Bethel Mennonite https://www.bethelmennonite.ca Bethel Mennonite Mon, 01 Jun 2020 15:14:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 Look Here is Water by Sarah Ens https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/look-here-is-water-by-sarah-ens/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=look-here-is-water-by-sarah-ens Mon, 01 Jun 2020 15:14:30 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=5056 i. what wilderness wakes outside your window,shakes you limp between its teeth? what worldwanders from you, roils and bends beneath you, sends you to cracked stone, leeched soil, warnswith sun unrelenting? all of it unrelenting. whose hands spill the bitter water, tally up the dead? what watches, each night,numbers rising? what, wild with fear, breaks…

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i.

what wilderness wakes outside your window,
shakes you limp between its teeth? what world
wanders from you, roils and bends beneath you,
sends you to cracked stone, leeched soil, warns
with sun unrelenting? all of it
unrelenting. whose hands spill the bitter water,
tally up the dead? what watches, each night,
numbers rising? what, wild
with fear, breaks in you?
and what water washes?

Come, miracle.
Come, mercy quenching.


ii.

no uplift no welling
no spring blossom
swelling no shade no sleep
no home no home no
bowshot long enough
no ships come in no light
that isn’t breaking
no watchful eye all blistered
sky all cry all cry—no answer
all call

Come, miracle,
this mercy no mirage,
this mercy quenching.


iii.

I wake in worry. Tell me we aren’t lost. Read me that list I see when I look at sky:
Burrowing Owl, Whooping Crane, Greater Sage-Grouse. Did you know that in a storm, songbirds drop like stones, tremble against the earth? I wake worrying where I’ve walked. Spotted Owl, Sprague’s Pipit, Northern Curlew. Listen. Listen if you can.
The whole world wanders beneath me, the ancient lakebed, the miracle of current.
I wake believing ghosts. Come walk with me in the old grass. Let’s wander the waves,
wind in our faces. Listen—could hope simply be a radical stance of attention?
Plover, Tern, Warbler, Thrush, Swallow. Huddle in the grass. Wait out the storm.
I wake to wild world and wander: a miraculous listening.


iv.

oh uplift oh welling
oh furtive hope
swelling oh truth
oh grace oh heaven
unfurling all seen
and knowing all
lonely living
all deep sadness
heard and held
in water springing
mercy quenching


v.

move out your palm on the new green
tendrils of sedge and hair grass—
reach for well. do you understand
what you are reading? your hands
in wet mud slipping, your hands
deep in the current. rise from river
to wilderness ever-waking—but still,
see, spill sweet water
like a miracle:
everywhere, abundant.

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And Then the Mennonites Came https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/and-then-the-mennonites-came/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=and-then-the-mennonites-came Thu, 30 Apr 2020 22:08:41 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=4984 The 2017 Redwood fire complex in northern California devastated hundreds of thousands of trees, built up structures, and the lives of hundreds of people. Soon, humanitarian concern and compassionate responses began to marshal the wide ranging infrastructure and resources of Mendocino County, the Red Cross, the potentialities of NGOs; and then the Mennonites came. Background…

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The 2017 Redwood fire complex in northern California devastated hundreds of thousands of trees, built up structures, and the lives of hundreds of people. Soon, humanitarian concern and compassionate responses began to marshal the wide ranging infrastructure and resources of Mendocino County, the Red Cross, the potentialities of NGOs; and then the Mennonites came.

Background assessments by the Pacific region of Mennonite Disaster Service resulted in the establishment of a service presence in Ukiah. Appropriate agreements with the New Life Community Church (American Alliance) offered a fine home base of operations, and certain new build projects commenced.
In the two bunkhouse areas separately shared by fourteen men and three women, we typically woke around 5:45 am. 6:15 am found us in the dining hall, enjoying a coffee after having packed sack lunches and snacks for the day. We had devotions and a hot breakfast at 7 am, immediately followed by our daily job assignments, loading the trucks, and we were heading out by 8 am. We usually returned from the job site around 4:30 pm, showered, and then enjoyed a delicious dinner at 6 pm. Daily reports were received by the entire group (inclusive of the five support staff). Volunteers cleaned up dinner, shared stories and life histories, and while lights out were marked for 10 pm, most retired a little early.

