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Quake hits close to home

Arisnel and Syvelie Mesidor are together at last in their Winnipeg home after a frightening separation. She was a victim of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, while he was studying at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg.

God at work in Us | By By Rachel Bergen | Mar 22, 2010

Jan. 12 was a day like no other for Arisnel Mesidor. On this day, Haiti, his homeland—and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

From ‘exhortation to incarnation’ in witness

Alan Kreider, keynote speaker at this year’s Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions, helped participants overcome obstacles to witnessing to their faith in Christ in a multicultural and multi-faith world.

God at work in the Church | By By Dick Benner | Mar 22, 2010

Freed from some of the Mennonite ethnic restraints of the past, some 50 pastors from Mennonite Church Saskatchewan attending the annual delegate sessions last month conversed with Alan Kreider about how they could move from “exhortation to incarnation” in helping their members give testimony to their Christian experience in a postmodern world.

‘Breath of Life’ for MC Saskatchewan

Patti Friesen, left, and Erna Funk ham it up during a report on Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home at this year’s MC Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions.

God at work in the Church | By by Karin Fehderau | Mar 22, 2010

Saskatchewan delegates took a step into the future during their annual delegate sessions at the end of February, when they accepted a new congregation into their midst and moved to take action on an MC Canada proposal passed last summer.

Breath of Life Mennonite, formed by a group of people that broke away from First Mennonite Church, Saskatoon, in 2006, had asked to join the 33 congregations that make up Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, and was officially welcomed last month.

MC Manitoba churches urged to get their youths ‘Outtatown’

Delegates frequently called for times of prayer as they discerned new directions for the future of MC Manitoba at the annual delegate sessions in Winnipeg in February.

God at work in the Church | By by Evelyn Rempel Petkau | Mar 22, 2010

Although much of last month’s Mennonite Church Manitoba annual delegates sessions was concerned with the area church’s camping ministries (see “Camping issues top MC Manitoba delegate session,” March 8, page 31), the event ended with an ambitious challenge from Glenlea Mennonite Church to the other 49 congregations.

MC Manitoba records slight deficit

God at work in the Church | By By Evelyn Rempel Petkau | Mar 22, 2010

Tom Seals, Mennonite Church Manitoba treasurer, reported that donations from congregations in 2009 were down by 3.4 percent, or $23,442. Although the congregational giving budget had been decreased from the year before, it still meant giving was 2.8 percent less than budgeted.

Other donations, however, exceeded budget. Much of that difference came from unbudgeted donations for the Faith and Life Men’s tour to South America and income from some of the camps.

Quick connections after quake in Chile

Omar Cortés Gaibur, Mennonite Church Canada Witness Associate in Santiago, survived the Feb. 27 earthquake.

God at work in the World | By By Dan Dyck | Mar 22, 2010

Within minutes of hearing midday news reports on Feb. 27 of a magnitude 8.8 earthquake that had occurred earlier that day in Chile, Tim Froese had sent an e-mail alert to all Mennonite Church Canada staff.

Froese, executive director of MC Canada’s international ministries, just happened to be checking the news, which prompted him to quickly check his e-mail, revealing the first of several messages that would reach him from ministry contacts in Chile.

‘Signs of solidarity’ among victims of Chile earthquake

God at work in the World | By By Luis Maria Alman Bornes | Mar 22, 2010

On the morning of Feb. 27 a one-minute earthquake left nearly 300 dead and a half-million homes destroyed. Power cuts, blocked roads and collapsed communications services made it difficult to answer such desperate questions as, “Where is my family?” and, “How are my friends, my brothers and sisters of the church?”

“We sympathize with you,” “We pray for you,” and, “Know that you have our support,” were the words from around the world that filled the e-mail boxes of those affected by the quake.

Experiencing the Chaco through Paraguay Primeval

Paul Dueck plays the Paraguayan harp during the prelude to Paraguay Primeval.

Artbeat | By by Dave Rogalsky | Mar 22, 2010

The standing-room-only audience in the Conrad Grebel University College chapel on March 3 listened to street sounds (cars, voices, music), Spanish voices shift into aboriginal ones, German voices, and modern and traditional worship music, while slides of Asunción, Paraguay, morphed into the South American countryside.

Computers, cell phones and camps

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Mar 08, 2010

I am not addicted to food or money, but I might be to my computer. I’m having difficulty remembering what life was like 25 years ago before this new technology ushered in a new era of electronic communication.

