All You Need is Love: Honoring the Diversity of Women’s Voices in Theology. Jennifer Castro, ed. Women in Leadership Project, Mennonite Church U.S.A., 2016, 195 pages.
The 20 papers in this collection were presented at a Women Doing Theology conference held in Virginia in 2014. Among the papers included is one by Kimberly Penner, a Canadian.
Bread for the Journey: Meditations and Recipes to Nourish the Soul. Lovella Schellenberg et al. Herald Press, 2016, hardcover.
This collection of 13 weeks of meditations comes from the authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Each week begins with a family journey story and a recipe, followed by Scripture-based meditations and prayers for each day of the week. The recipes are accompanied by full-page, colour photos.
Empire Erotics and Messianic Economies of Desire. P. Travis Kroeker. CMU Press, 2016, 92 pages.
As a presenter at the J. J. Thiessen Lecture series at Canadian Mennonite University in 2013, Kroeker explores what the Bible says about human desire. He wonders whether progressive Mennonites have chosen mammon, thereby losing their souls.
Ethics for Peacebuilders: A Practical Guide. Reina C. Neufeldt. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing, 2016, 171 pages.
Neufeldt, who teaches peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College, says that working for peace requires deep ethical thinking because doing good can easily have unintended consequences. Each of the seven chapters includes questions and scenarios for reflection and discussion.
Faith Travels: Trusting God in Life’s Transitions. Marlene Kropf. MennoMedia, 2016, 93 pages.
Sponsored by Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women U.S.A., this Bible study guide is designed to be used for personal study, women’s groups and retreat settings. In each of the 13 sessions, Kropf includes biblical and personal reflections, as well as discussion questions.
From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic and International Peacebuilding. Andrew P. Klager, ed. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2016, 410 pages.
Klager, who teaches at the Centre for Mennonite Studies, University of the Fraser Valley, B.C., put together this collection of essays dealing with how Mennonites have been involved in building peace. Among the many contributors are John Derksen, Marlene Epp, Esther Epp-Tiessen, Lowell Ewert and Royden Loewen.
Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church. Wendy Vanderwal-Gritter. Brazos Press, 2014, 281 pages.
The author of this book is executive director of New Direction Ministries of Canada. She encourages the church to respond to gay Christians with generous spaciousness, rather than with hard-line positions.
God After Christendom? Brian Hymes and Kyle Gingerich Hiebert. Paternoster Press, 2015, 170 pages.
This book is part of a series sponsored by the Anabaptist Network in the U.K. It gives an overview of the way Christians have talked about God over the centuries, always from the perspective of today’s world. It is available as an eBook.
The Gospel Next Door: Following Jesus Right Where You Are. Marty Troyer. Herald Press, 2016, 207 pages.
Troyer, pastor of Houston Mennonite Church in Texas, reflects on what it means to put faith into practice. Using stories and down-to-earth personal experiences, he shows that following Jesus means getting involved with neighbours, and includes working for peace and justice. (See also “Finding God at work in the city.”)
Gospel of Luke and Ephesians: First Nations Version. Rain Ministries Inc., 2016, 140 pages.
This is the first publication of a project to translate the New Testament into language that is culturally sensitive to first nations people of North America. Translation was done by indigenous elders and pastors working with Wycliffe Associates. More information is available at firstnationsversion.com.
Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World. Royden Loewen. University of Manitoba Press, 2016, 244 pages.
Between 2009 and 2012, Royden Loewen led a team researching various horse-and-buggy Mennonite groups, including some in Ontario. The book presents the worldview of Old Colony Mennonites in Latin America, and compares how various horse-and-buggy Mennonite groups cope with the pressures of the modern world.
Lord Willing? Wrestling with God’s Role in My Child’s Death. Jessica Kelley. Herald Press, 2016, 295 pages.
The author describes her anguish as she accompanied her young son through illness and death caused by a brain tumour. She also wrestles with the question of why God allows pain and suffering, finding comfort in the idea that God does not preordain it.
The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Alan Kreider. Baker Academic, 2016, 336 pages.
Kreider describes the practices of early Christians in the centuries after Christ and explores how the church managed to grow in spite of persecution. He argues that it happened because of patience and dependence on God, a tradition that changed by the time of Augustine.
The Amish: A Concise Introduction. Steven M. Nolt. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016, 142 pages.
Nolt gives an overview of Amish life and debunks some prevailing myths. He describes Amish ways of thinking about such things as family, community, schooling, technology, work and interaction with the broader world.
Breakaway Amish: Growing Up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters. Johnny Mast and Shawn Smucker. Herald Press, 2016, 173 pages.
Johnny Mast, grandson of the bishop, describes from an insider’s perspective, how the Amish community in Bergholz, Ohio, went rogue. Not in fellowship with other Amish, Sam Mullet manipulated his community to the point that some members were convicted of assault. (See also “An insider’s story of the Amish beard cutters.”)
