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F E B R U A R Y 2 014


the new evangelists

easy ways 10 to be missional Volume 53, No. 2 Publications mail registration number: 09648; Agreement number: 40009297

DUCK DYNASTY: a public debate

love love never gives up,

never loses faith {1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT}

“Check It Out: Costa’s Hummingbird on Avocado” 6 x 6 x 12. Oil and acrylic on holly and brass. By waterfowl master artist Cam Merkle of Martensville, Sask., a member of Dalmeny Community Church.


February 2014

FEATURES 10 One more F-bomb for the road –Sam Dick

11 Ten simple ways to be missional …without adding anything to your schedule –Tim Chester

12 Chaplains: leading the missional charge –Paul Esau

16 Is it God or gas? –Nikki White

COLUMNS 4 Editorial Butternut squash soup for the soul –Laura Kalmar

5 Viewpoint Who was Barbara? –Clara Toews

8 Outfront Pray and work –Willy Reimer

9 Hogg wild: Adventures in missional living Rednecks, redemption and reality TV –Bill Hogg

31 Intersection of faith and life Things I’m learning from AA –Phil Wagler




18 News in story 19 News in brief 21 Transitions, births, weddings, church anniversaries

WEBSITE JOBS PDF SUBSCRIPTION Email to subscribe via email

27 Finish lines [Obituaries] 30 Crosscurrents


February 2014


Editorial Butternut squash soup for the soul L AUR A K ALMAR


here’s nothing quite like a bowl of butternut squash soup on a cold winter day. I like to season mine with earthy cinnamon and nutmeg. Others prefer the bold flavour of garlic. Either way, the aroma is sure to entice hungry family members to the table for nourishment and conversation. I’d like to be able to say the same of our Christian witness – that it’s sure to entice hungry individuals to the table for spiritual nourishment and conversation. “But thanks be to God, who … uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:14–15). Is the scent of our lives rising to God as a sweet offering? Something foul on the air As Christians, we can easily become preoccupied with the right to speak about our faith. We talk about being silenced and even “persecuted” for sharing our beliefs in a public forum. According to Florida State doctoral student Thomas Whitley, because our faith “was born from intense periods of persecution, real and imagined, a martyr mentality has become ingrained in Christian worldviews.” The newest North American martyrs are people like Phil Robertson of reality TV’s Duck Dynasty, who was suspended in December for comments he made during a GQ Magazine interview. Some say he was targeted because of his conservative Christian beliefs. Others felt he misrepresented Jesus’ teachings by using coarse and offensive language. (See Bill Hogg’s perspective on page 8 and pastor Jeff Bucknam’s “The Unintentional Effects of Defending Duck Dynasty” at Sweet and savoury Really, we have ample freedom in North American to talk about Jesus. So perhaps the more critical question is how to share the message of Christ. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the 4

February 2014

reason for the hope that you have,” says 1 Peter 3:15. “But do this with gentleness and respect.” “I hope we use our public words to build bridges, not reinforce caverns,” says Jen Hatmaker, Christian blogger and soonto-be reality TV personality. “Specifically with issues that have caused such heartache and damage already like gay marriage and racial inequity, we should refuse to contribute to someone’s pain by speaking about them abstractedly, distantly, as if they aren’t real human beings whose lives bear actual repercussions of our casual public conversations.”

The problem with apologetics and why it has not had “stickiness,” to use a marketing term... has been that it’s been conversational but not incarnational. If we restrict truth to an academic exercise instead of seeing it lived, “dwelling among us” in a visible way, then truth isn’t fully expressed. What we say about the authority of Christ must be demonstrated by the way we allow Christ to reign in our lives. The things we say about the sanctity of marriage must be lived out in the way we treat our spouses. The things we say about

Words seasoned with humility have a much more appealing aroma than those seasoned with pride and judgment. The way we say things is as essential as what we say. Tone and attitude go a long way in communicating what we believe. Words seasoned with humility have a more appealing aroma than those seasoned with pride and judgment. The proof is in the pudding It’s also essential for Christian apologetics to be coupled with Christian action. In a recent Christianity Today article, Detroit pastor Christopher Brooks explained his view of apologetics in an urban setting: Yes, there are intellectual aspects of truth, the dialectic conversation that has to go on to refine our understanding of truth. But for truth to be fully expressed, it has to be incarnated. Apologetics is best done when we have both conversation and incarnation.

the peace of Christ must be reflected in the way our congregations function and serve. The things we say about the gospel must be evident in our concern for the good of our neighbours. Our MB Confession of Faith commentary says it well: “As the church functions in unity and love, it reflects the image of God. The daily life of the body of Christ is a fragrance to others. In a word-weary society, authentic expressions of joy, fellowship and worship have great impact.” It’s like that butternut squash soup. I’m happy to share my recipe with you, but the smell of a pot simmering on the stove has a more powerful appeal.


Who was Barbara?


ists of people, long lists – archives have lots of them. As I type up the names, my mind wanders. I lose my place and have to reorient myself. It’s not because my volunteer work at the Centre for MB Studies is repetitive or that I’m absentminded. No, it’s because I’ve started wondering about these people. I was entering records of births in the Old Colony, southern Manitoba, 1881–1882. Included are the names of the child, father, mother, midwife, the person who registered the child, and the home village. You know the familiar Mennonite names: Heinrich, Abram, Cornelius, Jacob; Katarina, Anna, Maria. Then, one day, I discovered a mother whose name was Barbara! Who on earth was this Barbara, and where did she get this name so different from the others? Was she born in Russia, or was she an emigrant from Prussia to Russia? Did she belong to one of the other German Russian groups and had married into the Mennonite community? Maybe Barbara had once been a more common name among Prussian Mennonites, and her family had hung on to it. Stories behind the names Maybe it doesn’t matter, but it leads to other questions. Who were the people on these lists? Barbara, Anganetha, Johann…. What were their lives like? What became of the babies? Their mothers? Historical records of the Old Colony, Reinlander and Sommerfelder groups provide some answers. Not infrequently, babies and/or their mothers didn’t survive. Other children survived birth but died in childhood. Of the set of triplets born to Dietrich and Gertruda Peters June 9–10, 1881, at Neuendorf, two died the day of the birth, and their mother a few days later. More surprisingly, one of the infants actually survived until 1914. The father of the triplets married 5 times. I’m struck by the seemingly predictable sadness and suffering in the lives of this group of people. For women, the dangers of childbirth; for men, the sorrow of burying wife after wife and the practical crisis this created for the family. With the prejudices and perhaps arrogance of a woman living more than a century later,


I look at those lists and wonder about the point of these people’s lives. Their existence appears to have offered few choices, much suffering, and unrelenting drudgery. What questions did they ask about purpose? Many more questions come to mind. How did the frequent loss of a young wife influence attitudes about marriage and family? Did they treasure their relationships more deeply than we do, or did their emotions become numb? Were they happy at least sometimes? And how did they keep the faith? In what ways did they experience Christian belief and discipleship differently than I do? Value of life While I was mulling over these thoughts, I was reminded of words from a much older source. In the deeply personal 139th psalm, the writer speaks of the value of each life and of the mysterious ways of God. These are words for us as they were for the people on my lists. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Each of us has a story that is known intimately by God. Getting to know and to understand one another is not only interesting but important. Each person on these lists is known intimately by God. Each Jacob, Cornelius, Anna, and Barbara counts in God’s eyes. Each person has a story that matters. I think that’s one of the reasons people keep digging around in archives: they believe people’s lives – no matter how seemingly ordinary – have value and interest. Telling their stories is part of bearing witness to the value of life. Being part of the telling of those stories is a privilege. Clara Toews is a retired elementary school teacher who enjoys volunteering at the Centre for MB Studies at the MB Ministry Centre in Winnipeg. She is a member of McIvor Avenue MB Church, Winnipeg.

FEBRUARY 2014 Mennonite Brethren Herald is 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. Advertising and inserts should not be considered to carry editorial endorsement. Winner of Canadian Church Press and Evangelical Press Association awards for Writing, Design, and Illustration: 1996–2012. Editorial office 1310 Taylor Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 3Z6 Phone: 204-669-6575 Fax: 204-654-1865 Toll-free in Canada: 888-669-6575 Email: PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NUMBER: 4000929 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: CIRCULATION DEPT., MB HERALD 1310 TAYLOR AVENUE WINNIPEG MB R3M 3Z6 CMCA

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Copyright The articles printed in the Herald are owned by the Herald or by the author and may not be reprinted without permission. Unless noted, Scriptural quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Subscription rates 1 year $24 ($30 U.S. & foreign) 2 years $44 ($60 U.S. & foreign) 3 years $64 ($90 U.S. & foreign) Please add tax to domestic subscriptions. See or phone 204-654-5766 for rate. Contact for electronic options. Change of address + subscriptions Notice of change of address should be sent to circulation office, and should include both old and new addresses. Allow 4 weeks for changes to become effective. Email circulation office at or phone 204-654-5766. Advertising Advertising inquiries should be sent to advertising office ( Display and classified advertisement copy must be received at least three weeks prior to publication. Advertisements are priced at a rate for insertion in one issue or at a discounted rate for insertions in three or more issues (not necessarily consecutive). Classifieds are priced per line, with a minimum charge of six lines. Staff Laura Kalmar editor Karla Braun associate editor Audrey Plew designer Helga Kasdorf circulation + advertising Angeline Schellenberg copy editor Barrie McMaster B.C. regional correspondent CANADIAN CONFERAdvisory Council: Helen Rose Pauls, B.C. Brad Sumner, B.C. Gil Dueck, Sask. Sabrina Wiens, Ont. Volume 53, Number 2 • Copy run: 16,000 THE MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD IS A PUBLICATION OF


February 2014


homepage A safe place to play Four-year-old Oscar Yoadel loves the brightlypainted suspension bridge in the playground at his daycare, Guarderia Samuelito, run by the Bolivian Evangelical Mennonite Church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. When it’s time for Yoadel to return to his orange-walled classroom, he heads through the door without a glance back at his father, Oscar Pinto. Providing a safe space where single working parents from lowincome families can leave their children for up to 10 hours is the primary goal of Guarderia Samuelito, which receives funding from Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) Global Family program. The daycare also aims to improve the children’s health and prepare them for school.—Emily Loewen, MCC staff writer

Valentine’s Day T

he identity and story of Saint Valentine is subject to debate: the Catholic church recognizes up to 3 men of that name martyred for their faith. Feb. 14 may have been chosen as the feast day for love and romance in an attempt to Christianize the pagan Lupercalia fertility celebrations on Feb. 15. In North America, Valentine’s Day ranks 2nd for volume of seasonal greeting cards sold [after Christmas] 2nd most popular holiday for dining out [after Mother’s Day] 3rd for sales of fresh flowers and plants [after Christmas and Mother’s Day] 4th highest for candy sales [after Halloween, Easter and Christmas] May the hearts and flowers and chocolates remind us not only of romance, but of the great theme of love in the Bible: love for God, our neighbour and our enemies, and Jesus’ great love for us. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed his powerful love to us in a tangible display – the Anointed One died for us. Romans 5:8 (The Voice) 6

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coming events Conference events:

Each month in 2014, we’ll highlight an ICOMB partner. Support our brothers and sisters around the world by learning about and praying for them.

