Vol. 50 No. 7 July 2012 - Evangelical Mennonite Conference



Vol. 50 No. 7 July 2012 - Evangelical Mennonite Conference
The Messenger
50 years of connecting the EMC!
Volume 50 No. 7 July 2012
Why I believe in a literal six-day creation
Also inside:
Reconciling our faith and heritage
page 9
Braeside: the power of Pentecost is on display
poder de Pentecostés en exhibición! page 14
page 12
Anabaptist church nearly triples, changing in composition
page 17
p. 6
The top three
ay the summer be a time of reflection and decision-making that will
strengthen local church educational
programs in fall, not weaken them!
Sometimes churches decide not to resume
Sunday School when they lack children, teachers,
or both. This can become a downward spiral: the
program’s absence can deter new families.
As an Executive Secretary with responsibilities in education, I support Sunday School as an
important part of local church education. Yet
Sunday School’s role is best played out together
with other forms of training.
What are the most important forms of Christian education? The top three, in my view, are
Nearly 40 percent of mothers and 56
percent of fathers “rarely or never” talked
to their children about their faith.
parental examples of being part of the Church,
parent-child discussions about the Christian
faith, and a church that incorporates children
within it.
Sunday School classes, youth groups, national youth events, and Christian camps play
vital roles for many people. These four become
even more important when there is no Christian
parental example (or when the top three are
taken for granted).
A 1990 study of five major U.S. denominations said a key spiritual influence was parentchild discussions about the faith, yet those
surveyed reported that nearly 40 percent of
mothers and 56 percent of fathers “rarely or
never” talked with them about it.
How do we help parents in their faith in ways
that transfer to the children? How do we assist
parent-child faith discussions? How do we show
children that being part of the faith community
is basic to following Christ?
– Terry M. Smith
Syria and sensitivity
yria is on many minds.
MCC has a presence in Syria. Many
Christians are concerned, praying, and
acting in various ways. We agonize over the
What should the international community
do? What can be done when United Nations
monitors struggle to gain access? Where are
the Christian Peacemaker Teams willing to
China and Russia are backing the Syrian
government partly, I suspect, because they want
their own intra-border conflicts to remain as internal affairs. Western and European countries,
Canada included, are reluctant to intervene
in Syria, wearied by wars in Libya, Iraq and
What are we to do? Partly, “we should determine all matters concerning the Christian and
the state by carefully interpreting the Scriptures
2 The Messenger • July 2012
with a deep sensitivity to the moral problems
involved” (The Constitution, The State, 13).
The post-Schleitheim Anabaptist church is
a helpful witness when we refuse to glorify war,
remind Canadians of the horrors of conflict,
and challenge a blind nationalism. How do we,
though, in practice and thought display a “deep
sensitivity to the moral problems involved”
when we remove ourselves from discussions
about when the state (national or international)
can properly use force to protect people?
Living in times which remind us of the
political intrigue and violence within the Books
of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, we face tough
questions from Scripture, Anabaptist history,
and modern life.
We desire no more bloodshed and are weary
of war. The situation in Syria is difficult. Pray for
Syria. Beyond this, what is needed?
– Terry M. Smith
Table of Contents
Pontius’ Puddle
With Our Churches
In Memory
Shoulder Tapping
In the beginning: why I believe in a
literal six-day creation
A journey through the controversial subject
of the origin and history of life
– RIck Bettig
Reconciling our faith and heritage
Bicentennial feature: What makes us EMC?
– Darryl Klassen
12 Braeside: the power of Pentecost
is on display
Being an integrated church ‘works here’
14 Braeside—el poder de Pentecostés
en exhibición!
Una iglesia integrada funciona aquí
– Terry M. Smith
17 Anabaptist church nearly triples,
changing in composition
North needs to let go of power and influence
– Ron Penner
Writings Shared
Reading the Bible after Christendom and What’s
Wrong with Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them
18 Archives Alcove
To love God with all of our mind
– Terry M. Smith
22 Thinking About
What about Nate?
– Ward Parkinson
Correction: In Treesbank’s
church news [May 2012] it was
said that Kenton and Lucille
Penner and their (three) daughters
were moving to Steinbach. It
was missed that Kenton and
Lucille also have a son, Ryan. The
Messenger was responsible for
this unfortunate error, not Janet
Hamilton, TCC reporter.
34 Pictures of God
The voices in my head
– Joanna Enns
35 Stewardship Today
Peace of mind money
can’t buy
– Kevin Davidson
36 Kids’ Corner
What’s in a promise?
– Loreena Thiessen
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 3
The Messenger
Volume 50 No. 7 July 2012
Submissions to The Messenger should be sent to
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The Messenger is the monthly publication of the Evangelical
Mennonite Conference. It is available to the general public.
Its purpose is to inform concerning events and activities in
the denomination, instruct in godliness and victorious living, inspire to earnestly contend for the faith.
Letters, articles, photos and poems are welcomed.
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THE Messenger schedule:
No. 78– August 2012 issue
(copy due July 20)
4 The Messenger • July 2012
A matter of consequence
I am writing to comment on an article
that appeared in the March 2012 issue
of The Messenger by Fiona Thiessen
under the title: “Abortion: are we
Fiona has brought to our attention an issue that is by far the most
important with which Canadians can
be faced.
Now that MP Stephen Woodworth
has proposed to the Parliament of
Canada that a committee be established to examine the question: “Is
the unborn infant a human person or
not?” it is an initiative that should be
supported by Canadians.
The leaders of every political party
should be pushed to face this issue
head on and not be allowed to dismiss
it as if it is of no consequence.
We should not be unaware of what
happens in an abortion. Thanks.
– Lorne Moorhead
Flin Flon, Man.
Make a conscious decision
I couldn’t agree more with Tim Dyck’s
article “Let’s Avoid an Unnecessary
War” [May 2012]. Unfortunately,
these types of wars are fought all too
frequently even within our own EMC
churches and conference at large.
It is interesting how EMCers take
“pride” in being pacifists and yet have
no qualms about killing someone’s
reputation, self-esteem, dignity and
ministry calling. Not to mention what
this does to the image of Christ who
we claim to represent.
I beg our leaders to take a look
at the “war zones” within the EM
Conference and attend to the casualties. Make a conscious decision to
avoid these wars by laying down the
weapons of assumption, prejudice,
favouritism, power and control. It’s
time to stop talking and start doing!
– Landis Benitez
Brandon, Man.
I am wondering too
In response to Ray Hill’s contributions
[Feb. and March 2012], I am wondering too.
Why in numerous crevices
intersecting the Rock of Gibraltar,
splintered and broken bones of
carnivores and herbivores were found
in a common refuge, though no bones
were gnawed, indicating they fled a
common enemy.
Why petrified wood stumps found
in the north of 60 degrees latitude
Arctic have a similar composite
make-up as do palm trees of a modern
Mediterranean climate zone.
How the big rock, known as the
Okotoks erratic and with a mass
of 18,000 tons, got to be placed on
a farmer’s field 30 miles south of
Calgary, Alta., when it has a similar
composition with the mountains 50
miles to the west.
Why sea-life fossils are often found
in higher strata of the alpine-glaciated
Rocky Mountains, many thousand
feet above sea level.
How is it that a small figurine was
situated 320 feet below the earth’s surface, and that there was a 15 foot layer
of basalt lava overlying the find.
As I think about such things, I
appreciate much more the integrity
of Velikovsky who, as one of his endorsements said, “writes about fifty
times as well as most of his critics.”
Velikovsky’s Earth in Upheaval, while
not the final word on the subject, is at
least a must-read for anyone seeking
to understand Earth’s pre-history.
– Bill Neudorf
La Crete, Alta.
Guidelines for letters
Letters published are generally to
comment on issues raised in The
Messenger. The magazine reserves
the right to edit letters for length,
style, legality, and taste. Letters
to the editor should be 250 words
or less.
Columns • writings shared
Reading the Bible After Christendom by Lloyd Pietersen (Waterloo, ON: Herald Press,
2012). 259 pp. $.19.99. ISBN 9780836196177. Reviewed by Henry Friesen (The ConneXion),
former member of the Board of Church Ministries.
here is much lament over the diminished profile of
the Church in society. Pietersen is keenly aware of
this reality, yet remains optimistic about the possibility of significant positive benefit arising from a reading
of Scripture that authentically honours Scripture, even
when society appears to have rejected it.
Pietersen promotes a “reading from the margins” that
reflects the situation and values of the early Anabaptist
movement. While it might be true that the Church no
longer carries the influence that it has in times past, it does
not follow that the truth of Scripture can no longer effect
positive change in people and society.
Pietersen believes that this can happen when Scripture
Pietersen promotes a “reading from the margins”
that reflects the situation and values of the early
Anabaptist movement.
is read from a place of weakness
on the margins, yet with a strong
voice of deep conviction that
issues a clear challenge to the injustices perpetuated by a society
that has lost its moorings.
Pietersen reviews how Scripture has been read throughout
Church history, notes imbalances that were fostered by
the Church’s prominence and authority, and highlights key
characteristics of an Anabaptist reading.
He rightly cites the biblical indication that Jesus Christ
is the clearest revelation of God as the prime concern of
an Anabaptist hermeneutic, and then does a high level
flyover of the entire Bible that models this consideration.
Unfortunately, in spite of the solid merit of this reading,
the exegetical work lies beyond the scope of this book.
Reading the Bible After Christendom provides a solidly
Christocentric call, and a roadmap, for a return to biblical
What’s Wrong With Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them, Michael C. Zwaagstra, Rodney A. Clifton, and John C. Long
(New York: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2010). 188 pp. $18.50 USD. ISBN 9781607091585. Reviewed by Ray Hill
(MacGregor), retired high school teacher and member of the Board of Church Ministries.
waagstra et al advocate what most parents and
teachers connect to and what should be standard
fare in schools such as: teacher-centred learning,
standardized curriculum, discipline, homework and material challenging to students. There are also less mainstream
ideas like student uniforms and teacher salaries based on
Some areas need more thought. Teachers, for example,
are glibly separated into “outstanding” and “ineffective.”
However, the specifics of evaluating teachers are vague
and simplistic: “some form of performance-based merit
awards” based on “student performance” (page 71). It
ignores the invaluable learning that takes place during a
teacher’s career. Also missing is that the school staff is a
team that together must find ways to build a school.
The authors begin each chapter with a scenario depicting what a “modern” teacher, school, parent-teacher
relationship might look like. They proceed to critically
analyze the situation and then make recommendations.
The problem is that these disturbing scenarios are mere
caricatures. Though there are
valid criticisms of “progressive”
teaching methods, their analysis,
based on these caricatures, falls
The authors also have no
footnotes, making it difficult to
find if their representations are
accurate. Arguments in the main
consist of flattering adjectives to
describe teaching methods with
which they agree and not-soflattering terms for the rest. This
reduces arguments to the level of personal opinion.
Readers who agree with them when they start the
book will agree at the end and those who disagree will be
frustrated. For those who want a critical analysis of our
educational system and some concrete ideas for improvement, I would look elsewhere.
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 5
Part one of two
In the beginning:
why I believe in a literal six-day creation
by Rick Bettig
y journey through the controversial
subject of the origin and history
of life is perhaps best understood
in terms of the “voices” that informed my understanding. An important lesson learned is to
consider “who” is telling the story.
In this initial installment I will consider how
God ultimately used science to draw me toward
a firm belief in a literal six-day creation. The
second installment, in August, will consider
theological issues that arise.
As a student attending a public high school, I
wondered how the simple statements of Genesis
1 could be reconciled with science’s “findings.”
