Volume 21 Issue 12

A big fan of Jesus . . . the church not so much

‘In the last couple of years, I’ve been embarrassed to tell people that I went to church or was a Christian.’—Aaron Dawson (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)

‘I have also been deeply hurt by experiences in the church and have sometimes wondered why I stay. But I have stayed because, in the end, unlike Aaron, I find that it does matter to me. This is my tribe, warts and all.’—Angelika Dawson (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)

Aaron Dawson and his mother Angelika in their Star Wars ‘Force for change’ T-shirts. (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)

A lot has been said and written about millennials: What’s wrong with them? What’s influenced them? What does their future hold?

Spaces of trust

“We aren’t going to lose youth because we haven’t entertained them. We’ll lose them because we haven’t trusted or challenged them.”

I heard this quote from Shane Claiborne at a conference in 2012, and it came back to me a few weeks ago at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual church gathering during a lunch meeting with leaders of youth.

Microfilm

Photo: MB Herald Photography Collection, Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies

An idea mixed with passion and solid financial support were the ingredients that combined for a great accomplishment. In 1977 and ’78, young Bill Reimer from Winnipeg set out with elder statesman J.B. Toews  to cross North America in a truck and trailer microfilming congregational records.

Hearing each other

Jonas Cornelsen

Hearing each other well is essential for being church. This is a delicate theme, because we aren’t doing it well. The effects of distance—both geographical and theological—are being felt within and among our churches.

Reading the responses we collected on our Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI) 2016-17 workshop tour, and reflecting on my experience, I notice two major threads:

‘It doesn’t feel so lonely anymore

The final rally at the Human Rights Monument, with walkers standing under the inscription, ‘All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ (Photo by Ally Siebert)

MP Niki Ashton addresses the Ottawa rally. She will bring an inscribed birch bark scroll to Parliament on behalf of the walkers, who carried it from Kitchener, Ont., to Ottawa. (Photo by Ally Siebert)

Walkers look on as Leah Gazan, left, and Romeo Saganash receive a cloth covered in supportive messages from Kathy Moorhead Thiessen at Ottawa Mennonite Church. Saganash will carry the cloth into Parliament. (Photo by Ally Siebert)

The Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights rally ends with an attempted delivery of letters to the Prime Minister's Office, located in the Langevin building, at left. Langevin was a politician who had a key role in establishing the Canadian Indian Residential School system. (Photo by Ally Siebert)

Algonquin elder Annie Smith St-Georges is pictured at the Ottawa Mennonite Church teach-in. The quilt was a gift from church's quilting group. (Photo by Ally Siebert)

The crowd that gathered at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa on May 13 didn’t allow the rain to dampen their celebration of the arrival of the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights.

Lessons learned from the elderly

Danielle Raimbault’s first day of work as the chaplain at a residence for the elderly was a memorable one that quickly shattered her expectations.

When the 24-year-old arrived at Chartwell Elmira Long Term Care Residence in Elmira, Ont., a year ago, she sat down beside a resident and introduced herself.

“Did your mom give you permission to come here today?” the resident asked.

Let the games begin

Karli Bijakowski, right, Karlie Haining, centre, and Jonathan Seiling display two completed comforters that were knotted for MCC during the Niagara Region Youth Hunger Relief Games on May 12. (Photo by Jonathan Seiling)

One of the games involved creating a structure that could bear the weight of cans of food. (Photo by Jonathan Seiling)

Karli Bijakowski, right, and Karlie Haining attempt to knot comforters for MCC while blindfolded and wearing gardening gloves during the Niagara Region Youth Hunger Games. (Photo by Jonathan Seiling)

Nick Schuurman, left, associate pastor of St. Catharines United Mennonite Church, counts the number of cans in the tower contest while competitors look on. (Photo by Jonathan Seiling)

More than 30 youth from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregations in the Niagara Region gathered at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines on May 12, 2018, for the “Hunger Relief Games.” Using non-perishable food items, plus items for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) hygiene kits and two comforters, they played a series of five games.

Subscribe to RSS - Volume 21 Issue 12