Thailand Mennonite Brethren Foundation Congregations: 15 Members: 1,500 THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND is the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been taken over by a European power. Its population is 94% Buddhist; its people 75% Thai, 14% Chinese. In 2000, MB Mission launched a team of 3 North American couples committed to 10 years’ service in Thailand, beginning in Chonburi. Today, long-term missionaries involved in evangelism, social ministries and leadership training number 26 adults and 16 children from Japan, Canada and the U.S. The country is a common destination for short-term ACTION, TREK and intergenerational church teams, and pastors and families. Operation 2nd Wave extended church planting to the Phuket region after the 2004 tsunami. Abundant Life Home Orphanage, a ministry to abandoned children with HIV/AIDS, begun in 2006, held a grand opening for its complex of family-style homes in October 2013. Missionaries minister to immigrants from Burma (Myanmar) in Chachoengsao (close to Bangkok), and immigrants from Cambodia in Chonburi. In Northern Thailand, the Changed Life Centre trains and disciples future church leaders from nearby tribal groups. The Thailand MB Foundation was officially recognized by the Thai government in 2009. PRAY for effective training and discipleship of national leaders. PRAY for workers: the MB Mission team has a vision to double the number of missionaries and families by 2019. PRAY for the church planting movement to explode into revival in this land where only 1% of the population is Christian.



PHOTOGRAPHERS & ARTISTS: send a pictorial representation of “gospel” or “mission” to OR add to “MB Herald 2014 photo contest” Flickr group. Winning entries published in July 2014 MB Herald. Submission deadline: May 12, 2014.

Feb 21–22: ONMB convention, New Hope Church Niagara, St. Catharines, Ont. Mar. 7–8: Assembly 2014, MBCM convention, Eastview Community Church, Winnipeg. Mar. 14–15: SKMB convention, Forest Grove Community Church, Saskatoon. Mar. 21–22: ABMB convention, River West Christian Church, Edmonton. Apr. 1–2: C2C church multiplication conference, Calgary. Apr. 12,: AEFMQ convention, Les Ambassadeurs Chrétiens, Montreal. May 2–3: BCMB convention, Cariboo Bethel Church, Williams Lake, B.C. May 4–6: BCMB pastor and spouse’s retreat, Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. May 13–15: C2C assessment centre, Montreal. June 8: AEFMQ rally, Centre culturel et communautaire Thérèse de Blainville, Sainte-Thérèse, Que. June 9–11: PCO, ACTS Seminaries, Langley, B.C. June 11–14: Gathering 2014, Vancouver. Sept. 23–25: C2C assessment centre, Calgary, Alta. Oct. 6–8: ABMB pastor and spouse’s retreat, Canmore, Alta. Oct. 6–8: SKMB pastor and spouse’s retreat, Dallas Valley Ranch Camp, Sask. Nov. 4–6: C2C assessment centre, Toronto. Nov. 17–20: C2C church planter retreat, Vancouver. Partner events: Apr. 18: Bethany College spring concert, Knox United Church, Saskatoon. Apr. 19: Bethany College commencement service, Hepburn, Sask. Apr. 19: Columbia Bible College, commencement ceremony, Abbotsford, B.C. Apr. 26: Canadian Mennonite University spring concert, Winnipeg. Apr. 27: Canadian Mennonite University convocation, Immanuel Pentecostal Church, Winnipeg. June 5: Columbia Open Golf Tournament, Redwoods Golf Course, Langley, B.C. June 10: Canadian Mennonite University president’s golf classic, Kingswood Golf and Country Club, La Salle, Man. June 16–27: Canadian School of Peacebuilding, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg.

July 17–19, 2015: Mennonite World Conference Global Youth Summit, Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, Pa. July 21–26, 2015: Assembly 16 Mennonite World Conference, Harrisburg, Pa. View more events from churches, schools and agencies at MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

February 2014


Outfront Pray and work W I L LY R E I M E R


any churches begin the year with an emphasis on prayer and fasting, seeking God for his direction, empowerment and missional blessing. In the January Herald, I invited you to join me in praying for the ministry of our conference and churches across Canada. Thank you for presenting leaders and congregations to God in praise and petition. We started the year on our knees, but now it’s time for action. We put our dreams on paper, preach Holy Spirit-inspired vision, and execute plans and programs. The spiritual once again becomes practical.

While this saying appears wise at first glance, it’s poorly conceived. If we apply it to our lives, we risk falling into self-sufficiency and independence from God. It’s the Jesuit version of “God helps those who help themselves.” If I work as though ministry is all my responsibility, I’m liable to create my own kingdom based on my good works. Who needs God if I work as if everything depends on me? Some suggest that St. Ignatius’ comments were more along the lines of: “Work as if everything depended on God, pray as if everything depended on you.”

The bigger picture Although the personal application of Spirit-led, God-dependent ministry may be clear, what about our ministry as churches and conferences? February kicks off provincial convention season. These events give voice to the past year’s ministry, and celebrate the coming year’s hopes and dreams for Mennonite Brethren across Canada. The conventions will culminate with our national Gathering in Vancouver June 11–14. Mennonite Brethren from coast to coast will gather to worship, pray, report, discuss and make decisions. These events provide space to process ministry that our affirmed leaders have initiated in obedience to the Spirit’s leading. These leaders prayerfully Father Mark Stengel, who contributes to and faithfully grapple with their responsithe Country Monks blog, summed it up well: bility to lead us in fulfilling God’s missional calling on his church in Canada. If I pray as if everything depends on We continue to reflect on Acts 4, prayme, I would have to pray with a greater ing for God to give us boldness in ministry sense of urgency and need, recognizing – in preaching and ministering to a broken my own inadequacy. I would have to pray world. We continue to pray for the Spirit to for the wisdom and strength that I will pour out his supernatural ministry of healneed. I would need to seek forgiveness ing and miraculous signs and wonders in and humility, so that my past sins and the mighty name of Jesus, so that many will my present flaws might not be stumbling come to know salvation in Christ. blocks for those I am trying to serve. I urge us all to engage in our provinIf I work as if everything depends cial and national conventions and to access on God, then I will go forward with the resources and opportunities to work greater confidence and energy, since together to join God in his mission. We have the work to be done is in more capable a responsibility to extend God’s reign in hands than my own. If the outcome is in our communities and cities and to the least God’s hands, then I will perhaps be able reached of Canada. to persevere in the face of opposition and apparent poor results. If it all depends on God, then I will not hesitate to ‘step Willy Reimer is out of the boat,’ out of my own comfort executive director of the zone, as I try to serve. And if God is in Canadian Conference of charge, then he will not allow my misMennonite Brethren takes to ruin his work, but will make all Churches, and lives in things work together unto good. Calgary with his family.

Where do prayer and deed intersect?

How do we take our petitions and turn them into bold action? Soon our visions and activities will be weighed and called to account for their effectiveness. So where do prayer and deed intersect? How do we take the petition of Acts 4:29–30 and turn it into bold action? “And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (NLT). The Protestant work ethic shouts: “Work harder, do more, give more!” The contemplative ethic tells us to pray more, go deeper with God, reflect on our activity. Perhaps the answer is in both. Holy dependence I’ve often heard we should “pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” This proverb (often attributed to Ignatius of Loyola) seems prudent – an appropriate mix of dependence on Christ and the Protestant work ethic that has served us so well. 8

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Shoulder to the wheel, submitted to God for his glory, led by the Holy Spirit in word and deed. Let’s make this practical.

HOGG wild

Adventures in missional living

Rednecks, redemption and reality TV BILL HOGG


’m hooked. I blame Dave Harder and Darren Milley. Dave Harder leads The Journey in Ottawa – a bunch of people on mission, working together for the common good and renewal of their city. Darren Milley is Dave’s church planting apprentice in the Manotick parish. I was in Ottawa for a few days when Dave, aided and abetted by Darren, spoke eagerly of a phenomenon that had escaped my attention. They both attempted to recruit me to the fan base of… Duck Dynasty. I tuned in to this reality TV show and I’ll admit it – I’m now a fan! The show boasts a cast of colourful characters who’ve built a multi-million duck-call empire in Louisiana. It features the family patriarch Phil Robertson, his two sons, a wisecracking uncle, and menus that include stewed squirrel and deep-fried bullfrog. However, something stronger than an affinity for duck hunting unites the family. It’s their love and devotion to Jesus. Preach the gospel at all times Phil, the wild man of the woods, has a significant speaking ministry that began at a trade show at the Superdome in the early 1990s. A crowd of about 1,000 had gathered to hear Phil’s duck-call seminar; instead, Phil grabbed his Bible and began preaching the gospel. “I thought I owed it to them,” he said. As people approached Phil to speak at their churches, his wider ministry was born. When I shared this story with Dave Harder, he responded with his own Duck Dynasty story. Dave said that the Robertson men, who all look like ZZ Top escapees, once arrived unannounced at a country music festival in our nation’s capital.

At one point, Jason Robertson was given the stage. When he took the microphone, he didn’t introduce the next musical act or extoll the virtues of country music – Jase took 15–20 minutes to proclaim the gospel to the festival crowd. Like father, like son. The Robertsons aren’t just involved in public ministry. Their home is also a place of hospitality – a portal where people have stepped from darkness into light. Phil opens his Bible, shares the good news of Jesus and invites his guests to repent and be baptized. Many have. Over the years, more than 300 people have been dunked in the Ouachita River next to the house, day and night. (During night baptisms, the Robertson boys wade into the river with flashlights and shotguns to ensure that alligators and snakes don’t interrupt proceedings.) Our challenge The Duck Dynasty posse presents us with some missional challenges. First, they’re unashamed of Jesus. They’d yell a hearty redneck “amen” to the apostle Paul’s declaration: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16a). Second, they have a deep love for people. Phil Robertson claims, “I don’t care if I’m talking to one person or one thousand; if I can help save one lost soul and bring them back to Jesus, it’s well worth it to me.” Alan, the beardless Robertson son, has been a pastor for 20 years. His wife Lisa commented about taking the gospel beyond the confines of their congregation: “To have a great church is good. But there is [sic] people

out there that’s not ever going to darken the doors that we have here. And they may not ever darken the doors of any church building. “And so, we can give them a little taste of Christianity, a little taste of God, but in a fun way, to tell them that just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean that you can’t have loads of fun and laugh all the time and just enjoy what God’s given you.” Third, we may run into some roadblocks along the way. In December, Phil Robertson was suspended by A&E and then reinstated. The network took exception to comments Phil made about homosexuality in an interview with GQ. It’s a reminder that a faithful gospel witness will not only be good news – but also dissonant and countercultural at times. It’s also a reminder that, in our witness, we are called to be winsome and wise: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; made the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5–6). The Robertson family gives us an example of unabashed devotion to Jesus and love for the lost. We will, in all likelihood, never have a gospel platform at the Superdome or at a music festival in Ottawa. Our joys, triumphs, challenges and foibles will never become reality TV fodder. But we do have platforms God has given us. We all have spheres of influence and a network of relationships. How are we going to steward those platforms for the sake of the gospel? Bill Hogg is national missiologist with C2C Network and lives in Abbotsford, B.C. His role is to help leaders and established churches think and act like missionaries. MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

February 2014


6 Serve your neighbours

Weed a neighbour’s garden. Help someone move. Put up a shelf. Volunteer with a local group. It could be one evening a week or one day a month. Try to do it with other members of your gospel community so it becomes a common project. Then people will see your love for one another and it will be easier to talk about Jesus.

What do you enjoy? Find a local group that shares your passion. Be missional and have fun at the same time!


TO BE MISSIONAL …without adding anything to your schedule TIM CHESTER


We all eat 3 meals a day. That’s 21 opportunities for church and mission each week without adding anything new to your schedule. Meals are a powerful expression of welcome and community.

Work in public places

Hold meetings, prepare talks, read in public spaces like cafés and parks. It will naturally help you engage with the culture as you work or plan. For example, whose questions do you want to address in your Bible studies – those of professional exegetes or those of the culture?

