Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sun. Apr. 18, 2010 (Walter Bergen)

Walter Bergen spoke on the theme of Holy Labour. With Janet, Walter served as the very first Residence Coordinators of the Menno Simons Centre, establishing both the tone and practices which make it what it now is. Since their two years with the fledgling PGIMF, they served MCC in Russia for several years and then worked for a number of Mennonite organizations before Walter turned to organic farming in the Valley. Walter, a consummate storyteller, first told of Amish friends in Wayne County, OH, a farming family formerly facing financial disaster. They decided to turn to woodworking in creative ways which both honoured their beliefs in the simple lifestyle, family and God's earth. This was not just a way to get income, it was, as Walter described it, but a type of Holy Labour in which these believers lived out their faith while being businessmen. Walter then told of George Herbert (author of A Country Parson). Herbert realized that practicing proper husbandry was difficult in the 1700s, and that many work-related practices were not right. He then worked locally to invite farmers to share the excesses of their crops with the local needy and to spend profits on husbandry rather than drink (gin was the scourge of 18th century England). He advocated maintaining clearly-marked land boundaries so that those who were bullies would stop harvesting crops which others had planted. Genesis 2 admonishes people to take care of the earth and its life. Holy Labour happens when we combine this responsibility with our understanding of scriptures and faith. This is the best way to honour our God, our resources and our neighbours. [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, Apr. 18th, 2010 using your browser's preferred media player.



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