Latest news

Latest News

SKMB On Missions Together: December 8, 2021

saskatchewan conference of mennonite brethern churches logo

Christmas, Candy Canes and the Gospel

I love Christmas traditions and symbols. One such symbol is the candy cane. How many of you know the historical narrative behind the candy cane?

The first known story behind our present-day Candy Cane dates back to 1670 in the city of Cologne, Germany. The Cologne Cathedral choirmaster, wanting to quiet the children during practices for the Christmas pageant, had a local candy maker create white peppermint sticks for them. In order to make the eating of candy in church acceptable, he had the Candy Canes shaped into the form of a shepherd’s
staff. This was to remind the children of the shepherds who visited Jesus at His birth. Later traditions held that the Candy Cane’s shape, being a “J”, represented the “J” in Jesus name – he being the Good Shepherd. The hardness of the Candy Cane came to represent Jesus as the rock solid foundation of our faith and the Church. The white of the Candy Cane represented Christ’s virgin birth, holiness and purity.

Over time red strips were added to the peppermint Candy Canes. These strips represented both God’s love and Jesus shed blood on the cross. Some Candy Canes added three fine red strips between wider single red strips. These three strips came to represent the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), although in some traditions, they represented the lashes Jesus received by the Roman soldiers causing him to bleed before his crucifixion.

Sometime during its history, the peppermint of the Candy Cane came to represent hyssop, an herb from the mint family mentioned in the Old Testament. Hyssop was used for religious purification and sacrifices. The peppermint of the Candy Cane thus represented Jesus’s purifying sacrifice on the cross cleansing us from sin. Eventually, green strips were added to Candy Canes representing God’s gift of new life in Jesus because He saved us from our sins. The common candy cane points to the “why” of Jesus’ incarnation. This is indeed good news of great joy!

Merry Christmas!
Phil Gunther

Leadership Forum 2021

On November 27th Dr. Mark Wessner (MB Seminary) provided SKMB participants with leadership training. His presentation was called The Four Voices of Leadership. The CCMBC National Director Elton DaSilva brought greetings and a national update via video. Director of Ministry, Phil Gunther and Discipleship Coach, Luke Etelamaki, gave brief reports on their Conference work. SKMB Executive Board Moderator, Jeff Siemens, spoke to the Common Covenant and Our Common Understandings document while Executive Board member Dave Foth introduced the 2022 budget. Scott Siemens, MST Chair introduced a new ministry opportunity for SKMB called the Global Gospel Advance (GGA). The GGA
is a means by which SKMB can support the global work of Pastor Athanase Chiruza (Mission Pentecostal Church, Regina).

SKMB Office Communications