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News Release Archive: 2008

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December 16

  • Leadership, money and discernment key topics at Leadership Assembly

    Pastoral leadership development, fiscal concerns in times of economic crisis, and a conversation about being a faithful church were the major topics of discussion at Mennonite Church Canada’s Fall Leadership Assembly in Calgary from November 12-15.

  • Against all odds: committed to Anabaptist study

    An old engraving from the Mennonite Martyrs Mirror remains burned into the memory of Félix Dakuo: The image depicts Dirk Willems, a 16th century Anabaptist who escaped prison, fleeing across a frozen river. His pursuer falls through the ice, and Willems returns to save the man from certain death, only to be re-captured and later burned at the stake for his beliefs. Dakuo, a school teacher and volunteer assistant to Pastor Coulibaly Abdias of the Orodara Mennonite Church, deeply wants to learn more about Mennonite theology.

  • Broadcast ministry hopeful in Burkina Faso

    It is Women’s Day at the Mennonite Church in Orodara. The children’s choir has already sung, and now a parade of women enter the back of the sanctuary, singing and swaying in time to the balifone and drum music. In their hands, each one clutches a field hoe. The women swipe at imaginary weeds in time to the music. The hoe is a symbol of work and working together in this culture. The presentation is a call to all Christians to gather together to work for the Kingdom of God.

  • The East and West of language

    When Ana and I made the move from West to East in 2007, we were determined to learn Korean quickly so that we could go about our daily life independent of translators. When we began serving at Jesus Village Church in Chuncheon, we were assured that we didn’t need to learn a lot to get by as most Koreans know at least a little English.

  • English language teaching as Christian mission

    “Why should a church mission agency be supporting English teaching?” That question is a familiar one to Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers whose job it is to teach English in various locations around the world, including Philip and Julie Bender. The Benders, who teach English to students and teachers at Chongqing Medical University in China through Mennonite Partners in China (MPC) – a program of four Mennonite church agencies – MC Canada Witness, Mennonite Mission Network, Eastern Mennonite Missions, offered a four-point response in a recent prayer letter.

  • Exploring faith through an open door

    In China, students hold teachers in high regard, which opens the door to many conversations about faith and life. Interacting with my students illustrates the vast difference between my Christian formation and theirs. I grew up grounded in Biblical knowledge and a Christian environment, but this is seldom a part of the Chinese Christian experience. John took advantage of my open office door to present some questions about the Bible that had arisen after a conversation with a Japanese Christian acquaintance whose formation was different again.

  • Pastor’s pension plan: Riding out the economic storm

    Mennonite Church Canada’s pension plan is weathering the economic storm better than some. So says Bryan Grom of Ardent Financial, the broker for the MC Canada pension plan. Unless plan members specify otherwise, the plan is invested in the Meritas Socially Responsible Asset Allocation Fund.

December 5

December 4

December 3

  • A most beautiful way

    Burned out homes, evacuees tenting along the beach, helicopters flying low overhead and soldiers patrolling the streets; hard evidence of a community devastated by war. These scenes greeted me as we drove into the municipality of Kauswagan in Mindanao with Peacebuilders Community Inc. (PBCI), a ministry supported by Mennonite Church Canada Witness, to distribute relief to internally displaced people.

  • Canada-Colombia free trade deal questioned

    Rebecca Bartel, Mennonite Church Canada Mission Associate working with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Colombia, reports that Colombian Mennonites and partner organizations have expressed deep concern over the free trade deal that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Alvaro Uribe have recently signed. In a call to action, Bartel writes that the deal has “… created a cloud of uncertainty around the possible effects that this pact will have on Colombian economy, the dire human rights situation and the humanitarian crisis that is currently facing the country.”

  • Vietnam Mennonite Church formally legalized
    “Mennonite Six” released, but eight more are in custody

    The Vietnam Mennonite Church has met all the requirements for full legal status, reports Mennonite World Conference (MWC) in a Nov. 24 release. MWC reports that on Nov. 15-17 an official, government approved General Assembly of the Vietnam Mennonite Church was held in Ho Chi Minh City. Over 200 participants gathered, with 188 recognized as official delegates representing 6,123 believers.

