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Wisdom, where art thou? (Pt. 3)

Troy Watson
Viewpoints | By Troy Watson | Dec 21, 2016

One of the most overlooked fruits borne in the life of someone who genuinely follows the way of Jesus and lives in the Spirit, is wisdom. If we put into practice what Jesus teaches us, we will become increasingly wise.

Wisdom was central to Jesus’ identity, even as a child. The only passage of Scripture about Jesus’ early years is found in Luke 2:40-52. Luke begins this childhood vignette saying, “The child [Jesus] grew and became strong, filled with wisdom.” Then Luke tells a story, the only story the gospels record about Jesus as an adolescent.

CMBC choir

Photo: Rudy Regehr / Mennonite Heritage Centre

Viewpoints | By Conrad Stoesz | Dec 21, 2016

George Wiebe conducts the Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) choir in an impromptu song on a B.C. ferry while on tour in May 1966. The choir gave 24 performances in 17 days, and 39 of the 43 singers also spoke at these events. The tour was an important community-building event for the choir members, but also for the school and supporting congregations. In spite of a minor vehicle accident, all had an enjoyable time.

Painting for community

Teens from Kelsey Nowaczynski’s art classes at Edmonton’s Dan Knott Jr. High School painted a mountain scene mural on the walls of a therapy room at Southview Child Care, which is owned and operated by Edmonton First Mennonite Church. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

God at work in the Church | By Donita Wiebe-Neufeld | Dec 21, 2016

In an ironic coincidence, ugly graffiti was sprayed on the outside wall of Edmonton First Mennonite Church the same day that teenagers from a local junior-high school painted a beautiful mural on walls inside the church late last year.

From behind the Iron Curtain

Those attending the Mennonite Historical Society of B.C. sing German hymns together. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

God at work in the Church | By Amy Dueckman | Dec 21, 2016

Tales of families separated through war and later reunited through letters 60 years ago were featured at the Mennonite Historical Society of B.C.’s fall fundraiser. The program, held at King Road Mennonite Brethren Church in Abbotsford on Nov. 13, 2016, was entitled “A small sign of life and love: Letters from the Soviet Union during the Khrushchev Thaw, 1956.”

New Ethiopian church emerges in Ottawa

Wondimu Senbeto, left, chair of the Oromo Evangelical Church of Ottawa’s elders group, and Teso Felmina, vice-chair. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

God at work in the Church | By Dave Rogalsky | Dec 21, 2016

The Oromo Christian Fellowship, which was established in 2004 and changed its name to Oromo Evangelical Church of Ottawa in 2010, has applied for emerging church status in Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and expects to be received into fellowship in April.

Making room for the politics of hope

Charlie Clark, Saskatoon’s recently elected mayor, stands next to a painting by his grandmother that now hangs in the mayor’s office. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

God at work in the World | By Donna Schulz | Dec 21, 2016

“I don’t know if it’s sunk in entirely, but it’s been a good experience so far.”

That’s Charlie Clark’s assessment of his first weeks as the new mayor of Saskatoon. He admits those weeks have “definitely been a whirlwind” but feels the city has welcomed him warmly to his new role.

Clark, who attends Osler Mennonite Church, won the Oct. 26, 2016, election, defeating Don Atchison, who had served as the city’s mayor for 13 years. Although new to the job, Clark is no stranger to municipal politics, having been a city councillor for 10 years.

Egyptian radiologist seeks help for Salam Medical Centre

Dr. Freddy Elbaiady cares for a patient at Salam Medical Centre near Cairo, Egypt. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Freddy Elbaiady)

God at work in the World | By Dick Benner | Dec 21, 2016

In an attempt to secure the future of the Salam Medical Centre, which he founded in a town some 25 kilometres north of Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Freddy Elbaiady, has embarked on a fundraising tour, taking him to the governments of Canada and the U.S., Switzerland and other Middle East countries, and to the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College last month.

Roots and routes

Pictured, from left to right: Carol LaFayette, Vera LaFayette and Ruby LaFayette participate in a panel discussion at a ‘peace event’ hosted by the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan on Nov. 12, 2016 (Photo by Susan Braun)

God at work in the World | By Ruth Marlene Friesen | Dec 21, 2016

A presentation by Timothy Epp on the enduring relationship between blacks and Mennonites quickly morphed into a time of sharing and storytelling by members of the two communities during this year’s annual Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan “peace event,” held on Nov. 12, 2016, at Saskatoon’s Bethany Manor.

Mennonite missionary served with hands-on attitude

With his hands-on approach, Ken Schwartzentruber kept an old Volkswagen van in good running order to transport goods for the bookstores he managed and for use as a family vehicle. He is pictured with two of his four children, K. Daniel and Michele. (Photo provided by Schwartzentruber family)

God at work in Us | By Deborah Froese and Kelsey Hochstetler | Dec 21, 2016 | 1 comment

From seafaring cowboy to Christian book publisher, Ken Schwartzentruber embraced life and adventure with a hands-on attitude and a commitment to God. Born to the late Allen and Elizabeth (Wagler) Schwartzentruber in Petersburg, Ont., on April 30, 1928, his light flickered out on Nov. 17, 2016, in New Hamburg, Ont., at the age of 88, with his family by his side.

Before he died, a photographer captured images of Ken’s thin, fragile hands resting on a blanket, touched by the hands of his family members. For them, the images are symbolic.

More-with-Less cookbook gets a new look

Artbeat | By Barb Draper | Dec 21, 2016

The 40th-anniversary edition of the More-with-Less cookbook, with its many full-page photographs, has an updated and more sophisticated look. Rather than simple black-and-white pages, it has moved to a full-colour format, designed to appeal to the eye. Although most of the recipes are the same, the layout has been reorganized, and the tips for eating in a healthy and eco-friendly way have been shortened and streamlined. I wonder how much our homes and churches have also moved from basic and practical to more decorative in the last 40 years.

Mennonite academic launches new book on theology and popular literature

Paul Doerksen reads from his new book, Take and Read, at a Dec. 4 book launch in Winnipeg. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

Artbeat | By Beth Downey Sawatzky | Dec 21, 2016

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) professor Paul Doerksen launched a new collection of essays, Take and Read: Reflecting Theologically on Books, at McNally-Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg on Dec. 4, 2016.

‘We must act and we must do it now’

Our faith calls us to work for justice, writes Brandi Friesen Thorpe, pictured at right with Minnesota-based Black Lives Matter activist Kendrick Hall. (Photo courtesy of Brandi Friesen Thorpe)

Young Voices | By Brandi Friesen Thorpe | Dec 21, 2016

This is a critical time in the world. From environmental threats like the Kinder Morgan pipeline, to the troubling rhetoric coming out of the United States after Donald Trump’s presidential win, many people are wondering: How can I make a difference and work for positive change?

Caring for the forgotten

Working in a multicultural, multifaith environment has shaped Jared Redekop’s beliefs. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Young Voices | By Aaron Epp | Dec 21, 2016

Jared Redekop has seen and done a lot in just over a year of working as a spiritual health practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg.

One experience that most sticks out is when a family asked him to say a prayer at their teenage daughter’s interment. He had journeyed with the family, which was not religious, for the six weeks from when their 14-year-old was in an automobile accident to when she died.

“I have a special spot in my heart for that family,” he says. “I’m grateful that they allowed me into their lives.”

Film on COs wins awards and attention

Web First | By Deborah Froese | Dec 20, 2016

A film produced by the Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) Archives about conscientious objectors (COs) is garnering significant attention.

CBC recently aired The Last Objectors on its national channel, as well as in Manitoba. The 44-minute documentary won a Silver World Humanitarian award in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was also nominated for the Best Feature Documentary at the Views of the World Music & Film Festival in Montreal this summer. The film embodies faith, peace and service in action.

Mission worker befriended Jews and Palestinians

Florence Kreider

Web First | By Wil LaVeist | Dec 20, 2016

Florence Cressman Kreider was a friend to both Jews and Palestinians, and she sought to spread peace wherever she traveled. The former mission worker died Nov. 1, 2016, in Broadway, Va., at the age of 87.

A native of Ontario, Florence Kreider was a graduate of the Ontario Mennonite Bible Institute of Kitchener in 1948 and of Eastern Mennonite College (now Eastern Mennonite University) in 1952. It was soon after graduation that she began to serve in missions.

