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Volume 53, No. 5 Publications mail registration number: 09648; Agreement number: 40009297


obert Russel stood in the foyer with his white chef’s coat, happily serving punch to Manitoba’s Assembly 2014 delegates, and proudly displaying the culinary treats he and his staff had prepared. Russell is an instructor at Patal Vocational Preparation Schools, the agency contracted to cater lunch and coffee breaks at the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba’s annual convention at Eastview Community Church, Winnipeg. Patal offers culinary, hospitality, administrative and technical training to people who have had struggles in their lives and may not be able to find other work. “We tell them they’re OK,” said Russell with a huge smile, himself a graduate of the program. With a current enrollment of more than 100 students, Patal recruits people coming out of places such as Child and Family Services, the correctional system and the Manitoba Youth Centre. “If we want to reduce poverty and 2

May 2014

crime rates, we need to educate these folks,” said Ian Kakegamic, Patal’s community liaison. The school works hard to provide work experience for their students in the community. “A lot of our students have criminal records, so it’s challenging. We’re looking for people who will give them a chance. Not to excuse the things they’ve done, but just give them a chance.” “It’s a win-win,” said Canadian conference event planner Michelle Penner. “We got some great food, and the students had an opportunity to share their skills and give back. Isn’t that what our mission is all about?” Kakegamic hopes experiences such as the catering gig at Assembly 2014 will give students the confidence they need. “One of our guys came back and said it felt ‘cool’ to be helping those people out,” he said. “It’s that kind of stuff that will change their future. We want them to believe they can do anything they set their minds to.”


Change happens in the kitchen

Patal is currently partnering with One88, a ministry of Eastview Community Church in Winnipeg’s downtown core. Patal instructors and students use One88’s kitchen facility on a weekly basis. In exchange, Patal offers fair-price catering for events. “This is exactly the type of partnership we envisioned when we purchased our building,” said campus pastor Dave Ens. “It’s very much in line with the vision for our overall ministry – to provide a place for people to get back on their feet and build healthy community.” Drawing on the expertise of students in its PC service technician course, Patal is hoping to refurbish 100 computers over the coming months and donate them to agencies in Winnipeg’s North End. If you have an old computer or cellphone you’d like to donate, go to Patal’s Facebook page at PatalVocationalSchool. —Laura Kalmar

CELEBRATING CCMBC 6 An invitation to Gathering 2014 Update from the executive director –Willy Reimer

7 Responding to current theological issues Update on the board of faith and life –Brian Cooper

8 Prayer map of Canada 10 Walking through a financial review – toward mission Update on finances –Harold Froese

11 Ten tips for tithing –Stewardship representatives

12 Resourcing radical Update on Resourcing Churches Developing Leaders –Ron Toews

13 RCDL coaches Canadian leaders

COLUMNS 4 Editorial Mission, ministry and mothers in faith… many reasons to celebrate –Laura Kalmar

22 Provincial convention reports 22


True stories of COACH to the rescue



–Karla Braun

26 Alberta

14 Help! Online coach helps pastor focus on discipleship –Daniel Beutler

42 Intersection of faith and life His inconspicuous ways –Kevin Koop

16 A mandate from sea to sea Update on the C2C Network


–Gord Fleming

17 The Starbucks effect of church planting A city story from the C2C Network –Chris Douglas

18 Reconciliation and First Peoples in Canada A story of people and place in Parry Sound –Derek Parenteau

21 Being a Christian friend in low income neighbourhoods The MoveIn movement

5 Letters 28 News in brief 29 News in story 35 Births 36 Finish lines [Obituaries] 38 Transitions 39 Crosscurrents

–Gladys Terichow



Editorial Mission, ministry and mothers in faith… many reasons to celebrate L AUR A K ALMAR


his month, the Herald is coming to you with a hefty 44 pages of celebration! In preparation for Gathering 2014, we’ve chosen to highlight some things happening within the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC), as we work together to multiply Christ-centred churches to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ. As we watch the Lord at work, it’s clear his Spirit is hemming us in “behind and before” (Psalm 139:5), moving in miraculous and beautiful ways. From building community to stewarding resources to developing leaders to multiplying churches, CCMBC is helping local churches fulfill their mission, serve their communities and become a unified body of believers across Canada. We’re grateful to 6P Marketing for helping us lay out pages 6–21 with a fresh and bold design. Stay tuned for more of this same look in coming months.

helping people build godly, healthy marriages is truly contagious.

Women of valour During this Mother’s Day month, we also wanted to celebrate some “Proverbs 31” women within our denomination. According to author Rachel Held Evans, Proverbs 31:10 (“A woman of valour who can find? She is worth more than rubies”) is actually a blessing, not a to-do list.

What’s a denomination without artistic and creative leadership? Dora Dueck, former associate editor of the MB Herald, leads with words and imagery and thoughtful analysis of the human – and particularly the Mennonite – experience. Her novel, This Hidden Thing, won the 2011 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and What You Get at Home won the 2013 High Plains Book Award for Short Stories.

Eshet chayil – woman of valour – has long been a blessing of praise in the Jewish community. Husbands often sing the line from Proverbs 31 to their wives at Sabbath meals. Women cheer one another through accomplishments in homemaking, career, education, parenting and justice by shouting a hearty “eshet chayil!” after each milestone. Great women of the faith, like Sarah and Ruth and Deborah, are identified as women of valour. In that spirit of celebration, here’s my list of just a few MB women of valour. Karolyn Burch is the newly appointed director of ministry to church planter spouses with the C2C Network. Karolyn has a heart for women’s ministry and has spoken at numerous retreats and conferences on the theme of freedom in Christ. Karolyn’s passion for 4

May 2014

Esther Corbett is on staff with MB Mission in the area of intercessory prayer. Esther hails from Williams Lake, B.C., and has had a critical role in prayer training, intercession, and discernment alongside MB Mission’s senior leadership. Esther – with her gentle soul – has spent decades seeking the Lord’s face for direction and blessing for the MB denomination. Lorraine Dick has a deep love for the MB church, which she has long served as pastor and leader across Canada and abroad. She currently works as pastor of administration and equipping at House For All Nations, a multi-ethnic, multisite MB church in Metro Vancouver. Her wisdom, gentleness and compassion are evident in all she does, particularly the way she supports seniors and mentors young leaders.

Darlene Klassen is one of our beloved Mennonite Brethren educators, serving as instructor in church ministries and internship coordinator at Bethany College, Hepburn, Sask. Darlene is passionate about discipleship and integrating life with faith. She is a thoughtful and articulate teacher, always ready to share a word of encouragement and hope. Darlene has also been involved at the conference level, participating on multiple boards, and authored a recent book for children who grieve called What Kind of Goodbye? Her advocacy for children and youth has made a significant impact on our denomination. Michelle Penner is event planner for the Canadian conference. With an eager spirit and contagious smile, Michelle is always

ready to jump into new ministry endeavours and find ways to build community. She currently plans events – from Gathering to Pastors Credentialing Orientation, from retreats to study days – for our national and provincial bodies. If you see Michelle at a registration table, feel free to give her a high five or ask her a question – she’s happy to accommodate both requests. The women of MB Mission’s Team 2000 – Carmen Owen, Louise Sinclair-Peters and Karen Sanchez – model faithfulness and courage. In 2000, they committed to 10 years of service in Thailand, moving households, children and dreams halfway across the world. Today, these women are still giving leadership to various ministries in Thailand, including member care, an orphanage and several church plants. They are committed to team ministry, and their relationships with each other are a powerful witness of Jesus’ love. They are also shining examples of Christians who boldly share their faith with others, joyfully seeing God multiply the fruit of their labours. Rachel Twigg Boyce is pastor of House Blend Ministries in Winnipeg, a group of people committed to sharing their lives with each other and their neighbours in the inner city, as they develop rhythms of life based on the life of Jesus. One of Rachel’s prayers is that the Lord would help her serve those from Aboriginal communities: “God, who created each one of us, help us wrestle authentically with the effects of the residential school system. Inspire us to be people who want to listen rather than fix. Slow us down. Give us wise teachers on this journey.” Rachel is one of those wise teachers. Karen West is just one of many women who serve on our provincial and national boards, an example of one who perseveres in faithfulness, grace and strength. In 2012, Karen was elected as the first female board chair of the Ontario Conference of MB Churches. Karen provides wise council, asks thoughtful questions, values collaboration – and also has an eye for aesthetics. Which women in your life would you “eshet chayil!” this Mother’s Day?

Letters Hold to confession of faith Re “Lesbian Mennonite pastor licensed” (News in Brief, March). I was disturbed to read this article, which said, in part, that the “process centred around consideration of a person whose gifts and call to ministry are clearly affirmed yet is in a committed same-sex relationship.” I realize the article is about a conference in Denver, Colo., but I sincerely hope the Canadian MB conference will not be adopting this type of policy. Our statement of faith clearly states that “marriage is a covenant relationship intended to unite a man and a woman for life.” I pray that God will guide us as a Canadian conference to continue to hold true to our statement of faith that is grounded in his Word. DELLA DYCK RUTHVEN, ONT.

Live both extremes Re “Altered landscapes” (Editorial, March). The late John Stott, giving his perspective on the Calvinist-Arminian debate, responded succinctly with two verses which at first glance seem to contradict each other: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44a), and “Yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40). This would seem to imply that even though the Father draws one, each person still has to make the final decision. He was calling Christians to be both Calvinist and Arminian, in fact, “to live the truth at both extremes” not merely choose one or the other, or try to find the middle of the road. The old saying fits here: “Let’s be Calvinists on our knees (praying), and Arminians on our feet (dialoguing with people).” BOB SUKKAU ABBOTSFORD, B.C.

Open Letter Statement of Anabaptist Church Leaders Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearings Edmonton, Alta., Mar. 2014 We are leaders of a group of Canadian Christian churches known as Anabaptist denominations. Our delegation includes Mennonite Church Canada, the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, the Brethren in Christ Church of Canada, and Mennonite Central Committee Canada. Many people from our churches have come to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission events, including this one, to volunteer, to listen, to learn.

We acknowledge that we are all treaty people and that we are meeting on Treaty 6 territory, on land that is part of an historic agreement between First Nations people and newcomers, an agreement involving mutuality and respect. Throughout the period of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission events across the country, we have watched and listened with respect, as residential school survivors have told stories with graciousness and courage, sharing experiences of the Residential School Legacy from its beginning. We are humbled to witness this Truth and Reconciliation Commission event. As we have listened to your stories, we’ve added our tears to the countless tears that you have shed. We acknowledge that there was, and is, much hurt and much suffering. We have learned much and we have much to learn. We heard the wise words of Justice Sinclair encouraging us to acknowledge that all of us, in one way or another, have been affected by the Residential School experience. We recognize that being part of a dominant culture, our attitudes and perspectives made the Residential School experience possible and that these attitudes and perspectives became entrenched in our relationships and in our culture. We regret our part in the assimilation practice that took away language use and cultural practice, separating child from parent, parent from child, and Indigenous peoples from their culture. We regret that, at times, the Christian faith was used, wrongly, as an instrument of power, not as an invitation to see how God was already at work before we came. We regret that some leaders within the Church abused their power and those under their authority. We acknowledge the paternalism and racism of the past. As leaders of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ church communities, we acknowledge that we have work to do in addressing paternalism and racism both within our communities and in the broader public. We repent of our denominational encounters with Indigenous Peoples that at times may have been motivated more by cultural biases than by the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. We repent of our failure to advocate for marginalized Indigenous Peoples as our faith would instruct us to. Continued on page 30

Letters to the editor Mennonite Brethren Herald welcomes your letters of 150–200 words on issues relevant to the Mennonite Brethren church, especially in response to material published in the Herald. Please include name, address and phone number, and keep your letters courteous and about one subject only. We will edit letters for length and clarity. We will not publish letters sent anonymously, although we may withhold names from publication at the request of the letter writer and at our discretion. Publication is subject to space limitations. Letters also appear online. Because the Letters column is a free forum for discussion, it should be understood that letters represent the position of the letter writer, not necessarily the position of the Herald or the Mennonite Brethren church. Send letters to: Letters, MB Herald, 1310 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Man. R3M 3Z6, or by email to

MAY 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 5 • Copy run: 16,000 THE MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD IS A PUBLICATION OF



EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR An invitation to Gathering 2014 Update from the Executive Director / Willy Reimer


n Luke 10:2, Jesus tells his followers: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (NLT). Jesus didn’t say, “Pray for a harvest.” He didn’t pray “for people to be open to the gospel.” He prayed for workers.

Willy Reimer

Why did Jesus tell his disciples to pray for workers?

anticipating a great evening of worship followed by a Billy Graham sermon.

God, in his wisdom, decided the primary way he would reveal himself to this world was through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ through Christ followers. “That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:15, NLT). Even though creation itself declares the glory and truth of God, the Lord chose fallible human beings as the key messengers of his grace, truth and love. In order for us to be “beautiful messengers,” we must be willing to be sent, to be the “tellers” of the gospel to a world in desperate need of the good news of Jesus Christ.

“Will you give your life to Christ and his purposes?” Graham asked. “Will you follow Jesus no matter where he calls? Will you give everything to him?” I joined thousands that evening, as we stood to give our hearts and minds to the King and give our lives for his purposes. That night changed everything for me. I remember saying, “Any country, any mission, anything you want, Jesus – I’m all in!”

Our Gathering 2014 theme is Multiplying for Mission. Mission is exciting; it’s encouraging to hear stories of multiplication of God’s work in Canada, and we have lots to celebrate. But multiplication isn’t a program; it’s not a grand plan to be executed. Multiplication in the kingdom of God occurs as God’s people respond to the promptings of the Spirit to give their lives fully to him – daily, repeatedly, sacrificially and counterculturally.

