What will the Mennonite church in North America look like in the next 30 years? No one has a crystal ball, but one group of forward-thinking people is helping us imagine how we might be doing congregational worship in the next generation.
The Bible is full of stories about people, real people with bodies and minds, and with an array of experiences, relationships and emotions. How odd, then, that we so often turn to the Bible as little more than an instruction manual for communal and personal life.
Abram Wall Enns, left, was the civic leader of the Manitoba Colony when rape stories first emerged. He wishes the leaders would have acted sooner. (Photo by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky noahfr.com)
Kennert Giesbrecht is pictured with his new book, Strangers and Pilgrims. (Photo courtesy of Kennert Giesbrecht)
Eight men went to prison, the media gaze moved on, and colony life resumed. But the saga of mass rape in the Bolivian corner of our family of faith is far from over.
Aug. 15 marked the end of my three-month sabbatical and my return to the office at Mennonite Church Manitoba. Time took on a special meaning during this leave as I took the opportunity to live into the prairie experience afforded to me by our little farm: raising chickens, gardening, repairing dilapidated buildings and building new ones, caring for grandchildren and golfing.
“Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” These Old Testament words resonated with me this past summer as part of my extended family gathered at our church camp. We did the typical things like catching up on each other’s lives, playing games and debating if the mountain spring-fed lake was warm enough for swimming.
Do you understand how money is made, spent and saved? It sounds simple, but it’s no secret that the need for financial literacy is as high as ever. The federal government has implemented a national strategy for financial literacy, and provincial governments are increasing financial literacy lessons in school curriculums.
Malcolm and Esther Wenger moved to the town of Selkirk, Man., in 1979. Malcolm worked for the Conference of Mennonites in Canada’s Native Ministries program and pastored the small Selkirk Christian Fellowship. Pictured, Malcolm baptizes Gillian Thororanson at Patricia Beach, Man., on July 22, 1979.
Each Sunday over 55 people meet for worship in the tiny church in the village of Fon, Burkina Faso. The Foothills church honey money from the summer of 2018 will go toward a necessary expansion of the church building since members have increased as some Christians have been pushed off their nearby lands due to tensions in the country. Pictured, Josue Coulibaly’s brother Emmanuel and his son are among the displaced. (Photo by Josue Coulibaly)
The hard work of some Alberta bees creates a sweet deal for two very different churches. The “Bees for Burkina” project gives people of Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary a chance to buy local honey, while the profits provide Mennonites in Burkina Faso with financial assistance to build their church.
Members of the first-place Bible Quizzing for Grown-ups team, the Canadian Mennonite Scribes, are pictured, from left to right: Jim Loepp Thiessen, pastor of Floradale Mennonite Church; Ginny Hostetler, CM’s executive editor; Barb Draper, CM’s editorial assistant; and Tobi Thiessen, CM’s publisher. (Photo by D. Michael Hostetler)
As people gathered for the Bible Quizzing for Grown-ups event on Sept. 30 at the Huether Hotel in Waterloo, the room buzzed with conversation, but when the quizmasters began reading questions from the Gospel of Luke, the room went quiet. The mood was light-hearted, but definitely competitive as eight teams listened intently and searched their memories for the right answers.
Uzbekistan hosts Mr. and Mrs. Karimov, standing, share warm hospitality with a TourMagination group visiting Serabulak. Mr. Karimov is a descendant of a merchant who gave Mennonite pilgrims a farewell gift of money and other gifts. (TourMagination photo by John Sharp)
Historical experiences of ordinary people living out their faith were shared at a travelogue presentation of Russian Mennonite migrations in Europe and Central Asia.
Five months ago, when we were packing up our lives in Manila, I wanted so badly to just stay. I didn't think I could handle any more tearful farewells and I felt horrible tearing our kids away from our Peace Church family who helped to raise our kids. I am still filled with tears when I think back on those painful goodbyes.
Meghan Florian’s name surfaced in the small circle of Mennonite pastors and friends I know in the United States. Because this is how I found this book, I assumed it would be a “churchy” (or religious, or theological, or spiritual) collection of essays. What I found was a case for better writing in the church.
A widely published poet, a retired professor, a farmer, a recent graduate and an engineer regularly discuss literature and theology together. Hard to imagine? The sight is more likely than you might think.
Children at Camp Marafiki Pamoja get a little messy with some science experiments. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Snyder)
In addition to singing, playing games and learning, campers receive two meals. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Snyder)
A young woman is impacting the citizens of a community 13,000 kilometres away from her home in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.
Kuri is the solo project of singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Scott Currie. (Photo by Rachel Pick)
‘I hope my music brings healing in some way to listeners,’ Scott Currie says. (Photo by Rachel Pick)
After releasing two full-length albums and an EP with experimental alt-rockers Oh Village, musician Scott Currie is striking out on his own. The Abbotsford, B.C. native, who performs under the name Kuri, recently signed a record deal with Nevado Music.