In March 2020, during the first pandemic lockdown, I found myself teaching from home (on Zoom), and feeling alone, adrift, and angry. A week or two later, I had a conversation with my seminary colleagues. It was my first conversation about the pandemic in the light of scripture and theology. That conversation renewed my hope…
As a young disciple of Jesus, I lived in B.C.’s Fraser Valley in the 1970’s and 80’s. At that time there seemed to be a church on every corner; a faith community from almost every denomination. The spiritual ‘buffet’ included a dramatic spectrum of worship styles and theological bents. The ecclesiastical options seemed endless.
My year ended with a hemicolectomy. This surgery removed a section of my colon that harboured a large growth. Unfortunately, a complication developed and with it, significant anxiety. Six weeks of recovery followed. My physician ordered self-isolation meaning an in-person family Christmas could not take place. In the background was the potential for the pathology report to reveal if the removed growth from my colon was cancerous. When I submitted this writing, I was still waiting for my surgeon’s prognosis. Friends, in a nutshell, my 2020 was a tale of trouble…
At the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba Assembly workshops, Mar. 1–2, 2019, at Steinbach (Man.) MB Church, Steve Bock of La Salle led a youth ministry panel with Dave Lunn (Westside Community Church, Morden); Shannon Girard (Community Fellowship Church, Newton); Dwight Bennett (Eastview Community Church, Winnipeg); and Titus Graham (Living Word Temple, Winnipeg).
Grief, Grace and Hope: The Autobiography of Pakisa K. TshimikaAuthor: Pakisa K. TshimikaLately I have read several autobiographies by people I have known personally who have overcome great obstacles to achieve their goals. Pakisa Tshimika’s story tops them all with the courage he displays in triumphing over adversity. In the introduction, Tshimika quotes Henri Nouwen: “The question is not how to avoid loss…but how to choose it as a passage, as an exodus to greater life and freedom.”
Psalm 22:1 holds words attributed to King David; however, we know them best as words cried out by our Lord Jesus as he experienced excruciating pain while fastened with nails upon the cross (Matthew 27:46). For both David and Jesus, these heart-wrenching words of desertion reflected the greatest dread of all – the fear of God’s abandonment.