Recent comments

  • Arts & Worship; Imagine If The Church Led (#3)   4 years 12 weeks ago

    Hey Brandi,

    There was a time when the church lead in arts and invention. Throughout Christendom, when the church was the lens and structure of society, most of the greatest art and invention was done in the name of God and the church. Is that what you are referring to?

    I don't think it's the church's job to be at the pinnacle of arts and scientific innovation. Christ was a carpenter, and he didn't come to show us the amazing things we can build with wood. I wonder if his innovation was in revealing God's love for the world?

    My hope is the church would lead the way in finding creative ways to live out God's love to each other. That may well move us to create inspiring works of art! Or would it be enough to affirm and appreciate the innovations and inventions of others, whether believer or not?

    Mike Turman

  • Encourage single people in the church   4 years 12 weeks ago

    It isn't only the young who feel lonely! Older people who are widowed/divorced-by-defaulting-spouse, who have known coupledom can be sad too. It takes a lot of courage to step beyond your comfort-zone whatever age you are, and I would ask all churchgoers to be aware of this... and as for the 'only ones' I suggest you try to become involved by using your time or talents - anybody can help with dusting/polishing, and you become part of a team - these things snowball.

  • Encourage single people in the church   4 years 12 weeks ago

    As the only single twenty something at my church, I could not agree more with point #4. It is difficult to go to church, to see all of my married friends stand next to each other resting a hand on their spouses back and give each other the occasional peck on the cheek.
    I feel petty pointing it out, but if someone would come and give me a hug, it would really make my day!
    Also, dear Omas, any helpful hints on baking buns would be awesome, but please don't try to set me up with your grandsons!

  • Encourage single people in the church   4 years 13 weeks ago

    Very well said, Amanda. Timothy actually suggested that in order to serve Christ at 100% level, one should really remain unattached. If you must marry, then stick to one partner. I haven't heard that passage read aloud in .... like forever. I am a single man and I get it - you are not alone with your feelings on the subject. I have many friends (single and married and divorced) and, while I'm okay with it, society - in particular he Mennonite culture - frowns on it to the point of being rude. Yet some of the same people that question my status had asked theer daughters not to date me because I was a non-conformist as a youth. Hypocrisy? not really because they really just wanted what was best for their own and a man who didn't necessarily fit the mold of what they had in mind wasn't who they wanted passing the butter at dinner. Cause of decline in church attendance? of course, anytime that you ostracize people who aren't exactly like you, they will eventually leave to be where they feel more accepted.

  • Blog of the day: Reader's Picks   4 years 17 weeks ago

    the associate pastor at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, Canadian province. He explores the untidy connections of context and Anabaptism, talking concerning “Anabaptism’s roots within the sixteenth century

  • Cancer Doesn't Grow Faith   4 years 17 weeks ago

    This is not the typical response to something good happening. Thanks for sharing

    M Turman

  • You get what you need . . . in church   4 years 19 weeks ago

    OK, but I think you have actually proved my point.
    1) churches do have 'community'
    2) you are back at church and are enjoying the 'community'
    3) you originally left church because you were having trouble believing the 'truth claims' of your churches brand of christianity...
    It seems to me, in your case, that you were not in church because of issues of 'belief' rather than issues of 'community'.

    My problem is, why is christianity to unbelievable to this generation (especially those how have post-secondary education)?

  • You get what you need . . . in church   4 years 19 weeks ago

    I second your interest in other contexts, but it's worth noting that this is not a report from Canadian Mennonite, but an opinion piece from one church-attender. Also, he is speaking from a rural MC Canada perspective. If we want a Latin American or Old Order opinion in the Canadian Mennonite, we'll have to solicit one.

    Julia T

  • You get what you need . . . in church   4 years 19 weeks ago

    As someone who returned to church after an 8-year absence a couple years ago, I'll acknowledge that there is some truth to your comment. I was struggling a great deal with my faith when I left at age 18, and spent my 8-year "sabbatical" researching other religions, asking others about their beliefs, trying to understand where I fit in. What brought me back to church - what has kept me back and gotten me involved for nearly 3 years now - wasn't any great revelation or return of faith; it was the sense of coming home to a community. I still struggle with my faith, I worry sometimes about people who never do, but at least now I feel the support of a loving, welcoming community when I'm struggling.

  • You get what you need . . . in church   4 years 19 weeks ago

    In my experience, the people I know who continue to go to church go because they have remained christians... the people who choose to not go, from what I can gather through discussions with them, tend to be agnostics. Maybe they haven't told you yet, b/c they haven't actually made the decision to label themselves as agnostics and 'come out' as non-christian, and thus they look like christians who don't go to church. But in my experience, they just are no longer christian.
    I know of few christians who don't go to church.

  • A beat to think about   4 years 19 weeks ago

    I'm the Project Manager of Restorative Gloucestershire, spreading and using Restorative Justice and processes across a county in the UK in all areas - prisons, youth offending teams in the community etc. I particularly like the impact of theatre to spread the word about powerful subjects and would be most interested to hear if there's any way of buying the script to this play?
    I look forward to hearing from you. Please e mail me at:

    Many thanks

  • You get what you need . . . in church   4 years 19 weeks ago

    My church has a thriving young adult population. We have an outreach to them - we own a million dollar building and rent its rooms to them at sacrificially inexpensive prices. We also help place them in jobs - they have a better chance at getting a good job if they are connected with our community.