Actual work on four houses accompanied conversations with recipients whose depth of gratitude and emotional/spiritual restoration upon receiving their new home palpably measured tremendous losses. A very dignified Indigenous Pomo woman, Gayle’s pride of ownership revealed itself via flowers, new chairs on the patio and a thankful smudging cleansing prayer to the Creator.
Having barely escaped with their lives, and having essentially lost everything, it was no surprise to see tears flowing as they signed the closing contracts and received keys to their new homes. How heartening and lovely to know that John’s 140 pound dog Hannah was claiming her new home. Having already often trundled up the stairs, she plopped herself upon the fine hardwood plank kitchen/living room floor, exactly in the passage space needed for the new appliances (fridge, stove, washer, dryer).

The opportunity to enter wide-ranging theological, political and social conversations afforded good lessons in listening. A large side benefit produced significant connections with dedicated volunteers from California, Oregon, Montana, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alberta and Manitoba.

Having almost completed the agreed upon projects, the local community hosted a very fine well-attended catered thank you banquet. They noted their huge losses, their daunting task, only to declare, “And then the Mennonites came.” Without the volunteers, these very needy and worthy recipients would still be left in temporary housing, still requesting aid.
When the COVID-19 affected edict arrived on the evening of March 12 from headquarters in Lititz, Pennsylvania, what was done was done, and what was not done was not done. And just like that, the Mennonites left.
And yet, the inspirited residue of 233 servants inhabiting Ukiah from the fall of 2019 to the spring of 2020 continue to build up the variegated community of God.

O Great Love, thank You for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with You…we acknowledge Your presence and weight of glory in our common humanity (adapted from Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation).



Darrel & Lucille served with Mennonite Disaster Service in Ukiah, California (March 8-14, 2020), and were blessed to return home early per the quick re-arrangements by South East Travel, Steinbach.

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Williams Lake Trip Report by Lucille Toews – September 2018 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/williams-lake-trip-report-by-lucille-toews-september-2018/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=williams-lake-trip-report-by-lucille-toews-september-2018 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 20:46:08 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=3193 As part of my orientation to MDS, I had the privilege to spend a week working as Assistant Cook at the Williams Lake project, helping to keep the 22 volunteers well-fed. I worked under the capable direction of Esther Klassen who was a delight to work for and with. Each day began early (5:30 a.m.),…

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As part of my orientation to MDS, I had the privilege to spend a week working as Assistant Cook at the Williams Lake project, helping to keep the 22 volunteers well-fed. I worked under the capable direction of Esther Klassen who was a delight to work for and with. Each day began early (5:30 a.m.), and ended when the evening meal was cleaned up and leftovers put away (7:30 p.m.); with an extended time off in the afternoon. My typical day consisted of managing the lunch options; cutting up fruit for breakfast; baking cookies; preparing dinner salads; washing dishes; washing and vacuuming floors; and assisting wherever needed.

I appreciated Esther’s leadership in the kitchen, in particular, as I observed how she managed volunteers’ dietary restrictions and ensured needs were looked after. There was a light-hearted and joyful vibe in the kitchen in spite of very physical work and there was always energy left to spend the remainder of the evening playing games and assembling puzzles.

The group of volunteers for this week came from Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, California, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Though I did not experience the dynamics of groups at the work sites, the evening dinners were filled with good-natured joking and conversations. David Brubacher encouraged us to report on “God Moments” experienced throughout the day and each evening there were some to share. Among them, Peter Thiessen reported meeting two indigenous people at different times throughout the day who both shared that Jim and Sue Carlson “understood them” and were a part of them. It was good to hear of work site progress each evening as the crews shared of work accomplished on that day. On Wednesday, Donalda, Esther and I visited the Petrin and Carlson build sites and brought along fresh coffee and cookies. It was raining when we got to the Petrin site and as this is a recently begun site, there was no shelter except in the tool trailer. The volunteers were working, dressed in garbage bags to protect against the elements, and yet eager to show us how the basement had been framed and prepared for concrete and explain the dynamics of placing Styrofoam on both sides of the basement walls. At the Carlson site, we helped Ray and Darlene celebrate their anniversary and admire the refurbished kitchen that the volunteers were retro-fitting. While we were there, Darlene presented Jim and Sue Carlson with a wall hanging she had quilted earlier. The view from this home is stunning and I could imagine sitting on the deck or at the dining room table with a fresh cup of coffee and day-dreaming.

