First the Anabaptists. Last week at this time I was traveling back from Ghana where I met with a group of pastors who are participating in a distance education course on Anabaptist History and Theology. In Ghana we also relate to the Good News Theological College and Seminary and normally would refer people there for theological education needs. In this case Ghana Mennonite Church pastors asked for additional guided instruction on Anabaptist history and hence this initiative. As Mennonite missionaries we believe we have something unique to offer on the subject!
This particular course is offered through the PSDE program of AMBS and looks at a number of the 16th century Anabaptist leaders, some of their writings and other reflections on what it means to be Mennonite today. It is meant to be a self-directed study though I correct the homework assignments and provide input and encouragement along the way. When I met with the group of 7 pastors this time we talked about Conrad Grebel and discussed how applying Jesus’ teaching in Matt 18:15-17 is or isn’t possible in Ghana today. There were differences of opinion in the group, but all agreed that the biggest impediment to practicing discipline in the church is the large number of churches people have to choose from. Instead of accepting discipline people are more apt to simply leave for another church!
Christmas was special this year because Grandma Frey made the long trip from Waterloo, Ontario to be with us over the holidays. Jeremiah and Deborah are thrilled to have her here. Christmas morning brought the usual gift giving activities, though it seemed that there were more gifts under the tree than in other years. Jeremiah was thrilled to get a new Calvin and Hobbes book and Deborah has been playing with her new Poly Pockets paraphernalia since Christmas morning.