Advent Conspiracy: Winkler MB Church
The latest in a succession of provincial Mennonite Brethren discussions concerning the atonement took place at Gracepoint Community Church, Surrey, B.C., Nov. 3. Organized by the B.C. MB Conference’s Pastoral Ministries Committee, more than 200 B.C. pastors, leaders, and interested parties gathered in person and online for the daylong conversation.
Cape Town, South Africa, is a 12-hour flight from London, England. It’s a long, long way from Canada. Nevertheless, nearly 100 Canadians travelled that distance to take part in the Oct. 17–25 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. I was one of them, part of a group of 50 official Canadian “participants.” The rest were there in various capacities as guests, organizers, or volunteers at this monumental event.
Few phrases echo as persistently through the Christmas season as the song of the angels with its blessing of peace in a dark and troubled world. Two thousand years ago, just as today, people knew that peace on earth is the ultimate wish. Sometimes it is the sword, sometimes illness, sometimes it’s cruelty that attacks us, but the casualty is always peace.
Sufjan StevensSufjan Stevens has been releasing electronic and folk music on the Asthmatic Kitty label since 2000, but is most well known for his 2005 album Illinois, which is often listed as one of the best albums of the decade.
For the first time in the history of the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC), church planters from across Canada gathered together for a retreat. It provided rest, worship, networking, recreation, and inspiration for the couples and individuals who came.
New Perspectives in Believers Church EcclesiologyEditors: Abe Dueck, Helmut Harder, Karl KoopCanadian Mennonites are a group in an identity crisis. New Perspectives in Believers Church Ecclesiology addresses the challenges facing the believers church family. The editors assure us the essays provide a rich diet of “food for thought” and that this is “good news for the church.”
Adjusting to a new language and culture isn’t easy. Suad Saidam, her husband Mamdoh, and their children Tabarak, 12, Ali, 11, Assal, 10, Yuseef, 6, have only been in Canada for a few months through Mennonite Central Committee’s Private Sponsorship program, but they’re working hard to make a life for themselves here.
“Don’t be afraid” (Luke 2:10). The angel of the Lord spoke those words to the marginalized and forgotten of society in occupied territory. Their lives were full of hardship and threats, but unexpected supernatural visitors were something else. When an ordinary winter’s night safeguarding obstinate animals is rent by divine light and a loud voice, there’s good reason to tremble.
Some church traditions observe a fast in the Advent season. In the Roman church, the Advent fast was usually kept only two days a week, and has now been reduced to the vigil for Immaculate Conception and the three days of Ember Week, after the fast of St Lucia. Eastern churches, which do not observe a liturgical season in preparation for Christmas, instead observe a three-week or 40-day fast.