  • Uncertain times call for long term, responsible investing

    The recent debt crisis and resulting economic uncertainty are troubling many people – especially those who are already drawing down their pension investments. But for Gary Hawton, CEO of Meritas Mutual Funds Inc., the returns on investment are not the only measure of value.

  • Anne Kompaore: Twenty-six years in Burkina Faso

    In 1982, two single, white North American women showed up in Kotoura, a remote village in southwestern Burkina Faso. They brought with them a few suitcases, a passion for languages – and their Christian faith. Twenty-six years later one of those women, Anne Kompaore – a Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker now married to a Burkinabe native and pastor Daniel Kompaore – reflects on the early days of her work and the formation of the Mennonite Church in Burkina.

  • Caution: Culture Crossing

    During our supper together, Tata Koti advised that we should leave for Mt. Ayliff at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. That meant setting the alarm for 4:45 so we could rise and prepare tea for Tata and his wife Mama Bewana by 5:30. We departed at 6:10 and promptly at 8:00 arrived at our destination, a church in this rural area of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. In limited English, Tata Koti, chair of the Bethany Bible School Committee, indicated that we should be ready to start at 8:00… or 9:00. Two people were waiting when we arrived.

November 12

  • New curriculum reaches up and out

    A new resource will help bridge the church/culture divide between non-Aboriginals and Aboriginals in Canada. Reaching up to God our Creator explores the wisdom of Jesus Christ that is present in Aboriginal sacred teachings. It is in and through wisdom that God created the world and all inhabitants.

  • Burkina Faso Mennonites teach reconciliation

    The past few years have not been easy for Nafi.* Three years ago she decided to follow Christ and began attending the local Mennonite church in Samogohiri, her village in Burkina Faso. At first, her Muslim husband had no problem letting her attend church services, but as her faith continued to grow, so did her husband’s opposition towards it. Regardless, Nafi has remained firm in her commitment to Christ even through the physical abuse and spiritual battle that followed.

  • Burkina Faso Mennonites forge faithful identity

    With only about 500 active church members among the 15 million people living in the former French colony of Burkina Faso, Mennonites are virtually unknown – except for their reputation as peace builders.

  • Working for peace: Pax documentary premieres on Hallmark

    The story of Pax, an Anabaptist-based service program which ran from 1951 to 1975, will premiere on Hallmark Channel November 23 (7 a.m. ET/PT, 6 a.m. CT/MT).

  • Canada to host G8 in 2010: Christians can prepare now

    Christians in Canada will have an unprecedented opportunity to influence leaders of the G8 nations when Canada hosts the meeting in Huntsville, Ont. in 2010, says the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC).

October 29

  • Economic crisis may open door to SRI

    Sustainability. Value. Transparency. As the world’s economy quakes, these are key issues in the demand for restructuring of the global financial system, and they may be qualities that open the door to wider recognition of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI).

  • Assembly 2009 to take place at the University of Saskatchewan

    Mennonite Church Canada’s delegate Assembly 2009 will take place at the University of Saskatchewan from June 5 to 7. The theme is Living Inside Out (Col. 3:12)

  • Going green: the colour of peace

    If you aren’t quite ready to “go green” to decrease your environmental footprint, would you consider going green for peace? That’s what Dan Kehler is doing. The Associate Pastor of Bergthaler Mennonite Church in Altona says that society’s addiction to oil has made it a commodity that drives war. “I figure the less carbon I use, the less I participate in the economy of oil and the less I participate in the war that is currently going on in Iraq.”

  • Two winged concept flies in Asia

    When small groups from Macau Mennonite Church meet, members include one empty chair in the circle. Those gathered together pray for the person who will eventually fill that vacant seat. Like members of the early church 2,000 years ago, those at Macau Mennonite are working to find wholeness by making space for both large and small forms of church.

October 10

  • Colombian Pastor vanishes

    On Thursday, September 25, at 10 AM Pastor William Reyes left Valledupar, Cesar, for his home in Maicao, La Guajira in northern Colombia. He never arrived. Reyes is associated with Justapaz, a ministry of our partner, Mennonite Church of Colombia (IMCOL).

