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FEBRUARY 2021 MBHERALD.COM

Digest

Regarding Re-entry

Before you pivot one more time

Sixty years of sharing the life & story of the Mennonite Brethren in Canada

noun a pin, point, or short shaft on the end of which something rests and turns the end of a shaft or arbor, resting and turning in a bearing. verb (used with object) to modify (a policy, opinion, product, etc.) while retaining some continuity with its previous version.

pivot / ‘pıv ət / VOLUME 60, NO. 2

„ A R T I C L E 8 R E V I S I O N P R O C E S S „ W H OL EH EARTE D LI V I N G „ L ET 'S TAL K A BOU T DI S CI P LE S H I P


Q: How do you speak well about marriage with your neighbours, knowing that marriage can be difficult? A: Check out the Faith and Life online pamphlets about marriage and family. www.mennonitebrethren.ca/ nflt-resources


Mennonite Brethren Herald Digest is digitally published monthly by the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, primarily for the use of its members, to build a Canadian MB community of faith. We seek to 1) share the life and story of the church by nurturing relationships among members and engaging in dialogue and reflection; 2) teach and equip for ministry by reflecting MB theology, values, and heritage, and by sharing the good news; 3) enable communication by serving conference ministries and informing our members about the church and the world. However, the opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the church as a whole.

Digest FEBRUARY 2021 | VOLUME 60, NO. 2 EDITORIAL OFFICE 1310 Taylor Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 3Z6 Phone: 204-669-6575 Toll-free in Canada: 888-669-6575 MBHERALD@MBCHURCHES.CA W W W. M B H ER ALD.CO M

ISSN: 0025-9349

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Carson Samson

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Rev. Philip A. Gunther

LET'S TALK

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The Mennonite Brethren Herald is a publication of

WHOLEHEARTED

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LET'S TALK ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP

Elton DaSilva

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE GOLDEN APPLE

Pierre Gilbert

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REGARDING RE-ENTRY

Christie Penner Worden

Connect

Sixty years

FACEBOOK.COM/MBHERALD TWITTER.COM/MB_HERALD SOUNDCLOUD.COM/MBHERALD MBHERALD.COM

Photo: Kristi Lee

of sharing the life and story of Mennonite Brethren in Canada

MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

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After several years in process, the transition of the long-standing “deposit program� of MB Stewardship Ministries from the Meet CCMBC Investments Ltd. This new Canadian Conference of MB Churches to the new organization continues the long-standing investment program of CCMBC Investments Ltd. Stewardship Ministries of the Canadian (a wholly owned subsidiary of CCMBC Legacy MB Conference. Fund Inc.) is anticipated to be finalized on Sept. 1, 2019. Current investors have been CCMBC Investments is open to accepting advised of the changes. new funds from existing or new investors

Interested investors can contact who shouldnew contact Capstone Assetus now at legacy@mbchurches.ca or 1-888-669-6575 Management (1-855-437-7103) out the more information. to find initiate process.

1-855-437-7103


From the editor LET'S TALK his issue of the MB Herald Digest is the sixth issue in this new format. It's been a learning curve for this editor, and I have much still to learn. To say I'm pleased with how this experiment has turned out is a gross understatement. I couldn't be happier with the outpouring of support from readers, contributors and sponsorship partners. We have provided content from writers new and familiar on a potpourri of topics and themes in these six months. We are building a connection with new readers while rekindling relationships with faithful readers. One thing is missing, though, reader: your voice. You may have noticed that we have yet to publish a letter to the editor. The Letter to the editor has long been a favourite read for me. It's the first place I go to when I pick up a favourite magazine or the daily newspaper. As a kid, I wouldn't close the cover on my comic books without skimming the letters at the back. Dialogue is a tenet of the Mennonite Brethren; we express our opinions, concerns, cares, joys and sorrows as a community of believers. How awesome would it be to see an overflow of dialogue in the pages of our family magazine? I urge you, friends, to reach out to us at mbherald@mbchurches.ca and tell

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us what's on your mind. Are we accurately representing you? Were do we agree and disagree with each other? What themes and topics do you wish to see us cover that we currently do not? Please let us know. What's inside? As you scroll through this issue, you'll notice the absence of our monthly financial update. We plan on releasing a 2020 annual update very soon. After that, we will publish quarterly financial updates. Feel free to contact us anytime if you have financial inquiries. The National Faith and Life Team brings us up to date on the Article 8 (Christian Baptism) revision process on page eight. Christie Penner Worden explores the prospect of a postCOVID return to corporate worship in our cover story, starting on page 10. CCMBC national director Elton DaSilva kicks off a sixpart dialogue (there's that word again) on discipleship on page 15. Pierre Gilbert concludes his series on evil on page 16, The mysterious case of the golden apple. There is a lot to chew on in this issue of the MB Herald Digest. I hope you enjoy reading it. If you don't, you had better let me know. With respect and encouragement,

Carson

CARSON SAMSON

Communications director

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HOMEPAGE

2021 PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLIES AND CONVENTIONS

ONMB Convention February 19-20

SKMB Assembly March 13

AEFMQ Convention April 24

MBCM Assembly March 5-6

ABMB Convention April 17

BCMB Convention April 31-May 1

#MCCCANADA

A WINDOW OF HOPE One of the things I've remained hopeful about is MCC's work supporting refugee sponsorship groups. Initially, travel restrictions interrupted this work and it wasn't until the summertime that international travel for refugees was possible. For Shafiqul Islam bin Abdul Hussin's family that meant they could finally come to Winnipeg after waiting two years and an extra six months due to the pandemic. This timing was especially important because Shafiqul's wife, Arafa, was pregnant. >> R  ead more about how a global pandemic and the expectancy of their second child influenced the journey. >> O  r listen to Shafiqul chat with MCC on their latest episode of Threads.

Follow Jesus. Serve the church. Engage the world. Dig deep into God’s Word and build a strong Biblical foundation in Christ-centred community. Biblical Studies Pre-University Ministry Leadership Marketplace Christian Leadership (Online) Pursuit

SBCollege.ca

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“Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me” EP: Yet Not I CityAlight I find myself being drawn to more confessional music, that is, truth-telling that is accessible by the worshiping community. The music of CityAlight, an Anglican fellowship in North Sydney, Australia, really speaks to me right now.