3 Be a regular

Adopt a local restaurant, park and shops, so you regularly visit and become known as a local. Imagine if everyone in your gospel community did this!

in with what’s 4 Join going on

Churches often start their own thing like a coffee shop or homeless program. Instead, join existing initiatives – you don’t have the burden of running it, and you get opportunities with co-workers.


Leave the house in the evenings

After a long day, it’s easy to slump in front of the television or surf the internet. Get out! Visit a friend. Take a cake to a neighbour. Attend a local group. Go to the cinema. Hang out in a café. Go for a walk with a friend. It doesn’t matter where as long as you go with gospel intentionality. 10

February 2014

Spend your lunch break with colleagues. Go for a drink after work. Share the journey to work.

Walking enables you to engage with your neighbourhood at street level. You notice things you don’t in a car. You are seen and known in the neighbourhood.

10 Prayer walk

Eat with other people


7 Share your passion 8 Hang out with your work colleagues 9 Walk

Walk around your neighbourhood using what you see as fuel for prayer. Pray for people, homes, businesses, community groups and community needs. Ask God to open your eyes to where he is at work and to fill your heart with love for your neighbourhood.

Tim Chester is director of The Porterbrook Institute; a church planter with The Crowded House in Sheffield, U.K.; and the author of books including Total Church and You Can Change. This article first appeared at www.vergenetwork. org on Oct. 4, 2011. Used with permission.

COMING EVENTS Pastors Credentialing Orientation June 9–11, 2014 ACTS (located on the campus of Trinity Western University), Langley, B.C.

Gathering 2014 June 11–14, 2014 The Centre, Vancouver, B.C.


e took one look at me from across the Vancouver airport restaurant and walked over. With a handshake, he introduced himself as Joe. Before long, we were talking about life, politics and God. Joe’s ability to string together cuss words could’ve gotten him into the Guinness Book of World Records. I haven’t heard more unprovoked F-bombs in one conversation. Though Joe expressed his views passionately, we didn’t argue. I chuckle now, but one time, after sharing his views, he shoved his middle finger in my face and, with a few words about Jesus [blank] Christ, apologized for his language. Despite his rough exterior, he had an endearing quality. Joe grew up in Canada but was flying to his newer home in Thailand – returning to his Thai wife and young boy. He had other sons – three to be exact – all over the world. He missed his family and was excited to get “home.” But he wouldn’t be there long. Joe worked for a Calgary oil drilling company, stationed offshore in Angola (a country he described with more expletives). Joe claimed his god may go by a different name than mine, but in the end all gods are the same. (“Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi – it doesn’t matter.”) Yet he was also convinced he was god, that we’re all gods. Joe’s sudden appearance at my table was clearly not accidental. He had been drawn to me. He wanted to talk so badly. I noticed immediately the loneliness in his voice. It was even more apparent in his tired eyes. “Why did you come over?” I asked. Joe wasn’t sure. I said I could envision God bringing him over to remind him that God loved him deeply and to give me the pleasure of meeting him. He pondered that for a while. I asked if I could pray for him. He agreed. Surprisingly, he grabbed my hand when I started to pray. I simply asked Jesus to reveal himself to Joe. When I concluded, he said, with eyes


$#% @ F-B O mb #%$

for the



full of tears, “Sam you’re f**ing making me cry.” One more F-bomb for the road, I thought. It made me smile then, and it makes me smile now. When I finish writing this, I’m going to email Joe. I’ll ask how his trip to Thailand went and what God said to him as he travelled. I’m convinced God is pursuing this guy to show him Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. Joe could use a little of all three. Here’s what this meeting makes me think about evangelism: forget winning and losing the argument. I used to be able to argue and curse with the best of them (okay, not quite as efficiently as Joe), but to what end? Sometimes the reality of Jesus in us draws people from across restaurants. And we get to introduce people to our best friend. Sam Dick is an MB Mission mobilization coordinator in Abbotsford, B.C. A version of this story first appeared on Dick’s blog Thoughts on Mission, Discipleship, and Leadership at Apr. 26, 2012. MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

February 2014


If you go back to the origin of chaplaincy,…armies have used chaplains for quite a few centuries. In the Old Testament, there would be a priest in front of the Ark of the Covenant who would pray with the people and lead them into battle.”—Dave Klassen, chaplain for the BC Lions football team and Vancouver Canucks hockey team.


icturing my Mennonite Brethren friends and mentors marching alongside armies into battle is both 12

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difficult and humorous. The stereotype of a bearded and somber Mennonite chaplain (or even a skinny-jeaned, lattéwielding one) carrying the Bible and a well-worn copy of John Howard Yoder’s The Politics of Jesus makes such an image even more absurd. However, the spirit of chaplaincy extends far beyond ministry to army personnel. MBs across Canada hold chaplaincy positions in dozens of social and political contexts, including sports teams, prisons, retirement homes and affinity groups like motorcycle clubs. A chaplain is a counsellor, a mentor, a guide and a companion – a pastor to a specific and

sometimes involuntary congregation. The role can be a challenge but also has the potential to be extremely rewarding. For MBs, it represents a missional effort. Central Heights Church member Dave Klassen calls it “taking God to the people” instead of waiting for the world to come to church.

Sports: the guy in the background It may seem strange that most of Canada’s professional sports teams have chaplains. After all, does God really care about a team’s record?

chaplains: leading the missional charge


“I’m not a player, I’m not on the field. I’m not a coach, I don’t get paid by the team. So what is my role?” When he began the job, this question plagued Klassen, who chaplains the Vancouver Canucks, the BC Lions and the Abbotsford Heat. “Do I just anoint people? Am I praying in the corner?” Klassen found the answer in a picture published in The Province, a Vancouver-based newspaper, after the Lions won the Grey Cup in 2000. “There were three people on the cover of the sports page,” he says. “There was one guy with his helmet in the air, screaming he was so excited. Another guy was kneeling down praying, and another

person behind them was watching.” Klassen was the guy in the background. His job, he realized, is to remind the players why they love the game, helping them to rejoice both in their ability to play and in the one who gave them the opportunity. Of course, Klassen and Winnipeg Blue Bombers chaplain Lorne Korol understand the balance of evangelism. “We openly share our faith,” says Korol, who played professional baseball before becoming a Christian at 35. “[But] I don’t go around the room hitting guys with the Bible.” Korol, who attends Winnipeg’s

The Meeting Place, conducts weekly Bible studies for Bombers players, coaches and staff, as well as game-day chapels for both the team and their opponents. “My role is one of a ministry of care,” he says, “but also to help to provide spiritual guidance for them both on and off the field, and to help them grow, not only as players, but more importantly, as men of God.” With 46 guys on a CFL roster (and players on the practice squad and injury list), Korol has had plenty of opportunities to support and minister to players in their professional and personal journeys. He’s done five funerals for people within the Bombers family. “When real life meets sport, that’s when you’re in need,” he says. Ministering to players is “like a golf course; you have to realize that everyone is at a different place and a different level,” says Klassen. “I’m not going to tee off a par five and pull out the putter. It’s not about trying to get them in the hole; it’s about where they are in their life.” “I just believe that Jesus makes a difference, that he is the difference,” says Klassen. “And so, in the end I want to serve in as many ways as I can with the team.”

Care home: pastor to the living The later years of life are often seen within Christian circles as simply a final push before the “finish line,” yet former Menno Home chaplain Don Enns worked hard to minister to his flock as a “regular congregation” (from 1995–2001). The residents had given administration a mandate: “Don’t just preach to us about heaven. We know we’re all going there, but you don’t have to remind us of that every day.” MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

February 2014


In response, Enns worked to maintain a thriving, vital community, even conducting several marriages during his time at Abbotsford, B.C.’s Menno Home. He found that song and language were key to connecting with residents. At times, these tools would allow insight into souls that could not be reached in any other way. In the Alzheimer’s wing, the effects were most notable. At times, Enns would sit down in front of an Alzheimer’s patient, place his hands upon theirs and ask, “How are you?” The patient’s response rarely made sense, yet “something woke up and I could minister to them.” His seven years as Menno Home chaplain brought Enns challenges, but also great joy. He did everything a pastor would have done for a church (services, Bible studies and individual counselling), yet without the financial and growth worries of a conventional church leader. He worked in tandem with registered nurses, care aids, activity staff and administrators to provide the best spiritual care possible to the residents, many of whom were the age of his own deceased parents and had lived through World War II in Europe. “It felt like I was serving my parents,” he says. “My ministry as a chaplain was the icing on the cake for my total ministry,” says Enns who is now retired and attends Westwood MB Church, Winnipeg; “the highlight of my whole ministry.”

Prison: shepherd for the black sheep Like any pastor or leader, “I have a mandate within Scripture to lead my church,” says Tom Rathjen, chaplain at the minimum security Ferndale Institution and medium-security Mission Institution and also a member of Northview Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C. The difference: “I have a very high concentration of dysfunctional people or people with very difficult pasts. I also have an all-male audience and a captive audience.” Rathjen is counsellor, pastor, administrator and volunteer coordinator in a role that often threatens to burst the seams of a conventional 40-hour 14

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work week. His chapel provides a place of safety and support for inmates, as well as limited employment as “chapel clerks.” The most difficult part of his job is meeting the bureaucratic requirements of government policy, yet his calling shines through the irritations. One of the less obvious but essential roles of a prison chaplain is assisting and organizing the volunteers, many religiously motivated, who provide various services at the institution. Rathjen says volunteers are invaluable to his overall ministry. They are especially important as inmates are released and attempt to integrate back into society, and Rathjen must rely on volunteers to continue the care he began. This ministry, the part “that no fulltime chaplain has time to do,” is the vital bridging that helps these men (and women) move back to the community and reconnect, says Rathjen. Though a full-time community chaplain serves with ex-prisoners, much of the work falls to volunteer organizations like Abbotsford’s M2/W2 with their visitation and NOLA (No One Leaves Alone) programs. A new focus on interculturalism is opening up prison chaplaincies to all religious leaders, ending the historical Christian monopoly. Within the next year or two, Rathjen will be in competition with Buddhist, Muslim, Baha’i and Wiccan chaplains for his position, but for now he continues to serve as he always has. “I think the future of chaplaincy looks good,” says Rathjen. “I think that pluralism and relativism are raising their heads and affecting how we do our chaplaincy, but at this point, as long as we are contractors, we can still be solid Christians presenting a solid gospel and we don’t have to water down anything. “I’ve never had such a great sense of fulfillment in my life as in the work I’m doing right now,” says Rathjen.

Biker club: gospel messenger on a hog Ron Dyck thought the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) members at his church were “‘biker wannabes’ – until I was asked to play guitar and lead worship at one of their spiritual emphasis weekends.”

Dyck, former moderator of the Saskatchewan MB conference and a long-time motorcycle owner, joined a Regina CMA chapter in 2003. Despite never having pastored, he was elected as chaplain for the local chapter. A network engineering manager who describes his previous role at the conference as catering to his “organizational and analytical” strengths, Dyck embraced the opportunity to stretch in a new direction. The CMA combines the positive elements of biking culture with a central focus upon Christian ministry and evangelism. Dyck’s chapter, The Ninety And Nine, holds a weekly Wednesday ride and attends numerous bike rallies and charitable fundraisers. He organized a weekly Alpha group and gives short sermons at many of the bike rallies. “Our mission is to win hearts and souls for Christ in the biking community as well as the community at large, through building relationships,” Dyck says. “The verses that have been most beneficial to me are in Ezekiel, where it talks about the watchmen and the responsibility they have. If they see someone coming and they raise the alarm, the blood of the people will not be on their hands, but if they see it and they don’t say something then it will.”