  • Colombian Mennonites share bread of life

    The tantalizing scent of rice and chicken wafted around children with furrowed brows trying to decipher their homework. When the volunteer cooks announced that lunch was ready, 60 children scrambled to find places at the table. The balanced meal awaiting them was insurance against the distraction of hunger when they resumed afternoon classes.

  • Colombia: Peace at what cost?

    Mennonites and other faiths interested in pursuing peace through dialogue met with President Ahmadinejad of Iran in New York City on Sept. 25. The controversial dinner meeting saw Christians outside the hotel protesting against Christians inside the hotel. Robert J. Suderman, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, attended the event at the invitation of organizers. He observed how unhelpful and hurtful it was to have Christians name calling and hurling insults at other Christians as they entered the hotel.

  • Tuning in to Christ

    Sontee* is facing expulsion from his village because of his Christian faith. But it wasn’t always like this. Rad and Pat Houmphan, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in Borabu, Thailand, recently met Sontee. With his wife and six children, Sontee lives in a Southeast Asian country that has no religious freedom.

  • Taiwan group celebrates 60 years of medical ministry

    With aboriginal dances, choirs and speeches, Taiwan believers and former mission workers celebrated the 60th anniversary of Mennonite medical ministry in Taiwan on September 19 at the Mennonite Christian Hospital in Hualien.

  • MC Canada donations on track, but looming economic crisis cause for concern
    Donation income for Mennonite Church Canada is on track with projections for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2009, and comparable to income at this time last year, said Randy Wiebe, Director of Finance. As of Sept. 30, $1.8 million dollars in donations had been received. Expenses, said Wiebe, are tracking below budget due to some delays in filling vacant staff positions.

  • Denominational consultants ponder timing of next hymnal project

    esults of an online survey completed by individuals representing Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada congregations indicate that many congregations may be ready for a new printed hymnal in 10-15 years. The survey, conducted in March 2008, included questions designed to provide insight into current congregational usage and needs regarding music and worship, and also predict future ones. (complete survey at Congregations were asked to submit one response representing their group. MPN received responses from 264 USA and 94 Canadian congregations.

October 2

  • Christians insulting Christians unhelpful

    Mennonites and other faiths interested in pursuing peace through dialogue met with President Ahmadinejad of Iran in New York City on Sept. 25. The controversial dinner meeting saw Christians outside the hotel protesting against Christians inside the hotel. Robert J. Suderman, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, attended the event at the invitation of organizers. He observed how unhelpful and hurtful it was to have Christians name calling and hurling insults at other Christians as they entered the hotel.

September 25

  • Native Assembly seeks justice, shalom

    Today is a pivotal moment in Native American history, according to Adrian Jacobs, speaker at the July 28-31 Native Assembly in Clinton, Oklahoma. Jacobs, a Canadian Six Nations pastor invited to the event by Mennonite Church Canada Native Ministry, called native people to take action in God’s salvation narrative.

  • Power of forgiveness transcends generations

    Forgiveness and reconciliation have a compelling effect that can transcend generations. Just ask Cheyenne Peace Chief and Mennonite pastor Lawrence Hart, or the group from Mennonite Church Canada Native Ministry with whom he shared his story during Native Assembly in Clinton, Oklahoma this summer.

September 10

  • War in the Philippines

    Ongoing conflict in Mindanao, Philippines escalated into war in early August after the Philippines’ Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the official signing of a territorial agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Since that time, Peacebuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) in Mindanao, an organization supported by Mennonite Church Canada Witness, has been working at a grassroots level to bring relief to about 3,600 displaced families and to rekindle peace talks.

  • Peace building: don’t call it church

    For Daniel and Joji Pantoja, peace theology offers a way of life that extends beyond traditional concepts of church. As Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers, the Pantojas are developing a Peacebuilders Community in the Mindanao region of the Philippines where longstanding issues of land distribution have resulted in decades of conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and migrants, largely Christian, from the Northern Philippines.

  • Coffee for Peace: economic-ecological transformation

    The latte is artfully prepared and served with pride. A mango shake arrives with a sprig of mint gracing the top. Chairs are upholstered in locally hand-woven silk fabric. This is not just any coffee shop; this is Coffee for Peace.