Surrender and intimacy A few years after I became a Christ follower, I joined thousands of students and young adults at Urbana ’84. We filled the University of Illinois arena,



It was a grand moment, with the energy of thousands of lives focused on Jesus and following him…. And then we all went home to our lives of discipleship without the adrenaline of the crowd. I followed Jesus as best as I understood the Spirit’s leading in my life, but I confess there were many moments when my commitment faltered, when I was distracted, became complacent or found guilt and obligation as my motivators. But it’s not about guilt. The mission to multiply is rooted in a deep, intimate, surrendered life with Jesus. All mission grows out of our passionate personal and corporate life with Christ – surrendered lives living in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit and walking in the power of God.

Beyond business Gathering 2014 is about business, reporting, making decisions and

processing issues. But more than that, Gathering 2014 is about coming together to worship our Saviour and Lord. It’s about wholeheartedly giving ourselves to his purposes. Jesus did only what his Father told him to do. He also said if we love him, we would obey him. Obedience begins with an intimate relationship with Jesus. As that relationship grows, Christ’s Word and Spirit reveal to us what we’re to obey, leading to action. We don’t serve to please people; we serve in response to Jesus’ work on the cross on our behalf for the glory of God. We serve because we are citizens of a greater kingdom. We serve in the power of the Holy Spirit. We serve because Jesus calls us to. This invitation to Gathering is more than an invitation to “do the business of the conference.” It is an invitation to seek the face of God for our congregations and our country. It’s an invitation to process God’s call on us through the budgets and plans he has led us to. It’s an invitation to celebrate and thank God for his work among us over the past two years. It’s an invitation to come together as a family of churches to once again give ourselves completely to Christ and his mission. You’re invited to experience God in community at Gathering 2014 in Vancouver, June 11–14.

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

BUILDING COMMUNITY Responding to current theological issues Update on the Board of Faith and Life / Brian Cooper


he board of faith and life (BFL) is making concerted efforts to increase the level of connectedness to conference ministries in order to support the goal of providing theological resourcing for the Canadian conference. This past year provided a number of opportunities for the BFL to be proactive in this quest, most notably the study conference on human sexuality in Edmonton in October 2013. Brian Cooper

We have much work to do, but the BFL noted that the tone of the study conference was positive and constructive, and we look forward to continuing the conversation. The considerable number of participants under the age of 40 and the number of student participants were a huge encouragement. The BFL will present a pastoral letter summarizing our convictions around human sexuality at Gathering 2014. Study conference 2015 will further this conversation, focusing on pastoral applications in light of these convictions. BFL has also sensed closer working relationships with the executive board, C2C Network and provincial conferences, and thanks God for the opportunity to help develop clarity around who we are and unity around what God is calling us to do for the kingdom.

Highlights of 2013

n More than 40 leaders attended the annual Pastors Credentialing Orientation. The event provided insight into MB identity and facilitated building relationships.

n The study conference on human sexuality was not

only the largest but best received such event in recent memory.

Prayer requests n n

Pray for the planning committee working on the 2015 study conference. Pray for wisdom for the BFL to set good priorities and respond to theological issues that arise.

n French translations of BFL pamphlets and the

Confession of Faith with Commentary and Pastoral Application are underway.

n We updated the credentialing questionnaire to

standardize it across provincial conferences and to address issues that are important considerations for leaders in the MB conference.

n Bill Hogg, C2C Network missiologist, was invited to

represent the C2C Network on the BFL.






Prayers for Canada CCMBC exists to multiply Christ-centred churches to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.

We pray the church in Canada would rise up in boldness and courage to faithfully proclaim Jesus in word and deed. We pray that Christians in Canada would continue to create opportunities for people to encounter Jesus. We pray for a renewed desire to live as disciples who are committed to making disciples. • Brett Landry, Christ City Church Vancouver, B.C.

We pray for the church across Canada to uphold the proclamation of God’s Word and the clear preaching of the gospel. • James Bonney, Westside Church North Vancouver, B.C.

God of hope and courage, help us look to those we often exclude, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Inspire us to look to the fringes and margins of Canadian society, for we know we will always find you there. Remove our fear. Inspire us to love as you love. Comfort us when we find ourselves marginalized. Make us a people who long to invite and enfold those we encounter into your family.

” “

• Rachel Twigg Boyce, House Blend Ministries Winnipeg

Lord, won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6, NLT)

• Willard Hasmatali, Riverhurst Community Church Riverhurst, Saskatchewan

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We thank you for allowing us to live in such a strong and free nation. We pray that you would now greatly strengthen the influence of our churches, so that millions of new people would experience the good news of Jesus Christ. May your face shine upon us in unprecedented ways to see your kingdom come as it never has to Canada. • Chris McGregor, City Church Montreal, Quebec

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Jesus, in light of who you are and what you’ve already accomplished, we stand amazed and full of gratitude. However, we long for more! We long for a contagious gospel renewal to break out across our nation. We long for rumours of your transforming presence to run through our cities. We long to have the rich and poor, educated and uneducated, every culture, every demographic to hear, believe, and live the gospel. Magnify your name in this hour, we pray.

• Dave Harder, The Journey Ottawa

We pray that the Lord of the harvest would prepare the soil of the hearts of people throughout Canada to receive the good news of Jesus Christ, be rescued from the kingdom of darkness and be transferred into His kingdom (Colossians 1:13). • Adam Greeley, The Well Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

May God’s Spirit strengthen and bring unity to the body of Christ so the good news will be seen and heard throughout Canada. • David Miller, L’Intersection Terrebonne, Quebec


Prayer requests submitted by eight of our Mennonite Brethren church plants currently under the umbrella of the C2C Network.



STEWARDING FINANCIAL RESOURCES Walking through a financial review – toward mission Update on Finances / Harold Froese

T Harold Froese

he executive board finance committee, supported by CCMBC finance staff, has done a great job in leading our financial review. The finance team’s leadership is positioning CCMBC to be increasingly effective in supporting CCMBC churches with financial services to enhance their ministry effectiveness. The professional legal and accounting services offered by KPMG and Fillmore Riley LLP have been of assistance. The strength of the deposit fund continues to fuel ministry across the globe. We praise God for the positive feedback the finance team received at the October 2013 annual general meeting in regards to greater transparency in financial reporting. The continued development of finance staff occurs in response to ministry growth and transition in the CCMBC finance department.

Highlights of 2013

Prayer requests

n Celebrating the ministry of John Wiebe who retired as chief financial officer (CFO) after 12 years of ministry. Under John’s leadership, the level of financial services available to churches and pastors expanded significantly. n Providing payroll services for 166 MB churches and organizations; bookkeeping services for 10 churches and/or provincial conferences; and pension and benefits for 1,000 ministry personnel. n Celebrating CCMBC’s capacity to support churches and pastors with mortgages. To date, CCMBC has supplied 160 mortgages totalling $140 million.

n n n

10 10


Pray for the finance team as they complete the financial review and implement findings. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us to the next CFO for CCMBC. Pray for churches as they consider their financial partnership with CCMBC to train and empower our pastors and leaders to multiply disciple-making churches.

n Pray for the finance team as they continue to provide increasing transparency and increasing constituency input.

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

10 tips for tithing


e prefer not to talk about money, but Jesus did – quite a lot! He taught that giving is part of discipleship and everything we have is a gift from the Father.


Start with the heart: though the Old Testament system mandated giving one-tenth as an act of worship and as practical support for the priests and those unable to support themselves in Hebrew society, God has always been more interested in the heart than the amount (Micah 6:8).


It’s fun for the whole family. A special piggy bank for designating money for God makes giving concrete for children, provides an opportunity to teach about the larger picture of money management – and reminds the parents of financial priorities.

3 4

Give without seeking recognition. The Bible talks about not even letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3).

Even if you’re struggling financially, you can set aside some money for an offering and follow the Spirit’s prompting to give; you may be surprised by the ways God provides for your basic needs.

5 6 7

God invites us to partner with him: by giving him lordship of our finances, we are blessed and can be a blessing to others and ministry flourishes.

Remember that all your money and resources belong to God, not only the gifts and offerings you give away. Wisely steward all that he has given you.

Give cheerfully. This isn’t protection money or bribes to earn God’s favour; however, Jesus urges us to store up treasures in heaven instead of amassing earthly wealth (Matthew 6:19–21).


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Give off the top and trust God to meet your basic needs (Matthew 6:25–34). Giving reminds us that God comes first in our lives and he alone deserves that priority.

God is more interested in justice and righteousness than hypocritical offerings. (See Amos 5:21–24 and Micah 6:8.) Jesus chastises the Pharisees for giving “a tenth of your spices” but neglecting “the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23–24).


God doesn’t need our money – we give for our own sake, to cultivate generosity and gratefulness. Our God is generous, having lavished his love upon us through Jesus Christ, and he continues to give his Spirit to us daily! Let us emulate that generosity in our daily living with our wallets and our watches. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of heaven’s armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” (Malachi 3:10 NLT). Adapted from stewardship representatives Ben Wohlgemut, Lorne Willms and Lloyd Reimer. Contact your local stewardship representative for more information on tithing and godly money management.


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DEVELOPING LEADERS Resourcing radical Update on Resourcing Churches Developing Leaders / Ron Toews


he body of Christ is at the centre of what God is up to in the world, his primary tool to accomplish his mission. But mission – or missio Dei – is not merely an activity of the church; it is an attribute of God. Jesus sent the church into the world to “be missionary.” In the face of this mandate, the church cannot settle for anything less than a radical alignment with God’s mission. Ron Toews

Christ has built his church to be anything but ordinary. The Holy Spirit has equipped her fully for mission: indwelling, power, spiritual gifts, community, fruit and more. And yet, in God’s economy, people have an integral role to play in equipping the body to be mature and united on mission.

enrichment and skill of hand, and clarifies where a leader is at in his or her development. The assessment is followed by a coaching conversation that seeks to identify next steps and guides the leader toward appropriate resources, coaching relationships and online clusters.

Into this equation, the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC) has inserted Resourcing Churches Developing Leaders (RCDL). The vision of CCMBC is to help churches and leaders align with God’s mission. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The Coach Us assessment clarifies where a church is at on mission. Completed by church leadership teams, the results are foundational in prayerfully determining the resources a church needs and the coaching path that will best support its mission journey.

RCDL exists to develop, coach and mentor leaders, resulting in churches on mission. However, a one-sized approach does not fit all. An 11-year-old church of 200 on mission in the suburbs of Montreal may require different inputs than a 41-year-old church of 200 on mission in rural Saskatchewan. A 59-year-old pastor will experience different developmental realities than a 23-year-old pastor. Crucial to resourcing churches and developing leaders for missio Dei is the ability to know what resourcing and developing is needed in the context of a given local leader or church.

L2L is a website, but it is far more. It’s a relationship, a conversation and a resourcing community, bringing together learners who have needs and learners who’ve found answers and are willing to share them. At will, leaders can download resources that have been placed into L2L by others, or share their own. L2L is also designed to serve both French- and English-speaking leaders.

Practical resources RCDL is a new ministry. Much of the past year has been spent developing capacity to meet the resourcing and developmental needs of churches and leaders. Some of RCDL’s support is accessed through its L2L website ( through two clickable links: Coach Me and Coach Us. The Coach Me assessment identifies a leader’s lifelong learning interests in the areas of spiritual renewal, theological 12 12


This past year, RCDL laid down a pathway for training coaches. Together with provincial conference ministers and executive directors, RCDL invited more than 35 people to be trained as coaches, using COACH Model. Since that point, a training team has been equipped to train other coaches, providing traction for a coaching movement across Canada.

Partnerships RCDL holds no corner on equipping leaders or resourcing churches. Collaboration is necessary; an expression, in fact, of the unity to which Jesus called the body. Through conversations with

provincial conference ministers and executive directors over the past year, our RCDL team forged the vision for Coach Me and Coach Us. Beyond that, RCDL partners with C2C Network to train gospel coaches (using Gospel Coach, developed by Scott Thomas and Tom Wood). We partner with Bible colleges and MB Biblical Seminary Canada through the Leadership Training Matching Grant and informal training, as well as through a presidents’ network. In the last year, aspects of the ministry of the stewardship representatives have come within the purview of RCDL; the ministry of equipping churches to think and act biblically with finances continues. Two new resources have been developed to engage churches in conversations around stewardship: Windjammer and The Genius of Generosity. We also initiated a network for the 11 MB camping ministries directors from across Canada. Camping ministries are important to the church. Annually, more than 1,000 young leaders are trained for camp leadership through camping ministries. They return to their local churches changed. Beyond that, many thousands make first-time commitments to Christ or are equipped for a life of following Jesus. To explore what it means to develop more and better young leaders, RCDL has secured Merv Boschman as a quarter-time coach to resource camping directors and bring their learnings to bear on how we train young leaders. RCDL envisions churches resourced and leaders developed, aligned with God’s radical mission. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

RCDL coaches Canadian leaders True stories of COACH to the rescue / Karla Braun


bumped up against a sense that there were limitations around what I knew and didn’t know,” says Jericho Ridge pastor Brad Sumner. “No matter how much harder I worked, I wasn’t solving problems.” This realization led Sumner to explore coaching – first with the Canadian conference-sponsored Ministry Advantage, and now via the Coach Me/Coach Us offered through (L2L). Through these coaching systems, “I got a tool belt and blueprints,” says Sumner. “L2L offers resources, not solutions,” says Sumner. It’s about “creating a cultural shift” for leaders to seek help when they need help, to develop a pool of peer-related resources and to learn by working through tough questions instead of receiving dictated solutions. “Coaching had an exponential effect beyond [co-pastor] Keith Reed and me,” he says, for the coaching has gone from individual aspects to more corporate work on church structure and leadership with the help of L2L team member Dave Jackson who brought them to a ReFocusing-style process. Sumner has seen a “layering effect” as the skills he has learned in coaching filter down in interactions with Keith and the leadership board, and as Dave Jackson’s sessions with the leadership board equip them with tools to coach others. Having an external facilitator who knows the conference culture was a tremendous asset in reorganizing leadership structures for the church whose leaders were tired and struggling to be effective in many roles. “If we can solve structure problems, we can accomplish our mission,” says Sumner. “We’ll do a better job of going, leading, etc.”

pastors and as a congregation] to do this stuff,” Sumner says. Coaching takes work, dedication and “you must be willing to become intentionally uncomfortable,” he says. “We gave Dave permission to ask hard questions,” and received “good value” on their investment.