“Yes, it comes down to a recognition that I am not privileged to be the child of God,” Dyck says, “I am lucky that someone has presented God’s message to me.” Many people – often carrying “a lot of baggage” – haven’t heard, or haven’t been open to that message. “I have started to learn to see those people through Christ’s eyes.”

University: mentor and bridge-builder “University students do not need easy answers,” says Rebecca Stanley, MB-designated chaplain at the University of B.C., 2007–2010. “They need people who will walk with them as they ask challenging questions about how the faith of their childhood stands up in the face of today’s world. They need people who will demonstrate a life lived in light of God’s redemptive and peacemaking work.” A multi-faith organization, the UBC Chaplains’ Association consists mainly of campus workers representing Christian denominations. The B.C. Conference of MB Churches fundraised a half-time salary for Stanley as the MB chaplain at UBC with Ron Toews providing oversight along with a chaplaincy committee. Stanley’s role involved attending

Association meetings, collaborating with other chaplains on special events, taking part in the “Chaplains in Rez” program at Gage Residence and, of course, serving Mennonite Brethren students on the campus, whether assisting them in finding housing or praying for them over coffee. In her official work on campus, she was obligated to determine a student’s religious background (Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Anglican, Baptist, Mennonite, etc.) and direct him or her to supports in that particular community; however, “if a student had no connection to a particular religion or denomination, I could share about my own faith journey.” Stanley observes that in a context where the aggressive evangelistic posture of some campus groups created tension, “my role was to ‘bridge the gap’ between the more aggressive groups and the mainline denominations.” Understanding the concerns of both sides, she helped navigate healthy dialogue. “My chaplaincy work was closely tied to our pastoral ministry with Urban Journey [a BCMB church planting venture],” says Stanley. “I believe it’s important for university students to connect with a church community while studying, so alongside my personal

chaplaincy work, I made it a priority to connect students with local church communities.” At the same time, “my role as a chaplain moved me out of church culture…to learn what it truly means to be missional,” Stanley says. “It is only as Christians live out a [Micah 6:8] calling – living what we preach, offering mercy to the very ones we think don’t deserve it and demonstrating a posture of humility before our Creator and the world – that God’s mission is furthered.” Stanley calls it “a joy” to provide opportunities “for students to honestly consider the intersection of their faith with learning.” Now as a UBC law student, she volunteers as chaplain for the Christian Law Students Association, and continues to break down stereotypes about Christians by endeavouring “to treat all people with respect, engage in thoughtful discussions and humbly share our faith journeys with those who are open to hear.”

Paul Esau was a summer intern with CCMBC and the MB Herald. He is a member of The Life Centre, Abbotsford, B.C. MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

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Is it


or gas?

The furrowed brow added intensity to his words: “I sense…I feel...there’s someone here who needs to confess. You’re stressed and anxious, your stomach is in knots, and there’s pain…great pain. God is convicting you of sin.” “Or,” said another man, pointing to the buffet table, “maybe the pizza didn’t agree with you!” There was a ripple of good-natured laughter in the room. How could we know? Was it God – or was it gas?



n 2013, North Langley Community Church held a prayer ministry training seminar, and a visiting pastor expressed concern about properly discerning the voice of God. Is it God? Our own flesh? A deception from the enemy? We must be ready to evaluate everything people claim they’re speaking on God’s behalf. But how? We can find valuable insights in 1 and 2 John about how to “test” what we’re hearing.

1. Right doctrine... discerned in community The Word of God is the primary means of recognizing God’s voice. Do the “words” given contradict 16

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the “Word” of Scripture, or do they line up with what we already know about God and his kingdom (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15)? Here, many of us face a dilemma. We may not feel confident that we’re familiar enough with the Bible or understand it correctly. The good news is that letters such as 1 and 2 John were written not just to individuals but to a community – all the biblical instructions to love, live righteously, obey and “test the spirits” were corporate instructions. So, our first priority in discerning whether we’re hearing from God is to consult with our community of leaders and peers who are well-versed in Scripture and wise in its application.

2. Right actions... promoting community In the historical context of 1 and 2 John, members of the community had broken off and were teaching false doctrine (which paralleled the gnosticism addressed in Colossians) – presumably as itinerant prophets (2 John 10–11). These secessionists were labelled “antichrists.” They had withdrawn from the main body of believers and were actively attempting to convert others.

4. Right fulfillment... acknowledged by community We may be tempted to think the most important test is whether or not a prophetic word is fulfilled. And yet, Scripture doesn’t give this litmus test the highest priority. While the Old Testament teaches true prophetic words come to pass and false words fail (Deuteronomy 18:22; Isaiah 41:21–24; Ezekiel 33:33), another test trumps this one. Deuteronomy 13:1–3 says, “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, ‘Let us follow other gods’…you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.” Some prophetic words, although accurate, are actually demonic in origin. Accuracy in reflecting reality (present and future) is a significant commendation to the authenticity of the prophecy but far from infallible. True prophetic fulfillment leads to true worship. The true test Scripture clearly offers us tests for discerning a word from God. At times, there may be errors to correct and darkness to rebuke. However, no one grows in an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust, and it’s crucial we take risks. In humility, love and accountability, we can facilitate the “light” of the Holy Spirit to dispel these shadows, placing the focus on God rather than the enemy or the failings of our flesh. The church community can provide a safe environment where we, the people of God, can grow in our practice of the gifts of the Spirit and be encouraged to learn to recognize God’s voice. No lamb is born knowing his master’s voice, but there is much we can do to help one another learn to hear, heed and recount the words of our Good Shepherd.


“No.” All of the above are red flags, actions contrary to what the Word of God calls “right behaviour” (1 John 2:18–20). If what we’re saying or hearing encourages isolation or a critical spirit, or creates barriers that separate the community of believers on issues other than salvation, then it’s likely not from God.

3. Right attitude... benefiting community 1 John 4:2 says, “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” The word for “confess” is a Greek transliteration of a Hebraism that means not just “to agree” – demons agree on who Christ is and tremble (James 2:19) – but “to celebrate” and “to fully live in accord with” Jesus (Hebrews 13:15). That a demon cannot do. There was no praise in the Gerasene demoniac’s acknowledgement of Christ as “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”; it was sheer torment (Mark 5:7). Those who truly hear from God have an attitude of humility, devotion and joyful celebration. Their lifestyle and character attest to godliness, and they manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Matthew 7:15–16; Galatians 5:22–23).

“What do you mean, ‘no’?” “No, I won’t do it for you. You’re in leadership – you do it. Besides, my stomach hurts. I think that pizza gave me gas.” It was a huge risk, but with prayerful support of fellow leaders, I reluctantly chose to deliver what I believed was a prohetic word to a friend I hadn’t seen in years. An hour later, the deed was done, albeit clumsily and abruptly. There was no way to gracefully say, “I had a dream last week that you were unfaithful to your wife.” My friend was shocked into silence. He looked down, cleared his throat and haltingly asked me whether I had told his wife. I assured him I hadn’t. But God might. After all, he told me. After two years of hard work, Vic and Annie (not their real names) are now solid in their marriage, restored to fellowship in their church, and actively counselling other couples in crisis. It was worth the risk. Because sometimes, it’s not gas.

Nikki White serves as director of worship and prayer for women’s ministries at North Langley (B.C.) Community Church.


February 2014


N E W S in stor y PHILADELPHIA, Pa.


hireen Awwad Hilal, a Palestinian Christian, has hope for Israel-Palestine. “Few people view our situation with hope, and the concept of reconciliation is controversial,” she said at the Impact Holy Land conference Dec. 4–6, 2013. “Let us commit to see hope where others see hopelessness.” Hilal teaches and is assistant dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College, a partner of Mennonite Central Committee. She believes in the power of relationships, which she sees in her role as the women’s minister for Musalaha (Reconciliation), an organization developing relationships between Palestinian and Israeli believers. “When you know names, you have a friendship,” she said. “You begin to see what you have in common with a stranger.” The conference, organized by Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), was meant to open conversation around differing perspectives on Israel-Palestine. It was held at the Friends Center in downtown Philadelphia, Pa. About 250 attendees came from a variety of perspectives, including more than 50 Anabaptists. MCC U.S. awarded 50 scholarships for Anabaptists to attend. H i l a l a nd t he 18 ot her presenters told their stories of seeking peace in Israel-Palestine and reminded attendees of the responsibility Christians have to promote change there. Expand the circle Paul Alexander, co-president of ESA and the Ronald J. Sider professor of theology, social ethics and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary, said Impact Holy Land enabled a unique conversation. “We wanted to continue to expand the circle and have a 18

February 2014

conversation in the U.S. that had never happened before ever – bringing together Christian Zionists, Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians – and have a conversation here in the U.S. for those and with those who are comfortable identifying as evangelical,” he said. MCC was attracted to the conference because of the diversity of speakers. It enlisted the help of Mennonite Church USA to recruit pastors and leaders to the conference from a range of backgrounds and perspectives. “We think this is a really critical issue for the church in the U.S. and especially Anabaptists,” said MCC U.S. director J Ron Byler. “We know a lot of pastors go to the Middle East and don’t always get a broad scope of the issues there, and the conference is one way for us to think more holistically about the challenges facing the Jewish and Palestinian communities and us as Christians.” Jason Boone, coordinating minister of the Peace and Justice Support Network, said, “We’re trying to articulate that this is sort of the tinderbox for much of the conflict in the world. As peacemakers, if we want to see peace and shalom for all, then we have to look at the Middle East.” Presenter Shane Claiborne, founder of the intentional community The Simple Way, also said the Middle East can’t be ignored in seeking peace for all. “Injustice anywhere should interrupt our comfort and our routines.” In 2009, Palestinian Christians published the Palestine Kairos document asking for support from Christians around the world.


Anabaptists join conversation to Impact Holy Land

(From left) Ron Sider, Jonathan Kuttab, John F. Lapp and Jim Rice discuss what they’ve heard about the Israel-Palestine conflict during a meeting for Anabaptists at the Impact Holy Land conference in Philadelphia Dec. 4– 6, 2013.

“I think it’s an afterthought to most of MCC’s constituency church members that there are actually Christians in Palestine,” he said. “We don’t think about how we can support the church there. I’m hoping this conference allows us to give voice to the Christians that are in Palestine.” One such Palestinian Christian born in Israel was Musalaha’s founder Salim Munayer. He talked about the transformative power of relationships. “How can we say that we love [the] God that we don’t see, but we hate the neighbour that we do see, our brother and sister?” he asked. Palestinian Christians spoke alongside Israeli Christians, Israeli and Palestinian Messianic Jews, an Ethiopian Messianic Jew, a branch leader of Jews for Jesus, as well as American pastors, rabbis and scholars. They shared their own journey to understanding the conflict and expressed views on what Christians could do next. Closing speaker Tony Campolo, sociology professor emeritus at Eastern University, said, “If we don’t as Christians lead the way to peace in this very, very tense situation, the ramifications in geopolitical terms are awesome to think about.”

