Number 23

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Downsizing for service

Dave and Karen Mast have traded their home in Ephrata, Pa., for a trailer that they take with them on their assignments with Service Opportunities for Older People (SOOP), a Mennonite Mission Network ministry.

A year ago, Dave and Karen Mast traded their 240-square-metre home in Ephrata, Pa., for a 12-metre-long travel trailer.

Dave, 51, and Karen, 48, now travel across the eastern U.S. as volunteers for Service Opportunities for Older People (SOOP), a Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) volunteer opportunity throughout the U.S. and Canada for adults and families.

The Crash

Because it’s like driving cold and restless I put my arms up and out and feel
wind pushing me pushing me pushing me like an aching like a crumbling
like an
ending
you ask if I’m conducting I am I am but
it’s like a pirate ship a sinking ship a spaceship half gone but people are on
the lookout and write about it in their news

Lao church dedicates new worship space

Lao Canadian Evangelical Mennonite Church youths welcomed guests to a fellowship meal following a grand opening celebration for the congregation’s new worship space at a mall in northwest Toronto.

Why would several hundred people enter a storefront on Finch Avenue West in northwest Toronto late in the afternoon of Sept. 26? Not to get a haircut; that’s next door. No, these people were gathered to celebrate.

Tree-planting project takes root

Jake Rempel and Brian Wiebe prepare a hole to plant one of 37 trees that will border the Carman Mennonite Church property on three sides. About half of the funding came from Manitoba Hydro’s Forest Enhancement Program.

On Nov. 9, a wagonload of 37 trees and an eager group of Carman Mennonite Church members armed with spades, including a massive tree spade powered by a tractor, showed up in the church parking lot. A plan to enhance the parking lot, provide shelter from the winds and care for the environment had been developed years ago and now was about to take root.

What to believe?

The daily bombardment of advertising from radio, billboards, newspapers, the Internet, fliers and TV leaves me discouraged and fatigued. Relentless messages urge me to cling to an insidious mantra, to believe that I will be a better person for using a particular product or service, to believe that advertisers are honest and want the best for me.

God in the nooks and crannies

Melissa Miller

On the first Sunday of Advent, many of us will hear the proclamation, “The Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour” (Matthew 25:44). Advent worship resources from The Leader have highlighted the words “an unexpected hour” as a theme for this season. We are called to make space to receive God’s presence among us by slowing down and slipping into silence.

For discussion

1. In what ways are the people of your congregation involved with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)? Which generations are most involved? How high are the feelings of support and loyalty towards MCC? Do you know Mennonite churches that do not support MCC?

MCC centrality questioned

The MCC revisioning process seeks to address the tension of being rich Christians in an age of global inequality—an age in which golf tournaments in Manitoba (as shown by the cover of MCC Manitoba’s annual report, left) fund hurricane recovery efforts in Haiti (MCC file photo by Ben Depp, right).

At a time when relief supplies can be purchased in countries close to disaster sites—providing stimulus to their often hard-hit local economies—does it make economic or environmental sense to continue making blankets and relief kits of all kinds in North America and then ship them around the world?

Will Braun

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is the largest and most influential Anabaptist organization in the world. It has nearly 1,200 workers and an annual budget of $82 million.

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