A coach’s story Growing up in a ski resort area in Switzerland, RCDL lifelong learning host Daniel Beutler has been coached in one way or another since he was big enough to strap on a pair of skis. “My earliest recollection is of my [ski] coach,” says Beutler. “At different times in my development as a person and as a leader, God has used coaches who either connected me with a resource, facilitated discovery or pointed me in the right direction,” he says. He wants to help others find that. The COACH model that undergirds L2L can be used with a variety of content, says Beutler. “You can use it to apply the gospel or you can use it for strategic planning; it’s almost content-free.” “The tools in my kit are really helpful in all kinds of conversations,” from encouraging colleagues to counselling adult children. “Just like with other skills, with practice they become part of the fabric of who we are; we’re unconsciously using them,” says Beutler.

Sumner urges people not to disdain resources that are in-house. “We have amazing and skilled people in our own family,” he says. Through L2L, “you can draw on the best resources in our family.”

Though coaching occurs in many professional networks including the C2C Network, Beutler says it’s not a competition. In fact, RCDL and C2C have co-branded several Gospel Coach training events. “You use whatever tool you need; you don’t say ‘I have a Phillips screwdriver, now I don’t need any other screwdrivers.’”

But it’s not for everyone. “We had to clear space on our calendars [as individual

COACH isn’t about self-actualizing says Beutler but “God-actualizing; helping a


CONNECT – Checking in, engagement, building rapport and trust. OUTCOME – Setting the session agenda or conversation goal. AWARENESS – Encouraging discovery

and insights, listening to God. COURSE – Capturing insights and creating 2–3 actionable steps. HIGHLIGHTS – Reviewing lessons and insights from the session.

person or group to fully live out God’s calling and be the best stewards they can be of their God-given opportunities and responsibilities.” One of the ways it does that is by facilitating connections between people. “It’s about creating relational community, learning connections, mentoring,” says Beutler. He gives the example of a pastor transitioning from an associate role to serving as a solo pastor in a smaller congregation. In L2L’s virtual coffee shop, this person is connected with a coach in another part of the country who has navigated that same experience. Community is also created through clusters where there is peer mentoring and encouragement around a particular role or set of interests. For example, L2L facilitates regular gatherings between the heads of MB post-secondary schools. Beutler is excited to see the 160 leaders in the system have created more than 75 clusters (as of Apr. 1, 2014) and many operate in more than one cluster. “We’re encouraged in that,” he says, as it signals that RCDL listened well to create a tool that meets the needs of constituents in the Canadian conference. “When one person signs up, it’s like another node lights up.”


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DEVELOPING LEADERS Help! Online coach helps pastor refocus on discipleship / Daniel Beutler

L is an online learning community and social networking site designed by the Resourcing Churches Developing Leaders service team of the Canadian conference. Through a variety of assessments and tools, the website provides online learning opportunities for leaders and ministry teams in the areas of spiritual renewal, theological enrichment and skill development (life skills and ministry skills).

Daniel Beutler


iftysomething Steve has served as lead pastor at Rural Community Church for nine years. The church has seen their Sunday attendance double during his tenure, but lately Steve and his leadership team have felt increasingly convicted that their church is failing in the area of discipleship. They have been faithful in proclaiming the gospel through various programs, but they haven’t seen people come to faith in Christ or exhibit real transformation toward Christ-centredness. According to recent surveys, most people enjoy the varied programs Rural Community Church offers, but passion for reaching the community with the gospel seems to be lacking. Steve is looking for someone to provide insight on how to renew the church’s focus on discipleship and seeing their community transformed by the good news of Jesus.

Steve’s journey


A fellow pastor invites Steve to visit (L2L), where he signs up and quickly clicks “Coach Me.”

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The link opens an assessment form that Steve completes.

Steve’s submission goes to Daniel at the L2L office, who reads Steve’s responses and connects with him to set up a time for an assessment coaching conversation.


The two connect via GoToMeeting, which is integrated into L2L, and are able to see each other via their webcams. This initial conversation helps clarify Steve’s learning interests, and the resources and help he’s looking for. The L2L team then suggests some appropriate content (for example, an article on developing missional communities) and prayerfully discerns that Tim would be the best coach for Steve.

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Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches


Daniel forwards Steve’s assessment to Tim, an approved volunteer L2L coach, who gets in touch with Steve via the L2L messaging system. Tim sets up a confidential cluster and coaching appointment with Steve.


Tim identifies specific questions Steve should answer online before their first call. Tim and Steve alone have access to the shared questions.


Tim and Steve connect online for their first coaching conversation, pray together and discern the best way forward. Over the course of several coaching conversations, Steve receives the needed resources and encouragement to take the next step as a leader. Tim’s attentiveness to the leading of the Holy Spirit, prayer, coaching, and L2L’s resources have given Steve a renewed focus on discipleship and gospel fluency, and helped him explore new ways to reach his community. Through L2L, Steve is also able to connect with a small group (cluster) of like-minded pastors and leaders for prayer and mutual encouragement.

L2L meets needs: u L2L integrates GoToMeeting, a video conferencing service that enables face-to-face collaboration online.

u A calendar system helps users keep track of scheduled online meetings.

u Coaches can see a list of their current coachees. u Coaches can create questionnaires for one-time or multiple use.

u Responses from assessment forms can be forwarded to approved L2L coaches.

u L2L users can create confidential clusters for online collaboration and learning.

u Online conversations between coaches and coachees are private and can be deleted when a relationship ends.




CHURCH MULTIPLICATION A mandate from sea to sea Update on the C2C Network / Gord Fleming

I Gord Fleming

n his book, What Happened to Christian Canada? Mark A. Noll writes, “Put generally, in 1950 Canadian church attendance as a proportion of the total population exceeded church attendance in the United States by one-third to one-half, and church attendance in Quebec may have been the highest in the world. Today church attendance in the United States is probably one-half to two-thirds greater than in Canada, and attendance in Quebec is the lowest of any state or province in North America.”

Less than half a century ago, according to Noll, 67 percent of Canadians could be found attending church. In 2000, less than 20 percent of Canadians darkened the doors of any religious institution: church, cathedral, synagogue, temple, mosque or otherwise. The story of the C2C Network is a mandate for catalytic change, a vision for hope and a charge to proclaim the gospel news of Jesus Christ across this great land of ours in the face of everincreasing secularization and declining church attendance. As a network, C2C doesn’t actually plant churches; we come alongside individuals, churches, denominations and other networks to facilitate the planting of churches, support the multiplication and reproduction of established churches, and further the spread of the gospel in our unique Canadian context. C2C exists to serve the mission and message of Jesus Christ in Canada.

Three values Within our missional mandate, we have three values that undergird our work and serve to define who we are and what we do. Gospel Centred. C2C is all about Jesus Christ and the message that his life, death and resurrection are the means by which God offers forgiveness from sin, 16 16


reconciliation with himself and transformation from death to life. Loving Jesus, making Jesus known, seeing lives changed by Jesus and Jesus glorified is what we’re about and why we exist. Spirit Led. That which is made by humans will not have lasting impact, nor will it transform lives. We rely completely upon God’s providential direction and guidance through his Holy Spirit to plant churches and see lives changed. When the Holy Spirit is moving, hearts are made tender, movements begin, people are transformed and God’s kingdom advances. Our prayerful request is “Come Lord Jesus, have your way with us! Use us to the glory of your name, the fame of your renown and the dominion of your kingdom.” Mission Focused. As the church of Jesus Christ, we are sent from Jesus, for Jesus, to the praise of Jesus’ name and the redemption of his people. As a network, we’re on mission to facilitate and help the church in fulfilling its missional mandate of reaching those who are far from Jesus. Together, we are God’s sent people labouring on behalf of his church. That is our mission and our focus. You’ve heard it said, “Only money makes the world go ’round!” but, as the old Thompson Twins song “King for a Day” reminds us, “All the gold won’t heal your soul!” In a world filled with a

cacophony of competing voices proclaiming salvation and deliverance through human-made solutions, we’re reminded that this salvation is the Lord’s work and it will be accomplished “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).

Partnerships As C2C seeks to facilitate the planting of churches across Canada, we recognize that fulfilling this catalytic mandate is not possible apart from the Lord’s working, nor is it possible in isolation. The C2C Network has the privilege of labouring with other churches and denominations on behalf of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. We believe this unity in the Spirit will speak loudly to a waiting and watching world of the salvation that’s possible through Jesus. After all, that’s why we exist and why we do what we do. Would you join us in continuing to pray for C2C, the church planters who are labouring across Canada and the partnerships that are being formed for the proclamation of the gospel? Would you consider adding C2C to your church’s mission/outreach budget? Thank you for your support. It is needed and greatly appreciated. May God’s Word be proclaimed from sea to sea!

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

The Starbucks effect of church planting A city story from the C2C Network / Chris Douglas


ver the years, Starbucks Coffee has built their company by doing something many people consider at odds with good business practice: they’ve opened stores across the street from one another. The company’s decision has resulted in increased profit and expanded market share.

In this spirit of expansion, C2C has seen a similar move of God in the city of Vancouver. Our strategy, when it comes to church planting, is to pray and trust God to raise up planters and determine locations. In fall 2013, when Westside Church moved to 777 Homer, right across the street from Artisan Church and just a few blocks away from where St. Peter’s Fireside church was launching, we celebrated how the gospel presence in the city was expanding.

Walk to the next church Today, residing within a five-minute walk from each other, there are three distinct expressions of Christ’s body, the church. Westside Church, under the pastoral leadership of Norm Funk, is a contemporary mix of youth and music set to the solid beat of the gospel. Artisan Church, where Nelson Boschman and Lance Odegard give pastoral leadership, is located in the

Vancouver Public Library (VPL) and has a distinctively artistic, youthful flair that complements and builds on the proclamation of God’s gospel Word. Head out the door from the VPL and up the street to the University of B.C. campus at Robson Square, and you’ll find Alastair Sterne proclaiming the gospel to young and old alike amid the liturgical setting of St. Peter’s Fireside. Three churches proclaiming the gospel with three distinct expressions of the church, all within a few short city blocks of one another.

Counterintuitive strategy If, as with Starbucks and other coffee houses, we were in competition with one another, this might seem an unlikely strategy. But, under the grace of the gospel, these churches are partners for the transformation of lives, and the fame and renown of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. United by their love of Jesus, these churches are ministering to the divergent city culture that is Vancouver, and they’re finding traction in their work. Westside, in their new location, continues to see growth and expansion taking place. Artisan, who could easily have felt like Westside was intruding on them, moved to a second service in February 2014 to accommodate their growth. And St. Peter’s Fireside, which launched in fall 2013, welcomes 80–90 adults each Sunday morning.



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CHURCH MULTIPLICATION Reconciliation and First Peoples in Canada A story of people and place in Parry Sound / Derek Parenteau For the past several years, I’ve had the honour of developing friendships with First Peoples from a variety of Anishinabe communities in Central Ontario through Rugged Tree – a collection of many people, partners and programs. Through those friendships, I’ve watched God’s great love at work. I’ve also experienced some challenges. As a Mennonite Brethren pastor with European ancestry, serving under the umbrella of the C2C Network, I’ve often found myself in the challenging position of being a “middleman” between my MB friends and my First Nations friends. The question I’ve heard most from both communities is what is reconciliation and what does it look like in practice. Though most people want to be reconciled, we wonder what we can do to actually achieve it. The more progress I make, the further away the finish line appears to be. But one thing is clear: attempts at achieving reconciliation must grow out of new ways of being in relationship.

The Tree of Peace The name Rugged Tree is inspired by two different famous trees. The first is the Iroquois Tree of Peace. The Iroquois people had a tradition of acknowledging peace treaties with neighbouring nations by burying their weapons under a tree. One of those peace trees is a great white pine that grew in the territory of the Onondaga First Nation. One of the very first treaties between First Peoples and Europeans involved this tree. Except at the time, it wasn’t called a treaty; it was called a covenant.

building relationships characterized by peace, friendship and respect with my First Nations friends. I fail often. But I’d like to share a few things I’ve found helpful to do so I can be a better neighbour to First Peoples in Canada:

1. Acknowledge the local history One of the things I’ve found most helpful is to learn the story of the land beneath my feet.

The Covenant Chain, as this early agreement was known, was commemorated by an actual three-link silver chain, a symbol of European sailing ships being securely attached to the Tree of Peace. The three links of the chain represented the core understanding of the covenant – peace, friendship and respect. This covenant spoke less of specific terms and more about a way of being in relationship with each other.

We all live in areas that were once part of another nation’s territory. The land where we build our homes and shopping malls was once used by First Peoples to sustain and nurture their communities. For most Canadians, our understanding of history starts with the arrival of Europeans. Learning about the full story is an important part of being a good neighbour because it’s difficult to build a healthy relationship with someone you have misunderstood.

In my imagination, I can picture Jesus smiling, as the people of that time attempted to live out his great commandment to love their neighbours. In my own life, I’m trying my best to live out Jesus’ teaching by

Although books are a great place to start, I’ve discovered that most First Nations have a better understanding of local history and are honoured to share it. Try contacting the First Nation band office closest to you and ask if

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Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

there’s anyone who might be open to answering some questions about the local history. Some examples of good questions: Who originally lived in this area? What was life like for them before European contact? What were early interactions with Europeans like? Were there any treaties signed in the area? How does the reserve system work?

