Over the past six years, I’ve had the great privilege of serving on the board of Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service (CMPS), overseer of this magazine. It’s time now to say goodbye. By the time you read this, the annual meetings of CMPS will have been held in Abbotsford, B.C., and a new board chair will have been elected.
The standing-room-only audience in the Conrad Grebel University College chapel on March 3 listened to street sounds (cars, voices, music), Spanish voices shift into aboriginal ones, German voices, and modern and traditional worship music, while slides of Asunción, Paraguay, morphed into the South American countryside.
On the morning of Feb. 27 a one-minute earthquake left nearly 300 dead and a half-million homes destroyed. Power cuts, blocked roads and collapsed communications services made it difficult to answer such desperate questions as, “Where is my family?” and, “How are my friends, my brothers and sisters of the church?”
Within minutes of hearing midday news reports on Feb. 27 of a magnitude 8.8 earthquake that had occurred earlier that day in Chile, Tim Froese had sent an e-mail alert to all Mennonite Church Canada staff.
Tom Seals, Mennonite Church Manitoba treasurer, reported that donations from congregations in 2009 were down by 3.4 percent, or $23,442. Although the congregational giving budget had been decreased from the year before, it still meant giving was 2.8 percent less than budgeted.
Although much of last month’s Mennonite Church Manitoba annual delegates sessions was concerned with the area church’s camping ministries (see “Camping issues top MC Manitoba delegate session,” March 8, page 31), the event ended with an ambitious challenge from Glenlea Mennonite Church to the other 49 congregations.
Saskatchewan delegates took a step into the future during their annual delegate sessions at the end of February, when they accepted a new congregation into their midst and moved to take action on an MC Canada proposal passed last summer.
Freed from some of the Mennonite ethnic restraints of the past, some 50 pastors from Mennonite Church Saskatchewan attending the annual delegate sessions last month conversed with Alan Kreider about how they could move from “exhortation to incarnation” in helping their members give testimony to their Christian experience in a postmodern world.
Jan. 12 was a day like no other for Arisnel Mesidor. On this day, Haiti, his homeland—and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
At the recent annual gathering of Mennonite Church Manitoba, the talk was about new directions. It seems the search for new ways of organizing ourselves is in the air everywhere. Our connections to each other as congregations seem to be fraying, we value our independence in ever greater measure, and see less and less need to support and depend on each other.
1. How does your congregation commemorate the pain of the cross and celebrate the joy of Easter? What do you find most meaningful? Peter J. Dyck describes a papier-maché drama that he experienced in Poland. How would that drama be received at your church?
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
(Paul, in I Corinthians 15:57).
Easter is the most joyous holiday on our calendar. Nature decorates the landscape with colourful flowers, birds sing and women display their new dresses. The cynics say it is only an annual spring fashion show.
On that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about 11 kilometres from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them, but they were kept from recognizing him.