#SAVETHEDATE HOMEPAGE

Songs that shape us

Pastors Credentialing Orientation (PCO) will be delivered in two campuses in 2021: PCO West in British Columbia on May 26-28, and PCO East in Ontario on June 1-3. #CCMBCPCO

Need help subscribing to the online digest? Email us at mbherald@mbchurches.ca, or call 1-888-669-6575 and ask for Carson or Bomba.

KEN PETERS

Pastor, Saanich Community Church, Victoria, B.C. Tell us, what songs shape you? mbherald@mbchurches.ca

Let’s Celebrate Our Shared Impact

2020 Global Impact Report available at multiply.net/2020report

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BUILDING COMMUNITY

WHOLEHEARTED " H O L D B A C K N O T H I N G O F Y O U R S E LV E S F O R Y O U R S E LV E S S O T H AT H E W H O G I V E S H I M S E L F T O TA L LY T O Y O U M AY R E C E I V E Y O U T O TA L LY. ” — S T. F R A N C I S O F A S S I S I

ately, I have been committing more of my devoThey are first in line to serve, believing that we are actutional time to soaking in Jesus’ ally to walk as Jesus walked. Although they are often words: “Love the Lord your God with all your in the background, they are the banner bearers, flag heart and with all your soul and with all your mind wavers, cheerleaders, the sold-out ones. and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30). I have ponSo where then does wholehearted living originate? dered my own historical interaction and application of I am persuaded that true wholehearted living for God this command. I sense there is room for growth. As a arises from our identity in Christ as being the beloved. disciple, do I genuinely understand this divine expecAuthor Kyle Idleman in his book Not A Fan writes, “One tation upon my life? What is the source of ‘all-in’ godly of the greatest motivations of our love and passionate living? What does living wholeheartpursuit of Jesus is a better understandedly (“all” of my heart, soul, mind and ing of how great his love is for us. Being strength) look like? Does Scripture loved causes us to love.” Being wholespeak to the opposite of wholehearted hearted is a response to our grace PEOPLE WHO LIVE discipleship and its consequences? status as adopted daughters and sons WHOLEHEARTED LIVES AS I am convinced that being a wholeof the King, heirs to the promises of DISCIPLES OF JESUS ARE hearted disciple is a posture, a bearing, God. Scripture informs us that the love DIFFERENCE-MAKERS. an attitude. It involves the way you of Christ compels us (2 Corinthians understand, and respond to, God. It is 5:14-15), the sacrifice of Christ sets us both devotion and dedication. It is on a new life path (Galatians 2:20) and dynamic, organic and living. It requires the presence of the Holy Spirit sanctian equal degree of saying yes and sayfies and empowers us on this sojourn ing no -- yes to those things that foster deeper adoration (Romans 15:16). In short, genuine wholehearted living and commitment, and no to those things that underfor God springs not from any religious efforts at appeasmine it. ing Him, but from a recognition of, and response to, the Experience has taught me that people who live gospel. It because of God that we are redeemed, it is out wholehearted lives as disciples of Jesus are differof our gratitude for our redemption that we live as ence-makers. Disciples that make an impact in their wholehearted disciples. settings are all-in when it comes to their walk with Is there an example of a believer who loved God Jesus and in their obedience to Him. They are not on wholeheartedly? For me, David comes to mind. God is the bench, but in the game, so-to-speak. They may not recorded as saying of him: “I have found David, son of be charismatic or particularly skilled or even erudite, Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything but they show up, speak up and stand up for their faith. I want him to do”

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BUILDING COMMUNITY

WE MUST BE MORE THAN ENTHUSIASTIC ADMIRERS OF JESUS. WE MUST BE ABOUT

(Acts 13:22).” We all know that a faithful follower, a half-hearted tagMORE THAN ENDING OUR David’s story is one of great successes along rather than a devoted, all-in for TWEETS WITH #BLESSED OR and colossal moral failures. His transJesus and His call, believer? The seducAT TA C H I N G W WJ D S T I C K E R S gressions resulted in adultery and tion to lukewarm living is very real. In ON OUR CAR WINDOWS. murder. And yet, David remains an his book, The Way Of The Heart, author example of wholehearted devotion to Henri Nouwen writes, “It is not diffiGod. Why? The answer appears within cult to see that in this fearful and David’s life narrative and embedded in his psalms: painful period of our history we are having a difficult had a genuine faith in God time fulfilling our task of making the light of Christ ˚ David David acted courageously out of his trust in God’s shine into the darkness. Many of us have adapted our˚ sovereignty selves too well to the general mood of lethargy.” David brought glory to God and honor to God’s Nouwen’s sentiments are sobering. We must heed the ˚ people counsel of Paul, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your David worshipped God with authenticity spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). In ˚ David loved God’s law other words, remain wholehearted. ˚ David was humble before God We must be more than enthusiastic admirers of ˚ David was thankful to God Jesus. We must be about more than ending our tweets ˚ David confessed and repented of his sins with #blessed or attaching WWJD stickers on our car ˚ windows. We must be about more than wearing a cross David was not without flaws and failures; however, on a necklace or bearing a catchy Christian motto on a his whole heart was God oriented. And so, from David’s T-shirt. We must be deeper, louder and bolder for Jesus, narrative we can perhaps surmise that a person who not because of religious duty or aspirations of earning is wholehearted in his love for God may be deeply flawed, favour with God, but as a tangible response to His but even in times of failure, wholly God oriented. unfathomable love and grace. He loved us wholeheartThe Scripture speaks unflatteringly of those who edly, can we respond in kind? choose not to live for Jesus in a manner that is wholehearted. For example, Revelation speaks of the believers at Laodicea as being lukewarm. They were described as being neither hot nor cold when it came to the person and purposes of God (Rev. 3:14ff). These tepid posers R E V. P H I L I P A . G U N T H E R are ceremoniously spit out by God. Does a disciple of is director of ministry for the Saskatchewan Jesus want to be known as a fan of the faith rather than Conference of MB Churches

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BUILDING COMMUNITY

An update on Article 8 – Christian Baptism ithout a doubt, COVID-19 has been the greatest disruptor of plans-well-laid in our lifetime. The National Faith & Life Team, along with everyone else, cancelled many plans and shifted gears to place greater focus on encouraging prayer in our family and providing support to our churches and leaders. However, I’m happy to report that the National Faith & Life Team functioned well throughout 2020, and that the various national Faith and Life projects continued. To compensate for the loss of extended, in-person meetings, the NFLT met more often virtually and completed the work on our agenda for 2020. Among this work, the review of our Confession takes center stage. The revision of Article 8 – Christian Baptism started in the fall of 2018, gathering feedback from church leaders via a survey, at in-person regional meetings, and spring 2019 conventions. The NFLT held a Faith & Life Summit in May of 2019 and presented the first draft of the proposed revision in the fall 2019 regional meetings. We then

