The response to my request for an interview last September said it all: “Maggie and I are in Tuscany. . . . We’ve rented a small villa very near Cortona [Italy] and will be here until the end of October. I’m afraid the interview will have to wait until early November. Ciao.”
God at work in the World
Nearly a year after receiving an award from the Waterloo Region’s Greening Sacred Spaces organization, Hillcrest Mennonite Church in New Hamburg was the site for a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario solar open house on Feb. 26.
Protesters at the Let Them Stay rally picket the office of Vic Toews, federal minister of public safety, in hopes of setting up a meeting to discuss the deportation and incarceration of American war resisters. Michael Bueckert, holding the Peace Alliance Winnipeg sign, right, protests as a representative of Project Peacemakers.
The Steinbach office of Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was the scene of a mid-January rally in support of American war resisters seeking asylum in Canada that took place in the wake of the defeat of Bill C-440.
Sixty-two executive directors, board chairs and senior staff from Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Mennonite World Conference (MWC) and MCC member churches met for a summit in Akron, Pa., on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The topic of this rare gathering was MCC’s New Wineskins revisioning process.
Our leaders talked about four things:
Ernie Regehr, cofounder of Project Ploughshares and longtime peace advocate, was honoured with the 2010 Pearson Peace Medal at a special ceremony in Ottawa last month.
Patrons at Sam’s Place in Winnipeg, Man., enjoy coffee, reading and good conversation under the watchful eye of ‘Sam,’ the Komodo dragon. The formerly independent, community-based, non-profit organization is now a part of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba and the board that ran it now acts in an advisory capacity.
Sam’s Place, a used book store, café and performing arts venue, has developed into a welcoming meeting place for people living in Elmwood, a working class neighbourhood in the northeast part of Winnipeg.
For Frank O’Dea, a second chance led to the founding of Second Cup, Canada’s first specialty coffee chain.
Fort Benning, Georgia—the home of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of the Americas—is also the home of annual peace protests each November.
Three Waterloo Region Mennonites—Nathan Gorvett, Josie Winterfeld and Richard Albrecht—took part in the 2010 protest, which stretched over a three-day weekend.
Christmas was a little merrier for women of Peardonville House treatment centre, thanks to some generous members of Level Ground Mennonite Church, Abbotsford.
Wearing both the traditional red poppy and the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) alternative peace button, Ying Ying Wang from China and Santiago Gomez from Colombia—participants in MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program—stood before a crowd of 600 people gathered in Warman for a Remembrance Day service, and talked about peace.
On Nov. 9, a wagonload of 37 trees and an eager group of Carman Mennonite Church members armed with spades, including a massive tree spade powered by a tractor, showed up in the church parking lot. A plan to enhance the parking lot, provide shelter from the winds and care for the environment had been developed years ago and now was about to take root.
For a little clothing store, Above the Underground is making a big impact on the lives of people in Abbotsford. And if Darlene Davy, the store’s manager, has her way, many more people will know about it.
“I always say Above the Underground is Abbotsford’s best kept secret, but I’d like to change that,” she says with a smile.
A grassroots response to Mennonite Church Canada’s Peace in the Public Square campaign is rolling through the streets of Saskatoon, Sask.
What does peace look like? “In my context, working for peace is to swim against the current,” writes Alejandra Romero, a Colombian who helps school children with conflict resolution in a country where violence is prevalent. “It is not easy to commit to live in peace when there are people willing to harm you.”
Hope Mennonite Church in Winnipeg produced a video for YouTube expressing its belief that God calls Christians to look after creation.
The idea was conceived on Peace Sunday, November 2009. On that Sunday, the congregation divided into small groups to discuss how they could make a public declaration for peace.
Imvu, the Zulu sheep, sports his trusty backpack. The creation of MC Canada Witness worker Karen Suderman, Imvu is a good ice-breaker as she and her husband Andrew develop an Anabaptist Network in South Africa and build relationships with the churches there.
A passion for writing children’s stories and a desire to engage children in church life gave birth to Imvu, a small knitted sheep who connects Mennonite Church Canada ministry in South Africa with children around the world.
Pakistan’s worst floods in eight decades have killed more than 1,600 people and disrupted the lives of more than 14 million—about 8 percent of the population. With hundreds of thousands of homes already destroyed in what the National Management Authority is calling “the worst disaster in Pakistan’s history,” people there are in immediate need of basic necessities.
It’s a warm summer evening on the north side of Saskatoon and residents in this busy neighbourhood are enjoying the opportunity to cycle, walk, play tennis or rip up the tarmac at the nearby skateboard park.
Haitians left homeless by January’s earthquake are getting construction help from a collaborative venture of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).
Bags of clothing from Vietnamese immigrants in Abbotsford have found their way to help clothe Karen refugees in Surrey, thanks to a cooperative effort between church groups.
Just days before the leaders of the G8 countries were preparing to meet in central Ontario to discuss such new issues as maternal health in the developing world and a restoration of the rule of law in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iran, religious leaders from these same countries—and others—gathered in Winnipeg in an effort to get their respective governments to live up to a
Of the 192 member countries of the United Nations, Canada ranks fourth on its Human Development Index, but Canada’s First Nations rank 68th.
According to Edith Von Gunten, who co-directs Mennonite Church Canada’s Native Ministry alongside her husband Neill, “There is a lot of work to do right here in Canada. . . . The treaties are not being honoured or respected.”
There are currently eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were agreed to by 192 United Nations member states in 2000 and that are to be achieved by 2015. But according to Robert J. Suderman, general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, there should be a ninth.
On May 29, 10 centimetres of rain fell in an hour on the small border town of Emerson. By the end of the day, more than 15 cm had come down. With the ground already saturated, the rain had nowhere to go, flooding most of the basements in town.
“It varied from home to home, but some had as much as [1 to 1.2 metres] in their basements,” said Jeanette Sabourin, town administrator.