Category Archives: Columns

Giving in Turbulent Times

by Tim Dyck, Executive Director

When the COVID-19 crisis first arrived on the scene in Canada, the Board of Trustees was very concerned about the effects of the economic downturn on Church and Conference giving. However, in the first nine months of 2020, EMC expenses are down, revenues are up, and we have a surplus at the three-quarters mark of the year. Praise God for this wonderful news! Part of the reason for the surplus in October is due to receiving a major gift earlier this year, but the overall picture is still very positive.

Continue reading Giving in Turbulent Times

Thoughts on Salvation 

by Karla Hein

As I’ve been sharing my faith lately, I’ve noticed my conversations have been focused on the profound peace of an all-knowing, powerful God and the assuring hope of my future with Christ. That’s attractive truth in a culture where insecurity about one’s identity and fear of disaster weighs heavy.  However, I’ve started to wonder if marketing Christianity as attractive to unbelievers can result in tickling ears rather than delivering truth (2 Tim. 4:1-5).  Have I made the by-products of salvation the primary focus because it’s easier to explain than the theology of repentance and faith in Christ?   Continue reading Thoughts on Salvation 

The Limits of Bible Background

by Layton Friesen

A Bible study leader will often say “in order to understand this verse I need to tell you about the background to this passage.” The leader then describes pagan religion in Ephesus, or farming practices in Palestine, or shame and honour in the Roman empire, and everyone comes to a better understanding of the passage. This is important. If I am reading the apostle John as if he were some white guy sitting in a cubicle in Saskatoon, I am going to seriously misunderstand his gospel. Continue reading The Limits of Bible Background

What Can You Do?

by Loreena Thiessen

Now is a different time. It’s different because you and your family are together at home more than you have been. You are not at school.

You do your lessons at home, maybe through a video link or lessons sent to your house. Your teacher isn’t at school either. Your parents may work from home. You play at home. You watch church at home instead of going to your regular church building on Sunday morning. Continue reading What Can You Do?

A Cornered Cat or Hungry for Honey?

by Layton Friesen

Christians have a complicated relationship with the law of Moses.
As far as we can tell, Jesus and Paul kept Moses’ law faithfully all their lives. For them this was part of how they lived their Christian lives. But in passages like 1 Cor. 15:56 and Rom. 7:5 the law is described as arousing sinfulness, goading it in almost demonic fashion. Continue reading A Cornered Cat or Hungry for Honey?

Getting Help Without Being a Gossip

by Kevin Wiebe

Things were going just fine, or so you thought. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but what is? Then out of nowhere what you thought was going well just turned out to have been naive optimism, and now you get to be the next person to take your turn going for a ride on the conflict carousel. You don’t know what to do and you could use some advice, but you truly love the people you are in conflict with and don’t want to be spreading gossip about them. And, yet, you feel that if there is any hope for things to get better you will need to talk to someone. So, what do you do? How do you involve someone without becoming a gossip? Continue reading Getting Help Without Being a Gossip

Review: Dad, God, and Me: Remembering a Mennonite Pastor and His Wayward Son

by Mary Ann Smith and Terry Smith

Ralph Friesen tells of how his father, Peter D. Friesen, grew up in the KG/EMC and served as a minister and, later, the lead pastor of Steinbach EMC for years while supporting his family as a businessman. His Dad suffered a stroke in his 50s and lived uncomfortably for several years before dying in his early 60s. As Friesen said in an interview elsewhere, the book intertwines two stories: his father’s and his own. Continue reading Review: Dad, God, and Me: Remembering a Mennonite Pastor and His Wayward Son