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collected further feedback and presented the updated article for approval at the spring 2020 provincial conventions. However, COVID-19 and the fact that our bylaws were in mid-revision made approval in 2020 impossible. The Article was therefore slated for a recommendation for approval at the June 2021 AGM. In the meantime, the NFLT continued to work on the various supporting materials for the Article. We have completed the following pieces: The commentary. The commentary text has been updated and reformatted into endnotes that pop-up in online versions of the article. This way, the statements describing our convictions are directly linked to the Scripture text and the theological rationale behind them. The Pastoral Application has been renamed to Implementation Guidelines and has been reformatted in terms of Frequently Asked Questions. This format also caters to on-line reading, bearing the user in mind, as the relevant information is much easier to locate.

See the updated Article, the pop-up commentary and the Implementation Guidelines FAQs here. The Liturgical Version is also in the process of revision to reflect the updated wording of the Article. Supporting Resources. We hope to offer pastors and congregants resources around the more challenging aspects of this article, which is baptism of those who claim infant baptism. Some of these resources have already been produced and can be found in the relevant sections of the Implementation Guidelines. The NFLT is also collecting ideas on how to make the baptism and membership events meaningful worship components in the life of your church – please share your practices with me at Ingrid.Reichard@mbchurches.ca for inclusion in the resources related to our baptism and membership practices.

Two Challenges

The discussions with our pastors pointed to two key challenging areas in implementing what we believe about Christian Baptism:


Connection between baptism and belonging. Our churches place readiness for baptism along a continuum between initial evidence of saving faith on one end and adequate maturity which evidences spiritual growth and readiness to serve meaningfully in the local church on the other end. While our Confession allows for a range of practice, the revised Article nudges baptism closer to the beginning of the journey of following Jesus while encouraging adequate understanding of the meaning of the ordinance by the baptized. At the same time, the article continues the Mennonite Brethren practice of linking baptism closely to belonging to a local church – for the purpose of discipleship, exercising gifts in the service of the body, fellowship and mutual encouragement. Believer’s baptism for those claiming infant baptism is the more challenging pastoral issue, as we have all known wonderful, mature followers of Christ who desire to become members in an MB church and who come from a tradition that baptizes infants. The requirement for believer’s baptism stays unchanged in the updated Article, primarily on the basis of the teaching of Scripture as we collectively read it to our best understanding. To support pastors in the, at times challenging conversations with such Christ-followers the NFLT has gathered, and continues to gather, resources to help.

Why the Revision?

The revision of Article 8 was, in part, a test case to see if we can meaningfully review and update our Confession one Article at a time

and do so with as much community involvement as possible. As such, it has yielded the following outcomes: 1. The Process. The process of study by the national and provincial Faith and Life teams, various scholars, experts and practitioners was a win. The process of gathering information on how our churches go about baptizing Christ-followers and welcoming them into the life of the local church was informative and inspiring. The process of the many and repeated conversations at various gatherings of pastors in their provincial context was a win. We heard many affirmations and many valuable suggestions, which led to several improvements in wording. Engagement with the Article encouraged us to again carefully read the Bible and our MB history as these pertain to the practice of Christian baptism and to affirm and strengthen our theological position. The fellowship and new friendships that developed in the process were an unexpected bonus. 2. Enthusiasm for Baptism and Membership. The study and the engagement already mentioned above continue to increase our appreciation for the local church, our passion for her thriving, and our gratitude for the ordinance of baptism. The revised Article language lifts baptism from the realm of duty to the realm of blessing and joy. It is an act of obedience in which the three agents: God, the local church, and the baptized, come together in witness to the saving and transforming work of God in a unique way.

I was personally blessed by many testimonies of church leaders whose passion for baptism was reignited and for those who came from traditions where baptism and membership were “not a big deal”, but who, through the revision process, came to hold these as precious gifts to the church from our good God. 3. Improved Supporting Material. The Commentary, the Implementation Guidelines, the Summary and Liturgical version of the Article, and the supporting video resources on baptism and membership are all timely improvements, building on the Confession writing team’s good work from 1999. The hyperlinked Commentary and FAQ format for Implementation Guidelines has been affirmed as much welcomed and helpful to the point the that NFLT has undertaken to reformat the Commentary and Implementation Guidelines for all Articles of the Confession, even for those Articles that are not likely in need of a revision. Personally, the process has deepened my appreciation for my Mennonite Brethren family in Canada. I believe that we are a beautiful and much-needed expression of Christ’s body on earth. I wish to express a special thanks to Andrew Dyck, Doug Heidebrecht and Ken Esau who have done the lion’s share of research and writing work on the Article. It has been my personal pleasure and honour to work alongside them on this endeavour. In Christ and on behalf of the National Faith and Life Team,

BUILDING COMMUNITY

Photo: Kristi Lee

INGRID REICHARD

National Faith & Life Director

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REGARDING RE-ENTRY: Before you pivot one more time

pivot / ‘pıv ət / noun a pin, point, or short shaft on the end of which something rests and turns the end of a shaft or arbor, resting and turning in a bearing. verb (used with object) to modify (a policy, opinion, product, etc.) while retaining some continuity with its previous version.

