Terry Smith: What Happens When a Student Disagrees With a Mentor?

Conrad Grebel (1498-1526), a nobleman by birth, studied at universities in Basel, Vienna, and Paris. When he returned to his home in Zurich in about 1522, he made contact with Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), pastor of the Great Church (Grossminster) who became a Reformer.

Zwingli highlighted salvation by grace through faith in Christ, saw the Mass as a memorial and not a sacrifice, opposed enforced fasting during Lent and on Fridays, opposed greed in the church, supported the removal of relics and images, and opposed the adoration of the saints.

Grebel and Zwingli disagreed on the validity of infant baptism. Zwingli, as well, saw the support of the city-state’s council as essential to the reformation—“certain matters cannot be trusted to the mass of people,” he said. Grebel, on the other hand, saw the council’s involvement as interference that slowed change.

Dr. Harold Bender and Leland D. Harder say, “The closing months of 1524 were full of increasing conflict for [opponents of Zwingli’s style of reform]. Open threats from the pulpit, as well as private warnings, made it all too plain that suffering and persecution awaited them.

“In a touching letter to his friend Vadian in December 1524, Grebel indicates his fears for the future and his determination to press on unflinchingly upon the course he felt God wanted him to follow. He says, ‘I do not believe that persecution will fail to come. . . . By their fruits you shall know them, by persecution and sword. . . May God give grace; I hope to God that He will grant the medicine of patience thereto, if it is not to be otherwise . . . and may peace, faith, and salvation be established and obtained.’”

About a month later, on Jan. 17, 1525, the city-state’s council decided that parents were to present their children to be baptized or leave the area. On Jan. 18, 1525, the council decreed that Grebel (named with Felix Manz) accept the ruling. On Jan. 21, 1525, Grebel and others gathered to talk and to pray; on the spot, some decided to be baptized on their confession of faith. This is looked on as the start of the Anabaptist and Free Church movement.

For his part, Grebel, who was married, was imprisoned and then exiled; he died of the Black Plague outside of Zurich less than two years after the Radical Reformation began. He was not even 30.

Zwingli also became ill with the plague, but recovered and continued to be engaged in church reform and the politics of the day. In a battle in 1531 between Catholic and Protestant forces, Zwingli was present as a chaplain. He died in battle, his body dismembered and burned. In the ashes his heart was found “intact and whole,” a sign, some said, of his spiritual purity.

Less than a decade after Grebel and Zwingli engaged in Bible study and discussions together, both lay dead as the victims of people or nature in strange locations because of the strength of their convictions—despite a common faith in Christ.

Terry M. Smith

Sources: W. Klaassen, Anabaptism: Neither Catholic nor Protestant (Conrad Press, 1981); R. C. Walton, “Zwingli, Ulrich,” and P. Toon, “Grebel, Conrad” in Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. J. D. Douglas (Zondervan, 1981); H. Bender and L. D. Harder, “Grebel, Conrad”(GAMEO, 1989); J. H. Yoder, “Zwingli, Ulrich”(GAMEO, 1959); H. J. Hillerbrand, The Reformation (Baker, reprinted 1987); Southwestern News, Fall 2012 (SBTS).

Loreena Thiessen: Try Something New

Do you like to try something new?

Sometimes trying something new is scary. You don’t know if you’ll like it. You don’t know how it will turn out.

Trying something new takes courage. You have to be brave. This means that even if you’re afraid you try it anyway.

A new thing to try can be a small thing. Like crumbling an Oreo cookie into your ice-cream. Or melting a cheese slice on a piece of apple pie. Or eating spinach.

Some new things are big. They are so big they change everything.

For example, in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. This was a new thing after he discovered that sound travels along wire. He created the telephone because he wanted to send the sound of the human voice from here to another place. Today almost everyone carries their own phone and you can talk to anyone wherever they are.

The Wright Brothers wanted to fly. So in 1903 they invented the first airplane. Today you can fly to Disneyland, or the Swiss Alps, or anywhere at all.