Common Witness: A Story of Ministry Partnership between French and North American Mennonites, 1953-2003. David Yoder Neufeld. Institute of Mennonite Studies and Mennonite Mission Network, 2016, 178 pages.
After the Second World War, French and North American Mennonites worked together to plant churches and to work with people in need in post-war France. The writer is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona.
In Pursuit of Faithfulness: Conviction, Conflict and Compromise in Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. Rich Preheim. Herald Press, 2016, 419 pages.
Preheim describes the origins of the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference that brought together Mennonites and Amish in the 19th century. In the 20th century, the church moved away from being isolationist, with constant struggles between traditionalists and progressives.
More Than One Thing is True: Agony and Ecstasy Below Cloud Nine. Urbane Peachey. Masthof Press, Pa., 2016, 193 pages.
In this memoir, Peachey reflects on his work with Mennonite Central Committee in the Middle East through the 1970s, considers the commonalities between Christianity and Islam, and ponders his experiences as a Mennonite pastor in Pennsylvania. It is available from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not Talking Union: An Oral History of North American Mennonites and Labour. Janis Thiessen. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 234 pages.
Thiessen conducted many oral interviews across North America to discover stories about Mennonites and labour. She goes into some depth in describing the attitudes of California Mennonites toward the organization of field workers in the 1960s and the Mennonites in Manitoba who tried to claim conscientious objection to unions in the 1970s.
Out of Place: Social Exclusion and Mennonite Migrants in Canada. Luann Good Gingrich. University of Toronto Press, 2016, 300 pages.
Gingrich tells the story of how social service agencies in Canada have found it difficult to relate to Mennonites who have relocated from Mexico and other Latin American countries. The writer, a professor at York University, interviewed many “Dietsche” families and social service workers.
Refugee. Helen Rose Pauls. Self-published, 2016, 96 pages.
This memoir of Agnes Sawatzky Pauls tells the amazing story of how she survived the horrors of the Stalinist regime in Russia in the 1930s and ’40s. She told the stories to her daughter-in-law, but asked that they not be published before her death. To order, contact the author at email@example.com.
Risk and Adventure: Community Development in Northern Alberta (1955-1970). Isaac Glick and Mildred Glick. Privately published, 2016.
Many volunteers served with Mennonite Voluntary Service in northern Alberta in the 1950s and ’60s. Ike and Millie Glick write about these volunteer experiences as they worked to bring better education, healthcare and other developments to indigenous communities. Copies are available at firstname.lastname@example.org. (See also “Glick family experiences ‘risk and adventure’.”)
Simple Life Fretz: A Kitchen Table Memoir of the First Mennonite Sociologist. Sara Fretz-Goering. Available from Friesen Press as hardcover, paperback or eBook, 2016, 192 pages.
Writing from her father’s perspective, the daughter of J. Winfield Fretz has put together a comprehensive story of his life. She began collecting photos, letters and transcripts after his death in 2005. Fretz was the first president of Conrad Grebel College.
After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America. Robert Zacharias, ed. University of Manitoba Press, 2015, 244 pages.
The 12 essays in this collection further explore the idea of Mennonite identity. It came out of a Mennonite/s Writing symposium in 2013. Among the contributors are Di Brandt, Royden Loewen, Magdalene Redekop, Hildi Froese Tiessen, Paul Tiessen and Robert Zacharias.
Both My Sons: A Story of Family and War in the Early Pennsylvania Forest. Ken Yoder Reed. Masthof Press, 2016.
This novel tells the story of Swiss-German immigrants who arrive in the wilderness of Pennsylvania in 1710. The author’s two previous novels are Mennonite Soldier and He Flew Too High.
Daughters in the House of Jacob: A Memoir of Migration. Dorothy M. Peters and Christine Kampen. Kindred Productions and the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission, 2016, 275 pages.
Dorothy Peters and Christine Kampen, both from B.C., researched their family history through letters, pictures and documents. They are cousins and granddaughters of Jacob Doerksen, a Mennonite preacher and teacher. The memoir tells the story of several generations, going back to South Russia before the revolution. (See also “Cousins write family saga: Daughters in the House of Jacob.”)
More-with-Less Cookbook: 40th Anniversary Edition. Doris Janzen Longacre and Rachel Marie Stone. Herald Press and MCC, 2016, 320 pages.
This new edition of an old favourite has many large and colourful photographs, a new layout, reorganized introductory pages, updated nutritional information and cooking instructions, and some new recipes. It is available in paperback or lay-flat binding.
Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity. Katherine Willis Pershey. Herald Press, 2016.
Using a frank style and experiences from her own life, Pershey writes about the joys and challenges of staying happily married. A pastor herself, the writer wants to encourage committed marriages, especially in the church.
—Compiled by Barb Draper Books & Resources Editor