Its personnel have seen how both sides suffer. “I hope the conversation continues, and I hope from MCC’s perspective some things can come out of the conversation about what role the church can play in this situation,” he said. Russell Jensen, pastor of Belmont Neighborhood Fellowship in Elkhart, Ind., is prepared to do that. He and his wife Denise met while serving in Israel. “Our experience began in the Jewish setting but has broadened over the years to give us connections on both sides,” he said. “We just have a real hope that the church, as it seeks to educate itself on the situation, will be open to hearing both sides.” Many presenters echoed a similar sentiment. Archbishop Elias Chacour, a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was evicted from his land when it was given to Israel by the U.N. in 1947. He’s spent more than 30 years working to build bridges between faith traditions in Israel-Palestine. “We don’t need a nyone to come tell us how to live together,” he said. “We need just to activate our memory and remember how we used to live together century after century What now? C a nad ia n Da n B ergen, after century.” Palestinians, Christians MCC Palestine and Israel repre- Kelli Yoder is assistant editor/web Byler heard many people say sentative, said MCC is one of the editor for the Mennonite World this was their first time meeting longest-standing relief organiza- Review, where this article first Palestinian Christians. tions working in Israel-Palestine. appeared.

N E W S in brief TWU School of Law made its case

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada approved Trinity Western University’s (TWU) proposal for a School of Law. Recognizing the public debate regarding TWU’s faith-based core, TWU president Bob Kuhn, himself a lawyer, says, “While the university does have strong religious roots, it is committed to fully and comprehensively teaching all aspects of law including human rights, ethics and professionalism.” TWU will offer unique courses in charities/not-forprofit law and entrepreneurial law. Approval from the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education is pending.—TWU release

CSSM becomes One Hope Canada

The 86-year-old Canadian Sunday School Mission changed its name to One Hope Canada Jan. 1, 2014. Co-executive director Bill McCaskett says the change came from a desire to “introduce the mission to a new generation.” The mission introduces youth to Jesus through some 40 camps, 17 church plants, vacation Bible schools, aboriginal ministry, itinerant evangelism and Bible clubs across Canada. The new name “describes why we do what we do and not just what.”—ChristianWeek

Lithuania conference joins MBs

The Free Christian Churches of Lithuania, a conference of 7 church plants and 200 congregants, will be welcomed into the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) at its annual summit in Luanda, Angola, in May. After decades under Communism and official atheism, these Lithuanians are among many embracing freedom of worship. ICOMB executive director David Wiebe says he’s inspired by how they live their faith in a country with a high suicide rate, struggling economy, rising numbers of orphaned and abandoned children, and alcohol abuse. LCC International University, the only Christian liberal arts university in the former Soviet Union, is a unifying influence in the conference.—CCMBC release

Gold medal ministry

Unlike Vancouver’s in 2010, Sochi’s Olympics planners have opted for few international chaplains. The Russian Orthodox Church and Russia’s Baptist and Pentecostal unions will offer most of the Christian ministry at the Games. Russia’s overriding concern is state security; Sochi is close to the North Caucasus Mountains where an Islamist insurgency

is raging. Canadian missionary in Moscow, Kelly Manire, who will serve at the Games, says, “There is a definite interest in God in Russia…and a lot of evangelical churches are seeing really good things happen.”— ChristianWeek

A proposal for prostitution reform

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) is concerned about the safety of vulnerable women and children following the December 2013 Supreme Court of Canada decision to strike down all 3 provisions of Canada’s prostitution laws: keeping a common bawdy house (brothel), communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails (revenues) of prostitution. The EFC supports amending Canada’s current laws to a version of Sweden’s, “which make the buying of sex illegal, targeting the ‘pimps’ and ‘johns’…while decriminalizing those who are being prostituted and offering them opportunities and supports to exit prostitution,” says EFC general legal counsel Don Hutchinson. In December, the EFC delivered a comprehensive proposal for reforming Canada’s prostitution laws to the prime minister and the ministers of justice and public safety, and then all parliamentarians.—EFC release



N E W S in stor y WINNIPEG

book written 100 years ago by a German Baptist minister provides insight into the relationship among Mennonite Brethren and German Baptist churches in German communities in what is now Ukraine. Through the translating efforts of retired educator, Walter Regehr of Winnipeg, Johann E. Pritzkau’s 1914 book, German Baptists in South Russia, is now available in English. “I feel humbly grateful that I have been able to do something for my Mennonite community to make this material available,” said Regehr at a November book launch hosted by the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies (CMBS) in Winnipeg. Religious persecution did not stop Baptists, Mennonites and others from starting a spiritual renewal movement among


February 2014

German-speaking people who had been invited by Catherine the Great to settle in South Russia, Albert Wardin, a Baptist scholar from Nashville, Tenn., told the gathering of 45 people. Jon Isaak, CMBS director, says the book offers insight into the challenges and opportunities for the German colonists of South Russia to work together. “Over 100 years ago, MBs worked together with other Christian groups,” says Isaak. “MBs have not always done so. Recently, MBs have once again realized that we can always do more together than by ourselves, even partnering with those with whom we differ as we participate together in God’s mission in this world.” However, he adds, Pritzkau’s account of the early history of Baptist churches also points out



Baptist book illuminates MB history

Albert Wardin, Jon Isaak, Abe Dueck and Walter Regehr at the launch of the English translation of German Baptists in South Russia.

“embarrassing aspects” of early MB missionary activity in South Russia. Pritzkau writes that membership in a state-recognized church was important to establish national identity since the local church submitted the certificates of death, birth, baptism and marriages to the Russian government. Although MB churches nurtured and baptized new converts, Pritzkau says they did not grant membership status to new converts from German Catholic and Lutheran villages. The MB church feared it would lose its privilege of military exemption given to Mennonites and their descendants. In his account about the Baptist church at Kronental,

Pritzkau says the first members had been baptized by MB evangelists. But without formal membership in a recognized church, the new converts were considered stateless and suspect. As a result, they turned to the German Baptist Association for acceptance into the Union. MB inf luence in Russia is seen throughout the Baptist history book. “We can learn from the successes and failures of that early MB mission, especially as we learn how to work together with other Christian groups,” says Isaak. Gladys Terichow is the staff writer for the Canadian Conference of MB Churches

TR ANSITIONS Church Anniversary

Hope Fellowship Church, Saskatoon, celebrated their 20th anniversary, Jan 26, 2014. The church was founded Jan. 23, 1994, in the building of Central MB Church, which closed in 1993 due to change of vision. Abe Unrau served as pastor for the first year. Terrance Froese pastored the congregation from 1996 to 2013. In a time of transition, the church of 106 members is currently led by long-time associate pastor Dale Kary and the elder board.

ANDERS – to Justin & Jenelle (Neufeld) of Winnipeg, twin daughters, Brooklyn Madison & Rylee McKenna, Sept. 7, 2013. GRENIER – to Joey & Diella of Morden, Man., a son, Liam Trevis Drake, Nov. 22, 2013. HARMS – to Curtis & April of Morden, Man., a son, Jory Jake, Nov. 5, 2013. LANDRY – to Seth & Betty of Winkler, Man., a daughter, Delilah Rayne, Sept. 20, 2013. NAVARRO – to Dave & Justine (Janzen) of Abbotsford, B.C., a son, Connor David, July 23, 2013.

RABAN – to Everett & Janine of Morden, Man., a daughter, Eliza Jane, Oct. 3, 2013. SMITH – to Daryl & Lisa of London, Ont., a daughter, Regan Isla, Nov. 24, 2013. VOTH – to Colin & Carla of Altona, Man., a daughter, Chelsea Grace, June 14, 2013. WALL – to Matt & Crystal of Winkler, Man., a son, Elijah Jeremiah, Oct. 30, 2013. WIEBE – to Hank & Ashley of Morden, Man., a son, William Hank, Aug. 17, 2013. WILSON – to Josh & Lacey of Lacombe, Alta., a son, Robert Jacob, Oct. 28, 2013.

NELSON – to Jay & Pam of Morden, Man., a son, Ethan Cruz, Sept. 4, 2013.

Riley DYCK of Morden, Man., & Tracey FEHR of Winkler, Man., Nov. 9, 2013.

PRIES – to Darren & Nicole of Orillia, Ont., a son, Titus Jacob, Oct. 16, 2013.

Jonathan SIEMENS of Winkler, Man., & Nicole MATHIEU of Winnipeg, Aug. 23, 2013.

Canadian Mennonite Universit y appointed Gordon Zerbe as vice president academic effective June 2014, replacing Earl Davey who retires in June following 6 years in that role. Zerbe served as academic dean 2004–2007 and taught in the biblical and theological studies department at CMU (and its predecessor colleges MBBC/Concord) since 1990. Zerbe holds a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, MAs from Western Washington University and MBBS, and a BA in social work from Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan. McIvor MB Church, Winnipeg, welcomed Justin Fraser as worship coordinator Jan. 2, 2014. Set to graduate from Canadian Mennonite University in spring with a BMus degree, he has led and participated in worship teams at many churches including Fort Garry MB, Winnipeg. Justin is married to Brittany. Westside Community Church, Morden, Man., welcomed Nichole Forbes as a halftime children’s pastor starting Sept. 1, 2013. Nichole and Brad have 3 children. Shannon Girard began as pastor of youth and family at Community Fellowship Centre, Newton, Man., Jan. 1, 2014. She has a BRE with a specialty in lay counselling and youth ministry from Heritage Bible College, Cambridge, Ont., and has previously worked for Compassion Canada, and volunteered as a youth worker in her local Alliance church. Shannon and Paul Henry have 3 boys.

10-year assignment as church planters with MB Mission. Cecil has a BA in Spanish and history from California State University of Bakersfield, a master’s in education from Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, Cal., and has pursued seminary courses at Western Theological Seminary, Portland. Tracy has a BA in English and linguistics, an MA in education, and spent a year at seminary in Brazil. As lay leaders at Laurelglen, they led Bible studies and missional initiatives. During their first term in Thailand, they will be involved in learning language and culture. Cecil and Tracy have 2 sons: Solas, Judah. Leslie Hawthorne Klingler accepted the position as contract editor for Rejoice!, a daily devotional released quarterly, co-published by Kindred Productions and MennoMedia. Hawthorne Klingler has worked for MCC in Central America, as communications manager for a Christian nonprofit, and launched a freelance writing, editing and graphic design business. She has an MA in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Cal. Hawthorne Klingler currently teaches part-time at Wheaton College, Ill., and delights in raising 3 school-age children. She and Tim have been members of Lombard Mennonite Church in Illinois since 1995. Previous editor, J Janzen concluded his tenure Dec. 20, 2013, to devote full-time attention to the growing Highland Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C., where he serves as pastoral elder. Hawthorne Klingler began Jan. 6, 2014, working from her home in Illinois. Selkirk (Man.) Community Church pastor Scott Koop has resigned effective Feb. 28, 2014. He is seeking God’s leading for work in the marketplace. He will continue in the role of chaplain for the Selkirk Steelers Jr. hockey team and the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball club. Director since March 2012, Kendra Freeland concluded her time with Camp Likely, Williams Lake, B.C., at the end of 2013. The Camp Likely board thanks Kendra for her service.

got news? Cecil and Tracy Ramos of Laurelglen Bible Church, Bakersfield, Calif., arrived in Thailand in December 2013 to begin a

Contact with pastoral transition and church anniversary information. MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD

February 2014


Child Sponsorship in Ukraine A DISCIPLESHIP SCHOOL

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY Outtatown Site Leader One Semester positions: Burkina Faso Two Semester positions: Guatemala, South Africa “As a Site Leader with the Outtatown Discipleship School, I spent two of the best years of my life leading, traveling, serving and learning alongside youth from all over North America.” -former Outtatown Site Leader

An estimated 70,000 children

live in underfunded and conditionally poor state institutions in Ukraine, Romania and Moldova. Orphaned, abandoned or placed there as a result of government intervention, these children need our love and support over a long period of time. Please, would you prayerfully consider sponsoring one of these children today? The monthly amount is just $32.00 and is tax deductible. Your gift will allow us to bring God’s love and speak His truth into their hearts. A gift of sponsorship will also help us address the physical and emotional needs of these deserving children. For more information or to begin a child sponsorship, please call us toll free at:


More information: Call: 204.487.3300 Email:

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February 2014

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February 2014




"Come Let us sing for Joy to the Lord” Sunday, March 16, 7:00 p.m. Clearbrook MB Church

Jacob’s Choice: Return to Northkill Book 1 by Ervin R. Stutzman Jacob Hochstetler lives peacefully with his Amish family at the foot of the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania. His beliefs are severely tested one night in September 1757 when an Indian raid on his home leaves some family members dead and others captured. Based on a true story. Paperback 350 pages. $14.99 USD. 978-0-8361-9681-8. Due out: February 8, 2014.

