Volume 22 Issue 09

Life-giving touch

Melissa Miller

Many years ago, a boyfriend who subsequently became my husband gave me a book about touch and its essential place in human well-being. At the time, touch was a delightful dynamic in our new relationship. Within the boundaries of our Christian ethics, we explored physical intimacies, one of the expressions of our deepening love.

Shekinah cabin built off the grid

Volunteers raise the first of four timber frame bents into position. By the fall of 2019, five others like this one will be in place. (Shekinah Retreat Centre photo)

Michael Neufeld, left, works on one of the timbers used to frame Shekinah Retreat Centre’s newest cabin, while Sheila Wiens-Neufeld and James Funk hold the timber in place. (Shekinah Retreat Centre photo)

Shekinah Retreat Centre recently launched an exciting new building project. The first of six planned timber-frame cabins took shape at the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan camp during the first week of April.

Shekinah board member Michael Neufeld, who attends Zoar Mennonite in Langham, designed the cabins together with Charles Olfert of Aodbt architecture + interior design.

Church workout

Wendy Dueck and Rosanna Kwan engage in full-body exercises. (Photo by Megan Klassen-Wiebe)

A ladder made of masking tape sticks to the floor of the foyer of Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. It’s not a typical sight in a worship space. Yet every Tuesday and Friday morning, a path is cleared through the chairs in the sanctuary, and a small group of seniors ranging from their 60s to their 90s gathers at the church to exercise.

Is Women’s Day still relevant?

Participants at the 2017 B.C. Women’s Day gather to chat outside. Changing times and perspectives on women’s ministry have put the future of the annual gathering in doubt. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Mennonite women in British Columbia have been coming together each spring since 1939 for Women’s Inspirational Day, a time of spiritual encouragement and fellowship. But as the planned date of May 6, 2018, approached, still without a coordinator or location for the event, some were questioning whether the annual spring gathering has seen its day.

‘Preach it!’

Top: Allan Rudy-Froese, left, associate professor of Christian proclamation at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., leads Pastors in Exile preachers and leaders—Tamara Shantz and Jessica Ressor-Rempel, as well as Benjamin Weber, Kim Rempel and Caleb Redekop in an exercise to feel their mouths.

Bottom: Allan Rudy-Froese, left, leads the Pastors in Exile preachers Benjamin Weber, Emily Hunsberger, Jennifer Regehr, Sylvia Hook and Katherine Matthies—in an exercise to get into the biblical text physically. (Photos by Dave Rogalsky)

Hands on his stomach, Allan Rudy-Froese walked a group of young preachers through exercises designed to make them feel at home and centred in their bodies by learning to recognize the part their abdominal muscles and their mouths—lips, tongues, palates and jaws—play in the delivery of a sermon.

MC Alberta appoints two new Joint Council members

Brenda Tiessen-Wiens, left, and Margaret Kruger-Harder, right, represent Mennonite Church Alberta on the Joint Council of Mennonite Church Canada.

At Mennonite Church Alberta’s annual delegate sessions in March 2018, Brenda Tiessen-Wiens and Margaret Kruger-Harder were appointed to represent the regional church on MC Canada’s Joint Council, which was created following the restructuring of the nationwide church in October 2017.

Selling thrift by the pound

MCC’s rePurpose Centre opened in March 2018. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Staff member Barratt Bender, left, and volunteer Virginia Kreitz sort clothing that has been shipped from another thrift store to MCC’s new rePurpose store in Elmira, Ont., where it is sold by the pound. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

MCC’s new rePurpose Store is located in Elmira, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Volunteers who work at any of the many Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) thrift stores know the sorrow of unsold goods: clothing that hangs around for more than a month or dishes that don’t move out the door to grace someone’s table.

CPTer receives peace activism award

Esther Kern (Photo by Murray Lumley)

Award winner Esther Kern, with CPT reservist Cathy McLean on the left and former co-Director of CPT Doug Pritchard on the right. (Photo by Murray Lumley)

Esther Kern, a former Canada coordinator of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), received the Muriel Duckworth Award for Peace Activism at the Voice of Women for Peace International Women’s Day dinner held at Friend’s (Quaker) House in Toronto on March 8, 2018.

Studying the Bible through a feminist lens

Around 10 women and female-identifying people meet weekly at Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo, Ont., for Feminist Bible Study, an initiative supported by Pastors in Exile. (Photo by Jessica Reesor Rempel)

‘In the framework of my churches that I was at growing up, women weren’t portrayed as powerful people God worked through,’ says Caitie Walker, left, pictured with fellow Feminist Bible Study participant Emily Leyland. (Photo by Jessica Reesor Rempel)

Kim Rempel, a Feminist Bible Study participant, takes part in a March 22 discussion about the ‘Gospel according to Mary Magdalene.’ (Photo by Jessica Reesor Rempel)

‘Feminist Bible Study has helped me connect with my faith,’ says Katie Steckly, right, pictured with Caitie Walker, left, and Jessica Reesor Rempel, centre. (Photo by Emily Leyland)

Around 10 women and female-identifying people sit in a circle at Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo, every week, drinking tea and discussing biblical texts through a feminist lens.

‘Just doing my best’

Grace Kang has made art since she was a child. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Grace Kang’s installation at Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg consisted of 400 prints depicting different pairs of feet suspended in the air using twine and surrounding a large ceramic bowl. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘Suffering will always be a part of my art, because it’s such a big part of being human,’ Grace Kang says. (Photo by Gabrielle Touchette)

‘I wanted people to face the places they had been and realize . . . Jesus wants to meet us where we’re at,’ Grace Kang says of her installation at Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. (Photo by Aaton Epp)

Grace Kang isn’t sure what her future holds, but she knows it will include making art. (Photo by Calvin Strong)

Grace Kang can’t remember a time when she wasn’t making art.

As a child, “I was always drawing, I was always writing stories,” the 22-year-old says. When she learned that art is not something everyone does or is interested in, “I realized it was a unique way I could contribute to the world.”

Subscribe to RSS - Volume 22 Issue 09