Celebrating 50+ Years of Good Community Memories: A Collection of Recipes by Riverton Gospel Chapel 2018. Memories, appetizers and beverages, main dishes, desserts, and more. $15 (coil paperback). Continue reading EMC Resources and Books About or by EMC People
by Terry M. Smith
As we plant new churches, naming them, as always, is best done carefully.
For various reasons, the EMC has periodically favoured words such as Gemeinde, EMC, Fellowship, Chapel, and Community. What might we keep in mind as we name congregations today? Continue reading On Naming Churches Today
By Josh Friesen
Writing this article makes me torn. I can certainly agree with some of the things Mr. Brandt mentioned in his article [March 2019] about his joy of being an EMCer—the diversity of culture and language represented both at a congregational level and now more recently at a pastoral level. I do have a few thorns in my side that I’m trying to decide if they’re a good thing or a bad thing. Continue reading I am Ambivalent About the EMC
by Terry M. Smith
Without the Western Gospel Mission movement, the EMC would not be as welcoming as it is today. It was one of the most significant periods in EMC church history (1946-1961). Continue reading The WGM, Latin America, and the Orient
by Brad Brandt
I think the EMC has a rich history and a solid present reality that we need to talk about. In terms of diversity, we have members who speak Spanish, Mandarin, or Tagalog as well as English, Low German or High German. Numerous EMC churches work with Indigenous people on neighbouring reserves. We have churches that range from being quite conservative in practice and worship to those who would be less conservative and more contemporary in worship. We have a conference that works together in relative unity within that diversity of culture and language. Continue reading Why I’m Glad to be an EMCer
by Kent Dueck
WINNIPEG It’s been close to 33 years since the first ministry initiative in what is now Inner City Youth Alive. I have fond recollections of the willingness of Fort Garry EMC to help launch this initiative. Many EMC churches got on board and soon EMMC and CMC churches. Continue reading Reflections on Our Connection to the EMC
by Terry M. Smith
In my view, it’s following Christ, discipleship and ethics, practical service, the hands and feet of serving others. As Christians, we care about body and soul, individual and community. As our vision statement says, we seek to advance “Christ’s kingdom culture as we live, reach, gather, and teach.” That’s a challenging statement.
When churches send news it’s our privilege to read of their concerns and actions: for instance, Crestview holds a movie night outreach, Pansy constructs houses in Mexico, Fort Garry helps families who live on a garbage dump near a resort area in Mexico, Portage holds a baptismal service—and these are only four churches from Manitoba. There is much happening with our churches in B.C., Alta., Sask., Ont., and elsewhere in Man.
Walk into any EMC church and we can see, likely on a bulletin board, photos and letters of missionaries being supported. Many of our churches help youth groups and other members to go on short-term work teams and other missions efforts.
This reflects the first stated purpose of the EMC: to “glorify God by building his kingdom.” This is done, according to statements that EMCers adopted, by “proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ at home and abroad,” “ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of people,” and more (The Constitution, 31).
Christ’s call takes our members far beyond the shores and borders of Canada. Consider the many workers that we send as a conference or as individual churches: missionaries, MDS workers, MCC workers, and many more. Think of the funds, prayers, guidance, practical help, and other forms of support provided by members.
Years ago EMCers affirmed challenging statements, including: “We should do whatever we can to lessen human distress and suffering even at the risk of our own lives. In all relationships we should be peace makers and ministers of reconciliation” (11).
EMCers affirmed another statement: “We believe God owns and sustains his creation. He calls us, God’s people, to be trustworthy stewards of creation. Stewardship is demonstrated in our lifestyles, in our relations with the poor and the disadvantaged, in our view of possessions, in our concern for all of God’s creation and in response to global economic injustice” (15).
Surprised by any of this? Remarks by Wally Doerksen (Good News, Steinbach) about some of this a few years ago caused me to take a fresh look at our constitution. In my view, our vision statement (2013) says what we want to do, advance “Christ’s kingdom culture,” and our constitution (1994, 2017) reveals more of what this includes.
The actions of EMCers show what this means on the ground. On this journey, our thanks go to our Triune God as a patient Teacher who gives us strength (Jer. 9:23-24; Zech. 4:6) in our aims and actions.
At least, that’s my take. Brad Brandt, EMC Board of Missions chair, shares his view of the EMC in this issue. What’s your perspective?