Longhurst: Secular, not faithless

May 8, 2017 by

This year is Canada’s 150th anniversary. The government will host celebrations to mark the country’s heritage, cultural diversity, citizenship, social contract, respect for pluralism, official languages...

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Longhurst: Liberals who thrive

Mar 27, 2017 by

Last fall, researchers from two Ontario universities set out to discover why mainline churches in Canada are dying. Of the 22 Anglican, United, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches they surveyed, all in Ontario,...

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Longhurst: Genesis 1 or 3?

Feb 13, 2017 by

Are we on the verge of a spiritual renewal in North America — a renewal that might save our planet? That’s the question that comes to me after reading about the pipeline protest at the Standing Rock Sioux...

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Longhurst: More losses for print

Jan 2, 2017 by

More bad news in the world of Christian print magazines in Canada: In September, two of the country’s most venerable publications shut down: the Presbyterian Record, after 140 years, and the Western Catholic...

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Longhurst: We are sorry

Nov 21, 2016 by

In October, when Donald Trump’s comments about women were reverberating in my mind, I posted an apology to my female friends on Facebook. In it, I expressed my sadness and outrage for how so many had been...

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Longhurst: What’s ‘povology’?

Oct 10, 2016 by

Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms. Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind. Theology is the study of the nature of God. Povology is — well, just what...

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Evangelical decline

Aug 29, 2016 by

Living so close to the United States, it is impossible for Canadians not to be inundated by U.S. news — and often impacted by it, too. As one of our former prime ministers put it, it’s like sleeping with...

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A turning point

Jul 18, 2016 by

When it comes to turning points in history, a few come to mind for me: The assassination of John F. Kennedy; the first humans on the Moon; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the invention of the Internet; and 9/11....

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Dear MB Church

Jun 6, 2016 by

If you wrote a letter to your denomination or area conference, what would you say? That’s the question Carol Penner asked herself recently. In her case, it was about the Canadian Conference of Mennonite...

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Anglican Mennonites

Apr 25, 2016 by

What’s the fastest-growing Mennonite church in Winnipeg? St. Margaret’s Anglican. That joke came back to me early this month when I learned that the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and...

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8 reasons Canadians don’t go to church

Mar 14, 2016 by

In Canada, as in the U.S., lots of people don’t attend church. About 80 percent of Canadians and 60 percent of Americans do something else on Sunday mornings. Why is that? Joel Thiessen, a sociology...

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Trust while shrinking

Feb 1, 2016 by

“Change is always occurring. But when that change appears more dramatic than usual, it can feel frightening. . . . I think that the Christian church across Canada is experiencing such a time of dramatic...

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We’re due for another Reformation

Dec 21, 2015 by

Every 500 years or so, the church has a giant garage sale, getting rid of the stuff it no longer needs. That’s what author Phyllis Tickle said in 2008 in her book The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is...

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USA and Canada — alike yet different

Nov 10, 2015 by

In many ways, Americans and Canadians are so much alike. We watch the same movies and TV, read the same books, watch the same sports, listen to the same music, follow the same celebrities and (mostly) speak...

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Secular country, religious voters

Sep 28, 2015 by

You may have noticed there’s an election going on. Not the U.S. presidential campaign. I’m talking about the Oct. 19 Canadian election. Unlike in the U.S., religion plays a very minor role in Canadian...

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Doukhobor wisdom

Aug 17, 2015 by

For Mennonites on the Canadian prairies, the late 19th century is a significant time. That’s when the first wave of Mennonite immigrants came to Manitoba. But they weren’t the only pacifist group to come...

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No quick fix to cleanse this stain

Jul 7, 2015 by

Over the past number of months, people in the U.S. have been confronting the issue of racism and violence against African-Americans. Police shootings in places like Baltimore and Ferguson, and now the church...

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Declining religiosity

May 25, 2015 by

Editors attending the conventions of Canadian Church Press and the U.S.-based Associated Church Press in late April in Toronto heard the latest challenging statistics about religion in Canada and its effect on...

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Present at the end

Apr 13, 2015 by

Nobody should die alone. That’s the commitment made by Donwood Manor Personal Care Home in Winnipeg. Donwood, which is owned by eight Mennonite Brethren churches in the city, made that commitment after...

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College is like a vaccine

Mar 2, 2015 by

The recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland got me thinking about Christian higher education and the future of the church. It’s a strange connection, I know. But hear me out. The measles outbreak has...

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A church in trouble

Jan 19, 2015 by

When talking about the future of the church in North America, I sometimes joke there are only two kinds of denominations today — those that are in trouble, and those that will be. One Canadian denomination...

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A good death

Dec 8, 2014 by

Canada’s Supreme Court is hearing arguments about whether physician-assisted suicide should be legal. Not surprisingly, the issue is heated and controversial. For most of us, it is an academic debate. We...

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Can Anabaptists rock and roll?

Oct 13, 2014 by

“Are Anabaptists ready to rock and roll?” That was the question asked by Amy Gingerich of MennoMedia on the Mennobytes blog in September. Gingerich, editorial director at MennoMedia, asked the question...

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Islamist terrorism horrifies Muslims

Sep 15, 2014 by

With all the terrible actions of Islamist extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria, there’s a lot of concern and worry about Islam-inspired terrorism today — in the Muslim world. Surprised? It turns out...

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Called to visit prisoners — even a terrorist

Jun 23, 2014 by

“I was in prison and you visited me.” Christians have used that verse as a reason to serve prisoners across North America. But does that include someone convicted of terrorism? Arlette Zinck believes it...

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