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Music Calendar

Focus On | By Canadian Mennonite | Nov 10, 2010

British Columbia

Dec. 4,5: Advent vespers with Abendmusik Choir; (4) Emmanuel Free Reformed Church, Abbotsford; (5) Knox United Church, Vancouver.

‘Healing and hope’ from a distance

Focus On | By Reviewed by Dave Rogalsky | Nov 10, 2010

Heidi Wagler, a registered nurse, and her husband Brian were all set to travel to Haiti with a medical team in February when the devastating earthquake there threw a wrench into their plans. With the increased need and danger, Brian, who is not a medical professional (but works for Mennonite Savings and Credit Union), was not allowed to travel there because of the emergency.

Musician becomes shepherd

Focus On | By Reviewed by Dave Rogalsky | Nov 10, 2010

John Bell, a leader in the Iona Community and a major contributor to the Wild Goose Resource Group, often notes that Christians need to leave the safety of their favourite psalms and allow the difficult words and emotions of other texts to minister to and through them.

Last ordained aeltester remembered


God at work in Us | By By Barry Bergen | Nov 10, 2010

The passing of Henry Dueck has left a gap in the greater Mennonite community of Leamington, Ont., where he lived and served for many years. His health began to steadily decline about a year-and-a-half ago and he died of congestive heart failure at 79 years of age.

At his funeral, the Leamington tradition of having other ministers in the area lead the coffin into the sanctuary was a meaningful recognition of the collegiality and support of the community.

Peace activist strives for integrity in his life and witness

Jake Buhler of Osler Mennonite Church, Sask., stands beside a sign he erected on his land boldly declaring 'To Remember is to Work for Peace'

God at work in Us | By By Karin Fehderau | Nov 10, 2010

Jake Buhler is a man with a different pair of glasses. They reflect a steely determination to pursue peace and help others do the same. “Peace is the lens through which we see everything,” he says.

With that lens, he notices things that others may not. It colours his whole worldview, helping him see the world with different eyes. By nature a quiet man, Buhler looks for opportunities at every turn and on every level to live out his convictions as a peace activist. “Being a peace witness is all-inclusive, it isn’t just one thing,” he says.

Lack of quorum puts budget decisions on hold

MC Manitoba board members Dave Wiebe, Dan Horne and Justin Zacharias listen as delegates share concerns about the budget and about how the area church can communicate more clearly with its member congregations.

God at work in the Church | By By Evelyn Rempel Petkau | Nov 10, 2010

“Do we want to keep on doing what we are used to doing or do we want to think in new ways?”

With the lack of a quorum and a budget that will possibly be unmet, this question was on the minds of many who gathered for the fall delegate session of Mennonite Church Manitoba at Camp Assiniboia on Oct. 21. Less than 75 percent of the required number of delegates showed up, so the board was unable to get approval for the congregational giving part of the area church’s proposed 2011 budget.

Formation Council recommends approval of MPN/Third Way merger

God at work in the Church | By By Dick Benner | Nov 10, 2010

More than a week after meeting with Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN) and Third Way Media reps to discuss a proposed merger of the two organizations, Mennonite Church Canada’s Formation Council has agreed to recommend to the denomination’s General Board that the merger be ratified.

“We think the merger . . . makes good sense, and there is a lot of good will on our part for it,” said David Bergen, executive secretary of Christian Formation, in a joint MC Canada/MPN announcement released on Oct. 29.

Above the Underground best kept secret in Abbotsford

Above the Underground associate Pam Thompson, left, and manager Darlene Davy welcome shoppers to their trendy thrift store—‘the best kept secret in Abbotsford.’

God at work in the World | By By Angelika Dawson | Nov 10, 2010

For a little clothing store, Above the Underground is making a big impact on the lives of people in Abbotsford. And if Darlene Davy, the store’s manager, has her way, many more people will know about it.

“I always say Above the Underground is Abbotsford’s best kept secret, but I’d like to change that,” she says with a smile.

Above the Underground is a unique Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) program that offers hands-on training and work experience at the second-hand clothing store.

The store runs two separate training programs:

Our gifts can disclose avenues of hope

Viewpoints | By Aiden Enns | Nov 10, 2010

Every year at this time I feel some anxiety. I’m talking about Christmas and it has to do with shopping. Well, to be exact, my anxiety has to do with “not” shopping.

For almost a decade I’ve been one of the organizers of a little campaign with the delightful name of, get ready for it: Buy Nothing Christmas.

The wrong question

Viewpoints | By Phil Wagler | Nov 10, 2010

The silly season will soon arrive when you will hear, “What do you want for Christmas?” Endlessly creative lists of desires will follow. Others will go all high-horse and not ask for anything, while silently hoping you can read minds. Still others will completely miss the point and wish a bride for Prince William or a Stanley Cup for the Maple Leafs—only one of which seems remotely possible.

What’s really worthy of our fretting?

Viewpoints | By Jeff Steckley | Nov 10, 2010

I don’t think clearly when I’m anxious. I need to be reminded to slow down and breath deeply. Doing so creates the space wherein I can regain a sense of clarity, so that whatever decisions I make are helpful and life-giving.

For discussion

Feature | By Canadian Mennonite | Nov 10, 2010

1. How many trees are planted annually in your community? Are they part of a community initiative? Who plants and waters them? How important is it to plant more trees?

2. In what situations would you cut down a tree in your yard? What are the advantages and disadvantages to having lots of trees in your neighbourhood? When might a tree be legitimately “in the way”?

A tree is not only something that stands in the way

‘A fool sees not the tree that a wise man sees,’ William Blake wrote in Proverbs of Hell. Mennonite storyteller Jack Dueck picks up the theme with his elegy to God’s leafy creation.

