Two hours into a conversation that I deeply regretted starting, the man seated next to me said, “Most people on this airplane are probably not Christian. If this flight starts to crash, I will stand up, tell everyone to repent [of their sins], accept Jesus as Lord and be saved. Otherwise, they will spend eternity in hell. Will you help me?”
The language is stark: crisis, epidemic, tragedy. The facts are startling. According to a Government of Canada website, opioid-related overdose has become the No. 1 cause of death for people under 50. In 2016, there were 3,017 such deaths in Canada; in 2017, there were 4,034; and in the first nine months of 2018, there were 3,286.
I was recently invited with a handful of other clergypersons to lunch at a local seniors home. Between the main course and dessert, the conversation turned, predictably, to the decline of the church.
Streetscape of Nipawin, Sask., in the 1920s. Mennonites first began moving to Lost River in the Rural Municipality of Nipawin in the early 1900s. By 1906, they were meeting in homes for worship. In 1913, Bishop Abraham Doerksen of the Manitoba Sommerfeld Mennonite Church travelled to the Nipawin area, where he baptized 42 people and ordained Aron Doerksen and Abram R. Bergen as pastors.
Nearly 20 years ago, my husband accepted a job offer in Winnipeg that resulted in our family’s move from Ontario, a place we had called home for 22 years.
It was at the baseball diamond on my 36th birthday that I stumbled upon a breaking point. It came as a deep gut conviction, a weary heartfelt and tear-filled prayer, and a holy call from my Lord.
When you live on the west side of the Rocky Mountains and sometimes feel isolated from the rest of the country, what does it mean to be part of our nationwide family of faith?
As the saying goes, “Confession is good for the soul but bad for the reputation.”
Timothy King found himself addicted to opioids when complications after surgery led to intense pain and serious illness. In Addiction Nation, he describes what it feels like to be trapped in a cocoon of addiction and how he was able to achieve recovery with the help of a kind doctor and a supportive family.
Guerres Lucien, outside her home in Lahoye, Haiti, is a participant in an MCC-supported community mental-health project with partner Zanmi Lasante, the Haitian branch of Partners in Health. (Photo by Paul Shetler Fast)
“Close your eyes and imagine you are walking to your garden,” says Saint-Hilaire Olissaint, a community mental-health worker. His calm, soothing voice carries over the din of the nearby street market and the curious chatter of the children watching nearby.
As the partisan jostling over SNC Lavalin wanes, we can more clearly examine the ethical questions at the core of a scandal that Mennonite cabinet minister Jane Philpott stepped right into the middle of.
“Light up the church.”
That’s what members of Calgary Inter-Mennonite decided they wanted to do when asked about ways to engage with their local community.
What that meant for the congregation of about 40 households was making their building, located in the northeast part of the city, available for use by others during the week—not only on Sunday mornings by congregants.
Tuesday’s Book Club at Faith Mennonite Church includes, from left to right: Sonja Kuli, Joan Enns, Anne Reimer, Nancy Hogendyk and Rita Unrau.
Tuesday’s Book Club at Faith Mennonite Church includes, from left to right: Anne Reimer, Nancy Hogendyk, Rita Unrau and Linda Thiessen-Belch.
Rita Unrau shows off one of the many ‘encouragement cards’ that have been distributed in Faith Mennonite Church’s pews.
Like at many Mennonite churches, the back of any given pew at Faith Mennonite in Leamington includes a blue hymnal, an offering envelope, and, for the lucky few, a small, colourful, hand-made encouragement card. These one-of-a-kind cards are something new and they point to a wily group of seniors who are helping to bring new energy into the life of the congregation.
Canadian Mennonite executive editor Virginia A. Hostetler returned from Winnipeg following the 2019 Canadian Church Press (CCP) convention and awards banquet earlier this month with a total of 10 certificates for writing, photography, layout, and socially conscious journalism work CM published in 2018.
Like many of his peers, Nathan Bartel is fielding questions about what he plans to do after graduation. But, unlike some of them, he has a ready answer. He wants to be a firefighter.
Jacqueline Loewen just spent the weekend riding a motorcycle as a stunt double for a science-fiction TV show and will be rolling on the ground with strangers tomorrow, choreographing combat for Shakespeare in the Ruins’ production of Hamlet.
What do you get when you put Mennonites from all over Canada, and from all sorts of different Mennonite conferences and churches—along with Christians from other denominations—in the same place? A Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) unit—that’s what.
In February, I visited volunteers in three communities in Texas hit by Hurricane Harvey in 2017—La Grange, Bloomington and Wharton.
From dealing with disaster to mental health recovery, partners of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Nepal and their beneficiaries demonstrate resilience.