2012 Fall list of Books & Resources

October 24, 2012 | Focus On | Number 21

Theology, spirituality

The Jesus Factor in Justice and Peacemaking. C. Norman Kraus. Cascadia Publishing House, 2011, 125 pages.

This is volume I of the Theological Postings Series designed to provide accessible theological writing. Kraus, a Mennonite theologian, gives an overview of how to understand the teachings of Jesus regarding peacemaking.

Joshua: Believers Church Bible Commentary. Gordon H. Matties. Herald Press, 2012, 525 pages.

The book of Joshua, with its stories of conquest and ethnic cleansing, can be difficult to read and understand. In this commentary, Matties helps modern readers take the text seriously while providing some context for the violence.

Please Pass the Faith: The Art of Spiritual Grandparenting. Elsie H. R. Rempel. Herald Press, 2012, 135 pages.

Rempel examines the spirituality of both young and old in the modern context, and provides some concrete suggestions of how they can grow and share together in faith. Each of the five chapters has extensive questions for reflection and discussion.

The Power of All: Building a Multivoiced Church. Sian and Stuart Murray Williams. Herald Press, 2012, 180 pages.

One of the authors is the writer of The Naked Anabaptist and his wife. They suggest that congregational worship should be inclusive and not run by one or two “professionals” at the front. A healthy congregation uses and listens to all its members.


In This Place: A Memoir. Henry Neufeld. Self-published, 2012, 148 pages.

In his memoir, Henry Neufeld of Delta, B.C. uses old letters and diary entries to augment his memories. Among his interesting reflections are his experiences working with Children’s Aid in Manitoba, with MCC in a Thailand refugee camp, and the beginning of Portage Mennonite Church. Copies are available from the author at hneufeld@telus.net.

Red Quarter Moon: A Search for Family in the Shadow of Stalin. Anne Konrad. University of Toronto Press, 2012, 356 pages.

Anne Konrad brings to life the story of her search for relatives in the former Soviet Union. She weaves together her personal quest and the stories of people who suffered under the hardships of a Soviet regime and puts it into a larger historical framework.

Winds of the Spirit: A Profile of Anabaptist Churches in the Global South. Conrad L. Kanagy, Tilahun Beyene, Richard Sowalter. Herald Press, 2012, 260 pages.

This book grows out of an Eastern Mennonite Missions study of churches planted around the world. The many charts show beliefs and attitudes as well as statistics about these churches in the global south. The writers suggest that the growth and vibrancy of these churches is due to revival led by the Holy Spirit.

Other books

By Whatever Name. Elizabeth Reimer Bartel. Self-published, 2012, 241 pages.

Bartel’s third historical-based novel follows the Toews family as they leave Russia in 1874 and settle in the new Mennonite community on the East Reserve in southern Manitoba. An important event in the story happens in 1881 when the words of a visiting preacher from Kansas divide the community. Copies are available at deliztel@shaw.ca or 778-433-1864.

Laughter is Sacred Space: The Not-So-Typical Journey of a Mennonite Actor. Ted Swartz. Herald Press, 2012, 280 pages, hardcover.

Using the quirky humour he is known for on stage, Ted Swartz tells the story of how he became a Mennonite actor and the triumphs and challenges he found in that profession. His biggest challenge was coping with the suicide of his friend and creative partner, Lee Eshleman.

Monstrance. Sarah Klassen. Turnstone Press, 2012, 118 pages.

This poem collection includes images from the prairies and from the larger world. She weaves together ordinary life with the sacred.

Relentless Goodbye: Grief and Love in the Shadow of Dementia. Ginnie Horst Burkholder. Herald Press, 2012, 272 pages.

This book follows the slow decline of someone with Lewy Body Dementia. Ginnie Burkholder uses her journal entries over the many years as her spouse slowly slipped away due to this disease. Caregivers should find encouragement in reading her honest reflections.

What’s in the Blood. Cheryl Denise. Cascadia Publishing House, 2012,115 pages.

Among the poems in this collection are those that explore the writer’s childhood experiences growing up in a Mennonite community in Elmira, Ontario. This is the second poetry collection by Cheryl Denise published by Cascadia in the Dreamseeker Poetry series.

What You Get at Home. Dora Dueck. Turnstone Press, 2012, 180 pages.

This collection of short stories is by the author of This Hidden Thing. The stories explore Mennonite life of the past and present in places like Manitoba and Paraguay where people are struggling with the emotions of their day-to-day lives.

Children’s Books

Feeding the Neighbouring Enemy: Mennonite Women in Niagara during the War of 1812. Jonathan Seiling, illustrated by Cynthia Disimone. Privately published, 2012, 32 pages.

Seiling has put together some stories about peacemaking in the War of 1812 that he encountered in his research. They are based on true events involving seven different women. Illustrated with black and white sketches, the book is available at www.gelassenheitpublications.ca.


Dive: Devotions for Deeper Living. Cindy Massanari Breeze. Herald Press, 2012, 192 pages.

This collection of short devotionals is designed for youth. Each devotional has a scripture text and a prayer and reflections on a topic. The topics are grouped into 18 chapters each with a “Living it out” activity. The author writes from her experience of working with youth at First Mennonite in Urbana, Illinois.

Let Justice Roll Down: Women Engaging the World. Rebecca Seiling. 2012, Faith & Life Resources, 70 pages.

This 12-session study, based on the book of Amos, was commissioned by Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women USA. It is designed to be used by women’s groups or individuals. The writer is a member at St. Jacobs (Ont.) Mennonite Church.

Merge: A Guidebook for Youth Service Trips. Krista Dutt. Faith and Life Resources, 2009, 68 pages.

This resource has step-by-step ideas for preparing youth for a short mission trip. Four sessions prepare youth for their experience, one session has suggestions for reflection while on the trip and two sessions help youth apply what they learned. Dutt writes from her experience working with a Mennonite Mission Network program in Chicago.

Real Life, Real Families: Listen and Talk Series 1. MennoMedia, 2012, audio curriculum, 46-page leader’s guide and 3 CDs.

“Shaping Families,” MennoMedia’s weekly 15-minute radio program, addresses tough family issues from a faith perspective. The 24 sessions of this curriculum include questions and discussion suggestions to explore marriage, parenting, and other family matters.


18 Most Loved Hymns. The Mennonite Hour choral groups original a cappella recordings. MennoMedia, 2012, CD.

In 1961 a poll of listeners to the “Mennonite Hour” radio program resulted an LP (long-playing album) with the top 18 choices. This CD contains those original recordings.

A Cappella Christmas. Second Edition. The Mennonite Hour choral groups original a cappella recordings. MennoMedia, 2012, CD.

This collection of Christmas carols and other favourites includes 30 songs, seven more than the original version of the CD. They are sung by a variety of a cappella groups including solos, mixed voices and men only.

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