Opinion

Gesangbuch

(Photo: The Canadian Mennonite / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

Why go to all the trouble of producing a new hymnal? The Gesangbuch commission of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada faced this question in 1961. The 1942 version, it was felt, lacked readability and a variety in tunes. Furthermore, the world of the early 1960s “demanded a broader witness,” with more vocational, youth and gospel songs. The conference needed a unifying hymnal.

Launched into oblivion

(Image by Rachel Benn/Pixabay)

My youngest daughter Ruth can be a little firecracker. We say that she’s sweet and spicy.

Sometimes she can get into a real funk, though, and I can feel lost as to how to help her. I am thankful for my wife, who often sweeps in to save the day when my strategies are failing miserably. Sometimes our strategies work and sometimes they don’t.

Good graces

(Photo by Stanley Zimny/Flickr)

As human beings, we’re generally pretty lousy at grace. We long for it in our deepest and truest moments, and we desperately need it, God knows. But we often struggle to receive it. We’d prefer to earn, to justify, to merit. Grace is for the weak, and that’s not us.

Year of wonders

A cottage in the historic 'plague village' of Eyam, England. (Photo by Michael Beckwith, bit.ly/cclicence2-0)

I read with great interest the many articles about how different churches are responding to the pandemic and government restrictions. There are many! Because there are many ways for churches to respond both to the pandemic and to the restrictions.

The joy connection

The ruins of Lachmaben Castle. (Photo by Troy Watson)

In 2013 I went on a pilgrimage to Scotland to explore my family roots and the “thin places” and sacred sites in the land of my ancestors. I arrived at the Glasgow airport shortly after 8 a.m. After landing, I immediately picked up my rental car and headed to my first destination. I hadn’t been able to sleep on the overnight flight, so I hadn’t slept in 30 hours.

Evangelism that cares

Photo: Conference of Mennonites in Canada Photo Collection

The 1973 motto for the annual Conference of the United Mennonite Churches of B.C. was “Evangelism that cares.” Sessions were hosted by two churches in Vancouver: First United Mennonite and Mountainview Mennonite. The opening speaker asked, “Are we evangelists who care about people in the city?

‘Why don’t we have a food-truck night?’

Only God could have directed a random couple from B.C. to set up a food truck between two sloughs in the middle of rural Alberta, just a couple of kilometres away from the church. (Photo by Coreen Froese)

Let me tell you a story. A couple of years ago, our church council did some brainstorming around how to begin reaching out to our neighbours. Because our church is located in a rural community, the possibilities are limited and come with significant hurdles.

Growing with our global faith family

Jeanette Hanson speaks with pastors from China during an event at Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Sask. in June 2014. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

In the early 2000s, I sat in the church office of Pastor Wang in southern China. He was lamenting the fact that 300 people from his congregation had signed up to take baptismal classes during services over the Christmas weekend. I tried to encourage him by saying that that number was beyond a Canadian congregation’s wildest dreams.

Rosedale Church of God

(Photo: Der Bote photo collection/ Mennonite Heritage Archives)

The Rosedale Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (also known as Holdeman) is in the community of Crooked Creek, Alta. This photo is from the 1970s, but the community began in 1928 and is located 72 kilometres east of Grand Prairie, Alta. In 2019, this congregation’s membership was 178.

What can a white church do?

(Screenshot by Donna Schulz)

Indigenous educator Russell McAuley leads a session on anti-Indigenous racism for Eigenheim Mennonite Church’s adult education class. (Screenshot by Donna Schulz)

When the death of George Floyd sparked race-related demonstrations across North America earlier this year, one of our deacons asked, “What can we do in response to this?”

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