The refugee highway in Kitchener-Waterloo

Wendy Adema, program director for MCC Ontario who gives leadership to the Refugee Resettlement Team, left; Shelley Campagnola, director of the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support; and Lynne Griffiths Fulton, client support service director for Reception House, listen to Marlene Epp, professor of history and peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo. They participated in the ‘Three lanes on the refugee highway’ presentation at 50 Kent Avenue, in Kitchener. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Web First | By Dave Rogalsky | Dec 20, 2016 | 2 comments

“Why are there three Mennonite organizations working on refugee support in the Kitchener- Waterloo area?” was the question being answered at a Nov. 29, 2016, meeting at 50 Kent Ave. in Kitchener. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Reception House and Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, which all work at the refugee question from different angles, provided some answers to those in attendance.

The danger isn’t over

Carlos Andres Palacios Lozano, pictured in the municipal capital of Istmina, Colombia, buys some supplies for his home in Suruco that was completely flooded days before. (MCC Photo by Brendah Ndagire)

Web First | By Rachel Bergen | Dec 20, 2016

For five days last October, intense rainfall caused severe flooding along Colombia’s Pacific coast in the Chocó area, seriously damaging the homes of more than 20,000 people.

Carlos Andres Palacios Lozano, a member of Sión Mennonite Brethren Church, recalled that at around 1 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2016, heavy rains caused the river to quickly overflow, flooding his home and entire community.

“We have become accustomed to the rising and flooding of the river,” he said, “but it had never flooded to this magnitude before.”

We need ‘Emmanuel’ like never before

Dick Benner
Editorial | By Dick Benner | Dec 07, 2016 | 1 comment

If ever we needed to hear “Emmanuel” (God with us), it is during this Advent season as we wind up the year 2016. With violence prevailing in war-torn countries, and political upheaval changing the face of our neighbour to the south, not to mention changes in our own denominational structure, we seem to be groping for a divine peace like never before.

Spirit-heat to thaw your freezing blood

‘Good King Wenceslas’ biscuit tin covers (above and at left) in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, made by Hudson, Scott & Sons for Huntley and Palmers, 1913.

Feature | By Layton Friesen | Dec 07, 2016

“Good King Wenceslas” is not the most sing-able of carols and the lyrics are on the King James end of archaic. You may have assumed this 10th-century legend is about the spirit of the Yule and putting a penny in the old man’s hat. Let’s look again. See what you think of the conversion of his servant, the Page. (You can find the lyrics after the discussion questions below.)

Readers write: December 12, 2016 issue

Viewpoints | Dec 07, 2016

Is the Doctrine of Discovery yesterday’s news?

Re: “Discovering humility” column, Sept. 26, page 7.

It seems Pope Paul III may have spoken to the Doctrine of Discovery already, in his 1537 papal encyclical:

The new normal now

Ken Warkentin
Viewpoints | By Ken Warkentin | Dec 07, 2016

For the past two months I have been living with post-concussion syndrome after an incident that involved a bear, a rock and the rain.

Are we living in the last millennium?

Phil Wagler
Viewpoints | By Phil Wagler | Dec 07, 2016

No one would doubt that Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University theoretical physicist and cosmologist, is one of the more brilliant minds of recent times. The guy forgets more in a day then I’ll learn in a lifetime. The Theory of Everything, the movie of his marriages, his journey with early-onset Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS—more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), and his rise to fame, is a great watch and stirs much thought about the nature of love, faith and science. Hawking intrigues and he has wide influence.

Church wants to spread the ‘Living Word’

Pastor Getachew Woldeyes, left, and Elder Rediet Lemichael of Church of the Living Word in Ottawa, an Ethiopian emerging congregation in Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. (Photo by Dave Rogalksy)

Viewpoints | By Dave Rogalsky | Dec 07, 2016

Church of the Living Word in Ottawa became an emerging church in Mennonite Church Eastern Canada in 2009, although it was founded four years earlier.

Church of the Living Word has some members, including Pastor Getachew Woldeyes’s wife, who belonged to Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia, a Mennonite World Conference (MWC) member church.

Understanding opponents of LGBTQ inclusion

Will Braun
Viewpoints | By Will Braun | Dec 07, 2016 | 2 comments

Officially, the resolution creating greater openness to LGBTQ people received 85 percent support at the Mennonite Church Canada assembly. That number is incomplete—more on that below—but it establishes a new narrative in which a majority within MC Canada expresses a degree of openness toward LGBTQ inclusion. So what about the people excluded from that narrative?

Viewpoints: Calls for understanding and repentance

Viewpoints | Dec 07, 2016 | 4 comments

These are two responses to Will Braun’s ‘Understanding opponents of LGBTQ inclusion’ column.

No. 1: Seeking ways to move forward

By Lois Epp