GT: I’m Erica Fehr; I’m EMC communications coordinator and I’m talking today with the Mount Salem leadership team. Albert Loewen is Lead Pastor, Patrick Stanat is Youth and Young Adult Pastor and Jennifer Loewen is Children’s Pastor. We’re going to be talking today about safety and a core question is on whether our culture’s increasing focus on safety has actually created greater safety, created a sense of safety, or has it actually done the opposite and created a sense of risk and danger and fear—and how does that affect church ministry? Continue reading Do Safety Measures Keep Us Safe?→
Safety has been a divisive question during this pandemic. We have also heard much about clergy sexual abuse recently—again. The grim recurrence of these headlines confirms again what the church should have known: loving and protecting the vulnerable is part of the essence of biblical faith. Is this possibly the harshest thing Jesus ever said? “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). No one can read that without sensing that Jesus had a gut-level, mama-bear instinct to protect the vulnerable rooted in the ancient Israelite concern for the orphan, widow and alien. Continue reading Love is More than Safety→
In truth, we are all on this particular journey, though it seems she is further along than my family and I anticipated. Or hoped. As cancer wreaks its havoc unseen, she is confined to bed, where she has spent the last three months. It is appropriate to call this time bittersweet, as shock of her terminal diagnosis has been accompanied by rich time together during her final days. I treasure all the conversations with my mother, holding onto them as unexpected gifts never again to be taken for granted. We have talked about deep matters of faith, memories of a life lived together, poked fun at my dad’s expense and bemoaned the Winnipeg Jets’ leaky team defense. Big things, small things, and everything in between. Continue reading My Mom is Dying→
There’s a small window through which we see life
True for everyone, truer still for her
It’s passing by, picking up speed, slowing to a stop
Stillness is mandatory, restlessness inevitable
Despite it all, love shines through
From the space of her bed she sees it, feels it
In the way the birds flitter outside her window
The way their song reaches through the glass,
muffled and persistent
The Valentine’s and cards and declarations of love
that hang from the slats of the blinds
Her family, constant and present with a cup of water,
a kind word, a gentle hug
Her steadfast companion, staying true to his vows,
in sickness and health
It’s present in the petals of the flowers coming in a
constant parade of changing colours
In every bite of food brought to lighten the load
and fortify the body and soul for the journey to come
How everyone comes together,
even when physically, they can’t
The window through which we see life is small
True for everyone, truer still for her
But somehow, love shines through
This winter marks the two-year anniversary of Brenda’s initial bout with cancer. Throughout 2018, she endured an operation, chemotherapy and radiation on the road to her recovery. Yet recently, we have learned that her cancer has returned, and there is no curative treatment available. She is now at home, in palliative care, and is restricted to her bed because the cancer has already damaged her spine. We (her family) are blessed to have her home from the hospital, but we recognize that her immediate future is one of more sickness, more hardship, separation, and eventually death. Continue reading Can We Be Thankful?→
This weekend—this year—isn’t a time for emotional detachment. It’s been a year of death, of separation and profound misunderstandings. And now it’s the Easter weekend—a time of death, of separation and profound misunderstandings.
We’re right to grieve.
In spite of the hope we have—and we do have such incredible hope—it’s right to grieve.
This week marks one year since Manitoba began its first lockdown to tackle the spread of Covid-19. The lockdowns have impacted all of us in different ways, some well and others poorly. Few have been hit as hard as customer-focused small business owners.
Gerald Reimer interviews pastor and taxi/Uber driver Molugeta who works in Edmonton and leads an EMC church plant there.
Hello, Molugeta, and thank you for talking to me today about how your family and church has been affected by COVID. What have you faced in your work as a taxi driver that has been tough for you during this time? Continue reading Trust and trust and trust again→
At the one-year mark of the pandemic lock down, and with the first glimmers of dawn beginning to appear, the church can begin to take stock of what just happened to us theologically and spiritually. What are we in the grip of here? Of course, the church can’t control its own destiny. Never has, never will. We don’t get to choose which theological questions are pressed to our attention, and we often don’t even get to choose how we respond to them, at least not in the manner of an individual answering a question. Continue reading The church exposed… theologically speaking→
A publication of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference