“Every time I remember you …”

Letter from Russ Eanes

Like the apostle Paul, “I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3). I am writing today as the Executive Director of MennoMedia—home of Herald Press books, Shine Sunday school curriculum, and the Third Way website, to encourage you to support our ministry with your finances and prayers.

Just recently one of our books, Christian. Muslim. Friend., won the 2016 Book Award from Christianity Today in the category of missions/the global church. I am very grateful that at this critical hour our ministry is being recognized for doing outstanding work..ChrMuslimFr

This same book is now being translated into Slovakian to extend its reach even further. I met Alex Erdelyi (photo below) of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last fall, and he was highly interested in translating this groundbreaking book. Alex has been translating books for a long time—his first book, in fact, was a translation of Peace with God by Billy Graham, a book hand-typed and smuggled around his country at a time when Christian books were suppressed by the Communist government. I was only too glad to work with him on the publication of Christian. Muslim. Friend: Twelve Paths to Real Relationship at the very time that countries in Eastern Europe are grappling with the daily arrival of hundreds of refugees from the war-torn Middle East, most of whom are Muslim. It is a very challenging time, but this book speaks directly to their situation.

Alex Erdelyi

Alex Erdelyi

The publication of a critically important work such as this does not happen without cost. We need many more donors and we invite you to join our family of supporters. Donations are a crucial component to support the ongoing mission of MennoMedia. If we are to continue providing the church with the faith formation materials it needs, as well as telling faith stories from a distinctly Anabaptist perspective, we need your help. We rely on people like you who love the Mennonite church and think it is important to share the gospel and faith stories through print and on the Internet.

Your gift now will make a difference in God’s work.

Thank you for reading this blog. Take the next step by sending a gift now. If you are a resident of the U.S. and wish to donate to MennoMedia, Click here to donate with PayPal.

If you are Canadian and wish to donate to MennoMedia, please click here. Your donation will be processed and receipted through Mennonite Church Canada.

Please join the company of those who support and pray for MennoMedia’s ministry. Without our donors we could not carry out this important work.

In Christ,DSCN1983

Russ Eanes

Executive Director, MennoMedia

P.S. Please help support our global ministry with a generous gift. Thank you ahead of time for your prayer and financial support.

 

The First Time I Gave

Guest Post By Penelope Burk

Elementary school and I just didn’t get along. I attended a strict parochial school, with dour teachers who were not content to simply educate me; they were determined to adjust my attitude as well. I was a free spirit who stared out the window a lot, longing for summer vacation and the release that it granted both my physical self and my unbridled imagination.

One day, we were all called into the gymnasium for a special message from the principal. He spoke with much authority about a small community somewhere in Africa which needed our school’s help. He described the terrible conditions in which children “over there” lived and how he wanted us to raise money over the next two months to help them have a better life.

I was excited, that is until he said that we would be raising money to build a school. “What? How horrible,” I thought, and vowed then and there that I would not be a party to destroying the freedom and happiness of any other child. As we filed out of the gym, we were each handed a small box which the principal instructed us to keep on our desks and contribute to as often as possible. The boxes would be collected two months hence.

While my classmates eagerly went about doing chores and other activities to raise money, dutifully depositing their nickels and dimes in their boxes every day, I pretended to be taking part without contributing one red cent.

MoneyImage courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One day the principal announced over the loud speaker that it was time to collect up the money we had raised. As my classmates brought their boxes up to the front, each one jangled with change as it landed on the teacher’s desk with a thud. When it was my turn, I carefully cradled my box in both my hands, implying that it was so full that I feared the bottom would collapse. My teacher gave me a very big smile as I tried to hide it amongst [sic] the other boxes. She smiled again and patted my hand because not only had I apparently raised more money than anyone else, I was making my contribution with a true sense of humility. I held my breath, hoping that the boxes would not be opened in the classroom. Luck was on my side; my subterfuge was never exposed.

A couple of months later, the United Way announced its annual campaign. A vibrant young woman from our local animal shelter (which was a United Way agency), came to our school to talk about how she and her team rescued and rehabilitated abandoned and abused cats and dogs. I was spellbound.