Many years ago in the United States there was a law that allowed black people to sit only at the back of a bus. Rosa Parks believed this was not right or fair. She believed all people should be allowed to choose where to sit. She dared to do what was right and stayed at the front of the bus. In 1955 the old law was changed.

In 1969, after years of study and inventions, the first astronauts walked on the moon. Neil Armstrong said it was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” And it was. Today we know many new things about space and the world because of the work scientists do at the ISS, the International Space Station.

These new things make life more convenient, more interesting, and fair for everyone.

An example from the Bible who was asked to do something new was Moses. Moses was a shepherd in a far desert. One day God had a new job for him. It was big and it required courage.

Moses argued with God. “I am not brave,” he said. “I cannot do it.”

Loreena Thiessen

But God had a plan. He sent his brother Aaron to help him. Aaron would speak for Moses. God promised that He would be with him too. And Moses managed to do the job. He faced Pharaoh and asked him to let his people go. He was able because of what God did for him. Read Exodus 4:10 to 12; 13:8.

What new thing would you like to try?


Need: notebook, pencil, crayons, or coloured pencils

Do: Choose one new thing you want to try.

– a new food, like turnips, beets or okra.

– a new activity, like learning to play the violin, or a new swimming stroke

– make a new friend.

– start a reading group, or read a new book with a friend.

Keep a record: In a notebook divide your pages into four parts like this:

My choice. Do I like it? Any difficulties? Will I continue? Write up or draw pictures of your experience. Share with family or friends.

A Lesson On Sharing

A father often took his five-year-old son to the local minor hockey league games. Each time, they saw the same homeless man in the parking lot asking for donations.

The first time, the son asked his dad why the man was asking for money, providing an opportunity for the dad to explain homelessness. The second time, the son asked why everyone didn’t give the homeless man money, which gave the dad a chance to share a lesson on charities and generosity.

On their third trip to the rink, the young boy approached the homeless man. The father and son now knew the man by name and often engaged him in brief, casual conversation. Suddenly, the boy reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a small bag of coins and, with a big smile, offered the bag to the homeless man. The man smiled back, offering an appreciative “Thank you.” The dad could only smile as he fought back tears.

This young boy understood Abundance. Even with a small bag of nickels and quarters, he felt he had enough to share and wanted to give something to their new friend. Abundance isn’t about wealth or excess or affluence. Abundance starts with gratitude and nurtures relationship. When you’re grateful for what you have, whether a little or a lot, you want to share it with others.

There is actually much evidence out there that says living generously is good for us! The book, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose, is the result of a five-year social scientific study of financial giving done in the United States. The authors conclude that, “Generous financial givers are happier people.”

The research also suggests that “while money cannot buy happiness, giving it away actually associates with greater happiness.” In the story, the boy, the father, and the homeless man were all affected favourably by this simple act of generosity.

The authors of Paradox of Generosity go on, “This win/win outcome of generosity also holds true for other kinds of well-being, such as health, avoidance of depression, purpose in life, and personal growth.” In contrast, when we don’t live generously and strive to protect ourselves against future uncertainties and misfortunes, “we are affected in ways that make us more anxious about uncertainties and vulnerable to future misfortunes.” If this is true, why wouldn’t we all want to give?

Better health and happiness are simply the side effects of generosity. At Abundance Canada, we work with some of the most generous people in Canada. For them living generously is not about the size of their wallet; it’s about the depth of their heart. They don’t give because they can—they give because they want to. They are passionate about the charities they choose to support and eagerly seek out ways to express their generosity.

Our organization was built on the understanding that God is generous and that God invites us to share.  When we are generous, we reflect God’s character.

Dori Zerbe Cornelsen
Dori Zerbe Cornelsen

Abundance Canada offers a variety of services to help people live generously. We can help you discover ways to give generously, both now and later in life—for example, a generosity plan in your will. Every person has unique circumstances. Abundance Canada consultants will listen to your story, identify your charitable goals and develop a plan to help you experience faithful, joyful giving.

Dori Zerbe Cornelsen is a gift planning consultant at Abundance Canada serving generous people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. For more information on impulsive generosity, stewardship education, and estate and charitable gift planning, contact your nearest AC office or visit abundance.ca.

