In reflecting on Assembly 2016 in Saskatoon, one thing is certain: We are entering a period of uncertainty in the life of Mennonite Church Canada and its area churches. The most hopeful sign in this state of affairs is that the delegates had enough faith in our leaders to begin a new process with few specifics.
After nine years of working together on the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) process, by an 85 percent majority, delegates at Assenbly 2016 in Saskatoon approved the BFC7 recommendation. (See “Delegates vote to allow space for differences.”)
We have abandoned the battleground.
Helen Warkentin was a long-term missionary to India from 1920 to 1957, and took many orphans ‘under her wing.’ She received support from family and friends back in Winkler, Man. Pictured, Manitobans proudly gather around a large crate of goods they are sending to Warkentin, to be used for the care of the poor in India.
It had probably been a while since Horse Lake Mennonite Church welcomed so many worshippers. Filling every pew, they gathered to celebrate the life of this small country church and to grieve its closing.
During the decommissioning service, held June 26, Pastor Walter Jantzen shared the church’s history.
“We are not living in the 16th century, and whatever is called Anabaptism today inevitably looks and sounds quite different,” said Paul Martens during a recent talk entitled “Neo-Anabaptism is dead: Long live neo-Anabaptism” at the Menno Simons Centre in Vancouver. Hence “neo-Anabaptism” is a way of naming the connections between the past and present: a new way of understanding the past.
Yearning for eloheh (ae-luh-hay) is clearly evident in Randy Woodley’s new children’s picture book, The Harmony Tree, published by Mennonite Church Canada this year. Richly illustrated by Ramone Romero and with an afterword by theologian Walter Brueggemann, the story speaks about healing and community through a deeply rooted, God-centred indigenous view of creation.
Manitoba became home to another world record on July 31, 2016, when 139 antique threshing machines harvested a field simultaneously for 15 minutes at the 62nd Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede held at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin. Nine others started, but, for various mechanical reasons, couldn’t finish the 15-minute test.