I was standing beside Neill Von Gunten, former co-director of Mennonite Church Canada Native Ministries, and trying to peer over heads to see into the “Churches Listening Area” at the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) national event in Edmonton last month. An aboriginal leader had just prayed, and a church leader suggested a song; “We are Marching in the Light of God.”
God at work in the World
Anabaptist leaders present a blanket and a statement for inclusion in the Bentwood Box, a repository for offerings and commemorations at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event in Edmonton last month. Standing with the TRC commissioners and survivor representatives are Tim Dyck of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, centre, and Hilda Hildebrand of Mennonite Church Canada, fifth from left.
The following statement was presented at the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Edmonton in March.
Because Jesus asked us to love our neighbours, a group of Christians from Winnipeg were willing to walk 550 kilometres to honour and remember their indigenous brothers and sisters who have survived the Indian Residential School (IRS) system. I was one of the organizers of this journey, which we called the Honour Walk.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is in the closing stretch of its five-year mandate.
Irene Crosland adds some prairie sage to the sacred fire burning outside one of the main entrances to the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, the site of the seventh and final national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event. She wrote this poem as a result of her experiences at the TRC event.
Gathering crowd surges
Residential School survivors
This is my time
Throbbing drum beats
Tonal language singing
Bowed shoulders quake
Remembering robbed childhood
Secrets buried deeply
Angry man turns
According to Ernie Regehr, for statistical purposes a war is defined as political fighting—not criminal violence—that engages the security forces of the state; as well, it is a situation in which “at least 1,000 people [combatants and civilians] have been killed directly by the fighting during the course of the conflict, and 25 or more are killed annually.”
Recent weeks have been a financial roller coaster ride for Joan Carolyn and Daniel Epp, the program director and associate for Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) Winnipeg, respectively.
What do Mennonites and former gang members have in common? “Not much,” one might be tempted to reply. But at a recent Saskatoon conference they sat side-by-side learning about gang intervention and prevention, and the way back to a healthy life.
As Syrians continue to watch their nation disintegrate, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has become a leading Canadian responder there. Its long-standing relationships in the area mean it can work both in refugee camps outside Syria and in some of the hardest hit areas within the country, supporting various local partners, including churches.
Ron Krahn: A farmer responds
A damage report from Super Typhoon Haiyan compresses a huge disaster into one page of stark statistics. This report is for just one assessment area. (Photo by John Chau / Used by permission)
Dann Pantoja, second from left, and his team pray for the pastor of a local church. ‘His house was totally destroyed,’ says Pantoja. ‘His wife and children were hungry when we arrived. Many of his neighbours died. He cannot locate the families belonging to his congregation.’ (Photo by Daniel Byron ‘Bee’ Pantoja / From the PBCI website)
Makeshift tarp shelters began rising up soon after the Nov. 8 super storm subsided. (Photo by John Chau / Used by permission)
Like the news, the winds and rain that came with Super Typhoon Haiyan have let up. But the damage from the storm that slammed regions of the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, remains on the mental and emotional front page for survivors.
A week after torrential rain battered the Gaza Strip, people in the al Nafaq Street area of eastern Gaza City were still struggling to clean mud and debris out of their homes and businesses just before Christmas.
Last year, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Learning Tour group—including the author—visited Ethiopia and Uganda to get a grasp of MCC’s work and its effectiveness in the holy work of being the church as Jesus’ hands and feet in places of need.
• “Oh my God! Oh my God!” gushed Sister Sophia meeting us as we disembarked from our bus.
On a cold, windy December day in Winnipeg in 1963, 40 men made the decision to form Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada. Exactly 50 years later, a group of people braved another bitterly cold day in Winnipeg to reflect on those 50 years and contemplate MCC’s future.
I was on Chapter 10 of Alan Paton’s defining South African novel, Cry the Beloved Country, when Nelson Mandela died. The story of the man and the story in the book—published in 1948, the year apartheid became official policy—are versions of the same story.
Three hours before the memorial service for Nelson Mandela began, people gathered to honour their beloved past-president and peacemaker in a celebratory manner. The gathering included singing, dancing, clapping and shouts of ‘Mandela ,you’re my president!’
Andrew Suderman, left, director of the Anabaptist Network in South Africa, and his daughter Samantha attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013, at the First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. Seated next to them, from left to right, are: Suderman’s brother, Bryan Moyer Suderman, his son Matthew and wife Julie.
After a lifetime spent struggling for the emancipation and equality of all, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela can finally rest, his long walk at an end. “Madiba,” as he is affectionately known, passed away on Dec. 5, 2013.
After being an integral part of the town of Leamington for more than a century, the HJ Heinz Corporation will shut its processing plant next June, putting 740 employees out of work and leaving more than 40 local tomato growers wondering what they will be planting come spring.
Perspectives of peacebuilders, shedding light on how peace can be achieved in communities, societies and nations, were featured at a plenary session of the 10th assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The Nov.