Tina (Plett) Reimer

Editors’ Note: We have republished this obituary to guarantee its continued viewability. We thank the family for giving us this look into their loved one’s life. 


Tina Reimer

Peacefully, on Oct. 20, 2016, at the age of 92, our dear mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed from this life into her eternal home.

Mom was born on Sept. 24, 1924, the firstborn of Klaas R and Justina Plett. She was born and raised in the Steinbach area and had a close relationship with her four brothers and three sisters.

After completing grade 8, she attended a sewing class and always referred back to these lessons when sewing clothes for her 10 children and teaching us to sew. She accepted Jesus as her Saviour at an early age and was baptized upon the confession of her faith.

On Sept. 17, 1944, she married Henry R Reimer. They started their married life in Blumenhoff and eventually settled on a grain farm near Riverton, Man. Mom had a large garden and enjoyed raising chickens.

The farm was sold in 1994, just prior to Dad’s passing. After he passed, Mom moved to the Appledale apartments in Mennville and enjoyed 20 years there.

In Feb. 2016, Mom suffered from three heart attacks. At that time, all her children gathered around her, expecting that she would not make it out of the hospital. However, she rallied and was released from the hospital a few days later. After that, family members stayed with her every night, until she was able to move to assisted living in Arborg in May 2016, where she lived until her passing.

We remember Mom for her unconditional love, optimistic outlook on life, her prayers for her family and concern that they all live their life for Jesus. Mom’s radiant joy and inner peace came from having learned to trust God through all circumstances. She enjoyed spending time with people from all walks of life and everyone she met was touched by her sweet nature.

Left to mourn are her children, Mildred and Paul Harms, Klaas and Helen Reimer, Martha and Ray Dueck, Norma and Jim Ray, Florence Reimer, Jessie Reimer, Anne and Vern Kroeker, Esther and Kelvin Plett, Shirley and David Cavanagh; her grandchildren, Kim Bourrier, Ken Harms, Karyn Harms, Michael Harms, Krista and Steve Smith (Avery), Kurtis and Julie Reimer (Charlotte and Jackson), Chad and Michelle Reimer, Justin Dueck, Alayna Dueck, Karalee Dueck, Janine and David Dickson, Twylla and Arden Penner (Meritt and Maelle), Tyler and Chrystal Goertzen (Emma and Lily), Trenton Goertzen, Kevin Bacon, Allison Bacon, Michelle Bacon, Monique and Mark Josef, Dayna Kroeker, Nolan and Sophia Kroeker (Jacob), Jordan and Jesslyn Plett, Carson Plett, Kendra Plett, and Makayla Cavanagh. Mom was predeceased by her husband, Henry; children, Doris, Leona and Harold; grandchildren, Kristin, Jason and Renee Dueck; and two great-granddaughters, Mariah and Arielle Penner.

We would like to thank the staff at the Arborg Assisted Living for taking such good care of Mom during the last six months. Thank you to Friends Funeral Service for making the funeral arrangements.

– Her Family

Diana Peters: Normal Time Is Not Wasted Time

by Diana Peters

Sometimes I begin to panic. Why? I have no idea what I’m going to be when I grow up. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life, what my purpose is.

My remaining years stretch out before me, a blank canvas with the pools of paint on the palette beginning to dry. Life is passing me by. I’m already twenty-seven years old.

You may laugh. I know it seems ridiculous, as I’m still young. But if you think about it, society seems to indicate that a person should know what his or her life is going to look like, especially in regards to career, by the time he or she graduates from grade 12. Tell me, how many of you knew exactly where your life was going when you were 18?

Oh, I thought I knew what some of my future would look like. And I did some of that. And I most definitely had dreams. I still do. But things change.

So here I am, 30 on the horizon, and I sometimes feel like I have nothing to show for it. I’m not in an established career. I am not married with two children and another one on the way. I do not own my own house with enough yard space to have a few cats and a dog. Though I am happy with where I am, I don’t feel like I am truly adult-ing yet.

My thoughts turn to Jesus. What was he doing at my age? We don’t know exactly. Our guess is that He was probably working in carpentry and helping his Mom with raising his younger siblings.