The so called ”evidence of process” that required
millions, perhaps billions of years, had found its
way into the classroom, causing me to doubt the
accuracy and reliability of the biblical account of
In the mid-70s, I began my first year at the
University of Manitoba with courses heavily
weighted in the sciences. I was comfortable with
evolution, yet also believed the Scriptures. I was
convinced that God’s Word and the theory of
evolution would prove compatible as I gained a
deeper knowledge of science.
6 The Messenger • July 2012
High school
I received a rude awakening during a geology
lecture in which we were taught about earth’s
sedimentary deposits being uniformly layered
over millions of years. I wondered how this was
possible given the biblical account of the Flood.
I raised my hand and asked, “How would a
year-long global geological catastrophe, as described in the biblical account of Noah’s flood,
affect the arrangement of sedimentary deposits
on the earth’s surface?” My question met silence
as 100-plus students and a stunned professor
looked at me.
My face turned crimson as silence gave way
to laughter. I concluded that in this context
there was no room for God.
I realized that the framework behind the
evolutionist’s interpretation of origins is naturalism. Naturalistic evolution theorized all living forms had developed from simpler forms by
gradual steps over long periods of time—purely
by chance—without a Creator.
I surmised that naturalistic evolution was
more “fact” than “theory” to the faculty and
most of my fellow students. I finished the year
a confused, disillusioned young man with more
questions than ever.
I really didn’t know where to turn for help.
The church was unable to answer my questions
and I was disappointed there appeared to be no
Christian scientists championing the biblical
account of creation. I gave up on a university
education and for the next few years wavered in
my faith.
Bible college
I am, and will remain, eternally grateful that the
Lord never gave up on me even though there
were times when I gave up on Him. I began to
recognize God’s clear call to serve Him, and
decided I would to trust Him and step out in
obedience to His call on my life.
At the age of 26 I enrolled in Winnipeg Bible
College (now Providence University College)
and began three years of intensive study when I
again faced the challenges of science, evolution
and creation.
In this nurturing environment I was gently
guided toward various resources—both secular
and sacred—that enabled me to explore,
“Where did life come from?” I was convinced
I grew more convinced a young earth and, thus,
a literal interpretation of Genesis, was not only
reasonable, but preferable.
God was the Creator, but less certain of the
mechanisms of creation.
I was introduced to a variety of creation
models, including the gap theory, the day/age
theory, theistic evolution, the literary model,
and the literalist model in which creation is accomplished in six literal days of 24 hours.
At the outset, I was drawn to theistic
evolution since it provided a process over eons
(billions of years). Here were the long periods
of time I believed were necessary for life’s
development while God was preserved as the
only Creator.
I believed I had settled the issue once and for
all. I was wrong! Advances in science continued
to challenge my understanding of creation.
By the late ’70s there was a small but growing
core of Christian scientists diligently examining
how scientific data related to the biblical account
of creation. Their work caused me to reassess
my conclusions. I grew more convinced a young
earth and, thus, a literal interpretation of Genesis, was not only reasonable, but preferable.
Today, there are many Christian scientists
with earned doctorates in various fields, from
around the world, who are convinced a literal
understanding of the Genesis account of creation is the most reasonable explanation for our
What evidences did these Christian scientists present that caused me to take notice?
Here are a just a few examples among many. 
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 7
Q. Is there available a scientifically observable
process in nature which on a long-term basis is
tending to carry its products upward to higher
and higher levels of complexity?
Dr. Ker C. Thomson, former Director of the
U.S. Air Force Terrestrial Sciences Laboratory
and former Professor of Geophysics at Baylor
University, emphatically states evolutionary
processes fail the test.
The test procedure is contained within the
second law of thermodynamics. This law is one
of the surest, most fundamental principles in
science. It is used routinely to test the viability
of postulated or existing concepts.
The second law of thermodynamics states
there is a long-range decay process that
ultimately and surely grips everything in the
universe we know about. The process produces
a breakdown of complexity, not its increase (in
Ashton, 216–217). Is God a God of order or
Q. Why are our continents still here if they are
thousands of millions of years old?
Geochronology, better known as uniformitarianism, believes various factors such as erosion
by wind and water, volcanic activity, and the
rising and sinking of land are occurring at the
same rate as they did in the past. With this assumption in place, the geochronologist attempts
to measure the age of the earth or other heavenly bodies in the universe (McLean et al, 25).
Dr. Ariel Roth, former director of the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, Calif.,
observes, even after correcting for humankind’s
agricultural activities, the rate of erosion is
so fast that our continents could have eroded
to sea level over 100 times in a conservatively
postulated age of 2,500 million years for the
continents (in Ashton, 96).
Q. If cosmic dust has fallen on the moon for over
4.5 billion years, why is the accumulation only a
few inches instead of fifty feet?
Because most scientists advocating an old earth
believe the earth and the moon to be of similar
age, it was expected lunar modules would
8 The Messenger • July 2012
 Questions
encounter a problem trying to land in over fifty
feet of cosmic dust. Scientists were shocked to
find the dust was only a few inches, indicating a
period of accumulation of less than 10,000 years
(McLean, 27).
A key concern
Let me encourage each one of us to honestly
investigate the contributions of those advancing
Creation Sciences. I believe these are “voices”
worthy of our listening ear. It is a matter of
concern that some followers of the Lord Jesus
remain unaware of the rich resources readily
available to us through the efforts of dedicated
Creation scientists who affirm
the power and majesty of
God’s creative artistry.
Rick Bettig, BA, MDiv, is the
associate pastor at Steinbach
EMC and serves on the EMC
Board of Church Ministries.
Resources Used:
G.S. McLean et al., The Evidence For Creation
(Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1989).
Ariel A. Roth, “Biology,” in John F. Ashton, ed.
In Six Days, 8th edition (Green Forest, AR:
Master Books, 2011).
Ker C. Thomson, “Geophysics,” in John F.
Ashton, ed. In Six Days, 8th edition (Green
Forest, AR: Master Books, 2011).
Editor’s note: Dr. Emil Silvestru, who had
agreed to write on a young earth position, is
recuperating from a stroke. Prayer for him is
Reconciling our faith and heritage
NG 2 0
0 Y
by Darryl G. Klassen
1812 ~ 2012
astigated, exiled and now humbled in their return to a
once proud city, the people gathered in the shadow of their
restored walls and temple. For seventy years the site of the
city had been desolate, barren, rubble hardly worth calling a village.
Now, by the grace of God, this people had been allowed to come
home and rebuild and rededicate the Holy place. There would be
a sense of restrained celebration; more so, there would be a call to
repentance and confession before God.
This was the scene in Nehemiah 9 following centuries of rebellion
in the face of a faithful God. Here was a people of a proud spiritual
heritage clinging to their advantages in the faith: children of Abraham, descendants of the Patriarchs, possessing the Law of Moses
and the words of the Prophets, and bearing the physical markings of
circumcision that set them apart. 
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 9
They did celebrate the return of God’s people. But first they rehearsed in prayer the long
sad story of God’s calling and their wickedness,
of God’s many acts of deliverance, and their
swift amnesia concerning God’s marvels on
their behalf. “But they, our forefathers, became
arrogant and stiff-necked, and did not obey
your commands,” they prayed (Neh. 9:16).
Honesty and humility
Celebrating a heritage of faith in honesty and
humility will not allow only the highlights. If
Nehemiah is to be considered, it will also admit
the sins of our past. For what is the focus of
our celebration: our accomplishments or God’s
Indeed, as the returning exiles recalled their
spiritual heritage they remembered that God
called Abram, finding his heart faithful to Him
and making a covenant with him, then keeping
His promise all these centuries (Neh. 9:7–8).
God saw the suffering of Abraham’s descendants in Egypt and heard their cry. He sent
times, eventually came to see the importance
of sharing the treasures of their faith with
In any case we must see the flaw of human
effort and the power of God to take our feeble
attempts and build his kingdom.
What sins need confessing if we were to
follow the example of Nehemiah’s celebratory/
confessional prayer? Allow me to suggest three
Low German roots
We need to confess that we focus too heavily on
our Low German roots. This exclusivity is not as
overt as it once was, but its undertones are still
evident in our circles.
Who one is related to in the EMC was at one
time a significant identifier and contributed to
the “family” atmosphere of the conference. With
the welcome influx of non-cultural Mennonites,
the genealogical connection tends to sideline
newcomers and put them on the fringe of life in
the EMC.
What is the focus of our celebration:
our accomplishments or God’s faithfulness?
them signs and delivered them from slavery
(Neh. 9:9–12). As the litany continues, it persistently focuses on what God has done and how
the people failed.
In this way it underlines the gracious action
of God on behalf of His people. Even their
return to Israel from the faraway land of Persia
was itself an act of extreme grace, though God is
faithful and always keeps his promises.
How do we celebrate?
What do we celebrate in this anniversary of 200
years of the EMC? Klaas Reimer’s courageous,
albeit personally heartbreaking decision to leave
the Grosse Gemeinde (large church) in search
of holiness? Or God’s mercy in permitting these
sojourners to find their own way in faith? Or
God’s grace in blessing the spiritual journey
of these few who, though misguided in earlier
10 The Messenger • July 2012
Though less pervasive, it remains important
to some who your parents are and what connection you can make to other EMCers. Many
whose names are not Penner, Friesen, Koop or
Plett feel alienated by such terminology and
Cultural markers
We need to confess where we focus on cultural
markers. Low German conversations have long
been held over those of other backgrounds.
Our great-grandparents, having immigrated to
Canada for religious freedom, refused to speak
English as if it were some heathen language.
With subtle levity and a hint of sincere
intention, many DGR Mennonites quipped
that God spoke German. After all, did not the
Holy Scriptures in Genesis 1:3 declare, “Und
Gott sprach: Es werde Licht” (And God said,
We need to be sensitive to the fact that not all EMCers
eat farmer sausage and joke in Low German.
“Let there be light”)? While the
German culture is a part of our past,
after six generations is it not time to
adopt a more inclusive conversation,
especially in the church? If we are to
truly be evangelical in an Englishdominated nation we must repent of
“lingual superiority.”
Theological triumphalism
We need to confess when we allow
theological triumphalism within our attitudes.
This attitude has on various occasions hurt the
testimony of the EMC.
Though not taught overtly, it was apparent
to some of us growing up in the EMC that we
had the correct faith over and above others.
Other denominations, even Mennonite denominations, were a few points short of the position
we had attained.
Those of mainline traditions were especially
suspect. We were taught in the home that
Catholics were errant in their traditions, but
where we agree was not highlighted. Though we
are many branches of the olive tree, we are all of
the same root of faith. When Jesus said that the
world would know his disciples by their love for
each other, he did not allow for denominational
Throw out DGR heritage?
Shall we then throw out the DGR heritage altogether? No, of course not. Rather, we need to be
sensitive to the fact that not all EMC members
eat farmer sausage and joke in Low German.
In fact, those cultural markers really have
nothing to do with the principles that make
our conference Evangelical Mennonite. Adult/
believers’ baptism, the “Way of Love,” discipleship, being Christ-centred and Bible-believing
are what makes us EMC.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church he wrestled with the issue of
heritage and faith. He said:
If anyone thinks he has reason to put
confidence in the flesh, I have more:
circumcised on the eighth day, of the
people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, in regard
to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic
righteousness, faultless. But whatever
was to my profit I now consider loss for
the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the
surpassing greatness of knowing Christ
Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have
lost all things. I consider them rubbish,
that I may gain Christ (Phil. 3:4–8).
