God at work in Us

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Called to live in hope

Reverend Ibrahim Nsier stands in front of the site where his congregation, the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, Syria, worshipped before the building was bombed. (Photo courtesy of Reverend Ibrahim Nsier)

In his own words, Reverend Ibrahim Nsier, a pastor of the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, tells about his ministry in Syria. Mennonite Central Committee, through the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches, supports the work of Nsier’s church as it addresses the urgent needs of the most vulnerable.

Everyone has a story

Ruth Zehr, pictured in her ‘garden home’ at the Nithview Community in New Hamburg, Ont., holds Everyone Has A Story, Vol. 2, and the companion, Notes of Interest. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Ruth Zehr believes that everyone has a story worth telling.

A decade ago, Zehr overheard a conversation involving Norma Iutzi, program assistant coordinator at the Nithview Community in New Hamburg, about the many stories she heard when she visited the residents of this Tri-County Mennonite Homes multi-stage facility.

Carpe diem

Jack Dueck

In his “Remembering Jack” soliloquy at Jack Dueck’s memorial service, the famous Mennonite novelist and writer, Rudy Wiebe, termed his friend, “a very large and complex human being,” and rendered this story as an example:

Building peace in Northeast Asia

Keynote speaker Jae Young Lee, left, visits with Tina Doell at the MCC Saskatchewan Encounter and annual general meeting held in Saskatoon on Nov. 1.

How does a South Korean soldier become a teacher of peace?

Delegates at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Saskatchewan’s Encounter and annual general meeting heard the answer to that question through the life stories of keynote speaker Jae Young Lee.

Encouraged to keep working

Goshen (Ind.) College president Jim Brenneman, left, presents the Culture for Service Award to alumnus Ray Funk at the college’s fall convocation and homecoming on Oct. 3. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

“Everything I’ve done has been a team sport,” quips Ray Funk as he reflects on his life’s achievements.

‘The way of harmonious energy’

Kevin Peters Unrau, right, sits with Stephan Barton, his teacher, on the day Unrau achieved his first-level black belt in Aikido. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Unrau Peters)

Kevin Peters Unrau, in white, takes his test to achieve his first-level black belt in Aikido. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Unrau Peters)

Kevin Peters Unrau thinks that the Mennonite Church has gotten Jesus wrong. When Jesus calls on his followers to “not resist evildoers” in Matthew 5:39, many Mennonites have turned to nonviolent resistance. Unrau, however, has turned to Aikido, the martial art of using someone else’s energy to move past them.

Reading the Bible with Jesus . . . and Bryan

Bryan Moyer Suderman

Bryan Moyer Suderman (SmallTallMusic.com) sees his music work over the past 11 years as an outgrowth of his desire to have Scripture alive in the church.

He has been active in Community Mennonite Church, Stouffville, Ont., as a youth and adult Bible teacher for years, and has worked to have singable music for young and old to join in those Bible stories.

A good Mennonite?

Ruth Klahsen, left, and Francis Evans stand at the counter of the Monforte on Wellington osteria in downtown Stratford, Ont. Klahsen is fond of saying that she would not open the restaurant until Evans signed on as a hostess (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Cheeses cure at the Monforte Cheese Factory in Stratford, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Rosy Neale removes cheeses from their moulds at the Monteforte Cheese Factory in Stratford, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

The Monteforte Cheese Factory in Stratford, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

“I’m not a very good Mennonite,” says Ruth Klahsen as she sells her Monforte cheeses at the New Hamburg (Ont.) Mennonite Relief Sale, where all sales go to support Mennonite Central Committee relief projects.

Broadcaster brings his faith to the airwaves

Elmer Hildebrand, left, chief executive officer of Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. in Altona, Man., is pictured with Brad Fehr, an on-air radio host/producer.

As a young boy, Elmer Hildebrand enjoyed selling greeting cards and garden seeds to his neighbours in the farming community near Altona. He had no idea where these interests and skills of his would lead. All he knew was that he didn’t want to farm.

Educating eaters

Don and Louella Friesen of Carmen Corner Meats happily package an order for a customer.

Mennonite-style farmer sausage sizzles on the grill at many prairie gatherings, and a growing number of those gatherings serve sausage from Carmen Corner Meats.

‘Simple living’ was writer’s beat

LaVerna Klippenstein

LaVerna Klippenstein will be remembered by many Canadian Mennonite readers for the columns she wrote in the Mennonite Reporter, precursor to this publication. She was also a regular columnist for 30 years for Christian Living magazine. Being a strong supporter of Christian education and the nurturing of Christian faith, she wrote many devotionals for Rejoice! and other publications.

A tale of two voyages

Several years ago, Chau Dang, pastor of Calgary Vietnamese Mennonite Church, enthusiastically recounted for me the Caribbean cruise from which he had just returned. Coming from all over North America, at least 150 Vietnamese friends, 35 from his extended family, had been reunited to celebrate a week of cruising balmy waters.

Feeding the demand for Anabaptist faith values

Last October, Willard Metzger, right, and seven other Christian faith leaders met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on an Evangelical Fellowship of Canada delegation to discuss matters of importance to the church. Topics ranged from Canada’s relationship with its host peoples to climate change and homelessness. (Photo used by permission of Office of the Prime Minister)

Mennonite Church Canada executive director Willard Metzger, right (in black), marches through the streets of Durban, South Africa, in support of climate justice with other people of faith at the UN Climate Change Forum in 2011. He attended as an unofficial observer on behalf of the World Council of Churches.

Willard Metzger accepts writing invitations from various organizations and publishers to help increase engagement with Anabaptism on a wider level. Thanking God with Integrity: Table Graces & Scripture for a World of Need encourages gratitude while increasing awareness of those who live with less. He contributed to ‘Living Ecological Justice,’ a faith-based learning tool helping Canadian Christians care and advocate for creation.

A growing awareness of Anabaptism is increasing interest in Mennonite Church Canada, and Willard Metzger is happy to respond.

Quietly inspiring

The music studio and classroom in the backyard is decorated with Apple computer prints of creative individuals. John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Einstein, Picasso, Amelia Earhart, some with the Apple logo covered with a piano sticker, share the walls with a painting by Leighton Jones of the Children’s Band.

Tall Grass from deep convictions

Paul and Tabitha Langel are pictured in front of their bakery at the Forks in Winnipeg. ‘We had a vision for a dreamy kind of neighbourhood bakery,’ Tabitha recalls.

Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company is well-known in and around Winnipeg for its gooey cinnamon buns and its organic local baking and preserves, suffusing the marketplace at the Forks and its Wolseley neighbourhood with the aroma of fresh baking.

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