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After 20 years of service as children’s choir director at Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Man., Lori Wiebe gets to sit back on May 8 and enjoy an encore of songs from past musicals she has directed over the years. Pictured at right is Mel Braun, who is also leaving his post as accompanist after 11 years.

For Lori Wiebe, the May 8 performance of The Rock Slinger and his Greatest Hit, a musical about David and Goliath, was a significant milestone in her life. After 20 years of directing the Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church Children’s Choir, this was her last musical.

Cooking for peace

Nettie Baer, left, sits with her nephew, John Thiessen. Waterloo Region author Erica Jantzen, who helped with Nettie’s Story: The Pax Years, Feb. 1954 - Nov. 1956, stands behind them at the book launch on May 16.

“Will the fellows like my cooking?” wondered Nettie Redekopp in 1954 as she arrived at the Pax post-World War II rebuilding project in Wedel, Germany. That question haunted her for years, but finally in 2010 she dredged up the courage and began to call those whose phone numbers she could find.

Mennonite musicians ‘rule’ in Winnipeg

Although The Liptonians are not a religious band, singer-guitarist Bucky Driedger, left, says his Mennonite heritage has influenced the way he writes the band’s lyrics.

Most of the members of Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers have Mennonite roots, including Paul Schmidt, second from right.

Bucky Driedger, second from right, and his Royal Canoe band mates.

Writers with Mennonite roots, like David Bergen, Miriam Toews and Di Brandt, have long dominated southern Manitoba’s literary scene. Now, the community’s music scene is experiencing a similar sort of influence.

A clear statement about stuttering

Colin Firth stars as Prince Albert/King George VI in the Academy Award-winning film, The King’s Speech.

It is a hard thing to live with as much fear as Albert (Colin Firth) harbours. But it is especially difficult when you are a royal. For Prince Albert, later to become Great Britain’s King George VI, the familiar fears of authority figures, childhood bullies and judgmental crowds are made all the worse by his debilitating stammer.

A thousand hallelujahs

The boys choir combined with youths and men to form a 270-voice mass choir that performed ‘A Thousand Hallelujahs’ at the Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall on Jan. 23. The concert concluded with ‘Arise!’, a commissioned work by Larry Nickel.

“For God is great and worth a thousand hallelujahs!” proclaims the psalmist (The Message).

On Jan. 23, a mass Faith and Life Male Choir united to celebrate more than 25 years of ministry and to proclaim this message with the psalmist.

A more inclusive overview of Mennonite history


The book Through Fire and Water: An Overview of Mennonite History was first published in 1996 by Herald Press and presented the Mennonite faith story within the sweep of church history for youths and adults wanting to learn more about the denomination or their heritage. Now, 14 years later, it needed to be revised and updated to be more globally and ethnically inclusive.

Art exhibit explores the unjust food systems of society

The Just Food exhibit included a display of typical food consumed in a poor community in a developing country, left, a middle-class community in a developing country, centre, and many households in North America, right. The sign reads, ‘Where do you fit in?’

A visitor views Annelies Soomers’ piece, ‘Daily Bread: From Plague to Blessing,’ at the Just Food exhibit opening on at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery on Nov. 20.

The right to food is a non-issue for many Canadians. In fact, many people in the western world take food for granted.

From a faith perspective, many feel that, although they may not be hungry themselves, food systems are unjust when there is abundant food available to some while others go without.

To Africa and back, again

Elsie Cressman, foreground, the subject of the new documentary, Return to Africa: The Story of Elsie Cressman, is pictured with filmmakers Paul Francescutti, and Paula and Paul Campsall, at a screening in Waterloo, Ont., this summer.

On June 27, the Princess Twin Cinema in uptown Waterloo had to open up a second room to view the 2010 movie, Return to Africa: The Story of Elsie Cressman, with Cressman, now 87, in attendance.


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