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he idea of re-entry may have, at some point, had you loading the confetti cannons, excited and ready to run; or hiding under a cozy comforter, afraid, anxious and insecure. The idea of re-entry has been re-imagined countless times since then, however. And here we are, like Groundhog Day, scratching our heads. Whatever your posture, one thing is true for all of us: re-entry isn’t what we thought it might be. And re-entry isn’t a word that has a clear definition in this season. I like words a lot. I like the power that they hold, the way they can invite others to see differently I like their historical roots and nature. I like to learn their original intent (often far from how we understand them today but no less fascinating). There are a few words that have been used, overused, even abused and misused over the past handful of months, and I was ready to throw “pivot” on the pile until I wrestled with it a little longer. Praxis wrote an article early on the difference between a blizzard, winter and an ice age relative to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It was easier (and most optimistic) to assume that we would weather the storm and get back to “normal” soon enough in those first weeks. But that “get back


to” mentality proved to be about as useful as choosing not to put winter tires on the car simply because you hope it will pass before you need them. Winter stayed. And we are still in it—some may say with no sign of spring. Now, please do not misunderstand me: this is not a sobering note of hopelessness. Rather, because of the hope who has a name, we must find a way to build the Kingdom in winter, rather than continue to (foolishly) wait for the storm (no, season) to pass. The Great Commission knows no bounds, nor does our call to it. And yet, it seems that as we “pivot,” we are trying to get back to where we started or, rather, the way things used to be, “normal.” It would seem that our imagination for a “new normal” looks like some variation on our understanding of the past. But what if that isn’t the point? What if our pivot isn’t meant to take us back to the way things were? Moreover, what if we can't get there from here? When I ride the carousel at Disney World, it never spits me out in the same place I got on. Oddly enough, the new vantage point I have for the park as it slows to a stop tends to direct where I choose to explore next. However, suppose I don’t pay attention. In that case, that merry-go-round can have me turned around and confused pretty quickly, especially if I had decided my next destination before I got on. Let’s get back to the overused word pile--at the top of it is this one: “unprecedented.”

/ adjective without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled:

My discomfort here is two-fold: 1. Pivoting is more like spiralling (as in, down a drain) if we don’t have precedence on which to move. 2. Church upheaval is not unprecedented. The truth is: we do have precedent. The Bible is full of examples of God’s people being unable to gather in the ways to which they had grown accustomed, of picking up and starting over, of rebuilding from the remnant of a scattered people. Our precedent is the tenacity and creativity of the persecuted church – how she relentlessly sought out her own for the sake of the world around her. How many times, even up to this point, have God’s children been scattered? How many times did the Lord need to reestablish relationship with His people? How many times did they wander, question, turn to another god when the temple was not available to them? How many times, Lord, until we bend a knee to worship, regardless of how we are called to worship in this season? How many times, Lord, will we present our mourning and weeping but fail to lift our hands in thanksgiving with a resounding “Amen!”? How many times, Lord, must we learn that nothing—nothing—is unprecedented to you? We are living in a culture of privilege and choice. Somehow we decided that, because we can’t do it the way we prefer to, or would choose to, or know how to, we should just return to that place of comfort and familiarity. to that place of comfort and familiarity. And yet, may I be so bold as to challenge you: when has the gospel ever been about your creature comforts? When we say we follow Jesus, what caveats you have not yet laid down in order to follow him? Because if I’m actually going to “live as Christ,” it won’t be easy, familiar, or comfortable. We loved church the way it was. For many of us, the defining features of a Sunday morning aren’t even in the rearview mirror anymore. And they aren’t on the map in the place we are headed anytime soon, either. But in the words of my friend C. McNair Wilson, former Disney Imagineer, “Yesterday just isn’t a place you can get to from here.”

an unprecedented event.

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What if re-entry isn’t re-anything? If re-entry is the hope of returning to where we were, this hope is a little ill-footed. The prefix “re-” (again, I love words) suggests “again and again” or “backwards.” I love you, so hear me say that there is no again or backwards. Maybe not yet. Maybe not again. Maybe never. What if re-entry is what’s holding you to yesterday and not allowing you to engage with tomorrow? What if normal just isn’t a place we can get to from here? We are each at a different point on the continuum of COVID-19, but I cannot imagine anyone’s version of “re-entry” looks like yesterday or normal. So what if there is another way forward other than what we knew or did yesterday? Because, regardless of the permission we have for return to the ministry we miss so deeply, I can assure you that the sheep you once tended are not the same sheep. So even if you can open your doors, your ministry requires a pivot, for the sake of the ones you’ve missed in this season. For the sake of the mantle you wear. For the sake of the one. Here’s another word for you: trauma. “In general, trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. Traumatic events can be difficult to define because the same event may be more traumatic for some people than for others” (camh.ca). Friends, we have each endured trauma for months, and our tolerance and equipping for it is not universal. There are no reasonable assumptions in this season ahead of us: no “givens,” no certainty, other than one: Our God is for us. And so we trust him with all of it—not just our lead pastor’s potentially-bad ideas or our team’s uncertain resistance or our own insecurity in the face of change—all of it. None of this is a surprise to God. As you move forward, let me offer a few questions to help you focus on God. Have you asked the flock you shepherd what they need? What assumptions are you making on their behalf that speak more to your comfort than their care? CHRISTIE PENNER WORDEN

What do you need to let go of that may be tethering you to yesterday’s normal? What is holding you back from dreaming, from wonder, from hope? What if your pivot is meant to give you a better vantage point of a path you have not yet seen? On what, or who will you fix your gaze when the carousel slows down? What one thing can you identify and try, for which previous ministry structures couldn't allow or make space? Are you able to try new things without fear of failure? We often quote Esther 4:14b, the “for such a time as this” cry of obedience. Earlier this month, I got stuck at verse 13 and the first half of 14: “Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, ‘Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this’” Esther 4:13-14 (CSB). Here’s what I see: because we know the king, does not ˚ Just mean we are immune to this season's repercussions. and deliverance will come, one way ˚ Relief or another. The Lord does not require your participation – He is inviting you to it. He is extending his sceptre to you. comfort over calling is certain ˚ Choosing death. You are not in this alone. Remember, Esther wasn't acting on her command or for her benefit. She wasn't alone in that room.: a community fasted and prayed. And a whole nation--God's people--was at stake. This season will end – I promise. Your “sucha-time-as-this” is not unprecedented, and your pivot is not a spiral. Your royal position requires obedience, so what would he have us do? Ask Him. Listen. Then together, pivot according to his will. On earth, as it is in Heaven

is the kids pastor at WMB Church and is wildly curious about where God is calling us in and through the every day, even in a pandemic. She prays that stubborn obedience and outlandish creativity are the hallmarks of her discipleship and invites you to do the same.