In Greek class we were taught not to
translate “rubbish” in its true vernacular. Suffice
to say that when Paul compared his spiritual
heritage with knowing Christ he considered his
pedigree excrement in comparison to exalting
If anything gets in the way of people of all
walks and ethnicities coming to know Jesus,
let us consider it waste compared to boasting
in Christ and his Cross. If in our heritage we
have something worth sharing, let us do so in
humility and with a careful attitude in its impact
on others.
We rejoice in the faithfulness of our spiritual
forebears and the faith they have handed down
to us. It is a worthy inheritance.
Celebrate the enduring name of Christ that
will survive all tribes and tongues and crown
Him Lord of all. And if you celebrate with
perogies and borscht, remember, we stole those
from the Ukrainians.
Darryl G. Klassen, BRS, MA,
is senior pastor of Kleefeld
EMC and editor of Theodidaktos: Journal of EMC theology and education.
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 11
Braeside: the power of Pentecost is on display!
by Terry M. Smith
he 20 flags on stage and the PowerPoint slides in English and Spanish
foreshadow what is to come during
the service of May 27, 2012, at Braeside EMC in
Winnipeg, Man.
On Pentecost Sunday lead pastor Kim Stoesz
reminds the congregation that the Spirit came
upon people from many nations to unite them,
and she then asks us to greet each other.
Singing happens in English and Spanish,
guided by the worship team, including Estuardo
Figueroa, Braeside’s music and worship director.
Pastor Stoesz leads in prayer: in thankfulness
for the freedom to worship and from persecution, and for the
gift of the Spirit.
She then says that
20 countries are
represented in
Braeside; eleven
languages are
actively spoken.
People come
to tell
Congregants greet one another. / Congregantes
saludan el uno al otro.
12 The Messenger • July 2012
their stories. Ellen Stoesz speaks of her father
who came to Canada from Russia via Mexico in
1926 after escaping death from bandits numerous times during the Russian Revolution.
The Herrods are next. Wayne (Canada) and
Essie (Ireland) Herrod met during missionary
service in Kenya. Cultures are not wrong, Essie
says, just different. They speak positively of the
Turkana culture.
Bicentennial highlighted
Pastor Stoesz then highlights the EMC’s bicentennial and some people laugh as the EMC
convention’s promotional video is shown. Stoesz
explains that not everyone coming to convention has to toss a toilet seat.
Braesiders, about 250 on this morning, are
asked to crowd together for a group photo to
be used at convention. To take the picture the
church’s photographer Claudia Figueroa stands
on a stool with Angel Infantes, pastor of Hispanic ministries, providing a bit of balance.
Kelly Rempel comes forward for the children’s feature and tells of Jesus promising a
“special surprise.” She and children make a wind
sound and Kelly speaks of Pentecost being the
Church’s birthday.
Pastor Stoesz leads in prayer for the offering,
praying also for those who are persecuted and
for the many ministries within Braeside.
More stories
More people step forward with their stories.
Yesenia Garcia, 18, whose parents came from El
Salvador, says she has the best of both worlds:
being Hispanic within Canadian culture. Her
mother made her dress in the colours of the El
Salvadoran flag, she says. She enjoys poutine
and The Forks and says winter is “not that bad.”
Thomas Mathew, from southern India, came
to Braeside in 1970 at a time when he was the
only non-Caucasian in church. Some other nonCaucasians came and went, but he says he chose
both to stay and to become a “true Anabaptist”
by being rebaptized.
Kelly Rempel tells children about Pentecost. / Kelly Rempel comparte la historia de Pentecostés a los niños.
Language and food are “not my idea of being
Mennonite,” he says, but MCC has helped to
enrich his awareness of being Mennonite. With
it now having a mixture of cultures, Braeside is
“a mini heaven.” He is thankful that he and his
family have always felt well accepted.
Mathew Jose, a recent arrival from southern
India, speaks of Winnipeg’s being called “Winterpeg” and of cultural adjustments in utensils
and food choices.
Then Harry Fast reads from Acts 10. Next
comes an audio recording of Acts 2—where,
it seems to
me, Peter,
a Jew from
the ancient
Middle East,
is given the
vocal tones of
an AfricanAmerican from the southern U.S.
People from 20 countries then come on
the stage, select their flag, and walk down the
church’s centre aisle. Suddenly a member stands
and begins to recite John 3:16 in English and
more people are standing, scattered throughout
the sanctuary, simultaneously speaking in 14
languages, reflecting the wonder and seeming
chaos of the Pentecost event in Acts 2.
With it now having a mixture
of cultures, Braeside is “a mini
heaven,” says Thomas Mathew.
‘Works here’
Pastors Angel Infantes and Kim Stoesz—who
have worked together for five years—come on
stage and sit by a small table. Pastor Stoesz
speaks of Pentecost, of many cultures, and how
it being an integrated church family “works
here” (contrary to what a non-Braeside pastor
said was possible) because Braeside did not
consciously choose it and the Spirit does it.
Braeside had decided to start a Spanish
ministry in 1997, but it developed into more as
people came from other cultures, she says. For 15
years it has been a multicultural church, reflecting many skin tones, countries, and dress styles.
The biggest challenge is language, she says.
“How do we greet each other?” It is “a huge
blessing” to be multicultural, and she hopes that
next year more languages will be represented.
Pastor Infantes outlines the history of Pentecost: at first marking the deliverance of Israel
from Egypt and later the gift of the Spirit after
the coming of Jesus. He tells stories of outreach.
The final prayer is in Spanish and English.
There is a closing song: where the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is freedom.
A potluck follows with foods of many
cultures and a long lineup of people. Tables are
filled with people; some reflect a mixture of skin
tones and some do not.
An invitation
Pastor Infantes has graciously asked me to be
present, partly because both of us were previously involved in Pentecostal churches—a clear
link to Pentecost. 
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 13
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14 The Messenger • July 2012
Braeside—el poder de
por Terry M. Smith
Angel is from Peru,
his wife Blanca is from
Mexico, and, together with
ministry couples from other
backgrounds, they serve
a multicultural church in
Winnipeg. He wants me,
a fellow EMCer of mostly
British roots, to observe
the cultural diversity of
an EMC congregation
during what happens to be
our Bicentennial year as a
My wife Mary Ann and I
have brought a friend, Carol
Seburn, of DGR Mennonite
descent and Baptist conviction. Carol describes the
service as “powerful,” and
she is not alone in that
“God has raised this
Jesus to life,” Peter said,
“and we are all witnesses
of the fact. Exalted to the
right hand of the Father,
he has received from the
Father the promised Holy
Spirit and has poured out
what you now see and hear”
(Acts 2:33). Yes, “what
we see and hear”—then
in Jerusalem and now at
Braeside too. 
as 20 banderas y una presentación de PowerPoint en inglés y
español revelaron lo por venir durante el servicio del 27 de mayo
de 2012 en la EMC de Braeside en Winnipeg, Man.
El Domingo de Pentecostés la pastora Kim Stoesz recuerda a la
congregación que el Espíritu vino sobre la gente de muchas naciones a
unirla y después pide que se saluden los unos a los otros.
Cantan en inglés y español, guiada por el equipo de alabanza, incluyendo el director de la música y alabanza, Eduardo Figueroa.
La pastora Kim guía en oración dando gracias por la libertad de
adoración sin persecución, y da gracias por el don del Espíritu. Dice que
hay 20 países y 11 idiomas representados en Braeside.
Algunos pasan al frente a relatar sus historias. Ellen Stoesz habla de
su padre quien vino al Canadá de Rusia vía México en 1926, después
de varias veces escapar la muerte por los banditos durante la revolución
Pentecostés en exhibición!
foto para usarla en la convención. Para
tomar la foto Claudia Figueroa se para
sobre una silla y Angel Infantes, el pastor de los ministerios hispanos, se para
con ella para ayudarla a balancearse.
Kelly Rempel pasa al frente para
dar una lección a los niños y relata
de Jesús prometiendo una “sorpresa
especial.” Ella y los niños hacen un
sonido como de viento y Kelly habla
del día de Pentecostés como el cumpleaños de la iglesia.
La pastora Kim guía en oración
pidiendo por la ofrenda, por los perseguidos, y por los muchos ministerios
en Braeside.
Más Historias
Los Herrods siguen. Wayne (Canadá) y Essie (Irlanda) se conocieron
durante su servicio en Kenya. Culturas no son malas, dice Essie, solamente son diferentes. Ellos hablaron
positivamente de la cultura Turkana.
El Bicentenario Destacado
La pastora Kim destaca el bicentenario EMC y a algunos les da risa viendo
el video promocional. La pastora
explica que no todos los que vayan a
la convención tendrán que aventar un
asiento de baño.
Piden que los de Braeside, unos 250
este mañana, se junten para tomar una
Otros pasan al frente con sus
historias. Yesenia García, 18años
deedad , cuyos padres vinieron del
Salvador, dice que ella tiene lo mejor
de dos mundos: siendo hispana dentro
de una cultura canadiense. Su madre
hizo so vestido de los colores de la
bandera salvadoreña. Le gusto “el
poutine” (un platillo típico de Quebec), The Forks, y dice que el invierno
no es “tan malo.”
Thomas Mathew, del sur de
India, llegó a Braeside en 1970 y era
el único que no era de la raza blanca
(non-Caucasiana). Otros vinieron y se
fueron, pero dice que él decidió quedarse y ser un “verdadero anabautista”
y bautizarse otra vez.
Dice que el idioma y la comida no
le hace un menonita, pero la MCC le
ha ayudado a enriquecer su conciencia de ser menonita.. Ahora, teniendo
una mezcla de culturas, Braeside ya es
“un mini-cielo.” Está agradecido que
su familia ha sido bien aceptado.
Mathew José, un recién llegado
del sur de la India, habla de Winnipeg
Yesenia García wears the colours of the El
Salvadoran flag. / Yesenia García lleva los
colores de la bandera salvadoreña.
siendo llamado “Winterpeg” y también habla de sus adaptaciones
culturales en escoger sus utensilios y
sus comidas.
En seguida Harry Fast lee de los
Hechos 10. Sigue una grabación de
audio de Hechos 2 – donde, a mi
parecer, Pedro, un judío del a antiguo
Medio Oriente, le han dado los tones
vocales de un afro-americano del sur
de los Estados Unidos.
Gente de 20 distintas países pasan 
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 15
 a la plataforma, escogen su bandera, y caminan
por el pasillo central de la iglesia. De repente un
miembro se para y empieza a recitar Juan 3:16
en inglés, y otros esparcidos por todo el santuario, simultáneamente hablan en 14 diferente
idiomas reflejando la maravilla y aparente caos
del evento Pentecostés en Hechos 2.
Funciona Aquí
Los pastores Angel Infantes y Kim Stoesz,
quienes han trabajado juntos por cinco años,
pasan a la plataforma y se sientan en una
pequeña mesa. La pastora Kim habla de Pentecostés, de muchas culturas y de como una iglesia
integrada como familias funciona aquí. (Al
contrario de lo que dijo un pastor, no de Brae-
Braeside no lo escogió conscientemente sino el Espíritu lo hace.
El pastor Angel resuma la historia de Pentecostés: empezando con la liberación de Israel
de Egipto y después habla del don del Espíritu
quien vino después de la venida de Jesús. El
relata historias de evangelismo. La oración final
es en español e inglés. El canto final es: Donde
está el Espíritu de Dios, hay libertad.
Sigue una comida “potluck” o convivio, con
comida de muchas culturas y una larga fila de
gente. Las mesas se llenan con gente; algunas
reflejan una variedad de color de piel, y
otras no.