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Jacob’s Choice Expanded Edition includes the story plus maps, photographs, genealogy, and more. Hardcover 392 pages. $29.99 USD. 978-0-8361-9875-1. Due out: February 8, 2014.

Music by the Chancel Choir Visual report on youth camps in the former Soviet Union by Dave Loewen

Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds by Saloma Miller Furlong (author of Why I Left the Amish) At the age of twenty, Saloma Miller left her Amish community in Ohio and boarded a night train to Vermont. Bonnet Strings offers a universal story of overcoming adversity and a rare look inside an Amish community. Memoir/Biography. Paperback 350 pages. $15.99 USD. 978-0-8361-9858-4. Due out: February 3, 2014.

To order: Canada: 800-631-6535 • USA: 800-245-7894

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CHINA: LAND & PEOPLE Descendants of the Dragon October 5-24, 2014

ISRAEL & JORDAN Land, the People & the Book March 2014 & May 2015

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February 2014

Help Feed Families in Ukraine

Years of Communist oppression have left many families destitute in Ukraine, Romania and Moldova. Millions live on less than $2.00 per day.

Help us keep these families together through a gift of sponsorship. Family sponsorship begins at $29.00 per month. Help us bring hope, God’s love and a future to these needy people. For more information please call our toll free number or visit our website at www., TODAY.

u o y k n Thamaking for his a t ity. prior

Mission Without Ministering to Families in Ukraine Borders Toll Free: 1-800 494-4454

Leadership opportunities overseas Is God calling you to use your leadership, management skills and experiences to serve others through Mennonite Central Committee?

2015 Haiti Palestine/Israel Laos

“MULTIPLY” April 1 & 2, 2014 Calgary, AB Many pastors/leaders are asking:

How can our church multiply? Should we start a 2nd service?

gnihtyreve dna s’droL eht si htrae ehT“ ”.ti ni evil ohw lla dna ,dlrow eht ,ti ni

2014 Southern Africa Central and West Africa Northeast Asia Egypt

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MCC is looking to fill key leadership positions.

Is multi-site an option for us? Is it time for us to plant?

Venue: The Coast Plaza Hotel Watch for more details! Planting & Multiplying Churches FROM SEA TO SEA

Send resume and letter of interest to 717-859-1151 or 204-261-6381

Board Position Vacancies The Canadian Conference of MB Churches is looking for gifted and passionate individuals to fill vacancies on several boards. If you would like to nominate someone for one or more of the following boards, please contact the CCMBC nominations committee chair, Victor Martens, Nominees are required to walk through a nomination process, provide their faith story and resume, and be supported by their home church and provincial conference. The nominations committee will consider giftedness, as well as regional, cultural, and gender representation. Those who best fit the required criteria will be presented to the conference for ratification. Present board vacancies include:

CCMBC Executive Board Board of Faith and Life MCC Canada Delegate Assembly CCMBC Nominations Committee


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Contact to subscribe, or go to


February 2014



CAREER OPPORTUNITY Director of Development Full Time Responsible to oversee and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy and program to financially support the mission of CMU. More information: Call: 204.487.3300 Email:

Tedd Epp 306 221 1614 Helping you find your way home... in Winnipeg

DAVID UNRUH 204-453-7653 February 2014 

Vauxhall (Alta.) MB Church is prayerfully seeking a lead pastor who loves the Lord, his Word, and his people. Vauxhall MB is a congregation of about 150 people in a town of 1,000. We are a rural community church that serves a radius of approximately 50 km. We desire a pastor with strong expository preaching skills. We are also looking for someone who is able to work with a team; we have a full-time associate pastor and a parttime office administrator. Visit to learn more about us. Send resumes via email to Cariboo Bethel Church is now taking applications for youth pastor “plus.” We are located in Williams Lake, B.C. Our city of 11,000 acts as a hub, serving an additional 30,000 in the central interior region of this beautiful province. Bethel is a Christ-centred, Spirit-led faith family of more than 250 people, with a multichurch youth group of 40–60 attendees (age 13–18) and a volunteer core of 15–20 youth and adults. This will be a full-time, custom-designed position serving alongside the lead pastor as a key partner on our church leadership team. The person God is calling to join us will primarily develop discipleship and ministry among young people. In addition, this person will contribute to the greater mission of our church by serving in another area of ministry according to gifts, experience and passion (i.e., worship, children and families, local mission or camp ministry). Interested? Please strike up a conversation with us in an email to We can send you a full job description and a summary of who we are as a church family.



Lead Pastor

Youth Pastor “Plus”



located 30 minutes from Lake Winnipeg with its abundance of beaches and recreational activities. For more information in confidence, please contact Gary at 204-757-2358 or gary@exceed-analysis .com. We look forward to your reply. Stay thirsty.

Lead Pastor

North Peace MB Church, Fort St. John, B.C., is prayerfully seeking a lead pastor who loves the Lord, the Word and God’s people. We are an established congregation of 250+ with a reach of 400+ serving the growing city and area of Fort St. John. We are located in the fast-growing energy sector (oil & gas exploration) of the Peace Region in northeastern British Columbia. NPMB is a multigenerational, multi-staff church, excited about the future and God’s leading in discerning a lead pastor. This will be a great opportunity for the right person (and family) the Lord calls to this ministry. Our profile, qualifications, job description and contact information can be found at

English Ministry Pastor

Pacific Grace Mandarin Church, Burnaby, B.C., is prayerfully seeking an English ministry pastor who loves the Lord, the Word and God’s people. PGMC English Ministry is a group of 20–25 young adults and youth that formed out of the Mandarin Congregation of 150 people. You will be responsible to the church leadership team, working under the supervision of the senior pastor. You will enjoy connecting with young people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Responsibilities: preaching and worship ministry, development and implementation of strategies to equip and encourage young adults for Christian living, student outreach, Sunday School, and youth fellowship. Contact:, Rev. Leo Chia.

Lead Pastor



BIBLICAL STUDIES FACULTY Columbia Bible College seeks full-time teaching faculty in biblical studies specializing in New Testament with the capacity to teach a broader range of biblical and theological courses. Preference given to candidates with a doctorate and/or a minimum 5 years’ teaching experience. Extended health and pension benefits. Start date 08/16/2014. Conditions of employment: agreement with and commitment to the CBC mission statement, responsibilities of community membership statement, and the BCMB (B.C. Mennonite Brethren) or MCBC (Mennonite Church BC) Confessions of Faith; credentialing in the BCMB or MCBC denominations (within 1 year of hire); membership in good standing in a local BCMB or MCBC church or willingness to join. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Apply at careers.

Highland MB Church, Calgary, has come through a time of transitional ministry and is now looking for a lead pastor-teacher who will be a discipler-equipper in order that the congregation will be built up. We desire to grow in every way more and more like Christ Jesus our Lord. We desire that every congregant be equipped to do the work for which God has gifted them as we all accomplish God’s mission for us, so that the whole body will increasingly become healthy, growing and full of love. See our website for more details: www.hmbc. ca/employment. Selkirk (Man.) Community Church is seeking a pastor for our congregation, which is diverse in age and culture and has an attendance of about 70. We are looking for a pastor to help shape and challenge us in authentic community with God and with the greater Selkirk area. We are seeking someone who will connect well with our church family and in our neighbourhoods. Selkirk is a growing and welcoming community with all the necessary amenities. Situated on the banks of the Red River (20 minutes north of Winnipeg, Man.), this city of more than 11,000 is also

WORSHIP ARTS FACULTY Columbia Bible College seeks full-time faculty to provide leadership to the worship arts program. The responsibilities include ¾-time teaching and ¼-time program administration. This position receives extended health and pension benefits. Start date: 08/16/2014. Conditions of employment: agreement with and commitment to the CBC mission statement, responsibilities of community membership statement, and the BCMB (B.C. Mennonite Brethren) or MCBC (Mennonite Church BC) Confessions of Faith; credentialing in the BCMB or MCBC denominations (within 1 year of hire); membership in good standing in a local BCMB or MCBC church or willingness to join. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Apply at careers.

Finish lines

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.—2 Timothy 4:7

David Levi Lepp July 14, 1919–July 16, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Dalmeny, Sask. PARENTS: Jacob & Tina Lepp MARRIAGE: Elma Wiens, Sept. 26, 1943 [d. 1999]; Helen Boldt, 2000 [d. 2012] BAPTISM: 1939 CHURCH: Dalmeny FAMILY: children Sheldon [d. 1997], Ellen (Daniel) Block, Ray (Margaret), Kathleen (Theodore) Neufeld, Pauline (Calvin) Dirks, Dawn (Peter) Loch; 15 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; Helen’s children Evelyn (John) Krahn, Harold (Elly) Boldt, Ron (Diane) Boldt, Warren (Cheryl) Boldt; stepgrandchildren; step-great-grandchildren

David’s family had 14 children from 3 mothers. The drought of 1919 made David the only “crop.” At Mountain Lake School, David picked up his teacher Henry P. Wiebe’s skills for music and handwriting. David thrived on music, learning to sing and read notes using the Sol-Fa system. Growing up in a lay preacher’s home, David felt convicted of sin at an early age. He asked God to save him as a teen, but kept the decision to himself. “I didn’t grow spiritually or have victory until Bible School where I took a firm stand,” he said. David loved dairy farming on his family’s homestead with Elma, the girl from down the road. Believing each person should give back to the community, David taught Sunday school and served on the school and nursing home boards. He passed on ancestral stories and moral lessons to his sons and nephews during pre-harvest machinery inspections. An avid reader, even in his last days, he read the Star Phoenix to keep up on events. David served the choir 1945–76, learning the songs while milking. At nearly 40, he learned saxophone for the Dalmeny Band, and at 90, directed his last choir at Bethany Manor’s Easter concert. His optimism was buoyed by his octogenarian romance with Helen, whom he cared for after her stroke. Whenever David felt alone, he’d “think of a song, and everything is alright.” Through storms and poor harvests, David held onto hope.

Jessie Froese

FAMILY: John; children Willie (Pat), Harry (Lorna), Linda (Harv), Ruth (Rob), Leona (Herb), Johnny (Kim), Ken (Gloria); 15 grandchildren; 7 greatgrandchildren; 3 siblings

Jessie’s family immigrated to Canada in 1924, settling in the Elm Creek, Man., area where she spent nearly all of her life. As a youth, Jessie sang in choir and taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school. She was a good homemaker, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She volunteered at the MCC thrift store and in the ladies’ Bible study. In 1988, when the family moved to town, Jessie connected with the seniors’ group and often had ladies for freshly baked buns and cinnamon rolls on Saturdays. In January 2012, Jessie and John moved to Meadows Estate, Carman, Man. Despite the health issues that limited her homemaking activities, she remained content and trusted in the Lord.

