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Number 9

Cover Date: May 2, 2011

Spring 2011 List of Books & Resources

Focus On | Apr 27, 2011

Theology, spirituality

Christians and War: A Brief History of the Church’s Teachings and Practices. A. James Reimer. Augsburg Fortress Press, 2010, 192 pages.

Published soon after his death, this little book is based on courses Reimer taught. It examines biblical passages and just war thinking as well as modern concepts of war. It is suitable for group study.

Day by Day These Things We Pray: Uncovering Ancient Rhythms of Prayer. Arthur Boers. Herald Press, 2010, 235 pages.

‘MennoMedia’ selected as name of integrated agency

Focus On | By By Steve Shenk | Apr 27, 2011

When Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN) and Third Way Media merge on July 1, the new agency will be called MennoMedia. That was the decision of the board that now governs MPN and which will govern the new integrated agency.

The eight-member binational board voted unanimously to approve the name on April 8 during its quarterly meeting in Harrisonburg, Va., where the main offices of MennoMedia will be located.

A Psalm-like devotional

Focus On | By Reviewed by Fred Redekop | Apr 27, 2011

Tongue Screws and Testimonies, a book of essays, poems and artwork reflecting on Martyrs Mirror, is written by insiders for insiders. In the introductory essay, Kirsten Beachy, the editor, states that this volume reflects a wide variety of opinions of, and attitudes to, the role that Martyrs Mirror has played, and is playing, in the Anabaptist community. The Mirror was written in the 17th century and many Mennonites have read it alongside the Bible. 

Shedding light on southern Manitoba’s conservative Mennonites

Focus On | By Reviewed by Eckhard Goerz | Apr 27, 2011

This comprehensive biography of Wilhelm H. Falk (1892-1976), founding bishop of the Rudnerweide Mennonite Conference, is an important addition to the history of Mennonites, particularly in southern Manitoba. The book outlines the early history and origins of the Rudnerweide Gemeinde, later to become the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church.

One man creates space for peace

Focus On | By Reviewed by Anne Stewart | Apr 27, 2011

On television, in the publications that we read, on the web, and even in our games, violence and injustice are highlighted without antidote. Seldom are we given the chance to see action for peace and justice as a dominant theme.

Exploring Dora and the Prince of Peace

Focus On | By By Matthew Bailey-Dick | Apr 27, 2011

Enough with trying to save the world – that’s an impossible and thankless job. Our real task is to save Baby Jaguar. As I sit on the living room couch with my youngest child nestled on my lap and a “Dora the Explorer” book in my hand, I’ve concluded that we can accomplish this task with God’s help. Then there will be some peace in the world.

Microfinancing plays well in Waterloo

Haitians and Canadians mingle in a joyful dance in the Haitian village during a recent production of Iron Will in Waterloo, Ont.

Artbeat | By By Dave Rogalsky | Apr 27, 2011

About a year ago some Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) staff saw the play Iron Will in Hamilton, Ont. So inspired were they by its microfinance message that they came back to the Waterloo office wondering if it could be performed there.

Playing with numbers

God at work in Us | By By Donita Wiebe-Neufeld | Apr 27, 2011 | 1 comment

Teaching may not be an unusual career, but Willi Penner has made a unique contribution to the field. Penner is the creator of Mathopoly, a curriculum-based math learning tool. The game is gaining the attention of educators and parents, and last October it was featured on the CBC’s Dragon’s Den, a TV show that gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their product to potential investors.

After teaching Grade 5 math for five years at Menno Simons Christian School in Calgary, Alta., Penner currently teaches junior high science there.

‘Leading in a connected world’

God at work in the World | By By Dave Rogalsky | Apr 27, 2011

A broad range of ideas and opinions on the effects and uses of communications technology served as the focus of the 2011 Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) spring convention for its Waterloo Region chapter.

The 150 registrants heard from Mike Morrice, executive director of Sustainable Waterloo, a not-for-profit organization that helps link businesses and community organizations with sustainable solutions, and  Tim Jackson, chief executive officer of the Accelerator Centre at the University of Waterloo.

‘With sadness and lament’

God at work in the Church | By By Rachel Bergen | Apr 27, 2011

In order to manage as yearly donations are decreasing, Mennonite Church Canada announced publicly on April 12 that, regrettably, it must reduce expenditures by terminating or altering positions and programs. The announcement comes a month after MC Canada councils met to identify the core responsibilities of the national church, those that are integral to its mission and values.

The light that we have

Viewpoints | By By Dan Dyck | Apr 27, 2011

Most regular readers of Canadian Mennonite now know that Mennonite Church Canada is adopting a smaller structure to reduce ministry expenditures by a half-million dollars. The question of “why” persists.

While it is tempting to find and blame a single scapegoat, reality is less straightforward. In a recent MC Canada news release, general secretary Willard Metzger was careful to say that a “downward trend in giving does not necessarily appear to be a reflection of decreased generosity.” This is an important distinction to make, but it isn’t the only factor.

The truth about marriage

Viewpoints | By Melissa Miller | Apr 27, 2011

I’ve imagined a column with this title for some time. While it sounds more than a little presumptuous, it is a topic to which I’ve given a great deal of thought.

Missing the mark

Viewpoints | By Donald Brooker | Apr 27, 2011

As parents, many of us go to great lengths to ensure that our children and youths get the best of everything. We sign them up for hockey camps, music and snowboarding lessons, swim teams, tutors and after-school clubs, all in an effort to guarantee their success.

But many of us don’t teach our children biblical stewardship. I don’t mean to say that we don’t practise biblical stewardship or that by our example we don’t live out our faith in front of our children. But how often do we talk to our children about financial stewardship from a biblical perspective?

Readers write

Viewpoints | Apr 27, 2011

Call on whatever God you worship for comfort when grieving

I was interested in “A heart for grieving people,” March 7, page 22, which featured Hank Friesen in his role as an assistant funeral director in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.

For 45 years I have had the privilege to be a licensed funeral director in Waterloo, Ont., employing many part-time funeral directors assistants who are often retired and bring an enormous amount of life experiences to assist in serving families.

For discussion

Feature | Apr 27, 2011

1. How are conflicts in the faith community different from those in other organizations? Do you think such conflicts show a lack of a caring community? What is the most important thing we can do to reduce such conflicts?

2. Do you think employees of Mennonite churches or institutions have higher expectations of their employers than other workers? In what situations do church employees have difficulty in getting fair treatment? Are there circumstances in which it is appropriate for an employee to sue?

‘The ministry of war’

While the church may try to keep conflicts from becoming ‘messy and public,’ that doesn’t mean they aren’t messy and private.

Feature | By By Rachel Bergen | Apr 27, 2011

Pastor Epp (a pseudonym), finding himself in conflict with his church board, became increasingly depressed. Sharing his emotional ill health with the board, they arrived at a compromise about the number of times he should preach. Or so he thought.

Agreeing that there were enough good speakers to cover for him, he rested gratefully in the fact that he was given time for treatment and renewal of spirit before ending his contract. But, in a surprise move, the board then reneged and demanded that he preach every Sunday until the last day of his ministry.