Una Invitación
El pastor Angel amablemente me invitó
a estar presente, en parte porque antes
nos dos éramos involucrados en iglesias
pentecostales—una clara conexión con
Angel es de Perú, su esposa Blanca
es de México y los dos, con otras parejas
de otras culturas, sirven una iglesia
multicultural en Winnipeg. El quiere que
yo, un compañero en la EMC, de raíces
británicas, observe la diversidad cultural
en una congregación EMC durante el año
bicentenario de la Conferencia.
Mi esposa Mary Ann y yo trajimos una
The worship team leads in a closing song: where the Spirit of the Lord is,
amiga, Carol Seburn, de descendencia methere is freedom. / El equipe de adorción conduce la canción final: Donde
nonita DGR y convicción bautista. Carol
está el Espíritu de Dios, hay libertad.
describe el servicio como “poderoso” y ella
no es la única en su evaluación.
side, que era imposible.) Braeside no lo escogió
Dice Pedro, “A este Jesús, Dios la resucitó y
conscientemente sino el Espíritu lo hace.
de ello todos nosotros somos testigos. Exaltado
por el poder de Dios, y habiendo recibido del
Braeside había decidido empezar con un
Padre el Espíritu Santo prometido, ha derministerio español en 1997, pero se desarrolló
más cuando otros vinieron de otras culturas. Por ramado esto que ustedes ahora ven y oyen”
(Hechos 2:32-33). Si, “lo que vemos y oímos” en
15 años Braeside ha sido una iglesia multiculaquel entonces en Jerusalén y ahora en Braeside
tural, relejando una variedad de colores de piel,
países y estilos de vestidos.
El reto más grande es el idioma, dice la pasTrasladado por Catherine Thiessen y Gerald
tora Kim. “¿Cómo le saludamos mutuamente?”
Es una gran bendición ser multicultural, y ella
espera que en el año que entra más idiomas
serán representados.
16 The Messenger • July 2012
Anabaptist church nearly triples,
changing in composition
North needs to let go of power and influence
by Ron Penner
he Mennonite World Conference
General Council meetings in
Basel, Switzerland, on May 22–27,
2012, served as a spiritual “high” for me.
Over one hundred delegates from
the global Anabaptist church gathered
in the very region of the beginnings of
the Anabaptist movement of the early
16th century. For many, this was the first
time they had seen the places of events
that they had read about in Anabaptist
history books.
We saw the place in the Limmat
Ambroise Kabeya Kanda Mwanda of the Democratic Republic of Congo looks across
River in Zurich where Felix Manz, one of the Limmat River in Zurich, Switzerland, where Anabaptist martyr Felix Manz’s death
sentence was read on Jan. 5, 1527.
the first martyrs of the movement, was
drowned for his faith in 1527. We met
for a brief time of worship in one of the
Since 1970 the Mennonite Church has
mountain caves where early Anabaptists
almost tripled in size, from 600,000 memmet in secret.
bers to 1,700,000, with the increase coming
All in all, these sites were useful in
primarily in these southern regions. This is
illustrating the growth of the Anabaptist
cause for thanksgiving and joy, but it also
church from its humble beginnings till
reminds us that our most fruitful mission
efforts might be through and together with
our fellow church members in the southern
Chrischona, the place of meeting,
was significant for a second reason,
namely, that this was the site in 1925
As your representative for the EMC, I
when the first MWC Assembly was
invite your prayers and financial support for
held. At that time the participants were
MWC. Christ’s promise that the Church will
mainly white-faced from Europe and
be built is happening right among us, and
North America. This time 80 percent
we are privileged to be partners of it.
of the attendees were from non-white
Partnership also includes tangibly seekcontinents of Africa, Asia and South
ing to walk with our brothers and sisters,
especially those who are experiencing hardship and
The changes in composition were clearly apparent,
suffering in their local context. May God help us do
highlighting the reality that more Mennonites today
good to all, “especially those of the household of faith”
live in the global south than in the north. César Garcia,
(Galatians 6:10).
our new General Secretary, comes from Colombia,
South America.
Ron Penner (Aberdeen, former moderMWC’s headquarters has moved from Strasbourg,
ator) serves within MWC’s Executive
France, to Bogotá. The first language of operation will
Committee as a North American
increasingly be in Spanish, creating a necessary adjustrepresentative.
ment for North Americans in letting go of power and
Christ’s promise
that the Church
will be built is
happening right
among us, and we
are privileged to
be partners of it.
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 17
Columns • archives alcove
To love God with all of our mind
To plot the
journeys of
some of our
ministers is to
see classroom
early in life and
then resumed
at personal
cost and of real
benefit to our
18 The Messenger • July 2012
by Terry M. Smith
ducation comes in many places: a classhigher education, and they used their education
room, job site, kitchen, field, and more.
for good.
Yet when it comes to classroom educaConrad Grebel and Felix Manz studied at
tion, some Anabaptists say the more you learn,
university. George Blaurock was a monk and Mithe more you stray.
chael Sattler was an abbot. Balthasar Hubmaier
Such a view of classroom education is seen
held a doctorate in theology.
as protecting the Church against harmful influEarlier as a priest, Dutch Anabaptist leader
ences. It might fit with Psalm 131:1: “I do not
Menno Simons had formally studied theology. It
concern myself with great matters, or things too
would be an error to think his Roman Catholic
wonderful for me.”
training left only negative influences on how
However, it does not fit with what Jesus
he later thought, argued, and wrote. The more
identifies as the Greatest Commandment: that
I study early church history and theology, the
we are love God with all of our mind, as well
clearer it appears that Menno positively drew
as heart, soul, and strength (Deut. 6:4; Mark
upon his past training for good.
12:29–30 , emphasis added). And what of a rabWhile speaking out against errors in Roman
binic saying that an “ignorant” person cannot be Catholic and Reformers’ teachings, and “human
sophistry,” Menno displayed Christ-centred use
There is a difference
of his previous education.
between being unaware
To observe this, consider
through limited opportunicarefully his Confession of
ties and choosing to be
the Triune God, 1550.
unaware. In some settings,
The Kleine Gemeinde
members have had little
came to Canada in
prospects of formal educa1874–75. Some groups of
tion. Is this because leaders
Dutch-German Anabapchose a lack of awareness
tists in Russia who came
for themselves and the
later did not, in Russia or
people whom they serve?
here, share its distrust of
In the 1940s and later
higher education.
Kleine Gemeinde members
It was, for example,
and leaders sought to
the Mennonite Brethren
become more formally
in Steinbach, Man., who
educated at high school,
began to hold winter
Bible school, university,
classes in Bible instruction
seminary—not necessarily
in the 1930s, a practice
in that order. To plot the
that grew into what is now
journeys of some of our
Steinbach Bible College.
Conrad Grebel studied at university.
ministers, for instance, is
(By comparison, back in
to see classroom educathe Netherlands Anne
tion interrupted early in life and then resumed
Mankes-Zernike earned a Doctor of Theology
at personal cost and of real benefit to our
degree in 1921.)
Much change has happened in the EMC
To be Anabaptist while rejecting higher eduand more will. Many of our younger members
cation would seem to be a curious twist of our
who come from conservative, traditional backearly history. Prominent early Swiss leaders had
grounds in Mexico, for instance, are eager to
been educated before becoming Anabaptists;
learn and are bridging the education gap faster
they knew both of the dangers and benefits of
than did earlier generations of KG.
With Our Churches
Pelly Fellowship Chapel
Pelly, Sask.—As the Book of Psalms
is filled with praise and thanksgiving
to the Lord, may we, as his people,
daily realize our dependence upon the
Lord. May praise and thanksgiving be
an ever-present part of our lives.
As a fellowship group of believers
here at Pelly, we have much for which
to be thankful. There are often visitors
of various families; new faces that
show up now and then; and, of course,
the regular attenders, which makes for
a wonderful time of fellowship.
Winter was very pleasant, much
different than we usually experience
in this area. Our activities were affected somewhat. Instead of having
planned suppers, as had been in the
past couple of years, people were
encouraged to do more inviting and
hosting as they chose and we had a
few socials in the church. It seemed to
work out well.
There was an eight-week Kids
Club in March, April, and early May.
The children pictured were regular
attenders. There were snacks, singing,
story and craft times. A point system
was set up. They could earn points for
attendance, memory verses, reciting
the books of the Bible, bringing their
Kids Club held March to May
Twyla Johnson leads VBS during a time of singing.
duo-tangs, and doing the weekly lesson sent home with them.
After reaching a certain number
of points, each student could pick a
prize. Six children earned enough
points to earn the ultimate prize,
which was a Bible. Much thanks goes
to our Sunday School superintendent
and assistant superintendent for all
the effort put into this. Others helped
with giving the weekly lesson, snacks,
and crafts.
As has become a custom, the men
of the church very ably prepared and
served a Mother’s Day breakfast held
in the village hall. The Banksons, a
singing group, conducted the service
this year. It was all much appreciated.
The men and boys enjoyed a pancake breakfast at the church on June
2, 2012, with EMC missions Foreign
Secretary Ken Zacharias as speaker.
– Vivian Anfinson
As a fellowship group of believers, we have much
for which to be thankful.
Students recite memory
verses. The names of
Old Testament books
are in the background.
A student receives a Bible as a prize.
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 19
With Our Churches
Straffordville EMC
New members and deacon couples
REIMER – to Darcy and Rochelle Reimer of
Winnipeg, Man., an adopted son, Andrew
Philip Hanhong, born Apr. 21, 2009.
GRYBA – to Byron and Anita Gryba of Winnipeg, Man., a son, Mitchell Wayne, on May 6,
SIRAN – to Tim and Jennifer Siran of Winnipeg,
Man., a son, Thaddeus Jude, on June 4, 2011.
FRIESEN – to Derek and Kelly Friesen of Pansy,
Man., a daughter, Taryn Agacie Grace, on July
27, 2011.
STEELE – to Brendan and Chrystal Steele of
Lorette, Man., a daughter, Madeline Claire, on
Aug. 14, 2011.
KROEKER – to Merle and Lorna Kroeker of
Winnipeg, Man., a son, Rylan Dyson, on Aug.
30, 2011.
BROWN – to Lyndon and Cheryl-Lynn Brown
of Winnipeg, Man., a son, Elliot Morgan, on
Feb. 19, 2012.
WOHLGEMUT – to Oz and Melissa Wohlgemut
of Winnipeg, Man., a son, Siegfried, on May 3,
MUEHLING – to Tim and Arlene Muehling of
Winnipeg, Man., a son, Zachary Gordon, on
June 6, 2012.
LOEWEN-WATSON – to Brent and Tanya
Loewen-Watson of Winnipeg, Man., a
daughter, Nadia Kaitlyn, on June 7, 2012.
Straffordville, Ont.—Our church
with dinner, speakers and numbers.
accepted five new members this past
For these events we invite guests, and
spring. Pete and Anita Thiessen,
often our youth girls are welcome.
Dave Bergen, and Henry and Susanna
This past Mother’s Day we had
Loewen shared their testimonies and
a Mexican Fiesta. We enjoyed some
their desire to be a part of the Strafgood Mexican food, sharing time, and
fordville EMC church body. They have a good special number done by youth
already been serving in different ways
girls for their mothers. These Ladies
for many years in our church.
Fellowship nights and special occaTwo new deacon couples were
sions have been big blessings to the
elected: Henry and Susanna Loewen,
ladies. They are times for encouraging
Abe and Sara Wall. Their commisand accountability in our walk with
sioning service was held on May 27,
2012, which conference pastor Ward
– Tina Siemens
Parkinson attended
and served us with a
Our ladies have
been getting together
once every other
week for many years
now. We all take turns
having a devotional;
we sing, pray and fellowship together.