On the way back to Williams Lake, we stopped at a number of viewing spots and observed the devastation the fires of 2017 wrought on the mountain sides. It was a small window into what the residents of the area experienced and the grief they must still feel when they look over once green mountain sides. On Thursday, Donalda and I visited the Sheffler and Chilton sites and once again brought fresh baking and coffee for the volunteers to enjoy. On this particular day the Petrin crew were working at the Chilton site as they waited for concrete, which had been poured late on Wednesday, to firm up. The general consensus was that it was good to see and work on the other projects in the area. Concrete was poured later in the day for the basement and garage floor at the Chilton site. At the Sheffler site, the crew was putting together the kitchen cabinets and reported later that some had been hung after we left.

Peter Thiessen mentioned at one point, what a great bunch of guys worked for the concrete company being used for our sites. On Friday, I had a coffee break with a friend from Williams Lake and learned it was her husband’s business that was supplying all the concrete. I was happy to pass on Peter’s comments to her. MDS provides another way to be the hands and feet of Jesus, restoring hope and healing to our fellow humans. How good it is when we can use our interests, training, experience and gifts to respond, restore and rebuild!

(Samaritan’s purse was generous enough to loan us a tool trailer for house #4. In rummaging through the trailer Peter Thiessen decided he would make use of all the equipment while attempting to get a reaction from head office ….because he’s Peter)

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A Look Inside Stacey’s World by Stacey Friesen https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/a-look-inside-staceys-world-by-stacey-friesen/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-look-inside-staceys-world-by-stacey-friesen Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:32:02 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=3216 My name is Stacey Friesen and I’m 26 years old. I love music, singing, dancing, karaoke, colouring, babies, animals, zip lining, downhill skiing in the winter, camping in the summer, and of course, church! I attend a day program called Trailblazers Life Choices. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can find me at Tova Café in Transcona…

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My name is Stacey Friesen and I’m 26 years old. I love music, singing, dancing, karaoke, colouring, babies, animals, zip lining, downhill skiing in the winter, camping in the summer, and of course, church! I attend a day program called Trailblazers Life Choices. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can find me at Tova Café in Transcona where I work as hostess. I LOVE this job as I get to meet so many people while I work. If you enjoy going for breakfast or lunch, I promise a warm welcome and fabulous food at the Tova Café.

L’Arche Tova Cafe was established in 2012 by L’Arche Winnipeg Inc. to further their mission of making known the gifts of people with developmental disabilities. In addition to providing wholesome food and great service (open 8am-2pm Monday to Saturday), the L’Arche Tova Cafe strives to: provide meaningful employment to people with a disability, encourage the general public to interact and get to know people with a disability, demonstrate social responsibility and ultimately to build a more compassionate society.

I have participated in the MDSS Walk with Us (formerly Buddy Walk) every year since my mom started it 11 years ago.  I get to dance to great music, get together with lots of friends and meet new people; all while supporting The Manitoba Down Syndrome Society! This year’s walk was September 23 at CMU North campus. My team is called Stacey’s Social Butterflies, which accurately describes my need to be around people:  my family & friends…and all those potential friends I haven’t met yet!  There is always room on my team for more friends!!

It was a very chilly September day, but we were lucky that the weather man was wrong about the rain. We were able to complete the walk without the use of umbrellas! We had a very large tent, which provided a gathering place of shelter and warmth, especially when filled with nearly 700 participants! The band before the walk provided entertainment while participants visited or perused the many raffle baskets available to win. After the walk, Jake Chenier sang for the younger crowd and all those young-at-heart while we munched on cookies & drank warm beverages. For more information about the Manitoba Down Syndrome Society, please go to https://manitobadownsyndromesociety.com

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Pastoral Internship Report by Valariia Alipova https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/pastoral-internship-report-by-valariia-alipova/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pastoral-internship-report-by-valariia-alipova Wed, 12 Sep 2018 16:53:06 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=3138 This summer I participated in a pastoral internship program at Bethel. The purpose of the assignment was to integrate me into already existing programs and initiatives at Bethel Mennonite Church, giving me the opportunity to practice and develop leadership skills through a full-time experience in the congregation. Some of my involvements were with the worshipping…

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This summer I participated in a pastoral internship program at Bethel. The purpose of the assignment was to integrate me into already existing programs and initiatives at Bethel Mennonite Church, giving me the opportunity to practice and develop leadership skills through a full-time experience in the congregation. Some of my involvements were with the worshipping and community life of the church, as well as connecting with people and giving social support to others. I was closely connected with the congregation, mostly through building relationships, and receiving support and advice. I did many visitations that helped me to connect with individuals in the congregation and get a sense of how ministry looks like from the inside. I really enjoyed being a part of the pastoral team. They made me feel valuable, appreciated and heard. It was a great experience to grow spiritually and mentally. Darrel, Phil and Cathy helped me to remember what is important and what is not as important, and reminded me that true believers share the same end goal: to honour God and further his kingdom in whatever we do. I felt amazingly loved and supported. Many people invited me to their homes and shared their food and their stories with me.

These few months were busy and productive for me. The Summerbridge program fulfilled the practicum requirement of my degree and gave me a chance to put the studies into practice. I was practicing the tools I learned in school. It is impressive how much these things are connected – Biblical and theological studies, psychology, peacebuilding and ministry. So many pieces of my puzzle are coming together and creating a beautiful picture.

Cross Lake Staff 2018 – I am in the front row 4th from the left.

Pastoral internship gave me a deeper understanding of what happens in the church during the week day. This assignment helped me to understand my passion and gifts that I can share with my congregation after this program. This meaningful work is a chance for me to create opportunity for the love of God to manifest itself in the world.

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Living the Questions https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/living-the-questions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=living-the-questions Fri, 17 Aug 2018 15:45:46 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=3034 Reflections on Questions, and How to Live Them By Erwin (Val) Warkentin, July 1, 2018 During the first half of 2018, Val and I were privileged to lead a Monday evening Bible study series at Bethel. Entitled Living the Questions, the course provided a basic overview of what the authors and presenters labelled “Progressive Christianity.”…

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Reflections on Questions, and How to Live Them

By Erwin (Val) Warkentin, July 1, 2018

During the first half of 2018, Val and I were privileged to lead a Monday evening Bible study series at Bethel. Entitled Living the Questions, the course provided a basic overview of what the authors and presenters labelled “Progressive Christianity.” When we started planning for the course, we anticipated that maybe 15 people might show up. And that fit nicely into an optimum size for group discussions. We were astonished at the first session that 45 people showed up! And although we knew that not everyone who started the course would be able to finish it, we were very pleased that some 30 – 35 people stayed to the end. To work through every session is the most effective way of dealing with the course material, and for a number of people who were unable to attend every session, the preparatory materials and corresponding videos were available to catch up. But the real value of the sessions was in the group discussions – these were honest, direct, loving, and informative.

The course is divided into 21 sessions (three segments of seven sessions each), and the preparatory materials comprise a 8 – 10 page commentary and a 20 – 25 minute video for each session. The written materials were handed out to class participants at the outset of each of the three segments, and each class started with the video for that session. The class then divided into three groups for discussion, each group having its own discussion leader. The discussion lasted some 50 minutes, and then the class gathered for a short debriefing before dismissal. The topics for the sessions have been listed elsewhere; suffice it to say that the content reflects the insights and perspectives of well-known and lesser-known theologians, pastors, and lay leaders from a wide range of denominations. Some of the ideas presented seemed questionable or even heretical, but the basic thrust was always to think about what the scriptures say, not just to repeat the words of the Bible without comprehending them. In other words, I found the emphasis was on worshiping the God who is revealed in the Bible, not the Bible itself. And the skepticism and slightly mocking tone levelled by some of the video presenters at literalists, fundamentalists and even evangelical Christians was not entirely out of place, since there was also some self-deprecatory commentary and a sense of humility in admitting that “we do not know everything.”

But the group discussions were the highlight of the classes. Not only was the course material discussed, class members added materials of which they were aware, either to bolster the course materials or to challenge them. And as class members shared of their own personal experiences and faith journeys, it became clear that some of these new perspectives and insights were sorely lacking in the religious education that many of us had received. Personal sharing and continued discussions about the course continued during the week for many class participants. As with most human enterprises, the class members who got the most out of the classes were those who put effort into preparing for them. Not everyone accepted everything that was presented – but that was the point of the class, that we do not have the answers to all the questions that our thinking may lead to. We need to understand how to ask the right questions and, ultimately, how to live our faith through those questions.

Egon Enns

LIVING THE QUESTIONS

In a way it has been a long 23 weeks since we started the study, but it has been well worth it. I believe I only missed one lesson due to another responsibility. Thank-you immensely, Wark, for leading us in this challenging and rewarding adventure. For me it confirmed a lot of insights I had been gleaning in my spiritual pilgrimage over the years. One example is the emphasis many of our churches put on John 3, “be born again”, a one-time event. For me it had become a process, a continuum, a becoming. To now hear that this was a translation problem, that the original word was actually “born from above”, has much better meaning and to me confirms my experience. Living the questions also opened up new mysteries needing further exploring. God’s Word is a living Word where our creator continues speaking, continues creating with more new mysteries. A quote from page 65 “If God ever spoke, [God] is still speaking… [God] is the Great I Am, not a Great I Was…” Another aspect of the Divine’s mystery is his revelation in community. This to me was also exemplified here at Bethel. It was encouraging to see the number of people joining the class and continuing to the end, and the insights we experienced from our sharing together. God is alive and continuing his work. I am looking forward to continuing the discussion and growing in the process. Shalom!