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what delight it must have brought him to see his kids with their eyes and ears focused on Him. I hope we have another virtual prayer week at the start of 2022 and see the screen filled with more and more of us praying and seeking God together. LORI NICKEL

Multiply member care team leader and church council member, South Abbotsford Church REFLECTIONS ON THE MB FA M I LY ' S O N L I N E W E E K O F P R AY E R G AT H E R I N G S , JA N UA RY 1 7-2 3 , 2 02 1

Joining my fellow MBs from across Canada for The Week of Prayer was an excellent way to begin a new year. A representative from each of our provinces and partners led the daily gatherings. It was a great way to hear about their unique opportunities and challenges and pray for them together. It was very unifying, and I left the week feeling like I got to know some people in meaningful ways, even though there was no “visiting” time. Praying together with people is an excellent way to connect and hear from each other’s hearts. And that is what we did: we prayed, not getting caught in the all-too-familiar pattern of talking much and praying little. I noticed themes emerge in our prayers. The desire for unity in our personal relationships, in our churches and our MB family went deep. We prayed for those in leadership roles who are fatigued and fighting burnout amid COVID19 realities and restrictions. The need for God’s creativity and his Holy Spirit to lead were two more forefront requests. And last but certainly not least, hearing God’s voice and obeying it was our heart’s cry. I imagined God hearing and receiving these prayers, and as our Father,

The pandemic has forced us to pivot in many areas of life and ministry. When the Conference announced that a nation-wide daily prayer time would be a part of this year’s Week of Prayer, I felt compelled by the Spirit to participate. Making the necessary adjustments in my weekly schedule, I wondered whether clearing 45 minutes in the middle of my morning for seven days was feasible? The Spirit reminded me of Bill Hybel’s book, Too Busy Not to Pray. I’m glad I signed up: connecting with the broader family was spiritually enriching. Our understanding of the great “I AM” deepened as we prayed for the local and international ministries we do together. One morning, it struck me that it is in prayer, his high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus asks his father to unify his followers. On another day, the Spirit reminded me of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I wonder if this pandemic is an invitation from God to deepen our commitment to being people of prayer. Is the healing we seek, and our world needs, available through the discipline of prayer? I pray that these small gatherings sow seeds for a movement among Mennonite Brethren that

unites us to be a healing light in our local communities, our nation and around the globe. MICHAEL DICK

is the executive pastor at South Abbotsford Church (B.C.). He chairs the Finance and Audit Committee of the CCMBC Executive Board as well as the Legacy and CCMBC Investments boards. I love getting on a plane on a rainy day, eager to break through the clouds into the glorious, brilliant sun and blue skies, soaring above the tops of white fluffy clouds. Sure, all the dreary rain is our current visible reality - but we get the real story at 20,000 feet! This week in prayer, we were invited to the 20,000-foot level to the great I AM’s throne room; to set our eyes again on him, piling up our cares and concerns, laments and longings, at the foot of the cross. To take a deep breath and step back from them. As Peter said: Where else can we turn? For hope, direction, and even the capacity to change? To the King of Glory! The great I AM. He who is making all things new. This week was so rich, reuniting with brothers and sisters from sea to shining sea, to see the faces and hear the prayers. This is our wonderful MB family! Our prayer time was all the more remarkable, in this season of endless isolation, a large gathering in our father’s house. As we tied it all together on the last day with a focus on Multiply, it served as a reminder of the mantle we have been given, individually and collectively, to be and multiply disciples of the King. Thank you, CCMBC, for setting this table for us! S E LW Y N U I T T E N B O S C H

attends The Life Centre in Abotsford, and recently completed 15 years serving as CFO for Multiply, formerly MB Mission.

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BOOK REVIEW DARRELL JOHNSON, DISCIPLESHIP ON THE EDGE: AN EXPOSITORY JOURNEY T H R O U G H T H E B O O K O F R E V E L AT I O N R E G E N T 2 0 0 4 ( 3 9 6 P. )

N AV I G AT E R E V E L AT I O N

When did you last read the Book of Revelation? With its strange imagery and confusing references, it is often easier to avoid the New Testament’s final book. However, when we delve deeper into its message, the Book of Revelation offers a richness and wisdom for living as a disciple of Jesus that should not be missed! MB Seminary has teamed up with esteemed author and Regent College professor, Dr. Darrell Johnson, to equip you with Six Principles to Navigate the Book of Revelation. This high-level view of the major themes will help you understand and apply this book of the Bible in your teaching and life. In addition to delivering this online presentation, Dr. Johnson will also field your questions to further extend the conversation. Join MB Seminary for this live, interactive presentation that will strengthen your ability to read, understand, and teach through the Book of Revelation. This free event is open to all and will be streamed online on Tuesday, February 9, 1-2:15 (PST). Click here to register

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What do you see when you read the book of Revelation? Incomprehensible descriptions? An allegory? Secret codes to understand the future? Darrell Johnson’s commentary is a useful companion for Jesus followers who wish to understand the last book in our Scriptures. Johnson writes, “Revelation is not a crystal ball but…a down-to-earth manual on how to be a disciple of Jesus facing the harsh realities of life…the way Jesus did.” In the midst of trouble, Revelation reminds us that Jesus is God; that is, the One who holds the keys of death and Hades (1:18), Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End (22:13) and so on. The point is, writes Johnson, “Don’t fear the emperor.” When you suffer, remember that this can happen only with Jesus’ permission (2:8-11) and recognize the open door (3:8), a New Testament symbol for evangelism. Little power and many obstacles are simply reminders that you need to depend on God (3:7-13). How do we face the evil we see around us? We follow Jesus’ example: First, Johnson points out that Jesus is called “the faithful witness” (1:5; 3:14). He writes, Jesus’ role in the world was to witness to the truth. And it is our role to witness to him who is the truth. Second, we pray. He is the great Intercessor and calls us to join him in that priestly work… by bringing the world to the throne through our prayers. We bring the…brokenness of the world, we bring the evil of the world, into the presence of the Lamb for his sovereign healing. Third, remembering that Jesus rules as a Lamb that was slain (5:6), We do as Jesus calls us to do in his Sermon on the Mount: We bless those who curse us…. We love our enemies. Johnson points out that we defeat Satan by staying faithful to Jesus even if it costs us our lives (15:2). Why does God wait so long? Johnson writes, The only answer the New Testament gives is ‘so that one more will come to the [Alpha and Omega], so that one more will come home.’” In the meantime, there are 3 calls to obey: (1) “resist the agenda of the night,” (2) “embrace the agenda of the day, to walk in the light” and (3) “[e]nter the darkness of night with the light of the day.”

M A RVI N DYC K

is a member of Crossroads Mennonite Brethren Church, Winnipeg, MB. He retired as Crossroads Mennonite Brethren Church pastor in 2020.