For occasions
like Christmas and
Mother’s Day we
Deacon commissioning service: (back) Abe Wall, Henry Loewen,
Richard Klassen, conference pastor Ward Parkinson, (front) Sara
make our gatherings
Wall, Susanna Loewen, and Katherine Klassen.
a little more special
Membership service: (back) Dave Bergen, Pete Thiessen, (front)
Pastor Richard Klassen with wife Katherine, Henry and Susanna
Loewen, Anita Thiessen.
20 The Messenger • July 2012
Mother's Day Mexican Fiesta: Eva Blatz, Kathy Klassen, Maria Froese,
Debbie Thiessen, and Aggie Blatz dressed in a Mexican style.
With Our Churches
St. Vital EMC
Dedications and baptisms
Winnipeg, Man.—Has God been at
work in our community? Yes!
He created 12 unique and precious people and placed them in our
families in unique and precious ways:
by birth, by adoption, by answer to
persistent and sometimes painful
prayer. He has taught these parents to
humbly admit that the task of parenting is too much for them alone.
He has commissioned our church
to love and help teach those kids and
to encourage and support their parents by our prayers and our actions.
We are grateful to Him for each one
of these: Mitchell Gryba (Byron and
Anita), Andrew Reimer (Darcy and
Rochelle), Taryn Friesen (Derek and
Kelly), Sophia, Abigail and Madeline
James (Chris and Jessica), Eli and
The Holy Spirit has been at
work in older kids, university
students and adults, each in
their own circumstances.
responded to the call to seek a deeper
understanding of Him through a life
of following Jesus.
We were privileged to hear their
testimonies on June 11, and with great
joy we celebrated their baptisms on
June 24, 2012. Baptized were: Suzanna
Hopcraft, Graham Schacht, Madison
Schacht, Marcella Wiebe, Freya Qiu,
Jessica James, and Sheila Chandler.
– Lisa Schau
Baptized on June 24, 2012: Marcella Wiebe, Freya Qiu, Sheila Chandler, Jessica James, Suzanna Hopcraft, Madison Schacht, and Graham Schacht with Pastor Jerry Plett.
Liam Chandler (Scott and Sheila), Elliot Brown (Lyndon and Cheryl-Lynn),
Sigfried Wohlgemut (Oz and Melissa),
Rylan Kroeker (Merle and Lorna).
The Holy Spirit has also been at
work in older kids, university students
and adults, each in their own circumstances. He has opened their eyes to
see Him more clearly and they have
Baby dedication: Sophia, Abigail and Madeline James (Chris and Jessica), Eli and Liam Chandler (Scott and Sheila), Andrew Reimer (Darcy
and Rochelle), Taryn Friesen (Derek and Kelly), Rylan Kroeker (Merle and Lorna), Sigfried Wohlgemut (Oz and Melissa), Elliot Brown (Lyndon
and Cheryl-Lynn), Mitchell Gryba (Byron and Anita).
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 21
Columns • thinking about
What about Nate?
by Ward Parkinson
Conference Pastor
ears ago there was a comedy movie
called What About Bob? starring Bill
Murray and Richard Dreyfus. It was a
spoof on the psychiatrist–patient relationship.
In short, Murray’s character, Bob, has so
many issues going on, and so frustratingly resists
all efforts at intervention, that his therapist
himself is eventually driven to distraction.
As the story plays out, of course, we come to
love Bob’s endearing quirkiness and take delight
as his overly-confident doctor slowly unravels.
But that’s only in the movies.
In real life there are many Bobs, or Jims, or
Sallys who just don’t fit in. Whether it is because
of mental or emotional sickness, addictions,
What have we established when sinners
avoid our gatherings like the plague? Have
we preserved our reputations so carefully
we’ve erected fences only others see?
poverty, or an unshakable past, these folks find
themselves outside the margins of society.
I think of a friend who used to live in my
neighbourhood. Let’s call him Nate. Nate
struggled over the years with alcohol, which led
to employment problems, which led to welfare
subsistence living. So he often found himself in
need at the end of each month.
Nate survived by asking for favours and
making promises he couldn’t keep. This led to
22 The Messenger • July 2012
a pattern of habitual lying that wore out many
relationships. People would cringe or roll their
eyes when they heard Nate’s voice on the other
end of the line. I would, too.
I know deep down Nate had a good heart. He
wanted things to be better. He made professions
of faith more than once, always seeking a fresh
start. But getting the benefit of the doubt was
impossible in a small town.
Here’s my question: why didn’t Nate ever feel
comfortable in church?
Rationally, I can surmise that he felt out of
place or self-conscious because of his own issues. Guilt can do that. Or I can see how his past
had caught up with him. Burn enough bridges
and you end up on your own.
But my gut still asks why he didn’t
feel comfortable in church; might it be
something lacking in the church?
As Jesus walked this earth, sinners
were drawn to him. He let them touch
him. He reached out to touch them.
The lepers and prostitutes, the diseased
and possessed—untouchables all—were
drawn to the loving touch of the Holy
Son of God.
I know that as believers we need to
be discerning and wise in the way we
interact with the watching world. And
we are, indeed, called to holiness.
But what have we established when
sinners avoid our gatherings like the
plague? Have we preserved our reputations so carefully we’ve erected fences
only others see?
For its first three centuries, the
Church itself existed outside the margins of society. Like Jesus, we didn’t care about
reputation, because we had none. And, boy, did
we grow!
Since then the Church has acquired power
and place and reputation. But what about those
in each one of our communities who don’t fit
inside our margins?
What about Nate?
CFGB provided 40,849 tonnes of food last year
Would fill a train eight kilometres long
WINNIPEG, Man.—Imagine being stuck at a railway
crossing while a train eight kilometers long—that’s 450
cars—rumbled by.
That’s how much food Canadian Foodgrains Bank
provided for people in the developing world in 2011-12, international programs director Grant Hillier told the board
at its bi-annual meeting June 13-14,
2012, in Winnipeg.
“It would take a long time for a
train that long to pass,” said Hillier of
the 40,849 tonnes of food worth $43.8
million provided by CFGB last year.
Altogether, CFGB provided
support for 2.1 million people in 36
countries through 116 projects last
Most of the programming was in
Africa (78 projects in 19 countries), followed by Asia (30
projects, 13 countries) and Latin America (eight projects,
four countries), he said. The countries receiving the most
help were Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Altogether, those
three countries received $15.6 million of drought aid.
Of the total assistance, just over $29 million was for
food aid, $12.5 million was for food security activities that
help people grow or access more and better food, and $2.3
million supported nutrition activities.
These responses were made possible by generous donations from Canadians, who gave a record $15.8 million to
CFGB in 2011-12, reported John Longhurst.
Of that total, about $11.8 million was donated directly
to CFGB, including $5.5 million via donations of grain.
Another $4 million came through its member agencies.
Altogether, a total of 19,396
tonnes of grain was donated by growing projects and individual farmers.
Longhurst also acknowledged the
continued support from the Canadian
International Development Agency,
which signed a new five-year funding
agreement with CFGB worth $25
million a year.
“We had a great year, but it is all
due to the amazing support from
thousands of people across Canada,” he said. “We couldn’t
do it without them.”
For 2012–13, the board approved a budget of $37.2
million. Just over two months into the new budget year, the
CFGB has already committed to 23 projects worth $10.1
million, with most of it going to feed 257,000 people in
the Sahel region of Africa where an estimated 18 million
people face food shortages because of drought.
Although needs in that region, and around the world,
“outweighs what the Foodgrains Bank
can do, member agencies, partners in
the developing world and donors in
Canada are motivated to contribute
and are responding,” Hillier said. “It’s a
blessing to be a part of that effort.”
Altogether, CFGB provided
support for 2.1 million people
in 36 countries through 116
projects last year.
Subscribe to The Messenger
Prefer e-copy to hard copy? Issues of The
Messenger are available electronically. You
can sign up on-line at www.emconference.
For those who are not members or
adherents of an EMC church, a $15 annual
subscription fee applies; no additional fee applies if the full print subscription rate is paid.
Men carry heavy sacks of millet at a Foodgrains Bank-supported food distribution in Niger.
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 23
EFC supports discussion on definition of ‘human being’
Criminal Code provisions are ‘dumbfounding’
OTTAWA, Ont.—“The question is not so much ‘What is
child was not considered by law to be a human being when
human?’ but ‘When is human?’” suggests Faye Sonier, Legal he was shot,” said Hutchinson. “In an interesting twist, she
Counsel for EFC.
received several months’ probation for failing to provide
“Medicine recognizes a point of viability for a child
the necessities of life because after birth she didn’t report
in the womb. Science is
the pellet lodged in her
prepared to experiment usson’s head.”
ing pre-natal human tissue
“According to section
from conception onward.
223, the mother would not
Yet, Canada’s Criminal
even have been charged
Code states that a child in
had her son died before
the womb is not human,”
he was born,” continues
explains Sonier. “The CrimiHutchinson. “However, had
nal Code provisions on this
the child died from his inpoint are dumbfounding.”
– Don Hutchinson, EFC Vice-President
juries after he was born, she
“Parliament needs to
would have been charged
examine these provisions;
with homicide.”
consider their historical roots; and, debate whether they
“Do these provisions make any sense?” he asks. “Is that
make sense in twenty-first century Canada,” continues
consistent with our contemporary understanding of life
Sonier. “The EFC fully supports the recent calls of
and human rights?”
Members of Parliament Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener
“The wording of these laws is very confusing,” states
–Centre, CPC) and Jeff Watson (Essex, CPC) for a full
Sonier. “The meaning is from a distant and less medically
examination of Canada’s laws in this regard. As Canadians
advanced society. The language of a now ancient time is far
become more aware of what the laws stipulate, they will be from obvious in the current century.”
Sonier says, “As a nation, we need to ask ourselves if
As MP Stephen Woodworth offered in a December 21,
these convoluted laws and archaic concepts reflect our
2011 media release, section 223(1) of the Criminal Code
values, modern medicine and our understanding of human
“defines a human being as a child who has completely prorights and human life. If they don’t, our political represenceeded in a living state from the mother’s body, whether
tatives need to take action.”
or not the child has breathed. This means that in Canada
a child is legally considered to be sub-human while his or
her little toe remains in the birth canal, even if he or
she is breathing.”
Section 223(2) is equally troubling. It sets out
that a homicide occurs when a person injures a
child before or during its birth and the child dies
after exiting the birth canal.
“An Ottawa area case dealt with section 223,”
notes EFC Vice-President and General Legal
Counsel Don Hutchinson. “A mother was charged
with attempted murder after she used a pellet gun
to shoot her nearly full term son while he was still
To order your copies (mailing extra)
in the womb. The boy, born two days later, survived
contact Rebecca Roman, [email protected]
after surgery and some time in an intensive care
emconf.ca or 204-326-6401.
“The charges were later dropped because the
“The charges [against a mother who shot
her son in the womb] were later dropped
because the child was not considered by law
to be a human being when he was shot.”
Copies now available free!
24 The Messenger • July 2012
MCC’s best kept secret
Global Family funds provide scholarships
to students who would otherwise not
have access to quality education.
At the Latin Patriarchate School in Zababdeh, a village
in the northern West Bank, quality education is delivered
to Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and Muslim students.
Here they come together on equal footing and become
Global Family funds provide scholarships to students
who would otherwise not have access to quality education.
They also assist with school supplies, including books and
classroom furnishings.
