The church exposed… theologically speaking

by Layton Friesen

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

Interview with Jeremy Zehr – Responding to Pain

Interview with Jeremy Zehr – by Growing Together (edited transcript)

Growing Together: Hello, Jeremy, thank you for taking time to talk to us today.

I’ve been using the term “high risk population” for your neighbourhood in Winnipeg’s North End. Is that an accurate term?

Jeremy Zehr: Yeah, I think so. I don’t tend to use that language. Some people do and that’s okay. We tend to say neighbours and friends. I mean, as we try to communicate about some of the challenges that people face, we might use vulnerable folks; we might use those living in low-income neighborhoods. That would be a little bit more of how we would describe it, but I’m not opposed to that language. Continue reading Interview with Jeremy Zehr – Responding to Pain

A Conversation About Suicide

by Peter Ascough

It was September of 2017 and I’ll never forget the experience of learning that my sister-in-law had died by suicide. It was hard, not just because as a family we lost a wife, mom, sister and auntie, but because we didn’t know the struggle she’d had. As we learned about her struggle with depression, we all wondered, “How could we not have seen it?” “What could we have done?” and “Why did she never talk about it?” Continue reading A Conversation About Suicide

“What am I supposed to do now?”

On the morning of December 21, 2017, I got a phone call from my Mom. My younger brother Yonatan had taken his life at 25 years old.

It was a day off for me. I was home alone in our basement watching an episode of—of all things—The Great British Bake Off. As I received the news, the episode continued to run on mute in the background. As I hung up, I slumped on the couch. Numb. Continue reading “What am I supposed to do now?”

Call to Mission in Bolivia

by Nancy Friesen

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

What is God’s calling for my life? This question is a source of mystery, frustration and confusion. Does God really have a detailed plan for each one of us, or is God’s call more general, with the details left up to us? Continue reading Call to Mission in Bolivia

Hermeneutical Fallacies and Sexuality

by Darryl G. Klassen

How do we abuse scripture in relation to biblical sexuality?
If the purpose of hermeneutics is to bridge the gap between the mind of the biblical writer and our own understanding of the text, we must confess that we come to scripture with a particular set of lenses. These lenses are smudged with our cultural context, our contemporary issues, and a preconceived goal of what we want to read in scripture. This may lead to an abuse of the text to make it say what we want it to say. Continue reading Hermeneutical Fallacies and Sexuality

Churches, Conference Budget Affected by Pandemic Challenges

by Tim Dyck

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” This famous paragraph from a Charles Dickens novel were the opening words of the devotional given by Andrew Dyck (Pastor at Stony Brook Fellowship) as he challenged us to consider both the good as well as the frustrations of the year 2020. He referred to the prophet Joel, who spoke words of encouragement and challenge to the nation of Judah when they faced a disastrous year. God’s intention then, as now, is to draw us to himself in all circumstances. Continue reading Churches, Conference Budget Affected by Pandemic Challenges

Risk and Sensitivity in International Work

An interview with a cross-cultural worker by Erica Fehr.

Thank you very much for joining us today to talk about one aspect of your workthat of risk.

Where would you place your country of service between the range of “slight caution” to “dangerous”?

Closer to “dangerous.” While it’s not an active warzone, and the streets are fine to use, there are pockets of places that are not safe to move through. Continue reading Risk and Sensitivity in International Work

Please Do Not Worry Too Much  

by Brother John

Myanmar has been in the news in a disturbing way since Feb 1, when the military responded to the declining voice of the party representing their views, and the growing voice of democracy among the people. Demonstrations this past weekend started with hundreds, and then thousands, peacefully walking the streets demanding return of elected officials. Continue reading Please Do Not Worry Too Much  

A publication of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference