“Wade in the water. Wade in the water, children. Wade in the water . . . .”
At Mennonite Church Canada’s Ministers’ Conference in Saskatoon on July 6, Rev. Susan Beaumont invited Pastors to sing the well-known spiritual. She had them stop at the phrase “God’s gonna trouble the water.”
During reporting sessions for Engagement, Formation and Witness Councils on the evening of July 7 at Assembly 2016, delegates were repeatedly referred to more comprehensive activity reports in the Report book (www.commonword.ca/go/625). The tight schedule introduced delegates to leadership and staff who highlighted stories of inspiration and impact. During reports, Twitter user Karla Fehr wrote, “Love, love hearing about God at work around the world.”
The Future Directions Task Force (FDTF) mandate may have been initiated to get ahead of anticipated challenges like declining membership and finances, but really, the Task Force says, it’s about revitalization at the congregational level.
During the Thursday morning worship service at Mennonite Church Canada’s Assembly 2016, God~Faith~People, keynote speaker Safwat Marzouk addressed the topic of covenant that is central to the theme text, Jeremiah 31:33.
With an engaging smile, an easy-going manner and lots of connections in Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, it’s no wonder that volunteer coordinator Marianne Siemens managed to recruit a large number of helping hands for Assembly 2016. “There are about 95 volunteers,” she says, “but I can’t give you an exact number. It keeps changing.” It keeps going up.
On July 6, 2016, 37 youth from Ont., Man. and Sask. boarded a bus heading for Missinipe, Sask. and a canoe trip with Churchill River Outfitters. On Friday evening, the youth returned to Saskatoon and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express so they could take part in service opportunities in the city and integrate with God~Faith~People. The activities were organized by a team led by Krista Loewen of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan.
In an early reflection on the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) process, Jack Suderman, retired executive director of Mennonite Church Canada, wrote that in the context of shifting theological ground, the church can say (repeat) what it has always said, change what it has always said, or say something new.