    No amount of minor changes to the worship service will convince young people to come to church on Sunday morning.

    P.S. the Mennonite congregations of Africa and Latin America are teeming with young people, as are the old-order congregations. I wish the reporters at Canadian Mennonite would look beyond their urban churches when writing articles like this.

  • May Days   4 years 19 weeks ago

    May Day USA celebration at Elmwood Park, Philadelphia, sounds really great. The photos are good that tells me the really happenings of that day. Thanks for the post.

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  • You get what you need . . . in church   4 years 20 weeks ago

    Candid and thought provoking for us all. Thanks.

  • Deleting Distraction   4 years 20 weeks ago

    I was so stressed out because I had put off my work for so long, it got to the point where I honestly believed I was going to fail a class! (which would be detrimental to my degree!) But somehow I sucked it up and got back to work, it's so important to keep perspective. Whenever I start to put off work, I look at myself from an outsiders perspective. It helps a lot! Either that or I google motivational quotes. Either way.

    Jason Mraz what a great one.

  • Express yourself   4 years 21 weeks ago

    Thanks to Rachel for sharing her story and those of others - I am not sure if I would ever get a tattoo at this point in my life but I love hearing the stories behind these. Clearly, it is not a decision made lightly and these marks are definitely a sign of thoughtful, mindful faith.

  • On sabbatical . . . from Facebook   4 years 22 weeks ago

    Aren't you really just bragging that you get by without prosthetics?

    My FB persona is a practice ground for my face to face interactions. I don't get as much interaction in real life. It has also been an arena where friends have gotten to know me in new, surprising ways. I've changed in the past four years and would never look back!

  • Come to prayer, come to well-being   4 years 24 weeks ago

    V inspiring story..i am muslim and feeling proud of it..may God build our faith n trust..amin

  • Asking the same questions   4 years 24 weeks ago

    I am sorry never really heard Mennonite or Mennonite literature. And I need to know more about it as I am a student of comparative literature .

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  • When churches plug in   4 years 24 weeks ago

    "Is there a place where both the book and the screen can engage all ages?"

    Is there a place? YES! At the Gretna Bergthaler Mennonite Church! In our worship, people with visual impairment, who find the small text in the hymnal a challenge, are able to participate in song by singing the text of the hymns off the screen. The same goes for parents of young infants who find it a challenge to hold onto their children and a hymnal at the same time. And still, like myself, there are those who still love handling a hymnal book, which are conveniently located in the hymnal rack on each chair. Sing praises from a book, off a screen, or by memory - BUT BY ALL MEANS sing praises to our KING!

    I'm completely unsure of what Marilyn Houser-Hamm means when she writes: "Holding and reading music from a book symbolizes a person’s identity" How are the arm-less, the illiterate, the blind supposed to have their identities symbolized when so much weight is placed on the 'singing-from-books'? The 'hymnal in each hand' approach was the 'technological innovation' of society hundreds of years ago; today's innovation involves screens, smartphones, and tablets. The gospel of our Lord will make use of, and commandeer each and every communicative innovation we come up with, and it is only right that people made in His image follow His lead in expressing our exuberant joy for God's love and grace.

  • Beni Suef   4 years 26 weeks ago

    It is quite an excellent piece of writing, you are right to say that Egyptians often do not believe us when we profess our love for Beni Suef.

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  • An invisible minority   4 years 27 weeks ago

    This is not just a breakthrough but a minor miracle in tolerance. That is something I did not experience as a Liberal, perhaps even 'Green' oriented individual in my youth. I was ostracized, insulted and finally driven away from the only church that I had ever known. It was, indeed, a Conservative setting and there was only disdain for someone daring to grow a beard and long hair. Yet every picture of Jesus that I had ever seen depicts him looking similar. I was warned not to protest the Vietmen War because fighting Communism was just the right thing to do. But weren't we pacifist, conscientious objectors? Times have changed to some extent and I have returned as a middle-aged man who no longer acts as a non-conformist (much) but is the tolerance just a lip service? I do feel a lot more welcome and have not been asked to leave and I am praying whole-heartedly that the attitude and not just anything goes due to declining numbers. I was once asked,"What do you want here?" I kept quiet and averted my gaze, not wanting to cause a scene. But my thoughts were, "Man, I'm a sinner who has come to see how the saints are doing!" I firmly believe that the judging of our fellow man must be addressed and then we may see folks interested in our faith. Otherwise, it will be difficult convincing the sinners that seek solace to step through our doors.

  • April is Blog Month!   4 years 27 weeks ago

    I recently started a blog related to Anabaptist understandings of peace and pacifism primarily in the area of giving voice to people with disabilities.

    At the moment it is a bit skeletal, but in the next few weeks I will be posting some of my graduate research projects on it as well as articles which I have already published. By May or June I'm hoping it will become more robust (I'm still in the thick of my assignments at AMBS because we don't get out until the end of May).

  • April is Blog Month!   4 years 28 weeks ago

    I like and and find they both take a very open approach to looking for meaningful ways to express Mennonite faith in life.

  • April is Blog Month!   4 years 28 weeks ago

    For sure check out my pastor's blog. Rumblings by Ryan Dueck.