2. Look for strengths not excuses I’ve often caught myself lamenting the “state” of First Nations in Canada. It’s not hard to compile a heartbreaking list of challenges faced by First Nations. But why do we do that? Couldn’t I also compile a list of problems faced by the church down the street? Or that I face in my own life? I’ve had to repent of my tendency to use the hardships of First Peoples as an excuse to avoid responsibility and remain disengaged. Many Canadians treat First Nations CHURCH MULTIPLICATION

more as problems that need to be solved than as people created by a loving God. But you can’t reconcile with a problem; you can only reconcile with a person. For me, the remedy has been to consciously learn about the strengths of First Peoples. If we look for problems, we will find them. But if we look for strengths, we will find teachers. If you’re looking for a place to start, contact a local First Nation band office and express your desire to learn. Most communities regularly host cultural events and have elders who are willing to teach the broader public. On many occasions, I’ve seen traditional elders excited about the chance to speak to a church group. We may not understand everything we see or hear right away. But like any good student, if we stick with it, the information will eventually start to sink in.



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CHURCH MULTIPLICATION 3. Trust that God has a plan Not too long ago, I was invited to speak at a healing circle at a local First Nation on the topic of forgiveness. I heard story after story of abuse and hardship at the hands of churches. I also heard story after story about people’s desire to forgive. Although I was the one supposed to be teaching, I quickly became a student. A question entered my mind that hasn’t left since: What if First Peoples in Canada were here first for a reason? It may not seem like a new idea, but it was a revelation for me. If I believe a loving God created this world and has been engaged in a redemptive plan for it from the beginning of time, shouldn’t I also expect that First Peoples were here first as a part of that redemptive plan? Looking at the biblical record of God’s hand in placing people groups in the right place at the right time (Acts 17:26), could it be possible that First Peoples were here first by design? Since that day, I see Canada differently. I now live with the hope and expectation that God desires to bless Canada through its First Peoples. I don’t know how or what it will look like, but I believe that God loves all the people in this land and has a loving plan for everyone. I also think I’m a better neighbour to my First Nations

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friends now that I trust that God is working out his plan in those relationships.

The Tree of Life The second tree that inspired our name, Rugged Tree, is the Tree of Life. In the last chapter of the Bible, the Tree of Life reappears in John’s vision of the end of this age. An angel tells him that “the leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations” (Revelation 22:2, NLT). Unlike the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that was forbidden back in the Garden of Eden, the fruit of the Tree of Life was not originally forbidden. Until Adam’s fall, it was available to him. Now Jesus makes it available to us again. My prayer is that all nations in this land will receive the healing of the medicine that God planned for from the beginning of the world. My prayer is also that we will, in faith, participate in that healing by reflecting Jesus’ heart for reconciliation in our lives and with our neighbours in this land God has made. Derek Parenteau lives and works in Parry Sound, Ontario. He is part of the C2C Network. For more information about Rugged Tree, go to

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

A high percentage of people in these neighbourhoods are from countries where they have limited or no access to the good news of Jesus, both historically and recently.

Moving to the big city Rebecca grew up in Oakville, a suburban town in Southern Ontario known as one of the most affluent towns in Canada. She first heard about the movement five years ago through Facebook. In spring 2009, she was among the 700 people who attended a conference that resulted in the formation of eight teams. Rebecca joined a team shortly after the conference and is now a staff member. Her team’s neighbourhood patch is a complex of four 250unit buildings in Toronto. As one of just a few people in her MoveIn team who owns a vehicle, she gets to know her neighbours by taking them to medical appointments, court hearings for immigration status and other appointments. CHURCH MULTIPLICATION

“It’s just being a servant and doing what Jesus would do,” she says. “We are trying to be God’s hands and feet in this neighbourhood.”

Long-term goals Rebecca’s team is starting a church plant. The anchor events of the church plant are Bible meetings held twice a month. Through these regular interactions and prayers, relationships are developing and lives are being changed. The neighbourhood, she says, is experiencing fewer violent crimes; a change she believes is the result of prayer. “Our desire is that people get to know God,” she says. “This is not like a short-term mission trip. Even though many neighbours are transient, we encourage long-term investment in the community.”


MoveIn receives the 2013 Innovation Award from Mission Nexus for their work in low income neighbourhoods.


This innovative approach for Christian service was recognized last fall by Mission Nexus, a network of 1,200 mission leaders in Canada and the U.S. MoveIn received the 2013 Innovation Award for breaking new ground by bringing together people from different churches to be a Christian presence among people who live in high density, low income neighbourhoods.



Provincial news Declaring that Jesus is Lord in Manitoba Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba Assembly, Mar. 7–8, 2014


ome 200 delegates and guests gathered Mar. 7–8 at Eastview Community Church, Winnipeg, for Assembly 2014, the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba’s (MBCM) annual convention. Under the theme “Jesus is Lord…?...! Punctuation Matters,” attendees explored what it means to be authentic followers of Christ at all ages, with a focus on local church ministry. “As a province, our MBCM board discerned that this isn’t the time to build

something new,” said MBCM executive director Elton DaSilva. “It’s time to resource the local church for mission. And we want to do it in partnership with the Canadian conference. In the past, we viewed each other as competitors. Now we see each other as complementary.” Practical ideas On Friday night, MB Mission general director Randy Friesen shared stories of the church around the world, highlighting its incredible growth in geographical


Church planting Ewald Unruh, C2C Network Manitoba regional director, said his 2014 priorities will include: providing support and coaching for the province’s six existing church planting projects; finding new workers; developing a new immigrant church network; multiplying churches; and finding new ways to partner with others. Unruh also announced that C2C Network has hired Gospel Coach developer and co-author Scott Thomas on a six-month retainer. “Scott will teach Gospel Coaching in workshops across the country and will also coach our regional directors,” said Unruh. Thomas will remain based in the U.S., but will travel to Canada as required. Thomas previously served as president of a large church planting network.

Delegates at Assembly 2014 were invited to consider how the church can best inspire and equip people of all ages to be passionate disciples of Jesus.


areas where persecution and danger exist. “These brothers and sisters are completely surrendered to the lordship of Christ and are willing to submit to his authority,” said Friesen. On Saturday, delegates gathered around tables to discuss what it might look like to create passionate followers of Jesus through children’s, youth, adult and seniors’ ministry. “We want to distill best practices and name future challenges,” said MC David Balzer, promising the suggestions would be posted on MBCM’s website, so conversation can continue throughout the year. Gerald Dyck, family life pastor from Westside Community Church, Morden, said it can be challenging to equip people who are so diverse and view the lordship of Christ in such different ways. “‘Jesus is Lord? Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord!’… I’m all three every day,” said Dyck. “Let’s be open to the question mark. Let’s be open to the period. Let’s be open to the exclamation mark.”

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Continued on page 23

MBCM Assembly 2014 Continued from page 22

Partners • Lloyd Letkeman of MB Mission’s Central Canada regional office announced a new 8-month apprenticeship program being developed in partnership with MBCM. Patterned after MB Mission’s international TREK program, the initiative will provide an opportunity for participants to be part of TREK’s training and debriefing sessions, and to gain practical experience on North American soil. The 20–30-year-olds will be resourced by agencies such as C2C, Canadian Mennonite University and Bethany College to help them clarify their call and discern next steps in ministry. “For this age group, there’s been a gap,” said Letkeman. “With this new Manitoba-based TREK program, the students are right in the river of leadership. No more black hole of leadership.” • President Bruce Guenther reported on the work of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada, saying the school is currently developing non-formal, not-for-credit courses. “Our goal is to successfully combine education and mission,” said Guenther, “because mission without education results in shallow discipleship, and education without mission results in irrelevance.” • Delegates voted in support of a $684,207 budget for 2014. The conference expects a surplus of $46,000 by the end of the year.—Laura Kalmar


National C2C Network director Gord Fleming reported on a one-day training event that took place in Montreal in February, focused on equipping and mobilizing the church into everyday life on mission. “There were 240 leaders – guys who don’t always get along or talk to each other – all in the room at the same time. Surely the Lord’s favour is on the C2C Network!”

Ruth Schellenberg, pastor of children’s ministry at Fort Garry MB Church, Winnipeg, says children’s ministry is best understood as a place “where our goal is the transformation of character – not just sin management.” Schellenberg elevated the role of children in Christian community, saying, “The church is only fully the church when children are present.” “We need to radically rethink how we hire youth pastors,” says thirtysomething youth pastor Dave Easton from The Meeting Place, Winnipeg. “We need to hire people who are primarily godly, not who are primarily hip. We need people who are called to a lifetime of ministry to students, not who see it as a stepping stone. Of course, Jesus can interrupt our plans, and I’m open to that. But right now, I hope to retire a youth pastor,” says Easton.

“Seniors can’t just sit back and be served,” says Harold Jantz, speaking about best practices in seniors’ ministry. “They need intergenerational relationships.” Jantz also encouraged active participation in church life. One delegate from Portage Avenue Church agreed, citing the example of a 93-year-old woman from his congregation who’s offering the Alpha course to her neighbours.



Provincial news New shoes for SKMB director Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches convention, Mar. 12–15, 2014


Gliege who will continue to serve until June 2014 alongside Terrance Froese, the new director of ministry affirmed and commissioned the next day. For Gliege’s final formal address to the assembly of churches and delegates, he spoke the words of 1 Timothy from memory. “If you would take a few nuggets and put them into practice,” he said, “we would see such health.” Celebrate the past and future • Despite a $6,244 deficit in 2013, delegates approved an ambitious 2014 operating budget of $619,980, drawing on transfers from the reserves. “We’re not here to accumulate funds; we’re here to do mission,” said Dergousoff. “We’re in a position to take strong steps forward for Christ – we ask you to join in the journey.” To meet the needs of the C2C Network arm, the budget anticipates an income of $40,000 through fundraising. “We have a PayPal account and link on our website – you should try it out and see if it works,” said Dergousoff. • Having already been processed at prior leadership forums, a new governance structure and constitution were approved with little discussion, albeit a handful of opposing votes. Under the new governance, the executive board


he 2014 convention of the Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, held Mar. 12–15, 2014, at Forest Grove Community Church, Saskatoon, marked the end of a long chapter in the book of SKMB churches: Ralph and Grace Gliege’s ministry. Conference minister since 1992 and local pastor in Hepburn, West Portal and Woodrow before that, Gliege has been a fixture in the conference provincially and nationally and is regarded not only as a mentor but as family by generations of Saskatchewan pastors. In the tradition of Gliege’s trademark analogies and illustrations, director of finance and congregational services Pat Dergousoff wielded a mallet in a tribute video as he spoke of Gliege “leaving an impact on our lives.” A procession of representatives from each church marched into the sanctuary carrying the quilt Gliege had used as an illustration at past conventions, wrapped the Glieges in it and surrounded them with prayer. Stitched with the name of each SKMB congregation, the quilt is an “‘inventory of letters’ (2 Corinthians 3:2–3) to display God’s faithfulness.” The convention’s Friday night session was devoted to bidding farewell to

Representatives from each SKMB church surround Ralph and Grace Gliege with a memorial quilt and their prayers in recognition of Gliege’s retirement.


May 2014

– answerable to the churches – sets the policies and bylaws for the director of ministry. In turn, staff and volunteer ministry (development, C2C-SK, ministry support, pastor and church health) are accountable to the director of ministry. • The Saskatchewan church extension arm Harvest Saskatchewan completes its transition into a C2C Network regional team with accountability to the national director. It’s a shift in thinking between “caring groups” whose focus is “up and in,” to a missional community whose focus is out, said C2C Network Saskatchwan director Dwayne Barkman. One example is Forest Grove’s “Broadway” campus The Gathering, which added an evening fellowship meeting and moved to a new morning location to accommodate increased attendance. Pastor Don Froese says the church is “developing a warm relationship” with the principal of the independent First Nations school that hosts Sunday morning services. • Riverhurst was officially welcomed into the MB family in Saskatchewan. The congregation will hold its charter service June 1, 2014. (See page 38.) Director of ministry commissioning With an 88 percent approval vote, Terrance Froese was commissioned as the new director of ministry. (See page 38.) Gliege drew on the 2 Kings text of Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha as he blessed Froese to continue the ministry. “Some say Terrance has big shoes to fill,” said Gliege. “But he doesn’t; I’m keeping my shoes.” Gliege made an appeal to the churches to support Terrance and Wanda Froese as they supported him and Grace. Froese acknowledged the way Gliege had “thrown his cloak” over him and blessed him to “do things very differently, yet we’re very unified in heart,” he said. Saskatchewan has “a family feel where we watch out for each other,” said Froese. “That’s a gift we have to give to Canada,” he said, stressing it wasn’t a

superiority factor, but a “puzzle piece we have to give.” “I’m a different leader with different priorities and values unique to this time,” said Froese, who identified four priorities that will inform his leadership. • Shaping the staff team “to function like a Stanley Cup-ready hockey team.” Staff will work together in one location instead of three separate home offices. • Moving forward with systems congruent with 21st-century communication. This will include an improved web presence and more modes of online communication. • Cultivating not only “excitement for prayer,” but mobilizing pray-ers in each church to discern and intercede for local and national concerns.

Suspended between displays representing the past and the future, Bethany College academic dean Gil Dueck challenged the assembly to “be united around what it means to be united on mission” and to support schools as a place where there is “time and space” to think through these identity questions.

