Subscribe to Syndicate
Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

You are here

Web First

Training, persistence lead to new income

Obed Nkundagenzi trims the hair of Uwase Laissa in the barbershop he started after getting technical training at Mwana Nshuti, a program supported by MCC’s Global Family education program in Rwanda. (MCC photo by Matthew Lester)

Web First | By Linda Espenshade | Jan 14, 2016

In the Rwandan barber shop where Obed Nkundagenzi works with three friends, he is surrounded by pictures of success—mansions with lavish green lawns, beautiful models and full-size posters of sports teams and their heroes.

American rap stars have their spots on the wall gallery, although the music in the barber shop is the rat-a-tat of the rain on the tin roof, the buzzing of the razors and low-pitched conversations in Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda.

Gospel Herald and The Mennonite available for online searches

As part of the project to digitize volumes of The Mennonite and Gospel Herald, Lois Longenecker, a volunteer for Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, snips threads of tightly-bound volumes so that pages could be scanned in their entirety. (AMBS photo)

Web First | Jan 13, 2016

Readers can now search online, for free, in the denominational magazines of Mennonite Church Canada’s and Mennonite Church USA’s two predecessor organizations, the Mennonite Church (MC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCMC).

Within each volume of the MC Gospel Herald (1908–1998) and the GCMC The Mennonite (1885–1998), researchers can conduct a full-text search to quickly locate topics and articles.

European Anabaptist leaders release statement on refugees

Twenty-one leaders of nine European Mennonite conferences, Mennonite World Conference, and two international agencies gathered for annual meetings in France, October 2015. (MWC photo)

Web First | Jan 13, 2016

Leaders of Mennonite conferences in Europe and international guests met in Buhl, France, for their annual gathering of planning and fellowship October 23-25, 2015. The assembled leaders drafted a statement to express their concern about the refugee crisis in Europe.

Professor reflects on Mennonite hymns and their influence

Kenneth J. Nafziger

Web First | By Melodie Davis | Jan 12, 2016

Dr. Kenneth J. Nafziger, long-time and noted professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University—plus a key figure in putting together a hymnal and two song supplements—spoke at a recent breakfast meeting of the Eastern Mennonite University Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society. His topic: How our hymns influence and reflect our changing theology.

Personnel sought for Mennonite song collection

Web First | Jan 12, 2016 | 2 comments

Looking for a way to use your musical and worship talents in the new year? Want to be part of shaping what Mennonites sing?

MennoMedia, in close partnership with Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, began accepting applications for various committee and staff positions for a new Mennonite song collection on January 1, 2016.

Top 10 online stories in 2015

Web First | By Virginia A. Hostetler | Jan 07, 2016 | 1 comment

Stories about Mennonite identity, sexuality, politics, and music attracted visitors to the Canadian Mennonite website last year. Here are the top stories, based on the number of page views.

10.  “Being Mennonite 101” featured a young adult who uses light-hearted YouTube videos to educate people about Mennonite beliefs and culture.  About Mennonites of many nationalities and cultural backgrounds, she quips, “It’s awesome, because that just means the food keep getting better!”

St. Jacobs Mennonite celebrates 100 years in the village

Chuck Kruger (left), Larry Shantz and Marcia Shantz, play “Johnny Be Good” for the St. Jacobs Mennonite Church variety show on Nov. 14, 2015, exactly 100 years after the building was dedicated. In this version Johnny is the horse pulling the Good family buggy to the Heidelberg auction. Members of the congregational prayer shawl ministry sit behind them. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Web First | By Dave Rogalsky | Jan 07, 2016

In 1915, in the midst of the First World War, the Swiss Mennonite congregation that had been meeting at the Conestoga Meetinghouse moved to the village of St. Jacobs. Founded in 1834, the congregation had been meeting in a simple structure at 2035 Three Bridges Road, where St. Jacobs Mennonite Church still maintains a cemetery.

Loving life, befriending death

Paul Chamberlain gave the keynote address, “Getting a Handle on Ethics,” at the Canadian Mennonite Health Assembly 2015 conference.

Web First | By Sherri Martin-Carman | Jan 06, 2016 | 4 comments

“The ability to keep people alive longer has created new ethical questions around deciding to die. This has, in ways, driven the conversation around euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

Paul Chamberlain spoke these words in his opening address at the Canadian Mennonite Health Assembly, which met in Waterloo in October 2015.