Global Family currently partners with over 100
community-based organizations in more than 40 different
countries. To learn more about Global Family and how to
sponsor a project for only $25 a month or $300 a year, visit
Lois and Leigh Steckley flank Mrs. and Rev. Samir Esaid, two administrators of the Arab Episcopal School in Irbid, Jordan. The school
integrates visually impaired Christian and Muslim students into
regular classrooms where all are treated equally and fairly.
Bethany graduate
Stephen Dueck
(Rosenort EMC)
graduated from
Bethany College
in Hepburn,
Sask., with a
Diploma of Biblical Studies.
KITCHENER, Ont. – What is MCC’s best kept secret?
It is “Global Family”—a community-based, education
sponsorship program that is cost effective and empowers
schools to decide what is best for students and families in
their area.
Leigh and Lois Steckley, of New Hamburg, Ont.,
recently returned from a Middle East learning tour with
MCC, visiting Jordan and Palestine. They wanted to get
a first-hand glimpse of MCC’s education sponsorship in
While visiting the Al-Malath Society in the Beit Sahour
of Bethlehem, Leigh Steckley remarked, “Seeing the smiles
on their faces was enough to convince me of the need for
sponsoring this school.”
The centre serves youth with mental and intellectual
disabilities that are not looked after by other schools. The
program contributes toward a long-term increase in clients’ independence and dignity. They hope to open a workshop where graduates of the program can be employed.
A hint: it happens in 40 countries
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 25
Gradual exodus of Christians from Middle East prompts plan
Need for equality, human rights, and religious freedom
AMMAN, Jordan—Christian and
Muslim religious leaders and academics met in March 2012 at an MCCsupported symposium to discuss
issues contributing to the emigration
of Christians from the Middle East.
Attending part of the two-day
symposium was His Royal Highness
Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
who stressed the importance of
cooperation between Muslims and
Christians. The interfaith symposium
was held in Amman, Jordan, in March MCC staff pictured with HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal (right) at the symposium: (from left)
Daryl Byler, an MCC representative in the Middle East, Nada Zabeneh, MCC Jordan program
and organized by the Royal Institute
coordinator; and Suzi Khoury, MCC Jordan administrative assistant.
for Inter-faith Studies in cooperation
with MCC and the Syrian Orthodox
Archdiocese of Aleppo.
Presentations focused on the challenges faced by Chrise world...can you
e in th
tians and the fact that Arab Christians in some countries
feel their rights are being denied. Participants agreed to
a plan to address the need for equality, human rights and
religious freedoms of all citizens of the Middle East.
Daryl Byler, an MCC regional representative, said
the prince, a Muslim, seemed to garner the participants’
trust. “At one point, one of the Christian leaders told
Prince Hassan, ‘We have placed our problems in your
hands; we hope you will do something with the stories we
have shared,’” said Byler.
Byler said it would be tragic for Christians to lose their
historic connection to the Holy Land: “MCC partners
throughout the Middle East have for years expressed
concern about the emigration of Christians, and MCC
believes a strong and vibrant Christian community is part
These Canadian volunteers
and parcel of a strong and vibrant Middle East.”
are helping their neighbours in Minot, ND.
Byler said it would be tragic for
Christians to lose their historic
connection to the Holy Land.
photo by Duane Steiner
The experience is out of this world.
Call or write 1-866-261-1274 [email protected] to discover what is needed where and when.
26 The Messenger • July 2012
SBC’s golf tournament benefits students
SMS and ISB assist those in training, ministry
to international students recommended by one of SBC’s
constituent conferences and whose remaining costs will be
covered by that conference. SBC has welcomed students
from churches in countries such as Bolivia, the United
States, and Paraguay, training them for ministry in their
home countries.
SBC would like to extend our thanks to our sponsors
and participants for your generous support. We are thankful for your partnership in training servant leaders for
church ministry.
STEINBACH, Man.—The weather was perfect for SBC’s
2nd Annual Golf Tournament at Steinbach Fly-In Golf
Club on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
About 100 golfers participated in a Texas Scramble,
gathering in the clubhouse afterwards for a buffet dinner
and prizes.
More than $35,000 was raised through the tournament,
with proceeds designated to student bursaries such as
SBC’s Summer Ministry Scholarship and the International
Student Bursary.
SBC’s Summer Ministry Scholarship has been created
to assist students in living out a life of ministry and service
while preparing for college. Students can receive up to
one-third of their tuition in a scholarship from the college
for serving in a variety of summer ministries.
Since its inception, a yearly average of 33 students have
served for approximately 270 weeks of ministry. Together
with matching support from their home church and the
ministry organization, a student can receive up to $6,750
in bursary for a summer of ministry.
The International Student Bursary provides full tuition
About 100 golfers teed off on June 5 to raise funds for Steinbach
Bible College student bursaries.
Warmth, honesty mark Anabaptist–Adventist dialogue
Representatives had met previously in 2011
LIESTAL, Switzerland—Representatives of MWC and
the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists met
in dialogue on May 28–31, 2012, in Liestal, Switzerland.
The four days of conversation were characterized by both
Christian warmth and frank exchange of perspectives.
This was the second round of dialogue based on Living the Christian Life in Today’s World. The first series of
conversation took place on June 28–July 1, 2011, at the
Adventist church world headquarters in Silver Spring,
In the latest dialogue, major papers were presented
from each side on eschatology, non-conformity, and
hermeneutics. Shorter discussions took up questions
raised by each communion.
Mennonites responded to issues of pacifism, Sabbath,
salvation and obedience, personal lifestyle, ordinances,
hermeneutics, and eschatology. Adventists addressed
questions of military service, Sabbath, contextualization,
justice and discipleship, the role of women, church discipline, Ellen White, and eschatology.
One afternoon the group visited sites from Anabaptist
history and a few places of interest to Adventists.
The representatives worked on a statement summarizing the discussion’s value and recommendations on
how study materials might be shared. This paper will be
referred to the respective authorities of each communion.
MWC participants were Robert Suderman (Canada),
Valerie Rempel (United States), Henk Stenvers (The
Netherlands), Patricia Urueña (Colombia), Danisa Ndlovu
(Zimbabwe), and Tom Yoder Neufeld (Canada). SDA
participants were William Johnsson (Australia), John
Graz (France), Bert Beach (United States), Denis Fortin
(Canada), Peter Landless (South Africa), and Teresa Reeve
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 27
MCC Thrift Store damaged by fire
Opening in new location is probable
YARROW, B. C. –MCC’s original
thrift operation in Yarrow, BC, was
irreparably damaged on May 2, 2012,
by a fire. While the fire department
is still investigating, it is believed that
the fire started in the kitchen, located
at the back of the building.
“The back of the building is basically destroyed and the rest of the
building has suffered major smoke
damage,” said Doug Willms, MCC BC
Thrift Shop coordinator.
“The volunteers love their
shop ... they will definitely be
looking for ways to keep the
shop going.”
– Doug Willms
The MCC Thrift Shop in Yarrow suffered irreparable damage in an early morning fire on May 3.
The shop, located at 42232 Yarrow
Central Road, is completely run by volunteers. It will likely
not reopen in the same location, but they will definitely
look to reopen the store.
“The volunteers love their shop and have a real passion
for the ministry of MCC,” Willms said. “They will definitely
be looking for ways to keep the shop going.”
There are nine MCC thrift shops in BC, raising funds
for the relief, development and peace work of MCC in
more than 50 countries. Last year, the thrift shops contributed more than $1.4 million to this ministry.
The Yarrow MCC Thrift Shop has its roots in the 1940s
when local Mennonites collected clothing for needy people
in war-torn Europe.
When the war ended and MCC’s efforts expanded
globally, winter clothing was no longer in demand. It was
decided that this clothing would be sold and the funds
used for material resources needed overseas. Thus the
MCC thrift movement in BC began.
28 The Messenger • July 2012
BCM needs two more nominations
Board of Church Ministries seeks two more nominations
for a three-year term.
» Provide resources and services to help congregations
with Christian education, family-life teaching, music
ministries and youth work.
» Minister to post-high school students and make arrangements for Conference youth events.
» Produce Conference publications and periodicals.
» Promote the writing and publication of Christian
» Administer the Conference Archives.
Please forward names of church-approved candidates
to Tim Dyck, General Secretary, at [email protected] or
Reverse healthcare decision, students say
Refugees’ full healthcare benefits should continue
WINNIPEG, Man.—On June 18, 2012, a small group of
students from Canadian Mennonite University (CMU)
and CMU’s Menno Simons College began to challenge
the federal government’s decision to deny supplemental
healthcare coverage to refugees on June 30.
The 59 Cents Campaign for Refugee Healthcare is a politically independent, student-led movement that grew out
of an assignment in a one-week course—“Speaking Out...
and Being Heard: Citizen Advocacy”—at CMU’s Canadian
School of Peacebuilding (CSOP).
“We believe that the recent changes to the Canadian Interim Federal Healthcare Program (IFHP), which supplied
refugees with the medical help, are unacceptable,” says
spokesperson Matthew Dueck (Ridgewood EMC).
In 2011 alone, Canada opened its doors to 25,000
refugees. “Until now, refugees have been entitled to full
medical assistance under the IFHP—a $20-million
40 tractors 40 years or older
per year program the federal government has cancelled,
effective June 30, 2012,” says Dueck.
“$20-million spread across our country’s population
works out to only 59 cents per person,” says Dueck. “It
makes practical and moral sense to continue this relatively
small program” before “treatable illnesses become serious
long-term health issues.”
“We’re encouraging all Canadians” to send “59 cents to
the Prime Minister, showing our willingness as a country
to give our part toward a small but vital program—and
hopefully pressure the federal government to reverse this
decision,” he said.
The organizers are “overwhelmed by the response,”
Dueck said. The campaign will continue after June 30.
For information, visit www.59cents.org or YouTube:
“It makes practical and moral sense to continue this
relatively small program” before “treatable illnesses become
serious long-term health issues,” says Matthew Dueck.
Funds raised by trekkers will help support
Eden’s Mental Health Recovery Programs
July 21, 2012
Breakfast Buffet at 7:30 a.m
a.m. at the Reinland Community Centre
open to the public (donations to Reinland Community Centre)
Trek begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Village of Reinland
and finishes in Gretna at the ‘Gretna Hotspot Festival’.
Registration Fee: $100
Includes breakfast, lunch & supper
Promotional wear
As a trekker you will enjoy:
Riding your favourite tractor
in support of mental health
Scenic view
Mennonite Food
Sharing tractor stories
Registration forms available at the Eden Health Care Services office, Winkler
For information, please contact:
Armin Ens, Eden Foundation Chair (204) 325-6227 / Cell: (204) 325-8559
Earl Reimer, Director of Development, or Linda Driedger, Director of Event Co-ordination (204) 325-5355 / 1-866-895-2919 www.edenhealth.mb.ca
Sponsorship from:
59 Cents Campaign group: Maureen Gathogo, Rianna Isaak, Cecilly Hildebrand
(Ridgewood EMC), and Matthew Dueck (also Ridgewood EMC). (Missing: Deanna
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 29
MCC extends food distribution in Mexico
Projects will cost $105,000; donations welcome
DURANGO STATE, Mexico—More than 1,000 families in
Durango State, Mexico, are now receiving food and blankets, as part of MCC’s response to widespread drought.
Packets containing beans, rice, oil, corn, lentils, noodles
and sugar will be distributed to families in the villages and
hills in the Nuevo Ideal area. Families will also receive
canned meat and MCC blankets.
This assistance is in addition to projects already underway for residents of the Low German-speaking Durango
Colony. It was established 130 kilometres northwest of the
city of Durango in 1924 by Old Colony Mennonites coming
from Canada.
