For two evenings in March, Sarah Kathleen Johnson led an Anabaptist Learning Workshop focused on the ritual of communion, at Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener.
Delegates cluster for small-group discussions at MC Saskatchewan’s annual delegate sessions, held at Zoar Mennonite Church in Waldheim. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
At the 2019 annual delegate session of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, Joel Ens explains a graphic he designed for his congregation, Eigenheim Mennonite Church, in Rosthern. As congregants explored questions around their church’s outreach, they had challenged themselves to list the various connections they have in their community and beyond, which are represented by interconnected circles. This illustrated a point made by guest speaker David Fitch, who encouraged listeners to seize opportunities for building relationships in the community in which they live and work. (Photo by Virginia A. Hostetler)
“We looked at the bylaws and asked, ‘Is this what we’re actually doing?’” said Tim Wiens. “Usually the answer was ‘No.’ ”
During a litany of release and embrace, MC Alberta delegates lit candles to remember and release individuals who have passed away, churches that have left MC Alberta, and programs no longer present in the regional church. Candles also celebrated and embraced new and hopeful baptisms, churches who have joined MC Alberta and vibrant programs. (Photo by Tim Wiebe-Neufeld)
Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, MC Alberta’s executive Minister, left, prays for Doug Klassen as Klassen prepares to leave pastoral ministry at Calgary’s Foothills Mennonite Church to become executive minister for MC Canada. The prayer was part of the blessing and commissioning of staff and volunteers at the MC Alberta annual delegate sessions at Bergthal Mennonite Church, Didsbury, on March 15 and 16. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)
It was an unusual delegate session, with the bulk of the time dedicated to discussion rather than business. “Discerning God’s call,” Phase 3 of Mennonite Church Alberta’s Vision 20/20 process, engaged participants in reflection on what was heard in congregations during the previous phase, “Season of prayer.”
With her powerful, resonant voice, Ysaÿe Barnwell, composer, vocalist, speaker and former member of the African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, began to sing “Amazing Grace,” stretching out the length of each phrase. Members of the audience started to hum along. Soon she invited everyone to sing in full voice.
At Thomson Funeral Home on Sunday morning, you won’t find a hearse, or the building filled with mourners. Instead, it is bursting with life.
The space is home to Winnipeg’s Hope Mennonite Church, a thriving community of around 200 active participants and members. The congregation moved into the funeral home last September because it faced a unique problem. It was growing.
It was standing room only in the community room at the Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira, Ont., for an auction of vintage hockey cards, hosted by the local Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift and Gift store on March 16.
Potential buyers lined up early to view the cards and other memorabilia, including rookie cards for Tony Esposito, Darryl Sittler and Bobby Orr.
For the first time in more than two decades, participants in the annual Camp Squeah paddle-a-thon will be navigating the Fraser River in the fall instead of the spring.
Ready to be rattled by the Radical? Youth from Mennonite Church Canada congregations in grades 6 to 12 (including new graduates) are invited to take part in “Shake: Rattled by the Radical,” which takes place at Saskatchewan’s Shekinah Retreat Centre, located 75 kilometres north of Saskatoon, from July 28 to Aug. 1.
Through worship, workshops and keynote addresses, Anthony Bailey challenged participants at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s annual School for Ministers to be audacious: bold, daring, provocative and courageous.
Nearly 150 delegates and other attendees representing 35 churches attended the annual delegate meeting at Steinbach Mennonite Church. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)
Henry Paetkau, interim executive minister of MC Canada, holds the covenant document between the regional churches that make up MC Canada. He said they are now more connected with each other than before. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)
A Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey was spotted in Winnipeg Blue Bombers territory. Ken Warkentin, executive director of Mennonite Church Manitoba, speaks at the MC Manitoba delegate gathering in Steinbach, Man., on March 2, as Ryan Siemens, executive director of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, looks on. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Ken Warkentin, executive minister of MC Manitoba, accompanies the congregation in worship. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)
The people of Mennonite Church Manitoba discussed and dreamed what the new structure of MC Canada means for their regional church, at this year’s annual delegate gathering.
Nearly 150 delegates and other attendees representing 35 churches from across Manitoba gathered at Steinbach Mennonite Church on the first weekend in March.
