Dad was born on Oct. 20, 1933, in Ste. Anne, Man., the first of 17 children born to Jacob and Gertrude Koop. He married Clara Fast on Sept. 12, 1954. They spent over 64 years together and had nine children: Marvin, Elaine, Audrey, Karen, Darrel, Lucille, Waldon, Sylvia, and Reynold.
Dad had fond memories of being a cheesemaker in Kleefeld and Grunthal. He told stories of working at a sawmill and in the bush. Dad worked at Schellenberg’s store prior to and while attending Steinbach Bible Institute. He felt a calling to be a pastor and had a passion for learning. It was during this time that their infant Karen passed away. Continue reading Obituary: Pastor John Koop→
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Whereas, the Church of _____, is no longer to be used for acts of worship, And whereas the Church building and the land upon which it is erected is about to be/being sold; now, therefore, we, by Divine Permission . . . do declare that the Church of ____ , once duly dedicated and consecrated to the Divine worship of Almighty God, has by virtue of this our sentence, lost said dedication and consecration. (U. S. Anglican rite) Continue reading When can a Rite be Wrong?→
Thank you to Terry Smith for his reporting on this year’s EMC Ministerial Day [July]. I am, however, concerned about the content presented on this day. I am concerned about the gender stereotypes apparently presented as fact, and how these stereotypes limit both men and women. I am also concerned that a supposed “feminization” of the church is blamed for declining attendance for men. Most churches have a group of women who have faithfully served God for many years, often in roles behind the scenes. Some women have felt called to leadership positions but were limited in their service due to their gender. It is not helpful to blame women currently in the church for the men who do not attend, or to measure “success” by male/female ratios. Churches should be places where all people feel welcome and can hear the good news of Jesus, and where they can serve God with the gifts He has given them.
After decades of studying wider Church and Anabaptist-Mennonite history, I suggest that a few words on any period of church history are inadequate for later generations to accurately assess the spiritual health of their predecessors. Often there were problems, yet I suspect there was also more spiritual health than is sometimes acknowledged. Continue reading Spiritual Health and Patience with the Church→
Interested in writing as a columnist for The Messenger? We are seeking someone to provide at least six columns of 500 words (every other month) in a year to appear both in print and online. Topics are quite, but not totally open. Honorarium is provided. Please provide three samples of work, information on background and education, and describe active EMC church connection. Information and questions can be directed to editors at firstname.lastname@example.org and 204-326-6401.
As we plant new churches, naming them, as always, is best done carefully.
For various reasons, the EMC has periodically favoured words such as Gemeinde, EMC, Fellowship, Chapel, and Community. What might we keep in mind as we name congregations today? Continue reading On Naming Churches Today→
By Gerald D. Reimer, Director of Youth and Discipleship
For some students and leaders Abundant Springs 2019 will be remembered as the weekend when they gave their lives to Jesus, they committed to reading their Bible more faithfully, they won the basketball tournament, they worshipped Jesus with thanksgiving, they confirmed in their hearts a desire to get baptized, and so much more. Continue reading Dozens of God Moments Bring Tears of Thankfulness→
A publication of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference