Pastor’s Blog

Located in the town of Vineland, Ontario, we are a small, friendly,  inter-generational church in the Anabaptist tradition that worships God and together seeks to follow Jesus’ example.   We have a long history—we were the first Mennonite church in Canada.  On this site you can learn about the people and the work of our church, find directions to our facility, and learn about our history.  You are welcome to join us!

Worship Service at 11:00 Sunday mornings (10:30 a.m. 1st Sunday in July through Labour Day)  Sunday School for all ages begins at 10:00, except in summer.  Hope to see you there!

Pot-luck lunch usually on the first Sunday of the month (except in July/Aug)

3557 Rittenhouse Rd, Vineland (see directions page for details)
 

We look forward to meeting you!

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Theatre of the Beat in Vineland!

Saturday, May 11, 7:30pm – mark your calendars! The Theatre of the Beat, a theatre company from Kitchener Waterloo, is coming to First Mennonite, to perform their production entitled, “Yellowbellies”. It is a drama that details the struggles of conscientious objectors during WWII. This is a relevant topic for us as Historic Peace churches and we, together with Grace Mennonite and Vineland UM, are hosting the evening. Tickets are $15. Please contact us at thefirstmennonitechurch@bellnet.ca if you are interested.

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A great chance to worship outside

Please note that our church service for January 20 is cancelled due to the snowstorm.  Hopefully we can find our own ways to worship, and maybe even make the best of the weather!

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Merry Christmas from The First Mennonite Church!

We recently held our annual Christmas dinner and once again the entertainment program was thoughtful and fun.  Thanks to the wonder of the internet you can share in the event with a video clip of some Christmas Karaoke:

Merry Christmas!

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An Exciting Anniversary!

We recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the arrival of our newcomer family from the Democratic Republic of Congo!  They made it through so many challenges before coming to Canada and their strength and adaptability are serving them very well here so far.  We shared some cake after church to mark the occasion.  You can see a photo as follows:

Cake to commemorate the one year anniversary of the arrival of our newcomer family from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cake to commemorate the one year anniversary of the arrival of our newcomer family from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Contemplation at The First

We recently had a service focused on music, art, and contemplative readings.  The theme was “Sitting with the Mystics”.  As part of the theme a beautiful interpretation of Andrei Rublev’s icon “The Trinity” was hung at the front of the sanctuary.  The painting is from the 15th century and is also called “The Hospitality of Abraham”. You can see the painting as follows:

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There is a beckoning of the Spirit to the table to be one with God, and a sense of unity and respect among the three figures.  Colour plays a strong role with gold (left) indicating God the Absolute, blue (center) representing the Christ, and green (right) representing the Holy Spirit.

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Wisdom, Weakness, and Foolishness

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Lord of The Rings, there is a moment where the wisest and most powerful leaders argue amongst one another about what to do with the One Ring, the one object that could destroy the entire world.  As they argue, a hobbit (generally considered to be a people who are tiny, powerless, foolish, and insignificant) named Frodo steps forward willing to put his own life at risk to solve this dilemma.

This Sunday, at The First Mennonite Church, we’re taking a look at the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the churches in Corinth, and how he describes the wisdom of God as something that uses the weak and the foolish in order to shame the strong and the wise.  Join us Sunday to find out more!

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Everything He Does Is Wonderful

In Mark 7:31-37, Jesus puts his fingers into a man’s ears, spits onto his own fingers, and places his fingers on the man’s tongue in order to heal him.  Despite the fact that the man is healed, it’s still the spit that gets me everytime!

So, why spit?!?

Well it’s not as if spit had some sort of different quality or understanding in Jesus’ time.   Certainly in the larger Near Eastern culture of the 1stcentury, there was a Greek belief that spit could ward off evil spirits, appease the gods, or heal diseases.

Tacitus, the Roman historian, records an incident where an Egyptian citizen was cured of his blindness by the spit of the Roman emperor Vespasian.

But in the religious culture of Jesus’ own place and time, spit was still seen as something dirty and offensive.  In fact, Josephus, the Jewish historian suggests that for the Essene community in Qumran, if you spat in front of another person, it deserved a month’s worth of punishment.

So how would a first century audience receive this story from Mark, if it was read publicly?  Well, scholars seem to suggest they might not have had a great reaction.  Perhaps it would be a gasp of shock?  Perhaps it would be an exclamation of “Eww” like we would today?

But what is Jesus getting at by doing this?  Join us this Sunday to find out more!

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