Number 6

Beauty from loss

‘6.5 Weeks’ by Cliff Derksen (clay with patina finish). The artist tried to sculpt his murdered daughter’s bound hands, but couldn’t bear to. Instead, he sculpted his own because he wishes they would have been his hands bound, instead of hers.

‘70 x 7’ by Odia Derksen (100 percent felted wool, detail). The hanging represents tears and giving up hatred.

‘Evidence of a trial’ by Odia Derksen (100 percent felted wool, detail). Derksen crocheted nearly every day of the trial. Every time she felt a new emotion, she would change colours. Cream represents feeling neutral or doing fine. Red represents pain and black represents anger.

‘The Last Walk’ by Odia Derksen (series of photographs, detail). A patron of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery views the collection of photos Derksen took as she walked her murdered sister Candace’s route from school to where she was abducted and then to where her body was eventually found.

Wilma Derksen poses beside husband Cliff Derksen’s sculpture, ‘Escape: Jonah’ (clay with a patina finish). While the artist was unhappy with life, wishing to escape just like Jonah, he felt peace knowing that he has a patient, understanding and forgiving God.

It is indescribable, the feeling of losing a loved one, especially when that person is lost as the result of a murder.

Humanitarian crisis looming in the Middle East

In a more peaceful time, orphans Alla and Marah look out over the city of Homs, Syria. Their orphanage, a ministry of the Syrian Orthodox Church that is supported by MCC’s Global Family program, has now moved to a safer location.

Alarmed by the continuing violence in Syria, and consistent reports that unrest is likely to escalate and spread to neighbouring countries in the coming months, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has begun preparing for a humanitarian crisis in the region.

Building a lasting peace

Samantha Nutt signs copies of her book Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies & Aid at the Project Ploughshares 35th-anniversary celebration in Waterloo, Ont., last month.

The greatest threat to world peace today is the Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle, Samantha Nutt told an engaged audience who had come out on Feb. 27 to celebrate 35 years of Project Ploughshares’ work at building lasting peace.

Looking back, looking forward

Indigenous carver Isadore Charters, left, directs Don Klaassen, in the fine art of wood carving. The totem pole will be exhibited at the B.C. Truth and Reconciliation Commission meetings in Vancouver in September 2013, in recognition of the Canadian government’s role in perpetrating harm upon First Nations peoples through residential schools.

Celebrating 75 years together as a church in British Columbia, Mennonite Church B.C. came together to celebrate God’s presence with the theme, “Yesterday, today, forever,” on March 3 at its annual general meeting.

Being a Faithful Church process avoids sexuality issue

Marla Langelotz, pastor of Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, participates in a table discussion at last month’s Mennonite Church Manitoba leadership seminar.

While the conversation and participation were good at Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church on a Saturday morning to discuss the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) document, Pastor Marla Langelotz told a Mennonite Church Manitoba leadership seminar on Feb. 24 that she was frustrated that participants didn’t engage the sexuality issue.

Seeking to be a ‘faithful church’

MC Manitoba board member Dave Regehr, standing, circulates among the delegates to listen and respond to questions as last month’s annual area church meeting.

“Church life as we know it is changing,” Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada, told delegates at the annual MC Manitoba meetings in Winnipeg last month. “Indicators suggest that the structures that served us so well in the past can no longer be sustained.”

Wake up, women! Let our lights shine!

Ev Buhr, left, Kim Epp and Irene Baergen—members of the Women in Mission group at Edmonton’s First Mennonite Church—participate in a Lenten program at the city’s St. Joseph’s Auxiliary Hospital.

It’s time to throw down the gauntlet and say, “Wake up, women!” Our mothers and grandmothers left us a wonderful legacy of working together, and we need to pick up the slack in our own generation by participating in the work of Mennonite Women Canada (MW Canada).

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Evangelism redefined

“True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love; it dies to flesh and blood; it destroys all lusts and forbidden desires; it seeks, serves and fears God in its inmost soul; it clothes the naked; it feeds the hungry; it comforts the sorrowful; it shelters the destitute; it aids and consoles the sad; it doe

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