  • Festival invites discussion of Anabaptist theology

    Participation in the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival in England gave Vic Thiessen an opportunity to use the prophetic nature of science fiction films as a springboard for discussions about Anabaptist theology.

September 10

  • Precarious Peace

    “War is easy. It can happen right now. All it takes is a six peso phone call [15 cents Canadian] to say ‘start fighting’,” said General Ferrer, leader of the 6th division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

September 2

  • Norm Dyck appointed

    Norm Dyck, currently Pastor at Graysville Mennonite Church (Manitoba), has been appointed Director of Congregational Partnerships for Mennonite Church Canada Witness. He will begin his new full time position in early October.

August 6

  • The Lord is my close companion: Jacob David Giesbrecht, 1924-2008

    Jake Giesbrecht’s down-to-earth roots and his commitment to God gave him an indomitable spirit and the ability to connect with people wherever he went. Jake passed away on May 16, 2008, shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was predeceased by Dorothy (nee Andres) in 2005.

July 30

  • Pacifism in action

    For Neill von Gunten, pacifism is not passive. The co-director of Mennonite Church Canada’s Native Ministry knows from personal experience that standing for peace demands action. Von Gunten, who grew up in Berne Indiana, first took a stand for peace when he was 18 years of age and chose to enter the conscientious objectors program instead of fighting in the Vietnam war. He was harassed for his choice and called names.

  • Young Mennonite brings CO project to National Historica Fair

    Twelve-year-old Allegra Friesen Epp took her project on conscientious objection to a national audience. She was 1 of 15 students chosen to represent Manitoba at the National Historica Fair in Victoria BC July 7-14, 2008. A student from École Golden Gate Middle School in Winnipeg, Friesen Epp has family ties with conscientious objection. Her great-great uncle, Nick Friesen, went to prison during World War II when he was denied Conscientious Objector (CO) status.

  • Female Asian leader a first for Joint Christian Services International

    In February, Kwai Lin Stephens took on the role of executive director of Joint Christian Services International (JCS). In doing so, she became the first woman and the first non-Western person to lead the Mongolia-based Christian consortium. In spring 2007, many at JCS began urging Stephens to consider succeeding interim executive director Marlow Ramsay. Her initial response was “No way! I can do anything, but not this one!" she recalled.

  • Building on Solid Foundations

    In Burkina Faso, the Bible story of the foolish man who builds his house on the sand is lived out yearly; houses don’t last. A common adage in the town of Orodara where Lillian and Norm Nicolson work says that if your house continues to stand through August, the month with the highest average rainfall, it will probably stand for another year.

July 2

  • World pressure needed to bring change to Zimbabwe

    “It is God's grace that sustains us,” said Bishop Danisa Ndlovu from his hotel room the morning after Zimbabwe's election. From Bulawayo, Ndlovu who is vice-president and president-elect of Mennonite World Conference, was in Toronto to speak at the Brethren in Christ General Conference (North America).

June 25

  • MWC sending deacons to troubled Zimbabwe, calls for intercession June 26 and 27

    Mennonite World Conference is sending a deacon couple and calling for two days of prayer and fasting, June 26 and 27, as Zimbabweans face a tense run-off election on June 27. It has also appealed to the heads of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to intervene in the troubled country.

  • The pursuit of peace a matter of faith

    The pursuit of peace is often mired in strategic questions about “how” but for Robert J. Suderman, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, the real questions are more foundational. If we acknowledge Jesus the Prince of Peace as Lord of our lives, what does that mean for our lives and for our churches? Given that Jesus chose strategies of suffering and non-violence, how does that shape our attitudes and ethics toward non-violence as disciples of Jesus?

  • The rhythm of celebration

    It’s not every Saturday night that I go to a church dance, but that’s exactly where I found myself on May 18 at the end of a day celebrating the dedication of the Living Water Church of Borabu (Thailand). Bualean, a Living Water Church member, had insisted that I dance along with her and the others so there I was, my uncoordinated feet trying to keep rhythm with the more accomplished dancers around me.

