Focus On Books & Resources

Sam Steiner’s memoir reflects on life

‘A Mennonite Draft Dodger in Canada’ updates personal stories from Sam Steiner's blog.

While working on his book In Search of Promised Lands: A Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario, Sam Steiner began writing a weekly online blog about his research, and occasionally he would include personal stories. In this memoir, A Mennonite Draft Dodger in Canada, he has expanded and updated those personal blog stories.

Novel examines Mennonite ethics in Second World War

‘To Antoine’ is a powerful story, according to reviewer Barb Draper.

E.J. Wiens has written a powerful story that explores the question of Mennonite collaboration with the Nazis during the Second World War. Hesets this question within the broader context of Mennonite history and helps the reader to understand the nuances and moral discrepancies faced by Mennonites who fled Russia (present-day Ukraine) in 1943.

Laughs at book launch

Manitoba humorist/author Andrew Unger introduced and signed books at an April 2 event at Abbotsford, B.C.’s, Mennonite Heritage Museum. (Photo by Wendie Nickel)

After several years of pandemic-induced Zoom book launches in B.C., satirist Andrew Unger winged his way to Abbotsford to face a living, breathing audience at the Mennonite Heritage Museum on April 2.

‘I wanted to know more about it’

Marion Roes’s book tells the history of funeral businesses in Ontario’s Waterloo Region. (Photo by Barb Draper)

This hearse, acquired by Chris Dreisinger about 1915, was the first motorized funeral vehicle in the area. (Photo courtesy of Marion Roes)

When Marion Roes began researching her family history, she came across some surprises connected to her family’s business. Intrigued, she tried to find out more about local undertakers, but there was almost no material available. So she began collecting information and doing interviews.

New digital resources for ‘Peaceful at Heart’

​​​​​Mennonite Men has created an audiobook, study guide and a podcast/video interview series based on the 2019 book, ‘Peaceful at Heart.’

Peaceful at Heart was released in 2019 to present a vision of peaceful living as an alternative to the expectations for masculinity widely held by society. The goal has been to engage as many men as possible in this important conversation.

Retired church workers archive MC Canada history

Thousands of files languish in the basement of Mennonite Church Canada’s Winnipeg office, holding decades of history but forgotten by many. Jack, left, and Irene Suderman are bringing these records to light, reviewing and organizing them to be stored in the Mennonite Heritage Archives. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Thousands of files languish in the basement of Mennonite Church Canada’s Winnipeg office, holding decades of history but forgotten by many. Irene and Jack Suderman are bringing these records to light, reviewing and organizing them to be stored in the Mennonite Heritage Archives (MHA).

Writer’s struggles offer reassurance to young mothers

The title of the book is never directly explained, but Zook finds herself licking peanut butter as a way of getting physical nourishment while rethinking the relationship between spirituality and the physical body.

When it comes to motherhood, Shari Zook asks, “Why don’t we get more training for the hardest job of our lives? Why do we feel that we have to do it alone?”

Because she is so open and honest about the challenges of raising young children, this book can provide comfort and reassurance for others who are feeling inadequate.

Podcast creator shares insights into his craft

Ken Ogasawara (facing camera), the producer and host of the podcast Undercurrents, interviews Ly Vang for Episode 10, which was just recently released. (Photo courtesy of Ken Ogasawara)

A screenshot of Ken Ogasawara’s timeline, in the middle of editing an episode of the podcast Undercurrents, which he hosts and produces as part of his communications role at MCC Ontario. (Screenshot by Ken Ogasawara)

Ken Ogasawara counts it a “sacred gift” when he is trusted with another person’s story. As he shapes that into a podcast episode, he is mindful of “doing justice to their story.”

Finding connection through communion cups

When Lois Siemens travelled to Ukraine, she took several communion cups with her. Pictured are two communion cups in a former Mennonite church in Petershagen. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

The first stop Lois Siemens made in her communion photo project was at Springfield Heights Mennonite in Winnipeg. Here the cups are photographed on a ledge overlooking the sanctuary. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

While photographing in Altona (Man.) Mennonite Church, Lois Siemens met a woman who told her she had kept her communion cup from the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly that was held in Winnipeg in 1990. This image shows the woman’s MWC cup framed by the MC Canada cups. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

Peace Mennonite is a house church that meets at the home of Florence and Otto Driedger in Regina. Lois Siemens noticed that even in this house church there was a place for children. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

Communion cups photographed in the pews at Eden Mennonite in Chilliwack, B.C. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

Communion cups nestle among candles at Hamilton (Ont.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Alissa Bender)

What does one do with a cracker box full of used communion cups? This was the dilemma facing Lois Siemens as she drove from Saskatoon to Winnipeg in July 2016.

Digital corner

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

To watch

“Who cares? The elderly among us... ” (length 1:27:30).
In the light of COVID-19, a panel explores how the pandemic has challenged systems that care for elders and offers insight into the experience of seniors. Part of the Face2Face series offered by Canadian Mennonite University at cmu.ca/face2face.

Social media is distracting and can be harmful

(Photo courtesy of Instagram.com/edcyzewski)

Indiscriminate use of social media is bad for us, warns Ed Cyzewski. While technology is convenient and promises to make us more efficient and keep us in touch with more people, it actually harms our mental health and does little to foster true relationships. Smartphones and other devices also hinder our spirituality, mostly by consuming our time.

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