Evelyn and Jan Leferink

Participating in this series has been good for both of us. Its subjects were revealing, insightful and at times sobering; confronting realities of what and how to believe. This has widened our understanding of Biblical interpretation, and increased our understanding of God.

Jim and Judy Wiens

The sessions have led to many interesting discussions and prompted us to reframe our thinking and past teaching.

Lynda Toews

In her last week of life, my mother’s greatest concern was to be sure her four children were saved. Knowing that to her the requirement for being saved was to have prayed the sinner’s prayer, I reminded her that we four siblings had each done that when we were young, and although some of us may have “slid back” at times, that particular prayer was supposed to give us eternal security.

This literal system of thought and belief in the inerrancy of the Bible had always been quite confusing to me, but my parents considered it sinful to question or doubt. At the same time, the facts of science were more and more at odds with the Bible.

I went through life vacillating between what I thought were my only two choices:  1) commit a certain intellectual suicide in order to be a good Christian, or 2) when feeling unable to sustain that, go through periods of feeling guilt for my sinful doubt and “not being good enough”. I acted out the latter in negative ways. In this dualistic system, if you couldn’t believe and be good, then you must be bad. I went through depression, confusion and anxiety, unable to flourish in either world. I felt fake being this kind of Christian, but fearful that if I wasn’t, I would go straight to hell (whatever that is).

Threats of being left behind at the rapture had me screaming in the middle of our garden at age five when I came home from school and couldn’t find my mom – who had simply been visiting next door.  We kids suffered beatings from a father who wouldn’t spare the rod (to the point my mom called the police to stop him); we sisters knew we were second class citizens because our gender had brought evil into the world (so when I was sexually abused at age 11, it was thought I must have invited it). I felt deep shame, I felt unable to trust my own mind or to believe I could ever really be good enough. And loving myself would not have been humble. As a result I had more than one breakdown in my adulthood.

These past weeks at the “Living the Questions” series has validated many things I had been secretly suspecting along my journey, but now I can embrace them without having to throw out Christianity. Learning to understand the Bible metaphorically opens up meanings that can go deeper than literal interpretations allow. A great illustration of the powerful truth of a metaphor was given in this series: there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln holding an axe in the air ready to sever the chains of an African slave who is holding the chain between his shackled wrists over a rock. Did this literally take place? No. Did Lincoln free the slaves? Yes, and in that sense this metaphor is powerfully true! As an artist, I am particularly pleased with this thinking because the arts embrace mystery and defy any single interpretation. But growing up I was warned that art was useless, impractical, and even dangerous – a remnant of the Mennonite fear of creating graven images. Growing up in my era, being a confused Mennonite female artist was not a good thing to be! Nothing about me was quite right.

The series has started to set me free in many ways while at the same time it has set me adrift. But being adrift in this way is good – developing comfort with ambiguity and metaphor, wonder at the mystery of the divine, and putting love (even for myself) and justice at the centre instead of dogma – sounds good to me!

The vice of certainty was how my parents coped with life, but it made them very judgmental. I can forgive that because I know they did their best with what they knew and I have compassion for them being trapped in that system. We learned that clergy have thought metaphorically for 100 years but have said nothing. If they had, it might have saved me a lifetime of heartache and damage! I am grateful that they are speaking now and I am clinging to a particular quote from Spong: “Live life to its fullest, love wastefully, and be all you can be”. I have a long journey ahead. Thank you Val and Wark for all your hard work facilitating “Living the Questions”.

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Palm Sunday Installation by Grace Kang https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/palm-sunday-installation-by-grace-kang/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=palm-sunday-installation-by-grace-kang Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:51:14 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=2568 From the beginning of my life, I have always felt like an outcast. As an immigrant and a visible minority, I had a hard time making friends. Children cruelly teased me about my coarse hair, my almond shaped eyes, and they even refused to believe that South Korea is a country. I was never wearing…

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From the beginning of my life, I have always felt like an outcast. As an immigrant and a visible minority, I had a hard time making friends. Children cruelly teased me about my coarse hair, my almond shaped eyes, and they even refused to believe that South Korea is a country. I was never wearing the right clothes, speaking the right language, or following the right people. My parents worked like slaves and it was still never enough to make ends meet. We were constantly being evicted and eventually ended up homeless. Talk about not fitting in!