I ran straight home after school and emptied my piggy bank. I tore the cushions off every sofa and chair, plunging my little arms as far as they could descend into the upholstery, bringing a veritable treasure trove of coins to the surface. I did chores; I looked for coins on the street; I sold plums and peaches door-to-door. (I got in trouble for that later for taking them from the fridge without asking.) I was undeterred, determined that no little animal that needed help would be denied what this wonderful shelter had to offer.

Two weeks and a very heavy bag of coins later, I brought the money to school to give to the United Way. In the bag was a note that said, “This money is for the lady at the animal shelter who helps little animals be happy and free.”

That was the first time I gave and I will never forget it.

***

This is one of twelve thousand stories from donors about what inspired them to start giving. I found it in The 2014 Burk Donor Survey, Penelope Burk, Where philanthropy is headed in 2014, (Hamilton, ON: Cygnus Applied Research, 2014), p 3. Used with permission.

Money Image above courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Penolope Burk, author, trainer, presenter and President of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

Penelope Burk, author, trainer, presenter and President of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

***

If you would like to read more of Penelope Burk’s reflections click here to reach her blog.

Do you have a story to tell about a first or significant giving experience? If so, tell us about it in the comment section below.

If you are a resident of the U.S. and wish to donate to MennoMedia, Click here to donate with PayPal

If you are Canadian and wish to donate to MennoMedia, please click here. Your donation will be processed and receipted through Mennonite Church Canada.

Thank you for your support.

Steve Carpenter Director of Development and Church Relations

Steve Carpenter
Director of Development and Church Relations

Third Way Website Gets New Look and Fresh Support (By Steve Carpenter)

Perhaps you’ve already noticed that MennoMedia’s premier website ThirdWay.com has a new look – http://thirdway.com  The website has been around since the late 1990s under the name Third Way Café. Some thought the coffee motif was getting a bit stale.1999 HomePage

(Just for fun, here’s a screen grab of the old home page. To read the print go to the Way Back Machine web archives, a great place you can find and reference most old websites.)

Over the past year we worked to freshen up Third Way and improve it’s functionality on smart phones and tablets, renaming it simply Third Way. Earlier in June, a news release announced some of the new sections and features.

ScreenShotHomePageJune3LaunchThe site engages those looking for information online about Mennonites, and serves as a portal for those seeking to live out their Christian faith through Anabaptist values such as simple living, acts of service, and an emphasis on community, justice and peace. Those five values, plus the broad topics “Mennonites” and “Jesus” are reflected in the seven sub-sections of the website.

For the first time, Third Way is offering Mennonite agencies and businesses the opportunity to become sponsors. Sponsorship of this website supports efforts to provide Anabaptist Christian values and information to a worldwide audience, and will also increase an agency’s or business’s exposure. We are thrilled that seven organizations or agencies have stepped up so far to support Third Way by becoming sponsors. There are three levels available: Site Sponsors, Section Sponsors and one Home Page Sponsor.

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Everence and Mennonite Mission Network have become Site Sponsors

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For their gift we include their logo with a hyperlink back to their agency’s home page on every page of the Third Way site. Section Sponsors get their logo on the home page and on every page of the section they sponsor. Thus far Eastern Mennonite University,

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Mennonite Foundation Canada,

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Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

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and Mennonite Health Services

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have all stepped up as Section Sponsors.

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In addition, Conrad Grebel University is a Home Page Sponsor.

However, there are three sections still waiting for a company to sign on! The sections still available are Community, Service and Justice. If you know of a business or organization which might be interested in becoming a section sponsor of one of these three areas, the cost is $1,000 U.S. per year or $1,200 CDN. Leave a comment below or send me an email with your ideas and I’ll follow up.

Thank you for your interest. Be sure to sign up for a daily scripture, weekly media review, monthly peace story or other free inspirational emails from MennoMedia via Third Way.com by going to subscriptions.

Blessings in your work, worship and witness,

Steve Carpenter Director of Development and Church Relations

Steve Carpenter
Director of Development and Church Relations

SteveC@MennoMedia.org