Anabaptist schools, Scripture and spiritual awakening

Sara Wenger Shenk, president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, reflects on the most urgent work for Anabaptist Mennonite schools in these troubled times. (Photo by Jason Bryant)

Web First | By Sara Wenger Shenk | Dec 21, 2015

In late September 2015, many of us were enthralled by a rare celestial display: a super moon in total eclipse, also known as a blood moon because of its reddish glow—clearly a reference to the apocalyptic vision from Revelation 6.

I talked about the blood moon on the phone with my 93-year-old mother, who said, “Oh Sara, I remember a night in Ethiopia, when you were a little girl. The night watchman woke us all in a panic, banging on our bedroom window, crying: “The moon burned up! The moon burned up!”

MDS project directors deeply rooted in service

Canadians Peter and Susan Thiessen bring a tradition of service and years of experience to their current roles with Mennonite Disaster Service. (Mennonite Disaster Service photo)

Web First | By Susan Kim | Dec 21, 2015

When Peter Thiessen was a teenager, one of his neighbors, a farmer, was injured so badly he couldn’t do the harvest. “It was Halloween night,” recalled Peter, “and my father got all the guys in the community together, and we worked for that farmer all through the night.”

As he was growing up in Manitoba, Peter’s family and his neighbors consistently showed him what it meant to live a life that was focused on helping others.

Welcoming refugees in Germany

A local church in the city of Halle, Germany, serves as a storage facility and sorting area for the many donated goods for refugees. (Eastern Mennonite Missions photo)

Web First | By Stephanie Hanna | Dec 21, 2015

“Above all, we want the refugees to receive what they need in the name of Jesus, for his glory and fame. They need him more than they need clean bedsheets, but we want to give them both!” say Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) workers in Halle, Germany. As Germany continues to wrestle with Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, EMM workers in Halle have joined in the emergency relief efforts. (Names are omitted due to a growing backlash against refugees and those assisting them.)

Updated edition of The Naked Anabaptist released

Web First | Dec 19, 2015

Five years ago, Stuart Murray’s book The Naked Anabaptist made waves with its look at the central beliefs of Anabaptism and their relevance for Christians today. Now Herald Press has released a new edition of the book, drawing in stories and perspectives from North America and the global church.

WCC calls for climate justice and care of creation at COP21

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, South Africa, presents Christiana Figueres with the interfaith petition for climate justice. Figueres heads the United Nations body dealing with climate change. (Photo © Ryan Rodrick Beiler/LWF)

Web First | By From World Council of Churches reports | Dec 10, 2015

“We believe that you will serve the world by showing the best of human creativity and capacity,” said Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in his December 8 address to the High Level Segment of the COP21 international climate conference in Paris. The conference, sponsored by the United Nations, is being held in Paris, France, from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, 2015.

A labyrinth of Advent blessing

Pastor Gordon Allaby blesses his grandson in an Advent labyrinth created at Waterloo North Mennonite Church, Waterloo, Ont., last year. (Photo by Jennie Wiebe,

Web First | By Deborah Froese | Dec 09, 2015

At Waterloo North Mennonite Church, the 2014 Advent season began on Nov. 24 with a special labyrinth of blessing for the congregation’s children and youth.

A labyrinth of freshly cut pine, spruce and cedar boughs spiralled through the fellowship hall. Decorated with foil stars, apples and cranberry-like garlands, the labyrinth brought a festive appearance and a seasonal scent to the darkened room. Christmas carols played in the background.

‘Africa is for babies’

Taryn and Nathan Dirks, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in Gaborone, Botswana, with their baby Malakai. (Photo by Robyn Chew)

Web First | By Nathan Dirks | Dec 08, 2015

“Africa is for babies.” That’s what Andrew and Karen Suderman, our Mennonite Church Canada colleagues in South Africa, assured us before we first left for Botswana in 2013.

Churches of all stripes call for freedom of religion

Leaders from a variety of Christian denominations met in Albania to discuss religious discrimination, persecution and martyrdom. They called on governments and churches globally “to respect and protect the freedom of religion” as a fundamental human right. (Photo from the Global Christian Forum website) 

Web First | By Karla Braun | Dec 08, 2015

Representatives of every stream of global Christianity met in Tirana, Albania, Nov. 1 to 5, 2015, for a consultation on Discrimination, Persecution, Martyrdom: Following Christ Together, convened by the Global Christian Forum.

Together, these 145 Christian leaders recognized the continued persecution of Christians, repented of the times Christians have persecuted those of other faith, and called on governments and churches globally “to respect and protect the freedom of religion” as a fundamental human right.