• Partnering with the Canadian conference “as an equal partner at the Lord’s table,” facilitating conversation, and finding unity of purpose at the local and national level. Froese called on “good theological thinkers” to help the conference deal with “theological debates challenging us to the core.” Above all, he called for a “gospel-centred” movement: a conference that exists to inspire, empower and model Jesus in making disciples, molding leaders and multiplying missional churches.—Karla Braun

“It all started over a stupid prank,” says Erna Jantzen. Since 1997, Ralph Gliege has commissioned the avid knitter to create 288 personalized toques for pastors and leaders of the Saskatchewan MB conference. “It’s been a fun thing to do,” Jantzen says. “You knit and you pray for the pastor.”

“Can you thank God for the storm? Because it produces the fish [in the estuary],” says West Bank Bible Camp director Jerry Dennill (l). West Bank is developing a satellite ministry in a provincial park, opening doors to relate to the 40,000 children who visit each summer. Redberry Bible Camp director Dave Seeley (r) relishes the partnership with Bethany College, Youth for Christ, local churches and the national camping ministry that encourage and equip the camp to meet the needs of the 70 percent of campers without a home church.

After some 30 years on provincial and national boards from faith and life to executive to Christian education, Lucille Wall was still taking minutes at this her final Saskatchewan convention in 2014, having moved to Manitoba to be closer to her children and grandchildren. “The hardest thing about moving was leaving this,” she says.



Provincial news Alberta prays for new beginnings Alberta Mennonite Brethren Conference convention, Mar. 21–22, 2014



astors and leaders witnessed an answer to prayer at the annual convention of the Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (ABMB), Mar. 21–22, 2014, at River West Christian Church, Edmonton. At the Friday evening session, moderator Val Martens reported that it appeared only 34 delegates would be present for the Saturday business sessions. This was 16 people short of a quorum. She invited people to pray about the situation and 52 people, two more than needed for a quorum, were present at the Saturday meeting. “It was God working,” she said. “We prayed about it and people came.” Martens shares the hope and prayer of Willy Reimer, executive director of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC), who encouraged delegates to see this concern as “a turning point” and the beginning of a new day for Alberta churches. Reimer, a Calgary resident and founding pastor of SunWest Christian Fellowship in Calgary, said the province continues to grow and show leadership and innovation in other sectors, but that this growth is not evident in MB and other churches.

“I want to see robust churches in the MB denomination and beyond,” said Reimer. “We have all the skills and resources in this province to do what Christ has called us to do.” He reported eight of the 21 MB churches are looking for senior pastors. “I pray a year from now we will look back and see these positions filled,” he said. Delegates also heard a report from Jim and Marilou Nightingale about the difficult decision to close Foothills Community Church in Pincher Creek at the end of January. They asked people to join them in praying for themselves and others from the community who have started a journey of healing. Foothills Community Church provided Christ-centred ministries in its community for 66 years. The building and assets have been donated to ABMB. Plans are to use the building for a church plant when God calls a planter to the community. Unified financial stream This past year, meetings took place to discuss how the Alberta and Canadian conferences can work together more intentionally. Delegates approved a unified financial stream that was initiated by the Alberta conference and discussed at regional meetings. The unified financial stream will be implemented no later than Dec. 31, 2014. Under this “oneteam organization,” ABMB will pass all financial resources to the Canadian conference who will provide leadership development and other support. The ABMB conference will continue as a legal entity. The

Networking is an important part of convention attendance.


May 2014

ABMB faith and life team will continue to function as it has in the past. CCMBC will lead the process of hiring an ABMB conference minister, who will be accountable to CCMBC and will process and authorize all ministry initiatives in Alberta. Delegates also approved the 2013–2014 financial report and the 10-month 2014 budget of $301,150 that was adjusted to align with the Canadian conference’s year-end. New board members Nelson Senft and Dennis Wiens were affirmed as new board members, and Kerry Dyck and Laurence Hiebert as returning board members. They join Conny Neufeld and Elroy Senneker who are in the middle of their terms. Delegates expressed appreciation for Val Martens and Gary Burke who completed their terms. God at work Through reports and inspirational talks, pastors and leaders shared what God is doing in and through the Alberta churches and partner ministries. “It’s in the little moments that we see God at work,” said Kerry Dyck, pastor of River West Christian Church. Dyck shared a story of a mother in the neighbourhood who had inquired about infant baptism for her child. Dyck explained the church does not baptize infants but provides parent/ baby dedication services, where parents pledge to raise the child in a Christian environment. Shortly after this meeting, the mother started attending the church and was recently baptized and joined in membership. Elroy Senneker of Urban Grace Church, Calgary, shared he was part of a prayer walk in the city. As he looked at the densely populated high-rise buildings, he saw more than lights in the

windows. “I saw people created in the image of God who need a Saviour,” he said. After serving as pastor at Calgary’s Dalhousie Community Church for eight years, Brad Huebert is beginning a C2C church planting apprenticeship at Urban Grace, Calgary. He is learning ABMB director of caring for leaders, Terry Lamb, has a “front through the apprenrow seat” to pastors’ passion for God’s mission. ticeship program to look in the mirror church. Furthermore, almost 38 percent and recognize his own need for Jesus. were involved in leadership roles. “It’s not us and them; we all need Jesus,” he said. Local and global mission Lloyd Letkeman of MB Mission Central Camp ministry Canada said the 10-day discipleship At Camp Evergreen near Sundre, and mission program, SOAR, is helping directors Bob and Bev Kroeker and young people and churches get involved their camp staff share the love of Christ in mission in their home provinces. He through serving guests with excellence. encourages Alberta churches to offer this This commitment to excellent service program. encourages children, who come to the Cory and Masami Giesbrecht of camp through outdoor education proWinnipeg are following God’s call to serve grams, to register as summer campers. in Japan. “Each year 30,000 people die To nurture a stronger relationship with from suicide and many are enslaved in the MB churches, new cabins were named in sex trade,” said Cory. honour of founding ABMB congregations. “Prayer is the beginning, the middle and the end of everything that God will Education opportunities accomplish in Japan.” Jeff Peters reported Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada National and provincial reports (MBBS) is making seminary education Ron Toews, director of Resourcing more accessible. The seminary offers Churches Developing Leaders, said courses on campuses in Langley and the Leaders2Learners website Winnipeg and continues to expand ( provides a variety education opportunities and course of online resources for leaders and delivery options. ministry teams. Resources include online Bethany College president Howie Wall assessment, coaching and learning said a recent survey of alumni showed opportunities. that 95 percent of graduates from the Johnny Thiessen, C2C Network past 10 years were involved in a local regional director, supports church

River West volunteers serve faithfully.

planters in Alberta. “We don’t recruit church planters; we pray that God will send planters,” he said. ABMB director of caring for leaders, Terry Lamb, said he has a “front row seat” as he hears pastors talk about their passion for God’s mission for the church. John Willems, BFL representative, hears pastors express their love for Christ through the credentialing process. In his stewardship ministries report, Lorne Willms said the Scriptures teach that “God is the Lord of all,” including finances. He encourages churches to use resources provided through Leaders2Learners to learn more about financial management. Guest speaker, Bill Hogg, national missiologist for the C2C Network, talked about the importance of reaching Canadians with the good news of Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. “God has a mission and the mission has a church,” said Hogg. “We don’t need more strategies; what we need is a fresh encounter with Jesus. Our job is to make disciples, to make followers of Jesus Christ.”—Gladys Terichow, CCMBC staff writer MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD  May 2014


N E W S in brief Morris named USMB ED

The U.S. Mennonite Brethren leadership board named Don Morris interim executive director following the retirement of Ed Boschman in July 2014 and will retain a consultant to lead the conference in a structural review. Morris is the director of Mission USA and has led USMB church planting and church health initiatives since 2004. He will continue to work from his office in Edmond, Okla.—USMB release

One Spirit, one baptism

The second meeting of the trilateral (Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite) dialogue commission on baptism Jan. 26–31, 2014, in Strasbourg, France, focused on “Baptism: God’s Grace in Christ and Human Sin.” Mennonite presenter Fernando Enns was surprised “how much we learn about ourselves when we are asked to explain our theological convictions to others.” Participant John Rempel of Toronto grappled with divergent perspectives on God’s initiative: “Only through the work of the Holy Spirit will this dialogue lead us closer to the mind of Christ.” Mennonite World Conference (MWC) will host February 2015’s gathering in the Netherlands. After a fourth meeting in 2016, the commission reports to the Lutheran World Federation, Mennonite World Conference and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.—

Pastoring pastors after disaster

Following Typhoon Haiyan, Mennonite Central Committee Filipino partner Peacebuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) assessed with church leaders the emotional trauma they were responding to, and experiencing themselves, in Leyte Province. Feb. 4, PBCI began training pastors in Ormoc City in trauma counselling, disaster risk reduction and peace and reconciliation. Once 50 pastors are trained, each will pass on what they’ve learned to 4 more.—MCC release

WEA secretary steps down

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) secretary general Geoff Tunnicliffe concludes his tenure Dec. 31, 2014. He was elected the 13th WEA secretary general in 2005 and served two 5-year terms, one of the longest tenures in WEA’s history. Launched in 1846,


May 2014

the WEA serves, represents and unites 600 million evangelical Christians, including Canadian MBs through membership in the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.—

FLN goes forward to Square One

Family Life Network announced a new name under which it will begin operations Sept. 1, 2014: Square One World Media Inc. This is not the first time the organization, founded as Gospel Light Hour by a group of MB Bible College students in 1947, has changed its name to better reflect its changing work to share an unchanging message. The new name reflects the global scope of the ministry’s reach and identifies the work as media production, says executive director Claude Pratte. “Our prayer is that the media content we produce will encourage many to take that first step, or be encouraged in the many steps that follow, on the journey of a relationship with God.” Square One World Media develops, produces and distributes Christ-centred media content, broadcast in 6 languages to more than 2,000 media outlets worldwide.—FLN release

Evangelical creation care goes global

The Lausanne Creation Care network launched a 3-year campaign to jumpstart a global creation care movement within the evangelical community that strengthens the church and provides a model for society. A series of regional conferences will occur in Manila and Nairobi in 2014; the Americas and West Africa in 2015; and Europe, South Asia, Australasia and Southern Africa in 2016. The goal is to develop evangelical leaders in creation care who have sound theology, good science, effective partnerships, contextually appropriate local engagement and high visibility in national Christian media.—

New leader for Menno Homes

Menno Homes of Saskatchewan Inc., a Christian residential and vocational support program for adults with intellectual disabilities, based in Waldheim, Sask., welcomed executive director Jordan Varey, November 2013. Varey began his Christian journey at Evergreen Heights MB Church, Simcoe, Ont. With a master’s degree in disability studies, he has experience in the school system, group home supports and service agency management.—MHSI release

Gothard resigns amid accusations

Following accusations of sexual harassment from more than 30 women on a whistleblowing website, Bill Gothard resigned as president and board member of the Institute in Basic Life Principles in March 2014 and was placed on administrative leave in February. More than 2.5 million took Gothard’s Basic Seminars, which began as a course at Wheaton College shortly after his graduation in 1961.—

50 years of stories from stones

The Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, later named Mennonite Heritage Village (Canada) Inc. (MHV), Steinbach, Man., will host a 50th anniversary celebration July 5–6, featuring a fundraising gala, dessert bar with improvisational violinist Rosemary Siemens, worship and Faspa/Vesper table. MHV was incorporated in 1964 to publish research, preserve artifacts and share stories of Russian Mennonites. Drawing a parallel to Israel’s redemption from slavery, Eric Friesen, son of MHV founder Ted Friesen, says preserving Mennonite history is important “so that we will have answers when our grandchildren and great-grandchildren ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ (Joshua 4:6).”—MHV release

World Vision U.S. reverses decision to hire Christians in same-sex marriages

Mar. 26, 2014, after thousands cancelled their child sponsorships, World Vision’s U.S. branch reversed its Mar. 24, 2014 hiring policy change that would have included Christians in same-sex marriages. “The board acknowledged it made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the biblical covenant of marriage between one man and one woman,” writes World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns. “We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to biblical authority.” The original decision to expand the policy was “to prevent this divisive issue from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of living and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ.”—, Montreal Gazette

N E W S in stor y


young church plant now owns the movie theatre it had been renting in Surrey, B.C. Crossridge Church started in Surrey’s Cloverdale community in 2010, opening formally in the historic Clova Theatre in fall 2011. Lead pastor Lee Francois moved from serving on the pastoral staff of Burnaby’s Willingdon Church when he and his wife, Ilona, sensed a call to start a church in Cloverdale. It was quite a contrast, but the move was assisted by Church Planting BC (now C2C Network). Two other Willingdon pastors, Andy Frew and Rebecca Withrow, joined Francois in the new venture. The new little church in the rented movie house grew quickly. Crossridge went to two Sunday services last September, and

F r a n c o i s s ay s g r ow t h h a s been steady. When Crossridge started, Francois says, the Clova had been up for sale. As the church grew, the thought of purchasing the building became more attractive,

A Crossridge service inside the Clova Theatre.


Agape Day is lifestyle for KGF


elowna Gospel Fellowship knows it’s not the only church to declare February “love month” or dedicate a day each February to demonstrate unconditional agape love. But it continues, through teaching and actions and meticulous organization, to make agape love part of how KGF members live beyond church walls in the community every day. KGF participates in Soles for Souls (which sends shoes abroad) and helps outreaches like Freedom’s Door men’s recovery program, Okanagan Valley Pregnancy Care Centre, the local food bank, MCC Thrift Store and others. This year, senior pastor Mike Penninga preached a three-part series on unconditional love, and the church set aside Feb. 15, 2014, to make a concerted effort to reach out to the community. Some

decided to sell. And Crossridge found a way to buy. So the church team is praying about how its newly acquired facilities – particularly the theatre – may be utilized within the community outside of service times. Francois says Crossridge reaches out to the community in many ways and wants to be a blessing to Cloverdale; uses for the buildings are important in that context. Church staff continue to rent offices nearby.—Barrie McMaster, B.C. correspondent

140 from the congregation – families, children and older people – took part. When you tie in a sermon series and then give an action step for it, tangible things happen, says Penninga. In its third year of emphasizing agape love, KGF works year round but makes a point of celebrating the importance of what they do each February. “When February ended, we said, ‘Now it’s March. The love has to stop,’” says Penninga – and people got the joke. “When people serve beyond the church walls, they understand there is a joy in living outwardly and generously.” Former staff member Kristi Cooper, now a teacher, remains as a clearing-house person to keep track of community needs, ensuring outreach is effective and avoids empty posturing.