Let's talk ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP Over the next six issues, CCMBC national director Elton DaSilva is inviting dialogue on the subject of discipleship. The format will be a one-page article, with reader comments and feedback on the previous discipleship article on the following page. We invite and encourage you to submit your thoughts and opinions by email at mbherald@mbchurches.ca. Question: Do Mennonite Brethren have a unique view and practice of discipleship? Discipleship is a common Christian principle that transcends denominational boundaries. From Catholics to Protestants, from Arminianists to Calvinists, we often talk and write about discipleship. Much effort goes into explaining discipleship; still, for many, the subject remains nebulous and confusing, leading many churches to disengage from discipleship outright. Discipleship is like a box, sitting on the garage shelf, containing many things we cannot categorize. We tend to throw all our esoteric beliefs into that religious box. Here are some of the reasons why most contemporary approaches to discipleship are ineffective: are based on cultural nuances rather ˚ Most than Biblical principles have interchanged volunteerism with ˚ We discipleship place quantitative measurements over ˚ We qualitative outcomes equate discipleship with attendance of a ˚ We program tend to segregate the sacred from the ˚ We secular. requires more than the down˚ Discipleship load of information; it involves an awakening or discovery

Some of you may know that I was not born into the MB family. I was adopted into it. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to engage in leadership at all levels. Having a broader perspective allows me to see similarities and differences between the MB approach to discipleship and that of other denominations. I have observed that our history — and theological values — have shaped our discipleship approach. In my opinion, five MB discipleship nuances set us apart: 1. Discipleship happens in the community for the sake of the community. 2. We disciple unto mission. 3. Discipleship is Holistic. 4. Discipleship carries an emphasis on peace and reconciliation. 5. Discipleship is lived in simplicity. I will explore each of these topics in more detail over the coming months. This exercise is a back and forth – it won't work without your response. Here are a few questions to get us started; my opinions reflect yours? ˚ Do What other theological nuances do you feel ˚ the MBs possess? you have examples of how the above five ˚ Do observations are working in your contex Please send me your stories. We will publish as many comments as possible next issue. With respect, E LT O N D A S I LVA

is the national director of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Elton and Ana live in Winnipeg and have three children.

STUDY CONF ER ENCE NOVE MB ER 3 -5 , 2 0 2 1 Advent poems written by Rev. Philip A. Gunther.

MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

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THE FOURTH IN A SERIES OF FOUR ARTICLES BY PIERRE GILBERT. BASED ON GOD NEVER MEANT FOR US TO DIE: THE EMERGENCE OF EVIL IN THE LIGHT OF THE CREATION ACCOUNT (EUGENE, OR: WIPF & STOCK , 2020).

rom all eternity, God planned the emergence of a creature that would have the ability to relate to him and be his representative on earth. By necessity, this creature would need to be endowed with free will. But as I explained in my previous article, because God is both the originator and the primary object of human free will, a primordial choice of infinite significance was needed for the full implementation of this attribute. The test is described in Genesis 2:16-17: “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden’; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”1 It was in the actual experience of this critical choice that the process would be completed. We know, of course, that Adam and Eve ended up disobeying God. If the rest is history, there are nevertheless several questions that need to be considered. In this article, I will address two. The first asks why God would set up a test that, according to many readers, Adam and Eve were condemned to fail. The second explores why such a seemingly innocuous act as eating from a fruit tree entailed such dire and far-reaching consequences for Adam and Eve and the rest of humanity. That Adam and Eve (or one of their descendants for that matter) were fated to fail the test is a common view. While I cannot fully develop the argument here, a careful reading of the text reveals an entirely different picture. The key to capturing what the significance of the text is found in a careful consideration of God’s injunction to Adam and Eve. The command to refrain from eating the fruit is best described as a curse and blessing formula. While the blessing is implicit, the curse is signaled by the death threat that follows the injunction.

F

1  Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version c 2011.

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Curses were widely used throughout the ancient Near East from at least the second half of the third millennium BC. Their primary function was to warn against committing specific actions such as disfiguring a monument, moving a border stone, or rebelling against a suzerain. While some of the inscriptions include a blessing for those who obey the terms of the inscription, most simply declare the destruction of the violator. The curse formula always assumes the reader’s freedom to respect the terms of the inscription or violate them. Another reason for reading this passage as a curse and blessing formula derives from the precise language that is used in the expression: “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The Hebrew noun, daat, “knowledge,” is derived from the verb yada, “to know,” which is often used to refer to experiential knowledge. When, for instance, the text states that the “man knew (yada) his wife Eve” (4:1), the implication is that Adam gained a personal and intimate knowledge of Eve. This is the tree of the experience of good and evil. Similarly, “good and evil” does not refer, as is often believed, to some ethical abstraction. The purpose of this expression is to offer Adam and Eve the opportunity to determine their destiny: life if they obey (implicit) and death if they disobey (explicit). “Good” (tob)


alludes to the blessing, the good, and life, which is entirely consistent with its repeated usage in Genesis 1. “Evil” (ra’), on the other hand, denotes the curse, the opposite of the good, and death.2 Assuming then that “knowledge” more specifically refers to experiential knowledge and that “good and evil” more accurately reflects a curse and blessing formula, then a better translation would be: “the tree of the experience of the blessing and the curse.” Adam and Eve chose to distrust God. While this decision successfully triggered the final step required for the full integration of human free will, this new understanding came through disobedience, which tragically resulted in the deployment of the curse as described in Genesis 3. The world as we know it is the outcome of this original act of disobedience. The significance of this curse and blessing formula is twofold. First, it implies, as I suggest earlier, that Adam and Eve were completely free to obey or disobey God. No loaded dice here. Second, it also means that if had Adam and Eve had chosen to obey God at this critical juncture, they would have experienced the blessing. In as much as humanity was locked into the sphere of death because of Adam and Eve’s transgression, had they obeyed, humanity would have been locked into the sphere of life! One could be forgiven for asking why such a seemingly trivial transgression as eating an “apple” entailed such severe consequences. Let me try to explain. Adam and Eve’s act of disobedience represented more than an error of judgment resulting in a superficial rift between the humans and their creator. The severity of God’s decree banning them from the garden in 3:22 and the structural pervasiveness of God’s judgement in verses 7–21 suggest that the test of loyalty was linked to the very core of ultimate reality. It hints at an inescapable, primary, and organic connection between the vertical and horizontal spheres of human existence. The type of decision Adam and Eve were to make can best be described as structural. While the decision would take place on the physical plane, it would instantly reverberate into the spiritual dimension. This is therefore why the test was of such magnitude and the consequences were so profound and far-reaching. Let me try to illustrate further. We all make decisions that have greater or lesser significance for our lives. Whether I have a Coke or a Pepsi is inconsequential. What profession I choose, however, has lifetime implications. The more fundamental a decision is, the more consequential it will be. If what I have for breakfast is trivial, the decision to marry changes everything. To choose to become a follower of Christ is yet another example of a structural decision. It is a choice that not only transforms one’s mindset but one’s very being. It initiates a process of transformation that starts in this life and extends into eternity.

The choice Adam and Eve were given was unique to them and reached into the very core of reality. This process had therefore the potential to transform them into the glorious creatures God intended them to become, a condition the text only hints at. Tragically, however, the First Two disobeyed. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, at that moment, a new species was born, but not the one God had envisioned. If the new species was still human, it was diminished, broken, marred, and irremediably tainted by evil. Surely such a creature could never be redeemed. But as the apostle John proclaims: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). And that says it all. Infinite love entails infinite commitment. The moment God envisioned humanity, he also foresaw the Fall and its horrific consequences. In that instant and without hesitation, He imagined a plan to redeem the creature. The price would be terrible. It could not be otherwise. In the same way the offense reached into the very core of reality, infinite in significance, so would the cure need to be. Only the death of the Son of God could meet the awful imperatives of justice and ultimate reality. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Col 1:19-20).

P I E R R E G I L B E R T, P H . D.

is associate professor of Biblical Studies and Theology at Canadian Mennonite University and MB Seminary. ›› P  urchase God Never Meant for Us to Die at KindredProductions.com

2  While the expression ra’ is most often translated as “evil,” particularly when alluding to evil perpetrated by men, it is frequently used to refer to disaster, destruction, or judgment. It is important to clarify the range of meaning of this word, especially in passages where a careless translation appears to ascribe moral “evil” to God (see, for instance, 1 Sam 16:23; 18:10; 19:9; 1 Kgs 14:10; 2 Kgs 21:12; Job 42:11; Ps 140:11; Isa 47:11; Jer 4:6; 6:1; 16:10; 18:11; 21:10; 31:28; 39:16; Ezek 14:22; Mic 2:3).

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Finish lines KATHARINA GROSS Katharina’s family immigrated to Paraguay in 1930. At 9, she chose to follow Jesus, and a few years later, she was baptized. She married Kornelius and together they welcomed 5 children and farmed as pioneers in Blumenthal, Paraguay. After her parents moved to Canada, Katharina and Kornelius followed in 1961, another difficult start. During their first years in Vancouver, she was often ill. Eventually, the family began to feel at home. The family was blessed to worship at Vancouver MB Church. Katharina often thanked God for his help and expressed her confidence with “I also believe that God will bring us into his eternal home.” Katharina and Kornelius moved into a condo in Abbotsford, B.C., in 1993. They worshipped and served at Clearbrook MB Church. After Kornelius’ sudden death in 1996, Katharina felt very alone. Regaining strength and energy, she travelled to the Middle East with her siblings and to Paraguay with her son Dave. After years of living alone grew too difficult and lonely, Katharina moved to Tabor Court, later to Bevan Lodge, and finally to MSA Manor. She wrote, “The Lord is gracious and provides me with my daily bread and health; to him be praise and honour.” Birth: April 10, 1924 Birthplace: Russia Death: February 20, 2020 Parents: Abram & Helene Plett Married: Kornelius Gross, Jan. 25, 1947 [d. 1996] Family: children Abe, Ernie (Carole), David (Shirley), Marlene (Ben), Elvira (Manfred); 9 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; 4 great-greatgrandchildren Church: Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C.

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BETTY (ENNS) KLASSEN When Betty was 6 months, her family fled to Liverpool, England, boarding the SS Montrose for Canada Nov. 21, 1925, and arriving Nov. 29, 1925 in St. John’s, N.B. They settled in Coaldale, Alta.; Fraser Valley, B.C.; Black Creek, Vancouver Island; and finally, on Clearbrook Road (now part of Abbotsford Airport). Betty had little formal education. Summers, she picked strawberries and raspberries, and autumns, she picked hops with friends in the Sumas Prairie. She joined friends working at a fish-canning factory in New Westminster, B.C. South Abbotsford MB Church was central to her life. Betty met Herman while picking strawberries in Mission, B.C.; he joined South Abbotsford youth group and the friendship grew. They married when Betty was 20. A year later, they bought 67 acres in Aldergrove, B.C., with dreams of a dairy farm. Betty and Herman cleared the land using horses and sold Christmas trees for 15 cents each. They joined East Aldergrove MB Church, serving many years and making lifelong friends. After their third child was born, Herman built their growing family a new home with running water. In 1958, following a vehicle accident, their nearly 10-year-old son Jerry died; their faith in God and love for each other carried Betty and Herman through their grief. In the mid1970s, they switched from milking cows to raising heifers, freeing them to visit grandchildren as far away as England. Herman’s death to cancer at 65 was a deep loss for Betty. Three years later, she moved into a suite at her daughter Marilyn’s home in Abbotsford, remaining 11 years. There, she joined the Dorcas Ladies group at Ross Road Community Church, volunteered at the MCC Thrift Store, and served at the lunch café of the Golden Age Society. At 77, Betty and her sister moved to a condo. When osteoporosis and hearing loss kept her home, she loved connecting with Clearbrook MB Church through their television ministry. At 90, she

entered assisted l iving at Tabor Court. Wonderfully curious and supportive of others, Betty gave her full attention to whomever she was with. Birth: April 2, 1925 Birthplace: Molotschna, Ukraine Death: September 26, 2020 Parents: Cornelius & Elizabeth (Kornelson) Enns Married: Herman Klassen, Aug. 10, 1945 [d. 1988] Family: children Joyce [d.] (John Klassen), Gerald [d.], Linda (Patrick) Brown, Marilyn (Ron) Isaak, David (Debbie); 14 grandchildren; 29 greatgrandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, 1 surrogate grandchild; 2 great-greatgrandchildren Church: Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C.