Mary Giesbrecht Nov. 24, 1925–Sept. 20, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Mexico PARENTS: Isaac & Katharina (Janzen) Fehr MARRIAGE: Edward Giesbrecht, Oct. 3, 1943 [d. 2008] BAPTISM: Sommerfelder, 1943 CHURCH: River East MB, Winnipeg; Winkler (Man.) MB FAMILY: children Yvonne (John) Trinke, Sandra Thiessen, Lori Ezako (Lorne Ozuk), Ed (Janet), Lorne (Carol), Gene (Barb); son-in-law Rob Ezako; 18 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters

Mary’s family immigrated to Canada in 1927, settling in Haskett, Man. She was disappointed when her schooling ended after Grade 7. Thereafter, her days were filled with chores and housework. She became an accomplished seamstress, sewing her own and her daughters’ wedding dresses. Mary was quarantined in the St. Boniface Sanatorium for tuberculosis for 2 years, only permitted to wave at her toddlers through a window. She was blessed with health and energy when her grandchildren were born and enjoyed them fully. In 1999, a stroke ended her handiwork. Through medical problems, even as she questioned “Why?” Mary’s faith remained strong.

July 15, 1924–Aug. 17, 2013

Annie Janzen Dec. 24, 1924–Sept. 24, 2013 BIRTHPLACE: Steinbach, Ukraine PARENTS: John & Martha Schmidt MARRIAGE: John Froese, July 1, 1950 BAPTISM: Newton (Man.) MB CHURCH: Elm Creek (Man.) MB

BIRTHPLACE: Winkler, Man. PARENTS: Kornelius H. & Susanna Neufeld

MARRIAGE: Abraham Janzen, Oct. 7, 1944 [d. Mar. 18, 2007] BAPTISM: Winkler MB, July 14, 1956 FAMILY: sons Richard (Debbie), Robert (Linda), David (Elaine); their families

Mary Enns May 10, 1926–Sept. 26, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Winkler, Man. PARENTS: Henry K. & Annie (Wiebe) Enns BAPTISM: Winkler (Man.) MB, Sept. 10, 1945 CHURCH: Portage Avenue, Winnipeg FAMILY: sisters Tina (Rob) Harvey, Susan Van Volkenburgh, Anne (Abe) Hyde, Lena (Heinz) Strissel, Betty (Peter) Braun

Mary accepted Jesus as Saviour at 18. She attended Zion School and worked on the farm. In 1947, Mary began working at Bethesda, Vineland, Ont., for 2.5 years, followed by 1.5 years at Ninette (Man.) Sanatorium. She earned a teaching diploma in Winnipeg. Mary started as a full-time housekeeper, which led to babysitting for the Thorvaldsons and Hills, 2 families with 2 girls who became Mary’s source of pride and many smiles. Mary travelled to 22 countries, including India, Spain, Wales, Switzerland, Russia, Israel and Iceland. She made good friends at Lions Place, Winnipeg, 2006–2011. A stroke Oct. 2, 2011, affected her mind, and she moved to Donwood Manor, Winnipeg, Feb. 6, 2012.

Loreen (Kae) Katharine Penner Apr. 15, 1937–Sept. 27, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Winkler, Man. PARENTS: Jacob & Selma Konrad MARRIAGE: Dave Penner, Nov. 18, 1961 BAPTISM: Manitou (Man.) MB CHURCH: Willow Park, Kelowna, B.C. FAMILY: Dave; children Lloyd (Christine), Joan (Sieg) Redekopp, Luella (Darcy) Kuhl; 5 grandchildren; 2 siblings

Kae attended school in Archibald, Manitou, Winnipeg and Winkler, Man. She received Christ as Saviour at DVBS at 10 and was baptized upon her confession of faith. She taught DVBS and Sunday school and sang in the choir. Kae and Dave lived in Killarney, Man., and moved to Kae’s hometown of Manitou in 1966. Kae’s children were her joy. She loved having people into her home. She sat at the bedside of many sick



February 2014


and dying people and prayed with them. She experienced delight in reading and memorizing God’s Word and praying. Kae and Dave delivered hundreds of Bibles to schools and hospitals around Manitoba through The Gideons.

Frank Dyck July 11, 1927–Oct. 2, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Felsenbach, Ukraine PARENTS: Isaak & Anna Dyck MARRIAGE: Nettie Rempel, Oct. 23, 1955 CHURCH: Highland, Calgary FAMILY: Nettie; children Amy (Don) Harris, Esther (James) Krahn, Joy (Ren) Klassen, Lydia (Ken) Warkentin, David (Ann-Marie), Frann (Steve) Miles, Christine Voth; 33 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; 1 brother

Frank immigrated to Canada in 1948 to study biblical theology. He graduated in 1953 from Coaldale (Alta.) Bible School, where he met Nettie, and from Three Hills (Alta.) Bible School (now Prairie) in 1955. After their wedding, Frank studied at Ukrainian Bible Institute; MB Bible College, Winnipeg; Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan.; University of Alberta, Edmonton; and University of Calgary. In 1968, Frank began his career in Calgary, retiring in 1987. In his early years of teaching, he led local congregations. Frank’s dream was to return to his homeland to share his hope in Jesus with as many people as possible. In 1988, Frank and Nettie began ministry in Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine: restoring churches, distributing Bibles, teaching college courses and founding a Bible college and seminary in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. Frank’s life was characterized by his love for God, his commitment to family and his passion for God’s work in Ukraine.

Henry Hiebert Oct. 5, 1936–Oct. 5, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Port Rowan, Ont. PARENTS: Henry & Margaret Hiebert MARRIAGE: Erna Reimer, July 22, 1961 [d. Nov. 8, 2011] BAPTISM: Port Rowan MB FAMILY: children Dan (Pat), Gerald (Tracey), Barry (Elsie), Charlotte Doerksen (Bryan); 14 grandchildren; 7 siblings

selling seed corn for the Funks. Henry and Erna also visited Hawaii and Israel. In 2009, they downsized into a new home next door. Henry’s hobbies included reading, building truck models, hunting and birdwatching. Henry and Erna were Gideons, and youth sponsors, deacons and care group leaders at Port Rowan MB Church. Henry also taught Sunday school, led boys’ club, sang in a quartet and choir, and served as elder and moderator. Henry showed his servant heart; when Erna became increasingly ill her last 7 years, he was a loving caregiver. Aug. 28, he had a stroke and was hospitalized until his death. Henry loved creation.

Margaret Baerg Mar. 19, 1916–Oct. 14, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Gruenfeld, Ukraine PARENTS: Henry & Katherine Klassen MARRIAGE: William (Willie) George Baerg [d. 1984] CHURCH: Morden (Man.) MB FAMILY: children Edith Lipps [d.], Eleanor Wall (Jake), Irene Kroeker (John), Bruno (Lois), Welma Klassen (Alvin)

At 16, Margaret committed herself to the Lord and began teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir at Morden MB Church. At Winkler (Man.) Bible Institute, she met Willie. Together, they felt called to international mission. Initially the door to Africa did not open, so Margaret and Willie worked under the United Church with First Nations in northern Manitoba. In 1946, they travelled to Congo via boat. Their task was to build their own home and establish a church, school and medical clinic as they shared Jesus. Travel was by foot, canoe, and eventually, an imported Model T. During the 1960 unrest, they fled across the Angolan border and were evacuated to Germany. There were numerous trips between North America and Africa as Margaret and Willie operated a radio studio and helped the church take root. It was a rewarding life that pushed them to rely on God’s strength and guidance. After Willie’s death, Margaret lived in Port Rowan and Virgil, Ont. Her vision was to serve others. She upheld many people in her prayers.

Florence Dyck Dec. 25, 1922–Oct. 18, 2013

Henry accepted Christ at a young age. He operated heavy equipment for Lewis Construction, then BIRTHPLACE: Carstairs, Alta. taught shop classes at Hagersville High School. In 1968, Henry and Erna bought a farm in Port PARENTS: James Henry Bouck & Amy Josephine Fredell Rowan. They loved camping trips. In 1993, they built a new home in which they ran a bed MARRIAGE: Robert Ross Dyck [d. Sept. 24, 2008] & breakfast. Henry earned trips to Jamaica by CHURCH: Clearbrook, Abbotsford, B.C.


February 2014

FAMILY: children Darlene (Kenneth) Epp, Keith (Beryl), Bonnie Borseth; 7 grandchildren; 8 greatgrandchildren; 4 siblings

Florence was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She loved playing the organ. After she suffered from shingles, her eyesight became poor. In Sherwood Crescent Manor, she was a faithful witness to her Saviour.

Edward Nick Martens Feb. 4, 1945–Oct. 18, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Lena, Man. PARENTS: Abram & Aganetha Martens MARRIAGE: Dorothy Labun, 1968 BAPTISM: age 17 CHURCH: Lakeview Community, Killarney, Man. FAMILY: Dorothy; children Troy (Lori), Gerald (Leigh-Ann), Rachel (Chad Bamford); 8 grandchildren; 5 siblings

Ed enjoyed farm chores, driving a tractor from age 9. He put his trust in Jesus as a teen at an evangelical crusade in Winnipeg. Ed studied at Plum Hollow country school; MB Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, where he stayed with his sisters; and Winkler (Man.) Bible Institute, where he met Dorothy. After Ed completed an agriculture degree at University of Manitoba in 1971, he and Dorothy began their farming career in Lena, Man. In 1996, son Troy began farming with Ed. Ed’s favourite pastimes were snowmobiling, reading, computer accounting, travelling to California and Florida, working on the farm and spending time with family. He was a Sunday school teacher and treasurer. Every morning, Ed read the Bible, and he prayed with Dorothy both morning and evening. Ed died after a brief struggle with cancer.

Lily Hogman Oct. 30, 1923–Oct. 18, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Roland, Man. PARENTS: John & Mary (Voth) Warkentin MARRIAGE: George Hogman, June 3, 1949 BAPTISM: Winkler (Man.) MB CHURCH: Mission Church, Griffin, Sask.; Estevan (Sask.) Gospel Chapel; Pambrun (Sask.) Community Bible FAMILY: George; children Carol (Noel) Hardy, Roland (Denise) Hodgman, Merle; 7 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild

Lily studied in Debonair (near Roland), Winkler and Steinbach, Man. She taught public school by permit until she enrolled in Winnipeg Bible Institute. After earning her licensed practical nurse diploma, Lily worked at Concordia Hospital, Winnipeg, for a brief time before marrying


George Hogman from Estevan, Sask. The newlyweds pastored in Griffin, Sask., and then for 13 years in Estevan. In 1969, they moved to Pambrun, Sask., where George was on faculty at Millar College of the Bible for 27 years. In 2009, they moved to Pineview Manor in Rosthern, Sask. Lily was loving support to George, a wise mother and a loving grandmother. Her willingness to serve others stemmed from her personal faith in Christ.

Peter Tymburski June 26, 1928–Oct. 22, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Krakow, Poland PARENTS: Michael & Kataryna Tymburski MARRIAGE: Mary H. Wiens, Jan. 9, 1954 [d. August 2000]; Katherine Wiens, Apr. 20, 2002 CHURCH: Coaldale (Alta.) MB FAMILY: Katherine; children Gloria (Ron) Dueck, Diane (Peter) Starrenburg, William (Janet), Calvin (Anita); 9 grandchildren; 4 sisters

Peter’s family immigrated to a farm in Coaldale, Alta., when he was a toddler. He loved his 4 younger sisters. A turning point in Peter’s life came when he and Mary gave their lives to God. Peter’s trucking career, which began with local grocery runs, expanded through the western provinces and into the U.S. After retiring in the early 1990s, he enjoyed gardening, travelling and helping family and neighbours. After mourning Mary’s death, Peter prayerfully chose her sister Katherine as his wife. They joined Coaldale MB and enjoyed their devotional life. Though he had no formal Bible training, Peter had profound insights and an unwavering childlike faith in God’s promises. Palm Sunday 2010, Peter had a major stroke, which resulted in hospitalization and moving into a care home. He continued Bible reading, frequently ending his prayers, “Thank you, heavenly Father, for the freedom and abundance in this land.”

