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.


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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!


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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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Berlin Attack, Crokinole, and the Love of Christ

Jennifer Otto and her husband, Greg, are Witness Workers with Mennonite Church Canada in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen, Germany, and we here at The First Mennonite Church are supporters of their work.

Jennifer recently wrote a very compelling blog post about the experience of expecting Christmas in a country where a recent attack left 12 people dead and over 50 people injured in a crowded Christmas market.

Here you can read her reflections on these events as her own family prepares for the season and works to support refugees in a time of great uncertainty.

Our prayers for peace continue for Germany and for all of our friends at Friedenhaus.



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An Alternative Telling of The Christmas Story

Church Matters is a podcast put together by Dan Dyck of Mennonite Church Canada, and in this latest episode, he invites storyteller Soren Mennohawk to share a creative re-telling of the Christmas Story that is “helpfully unfamiliar by giving it a present-day indigenous twist.”

Check out this creative take on the birth of Christ within an indigenous context.

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