Number 16

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Sharing what they have gained

Pastoral intern Christina Edmiston engages ministry team leader Mike Thiessen in conversation at the potluck following Wanner Mennonite’s 175th-anniversary celebration service on June 24 in Cambridge, Ont.

The way Ken Bechtel, Wanner Mennonite Church historian, puts it, the “175” in this year’s celebration refers only to the construction of the first dedicated church building.

Recognizing God at work

Muriel Bechtel, retiring this summer after 12 years as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada conference minister, is pictured in her office, familiar to many pastors through the years.

After 12 years as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s conference minister, Muriel Bechtel will be moving into retirement this summer. On June 24 she also celebrated 20 years since her ordination, when she was pastor of Warden Woods Mennonite Church, Toronto.

MCC material aid reaches Syrian refugees in Jordan

Basil Kaboushi, left, and Wajdi Haddad, volunteers with Caritas Jordan, an MCC partner, help to distribute MCC relief kits and comforters to Syrian refugees at the Latin Patriarchate School in Mafraq, Jordan, in June.

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) continues to address needs of refugees fleeing from increasing violence in Syria. Caritas Jordan, an MCC partner, is distributing comforters, relief kits, school kits and hygiene kits in five governorates, similar to provinces or states. In the Mafraq governorate, milk powder and diapers also are distributed.

Portage Mennonite Church closes

Derek (7) and Michael (10) Thiessen, comprising the entire Sunday School, began a goat project in June, just weeks before the last worship service of Portage Mennonite Church. They are not sure where will they will go to church now that it is closing. 

Portage Mennonite Church

For over 35 years “the little church that could” nurtured faith, built community, and sent many of its members out into the wider world to work in with MCC, Canadian Foodgrains Bank or Mennonite Church Canada programs. It was a place for those Christians who moved into the city of Portage la Prairie to grow in their faith and find fellowship with others who shared these Anabaptist convictions.

Bricks and mortar

An artist’s drawing of the proposed MCC Ontario building.

The new $12-million complex Mennonite Central Committee Ontario (MCCO) is building in Kitchener will fit the more-with-less ethos, says Rick Cober Bauman, MCCO’s executive director. “But,” he adds, “it is still clearly sending a message that we are a serious player in relief, development and peace; and we’re not hiding.”

Two everyday heroes of the faith

Abe Buhler and Eric Olfert

What’s at the heart of the matter? What is basic and essential to our questions of faith and life? Such questions were asked of Jesus in attempts to trap him. They are also important questions in helping us find our way to a more life-giving centre in a context where our Christian faith is often perceived as more exclusive than embracing—more restrictive than freeing.

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