Delegates at the Mennonite Church B.C. annual meetings at Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, Feb. 23, found themselves walking alongside each other, encouraging each other and sometimes disagreeing with each other, yet with a common goal to fulfill “God’s mission: Our mission” as a church body.
Cheralyne Gibson is horsemanship director at the Valley Equestrian Centre, a ministry of Youth Farm Bible Camp. She appreciates being able to offer equine-assisted learning in a Christian setting. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
No one likes to be told, “Hey! You need to change your attitude!” But that bitter pill is much easier to swallow when it’s administered by a horse.
I posed one question to the 186 Mennonite Church Canada congregations for which my search engine found email addresses. My question: “What changes has your congregation experienced as a result of the Future Directions decisions of October 2017?”
Church of the Way in Granisle, B.C., a member of Mennonite Church B.C. since 1979, has voted to leave the regional church and join another denomination.
Wildwood Mennonite Church recently became the first Mennonite Church Saskatchewan congregation to go solar. But, as with all major spending decisions, this one wasn’t made overnight.
Following the concert, guests enjoyed conversation over coffee and Syrian pastries prepared by Basem Ahmad and Fadia Almasalma, a Syrian couple who have recently settled in Saskatoon through the help of MCC. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Richard Janzen led the RJC Ensemble as well as the Global Mass Choir, in which supporters of RJC and MCC Saskatchewan joined students to perform several works, including ‘Freedom Come’ by Ben Alloway. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Saskatchewan and Rosthern Junior College (RCJ) joined forces to host a unique fundraising concert.
Held on Feb. 10, 2019, at Grace Westminster United Church in Saskatoon, Global Songs and Sweets featured music and musicians from around the globe. Interspersed between the songs were times of sharing.
Do Mennonite churches have commitment issues? Why are fewer people choosing rituals of commitment like baptism and marriage?
Pictured from left to right: moderator Irma Fast Dueck and panellists Colin Friesen, Emily Hunsberger, Maria Klassen, Yeabsra Agonfer and Jonathan Klassen speak on the topic ‘Taking the plunge: Young adults and the church,’ as part of this year’s Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College. (Grebel photo by Jen Konkle)
Christian youth and young adults are seeking church spaces that are authentic, safe and open, but also supportive of their role in leadership.
At least, that’s what five people who took part in a youth panel had to say at the 2019 Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., on Feb. 8.
Members of Bethany Mennonite Church shovel gravel onto a truck to transport it to the next well site in the mountains of Guatemala. (Photo by Herb Sawatzky)
Before there was a mission trip to Guatemala last month, there was a fundraising lunch of hot chili the month before.
A group of churches in Markham is ready to break ground on its latest affordable housing project.
As truckloads of militia drove into Tshikapa to lay down their arms, Joseph Nkongolo went to meet them. Nkongolo—Coordinator of the Service and Development Department of the Mennonite Church of Congo—spoke of militia members saying they want to re-enter civil life. “Pray for us,” they said to him, “we have done horrible things; forgive us for what we have done.”
Chris Steingart, as Joseph, shows off his amazing Technicolor dreamcoat while his brothers look on with disgust from the background. (Photo by Christine Saunders)
Narrator and musical director Stacey VanderMeer, far right, takes a selfie with the whole family of Jacob in Breslau Mennonite Church’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. (Photo by Christine Saunders)
Joseph, played by Chris Steingart, accuses Benjamin, played by Jonathan Klassen, of stealing his cup. Narrator Stacey VanderMeer, in red, registers shock while the chorus joins in the blame. (Photo by Christine Saunders)
Matthew Rappolt, left, Karl Braun, Brent Schmidt and Nick Martin, as some of Joseph’s brothers facing famine, long for ‘Those Canaan Days’ when they had plenty to eat. (Photo by Christine Saunders)
Janice Klassen, left, Amanda Snyder and Karl Braun dance and sing, ‘Go, Go, Go Joseph,’ to assure him that he’s not beaten yet, and his fortunes will change. (Photo by Christine Saunders)
Justin Martin, right, who played Issachar and served as production manager, explains to his father Jacob, played by Phil Martin, left, what happened to Joseph, and why there will be ‘one less place at the table, while one of the brothers look on. (Photo by Christine Saunders)
Driving to the cottage while listening to a recording of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Justin Martin had an idea. Could Breslau Mennonite Church stage it? More than a year-and-a-half later, that dream came true.