God at work in the Church

Ten years of being good news

Kingsfield-Clinton celebrated its 10th anniversary on Nov. 5, 2017, with cake. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Siebert)

Stephanie Hammar, Kelly Lubbers, Nancy Huber and Derek Huber visit as part of a weekly potluck, which, on Nov. 5, 2017, formed part of Kingsfield-Clinton’s 10th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Siebert)

Joel Siebert and Travis Lubbers play guitar for worship as part of Kingsfield-Clinton’s 10th anniversary celebration on Nov. 5, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Siebert)

A decade ago, Zurich (Ont.) Mennonite Church, which was formed in 1908 by those who did not want to keep the restrictive dress code of the nearby Blake Amish Mennonite congregation, renamed itself Kingsfield-Zurich. Around the same time, it “multiplied” itself by spawning the nearby Kingsfield-Clinton congregation. Both congregations are in Huron County along Lake Huron.

The blood of modern-day martyrs

Weiny Hablemichael, left, Tim Reimer and Aron Hablemichael discuss the presentations at the Anabaptist Learning Workshop event held at Danforth Mennonite Church, Toronto, on Nov. 18, 2017, that focussed on East African persecutions. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Sara Dula looks at a copy of Martyrs Mirror during a presentation about the suffering of 16th-century Anabaptists at the Anabaptist Learning Workshop event that focussed on the persecution of East Africans. Dula herself fled Eritrea because of the persecution and now lives in Toronto with her family. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

It was the Christian apologist Tertullian in AD 197 who first wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” As he watched Christians killed in the bloody entertainment of colosseums and in summary legal procedures, he saw the church grow.

Challenges and excitement

Willard Metzger, Mennonite Canada executive minister

Calvin Quan, Mennonite Church Canada moderator

Calvin Quan was “happily surprised” by the positive spirit and efficiency of the first meeting of Mennonite Church Canada’s new Joint Council. “There was a strong sense of collaboration and shared agenda [among regional representatives],” said MC Canada’s moderator of the two days of meetings held on Dec. 8 and 9, 2017.

Introducing the new Joint Council of MC Canada

The new Joint Council of MC Canada is composed of, from left to right, front row: Ken Warkentin, moderator, MC Saskatchewan; Paul Neufeldt, moderator, MC Alberta; Lee Dyck, moderator, MC B.C.; Paul Wideman, moderator, MC Eastern Canada; and Peter Rempel, moderator, MC Manitoba; and back row: Jacquelyn Janzen, MC Saskatchewan rep; Vince Friesen, interim MC Alberta rep; Betty Loewen, MC B.C. rep; Calvin Quan, MC Canada moderator; Alicia Good, MC Eastern, Canada rep; Allan Hiebert, secretary/treasurer; Gerald Gerbrandt, MC Manitoba moderator elect and MC Manitoba interim rep; and Geraldine Balzer, assistant moderator, MC Canada. (Photo by Ryan Siemens)

On Dec. 7 and 8, 2017, the new Joint Council of Mennonite Church Canada met for this first time. (See a follow-up to those meetings here.

A renovated Westgate welcomes students back home

The newly renovated Westgate Mennonite Collegiate, featuring the atrium at the front. (Courtesy of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate)

The middle section of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate being demolished in the summer of 2016. (Courtesy of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate)

Visitors walk around Westgate Mennonite Collegiate’s new atrium at their building dedication in September. (Canadian Mennonite Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Vic Pankratz conducts a choir class in the new choir room, which overlooks the river. (Courtesy of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate)

They say it takes a village to raise a child. For Westgate Mennonite Collegiate, it takes a village to not only raise its 300 students, but also to complete a $10.3-million redevelopment project. Westgate, a private school located in Winnipeg, finished renovating its building just in time for the 2017-18 school year.

Recognizing potential in an uncertain future

Mennonite Church Canada executive director Willard Metzger, standing left, explains changes to the structure of the new nationwide church to congregational leaders gathered for MC Saskatchewan’s fall leadership assembly. Standing beside Metzger is Ryan Siemens, MC Saskatchewan’s area church minister of congregational and pastoral relations. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Potential. That word kept surfacing at Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s fall leadership assembly, as pastors and congregational leaders met with MC Canada’s executive minister, Willard Metzger, to learn about their regional church’s role in the newly covenanted nationwide body.

Focus groups hear of restructuring plans

How the new structure of Mennonite Church Canada will affect congregations in B.C. was the topic for focus groups in Richmond and Abbotsford late last month. Donors who have been supporting both MC Canada and MC B.C. were invited to attend the meetings with Willard Metzger, the nationwide church’s executive minister, along with the regional church’s leadership and financial personnel.

Fort Garry Mennonite’s first five decades

Children enjoy their story at Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship's 50th anniversary service on Oct 15, 2017. (Fort Garry Mennonite photo)

On Oct. 15, 2017, more than 300 excited and exuberant members and guests gathered at Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship to celebrate the congregation’s 50th anniversary. Many had already enjoyed a delightful coffee house and artisan display the night before, celebrating the artistic gifts within the community.

Harvesting ideas for a new Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

Craig Neufeld, standing, and Bruce Jantzen brainstorm ways of making the dream of ‘deeper spirituality’ a reality at MC Saskatchewan’s Refresh, Refocus, Renew mini-retreat. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Valerie Wiebe and Carrol Epp listen as Char Bueckert, right, shares her ideas for implementing the three themes that emerged during MC Saskatchewan’s Refresh, Refocus, Renew mini-retreat. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Marg Peters listens as Berny Wiens shares his thoughts during MC Saskatchewan’s second Refresh, Refocus, Renew mini-retreat. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Betty Pries of Credence & Co. tells members of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan that their true identity lies at the heart, where they are already beloved of God. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Pauline Steinmann adds her group’s sheet of ideas to the sanctuary wall during MC Saskatchewan’s second Refresh, Refocus, Renew mini-retreat. Participants were encouraged to think of practical ways of implementing each of three themes that emerged during the retreat. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

It’s harvest time on the Prairies for farmers on their combines, and this year for members of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan as they met for their second Refresh, Refocus, Renew mini-retreat.

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