A church of grey hairs

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					20   Canadian Mennonite April 13, 2009

                                                                                                                      Photo By DaVe roGalsKy

 Hope for the
 small church
 Anglican bishop offers hope for
 small Mennonite congregations
 By Dave Ro gal sk y
 eastern canada correspondent
 Waterloo, ont.

 W       ith wit and energy, the Right Reverend
         Doctor Edwin M. Leidel Jr. smoothly
 knit together a variety of ideas and tools—
 including the life cycle of a congregation, ap-
 preciative inquiry and “holy conversation”—       Dave Brubacher, left, of Associates Resourcing the Church and a transitional
 into his March 3 presentation at Conrad           minister at Toronto United Mennonite Church, discusses the “Hope for the Small
 Grebel University College, Waterloo.              Congregation” seminar with presenter Ed Leidel, an Anglican congregational coach,
    Representatives from 31 congregations in       at Conrad Grebel University College last month.
 six denominations hung on the words of this
 former Episcopal bishop in Michigan who           to focus on what they are not, rather than         Using a small congregation in Michigan
 now works with the Diocese of Huron in the        focusing on the good things they are and are     as an example, Leidel noted that it had
 Anglican Church of Canada as a congrega-          good at. Healthy small congregations are able    many good cooks. Rather than bemoaning
 tional coach throughout the morning.              to let go of the past, stop fearing the future   the lack of children, members decided to
    Leidel noted that small congregations tend     and focus on worship and mission.                minister in the community with their skills.

                  A church of grey hairs
                  Whitewater Mennonite taking a ‘church sabbatical’
                  By Evelyn Re mpel Petk au
                  manitoba correspondent
                  BoisseVain, man.

                  W        hitewater Mennonite Church in Boissevain is tak-
                           ing a radical step of faith in this, its jubilee year.
                     Beginning this September, the congregation is “taking
Description: As Whitewater enters into this season of uncertainty, [Doell] wonders, "Can we trust the Holy Spirit to do as good a job as we're doing? What chaos might be released in our midst? Already we are sensing the Holy Spirit stirring the sedate and the orderly," she says. "We stepped out of our comfortable pews during Advent and went to the basement to worship on stones and dead stumps while we awaited the arrival of the Messiah."
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