Feature | By By Jack Dueck | Nov 10, 2010 | 2 comments

“Richard Branson has offered a large prize to anyone who invents a device that will pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. God already invented this device, and we call it a tree. Trees pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis and ‘sequester’ it as carbon in the leaves, stalks and wood,” writes Christopher Shore in the November-December 2007, issue of Marketplace.

Living trees are nature’s lungs. They clean the air, scrub and protect the soil, conserve moisture and offer habitat to countless living things.

Where are our churches headed?

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Nov 10, 2010

What will the typical Mennonite Church Canada congregation look like in three years?

That’s the question on the minds of my fellow congregants at Waterloo North Mennonite Church, as we attempt to identify character and vision as a body of believers. Driven by the need to replace a youth pastor, and for preparations for a 25th anniversary in 2011, the 240-member congregation has been holding what are termed Values Identity and Priorities (VIP) sessions that began with a church retreat in early October.

Guy Hershberger an under-appreciated church leader

Web First - Book Reviews | By Barb Draper | Nov 09, 2010

Late in his life, Guy F. Hershberger reflected that 1944 had been a watershed year for the Mennonite Church. That year Hershberger’s book, War, Peace and Nonresistance, was published as was Harold Bender’s essay, “The Anabaptist Vision.”

Taiwan leaders do 'wishing tree' for mission renewal

Elder Xiao Hui-Ying of the Zhong-He Mennonite Church in Taipei, sticks a fruit on the wishing tree.

Web First | By From reports by Sheldon Sawatzky | Nov 09, 2010

At their annual assembly held in Taipei Oct. 31-Nov. 3, pastors and delegates from Taiwan’s 21 Mennonite churches

Shortage of volunteers ends MCC relief sale in Winnipeg after 16 years

Web First | By Gladys Terichow | Nov 08, 2010

Faced with a shortage of volunteers willing to fill leadership positions, the committee that organizes the popular and successful Winnipeg MCC Festival and Relief Sale has dissolved.

Each year in June, the sale brought together about 3,000 people and contributed close to $100,000 for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) programs.

Warkentin named executive director of MC Manitoba

Ken Warkentin

Web First | By MC Manitoba news release | Nov 08, 2010

Ken Warkentin, pastor of the Niverville Community Fellowship, has been named the new executive director

Anabaptists inspired by Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization

Yemiru Tilahun (far right), of Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos Church, with two leaders of Ethiopian evangelicals, the Emmanuel United Church of Ethiopia, Samson Mariam (left), Emmanuel vice-president and Bezalem Fisseha (centre), president, who were mentored by Meserete Kristos leaders.

Web First | By Byron Rempel-Burkholder | Nov 02, 2010

At least 30 mission and church leaders represented Anabaptist-related communities at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization here, October 17 to 24. The gathering, which attracted 4,000 mission leaders, pastors, and academics from 198 countries, grew out of the “Lausanne Movement” that followed the first congress in Switzerland, in1974.

According to Richard Showalter, chair of Mennonite World Conference’s Mission Commission, organizers billed the event as possibly the “most representative event in church history,” and the “first event of its kind in the digital age.”

MSCU top 50 'best employers'

Web First | By News release | Oct 28, 2010

Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) has been named among the Top 50 Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada for the second consecutive year, moving to 19th from our debut at 47th last year. The 2011 list will be published in the Nov. 8, 2010 issue of Maclean’s magazine, available on newsstands Oct. 28th.

Healing Memories: Lutherans/Mennonites

Web First - Book Reviews | By By Byron Rempel-Burkholder | Oct 28, 2010 | 3 comments

The document that helped lay the foundation for the historic reconciliation in July 2010 between Lutherans and Mennonites is now available as a downloadable document.

The 120-page Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ offers churches and individuals historical background on the early condemnations of Anabaptists by Lutherans, new perspectives on what that history means today, and next steps towards a future as reconciled communities of faith.

Tutu calls for opera boycott of Israel

But Cape Town Opera's managing director said the company was reluctant to take the political stand of shunning cultural ties with Israel, despite Tutu's plea.

Web First - News from ENI | By By Munyaradzi Makoni | Oct 28, 2010

A Jewish group in South Africa has criticised a call by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu for the Cape Town Opera to cancel a performance in Israel in November.

"Peace and understanding is best served through constructive and positive engagements between Israel, South Africa and the Palestinian regions, not by boycotts," the South African Jewish Board of Deputies said in 27 October statement.

Fall 2010 Listing of Books&Resources

Focus On | By Canadian Mennonite | Oct 27, 2010

Theology, Spirituality

Ecclesiastes. Douglas B. Miller. Herald Press, 2010, 300 pages.

This is the 23rd volume of the “Believers Church Bible Commentary” series. Miller is professor of biblical and religious studies at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan.

Engaging Pastors: Papers and Reflections from the Summative Conference. Jewel Gingerich Longenecker. Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2010.

Would Doris use Facebook?

Focus On | By By John Longhurst | Oct 27, 2010

If she were alive today, would Doris Janzen Longacre, author of the More-With-Less Cookbook and Living More With Less, have a Facebook account?

That’s the question being asked by a new Facebook group created in advance of the Nov. 1 release of Living More With Less: 30th Anniversary Edition.

Confessions of an editor

Focus On | By By Valerie Weaver-Zercher | Oct 27, 2010

Editing a book about living simply has a way of throwing one’s own hypocrisy into stark relief. When I began work on the 30th-anniversary edition of Living More With Less for Herald Press, I knew that I’d have to face the many ways that I failed to make choices that were mindful of global poverty and climate change.