God at work in the World
A public panel discussion on the relationships between the three Abrahamic religions couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, occurring as it did on the heels of the opening of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s showing of “Synagogues in Germany: A virtual reconstruction” and the recent Quebec City mosque shooting.
A presentation by Timothy Epp on the enduring relationship between blacks and Mennonites quickly morphed into a time of sharing and storytelling by members of the two communities during this year’s annual Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan “peace event,” held on Nov. 12, 2016, at Saskatoon’s Bethany Manor.
“In this resolution we are not taking sides between Israel and Palestine,” said Palmer Becker at Mennonite Church Canada’s Assembly 2016. “We support the need for a safe place to live for both Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs. We grieve whenever there is loss of life, whether that is Palestinian or Israeli.”
Since Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued its final report in 2015, denominations and congregations across the country have wrestled with how to respond in authentic and appropriate ways. One such response was an ecumenical conference held recently at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon.
Among many aboriginal people the eagle feather communicates respect, humility, courage and wisdom. Several years ago, I received an eagle feather as a sign of appreciation for my ministry at the prison in Saskatoon. I was honoured but troubled because the feather did not feel like it belonged to me.
Elaine Hofer and Paul Waldner are members of Green Acres Colony, near Wawanesa, Man. Their Hutterite colony, along with Enes and Fata Muheljic from Wawanesa, worked with Mennonite Central Committee Canada to sponsor a family from Syria. Hofer writes in her journal about the day they met Reyad Alhamoud, Najwa Hussein Al Mohamad and their two children at the Winnipeg airport on Feb.
Last February I wrote an article that elicited more response than anything I have written for this publication. The piece originated when a reader challenged my acceptance of the climate change narrative. I worked past my initial impulse—which was condescending and dismissive—and studied the sources he provided.
On September 2, 2015, the heartbreaking picture of Alan Kurdi’s body on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea was a wake-up call to the world concerning the plight of refugees. In the nine months between September of last year and the end of June 2016, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada assisted in the arrival of almost 1100 refugees.
For decades, Colombia has been known for violence, narcotics and instability. But now it is within sight of an historic peace agreement that César García—the Colombian who heads Mennonite World Conference, which is based in the country—says mirrors notions of restorative justice valued by many Anabaptists.
“It’s really cool to see white people here today,” said Cheyenne Fineday. The first nation teenager was speaking at the 140th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 6 on Aug. 23, 2016. Held at Stoney Knoll, 76 kilometres north of Saskatoon, the celebration included both indigenous and settler peoples.