June 05, 2005

Jack Suderman - “Mennonite Church Canada Witness”

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Jack Suderman (MC Canada Witness) and Janet Plenert (MC Canada International Development) gave us a representation of our faith family around the world. Their attempt to do so with integrity - not to maximize the dangers or glory in their work - truly honoured the achievements of the many mission workers the Mennonite Church has around the world. Madeleine and Andres Olivarez in Cuba have blossomed as lay leaders and pastors respectively, helping grow 8 churches into 25 in a few years in a country that until a short time ago, was officially atheist. The power of the church, though challenging to the government, has been successful in not undermining it to the point that the Cuban church through its government felt comfortable offering its help in negotiations for the pastors held in North Korean jails. Even the tragedy of North Vietnam is hopeful - the church grows stronger here through its suffering - Pastor Quang, a trained lawyer, has been encouraging the government of North Vietnam to live up to its constitution which forbids religious discrimination. Much of the work done is “succor” work , not denominational, yet as Jack and Janet visited, they were told “We have not forgotten what you have done for us” and the church grows. Mennonite churches are planted everywhere by all countries - Brazilian church plants are in Asia and Albania, Indian church plants are in the Arab world and Africa. The Mennonite church, formerly a 99% European/North American ethnic 100 years ago, is now 61% African, South American and Asian of no discernible commonality. Even in the hurt of Palestine, where an Orthodox splinter group called for the destruction of the ecumenism and grace preached by the World Council of Churches and MC Canada, the work does not end. But the last image of a cross of countless pieces of olive wood pieced together into a 4-metre-high symbol of God’s grace to all nations was the most enduring symbol Jack and Janet left us. An excellent question period afterward detailed some of the achievements of the global church. [AP]


Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Jack Suderman
Worship Leader: Jackie Bolen
Song Leader: Edwin Hintz
Pianist: Kathryn Schmidt
Usher: Erika Hannan
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers: ERNA & JOHN FRIESEN
Coffee Helper:
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer: Danica Thiessen

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