June 18: Breaking News

  • Call to intercessory prayer for Zimbabwe

    Please note June 26 and 27 on your calendar. Mennonite World Conference (MWC) and Mennonite Church Canada are calling for prayer and fasting on those dates to support Zimbabweans as they face a tense run-off election on June 27.

June 9

  • Headlines dwindle, stories continue

    Although news of the earthquake in Sichuan has largely disappeared from the news, grieving and suffering continues. The stories surfacing now focus on psychological trauma.

  • Love calls new Christian to earthquake aid

    Lindy was working at her part-time office job when the earthquake struck on May 12. Right away she wanted to help. But where? And how? Her boss told her she could not have time off because there was no one else available to do her work.

  • Young Ukrainian believers fight for faith

    Until recently, Cliff Dueck began each school day scrambling eggs or preparing noodles with milk for seven angelic-looking adolescent boys. After breakfast, they would all pile into his van to be dropped off before classes began.

May 27

  • Chinese churches rally to provide earthquake relief

    “I just felt so sad when I saw their suffering.” These were the best words in English that Pastor Yuan Shiguo could find to express what he experienced during a visit to Mianzhu, an area devastated by the earthquake.

  • Timely dream saves mother from earthquake

    The reports and images coming out of China’s earthquake have been tragic but a few points of light have pierced the sorrow and gloom. One of these was Kent’s mother’s dream.

  • At the Crossroads: Come, follow me

    Given the chaos and confusing messages that surround us everywhere, what is it that calls the church to live and grow together as people of God? When pastor April Yamasaki was invited to address that question as a plenary speaker for the 2008 People’s Summit for Faithful Living, she knew how she had to respond.

  • Grassroots movement for peace

    On April 19, 2008, the Mennonite Church Canada General Board approved a Christian Witness Council recommendation for the denomination to become a supporting organization of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI).

  • IMPaCT building global Mennonite church

    Fifteen pastors were drawn together from April 24 – May 5, 2008 for a life changing and life giving experience. IMPaCT – International Mennonite Pastors Coming Together – drew seven international pastors and eight Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) pastors into deep discussion about what it means to extend the peace of Jesus Christ to the world around us.

May 15 - Breaking News

  • Nanchong workers safe but shaken

    It's one thing to swing back and forth on the swinging bridge at Little Red River Park near my home town of Prince Albert, Sask. but quite another to experience the same sensation while standing in the middle of a Nanchong city soccer pitch as the windows of surrounding office buildings bulge in and out.

May 13

  • 2009 Youth Assembly: "Living Inside Out"

    Planners of “Living Inside Out,” Mennonite Church Canada’s 2009 Youth Assembly, promise it will be about more than wearing your heart on your sleeve. It will be an opportunity for youth to figure out just how God is working in their lives – and embolden them to tell about it as well as live it.

  • Living faithfully: 2008 Assembly and Summit

    Mennonite Church Canada’s Delegate Assembly will take place this summer in Winnipeg, Man. at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) July 7 and 8, immediately followed by a joint MC Canada/MC USA Summit at the same location. The Summit begins on the evening of July 8 and concludes on July 10.

  • National and Area church Partnership Covenant

    In an historic move on April 19, 2008, Mennonite Church Canada and each of five Area Churches – MC British Columbia, MC Alberta, MC Saskatchewan, MC Manitoba and MC Eastern Canada – signed a Partnership Covenant. The document outlines their commitment to cherish, bless and support each others’ ministries in a complementary and collaborative fashion through ongoing dialogue as equal parts of the body of Christ.

  • General Secretary invited to serve 2nd term

    The General Board of Mennonite Church Canada has invited Robert J. Suderman to serve a second term as General Secretary during meetings here, April 18-19.

  • Generosity, Botswana-style

    With a passionate voice and enthusiastic gesturing, William Monaka leads a group of eight people – ranging in age from 16 to 78 years old – in a New Testament Bible study. Throughout, he pauses, asking someone to read a passage, and then prompts questions.

April 30

  • At the Summit: the church at a crossroads

    For pastor and teacher Tom Yoder Neufeld, Christian identity and mission go hand in hand – and they are at the heart of the theme for the 2008 “People’s Summit for Faithful Living.”

