Number 12

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.

New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale goes ‘green’

Tyler Yantzi, centre, moves compostable paper bowls from a blue box into the green bins as volunteers Scott Bauman, left, and Mark Brubacher, right, look on.

Savang Nay, a volunteer from the Grace Lao Mennonite Church, Kitchener, takes a break from making spring rolls to load up on fries and ketchup, served in a recyclable paper container.

In past years, garbage bins at the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale were filled with a mix of recyclables, compostables and garbage. This year, there was an effort made to sort the garbage before taking it to the landfill.

One of the stated goals of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is creation care, to the point of MCC Ontario hiring Darren Kropf part-time to spearhead this effort in congregations. But activities like the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale, now having completed 45 years, are run by grassroots organizations and are not part of MCC proper.

Baking is a privilege

Lynette Froese displays some of her Wheat Song Bakery products that are all made from organic, locally grown grains and natural yeasts.

Lynette Froese is reluctant to call her unique career a business, or even a career. “I was raised to consider work as a form of service, so I try to see this work not just as a business, but as a way of offering a service,” she says.

Readers comment

  • You are doing a wonderful job at this point of time. I see you change ideas as times change. Good!
  • Have the confidence that you are aware that endeavours like this can remain static.
  • Would it be possible to print and mail from Saskatoon for Saskatchewan readers. By the time we get a copy, much is old news.

The survey says . . .

Despite a small survey sample—only 215 out of more than 14,000 subscribers took the time to send back the two-page questionnaire in our Feb. 21 issue—it is clear that readers still believe Canadian Mennonite “should be a primary source of information about Mennonite Church Canada”; 89 percent agree or strongly agree with this sentiment.


“Where have you been today?” the customs officer at the Edmonton International Airport asked.

My wife Winifred named the places: “Meridian, Miss.; Atlanta, Ga.; Minneapolis, Minn., and here.”

“What have you heard about Slave Lake?”

“We haven’t heard anything since we left home eight days ago.”

Slave Lake burns while Valaqua road is flooded

All that’s left of the home of Abe and Rita Dyck of Slave Lake, Alta., after last month’s wildfire wreaked havoc to the town of 7,000.

The Water Valley bridge over Little Red Deer River flooded this spring, blocking access to Camp Valaqua from the north.

In the past month, wildfires in northern Alberta devastated the community of Slave Lake, with the resulting losses coming to the attention of both Mennonite Mutual Insurance (MMI) and Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), while in the south the swelling Little Red Deer River cut off access to Camp Valaqua from the north.

Paying the price to keep Winnipeg dry

Tony Peters looks at his flooded farmland. The Manitoba farmer hopes this year’s flooding prompts the province to re-examine its entire flood-protection system to better balance the negative effects of flooding.

While Winnipeggers remained dry and free from the worry of flooding this spring, this is not the case for farmers living near the Portage Diversion, including Tony and Astrid Peters and their family. Up to 75 percent of the Peters’ 405-hectare potato farm is engulfed by water.

Speaking with one voice

German Mennonite theologian Fernando Enns, who first proposed the Decade to Overcome Violence, speaks at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica, an event held to celebrate the decade’s conclusion.

Thomas Finger, a former professor at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va., leads a workshop on ‘Peace: The lens for re-visioning Christian theology and mission,’ at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica.

Participants at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC)—held last month in Kingston, Jamaica, to celebrate the end of the Decade to Overcome Violence—released a message expressing their unified experience of a week-long exploration of a just peace and ways to navigate a path forward as they return to their homes and churches around the world.

For discussion

1. What has been your congregation’s experience with divorce? Does the church respond differently to divorce than it did in the 1970s? Has divorce lost its stigma? Are those who are divorced still discouraged from taking positions of leadership in the church?

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