire senior travellers

John Ruth a retired English professor and author, right, has led TourMagination tours since 1974.

Turning 65 used to mean it was time to trade in the company car for a rocking chair, but today organizations recognize the value of wisdom and life experience gained by older people. TourMagination, a Mennonite tour company founded in 1970, has long recognized that many of its tour leaders are on their second—or even third—career.

Volunteer prison visitors honoured

David Milgaard, who spent more than two decades in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, is pictured with copies of his book of poetry, prose and a love letter written while he was in prison. The book is available from Ronald N. Storozuk, 689 Beaverhill Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R2J 3P2.

On April 30, a man who spent 22 years behind bars took the stage at First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, to share his story at a banquet honouring M2/W2 (Man 2 Man/Woman to Woman) volunteers.

Willard Metzger to be next MC Canada general secretary

Metzger

Willard Metzger has been appointed to the post of general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada. He will succeed outgoing general secretary Robert J. Suderman, who has served in the post since 2005 and who will retire this summer. The leadership transition will begin this fall.

Moderator Andrew Reesor-McDowell made the announcement to staff on behalf of the general board on May 20.

Asking the wrong questions

Ed Janzen, chaplain at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., moves that the Congregational Ministries Council prioritize youth and young adult ministry in its funding allocations.

Moderator Aldred Neufeld summed up Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s 23rd annual delegate sessions last month by saying, “Even the wrong decisions can get us to the right place through God’s Spirit.” And wrong decisions—or questions—came up a number of times over the day-and-a-half of meetings.

A wall of memories

Photo courtesy of James Friesen

I write these thoughts only a few days after returning to Winnipeg, Man., and life at Westgate Mennonite Collegiate, but the Middle East already seems so far away.

Twenty-four students and four chaperones (of which I was one) spent our last night on the roof of the Ecce Homo Convent in the Old City of Jerusalem reflecting on our time together. Each of us shared our highlights:

Not just a stepping stone

MC Saskatchewan youth minister Anna Rehan, right, is congratulated by area church moderator Renata Klassen following the tribute to Rehan’s 25 years of youth ministry in Saskatchewan.

Anna Rehan sits behind her desk at the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan offices. This past February, during the conference delegate sessions, the area church’s youth pastor was recognized for 25 years of work with Saskatchewan youths and young adults.

For discussion

1. What is the relationship between the Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church Canada congregations in your community? Do you agree that the relationship between the MBs and other Mennonites has changed over the years from one of tension to cooperation?

Jacob D. Reimer’s tombstone discovered in Ukraine

The tombstone with English translations of the etchings.

On a tour in Ukraine in October 2006, Gert and Katherine Martens experienced an emotional moment when a farmer in Oktaybreskoe removed a few planks from his wall and uncovered the tombstone of Jacob D. and Wilhelmine Reimer. It didn’t take them long to decipher the deep etching on the large granite stone and realize it was Gert’s great-great-grandparents.

From tension to cooperation

Winkler MB Church with the smaller Burwalde MB Church that was moved beside it.

This year the Mennonite Brethren Church is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a week-long celebration in B.C. in July. What have the MBs contributed to the wider Mennonite community during the past century-and-a-half? What has been its relationship to Mennonite Church Canada, or to the General Conference Mennonite Church, which also began in 1860?

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