Hearing God in indigenous voices

The Kairos blanket exercise, facilitated by Mennonite Central Committee Canada’s Sue Eagle and Miriam Sainnawap, kicked off the national Peace it Together youth event at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, earlier this month. (CMU photo)

Web First | Dec 08, 2015

“If you want to love someone, you need to know their story; if you want to know someone, you need to learn their story,” Steve Heinrichs, Mennonite Church Canada’s director of indigenous relations, told participants at this year’s Peace it Together conference at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) earlier this month, as he and his daughter Abby shared about settler colonialism and the importance of learning the stories of both indigenous and settler peoples.

Nigerian church leaders rely on the Bible and prayer

Obed and Phena Dashan (center in blue) shared about their ministry in Nigeria, where Boko Haram is targeting Christians and others with violence. Following their testimony of how they are sustained by the Bible and prayer, the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary community surrounded them with prayer. (Photo by Mary E. Klassen)

Web First | By Mary E. Klassen | Dec 07, 2015

When Obed and Phena Dashan told students and faculty at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) how they feel God’s love surrounding them in spite of facing death every day in their ministry in Nigeria, the community gathered around them to pray while they also honored them for the faithful ministry.

MC Canada national office lays off five

Web First | By Will Braun | Dec 02, 2015

Mennonite Church Canada laid off five staff members on Nov. 28, 2015, as part of the cost-saving restructuring efforts that fall under the banner of the Future Directions Task Force. While decisions on the task force's final report will only be made at Assembly 2016 next summer in Saskatoon, a projected budget shortfall of nearly $300,000 this year required immediate action, MC Canada stated in a news release. 

MC Canada accelerates proposed changes

Web First | Dec 01, 2015 | 1 comment

Mennonite Church Canada has begun to implement changes proposed by the Future Directions Task Force (FDTF) insofar as foresight allows, as a result of pressing financial necessity.

Old Order Mennonite groups in Ontario are growing

Locations of Old Order Mennonite groups in Ontario. (Map courtesy of Amsey Martin)

Web First | By Barb Draper | Dec 01, 2015 | 3 comments

There has been remarkable growth in the number of Old Order Mennonite meetinghouses in Ontario in the last 50 years. They have been spreading farther afield, especially in the last 20 years. Amsey Martin, an Old Order deacon and schoolteacher, and Clare Frey, a minister from the Markham-Waterloo Mennonite group, talked about this growth at a meeting of the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario, held at Floradale Mennonite Church on October 24, 2015.

Matt Epp supports Coffee for Peace effort with visit, concert

International recording artist Matt Epp examines coffee plant fruit during a tour of Coffee for Peace communities in the Philippines, with Mennonite Church Executive Director Willard Metzger. (Image by Sam Finlay, Midnight Light Productions)

Web First | By Deborah Froese | Nov 25, 2015

International recording artist and world traveller Matt Epp is performing at a benefit concert to support a unique peacebuilding venture in the Philippines.

In March 2015 Epp visited the Philippines in response to an invitation from Coffee for Peace, a business initiative that builds peace by empowering local farmers to raise, process and sell fair trade coffee while giving new life to denuded forest land.

Mennonites in France pray for Muslims

Warning sign found on the door of Lamorlaye Mennonite Church, following the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist bombings in Paris. (Photo courtesy of Linda Oyer) 

Web First | By Dani Klotz | Nov 24, 2015

None of Mennonite Mission Network’s five international workers was hurt in the November 13, 2015, bombings in Paris, although each one has been affected by them. 

The workers located in France working in and near Paris are Janie and Neal Blough, Brad and Brenna Steury Graber, and Linda Oyer.

CFB calls for Canada’s leadership in climate change and farming

Web First | By Carol Thiessen | Nov 23, 2015

As world leaders, including Canada’s new prime minister, meet in Paris November 30 to December 11, 2015, to conclude a major new climate change agreement, their main focus will be on cutting greenhouse gas emissions—a good thing. But the plight of many of the world’s 1.5 billion small-scale farmers should also be addressed there.

Mennonite shares insights on climate change with government leaders

Willard Metzger says his table grace collection was read and appreciated several years ago by the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, then a Liberal MP. The booklet focuses on climate change by thanking God for the bounteous gifts of the earth while recognizing our responsibility to care for creation in return. 

Web First | By Deborah Froese | Nov 20, 2015

Willard Metzger will attend the United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference, Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2015, in Paris, France, on behalf of The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), where he serves as a vice-president. Metzger is Mennonite Church Canada’s executive director.