Church plant buys community movie house

and the church started to work on a down payment. Willingdon helped with a gift, says Francois, and so did two individual donors. Clova Ci nema’s mov ies will play into the summer, then end as renovations begin. The theatre will wrap up a long run first started with a community subscription drive in 1944. For Crossridge, the story got better when the owner of the Cloverdale Learning Centre building, rented by the church for Sunday school and youth activities, also

Cooper, whom Penninga credits with starting the program, says God gave her the realization that love does change everything, and that agape love actually transforms people. She was bothered by comments from non-Christians who criticize church people, she says. Profoundly affected by a statement she read in a blog – “Your actions speak Pastor Mike Penninga and a young volunteer serve at Soles for Souls on Agape Day. so loudly I cannot hear your words” – Cooper began to wonder, KGF has learned what is needed to make an event like Agape “What if?” Her resulting approach to Day meaningful. “It works best if church “love” action is so organ- it’s tangible and there is time to sign ized that community officials come up,” says Penninga. The church has to church staff with requests. Pen- also learned to provide two–four ninga says police and fire depart- options to choose from on Agape Day, so members can find their ments at times pass along news of “sweet spots” for service. a need. Even the mayor’s office will Twelve months of the year, do likewise, he says. Social services the last words of a KGF service workers also know that Kelowna are, “You are loved.” Beginning Gospel Fellowship Church has with Agape Day, the church people willing to help. organizes action steps to grow in It’s an efficient way to show that love.—Barrie McMaster, B.C. God’s love, Penninga says. correspondent MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD  May 2014



S U R R E Y, B . C .

Letters continued from page 5 We are aware that we have a long path to walk. We hope to build relationships with First Nations communities so that we can continue this learning journey and walk this path together. We are followers of Jesus Christ, the great reconciler. We are aware that words without actions are not only ineffective but may also be harmful. We commit ourselves to take your challenges to us very seriously. We will seek to model the reconciling life and work of Jesus in seeking reconciliation with you. We will encourage our churches to reach out in practical and loving ways, including dialogue and expressions of hospitality. We commit ourselves to walk with you, listening and learning together as we journey to a healthier and more just tomorrow. Thank you. TIM DYCK, GENERAL SECRETARY, EMC WILLARD METZGER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MC CANADA DONALD PETERS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MCC CANADA WILLY REIMER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CCMBC DOUGLAS P. SIDER, JR., CANADIAN DIRECTOR, BIC CANADA

Savin g a child Throughout Moldova, Ukraine and Romania, more than 70,000 children live in state homes often in poor repair because the governments can’t afford to keep the houses in good and safe condition. Throughout the region, many thousands more children are abandoned or orphaned; alone, unprotected, homeless and walking the streets. Many of these kids are kidnapped and forced into the sex trade. According to one CNN report, 75% of the sex workers in the Netherlands at the moment originate from Eastern European countries such as Romania. These are children we want to save and need your help to do it. These children need our love and support, often for lengthy periods. We ask that you prayerfully consider sponsoring one of these children today. For just $32.00 a month, the equivalent of a coffee a day, you can bring hope, the love of God and light into the life of an abandoned, at-risk child. A gift of sponsorship will help us provide emotional, physical and spiritual help to these deserving children.

Ministering to

Your gateway to relationships with fellow leaders on mission 30

May 2014


For more information or to begin a child sponsorship please call us toll free at 1-800-494-4454 Or visit our website at


Embrace Complex Issues

Canadian Mennonite Brethren will gather in Vancouver at The Centre for Gathering 2014 on June 11–14, 2014.

Board Breakouts on Thursday, June 12 will provide an opportunity to dialogue about:


• Executive Board General Operating Bylaws, convention guidelines and board nominee testimonies • Budget and stewardship updates • Strategic plan and mission • Board of Faith & Life follow-up from Study Conference on Human Sexuality Ministry Workshops on Friday, June 13 will provide more information about: • Resourcing Churches Developing Leaders (RCDL) • C2Cnetwork • MB Mission • MBBS Canada Registration for Gathering 2014 is $149 per person before May 1, 2014 ($199 after May 1).


Accommodation at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel will be $129 per night. The deadline for hotel reservations is May 20, 2014. After this, rates could exceed $300 per night and will be subject to availability. Participants are responsible to make their own hotel reservations directly with the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel: email OR fax 604-639-4035 (group code: Canadian Conference). REMEMBER! Each Canadian Conference church may send one delegate for every 25 members, plus one pastor. Join us in Vancouver as we explore how we can multiply the reach of our churches and shape our mission as Canadian Mennonite Brethren.

For more information visit

THE CENTRE, VANCOUVER B.C. JUNE 11 - 14, 2014 Join THE us in CENTRE, Vancouver VANCOUVER as we explore how weJUNE can multiply reach of B.C. 11 - 14,the 2014 our churches and shape our mission as Canadian Mennonite Brethren. Join us in Vancouver as we explore how we can multiply the reach of our churches and shape our mission as Canadian Mennonite Brethren. P: (888) 669-6575 E: P: (888) 669-6575 E:



“Since my time here at Bethany College I have been

soaking up the love of Christ.

I now believe that God loves me and defines who I am.” Bethany College student



your Spirit

and body

with global culinary experiences Extending the Table

Recipes and stories from Afghanistan to Zambia in the spirit of More-with-Less


Cook with neighbors from around the world as you prepare flavorful dishes and feel the warmth of their kitchens. This revised edition of Extending the Table simmers together the best-loved recipes from the first edition, the enticing flavors of new recipes, and stories and proverbs from over ninety countries. Extend your table by experiencing the gratitude, hospitality, and foodways of friends near and far.

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May 2014

1-800-245-7894 (USA) • 1-800-631-6535 (Canada) •

We Introduce You to the Locals!

New from University of Toronto Press Path of Thorns

Celebrating 45 Years of Value-Added Travel

Soviet Mennonite Life under Communist and Nazi Rule

by Jacob A. Neufeld

Despite limited education, Albert Hildebrand built a prosperous flour mill and other businesses that employ many in eastern Paraguay. Generous philanthropists, Albert and Mary helped establish a hospital and a school in their community.

edited and translated by Harvey L. Dyck

Meet the Hildebrands and other local Mennonites on our Explore South America tour, March 15-27, 2015. In 2014-2015, explore Australia/New Zealand, Alaska, Vietnam, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Cuba, Ethiopia/Tanzania, the Holy Land, Scandinavia, and Mennonite World Conference.

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Path of Thorns narrates the life and suffering of Soviet Mennonites through the story of survival of Jacob Abramovich Neufeld, a prominent Soviet Mennonite leader and writer. ‘Beautifully written, masterfully translated and meticulously introduced. A copy belongs in every Mennonite home.’ - John B. Toews, Univ. of Calgary

Red Quarter Moon A Search for Family in the Shadow of Stalin

by Anne Konrad

A gripping account of Anne Konrad’s search for her family members lost and disappeared within the Soviet Union. ‘Anne Konrad keeps you glued to the pages as she becomes the spokesperson for the silent, for the sufferers, indeed for the faithful.’ - Dick Benner, Canadian Mennonite



Hymn Stories with Christine Longhurst

Fairview MB Church will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary May 31, 2014 and June 1, 2014 Featured speakers: Saturday Evening: Michael Krause (pastor at Southridge Church, St. Catharines)

Sunday Afternoon: Dr. Walter (Wally) Unger (former Fairview pastor and CBC president emeritus)

Inspiring stories of Christian songwriters and their songs.

Volume 3: includes:

The Love of God What a Friend we have in Jesus God Hath Not Promised A Shelter in The Time of Storm God be With You Till We Meet Again

All former members, attendees and friends are invited to attend. Visit Fairview’s website for the details. 455 Geneva Street, St. Catharines, Ont.

Stories on Audio CD are 12-14 minutes in length

To order: 204-667-9576 or 1-800-565-1810

British Columbia

MCC is a church-based agency that serves in the name of Christ by providing relief, development and peace initiatives in over 60 countries. MCC British Columbia supports the international work of MCC and operates several local programs that serve needs here at home. MCC BC has an operating budget of $10 million with 75 staff and 3,000 volunteers who work in 10 thrift shops and a range of other activities. We also own several subsidiary enterprises that operate local programs and hold legacy investments.

Employment Opportunities Finance and Administration Director The Finance & Administration Director is a new position that reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for all financial services related to the operations of MCC BC, and also provides expertise and oversight related to subsidiary enterprises. Administrative responsibilities include property, office equipment, information systems, and insurance. Qualifications include: certification in a professional accounting association, proven track record in a related leadership role, knowledge and experience related to the charitable sector, proficiency with computer systems and accounting software, experience with policy development, and the ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment.

Advancement Director The Advancement Director reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for all fundraising, marketing and communications activities including direct mail, monthly giving, major donors, fundraising events, media, church relations, planned giving, marketing a wide range of MCC activities, and creating new initiatives to engage our constituency and expand the donor base. Qualifications include: proven track record as a leader in fundraising and communications, experience with related best practices, passion for networking and constituency relations, effective communicator in various mediums, proficiency with fundraising software, aptitude for creating innovative strategies for growth, and the ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment. MCC workers are required to have a personal Christian faith, active church participation, a commitment to non-violent peacemaking, and support for the mission of MCC. Please send a cover letter and resume to - Attention: Human Resources (confidential) MCC BC, Box 2038, 31414 Marshall Rd., Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 3T8 Or by fax to: 1-604-850-8734, or by email to: 34

May 2014

Check for more information on MCC and this job posting.

C H U R C H S TA FF Lead Pastor 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

Youth Pastor “Plus” 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

BIRTHS JOHNSON – to Steven & Jodie of Watrous, Sask., a daughter, Macey Ryelynn, Mar. 2, 2014. KEHLER – to Jared & Kristin (Breckman) of High Bluff, Man., a son, Mateo Thallin David, Feb. 16, 2014. MOLINE – to Logan & Christine of Mission, B.C., a son, Declan Whitaker, Dec. 19, 2013. SIEMENS – to Keith & Glenda of Guernsey, Sask., a daughter, Sarah Jane, Jan. 25, 2014.

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-Teacher 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:

Director of Operations (half-time) Cedar Park Church, located in the Metro Vancouver community of South Delta, is Helping you find your way home... in Winnipeg

WALL – to Richard & Haleigh (Voth) of

DAVID UNRUH 204-453-7653

Portage la Prairie, Man., twin daughters, Lea Kate &

seeking a director of operations. Cedar Park is an established, multi-generational, growing, community-oriented church. The director of operations will be responsible for the smooth functioning of all business-related and administrative aspects of the church’s daily operations and will report to the lead pastor. The ideal individual will have strong relational, administrative, implementation and project management skills. Go to employment for a complete job description and list of qualifications. Send all inquiries, cover letter and resume to Bob Gilmour, chair: Cedar Park Church Search Committee at

Lead Pastor Gem (Alta.) MB Church, a rural congregation of 85 members, is prayerfully seeking a pastor with a love for people and community. We are seeking someone with shepherd qualities, and passion for preaching, teaching and outreach. One who will equip us, challenge us to grow and to use our gifts within our ministry. We have recently completed a ReFocusing process and are working to establish a clear vision for our ministry. Please send resumes via email to, or contact Greg Klassen at 403-633-4740.


Nori Beth, Mar. 5, 2014. WARKENTIN – to Ray & Shauna (Kasdorf) of Steinbach, Man., a daughter,



April Talia, Feb. 4, 2014. WIEBE – to Phil & Julie of Niverville, Man., a son, Finley Holden, Feb. 21, 2014.


Kinshasa pastors train for Confession discussions Read the story at



Tedd Epp 306 221 1614 MENNONITE BRETHREN HERALD  May 2014


Finish lines

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

Mary Rempel Jan. 15, 1926–Aug. 11, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Orenburg, Russia PARENTS: Isaac & Katherina Toews MARRIAGE: John Rempel, Oct. 15, 1950 [d. 2005] BAPTISM: Philadelphia MB, Watrous, Sask., Aug. 9, 1942 CHURCH: Arnold (B.C.) FAMILY: children Dave (Chris), Vangie (Jerry) Truex, Dan (Evelyn), Carol (Rudi) Thiessen, Rose (Bill) Wiedman, Harv (Diane), Ben (Laura), Ron (Elsie), Rick (Tracey), Al (Linda); 24 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren

When Mary was an infant, her family immigrated to Canada, settling in Watrous, Sask. After her half-brother’s death in a farming accident, Mary accepted Jesus as Saviour. In 1945, she attended Yarrow (B.C.) Bible School. The family followed, settling on a farm near Abbotsford, B.C. At Arnold (B.C.) Community Church, she met and married John Rempel. They bought an acreage in Arnold, raised 10 children and actively served the church and community. After John died in 2005, Mary moved to Menno Pavilion, Abbotsford, where neighbours appreciated her sweet, generous spirit.