Lately, though, I’ve become aware of how much of my work, social and church life revolves around a screen, keyboard and cell phone. And I seriously doubt that the improved efficiency of it all has necessarily increased my quality of life.

Pastoring the flock out along the fenceline

Feature | By By Phil Wagler | Mar 08, 2010

There I was, the country-bumpkin pastor amidst all the really important people at the National Prayer Breakfast in Ottawa. Such an event is quite the shindig for someone from the sticks. Being asked where you’re from and having to “get them there from here” is quite humorous. Most people gauge where you’re from based on proximity to a major urban centre. “Is that near Toronto?” “Oh, that’s close to Edmonton!” You get the picture.

For discussion

Feature | Mar 08, 2010

1. How are country churches different from city churches? Do you agree with Phil Wagler that country churches are more traditional? What are the advantages of living in the city or living in the country? What might make a large urban church more attractive than a small rural one?

2. Are rural Mennonite churches in your area suffering serious numerical decline? How has urbanization influenced your congregation? How far do people drive to attend your congregation? Where is your congregation on the spectrum of urban to rural?

Gladly wear the name of Jesus

Viewpoints | By Elsie Rempel | Mar 08, 2010

As one who is preparing for the upcoming Mennonite Church Canada assembly in Calgary, I have had the theme, “Reclaiming Jesus™: Gladly wear the name,” on my mind for months.

Handling each other’s pain

Viewpoints | By Melissa Miller | Mar 08, 2010

A month ago, I took an astoundingly fast fall on the ice. Instinctively, I did the wrong thing, putting down my wrist to break the fall, and cracking my right forearm (just below the elbow) as a result.

Abundance in times of need

Viewpoints | By Dori Zerbe Cornelsen | Mar 08, 2010

Sometimes preaching and hearing about God’s abundance is harder than one might expect. Take, for example, Jan. 17, the Sunday after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. On that Sunday, pastors and congregations who use the Revised Common Lectionary will have read John 2:1-11, the story of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana.

Leadership through sacrifice, self-surrender


God at work in Us | By Tyndale Seminary Release | Mar 08, 2010

Arthur Paul Boers was installed in the R. J. Bernardo Family Chair of Leadership at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, on Jan. 26. Boers, who formerly taught at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind., delivered the main address, “The subversive leadership of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Reclaiming Jesus at Assembly 2010

God at work in the Church | By By Deborah Froese | Mar 08, 2010

From June 29 to July 3, delegates from across the country will meet at Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alta., for Mennonite Church Canada’s Assembly 2010, with the theme, “Reclaiming Jesus™: Gladly wear the name.”

In an era where Christianity has been branded in ways that diverge from Anabaptist values, the assembly will explore Colossians 3:15-17, and how Mennonites are shaped and hallowed by the One whose name we bear: the “Jesus” brand. Worship, seminars and discernment sessions are woven around this theme.

‘Youth ambassadors’ a new addition to Assembly 2010

Youths work together to pull a farm tractor forward during the 2009 MC Canada youth assembly.

God at work in the Church | By By Deborah Froese | Mar 08, 2010

For the first time ever, the 2010 Mennonite Church Canada assembly will include youth ambassadors as participants in delegate sessions.

“Youth are an integral part of the church,” says MC Canada youth ministries facilitator Anna Rehan. “We need to hear their voices as we shape the future of our denomination. We want to tap into their vision and energy, and we need the help of individual congregations to make this possible.”

MDS: Sixty years of service later

Last spring, Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers did something new after serious flooding along the Yukon River in Alaska destroyed many buildings in the town of Eagle: they built log homes for the victims—13 in less than 11 weeks.

God at work in the World | By By Karin Fehderau | Mar 08, 2010

After 60 years of building homes for other people, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is doing a little building of its own.

A Mennonite artist in the Canadian landscape

Artbeat | By By Dave Rogalsky | Mar 08, 2010

A cornucopia of events and exhibits in Waterloo Region has celebrated the centenary of artist Woldemar Neufeld’s birth.

A crisis of faith and plumbing

Camp Valaqua out-trip leader Jared Bourn prepares for another day of paddling on the North Saskatchewan River.

Focus On | By By Jon Olfert | Mar 08, 2010 | 1 comment

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:15-17).