  • Congolese Mennonites close distance

    Although the Democratic Republic of Congo is home to approximately 200,000 Mennonites and three Mennonite conferences, an ongoing war over resources coupled with transportation issues have kept those groups from meeting together – until recently.

  • Thousands celebrate milestone, Christ

    Indian Mennonites from the Bharatiyah General Conference Mennonite Church celebrated 50 years of Bible festivals Feb. 6 - 10 by proclaiming Christ’s victory to their neighbors and worshipping thousands-strong.

  • Gather 'Round summer curriculum connects all ages

    "The Things that Make for Peace" is the Gather 'Round theme for Summer 2008 (June 1 through Aug. 24).

April 15

  • Futurists Tom and Christine Sine to speak at People’s Summit in Winnipeg

    Discovering the good life. That’s the way futurists and authors Tom and Christine Sine from Seattle, Wash., describe their mission. Not the wealth-is-good life that marketers for the new global economy depict. Not the limiting life of a Sunday-only theology. Tom and Christine Sine challenge Mennonites and others to discover the good life that celebrates God’s Kingdom 24-7.

  • New Denominational Minister announced

    Karen Martens Zimmerly has been appointed to the position of Denominational Minister with Mennonite Church Canada. She brings to this role the wisdom and experience of over 20 years of ministry.

  • Multiplying leaders trumps church planting in Botswana

    When North American Mennonite Church ministry workers first arrived here in 1975 they met with many local church groups to assess needs. In return, they received very specific advice from the African Independent Churches (AICs) to work in partnership with them to provide Bible teaching and leadership development instead of planting a Mennonite church.

  • Next group of writers trained for Gather ’Round curriculum

    A new group of writers has completed a week of training and has begun writing for the 2009-2010 year of the Gather ’Round curriculum. These Christian education materials are published for the Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Church USA, and are also used by congregations in at least half a dozen other denominations.

April 2

  • Bridging the cultural divide

    Nine out of ten Indigenous people reject Christianity as “white man’s” religion, according to Richard Twiss. And he finds it ironic that in the Genesis story, Adam is created from “red” earth.

  • A wedding – Beninese style

    It takes more than a wedding dress and an afternoon in church to get married in Benin. Nancy Frey discovered that Beninese weddings take place with three distinct ceremonies adhering to traditional, legal and religious requirements. They celebrate not only the union of the bride and groom, but the merger of two families.

  • God provides for Living Water Church

    When Pat and Rad Houmphan did not have enough funding for a new church building and fellowship centre in Borabu, Thailand, they trusted in God’s provision.

  • On-line video sharing connects international workers with home

    A catchy chord progression on an electric guitar is what you hear first, then the words “We heart [love] Isaac Toast,” flash blue against a black screen. Cut to a bearded young man in a heavy jacket and toque. “We’re on our way to Isaac Toast, which is our first ever regular dining spot,” says Joel Kroeker as he packs up his laptop computer.

  • Online encyclopedia reaches milestone
    A Mennonite historical initiative achieved a historic goal on March 12. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online posted the 10,000th article on GAMEO’s website.

March 14

  • Global ambassador wins award

    Visual artist Ray Dirks has become a recognized global ambassador to local school students. Dirks won the 2008 TEAL (Teachers of English as an Additional Language) award. Through the visual arts, he works to bring global perspectives to local people.

  • Looking to a future of peace

    While most anniversary celebrations tend to commemorate the past, the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Chile (UBACH) marked its 100th Anniversary by looking to the future with change in mind.  UBACH is in a journey of ‘rediscovering’ its Anabaptist roots and intentionally working to create an Anabaptist identity. Robert J. Suderman and Janet Plenert travelled to Temuco in early January to lead workshops on Anabaptism, meet the leadership and join in UBACH’s festivities.

  • Of pencils and people

    When my husband and I joined a Mennonite Church Canada Witness Learning Tour to Cuba during the first week of February, we packed a box of Mennonite Savings Credit Union pencils in our suitcase. Visiting four of the Cuban churches partnered with MC Canada gave us the opportunity to experience Cuba “up close and personal.”

  • Saying farewell

    Approximately 80 people gathered on February 29th to honour the staff of the German language magazine, Der Bote (The Messenger) and retiring Mennonite Church Canada Denominational Minister, Sven Eriksson.

