Key factors surrounding flourishing congregations in Canada, and how congregations can thrive and grow in an age of diminishing importance of the church in society, were the topics for a May 4 seminar entitled “Flourishing congregations: From understanding to practice.”
Charles Olfert is enthusiastic about creating buildings that meet their users’ needs. A principal architect with AODBT Architecture + Interior Design, he recently applied that passion to the study of accessibility.
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.
Refuge de Paix, Sherbrooke, Que., a Spanish-speaking congregation ministering to Hispanic refugees are welcomed into full membership in MC Eastern Canada by MC Eastern Canada moderator Arli Klassen, left, and Henry Paetkau, right, MC Canada interim executive minister. (D. Michael Hostetler)
Representatives of 107 congregations from Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick gathered at Steinmann Mennonite Church for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual church gathering on April 26 and 27, framed around the theme of “Deepening our relationship with God.”
It’s been eight months since Thomas and Terri Lynn Friesen opened their Saskatoon home as The Vine and Table intentional community. For Terri Lynn, those eight months have been “an interesting season . . . of challenge and great joy.”
They are what many people look at to check the time, talk to their friends, prepare for meetings and unwind at the end of the day. But it’s not just those who can buy devices for themselves who are using them. Children are now figuring out how to work phones and tablets before they can even walk or talk.
Q. What is the purpose of the delegate session at Gathering 2019?
A. Delegates will review and ratify Joint Council actions; receive and review reports from our programs—International Witness, Indigenous-Settler Relations and CommonWord—as well as the regional churches; and act on any recommendations coming from Joint Council or regional churches.
For more than a century, the women of Rainham Mennonite Church—a tiny congregation just off of Highway 3 near the north shore of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario—have continued a sewing circle, one that is now augmented by women from the community. The group still quilts regularly during the fall and winter.
The gathering hymn, “God Welcomes All,” called some 120 people to worship at the opening of the “Beyond binaries: Creating an affirming church” event hosted by Waterloo North Mennonite Church on April 6.
Churches wanting to take the next step in becoming affirming of LGBTQ+ people might wonder “What’s next?”
In 2017, when Kirsten Hamm-Epp was appointed to the newly formed Faith Leaders Council at the University of Saskatchewan, she likely didn’t imagine she would be hosting breakfast for up to 50 students every week.
If you care about connecting with the wider Mennonite community but have trouble keeping up with all the conference restructuring and acronyms—so many M’s and C’s—this article is for you.
If you form part of the small remnant of church nerds who love organizational charts, you may want to pull out your copy of Martyrs Mirror or a recent church budget and read that instead.
“To be clear, this is not a missions consultation.”
So said Ryan Siemens, executive minister of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, in his opening address to key regional leaders on March 29. From opening statements to the closing benediction two days later, MC Canada’s mission consultation was more about being a people with a mission than about “doing” missions.
Starting this fall, Quest, Columbia Bible College’s longstanding one-year discipleship program, is adopting a more flexible approach to its academic requirements in order to provide a richer experience for incoming students.
As part of the Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s Spring Enrichment Day, Gloria Bauman, left, reflected on her journey with cancer, and Rita Bauman spoke of moving from her home in Abbotsford, B.C., to a dairy farm in Ontario. Journey and wilderness were themes for the April 13 event at Floradale (Ont.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Barb Draper)
There were rich experiences and mixed emotions at the Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s Spring Enrichment Day, hosted by Floradale Mennonite Church on April 13. Along with inspiring worship and powerful storytelling, discernment about the future was on the agenda.
Peter Kroeker, a Mennonite Disaster Service volunteer from Vineland (Ont.) United Mennonite Church, works on the exit stairs during renovations at Hochma Mennonite Church to bring its basement homeless shelter up to code. (Photos by Nicholas Hamm)
Every night, from November to April, volunteers from Hochma Mennonite Church in Montreal open its doors as a warming centre for some 40 people who are experiencing homelessness. The church wants to become a licenced shelter operating year-round, but its building needs roughly $200,000 worth of renovations to bring it up to code.
Stacey Swampy, the Micah Mission’s Indigenous Awareness Program facilitator, tells his story of life within the system and of healing, at a two-day workshop entitled, “The awakening: Indigenous voices in restorative justice.” (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Group 2 has all the advantages in assembling its Lego set, including the participation of the presenter’s 11-year-old daughter! (Photo by Donna Schulz)
As part of an exercise to mirror the experience of Indigenous children in the residential school system, Group 1 must try to assemble the Lego set without instructions and without speaking. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
There were two Lego sets and two groups of participants. The first group to assemble its toy would be the winner, but it quickly became apparent that the playing field was not level.
Food may be what draws people to the basement of Sherbrooke Mennonite Church every Thursday morning, but it’s not what keeps them coming. It’s a feeling of family, a place to call home.