Menno Simons Centre, Inter-Mennonites, and Buddhism

The Menno Simons Centre (“the Centre”), is a student residence located near the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.. The facility, which opened in 1986, was purchased from a Catholic convent and is owned and operated by a non-profit Inter-Mennonite society (Pacific Centre for Discipleship Association). The purposes of the Centre, besides providing a Christian support community for university and college students, are as follows.

• To promote Christian faith and discipleship:
• To foster Christian community and fellowship:
• To support Christian scholarship:
• To facilitate the study of the Anabaptist Mennonite Heritage:
• To assist in the integration of faith and contemporary life style;

http://www.mennosimonscentre.com/about.htm

The Centre’s chapel is regularly used by the Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship (“PGIMF” also known as “the Fellowship”) on Sunday mornings and other special events which “the Centre’s” residents are encouraged to participate in. Point Grey’s conference affiliations include the BC Conference of MB Churches, The Canadian Conference of MB Churches (and the MB Forum), Mennonite Church Canada, the Mennonite Church of British Columbia, MB Mission (formerly Mennonite Brethren Missions & Services).

This past weekend, the Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship had a retreat:

May 27 – 29 – Church retreat at Camp Luther (Hatzic Lake, no service in the MSC chapel), on the theme of telling our stories. Download the retreat information package (2-page PDF) and send in your registration form (right-click to save the 1-page fillable PDF).
http://www.pgimf.org/

Here was the theme for this retreat:

Theme
Our theme for this year is “Telling our Stories”. We are a historic people, yet often our stories today do not adequately reflect our history. We will explore barriers in communication between generations, review stories old and new, engage in the practice of being mindful or ‘stilling’ our noisy minds so we can let the words that need to be said come out.

-page 1, PGIMF Annual Retreat 2011 Information
http://www.pgimf.org/archive/2011 PGIMF Annual Retreat Information.pdf

The ‘mindfulness’ part of the Program was on the schedule for Saturday:

…10:00-10:50 Session 1 – The Practice of Mindfulness

-page 2, PGIMF Annual Retreat 2011 Information

What exactly is ‘Mindfulness’, or ‘stilling of the mind’?

“Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept and practice, the seventh step of the Eightfold Path. Mindfulness is more than a meditative practice; it is an outlook on life and reality that ideally results from a type of meditation designed to cultivate detachment. Detachment in Buddhism is necessary, because Buddhism teaches that attachment to this world, to your thinking, to your identity as an individual self, and other attachments, such as desires, keep you in the cycle of rebirth.”

*Quote from Mindfulness: No-Mind Over Matter
By Marcia Montenegro
http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Mindfulness.html

Who would have ever thought that the Mennonites would be practicing Buddhist mindfulness meditation?!

Further indication that the Menno Simons Centre and the Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship may have wandered away from biblical truth is Point Grey’s sermon blog, as seen by this recent entry:

Sun. May 8, 2011 (Karl Brown)
Last Sunday, Karl Brown asked us, “What if we’re all wrong?” Our lectionary readings for the day retold the death and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2), how we are therefore to live (1 Peter 1), and that if we do those things we will go to heaven (Luke 24). However, the Koran tells its readers to do certain righteous works and they too will go to heaven. But what if everybody is wrong?

http://blog.pgimf.org/

Also advertised in Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship’s May 22, 2011 bulletin (which can be viewed on their website) is: “Green Fair. Mother Earth News is sponsoring a “Green Fair” in Puyallup, Washington, on the weekend of June 4-5.” The link provided directs church goers to the Mother Earth News Fair (www.motherearthnews.com/fair/home.aspx) where they can learn about sustainability, self-suffiency and earth care.

Are any of these things in keeping with the Menno Simons Centre goals to promote Christian faith and discipleship, and facilitate the study of the Anabaptist Mennonite Heritage? Is the road traveled by these Inter-Mennonites interwoven with the inter-faith road? How many more examples are there going to be until Mennonites wake up and see the folly of their worldly and spiritual compromise?

Note: See Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship’s Easter and Rogation Sunday photos HERE. (‘Rogation’ originates from Robigalia, an ancient Roman religious festival of dog sacrifice to protect crops from disease.)

Related:

Agenda 21
The U.N. Plan for Your “Sustainable” Community

http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/la21_198.html

Mindfulness: No-Mind Over Matter
By Marcia Montenegro
http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Mindfulness.html

What is Buddhism and what do Buddhists believe?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Buddhism.html

What is Christian meditation?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-meditation.html

The Altered State of Silence – Promoted by Both New Agers and Christian Leaders
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/thesilence.htm

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