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The impact of one woman pastor’s ordination

As Frances Ringenberg, left, a member of the pastoral team of Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Ind., greets Emma Sommers Richards at the celebration of the book about Richards’ ordination, Ringenberg said, ‘You were the first woman pastor I ever saw.’ Richards was pastor of Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Church, where Ringenberg was a member b

By telling the story of the ordination of Emma Sommers Richards, a new book from the Institute of Mennonite Studies aims to show that “all church members will share in the benefits and blessings that God will shower on faithful Anabaptist Mennonite congregations.”

Church exclusivity challenged

A scene from Forgiven/Forgotten, the latest play by the Toronto-based Theatre of the Beat troupe, which is on a cross-Canada tour sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee Canada. Pictured: Kim Walker and Johnny Wideman.

A bottle of wine moves through Forgiven/Forgotten, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada-sponsored play about restorative justice that premiered last month at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts in Kitchener, Ont.

Beyond stereotypes

Visual artists Miriam Rudolph and Bennie Peters explore their upbringing in Paraguay in the new art exhibit, ‘From Paraguay to Winnipeg: Explorations of Place, Home and Childhood,’ at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery.

‘Working in the Garden’ by Bennie Peters. Peters, 32, works predominantly with paint on drywall to create his work.

‘Waving Goodbye’ by Miriam Rudolph. Rudolph, 30, grew up in Paraguay, lived in Winnipeg for nine years and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minn. Much of her work deals with searching for belonging.

Miriam Rudolph has spent most of the past decade living in Winnipeg, but Canadians often ask her what it’s like living in Paraguay, where she grew up.

Courage for Lydia

(l-r) Meaghan McCracken, Rebecca Campbell, Carol Ann Weaver, Ben Bolt-Martin and Willem Moolenbeek perform Winter Prayers and Blessings from Weaver’s Three Seasons for Lydia Herrle, on Oct. 31 at Conrad Grebel University College.

Elementary school student Lydia Herrle was thrown 25 metres after being hit by a truck as she stepped off her school bus in front of her family’s Country Farm Market on Erb’s Road near Waterloo in May. It took months before she came home from hospital and she has years of rehabilitation ahead of her. She and her family attend Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church.

‘Job’ sings the blues

Job (Mark McKechnie) refuses to be convinced by Sonny (Dan Bieman), the fundamentalist Christian, while the “High and Mighty” house band play in the background in Ross Muir’s Job’s Blues.

Ross Muir, managing editor of Canadian Mennonite, penned the lyrics to his blues’ opera, Job’s Blues, during one of the happiest times of his life, in 1988. The idea had been in his mind for a dozen years, ever since he had heard a twelve part sermon series on the Biblical book of Job while at the University of Victoria, B.C.

Erin Brandenburg plays at Toronto’s Summer Works

A scene from Petrichor includes (from left): Andrew Penner (Dick), David Tompa (Peter), Monica Dottor (Susan), Shannon Taylor (Mary).

Erin Brandenburg with her husband Andrew Penner and their son Jack.

The theatre was dim. A projection screen showed an animated scene of a farm yard by night. The wind rippled through the trees and grass. Clouds blew across the moon. Crickets chirped in the background as the low voices of the patrons sounded like the voices of farm dwellers on the porch in the cooling evening after a hot day on the fields.

Art exhibit to tell ‘Road to Freedom’ stories

This painting by Ray Dirks tells the story of Agatha Harms Reimer who escaped from the Soviet Union with three sons after World War 2. It is part of the “Along the Road to Freedom” collection which opens at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery on Sunday, Oct. 14. Agatha, the grandmother of Dirks’ wife, lived to be 103.

Ray Dirks, curator and artist, has embarked on a project to paint as many as twenty canvasses to tell the stories of Mennonite women who brought their families out of the Soviet Union amid the confusion and turmoil of the waning months of World War 2. The first selection will be ready for an opening on Oct. 14, at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery where Dirks is the curator.

Kreiders bring prophetic voice to the church

Alan and Eleanor Kreider, recently “retired,” have had a full life of ministry, mostly in the United Kingdom, but with influences throughout the world. Working in post-Christendom and postmodern Europe has given them foresight into what has been developing in North America. Some would see this as God preparing North American Christians with the prophetic and pastoral voice of the Kreiders.

Rempel launches her new book, Please Pass the Faith

Elsie Rempel was available to sign her new book at MC Canada Assembly in Vancouver.

Elsie Rempel, Mennonite Church Canada Formation Consultant, launched her new book, Please Pass the Faith, at Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2012 in Vancouver. The book explores “spiritual grandparenting” as an intentional way to share faith with the next generation in a world full of distractions and busy schedules.

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