He was still three years away from when He actively started His ministry. If this is so, it means He was a single young adult, living at home, working in His Dad’s (earthly) business.

I don’t think that these years, years that made up the majority of Jesus’ time on earth, were wasted years. He was still doing His Father’s heavenly business.

He was living in the normal day-to-day portion of life, as we all do. He calmly bided His time, a time of purpose and preparation. And when it was time, He was ready. Ready for the glorious and the terrible.

If I put myself in my complete humanness and with no divineness into Jesus’ shoes, I think I would panic even more than I do now, especially knowing I only had six more years and three of those were already mapped out to an extent (not all pleasant). All of a sudden, my panic in my own reality seems unfounded.

I do not know how much time I have left. It might be six years. It might be more. It might be less.

I do not know what my remaining years will look like, what I will all accomplish, what dreams I will fulfill. But here’s what I’m learning as I look to Jesus: I am about my Father’s business in the here and now, the normal.

Every day is a completion of God’s purpose for my life for that day and a preparation for God’s purpose for my life for the coming days.

Diana Peters

And because I know all this I can live trusting in the Lord to guide my path, as He has guided me here. In Him I have peace.

Diana Peters (EFC Steinbach) serves as an administrative assistant in the EMC national office.

New Leaders’ Orientation on March 18-19

by EMC

Churches encouraged to send staff members

PINAWA, Man.—New to EMC pastoral leadership and want some help?

Another New Leaders’ Orientation will be held on March 18-19, 2017, at Wilderness Edge Retreat & Conference Centre in Pinawa, Man. To make travel even more attractive, it follows right on the heels of Steinbach Bible College’s Leadership Conference.

The EMC values the contributions made by new pastors who may be unfamiliar with our history, culture, workings, and even the potential tensions that can be expected when entering a new conference.

If your church has a new salaried senior pastor, associate pastor, or youth pastor who is unfamiliar with the EMC, please plan to send that staff member to this event. If you are that new pastor, please make arrangements to attend and bring your spouse.

The schedule will include supper on Saturday night followed by a time of relaxation, getting acquainted, and sharing faith stories. On Sunday there will be four sessions:

Highlights Of Anabaptist/EMC History

How The EMC Works

Dealing With Church Culture (preparing for potential tensions)

Looking Into The Future

The event will end on Sunday at 4 p.m. Wilderness Edge, located in Pinawa, is about a 90-minute drive from SBC.

Transportation at no cost will be provided for those needing a ride from Steinbach to Pinawa and back. Also a shuttle to the Winnipeg airport can be arranged for Sunday afternoon. If transportation costs to Manitoba from other provinces is an issue, please don’t let that deter you from coming. Contact Ralph Unger, interim conference pastor, or his assistant, Erica Fehr, at 204-326-6401.

Povology resource launched during Conference Council

by EMC

Pastor Kevin Wiebe assembles valuable series

ROSENORT, Man.— Want to explore Povology, the study of poverty, theology, Church, and you? A new video curriculum about poverty and the Church was launched on Nov. 26, 2016, at the EMC Conference Council meeting near Rosenort, Man.

Six half-hour videos and a printable discussion guide feature interviews with folks like Shane Claiborne, Dr. Ronald Sider, Bruxy Cavey, Steve Bell, pastors, missionaries, and professors, including EMCers.

The topics are Our Homeless Leader, Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Responding to Poverty, Do No Harm, What About The Gospel? and The Power of Small Things.

The material is now available to all EMC pastors and churches for free via online streaming or digital download. A DVD can be provided upon request.

Who’s responsible for producing this useful stuff? Pastor Kevin Wiebe (New Life), a PUC communications and media graduate, had the vision for the project and put together the materials. The EMC’s BCM and its Education Committee have endorsed the project. But make no mistake. The project was well underway by then.   

The series is now available to stream or download, completely free, from http://www.povology.com. Check out that link for more information about the series as well.

Prior to its release, Pov.ology was written about in the Winnipeg Free Press and Mennonite World Review.

We trust that this will be a useful tool for you and your congregation.