Blogs

Intentional Communities: Words of Wisdom Pt.1

Last year I had the opportunity to interview numerous people living in intentional communities across Ontario. The following are words of experience and wisdom from people who strive to love their neighbours. For those of you who are unsure of of how to start serving and getting to know your neighbours, I think you’ll find this helpful. May it encouragement to all of us to love our neighbours too

Getting to Meet/Know/Serve Our Neighbours

Procrastination with a Purpose

Procrastination happens for a reason. A quote I saw once suggested that often, it's because I don't give ourselves enough between projects to fully rest and enjoy the sense of accomplishment before starting the next. I feel reluctant to begin something, not because I'm not interested, but because I'm still not finished with the past project. A project is not complete until it includes the rest.

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Engaging the Next Generation

At a seminar on cooperative organizations in Saskatchewan, Harold Chapman, a 93-year-old professor, historian, and writer, told us the history from the inside of his involvement in cooperative organizations as a consultant. He talked about values and principles at the heart of this organizational model, and the challenge that it evolved in response to.

Redemptive Moments Pt. 1

Once again I am sitting in The Beanery, a coffee shop about two steps from my apartment, with my roommate and friend Julia, and once again we are discussing what we identify as the 'world's problems'. Using ideas and theories we've learned in sociology, english, art theory and various other classes, we're forming and sharing opinions together in between our homework assignments. Unfortunately, once again, it has begun to feel as though these big issues that mostly deal with systemic inequality and oppression are in fact too big for us.

On not buying Buy Nothing Christmas

Christmas is by now long over and I am, as always, sad about it. I love the candles, the cookies, the darkness complete and frozen outside the window, and the hymns, stuck in my head all year long, finally sung with family and friends. I love the familiar biblical words breathing new life into my day-to-day and, of course, It’s A Wonderful Life right before bed. These are the memories I love-- the moments I look forward to most and I can’t help but be sad when they come to a close.

Miracles Are Possible

At this point in the Mennonite Church, the miracle of God’s son being born into this world. can be considered a common conversation. It is one of the major stories of hope that we celebrate. A much rarer conversation, though, is how Christmas hope translates into how we live out the holiday seasons, and how this hope is meant to affect all of our relationships.

Speaking of what God is not

There are moments in my study of theology, especially at the current stage, when I lapse into silence, feeling that the complexity and mystery of God render our attempts to describe God – or even God’s will for our lives – ever-partial, tainted, and inadequate. At times I must recognize that God is simply beyond anything human words can express. But luckily for me (and for the future of my studies!), I’m not the first to come to this realization. In fact, there’s an entire strand of theology devoted to the profundity of God’s mystery. It’s called apophatic or negative theology.

Arts & Worship: Deprived at Church (#1)

A blog reader recently sent me an email asking if I would write about my experiences with arts in the church (Thanks Michael Turman). Being an artist in many ways, I thought it would be easy for me to indulge in this topic.

That was until I stumbled upon the realization that I hadn't experienced the arts in a church setting for almost the first two decades of life. The experiences I had in church had minimal diversity on Sunday mornings, and to this day I cannot remember one Sunday that stood out as an artistic worship experience.

Team Farmall’s Mechanical Hoedown: Square Dancing Tractors as Performance Art

“Swing your partner ‘round and ‘round” used to be a predictable slogan, conjuring up images of people square dancing in a barn to jigs and reels, but this is no longer true.

Gone are the days of strictly human square dancing. The industrial (or agricultural) revolution has finally conditioned our culture to the extent that even our folk dance now includes machines.

The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo has reached its 99th year, and one of its most attractive events, as you may already guessed, is Team Farmall’s square dancing tractors.

On good teaching

Well, it’s fall, or as it’s known in my psyche: school season. By now, school, university, and Sunday School are well underway in all their educational glory (as in this photo, found here), and I’ve not only been doing some learning and teaching, but also thinking about the significance of these ubiquitous activities. As the child of two teachers and someone who wants to be a professor myself one day, it’s something I’ve thought about quite a bit.

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