On the eastern side of an Alberta concave curvature – overlooking fields of cattle and grain, sweeping into the western foothills and up into the snow-capped Rockies – stands a farm, its entrance in friendly greeting: Welcome to the Evergreen Farm. A partnership consisting of two former refugees and one Canadian bachelor set out to make this place and their living on it an all-inclusive welcome to community – strangers, neighbours, church – Christ’s call to practical discipleship.
The following is a conversation between MB Herald interim editor J Janzen and Canadian Mennonite University faculty Gerry Ediger (professor emeritus of Christian history) and Gordon Matties (associate professor of biblical studies & theology, and dean of humanities and sciences). Together, they challenge the idea that study is only for academics and explore what mindful discipleship might look like for the ordinary Christian.
We learn best when outside our comfort zones. At Metro Community (Willow Park Church) in the core of Kelowna, B.C., the distant cultures of “normal” and “street” cause one to be suddenly off-balance. Serving here, my wife and I discovered early on that our best teachers were broken, addicted, sometimes only a few days along the road to recovery.
Text Examined: Hebrews 5:13-6:1 – “As much as we try to avoid any hint of superiority in matters of faith, the fact remains that we are called, as we mature, to grow in an ever-deepening understanding and experience of our faith. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that we are to make a clear distinction between what is elemental to our faith and what is food that leads to maturity (5:12–14).”
Once a month, Gracepoint pastor Bill Hogg presides at a bar – and he invites anyone to join him. Hogg, several “expert” panellists, and guests meet at Belle’s Restaurant in Surrey, B.C., on the last Monday of the month to feed their bodies, minds, and souls with lively discussion on contemporary issues around faith and culture. The discussion podcasts are then posted on The Kindlings Muse – Canada West website (www.thekindlings.ca).
Blessed with a warm summer breeze, Black Creek MB Church celebrated its 75th anniversary on the August holiday weekend. More than 200 guests congregated under the tents clustered around the church to rejoice in the theme “Renew faith, hope, & love.”
This is a story about children, but it is not a children’s story. It is a story about the horrors that we, as a society, too often visit upon the most vulnerable.
“I never thought I would be a landowner,” Horacio Cardenes, a 36-year-old father of four explained through an interpreter on “the happiest day of [his] life.” Through the project sponsorship of Canadian Peacemakers International (CPI), based in Edmonton, the Cardenes were one of 11 peasant families in a hillside village in northern Honduras to take title to their first real house: a cement-block, two-bedroom abode.
Discipleship – striving to know and live like Jesus – has always been a priority for Mennonite Brethren. As the digest version of the MB Confession of Faith states, “We believe Jesus calls people who have experienced the new birth to follow him in a costly life of service to God. The power of the Holy Spirit transforms believers from the unrighteous pattern of the present age into a life of joyful obedience with God’s people.”