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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A Commitment to Right Remembering

It’s a little while back, so many of you may not recall this; but one of the first sermons I delivered at The First Mennonite Church discussed Miroslav Volf’s book The End of Memory.  At the time, we were discussing the question of “How do we remember rightly on the occasion of Remembrance Day?”  If you’d like to check it out, you can find it on our Sermons page under the title of How Do We Remember on Nov. 8, 2015.

You might understand then why I was particularly impressed and inspired by a recent declaration made by the faculty of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary called Commitment to Right Remembering.

You can check out the declaration here: http://www.ambs.edu/news-events/news/907765/ambs-faculty-commitment-to-right-remembering?utm_source=AMBS&utm_campaign=786fe56bf0-2017+March+22+eNews%3A+Fac+Stmt%2C+J+Schimdt+M+TMiller&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_37365c9982-786fe56bf0-71478157

This declaration was clearly made in light of recent American political actions surrounding the issues of immigration and refugees; and I was particularly inspired by both their stance and their commitment to demonstrating how they are attempting to not just uphold these values in theory, but also in practice.  Check it out for yourself and see what you think!

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International Women’s Day

I’m celebrating International Women’s Day today by doing two things:

  1. Expressing profound gratitude for how the image of God is expressed fully, completely, and collectively through women.
  2. Remembering women who impact my own faith and understanding of God, such as Nadia Bolz-Weber.  I love how Nadia challenges my pre-conceptions and ideas; and inspires me to a bolder, more adventurous faith into messiness and grace.

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Heaven is coming down to the world

This coming Sunday at the  First Mennonite Church, we’ll be talking about how Heaven isn’t just a place we get to.  It’s a place that also comes down to earth.  But for you music enthusiasts, why don’t I let the folks from Gungor, accompanied by singer/songwriter Israel Houghton, tell you about it?

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What will Heaven be like?

This Sunday, we kick off a new series we’re calling Is Heaven for Real? and one of the first questions we’re going to look at is “What is Heaven like?”

It’s always fascinating to hear from people on what they think about this mysterious concept; so as preparation for our time this Sunday, check out this interview with several Michigan State University students where they were asked, “What will Heaven be like?”

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The Dardars make MCC’s top 9 stories in 2016

The Dardar publicity train keeps rolling; now with an appearance as one of Mennonite Central Committee’s top 9 stories of 2016!  So wonderful to see our relationship with the Dardars and our church’s work inspiring so many people to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis.

https://mcccanada.ca/stories/crisis-community-dardar-family?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Ontario_In_Touch_Roundup&utm_content=Ontario_In_Touch_Roundup+Version+A+CID_fa430aeedb43811284a4bebdb9387896&utm_source=CM&utm_term=Readmore%20about%20the%20Dardar%20family

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Melissa Schulze in the Top 10 under 30!

Did you know that our very own Melissa Schulze was recently nominated and named to the Top 10 under 30 in Mennonite Church Canada?  Congrats to Melissa, and you can check out the article below!

http://www.canadianmennonite.org/stories/10-under-30

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A Mennonite drama series on CBC?

Yes, believe it or not, CBC has actually produced a newly released television series about Ontario Mennonites called Pure.  In this drama series, a newly elected Mennonite pastor desperately tries to protect his family and his community from…wait for it…a Mennonite mob connection that deals in cocaine from within his own church.  Who would have thought Mennonite culture could be so intriguing?

It sounds a lot more risqué than my daily life here at The First Mennonite Church, but I think this show is actually very well written and produced, and it raises a couple of great topics for discussion.  What does it mean to be a culture that is separate and different from the world but still in and amongst it?  How do we authentically live out principles that look very different from those of people around us?  Could we still give up our lives for our principles?  And even though we may be a church, are we truly exempt from sin?  Or can sin still find a way to somehow insidiously work within a community?

It’s also good and fun to remember that it was only about 60 or 70 years ago that we at The First Mennonite Church were still dressing fairly similarly to these Mennonites and still spoke German in our church services.  This is what we used to look like and what many Mennonites still look like today.

Check out the trailer below.  Pure airs on Monday nights on CBC at 9pm.  Oh and by the way, the pastor’s name is Noah Funk.

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