For many years the church provided me with a place where I felt like I belonged.
Jacquelyn Janzen is one of two representatives appointed by Mennonite Church Saskatchewan to sit on Mennonite Church Canada’s Joint Council. (Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Janzen)
Travelling to places like Honduras has shaped Jacquelyn Janzen’s worldview. (Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Janzen)
‘[I hope] that we can still come together for the greater good,’ Jacquelyn Janzen says of the churches that make up MC Canada. (Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Janzen)
Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe and Erin Froese ‘yarn-bombed’ a tree on CMU’s campus as part of a project exploring ecofeminism. (Photo courtesy of Erin Froese)
Laura Carr-Pries created a worship resource in the CMU course, Feminist Perspectives on Bible and Theology. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Alyssa Sherlock created a photo project exploring themes of perfectionism, self-image and faith. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Most upper-level university classes end with a final essay, not a photography project, prayerful meditations or a “yarn-bombed” tree. Sheila Klassen-Wiebe, however, took the road less travelled for Feminist Perspectives on Bible and Theology.
Representatives from a variety of faiths gathered in Vancouver in March for Celebrating Our Diversity Now, an interfaith dialogue. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)
Celebrating Our Diversity Now was a time of sharing between different religious and cultural groups. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)
Constantinos Economos, parish priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Vancouver, speaks at Celebrating Our Diversity Now. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)
‘It was great to have an intentional and safe space to share and learn about religious diversity in Canada,’ writes Annika Krause. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)
This past March, I participated in an interfaith dialogue for young people in Vancouver, hosted by the Armenian Diocese of Canada.
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)
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.
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 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.”
‘I understand God through inspiration,’ says writer Johnny Wideman of Stouffville, Ont. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wideman)
Writing short stories has been different than writing plays for Wideman, pictured here with one of his Theatre of the Beat colleagues, Rebecca Steiner. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wideman)
‘With Theatre of the Beat, I know who my audience is,’ says Johnny Wideman, pictured here performing in This Will Lead to Dancing. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wideman)
Most people know Johnny Wideman as a playwright and the artistic director for Theatre of the Beat, the social justice-oriented troupe behind plays like This Will Lead to Dancing and Yellow Bellies. Now Wideman has released To Aid Digestion, a collection of 26 original short stories and poems.
‘I’ve come to really like things like icons and crucifixes as ways to help me pray,’ James DeGurse says. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
It’s not every day you meet a Mennonite whose faith journey has led him to the Catholic church, but that’s James DeGurse’s story.
Baptized as an infant in the Anglican church, DeGurse spent his formative years at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. After worshipping at an Anglican church for a year or two, he began attending a Catholic church at the age of 18.
Jessica Reesor Rempel leads a session at PiE’s recent Winter Camp for Grown-ups’ retreat. (Photo by Jacquie Reimer)
‘I don’t think anyone else has a job quite like this,’ says Jessica Reesor Rempel, right, pictured with PiE co-founder Chris Brnjas, left, and Tamara Shantz, centre, PiE’s current pastor. (Photo by Dave Klassen)
Jessica Reesor Rempel lives in Kitchener, Ont., with her husband Steven and their daughter Anna Julian. (Photo by John Rempel)
Jessica Reesor Rempel enjoys bringing people together and helping them find meaning.
Jon Ted Wynne portrays C.S. Lewis in a scene from The Fantasy Makers. (Photo courtesy of Josh Heida)
When The Fantasy Makers, a new documentary, premiered at Winnipeg’s Real to Reel Film Festival last month, the credits included the name of a young Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) student: Josh Heida.
An accomplished singer, guitarist and fiddler, Sadie Gustafson-Zook is currently pursuing a master’s degree in jazz voice. (Photo by Olivia Copsey)
Born in Portland, Ore., and raised in Goshen, Ind., singer-songwriter Sadie Gustafson-Zook is currently pursuing a master’s degree in jazz voice at Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.
Luke Nickel recently completed a PhD in music composition at Bath Spa University in England. (Photo by Leif Norman)
Luke Nickel co-founded Winnipeg's Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival while studying at the University of Manitoba. (Photo by Leif Norman)
Pianist Everett Hopfner performs one of Luke Nickel's pieces at the 2017 edition of Cluster. (Photo by Leif Norman)
The Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival aims to bridge the gap between new music, dance and visual art. (Photo by Aaron Sivertson)
Since Luke Nickel was young, his parents instilled in him the value of thinking critically. He recalls one conversation—the exact topic escapes him—during which his father said to him and his siblings, “I don’t care what you think about it, as long as you think about it.”
James DeGurse, centre, a Roman Catholic, finds value in reading the Bible communally. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Braden Siemens’s take on Scripture is informed by attending both Pentecostal and Anglican churches. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Claire Hanson, Braden Siemens, James DeGurse, Marnie Klassen and Kenny Wollmann share their views of Scripture at CMU on Feb. 5, 2018. (Photo courtesy of CMU)
Scripture is a massive, ancient, messy archive of God’s relationship with humanity that many claim to interpret correctly.
But with such diverse understandings of the Bible, how can Christians approach it with humility while granting God’s words authority over their lives? How can young people take Scripture seriously in an increasingly secularized world?