About 250 households in Durango Colony are receiving
food packages. Sixty-four families are receiving cattle feed
to help maintain their herds. In addition, 47 families will be
provided with seeds so they can plant a crop.
Parts of Mexico face what some are calling the worst
drought in 70 years. Crop yields last year were below normal
from the past...
into the future
and many farmers in the colony have already sold their cattle
to generate income. Farmers that still have livestock must
pay high prices for feed.
MCC is working with Servicios Integrales Menonitas,
on the distribution in both Durango Colony and Durango
State. Servicios Integrales Menonitas is MCC’s agency for
the Low German Program in Mexico. The projects will
cost $105,000.
Donations are welcome. Cheques should be made out
to MCC and designated Mexico Drought. They can be
mailed to your nearest MCC office. Contributions can also
be made by calling your nearest MCC office in Canada at
Note by Ken Zacharias, EMC Foreign Secretary: EMC
missionaries, John and Lorna Wall, minister with the CME
German conference. The CME has two congregations on the
Durango colony. This report of drought supports the news
that has also come to us from the CME church leadership in
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission
Centennial Celebration Banquet
Friday, September 28, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Heartland Community Church
Landmark, Manitoba
Complimentary tickets
available at the
Evangelical Mennonite
Conference office
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB
Stockwell new director at
Segue Career Options
Program supports meaningful employment
WINKLER, Man.—Eden Health Care Services recently
appointed Debra Stockwell to the position of program
director of Segue Career Options.
Ms. Stockwell comes into this position formerly having
been the director of Robertson College, Brandon Campus.
Debra brings extensive experience in program and curriculum development, human resource management and
understands the value of appropriate education. Her
previous experience was in the health care field working in
Segue is the supported employment program of Eden
Health Care Services that works with an wide range
(continued p. 31)
30 The Messenger • July 2012
Debra is sitting
surrounded by
team members
Sheila Suderman, Bryan
Prokopetz, Art
Friesen and Eileen Blatz (missing are Peter
Toews and Linda
of individuals struggling with significant
employment barriers. The program completes
functional assessments, personal evaluations
and supports individuals in actual employment
placements in the community.
Segue supports the philosophy that meaningful employment is a key component of a
healthy and contributing life.
The team at Segue and the whole Eden organization look forward to seeing the employment
program flourish under Debra’s leadership.
– Eden
(continued from p. 30)
In Memory
Katherine B. Reimer
Katherine B. Reimer was born on
March 18, 1922, at Satanta, Kansas,
to her parents Abraham and Agatha
Reimer. She grew up and went to a
country school at Satanta.
On April 27, 1941, she married
our Dad, John K. Reimer, at Meade,
Kansas. They lived on a farmstead at
Meade. Two children were born to
In July 1949 they moved to Manitoba. They adopted a daughter a few
years later. The family lived in Blumenort. Our mother was not always
in the best of health.
In May 1982 they moved into
Oakwood Place in Blumenort, their
retirement home. On October 7,
2011, they moved to the St. Adolphe
Personal Care Home.
On January 30, 2012, Mom was
admitted to Victoria General Hospital.
On February 14 she peacefully entered
her eternal home. She reached the age
of 89 years, 10 months and 27 days.
She had looked forward to her 90th
birthday celebration.
She loved and served her Saviour
all her life. One of her favourite
pastimes was quilting. She and Dad
enjoyed putting puzzles together.
She is survived and greatly missed
by her husband John K. Reimer,
the love of her life for 70 years; son
Richard and his wife Helen, daughter
Carolyn and her husband Ben Wiebe;
grandchildren Darryl and Linda
Reimer, Sheri and Ed Wise, Angela
Waffer and Garry Kornelsen and
eight step-grandchildren; greatgrandchildren Alycia Vaden Long,
Christopher Vaden, Jeremy Vaden,
Gabriel Vaden, Jared Waffer, Elizabeth
Reimer, Daniel Reimer, Jalen Waffer,
Ireesha Kornelsen and 14 step-greatgrandchildren; as well as many nieces
and nephews, especially the Plett
family in Canada.
She was predeceased by her
parents and all her siblings; daughter
Margaret and her husband Abe; and
two grandchildren, Douglas and
Theresa Knelsen; grandson Corey
Kornelsen and son-in-law Peter
Her funeral service was held on
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, 2:30 p.m., at
Blumenort EMC with Pastor Barry
Plett officiating. Interment was in the
EMC cemetery in Blumenort.
As a family we express our
gratitude to the wonderful staff at St.
Adolphe Personal Care Home, for
the nursing care at Victoria General
Hospital, and to the many friends
and relatives who have been so very
supportive at this time. Also, we are
thankful for the homecare given at
Blumenort all the many years.
– Her Family
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 31
In Memory
Peter Loewen
The afternoon of Oct. 3, 2011, Peter
Loewen slipped peacefully into the
waiting arms of his Lord. He passed
away in the palliative care ward at the
Riverview Health Centre. He was 86.
Peter is survived by his loving wife
Caroline of Winnipeg, Man., as well
as their children and grandchildren:
Rita and husband Wendell Kroeker,
Matthew (Kirsten, Haley, and Annika), Dalen (Bonnie), Tyson (Diane,
Karen, and Aurelia), and Amy; Sylvia
and son, Ben; Ralph and wife Cindy,
Pavel, Artie, and Marissa; Lyle and
wife Paula, Brenlee (Joash), Kara
(Tim), and Jordan; Stewart and wife
Heather, Dawson and Jenna; Greg and
wife Cathie, Mackenzie, Kaelee, and
Peter was predeceased by his
parents Isaac and Elizabeth, brothers
Leonard (in childhood) and George,
and sister Mary Friesen. He was born
on August 18, 1925. He grew up in Giroux, Man., and quit school at the age
of 14 to help on the family farm. After
their marriage on May 1, 1954, Peter
and Caroline moved to the Interlake,
north of Riverton. They farmed and
spent winters in the bush operating a
In 1962, Peter bought his first
mobile feed mill and in 1969 he built
Scientific Feed in Arborg. In later
years he spent many days helping his
sons and son-in-law on their farming
operations. About five years ago Dad
32 The Messenger • July 2012
and Mom moved to Winnipeg, where
they became part of the Braeside EM
Church. Dad was honoured to have
been asked to serve on the missions
Dad loved people. Some of his
happiest days were spent driving his
motorboat and teaching his nieces
and nephews, his children’s friends,
and anyone else how to waterski.
He loved meeting new people and
sharing stories with them. He and
Mom did a lot of traveling—to Israel,
Europe, South America, Caribbean,
and cruising. Their latest trip was to a
granddaughter’s wedding in Mexico in
January 2011.
Dad’s greatest joy came from giving away Scriptures. In recent years he
went on many “trips north” to distribute LifeLight New Testaments. Rarely
a waiter or gas station attendant did
not receive a copy of a New Testament
when he waited on Dad. Dad wanted
everyone to know the Lord.
He spent hours praying for his
children, grandchildren, friends old
and new, and has witnessed many a
changed life. Dad also loved to share
stories of his Scripture distribution
His memorial service was held
on Friday, Oct. 7, 2 p.m., at Braeside
– His Family
Sept. 21–23
Discover Your Ministry Potential
A weekend of self-discovery
Westpointe Community Church
Grande Prairie
204-326-6401, www.emconference.ca
July 11
MCC Manitoba golf tournament
Bridges Golf Course
204-261-6381, mccmanitoba.ca
Oct. 11–13
Is the End of All Things at Hand?
Winnipeg Prophecy Confeerence
Victoria Inn, 1808 Wellington Ave
204-888-7270, 204-853-7786,
204-832-4627, www.wpgpc.org
Oct. 12–14
TRU'12: EMC Youth Leaders' Retreat
Wilderness Edge Retreat and
Conference Centre, Pinawa
204-326-6401, [email protected]
Sept. 29
MCC Ride for Refuge
Waterloo, Niagara, Brampton
[email protected]
Check website for more dates
and locations
Participate in EMC’s
internship program!
(one to two years)
For information, contact Gerald Reimer at
204-326-6401 or [email protected], or
check out www.emconference.ca.
Oct. 13
MCC Ride for Refuge
[email protected]
Check website for more dates
and locations
Shoulder Tapping
Pastoral positions
Crestview Fellowship (www.crestviewfellowship.ca), an
Evangelical Mennonite Conference church located in
Winnipeg, Man., is prayerfully seeking applications for a
senior pastor. If you feel God calling you to this position
or if you have any questions about the position, please call
Alex Wiebe at 204-837-2516 or send resume and references either electronically to the Pastoral Search Committee,
Attn: Alex Wiebe ([email protected]) or by mail to
Pastoral Search Committee c/o Crestview Fellowship, 271
Hamilton Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2YOH3.
Picture Butte Mennonite Church, a young congregation
of about 200 people, seeks a full-time pastor to begin
as soon as possible. Picture Butte is a small town in
Southern Alberta approximately twenty minutes north
of Lethbridge, the closest city centre. As our congregation
consists largely of Mennonites who have settled here from
Mexico, the successful applicant must be able to speak
and present their messages in both the English and Low
German languages. Please forward resumes with references and all other inquiries to: Henry Krahn, Box 891, Picture
Butte, AB T0K 1V0; 403-732-5994 or [email protected]
First Mennonite Church, Burns Lake, a small body of
believers in northern BC, is looking for a part-time or fulltime servant leader pastor. We desire to find a person
who shares our vision and will work with us to fulfill it. Our
ideal candidate will have an exceptional ability to inspire
discipleship, outreach, and a desire to embrace our community, while holding firm to sound biblical doctrine. Our
candidate will agree with the Confession of Faith in the
Mennonite Perspective. Please send your resume to FMC
c/o Wilf Dueck [email protected], phone 250-692-3455
or (cell) 250-692-6454.
New Life Christian Fellowship in Stevenson, Ont., seeks a
senior pastor who has a heart for people and loves the
Lord. We are an evangelical church located in Stevenson,
Ontario. The church is mostly young families with average
attendance between 80 and 100 people. The majority of the people attending have a Low German-speaking
background. We seek a pastor who has the heart of a
shepherd and a desire to see our church grow. He should
have strong preaching and teaching skills and ability to
develop leaders. Pastoral experience is preferred. He must
be in agreement with our constitution and statement of
faith. Anyone who possesses these qualifications and is
interested in this position can forward their resume to
[email protected]
La Crete Christian Fellowship Church (EMC) seeks a fulltime associate pastor.
La Crete, located in NW Alberta, offers rural lifestyle
and a progressive outlook. With a range of family-oriented
amenities, it’s a great place to raise a family.
LCCFC is a vibrant church of approximately 500
regular attendees who desire to spread the Word through
a variety of ministries.
The associate pastor will provide direction to our care
giving and outreach ministries as well as work closely with
the pastoral team to strengthen the parishioners’ personal
connection and commitment to Jesus Christ.
The applicant should be committed to a
personal Christian faith, a disciple of Jesus Christ, a willing
and teachable leader, and a person whose love for the
Lord is reflected in their ability to work well with others.
If the Holy Spirit seems to be inviting you to pursue
this further, please contact Bill Neudorf at 780-814-1439,
[email protected], or www.lccfc.ca.
Rosenort EMC, in southern Manitoba, seeks a senior
pastor who will prepare and preach sermons that inspire,
challenge and convict, emphasizing spiritual development. He will equip members, teaching and modelling
local evangelism and missions and oversee the Leader-InTraining program. His ministry team includes a full-time
youth pastor, lay ministers, deacons, and 250 members.
