Category Archives: Growing Together

Old Testament Violence Condensed Show Notes

Editor’s Note: This is the condensed version of an interview with Dr. Lissa Wray Beal for the full video and text transcript click the link here

Have you also had to wrestle through these questions or even wrestle with your faith in God as a result of some of these things that the Old Testament bears witness to?

I would say yes and no to that. I mean because I was so captivated by the love of God and that has always been a pretty firm bedrock for me out of which I have been able to question. So, when I see things that are hard to understand or troubling in the text, I’ve felt I’ve been allowed to question. I think God invites us to question and to wrestle with that. Continue reading Old Testament Violence Condensed Show Notes

Palestinians and their history

by Alan M. Guenther,
Assistant Professor of History,
Briercrest College and Seminary

Christian opinions about the Middle East tend to be polarized. Some see Israel as the homeland for God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the Palestinians as the enemy committed to terrorism and the annihilation of the Israeli state. Others see the Palestinians as refugees who have lost their homes and lands, and the Israelis as the primary oppressors, encroaching on Palestinian territories with illegal settlements and attacking regularly with superior military force. As often happens in cases of such polarized opinions, many other Christians end up in a confused middle space, wondering if there might not be some truth in both positions. Continue reading Palestinians and their history

The Legacy of Supersessionism and Christian Theology Today

by Zacharie Klassen

I am a student of historic Christian theologies of Israel and Judaism and the ways those theologies have informed and continue to inform views of the land of Israel, Jewish people, and the practices of Judaism in Christian thought. I am also a member of a long-standing Jewish-Christian text discussion group that meets monthly to discuss texts of importance to the Jewish and Christian traditions. What I offer below is, I hope, a small bit of insight that I have garnered over the last 7 years of study into how Christians should think about our relationships with Jews today given the complicated history of our relationship over the last 2000 years. Given my reflections, I then end with a very brief suggestion for how we might begin to approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Continue reading The Legacy of Supersessionism and Christian Theology Today

The Way We Give

by Josiah Neufeld

It was mid-morning when I found Mamadou Traoré at his restaurant, a six-foot-square plywood kiosk painted baby blue, its shutters propped open with sticks, bar stools lined up at the window. His eyelids were drooping, and he was falling off his chair. He had worked all night selling omelettes and glasses of sticky-sweet Nescafé. In West Africa during the month of Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from food and drink all day, nights are good for business.

We hadn’t seen each other in four years.

I sat on a bar stool while he stirred sweetened condensed milk into a glass of coffee for me. He set a square plywood coaster over the mouth to keep out the flies and took out his cellphone to snap a photo. “Now all my customers will believe me when I tell them I have a white friend.” Continue reading The Way We Give

“Yiin–Lampa mɔ́n kwɛŋl!” “Look–five lamps!”

by Paul Thiessen

A dozen children pressed their noses against the screen of our porch staring into the white people’s house. “Look”, one of them said, “They have five kerosene lamps burning!” YiinLampa mɔ́n kwɛŋl! At their homes a family had only one lamp burning. These white foreigners were very wealthy indeed! Our kitchen stove, kerosene refrigerator, library of schoolbooks and our pickup truck set us apart from our neighbors in the village.

The result of our lifestyle also meant that we often had excess material belongings that we wanted to get rid of. Usually, it was when we were preparing to go back to Canada for a furlough that we sorted our stuff and came up with bags or boxes of household goods we wanted to clean up.

Continue reading “Yiin–Lampa mɔ́n kwɛŋl!” “Look–five lamps!”

Misunderstandings of Patron/Client Relationships

by Janice Loewen

We had lived and worked in a particular country for several years and had learned and adjusted to much of the culture. Most days we loved being there, sharing our lives and the gospel. But there were also occasions of difficulty. Some of our new friends seemed to often need financial help along the way. We wanted our friendships to be genuine and free from the complications of lending and borrowing money. So, we decided right from the start of our ministry that we would not give out loans. After all that would put our friends under the burden of debt and paying us back. Continue reading Misunderstandings of Patron/Client Relationships

Working Among Ourselves

Kerry Saner-Harvey is coordinator for MCC Manitoba’s Indigenous Neighbours program and attends the Aberdeen EMC in Winnipeg, Man.

We are talking today about how we, those of us who are white Canadians, work among ourselves to process what we have been hearing over the years about residential schools, and particularly since the unmarked graves were identified near so many of these former schools.

GT:         Thank you for joining me today, Kerry.

K S-H:    I’m happy to be here.

GT:         To start with, can you tell us a little about what your work with the Indigenous Neighbours Program is about?

K S-H:    Often the way I’ll refer to the work, even though we’re called Indigenous Neighbours is I’ll say Indigenous/settler relations or Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations because I think that’s really what it’s about. We’re part of this equation.

One of the areas where MCC’s been involved for a long time and I continue to work with is in hydro-impacted communities in the North. In Manitoba there has been a long history of hydro affecting Northern communities as many of us know.

You mentioned working among ourselves and I think that that’s a really important question and important part of what I try to do. It’s important to look at things like residential schools and especially now that that’s in the news and taking a step back and seeing how it was part of a bigger trajectory and how we as churches are part of that history whether we would like to believe that or not and how do we unpack that.            Continue reading Working Among Ourselves