Betty (Betts) Kasdorf Dec. 23, 1948–Dec. 11, 2013

BIRTHPLACE: Winkler, Man. PARENTS: Peter & Susana Kasdorf BAPTISM: Niverville (Man.) MB CHURCH: Fort Garry MB, Winnipeg FAMILY: 14 siblings and their families

After high school at MB Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, and 2 years at Winkler (Man.) Bible Institute, Betts spent a year in The Hague, the Netherlands, with an inter-Mennonite trainee program. She worked at Youth for Christ, Winnipeg, then at Winnipeg Bible College (now Providence University College). She studied home economics at University of Manitoba and earned an education degree in London, Ont. Betts taught adult education near Cambridge Bay, N.W.T., then taught high-school home economics in Beauval, Sask. She made lifelong friends as a teacher at Morden (Man.) Collegiate. Feeling a call to serve those in poverty, she worked for MCC in Bangladesh for 7 years. During her 5 years in Laos, she removed many undetonated cluster


May 2014

munitions and grenades from the Vietnam war. When her mother’s health began to fail, Betts returned to work for MCC’s Winnipeg office and care for her mother until her death in 2003. Betts worked with Canadian Foodgrains Bank and disaster relief. She enjoyed being in crowds. Betts was known for her hospitality.

Mary Helen Bartel Sept. 26, 1932–Jan. 26, 2014

BIRTHPLACE: Winnipeg PARENTS: Jacob & Annie Friesen; stepfather Henry Suderman MARRIAGE: Frank Bartel, Dec. 28, 1963 [d. June 7, 2012] BAPTISM: South Abbotsford (B.C.) MB, 1947 CHURCH: Eagle Ridge, Coquitlam, B.C. FAMILY: children David, Howard, Dan; 7 siblings; nieces & nephews; great-nieces & great-nephews

When Mary was 2, her father died of tuberculosis. Her mother married Henry Suderman, and later, they moved to Abbotsford, B.C. Mary accepted Christ as a child while picking berries with her brother Jake. She attended Bible college in Abbotsford and Winnipeg. She worked at an orphanage in Kitchener, Ont. Mary met Frank through an outreach choir while studying to be a practical nurse. Mary loved to sew, arrange flowers, make crafts and care for children. She started a Pioneer Girls club and remained involved for 19 years. She taught and coordinated Sunday school and oversaw VBS programs. When Frank was diagnosed with ALS in 2002, Mary and their son Howard cared for him. In 2008, Mary was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but she continued living at home with her sons. She cherished her family and friendships.

Elizabeth (Betty) Thiessen Feb. 8, 1922–Jan. 28, 2014 BIRTHPLACE: Alexandrovka, Russia PARENTS: Franz & Katharina (Peters) Wiens MARRIAGE: Walter Thiessen, Sept. 2, 1944 BAPTISM: Vancouver, age 22 CHURCH: Willingdon, Burnaby, B.C.; Alliance, Oliver, B.C.; Central Heights, Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C. FAMILY: Walter; children Phil (Jan), Pat (Ted Klassen), Rob (Diane), Marilyn (Dave Lick); 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren

Betty grew up on a farm near Elbow, Sask. She enjoyed riding her horse to school. The Depression ended her schooling at Grade 8. She moved to Vancouver to sew for Pappas Furs and do housework for wealthy families. She had a successful business as a seamstress. Later, she demonstrated kitchen appliances at Hudson’s Bay Company. Betty was baptized by Jacob Thiessen, and later that year, married his son. Betty and Walter settled on a farm in Matsqui, B.C. In the flood of 1948, they lost almost everything and moved to Vancouver. They moved to Burnaby, B.C., in 1959, to Oliver, B.C., in 1983, and to Abbotsford, B.C., in 1991. Betty was a good homemaker who loved to make people feel welcome. She served Union Gospel Mission and Pacific Grace Mission and the boards of MCC and the Gleaners. With Disciple Making International, she went to Ukraine in 1996 and to Orenburg, Russia, in 1997, leading many to faith in Jesus. On a seniors’ day trip to Vancouver Island 6 years ago, Betty broke her hip; her health deteriorated. She had a stroke Jan. 24. Her prayer was for her family to love Jesus.

John E. Goertzen Apr. 3, 1926–Feb. 1, 2014

BIRTHPLACE: Waterloo, Ont. PARENTS: Isaac & Maria Goertzen MARRIAGE: Elizabeth Bergmann, Apr. 22, 1956 [d. Nov. 7, 2011] CHURCH: Steinbach (Man.) MB FAMILY: children John (Linda), Dave (Neom), Marianne (Terry) Heide, Ernie, a son [d. at birth]; 13 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren

John grew up near Landmark, Man. As a youth, he worked on a farm, on a lumber camp, in road construction and at Bergmann Meats. John and Elizabeth enjoyed farming together, picking blueberries and travelling to the U.S., Ontario and Moose Lake, Man. He was a member of Steinbach (Man.) MB Church for 50 years. Most of his time was on the farm with his family, which he found rewarding. John was a gentle man; a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather; and a dedicated servant of God.

William Josephe Marquardt July 7, 2005–Feb. 13, 2014 BIRTHPLACE: Ormond Beach, Fla. PARENTS: Rod & Oralea Marquardt CHURCH: Community Fellowship, Newton, Man.


FAMILY: parents; siblings Kyla, John; grandparents Ron & Marie Marquardt, Ora Dunbar

William was a happy boy who adored his big sister and little brother. He fought many battles against GM1 gangliosidosis. His strength and endurance amazed those around him. He taught others to take pleasure in the simplest moments and touched many around the world without ever saying a word.

Nettie Funk June 10, 1929–Feb. 16, 2014

BIRTHPLACE: Winnipeg PARENTS: Jacob Spenst & Maria Quiring MARRIAGE: Cornie Funk, June 24, 1951 CHURCH: Broadway, Chilliwack, B.C. FAMILY: Cornie; children Ruth (Michael) Altrows, Ron (Marg), Linda, Rick (Barb); 3 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 8 siblings

Nettie was a school teacher and a volunteer with Pioneer Girls club at Broadway Church for many years. She loved to knit, crochet and read.

Harvey A. Kliewer Mar. 2, 1938–Feb. 24, 2014

BIRTHPLACE: Hepburn, Sask. PARENTS: Peter C. & Katharina (Strauss) Kliewer MARRIAGE: Phyllis Stohl CHURCH: Parliament, Regina FAMILY: Phyllis; children Heather Thompson (George Blake), Kelly Holtby, Robert (Carol); 6 grandchildren; 6 great-grandsons

Harvey grew up on a farm. He loved baseball and, in his early years, coached his wife and children. He faced lung cancer with courage.

Gary Enns Sept. 22, 1952–Feb. 28, 2014

BIRTHPLACE: Portage la Prairie, Man. PARENTS: John A. & Mary Enns MARRIAGE: Joan Penner, July 26, 1980

CHURCH: Community Fellowship, Newton, Man. FAMILY: Joan; children Cory (Jo Ann), Karen (Jeff Peters), Kristi (Kelvin Thielmann); 4 grandchildren; mother; 3 siblings

Gary and Joan took over the family farm near Elm Creek, Man., and later Enns Insurance from his father. Gary enjoyed 20 years of driving school bus for the Prairie Rose School Division. He was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer in December 2012. Through this most difficult battle, his trust in God remained strong. With his positivity and hope in the Lord, he was a godly example to others. Gary adored his grandchildren.

Sarah Giesbrecht Aug. 11, 1923–Mar. 9, 2014

BIRTHPLACE: Hepburn, Sask. PARENTS: Gerhard & Anganetha Redekopp MARRIAGE: Cornelius (Con) Giesbrecht, Nov. 2, 1941 [d. Apr. 21, 1992] CHURCH: Crestwood MB, Medicine Hat, Alta. FAMILY: children Rod (Joan), Bernard (Judy), Bradford (Julie); 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren



FA M I LY news Ratified by the annual assembly Mar. 14–15, 2014, Terrance Froese was commissioned as director of ministry for the Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, effective Apr. 1, 2014. He holds a BCE and an MA from Briercrest College and Seminary, Caronport, Sask. Terrance pastored Hope Fellowship Church, Saskatoon 1996–2013, and served Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in Moose Jaw, Sask.; Chilliwack, B.C.; and Windsor, Ont., before that. Terrance and Wanda have 5 adult children and 1 in-law.

Due to declining membership and finances, a congregational meeting of Restigouche Valley Church, Campbellton, N.B., passed a motion to close, effective Mar. 31, 2014. In 1979, Robert and Janice Buhr began Bible studies and fellowship meetings, which formed into a congregation that chartered Restigouche Valley Church Dec. 2, 1984. The congregation called Siegfried Wall as the first paid pastor (1985–1996), and took ownership of a repurposed building in 1988. Joel Gagnon, pastor from 2003 to 2014, is focusing on full-time pastoral care work with a regional health network.

Gord Fleming, C2C Network national director, is pleased to announce the appointment of Karolyn Burch as director of ministry to church planter spouses. This position was birthed out of a growing awareness of the need to invest in the lives of church planters’ spouses, their marriages and their families. Karolyn will work in consultation with the national director of C2C to strategize, build and execute a system of pastoral care and ministry resourcing for spouses and families of planters across Canada. In addition to 27 years of marriage, 20 years of serving alongside her pastor husband in local church ministry and parenting 3 (now) adult children, Karolyn has served in church leadership roles (including youth, worship, women’s ministry, mentorship); spoken on “freedom in Christ” at women’s retreats and conferences; and served on the BCMB pastoral ministries committee. A graduate of Briercrest Bible College, Karolyn is a lifelong learner, reader and leadership conference junkie. Starting this part-time, 1-year role in January 2014, Karolyn has been laying a foundation of relationships with women across the C2C landscape. Karolyn and her husband Mark make their home in Vancouver, B.C.—C2C Network release

The Access Centre, Ajax, Ont., reaffirmed its membership in the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches at convention 2014. Planted as Koinonia Worship Centre in 1997, the multicultural church was adopted into OCMBC as a Love Toronto Key Cities Initiative church in 2002, and changed its name to The Access Centre (cf. Romans 5:1–2) when it moved into a building in Ajax, Ont., in 2010. Founding pastor Dan Sileshi, who entered the Anabaptist tradition through Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia, planted churches in Zimbabwe and Nigeria before coming to Canada to plant Koinonia. He currently works bivocationally as a psychotherapist. The Amharic-speaking congregation formally recognized Simeon Demeke as pastor in August 2013.

Riverhurst (Sask.) Community Church, a new congregation with a historical tie to the Mennonite Brethren congregation in Gilroy, will hold its charter service June 1, 2014, and officially join the SKMB conference at that time. The church is an outgrowth of Immanuel Retreat Ministries, a 26-bed retreat centre in Riverhurst pioneered by Prairie Winds Church, Moose Jaw, Sask., in 2011. The two bivocational pastors at Prairie Winds, Willard Hasmatali and Doug Rempel, spend weekends in Riverhurst and hold services Sunday mornings before returning to Moose Jaw for Prairie Winds’ evening worship service.

(Back, from left) Grace Gliege, Ralph Gliege, SKMB moderator Todd Hardy and Hope Fellowship moderator Sam Kennedy pray blessing and commissioning over new SKMB director of ministry Terrance Froese and his wife Wanda (kneeling).

Transitions Levi Simpson began as associate pastor at Kelowna (B.C.) Gospel Fellowship Apr. 1, 2014, with a commissioning service Apr. 6, 2014. He has a degree in business studies from Eston (Sask.) College where he worked as academic dean and student ministry director, an MA from Regent College, Vancouver, and has served as a lay leader at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship for several years. Levi and Shelley have 3 children. Wes Janzen and Kimberley Janzen, members at Bakerview MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C., completed decades of service teaching and directing choral activities at Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C., to devote more energy to Music Mission Kiev in Ukraine. Wes takes on the roles of MMK president and principal conductor of Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Kimberley will be association director of outreach ministries. Kenton and Kidron Miller began longterm church planting with MB Mission in Germany in winter 2014. Kenton has a BA in global studies from Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minn., and Kidron has an AAS from Hesston (Kan.) College. They participated in MB Mission’s TREK and Missionary Training and Equipping programs, and prior to beginning their 10-year term have also served a 3-year term at Evangelische Freikirche Berlin-Johannistal. The Millers’ home church is Lower Deer Creek Mennonite, Kalona, Iowa. They have 1 daughter. 38

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C2C appointment

Manfred Boller resigned as lead pastor of Community Fellowship Church, Newton, Man., effective February 2014. Ken Klassen completed his ministry as pastor at Gospel Fellowship Chapel, Foam Lake, Sask., January 2014.

Church news

CURRENTLY on screen

Mothers make a difference


ressed in colourful finery, seven immigrant women pulled up in front of the Winnipeg Art Gallery in a limousine Mar. 8, 2014. That night, they were the stars of Letters to our Children, a book and documentary that premiered to an audience of some 225 media, government, NGO and church people. At the heart of the program that birthed this screening and reception is The Meeting Place (Winnipeg MB church) member Lorelle Perry. “There’s something sacred about moms being moms together,” says Perry. Several years ago, the suburban mother of two young children combined her talents as a trained teacher with English as an Additional Language experience, her love of travel and new experiences and her conviction to obey the great commandment into founding KidBridge – a weekly play group for immigrant and refugee mothers who often lack opportunities for unstructured socialization in a welcoming environment. Eschewing an offer of financing from a church, Perry instead made application to government grants so the program

would not be limited by association with one congregation or denomination. To fulfill conditions of her funding, she organized a project for the women to do together. One year, Perry oversaw creation of a Each mother created a painting to portray an aspect of her experience. cookbook where A multi-faceted story the mothers brought a recipe and exA church foyer conversation at plained its place in their tradition. Next, The Meeting Place (TMP) introduced the idea for a children’s book turned into another medium of story sharing when an invitation for the mothers to write a professional filmmaker Leona Krahn letter to their children, explaining their history, the circumstances that led them heard what Perry was up to. “I’ve always to Canada, and their hopes and dreams had passion for refugees,” says Krahn. for their children’s future. “This seemed like the perfect opportunity Having a project to collaborate on to bring together my interest in film and brings group cohesion, Perry observes. get to know community.” And this project, she prays, will help “the Krahn worked with local telecomkids to not take their parents’ sacrifices munications provider MTS’s Stories from for granted.” Home to create a 46-minute documentary following the women through the book’s creation. To illustrate the Letters to our Children book, Perry invited Karen Cornelius, an artist who’d taught printmaking at Perry’s children’s school, to help the woman create paintings depicting their experience. Only after Cornelius enlisted did Perry realize the artist shared a deep connection with the mothers, having herself spent time – and fled from violence – in DR Congo and Eritrea.