He will be a servant leader, modelling faithfulness
and love for the Lord, caring for those with needs while
guiding, directing, correcting and unifying the church
with sound Biblical teaching. He views the Bible as the
inspired and true Word of God, the authority for faith and
action. Having a deep personal faith, strong convictions,
and valuing family highly, he is a warm and loving person.
He relates to us as a listener; not afraid to reveal personal
pain and struggles; a compassionate and godly man.
See www.rosenortemc.com for full ad. Contact:
Arlin Scharfenberg, [email protected], 204746-6154.
Ridgewood EMC is looking for a full-time senior pastor
to begin August 1, 2012. This multi-generational family
oriented rural church is located north-east of Steinbach,
Man., with over 200 in attendance on Sunday mornings.
As the spiritual overseer, the senior pastor is the
shepherd and guardian of the congregation. This ministry
is accomplished by studying and teaching, praying and
preaching, and visiting and visioning on the basis of the
Ridgewood EMC members strive to be a people that
minister to the whole family, worshipping God together,
sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in love, responding to
needs around, and cultivating a culture of Biblical discipleship, prayer and fellowship—all for the glory of God.
Applications along with a cover letter should be sent
to Stan Hamm, [email protected], or Stan Hamm, Box
140, Blumenort, MB R0A 0C0.
Do you enjoy fishing? How about quiet community living? If you are God-fearing with a deep personal faith
and seeking a full-time pastoral position, Treesbank
Community Church (EMC) could be the place for you.
We are a small country church located in southwestern
Manitoba, between the Souris and Assiniboine Rivers. If
you are interested in this position, please contact Leonard
Plett at 204-824-2475 or at [email protected]
Other opportunities
The Morweena Christian School (MCS) is looking for a
classroom teacher to serve on the teaching team in
High School. Candidates with strengths in Math and
Science will be given preference.
MCS is a rural school about 90 minutes North of
Winnipeg Man., serving about 120 students.
The two-grade split classes range in size from 15 to
26 students. MCS was founded in 1966 by families of the
local Morweena Evangelical Mennonite Church.
The candidate needs to be certifiable in the Province
of Manitoba, needs to embrace the Evangelical Mennonite
Conference Statement of Faith and be active in congregational life.
Send resume to Tim Reimer, Principal, [email protected]
Steeprock Bay Bible Camp seeks passionate and caring
individuals to fill the roles of senior cabin leader,
junior cabin leader and lifeguard. There are also
many volunteer opportunities with the camp for cooks,
nurses, maintenance or other. No prior camp experience
required, just a desire to serve and to learn. Police checks
are required for people 18 and over.
Steeprock Bay Bible Camp is an interdenominational
camp that teaches the Word of God and principles of
Christian life so that children in this area may know the
Lord Jesus Christ—the Way, the Truth, and the Life. SBBC is
located in northern Manitoba on the Steeprock River near
Sapotaweyak Cree Nation.
Camps are for ages seven to 14, primarily First Nations
children, and run from July 2–August 4. There is also a teen
camp for ages 13–18 that will take place August 6–11.
See the Camp Info tab at steeprockministries.com for
applications. Contact Bethany Abrahamson at 281-3583 or
[email protected] for information.
Inner City Youth Alive in Winnipeg, Man., is looking to fill
the following positions:
Senior counsellors are needed for Gem Lake
Wilderness Camp. Join us for one week, 10 days or the
whole summer throughout July and August. Applicants
must be 17 and older, have good leadership skills, be outgoing, energetic, and ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
If this sounds like you, please contact Gord at [email protected]
ca or 204-582-8779 ext. 212.
Administrative manager to lead and manage the
administrative team and give input for organizational direction to the ICYA leadership team. Full-time, permanent
position, 40 hours a week from Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5
p.m. Go to www.icya.ca for details. Forward resumes to
[email protected]
Director of programming to work closely with the
Executive Director in giving oversight to all day-to-day
functions and future endeavours of ICYA. Primary attention will be given to providing leadership and direction to
the program staff of Inner City Youth Alive. Go to www.
icya.ca for details. Forward resumes to [email protected]
The Messenger does not sell advertising,
but provides free space (classified and
display) to enhance our Conference, its
churches, boards and ministries; interMennonite agencies and educational
institutions; and the wider church. Ads
are not to be for monetary benefit. To
place an ad (150 words or less), e-mail
[email protected] or call 204-3266401 and ask for Rebecca Roman or
Terry Smith. Ads will run twice unless
other arrangements are made.
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 33
Columns • pictures of god
The voices in my head
by Joanna Enns
any years ago, when I was going
through post-high school blues and
desperately trying to find my place
in the world while volunteering overseas, one
of my teammates, somewhat frustrated with my
insecurity and indecisiveness, made this memorable comment: “I bet God is walking around in
Heaven asking Himself, ‘Why did I give Joanna
free will?’”
Free will. Sometimes I hate it. For a perfectionist people pleaser like myself, it would be
so much easier just to have the list of correct
choices and follow them exactly.
Lately I have been inundated with important
life choices, both in my own life and in friends’
lives. While it seems easier to see the “right”
choice for other people’s problems, my own are
more debilitating. I run from one friend and
advisor to another asking for advice, which inevitably causes more confusion since they all have
different opinions on the best course of action.
My inner angst stemmed from a conflict between my
God-given passions and the expectations that certain
influential people had for me.
34 The Messenger • July 2012
Reflecting on this process, I find that the
weight I give to each opinion has more to do
with my respect for the individual, their position
or their relative “success” than with the way their
opinion contributes to the broader vision or calling on my life. I fear disappointing people who,
though successful in what they do, are merely
crossing the life path God has put me on.
In theory, I want my life and choices to be
directed by God, and I seek to make choices that
take me in the direction I believe God is leading
me. When those choices conflict with the “successful” trajectory proposed by influential advisors,
however, I discover the limitations of my faith.
These conflicts reveal that subconsciously I
expect God’s trajectory to fall through at some
point, leaving me to fend for myself in a world
with different priorities. My need to create
contingency plans freezes me in indecision and
prevents me from pursuing my calling and passions with freedom and peace.
Obviously, God usually does not give direct
and specific answers and decisions, but he often
provides direction. In this case, honest reflection
revealed that my inner angst stemmed from a
conflict between my God-given passions and the
expectations that certain influential people had
for me based on their definitions of success and
their limited understanding of who I am.
Isolating the nature of the conflict allowed
me to redistribute the weight of each opinion in
my choices. Once I stepped back from the immediate decision and refocused on my long term
calling, the choices leading towards those goals
became clearer.
Although I certainly don’t know precisely
where God is leading me, by looking back at
God’s leading in the past and the ways he has
gifted me, I can see a general pattern emerging.
Once I released the opinions that, while wellmeaning, were inconsistent with my broader
calling, I experienced almost immediate peace
and clarity.
This journey confirmed my need to bring my
tough choices to God, and to trust that he is, in
fact, the one with the most complete view of my
whole life.
Columns • stewardship today
Peace of mind money
can’t buy
by Kevin Davidson
ou and Mary run a
lemonade stand as 50/50
owners. You opened
for business on a handshake.
Mary dies. Do you still have a
Mary’s husband or child may
be your new business partner.
Do you have the opportunity,
obligation or resources to buy
them out? If so, at what price
and what are the terms?
Are you better off starting
your own lemonade stand, or
sticking with the challenges of
the old one? What if you die instead of Mary?
Without proper business planning, surviving
family members may have to become active in
the business, the business may be liquidated or
sold to outside parties. Are you okay with this?
Buy-sell agreements can be used by nearly
any type of business: corporations, limited
liability companies (LLC) or partnerships. They
are not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Please consult with your family, tax advisor,
and lawyer in preparing an agreement before
any decision is made. Be sure this arrangement
meets your current and long-term goals.
A buy-sell agreement is a document that
determines the value of the shares or business
interest, and the process involved, in cases such
• death of a co-owner
• disability of a co-owner
• retirement of a co-owner
• divorce of a co-owner
• departure of a co-owner
• bankruptcy of a co-owner
• a falling out between co-owners
• desired sale of shares to a third party.
The method used to value the shares or
business interest is the most important part of a
buy-sell agreement. No one enjoys over-paying
for a business.
On the other hand, it is in the owner’s best
The choice is yours: plan ahead,
or take a chance and figure it out
when disaster strikes.
interest to ensure he or she (or their family)
receives fair market value for their business
interest. You should get independent, regular
appraisals of the value of your business interests,
especially if family members are involved.
Accurate and fair valuation also fixes the
value in the deceased’s estate for federal and
provincial tax purposes. Some of the ways to
purchase the business interest are: owner’s personal funds, company cash flow, sinking fund
(business sets money set aside over time), bank
loan, installment payments and life insurance.
The choice is yours: plan ahead, or take a
chance and figure it out when disaster strikes.
Please seek professional advice to minimize
potential personal and tax liabilities, and for
assistance with finding a cost-effective means to
fund the agreement.
Business is personal. Don’t wait to discover
the cost of failure to plan when you find yourself in business with someone you never chose.
A fully funded buy-sell agreement provides
peace of mind money can’t buy.
Kevin Davidson is a
stewardship consultant at the Calgary,
Alta., office of Mennonite Foundation of
Canada (MFC). MFC
provides stewardship
education and estate
and charitable gift
planning at no cost.
Contact your nearest MFC office or visit
www.emconference.ca/messenger • The Messenger 35
Columns • kids’ corner
What’s in a promise?
by Loreena
o you make promises?
Have you promised to play with
your friend after school? Do you
promise to help with the dishes? Do you promise
to be home on time?
What happens when you make a promise?
A promise affects at least two people: you,
and the person to whom you promise something. What happens to the person who gets the
If you make a promise to someone, that person expects something from you. They expect
an action, some help, or that you will keep an
They believe your words, that what you have
said is true, that it will happen. They believe you
are honest. They believe you are responsible,
that your actions will match your words; your
Through promises, God shows his
people who he is and that he will
take care of them.
36 The Messenger • July 2012
friend believes that she will have a playmate
after school and that it will be you.
Your mother counts on your help after supper. Your parents expect you to get home at the
time you have agreed on.
What happens to you when you make a
When you make a promise you are giving
your word, you are letting another person trust
you. Their trust in you can make you more
Each time you do what you say you will do
you trust yourself more. You learn that you are
trustworthy and you become more responsible.
This is a part of becoming grown up, to be
responsible for your actions and your words.
When you do what you say, you know that
you are honest, your words are true.
The Bible is a book full of promises. God
leads his people through promises. When God
sees that the people he has created are not following him he sends a flood to destroy evil, but
he promises to save Noah and his family in the
He promises Moses miracles to persuade
Pharaoh to let the people go. He promises
enough food for the Israelites in the desert and
sends them manna. He promises his people a
Messiah and then Jesus is born.
Through these promises God shows his
people who he is, and that he will take care of
them. He has a plan and each promise is a step
in his plan.
His plan is that people will know him and
that he will save them through Jesus. God’s
promises are true. Read Hebrews 10:23.
Activity: Find the promise
To Noah – Read Genesis 9:13
To Moses – Read Exodus 3:17
To Abraham and Sarah – Read Genesis 17:9
To you – Read Psalm 121:7
To all people – Read Matthew 2:11
The Messenger
Evangelical Mennonite Conference
440 Main St, Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5
Publications Mail Agreement #40017362

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Vol. 51 No. 2 February 2013 - Evangelical Mennonite Conference Undelivered copies, change of address and new subscriptions should be addressed to: 440 Main St, Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5 Phone: 204-326-6401 Fax: 204-326-1613 E-mail: [email protected] www.emconfer...

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