Werner Falk Sept. 30, 1929–Oct. 30, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Rosthern, Sask. PARENTS: Henry & Margaret Falk MARRIAGE: Margaret Willms, 1954 [d. 2011] CHURCH: Bakerview, Abbotsford, B.C. FAMILY: daughters Cheryl (Ben Wall), Coleen (Gord Lint), Janet (Raynold Nickel); 10 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; siblings

Central Fraser Valley Woodcarvers. Whenever he could, he helped his children around their homes. Werner and Margaret served on Bakerview’s catering committee, in the seniors’ choir and as deacons. Werner led a seniors’ Bible study and started a seniors’ program at Bakerview. He retired in 1988 but continued to work part-time as an adoption study worker and volunteered at MCC. He organized seniors’ bus tours to the theatre in Chemainus, B.C.

Mary Klippenstein Janet Sarah Hendry

Mar. 15, 1915–Nov. 27, 2013

May 15, 1943–Nov. 2, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Pittsburg, Pa. PARENTS: Robert & Janet Mahloy MARRIAGE: David Hendry, May 18, 1963 CHURCH: Glencairn MB, Kitchener, Ont. FAMILY: David; children Joy (Peter) Hergott, Roger (Sherri), Kristen (Scott) Rourk, Ronald, Shawna; 17 grandchildren; 3 siblings

Janet and David were involved in church planting in Ontario. Janet took part in women’s ministries, leading Bible studies in Ontario and in Dallas, Texas. For more than 20 years, Janet and David served Operation Mobilization (OM) in pastoral care in 50 countries. They also led marriage seminars. They spent 14 years in Georgia before moving to Kitchener, Ont., in 2006. Janet enjoyed doing crafts, travelling and spending time with family.

Sarah Giesbrecht June 18, 1914–Nov. 10, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Fischau, Ukraine PARENTS: Abram & Anna (Adrian) Loewen MARRIAGE: Henry Giesbrecht, Sept. 25, 1943 [d. 1994] BAPTISM: North End MB (now Elmwood), Winnipeg CHURCH: Newton (Man.) MB; North Kildonan MB, Winnipeg FAMILY: children Eleanor (Jake) Dueck, Hank [d. 2012] (Nancy), Arthur [d. 1948], 2 infant daughters [d.]; 7 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; 1 sister

Sarah’s family immigrated to Canada in 1926, settling in Newton, Man. She loved to read. At 16, she moved to Winnipeg to work as live-in housekeeper for 6 years, perfecting her skills in cooking and childcare. Days off, she stayed at the Mary Martha Home with other girls who were When Werner was 6, his family moved to B.C., far from home. During this time, Sarah came to settling first in Black Creek, then in Arnold, where a personal faith in Jesus. In 1937, she enrolled in he met Margaret. Werner was a teacher, and later, a sewing course in Winkler, Man., and this led to a social worker. He enjoyed riding motorcycle, a career in custom sewing. Sarah joined Henry playing organ, fishing, oil painting and writing. on the family homestead near Fortier, Man., He started a woodcarving club, which became where they farmed 33 years. In 1974, they retired

to Winnipeg. After Henry’s death in 1994, Sarah continued visiting his family in Ontario until her 90s. She maintained an active social life, often in the company of Hilla Funk. In 2005, she moved to Donwood Manor, and in 2011, to the personal care home. She accepted change graciously and enjoyed interactions with friends and staff. Sarah embraced each day with joy.

BIRTHPLACE: Main Centre, Sask. PARENTS: Johann & Katherina (Neufeld) Schroeder MARRIAGE: John Klippenstein, June 23, 1940 [d. 2001] BAPTISM: Main Centre MB, 1934 FAMILY: daughters Diana [d.] (Walter Martens), Verna (Rudy) Reimer, Velma (Melvin) Wiens, Carol (Dan) Siebert, Elaine (Ken) Isaak; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; 1 sister

Mary left Main Centre (Sask.) School at 15 to help at home, but returned to complete Grade 9. She accepted Christ at 14, was baptized at 19, and remained a faithful member of Main Centre MB Church the rest of her life. She attended Bible school in Herbert, Sask., 1934–35. Mary and John had a happy marriage. They farmed near Main Centre for 30 years beginning in 1950. In 1981, they semi-retired to a small farm near Herbert, Sask., to have more time to travel, read and attend their children and grandchildren’s activities. Mary and John retired in 1998 to Herbert, where they enjoyed gardening and entertaining family. After John’s death, Mary stayed in their home till 2005. She adjusted quickly to Heritage Manor and was happy there. In 2008, she moved to a full-care facility in Cabri, Sask., and then to the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility.

Esther Marie Teigrob Oct. 8, 1953–Dec. 1, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Port Rowan, Ont. PARENTS: Henry & Anne (Pauls) Teigrob MARRIAGE: Eldon Dodds, Sept. 2, 2000 BAPTISM: Kitchener (Ont.) MB, 1968 CHURCH: National Capital Community, Kanata Baptist, Ottawa FAMILY: Eldon; son Larry (Danielle) Moss; stepson Shawn Dodds; 3 grandchildren; parents; 8 siblings

Esther was an avid gardener and gifted knitter. She always took time to listen to her grandchildren with undivided attention. Esther loved Jesus and memorizing Scripture. She died after a short battle with cancer. MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD  February 2014


CURRENT books From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church WESLEY GRANBERG-MICHAELSON Eerdmans he world is witnessing a post-Western awakening of Christianity, an event as significant as the dynamic movement of Christian faith from Jerusalem to Antioch in the first century. In the last 100 years, with the dramatic increase of Christ-followers in Asia, Africa and South America, the statistical centre of Christianity has shifted from the north to the Global South. As migration patterns bring people from these vibrant, non-Western churches to our communities, we have an opportunity to receive a gift from God that will encourage and enliven us, and forever


change the face of Western Christianity. In a well-researched, accessible way, Granberg-Michaelson nurtures the biblical vision of the global church, in all its diversity, becoming unified to bring glory to God.—Paul Chin, Waterloo (Ont.) MB Church

Living Ecological Justice: A Biblical Response to the Environmental Crisis MISHKA LYSACK AND KARRI MUNN-VENN Citizens for Public Justice


his small book from Citizens for Public Justice is comprised of 13 short essays designed to prompt Christians to become involved in creation care and advocacy. Small group leaders, pastors and individuals may wish to use this resource with its supplied discussion questions to promote discussion about creation care

in their congregations. With a focus on praxis, the book largely neglects the theological argument, making this study best suited for those who already have a theological foundation for creation care and advocacy.—Gary Wiebe, Parliament Community Church, Regina

Branch: A Memoir with Pictures JOHN L. RUTH TourMagination & Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania 432-page coffee-table book, Branch: A Memoir with Pictures “is not the ordinary run-of-the-mill book of memoirs with mostly introspective text about the writer’s personal journey interspersed with some relevant pictures,” promises the preface. Equally divided between a textual and visual format (full-page photo on one side, narrative on the opposite page), it invites the reader “to muse, not just glance.” AnabaptistMennonite historian, minister, writer, educator, photographer and world traveller John L. Ruth ranges through his 83 years with great candour, honesty, humour and sensitivity, leaving the reader blessed by the “marriage of the head and heart” on its pages.—Nancy Fehderau, Kitchener (Ont.) MB Church


Read these full-length reviews online under Arts & Culture at

BOOK news MennoMedia embraces tension


n light of ongoing discussions of John Howard Yoder’s long-term sexual harassment and abuse and pressure to discontinue publishing his work, MennoMedia’s board and staff have opted to print a statement in his books which includes, “We recognize the complex tensions involved in presenting work by someone who called Christians to reconciliation and yet used his position of power to abuse others…. This book is published with hopes that those studying Yoder’s writings will not dismiss the complexity of these issues and will instead wrestle with, evaluate and learn from Yoder’s work in the full context of his personal, scholarly and churchly legacy.”—MennoMedia release


February 2014


of faith & life

Things I’m learning from AA PHIL WAG LER


was invited to a birthday party. A hunched-over 70-something Scottish gentleman from my church family was turning 34. With that kind of math, who wouldn’t want to go? So I dragged my 13-year-old son along and we made our way to one of the shadiest parts of town for Derek’s “cake”: the celebration of his 34 years of sobriety. The room was full. Derek sat down front in his best suit that looked like it hadn’t been dry-cleaned since 1983. There were grey-haired businessmen and tattooed young men all buff and imposing. There were worn older women and young gals with rings in their noses. One of these young women was called forward. She reluctantly meandered to the podium, confessed her name and addiction, and spoke words of adulation and respect for my brother in Christ who had impacted her journey toward sobriety. The parade of heartfelt appreciations went on for a long time. Then Derek spoke. He talked about losing his marriage and livelihood to alcohol and how Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) rescued him. But, more than that, Derek – who needed to be chided from the back to “speak up!” – declared with soft surety that the God of his understanding, Jesus Christ, was the source of his hope and redemption. Applause. Cake. Then cigarettes, some latent grumbling about something messed up in social services, and the throng dispersed into the cool night to continue the battle. My son and I sat there. He just needed to soak this in, smell the humanity of it all, and shake the hand of an overcomer. I watched the room and hummed a lament. Why are our churches not more like this?

Every follower of Jesus should go to AA. Never mind if you’re a teetotaller. Seriously. Go. Here’s what I’m learning from AA that every church should learn:

open welcome where even the ready “backslider” is embraced. I’m tired of church life that talks about dependence and mutuality, but doesn’t really practise it. Aren’t you?

Life is too short for male-bovineexcrement.

Life is messy, let’s just admit it.

I’d use the other word, but you’d all write letters and that would sadly underline the point.

Derek’s life is far from perfect, but he’s one of the best members of our Sunday morning welcome team, and his presence in the front row is a sermon to me.

Derek declared with soft surety that the God of his understanding, Jesus Christ, was the source of his hope and redemption. My brothers and sisters in Christ who have been through AA have learned to speak from a poverty of spirit, a humility that humbles the proud, and that is thoroughly refreshing. They also see quickly through pretense because they’ve seen and tried it all. I’m tired of church life that can’t go there. Aren’t you? Life requires help. We need God’s help. AA takes you there immediately. There is the expectation within AA that you will serve and help others on the way. It is an intergenerational affair of interdependence. This awareness of neediness challenges our individualism and even the way we structure our churches. Furthermore, the AA community is never closed. Countless discreet gatherings scattered everywhere provide an

The journey to a “cake” is no piece of cake, but taking just one more step is enough. In AA, the mess isn’t celebrated – in some “let’s go on sinning that grace may abound” perversion – but neither is it denied. I’m tired of church life that is too often an exercise in denial. Aren’t you? Now, AA is not everything, but in the hinterland that has become the North American church, with all our protests and pretending, don’t you think there’s something to learn from Derek? Phil Wagler is proud to call Derek a brother in Christ. Come and be welcomed by him some Sunday morning at Gracepoint Community Church, Surrey, B.C. This article first appeared in “Outside the box,” Phil’s regular column, in the Canadian Mennonite Oct. 14, 2013. MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD  February 2014


Let us help you take your next step as a leader 32

February 2014

Mennonite Brethren Herald Feb. 2014  
Mennonite Brethren Herald Feb. 2014