Relocating your treasure KidBridge began four years ago after Perry, a stay-at-home mother of (then) preschool children, felt God tug on her heartstrings while on vacation.




CURRENT books Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church WENDY VANDERWAL-GRITTER Brazos Press s it possible for the evangelical church to get beyond the “anti-gay” perception many have of it and provide a place for same-sex oriented people to pursue a relationship with God? That’s the question Wendy VanderWal-Gritter tackles in Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church. Executive director of New Direction Ministries of Canada, Gritter describes her journey from “black and white certainty” to “a more spacious place” of welcome for same-sex-attracted Christians. Although the generous theological and practical boundaries around Gritter’s space warrant serious questions, her extensive use of current sociological research and personal stories compel the reader to wrestle through many complex and divisive issues relating to homosexuality and the church.—Janet Thiessen, North Langley (B.C.) Community Church


A pastor “flipped” the familiar Sermon on the Mount statement, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21), by asking, “Where do you want your heart to be? Put your treasure of time, energy and talents there [and the heart will follow].” Perry realized, “I wanted my heart to be with the immigrants and refugees of the city.” Desiring to “keep the royal law to love my neighbour as myself without partiality” (cf. James 2:8–9), Perry created KidBridge to be a “meaningful program to get the love out there.” “‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ is cycling through my spirit,” says Perry. “When my theology gets tangled, the surest way to re-establish is to go out there and love. Then when I return to Scripture, it’s so vivid.” Now the many passages that speak of justice for the widow, God’s love for the nations and instructions to care for the foreigner “leap off the page.” “Being at KidBridge with all the nations, it’s a bit of heaven come down,” she says. God as event planner With only 10 days to plan for the International Women’s Day screening, 40

May 2014

Artist Karen Cornelius (r) demonstrates printmaking techniques to a mother.

friends from TMP leaped into action to help line up catering, entertainment, decorating, corsages. Local business sponsors emerged to cover costs, and the transitional housing complex where many of the women have lived funded childcare so the women and some of their husbands were able to attend the event. “I caught a glimpse of what it looks like when God is the party planner,” says Perry. The stars of the show – who Krahn says courageously welcomed the camera crew’s intrusion into their lives – “didn’t realize the impact of their stories until the screening – where they saw how the audience was moved to tears,” says Perry. For these mothers, stories of sacrifice and hardship are common. Event MC Amber Anderson found an answer to the question of whether one woman can make a difference. “Each of these mothers has,” she said. “Thank you for choosing to make a difference.” —Karla Braun

The story of original sin JOHN E. TOEWS Wipf and Stock ere we go again,” I thought. “Another book trying to change a basic Christian doctrine and water down our concept of sin to make faith more palatable to a postmodern audience.” However, I was pleasantly surprised. John E. Toews argues against the Augustinian concept of original sin for a more biblical understanding consistent with ancient Judaic and Christian writers. After deconstructing original sin, Toews points to a biblical theology of sin as “a willful mistrust of God,…breach of relationship.” Though Toews fails to address some significant details, overall, he has done us a service by reminding us to go back to the texts of Scripture to form our theology.—Mark Friesen, The Meeting Place, Winnipeg


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

CURRENT books The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community PAUL SPARKS, TIM SOERENS AND DWIGHT FRIESEN InterVarsity Press his compelling book invites us to rethink how powerful the gospel can be when it takes root in the context of a place. As someone doing church as parish, I found this book a helpful guide in practically answering what a church could look like as it is lived in community. The authors acknowledge the journey is complex, the transition is difficult and experienced guides are few. Nevertheless, they inspire the reader to see the church grounded in that very culture in order to see redemption in our neighbourhoods and in ourselves. A textbook to embrace a localized view of church.—Dave Harder, The Journey, Ottawa


Discerning God’s Will Together: Biblical Interpretation in the Free Church Tradition ERVIN R. STUTZMAN Cascadia Publishing House expected Discerning God’s Will Together to be about how to tackle the process of reading and understanding tough biblical passages. However, the focus is not how to do the work of biblical interpretation, rather how to understand the role community plays in the process. Community discernment is not merely a matter of democratic voting or patient listening to every voice in the room – it involves far more than showing up and having a conversation. Stutzman suggests that church communities need to cultivate practices of faithful Scriptural study, Christian education and worship in order to enable good corporate discernment, but neglects to give practical examples of how to actually do the work, reducing the book’s value.—Brian Cooper, MBBS Canada


CURRENT film Noah DARREN ARONOFSKY, DIRECTOR n Hollywood’s telling of the story of Noah, the filmmaker’s assumptions about God’s character may lead the viewer astray from a true understanding of the God of Creation. As one expects from a big-budget movie, Noah has some very compelling visuals and takes creative licence interpreting the source text it is “based on.” By graphically exploring the human condition from good to evil, righteousness to wickedness, the filmmakers expose their own presuppositions about who God is. But God uses flawed and broken people and situations to reach those who seek him. It is with grace that we hear and believe God’s telling of this story in Genesis. We should extend grace to humanity’s telling of this story, asking and answering questions about the differences.—Darryl Bueckert, Jericho Ridge, Langley, B.C.


Currently on stage Vancouver performance company Pacific Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary with its 2013–2014 season. Pacific Theatre “exists to serve Christ in our community by creating excellent theatre with artistic, spiritual, relational and financial integrity.” In Espresso, by Vancouverite Lucia Frangione, three women find humour and grace in the aftermath of a violent car crash that threatens to take from them the one man they all love. May 16–June 14, 2014. Read a review at

This colorful pictorial, with its bright saris and amazing landscapes, provides a glimpse into the everyday life of the church and its members.




of faith & life

His inconspicuous ways KEVIN KOOP


theologian acquires the habit of looking at people and circumstances with an eye for what God is doing. The more unlikely the person, the more unfriendly the circumstance, the more intently the theologian’s discerning look,” writes Eugene H. Peterson in his commentary on 1 & 2 Samuel. I suppose I’m a theologian of sorts. Not in my ability to make grand pronouncements about who God is, but rather in my eager desire to pay attention to what he is up to. Professionally, I bear the title pastor, and on my wall hangs a college degree noting four years of my life devoted to the study of Scripture. But, designations aside, I am humbled by the fact that God is always present in our lives, and the moments his work is obvious give me insight into the many moments it’s not. For me, the conspicuous moments usually begin with a phone call. Maybe a message on the answering machine; the odd time an email. A job must be done: a pastor is needed, wanted or invited to attend. I’ve learned these moments are often unplanned. They worm their way into a busy schedule cluttered with to do lists, meeting agendas, ministry outcome and evaluation. They give pause to the weekly workflow that flits across my desk and help provide meaning to the job I’ve been asked to do. They’re usually preceded by the silent words under my breath, “Dear God, help.” By virtue of my occupation, I’ve been blessed to be invited into some of the holiest moments of people’s lives. Moments of family crisis, open wounds, spiritual questions – the places we pay our pastors to go. These places are a sort of inner room, where steps must be taken carefully, words chosen wisely, surroundings treated with the utmost respect. 42

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What I’ve noticed there is that we are never alone. Someone has been there before I arrive. Someone has been listening long before I ask the first question. Someone has been loving before we join our hands to pray. God is present, and it’s pretty hard to miss. The inconspicuous moments arise, not out of intentional pleas for spiritual help, but in the midst of the business of life. Shopping for groceries. Getting the mail. Waiting for a pickup order at the restaurant.

relationship with a co-worker. Maybe due to our loving presence in our hurting family. Maybe simply through being a good neighbour. The moments of crisis will invariably bring us to the sorts of questions and experiences that lead us to an obvious God. But God is no more and no less at work in the profound moments than the seemingly inconsequential ones that consume the vast majority of our lives. He is in the hurried conversation around the dinner table and the banter in the coffee shop line where small

The One Who Spoke All Things into Being is quietly working ahead of me. Someone hints at an invitation to the inner room of their holy struggles. The answer to “How are you doing?” betrays the struggles of stress, hurt, frustration or pain. Will I take the time to listen? Will I pay attention with this individual to what God is up to? Will I give space for questions or utter a cursory response so I can move on with my day? The inconspicuous moments often escape me. I’m too busy, too distracted, too preoccupied with my own thoughts and problems. In the face of the great hurt of the world and the great truth of the gospel, we often wrestle with that question, “What do I do?” and its pesky companion, “What do I say?” Not everyone is regularly invited into the grand spaces of the human experience, but we all find ourselves with ample opportunity to pay attention to the movements of the living God. Maybe on account of a close

children scream around our legs and petulant customers queue. Each is an opportunity to be a theologian. What I’m learning about the conspicuous moments gives me a deep sense of encouragement for the rest of life. The Great Comforter, the Good Shepherd, the One Who Spoke All Things into Being is fearlessly, powerfully, quietly working ahead of me. Being faithful becomes less about the conspicuous things I must do, and more about paying attention to the inconspicuous work he is up to already. Being a theologian simply means watching him do his work, in moments both marvellous and mundane, and thanking him for being able to play a small part in it. Kevin Koop is the pastor of Blaine Lake (Sask.) Gospel Chapel.



Requested change to ETEM’s building zoning AEFMQ



Board of directors meeting OCMBC Prayer movement



Gospel Coach training, Ottawa


Jose N’Gola Muinga, MB conference of Angola president ICOMB 7




C2C Network



CCMBC Gospel Coach training, Montreal C2C Network Training Angola pastors ICOMB



15 Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ CCMBC 22


Lithuania Free Evangelical Church (MB) 28 ICOMB

OCMBC pastor and leader retreat


David Wiebe, ICOMB executive director

C2C Network

Assessment centre, Montreal



Assessment centre, Montreal C2C Network Communications team CCMBC


ACTION programs

26 MB Mission

Paul Loewen, executive board moderator




BCMB conference pastor and spouse retreat BCMB Travel safety to, from and during Summit ICOMB Dave Hancock, Alberta Premier


Church visits in Angola


MBCM pastor and spouse retreat MBCM



Andrew Dyck, MBBS representative


Opportunities for church to share gospel in Ukraine

MB Mission

Ministry position vacancies






Leadership conference


Leaders2Learners online community


MAY 2014


BCMB conference convention BCMB


Confession of Faith, discernment about review BFL




Merv Boschman, camping ministries coach RCDL

Theological publication topic discernment BFL

BFL executive


Pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests ... be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18 Visit to sign up to receive the full prayer guide.





THE CENTRE, VANCOUVER, B.C., JUNE 11–14, 2014 Starts Wednesday, June 11 at 6:00 pm


Ends Saturday, June 14 at 12:00 pm

YOU ARE INVITED! We are living at a unique time in history. Many Canadians are looking for meaning, hope, joy, community and significance – things that ultimately can only be experienced in Christ and his community. Gathering 2014 is focused on answering the need we see across Canada for people to connect with their Creator, with Jesus. Join together with Mennonite Brethren from coast to coast as we focus on God’s call on us as his people. Join together with our Canadian brothers and sisters in worship, in prayer, in celebration as we hear what God is doing across our great land, and in discernment as we process strategic issues for the health of our churches and the effectiveness of our mission. See you in Vancouver! Willy Reimer, Executive Director, Canadian Conference of MB Churches Gathering is a fantastic opportunity to gain new friendships and reaffirm old ones as we celebrate what God is doing among us as a national church and beyond, are challenged in his Word, and as we realign to what the Spirit wants to do among us. You are invited to come as a delegate from your church to listen, learn and speak forward in leadership on important strategic initiatives. Financial updates, budget planning, stewardship report, strategic values and key services offered by the conference are items we will consider for greater Kingdom impact. We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver! Paul Loewen, Executive Board, Canadian Conference of MB Churches ACCOMMODATIONS:



Delegates and guests are responsible to make their own hotel reservations directly with the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel.

$149 per person prior to May 1, 2014 $199 per person after May 1, 2014 This includes all morning breaks, lunch on Thursday & Friday, and all conference materials.

All delegates will receive a summary of the financial reports. For those interested, complete sets of financial reports will be available on-site.

Deadline for registration is June 2, 2014!

Vancouver Sky Train is the fastest, most economical way to travel between the Vancouver Airport and the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel. The Canada Line is a short walk from the Arrivals carousel and is a quick 24-minute ride to the hotel. The cost is $9.00 per adult each way. One SkyTrain (no transfers) total walking distance – 0.32 kms.

The deadline for hotel reservations is May 20, 2014. Room Rates: $129 per night plus taxes (double or single occupancy). Please note hotel bookings after May 20 could exceed $300 per night and would be based on availability. Hotel Information: Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel 1128 West Hastings Street Vancouver RESERVATIONS: Reservations can only be made by email to quoting Canadian Conference or Gathering 2014. Hotel confirmations will be sent during business hours from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. 44

May 2014

REGISTER BY: Online: Mail: Gathering 2014 1310 Taylor Avenue Winnipeg Manitoba R3M 3Z6 Fax: 204-654-1865 Phone: 888-669-6575 Cancellation Policy Refunds less administrative fee of $75 will be granted to requests received by email at or in writing to Canadian Conference offices prior to June 2, 2014. No refunds will be granted after June 2, 2014 due to binding commitments between the Canadian Conference and venders. If you are unable to attend, substitutions are allowed


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Mennonite Brethren Herald May 2014  
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