HELEN GRACE LESCHEID Helen’s family fled Ukraine during WWII. Her father was killed on active duty, and Helen, her mother, and siblings became refugees. The family spent 3 years in Austria and one year in Germany after the war ended. In 1949, when Helen was 13, they immigrated to Canada. Helen received a diploma from Briercrest Bible College, Caronport, Sask., and an RN degree from the Vancouver General School of Nursing. She married Bill Lescheid June 1962, and the couple had 5 children. After a 4-year missionary term in Kenya, the family settled in Abbotsford, B.C., where Bill taught high school and Helen nursed part time. Helen enjoyed reading, teaching Bible, speaking, gardening, entertaining, and writing. She published hundreds of articles in magazines such as Reader’s Digest and Guideposts. Her books include Lead, Kindly Light (her mother’s biography); Treasures of Darkness; To Stand on Mountains: He Raised Me Up; Prayer: When Answers Aren’t Enough; and Wonder. Birth: July 11, 1936 Birthplace: Ukraine Death: November 1, 2020 Parents: Isaac & Agnes Loewen


Married: Bill Lescheid, June 1962 Family: children Esther (Geoff) Beatty, David (Petra), Elizabeth (Matthew) Warnock, Catherine (Eric) Ojala, Jonathan (Cheryl); 8 grandchildren; 1 sister Katie Loewen Church: Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C.

HELENA SCHMIDT Helena accepted Christ as Saviour the summer of 1940 and was baptized into Sardis MB Church, Chilliwack, B.C., in summer 1948. She attended Elim Bible School, Yarrow, B.C., for 3 years. Helena married Ben Schmidt, Mar. 26, 1951, and they first lived in Salmon Valley, B.C. In 1951, they moved to Grand Forks, B.C., where Ben taught school for 34 years. Helena was active at Grand Forks Gospel Chapel in Sunday School, choir, and girl’s club. Her strongest spiritual gift was mercy, and she was known for showing hospitality, offering kindness, and bringing many children to Sunday School. She loved young children and often had a song or rhyme to fit the day or play. When Ben retired in 1985, he and Helena travelled to many countries helping different missions. After “second retirement,” they spent 5 years at Jewel Lake, B.C.; 9 in Oliver, B.C.; 9 in Midway, B.C.; and the last 3.5 at Hardy View Lodge, Grand Forks. Although Helena’s family will miss her dearly, they share her confidence that, because Jesus died and rose again, we will one day be together with the Lord forever. Birth: August 22, 1929 Birthplace: Whitewater, Man. Death: January 5, 2021 Parents: Peter & Margaret Dyck Married: Ben Schmidt, Mar. 26, 1951 [d. Apr. 30, 2019] Family: Peggy (Laurence Epp), Leonard (Jean), Rowland (Esther), Christine (Mark Danyluk), Carolyn (Noel Knapp); 20 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren including Claire Epp [d.]; 1 brother Church: Grand Forks (B.C.) Gospel Chapel Baptism: Sardis MB (now Greendale), Chilliwack, B.C., 1948

MARIA ZACHARIAS When Maria was 6 weeks old, her parents decided to immigrate to Canada. In Germany, their application was denied due to health, so instead, they sailed to Chaco, Paraguay, arriving May 28, 1930. They lived under a tarpaulin until they could build a cabin of felled trees. From a young age, Maria managed horses and heavy equipment. On village workdays she was assigned to clean and maintain the schoolhouse and the teacher’s residence. At 18, right before Christmas, she was left in charge while her parents went for medical treatment. Maria enlisted a local artist to create clay animals for her 9 siblings. Maria accepted Jesus as Saviour at an evangelistic meeting hosted by A.E. Janzen in Filadelphia. Her baptism testimony included 1 John 5:4. In 1950, Maria’s father died digging a well, leaving her mom alone with 10 children. That year, Maria’s brother left his job as a shop clerk to take over her chores so she could attend nursing school. She worked 6 years in the operating room. Maria married Johann, a widower with 2 girls from Neuland Colony, in 1956. In 1958, after the birth of their daughter, they immigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver, where they welcomed 5 more daughters and a son. Maria always said, “What others could do, I could also do.” When she tired of using transit, she took a driver’s test and bought a car. In addition to running a home, she cleaned houses, provided health care to at-home seniors, and, after 17 years away from nursing, retrained in Canada to work at the German Canadian Care Home. When her own children were ill, she catered to them with tea and crackers. She made Christmases special; every year she sewed her daughters and their dolls each a new dress. Maria was a wonderful cook. After Maria and Johann retired, they travelled to Hawaii, Palm Springs, and the Canadian Prairies. After 46 years in Vancouver, they moved to Abbotsford, B.C., in 2004. Eventually, Johann entered Tabor Home and Maria, Tabor Court. Following 5.5 years with multiple myeloma, Maria died peacefully. Birth: April 23, 1929 Birthplace: Siberia, Russia Death: February 18, 2020 Parents: Peter & Sara (Block) Klassen Married: Johann Zacharias, Nov. 10, 1956 [d. May 12, 2016] Family: 9 children; 22 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 1 greatgreat-grandchild; 7 siblings Church: Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C. Baptism: MB Church, Schoenbrunn, Fernheim, Paraguay, age 17

O B I T UA R I E S H AV E LO N G B E E N A VA LU E D PA R T O F T H E MB HER ALD. FROM THE FUNER AL BULLETINS , EULOGIES , AND N E WS PA P E R O B I T UA R I E S YO U S E N D, O U R E D I TO R S C R A F T L I FE STORIES OF OUR MEMBERS TO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE OUR R E A D E R S , C R E AT I N G A M E M O R I A L O F M B S A I N T S . CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT AN OBITUARY

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A moment in time

R O S T H E R N , S A S K AT C H E WA N , 1 9 3 7 ?

Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization (CMBoC), Daniel .P. Enns (1877-1946), is photographed, seated behind a desk at the CMBoC office in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. D.P. Enns was a teacher in Molotschna, Spat and Ufa. He held the rank of First lieutenant in the army but never carried a weapon. His family emigrated to Canada in 1924. On 18 October 1920, 14 representatives from Western Canadian Mennonite churches met in Regina, Saskatchewan, to establish CMBoC. The newly struck committee became a united Canadian relief program for the Mennonites who suffered in Russia following the first world war. Approximately 20,000 Mennonites came to Canada as refugees between 1923-1930, many of which were Mennonite Brethren. D.P. Enns served as Secretary-Treasurer from 1926-1946. Learn more about CMBoC here.

Image courtesy of the Mennonite Archival Image Database

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S U B S C R I B E TO M B H E R A L D D I G E S T W W W. M B H E R A L D . C O M / S U B S C R I B E -V I A - E M A I L

Profile for Mennonite Brethren Publications

MB Herald Digest | February 2021  

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