I spent my life trying to fit in. In high school I hated being Asian. I caked myself in makeup and did everything I could to oppose the stereotypes, even though in many ways I fit the stereotype perfectly. At the same time, I worked incredibly hard so that my parents’ sacrifice in coming here would be worth something. My worth became entirely tied up in my reputation and my performance. And it never seemed to be good enough.

By the end of high school I was burned out and lonelier than ever. Where was my place in this world? Since I entered high school I had worked towards becoming an emergency room doctor and was riding a full scholarship into the University of Manitoba’s pre-medical program, but inside I felt lost. Battling clinical depression, questions of sexual identity, and trauma, I felt too difficult to love – there could be no purpose to anyone loving me. I thought I would never put forth anything worthwhile. In the somewhat calm summer before my first semester of university, I cracked. Without the busy-ness of school to keep me preoccupied, I felt the full weight of myself, bleeding and unable to produce as I had been doing all my life.

With the full support of my parents, I gave up my scholarships and went to CMU in pursuit of more existential questions. Following another year of deconstruction, I went on Outtatown Guatemala. As I worked through my life-long depression and reflected on my life thus far, I heard the gentle voice of God: “I am with you.”

One day as I was journaling about my Outtatown experience, and more specifically about life in an intentional community, my heart wandered to all the ways I felt that I fell short, all the ways I hated myself and hurt others, and I began to weep uncontrollably. I wept because I heard the voice of my God saying, “There is a place for you in my kingdom.”

A place for me? The racoon-eyed, sailor-mouthed, morally unsound girl in the ripped jeans? The perpetually gloomy, self-absorbed, moody-minded me? You mean even though I’m small and broken the kingdom needs me? It was healing to long-abused ears.

My Palm Sunday installation comes out of this revelation of acceptance and love. No matter where your feet have been, my friends, there is a place for you at God’s table. You are worth loving, and by being who you are, you contribute priceless treasures to God’s kingdom. I invite you all to take a drawing of the feet that most reflect yours as a reminder of this. May you notice God’s face shining on you as you go into the rest of your life.

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Six Word Memoirs II https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/six-word-memoirs-ii/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=six-word-memoirs-ii Thu, 15 Mar 2018 11:37:33 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=2566 Rainbows/sundogs: God’s reassurance of his presence. Jesus’ three invitations, come, follow, go

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Rainbows/sundogs: God’s reassurance of his presence.

Jesus’ three invitations, come, follow, go

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Six Word Memoirs I https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/six-word-memoirs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=six-word-memoirs Tue, 27 Feb 2018 16:46:50 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=2493 Bethel congregants were asked to compose six word memoirs to try to encapsulate their journey with God. Here are the first ones: Thanks to all my guardian angels. We are not our own creator. Wandering around faith.  Learning some things. God’s not done with me yet. God’s call is not without bumps. Learning, while teaching,…

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Bethel congregants were asked to compose six word memoirs to try to encapsulate their journey with God. Here are the first ones:

  • Thanks to all my guardian angels.

  • We are not our own creator.

  • Wandering around faith.  Learning some things.

  • God’s not done with me yet.

  • God’s call is not without bumps.

  • Learning, while teaching, of limitless love.

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Reynold – a poem by Waldy Ens https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/reynold-poem-waldy-ens/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reynold-poem-waldy-ens Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:22:45 +0000 https://www.bethelmennonite.ca/?p=2458 hand cradles Bible billowing words updrafting multi-coloured parachute of love lifts us up into his world of convicted care book held firmly spine traversing life-line and he paces our reality wordsour level wordsour fraying carpet long strides journeying and arm reaching to elusive uneasy truth still cradling close to the heart the word not as…

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hand cradles Bible
billowing words
updrafting multi-coloured parachute of love

lifts us up into his world
of convicted care

book held firmly spine traversing
life-line
and he paces our reality
wordsour level
wordsour fraying carpet

long strides journeying and arm reaching
to elusive uneasy truth

still cradling close to the heart
the word not as a weapon
or tightly bound static box

but

open
wordsgiving
wordswordslovely
fabric of life

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