Young Voices

Making a Mennonite

I did not grow up attending a Mennonite church. Growing up two hours southeast of Winnipeg in Piney, Man., I attended International Christian Fellowship, a small congregation that includes an interesting mix of people and theological backgrounds. It is an international amalgamation of American and Canadian churches on the U.S.

More than just punchlines

What makes Mennonites funny, and what does their sense of humour say about them?

Those are the questions at the heart of That Mennonite Joke, a new documentary from Prairie Boy Productions. Written and directed by Winnipeg filmmaker Orlando Braun, the documentary follows Niverville, Man., comedian Matt Falk as he traces the roots of Mennonite humour.

Set up to succeed

I paid for my undergraduate degree with scholarships and my own savings, and graduated without student debt. I am touchy about this. I tell anyone listening about how expensive it was, how I kept my grades high and earned scholarships, what weird part-time work I did and the imaginative ways I found to save money.

The geek shall inherit the earth

Allison Barron developed an interest in computer games and science fiction at an early age. Reconciling her pop culture interests with her Christian faith has not always been easy, though.

“I’ve never felt very ostracized or pressured because of my [interests],” says Barron, 26. At the same time, “I did not feel like that was something I could bring to church, either.”

Solace in a subculture

It takes Anna Chemar almost two hours to dress in her favourite style. The elaborate makeup alone requires 45 minutes. Carefully slipping into the clothes—bell-shaped skirt, blouse and corset—takes another 20 minutes. The rest of the time is devoted to final touches: wig, headdress and painted lips. When finished, she looks like a Gothic-styled doll.

Goodbye, Young Voices

Rachel Bergen is leaving Canadian Mennonite to complete a term with Mennonite Central Committee’s Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Bergen)

I always knew growing up that I wanted to leave home and see the world. The thought of one day volunteering overseas, listening to people’s stories and learning new languages excited me all through my adolescence and young adulthood.

That’s now a reality.

Making the time together good

Peter Warkentin’s physical and mental abilities are gradually declining, but his faith remains strong. (Photo courtesy of Amelia Warkentin)

Peter Warkentin pictured as a young man. (Photo courtesy of Amelia Warkentin)

 Amelia Warkentin

Sleeping soundly with his legs pulled into his hunched frame, my grandfather was comfortable before I woke him.

Seniors and youth find common ground at Friendship Manor

Beverley Winter has lived at Friendship Manor in Altona, Man., for the past eight years. (Photo by Paige Mierau Friesen)

Paige Mierau Friesen

For Beverley Winter, the Friendship Manor community includes teenagers from the Altona Mennonite Church (AMC) youth group. Winter looks forward to monthly Sunday morning breakfasts with the youth group, a tradition started in 2011.

 “We become a ‘nutcase’ when we’re isolated,” Winter says. “But it’s been so nice since [the youth group] have been here.”

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