An ally holds a sign at the Winnipeg Women’s March in January 2018. ‘We need to acknowledge the fact that we are not presently equal,’ Kim Penner says. (Photo by Matthew Sawatzky)
Kim Penner holds a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Kim Penner)
Kim Penner with Marilyn Legge, her PhD advisor, at Penner’s graduation last November. (Photo courtesy of Kim Penner)
Kim Penner graduated last November with a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto. Canadian Mennonite called Penner at her home in Waterloo, Ont., to ask her about her dissertation, “Discipleship as erotic peacemaking: Toward a feminist Mennonite theo-ethics of embodiment and sexuality,” and what her work has to offer the Mennonite church.
The Generational Gaps DVD features 70 minutes of material Matt Falk developed after the release of his first album, Apple Pie & Scars. (Photo courtesy of Matt Falk)
Comedian Matt Falk’s first-ever DVD, Generational Gaps, is in stores on Feb. (Photo courtesy of Matt Falk)
Matt Falk has performed across North America with veteran comics like Gilbert Gottfried and Dave Coulier. (Photo courtesy of Matt Falk)
For most comedians, delivering unfiltered material means cursing a blue streak. For Matt Falk, it means something else entirely.
Growing up in Morris, Man., Jessica Edel played sports starting in elementary school. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Mennonite University)
Jessica Edel is a first-year student at Canadian Mennonite University. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Mennonite University)
Growing up just south of Winnipeg in Morris, Man., I was involved in sports starting in elementary school. I participated in many school sports but invested most of my time in basketball, playing competitively from Grade 5 until Grade 11.
Time is a significantly gracious yet controlling dynamic. It’s a dimension from which we cannot escape, but our experience of it varies depending on our context. We move from day to day, month to month, year to year, growing older and hopefully wiser, sometimes caught off guard by the realization that time doesn’t wait for our approval.
Thomas Coldwell, pictured in Kampala, Uganda, this past July, learned about the Anabaptist faith as an undergraduate. (Photo by Leah Ettarh)
Thomas Coldwell replaced Abe Janzen as executive director of MCC Alberta last month. (Photo by Angela Bennett)
‘We want to be thoughtful in the way we do our work,’ says Thomas Coldwell, pictured talking with Cecile Sanou. Sanou volunteered with an MCC partner in Soroti, Uganda, during 2016-17. (Photo by Leah Ettarh)
Five years ago, Thomas Coldwell knew very little about Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Today, he’s the executive director of MCC Alberta.
Steph Chandler Burns recently served as interim pastor at Bloomingdale (Ont.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
‘Sometimes I feel invisible in my journey as a queer person,’ says Steph Chandler Burns, pictured with Greg, her partner. (Photo courtesy of Steph Chandler Burns)
Steph Chandler Burns, front row second from left, graduated with a master of theological studies degree from Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., this past fall. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)
For Steph Chandler Burns of Kitchener, Ont., talking about her faith journey means talking about coming out as a queer individual.
“I am a bisexual woman and I am a woman created in God’s image, and knowing those two things alongside each other has taught me a lot about who I am in God,” she says.
AlbertaSat members, including Taryn Haluza-Delay, second from right, met with former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, centre, this past October. (Photo courtesy of Taryn Haluza-Delay)
Taryn Haluza-Delay had a hand in building Ex-Alta 1, Alberta’s first orbiting satellite. (Twitter.com/ualbertaScience photo)
For most people who dream of exploring outer space, the dream dies before they reach adulthood. That’s not the case for Taryn Haluza-Delay.
The 20-year-old Edmonton resident, who attends First Mennonite Church and is currently a third-year engineering physics student at the University of Alberta, hopes to one day become an astronaut.
Matthew Kopperud, right, spent 2017 touring with his Close Talker bandmates Will Quiring and Chris Morien. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)
Close Talker’s latest album, Lens, came out on Nevado Records last April. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)
2017 was a big year for Matthew Kopperud. The 25-year-old guitarist toured across North America and Europe with his band Close Talker in support of its most recent album, Lens.
What started as a simple book club has become a place of deep friendship and support for a group of Winnipeg women. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)
‘The novels, essays, memoirs and graphic novels I’ve read this year have challenged me immeasurably, and I’ve grown as a result,’ Rachel Bergen writes. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)
The Feminist Book Club took a trip to a friend’s cabin in May to rest, recharge, connect and talk about Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)
Some members of the Feminist Book Club took part in a women’s march in Winnipeg this past January to raise awareness about violence against women and to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)
I remember the day well. It was Nov. 8, 2016. Donald Trump, whose behaviour as a sexual predator has been widely reported, had just been elected as president of the United States. I felt the wind knocked out of me and, honestly, it felt like the world was ending.
In the remarkable documentary, A Better Man, released earlier this year, filmmaker Attiya Khan documents her meeting with Steve (no last name), her ex-boyfriend who abused her daily more than 20 years ago.
A group of young adults who formed in response to proposed changes to Mennonite Church Canada (now dubbed the nationwide church) has disbanded.
The Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI) announced its closing in a statement posted to its website on Oct. 31, two-and-a-half weeks after MC Canada’s Special Assembly 2017 in Winnipeg.