Number 18

China to Canada: A Prairie Connection

Karen Cornelius (left), a Winnipeg artist and guest curator of the Prairie Connections exhibit, invited artist Liang Yu (right) to show his art in Winnipeg. Ray Dirks (centre) is curator of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery.

Signal Series III, silkscreen by Liang Yu.

The flat lands of Manitoba’s wide Red River valley would seem to have little in common with northern China—unless you’ve seen the expansive silkscreen prints of Chinese artist Liang Yu. The Prairie Connections exhibit of Yu’s art at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery immediately resonates with the prairie dweller.

Art exhibit to tell ‘Road to Freedom’ stories

This painting by Ray Dirks tells the story of Agatha Harms Reimer who escaped from the Soviet Union with three sons after World War 2. It is part of the “Along the Road to Freedom” collection which opens at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery on Sunday, Oct. 14. Agatha, the grandmother of Dirks’ wife, lived to be 103.

Ray Dirks, curator and artist, has embarked on a project to paint as many as twenty canvasses to tell the stories of Mennonite women who brought their families out of the Soviet Union amid the confusion and turmoil of the waning months of World War 2. The first selection will be ready for an opening on Oct. 14, at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery where Dirks is the curator.

Kreiders bring prophetic voice to the church

Alan and Eleanor Kreider, recently “retired,” have had a full life of ministry, mostly in the United Kingdom, but with influences throughout the world. Working in post-Christendom and postmodern Europe has given them foresight into what has been developing in North America. Some would see this as God preparing North American Christians with the prophetic and pastoral voice of the Kreiders.

From refugees to church planters, Congolese Mennonites celebrate 50 years

Benjamin Mubenga Wa Kabanga, president of Communauté Evangélique Mennonite au Congo, blesses one of the 16 pastors ordained during the Golden Jubilee celebration. White powder is a sign of spiritual blessing that family showered on the pastoral candidate during the celebration.

Willard Metzger, Executive Director of Mennonite Church Canada attended the Congolese Mennonite celebration.

Prime-time television news, amplified guitar riffs and deep-throated traditional drums announced to the city of Mbuji Mayi that Communauté Evangélique Mennonite au Congo (Evangelical Mennonite Church of Congo) was celebrating its 50th anniversary from July 23-27.

Welcoming the stranger in Jordan

Jameel Dababneh, Caritas Jordan’s emergency response coordinator, welcomes a young Syrian refugee. MCC partners with Caritas Jordan, one of the organizations that welcomes refugees, offers material resources and links them to services.

At the corner grocery in our Jabal al-Webdah neighbourhood of Amman, a Syrian man in his early 20s now runs the meat and cheese counter. Ahmed (not his real name) is one of more than 150,000 Syrians who have fled to Jordan since his country’s violence began in March 2011.

Young males seeking to avoid mandatory military service are one of the largest groups leaving Syria.

Process begins for new Martyrs Mirror

Robert (Jack) Suderman (left) was among 35 people from seven countries gathered at Goshen College to begin the process of gathering stories about costly discipleship.

More than 35 people from seven countries gathered at Goshen College on August 5-8 for an international consultation on the theme, “Bearing Witness: A New Martyrs Mirror for the 21st Century?” Hosted by the college’s Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism, the international gathering explored the possibility of a major story-gathering initiative, focused especially on the theme of “costly

Youth create their own film to tell VBS stories

Owen Sararus and Andre Wiederkehr act out a Bible story as Theo Wiederkehr films, Dave Sararus directs and Lydia Dyck supervises. The youth at Hanover (Ont.) Mennonite Church were very involved in their congregation’s Vacation Bible School program as they made films for each day’s Bible story.

Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Hanover Mennonite Church has been an inspiring ecumenical endeavor year after year, but the dramas of the MennoMedia curriculum were always a challenge. When it seemed in 2012 as though the VBS dramas were on the brink of collapse, the idea of having the youth film the dramas turned out to have the youth wholeheartedly engaging the Scriptures.

For Discussion

1. What foods evoke memories of your childhood, your family or your church? If you have special foods for holidays such as Easter or Christmas, what role do they play in your life? How strong are your connections between food and culture or food and religion?

Our electronic world

There is something eerily sad about summer coming to an end.  One difference with living in Canada is somewhat more satisfying and uplifting than living in warmer climes—the warmth of the summer months seems to re-charge the human spirit, get one in touch with nature and families and unwind from the demands of a whirling, electronic-driven world.

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