  • Photo Release - Christina and Darnell Barkman
    Christina and Darnell Barkman departed on March 16 for a 10-12 month internship assignment with Mennonite Church Canada Witness in the Philippines.

March 5

February 15

  • Faith and money talk: MC Canada helps lead the way

    Faith-guided investments can spur change at corporate levels. When Mennonite Church Canada (MC Canada) asked their pension consultant, Ardent Retirement Group Ltd., to find Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) options for its pension plan holders, Great West Life (GWL) created a new suite of SRI funds for investors, taking church values to the wider marketplace.

  • Watching God at work

    Baptist. Prison counsellor. Dangerous. Child of the sixties. Mennonite. These may not be the descriptors one might expect from a Denominational Minister, but each one comes up at some point in Sven Eriksson’s story.

  • Students illustrate human dignity

    In Matthew 18, Jesus demonstrates how adults can learn about faith from children. Ray Dirks, curator at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery believes adults can also learn about dignity from them.

  • Always at home with God

    After three years of general study at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), Leah Buermeyer recently embarked on a trip to Thailand where she will participate in a four-month internship assignment, a joint appointment through Mennonite Church Canada (MC Canada) Witness and the CMU practicum program.

  • From lost to found
    Bualean Bootbangyang’s troubled life was transformed by Jesus, the man in white who appeared in her dreams.

February 6

  • Church declared solution to social ills in South Africa

    In 1994, many South Africans were making plans to leave the country, fearing a violent political upheaval in the aftermath of the country’s first democratic elections. That this did not happen, says Dr. Charles Mahlangu, remains a miracle. Though South Africa has made democratic progress, Mahlangu says the outlook for much of African continent is bleak. He contends that only the church can reverse it.

  • An unlikely alliance

    It used to be very difficult for Elwyn Neri to trust a military officer or trooper. Colonel Pedro Soria, the commanding officer of the 602nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, used to think of "peace and order" as mere anti-insurgency. For him, maintaining peace and order meant "more highly trained military troops and more firepower." Elwyn and Colonel Soria went through a personal transformation when they both attended the 2007 Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute.

  • New church in Burkina Faso celebrates first baptisms

    It was a rare chilly and windy morning in Ouagadougou for the first baptism in our little church known as the Foyer Évangélique Mennonite de Ouagadougou. The baptism service on January 6 was a suitable way to open the New Year.

  • Lindy’s birthday
    On December 23, 2007, Lindy celebrated her birthday. Not, however, her natural birthday. That comes on August 11. Rather, two days before this past Christmas, through baptism in the Agape Church of Chongqing, Lindy was born anew.

  • Navigating inter-generational traffic

    Elsie Rempel is eager to navigate some confounding spiritual intersections. The mother of three adult children and a former elementary school teacher with 13 year’s classroom experience gets excited about finding the intersections of theology and practice, and is keen to apply this knowledge to the spiritual development of children.

  • Down means up for MC Canada Resource Centre

    The trend of internet shopping has entered spiritual territory. When Arlyn Friesen Epp, Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre Manager heard radio reports that on-line Christmas shopping had again increased dramatically in 2007, he sat up and listened.

January 18

  • People’s Summit

    Members of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada will meet together at a bi-national “People’s Summit for Faithful Living” on July 8-10, 2008 on the campus of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.

  • Christians debate Zuma’s values in South Africa

    Under headlines like “Power plays and political warfare in South Africa” (Stephanie Nolen, Globe and Mail, Dec. 17, 2007) Canadians have read about the most recent political manoeuvring in South Africa. In short, the African National Congress (ANC), which dominates the political scene, held a policy and leadership convention where the presidency of the party was determined. Jacob Zuma was elected as President of the party over Thabo Mbeki, who continues as President of the country.

  • Witness workers credited for “love fund” scholarships

    The presentation of twelve scholarships to freshmen at Chongquing Medical University last fall caught the attention of a student reporter. The resulting college newspaper article credits Julie and Philip Bender, Mennonite Church Canada (MC Canada) Witness workers, and Mark Sunderman, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) worker, with helping poor students financially so that they can focus on their studies.