Number 18

War Requiem to cap off peace conference

Mark Vuorinen rehearses with his 250-voice mass choir in preparation for the performance of the War Requiem.

At a time when the world is once again gearing up for war, its horrors will be dramatized and brought home in Waterloo Region through an annual three-day international peace conference ending Oct. 19 with a rousing rendition of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem by a mass choir and symphony.

Born at the border

A dinner of Palestinian food was provided by Mamduh Saedam, left, who opened a restaurant in Hamilton only three years after being sponsored as a refugee to come to Canada. Helping out is Moses Moini, MCC Ontario’s refugee program coordinator.

Omar Alawasaje’s story of being invited by his Canadian sponsors to “go camping,” and his immediate and reactive response of “No!” led to general laughter in the group gathered at the “Torn from home: My life as a refugee” exhibit at the Waterloo Regional Museum in Kitchener this summer.

B.C. church takes VBS to Guatemala

The Cedar Valley Mennonite Church mission team members (dressed in orange T-shirts) from Mission, B.C., play in the streets of Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala, to attract neighbourhood children to the VBS program at nearby Bethel Church, a local congregation.

This young boy, who is bald due to cancer treatments, is happy to receive a handmade card with his gift bag from the mission team from Cedar Valley Mennonite Church, Mission B.C., during a two-week visit to Guatemala that included a stop at Kairos House, a ministry by a family that has opened its home to care for families of children with cancer.

An ongoing discipleship and partnership program with a Guatemalan congregation led a team of 12 from Cedar Valley Mennonite Church in Mission, B.C., to travel to the Central American country for two weeks in July, putting their faith into practice while learning about missions and making new friends.

A golden weekend for Grebel’s 50th

To kick off Conrad Grebel University College’s 50th-anniversary celebrations, president Susan Schultz Huxman, centre, and board chair Susan Taves prepare mortar to lay a date stone in a wall of the institution’s new $8.7-million addition. More than $6.2 million has been raised already for the project that is to be completed late next spring.

A Bow Tie Gala was held at Grebel’s 50th-anniversary weekend to honour founding president J. Winfield Fretz, who usually wore a bow-tie. Four of the remaining living presidents were in attendance. From left to right: past presidents Ralph Lebold, John Toews and Henry Paetkau, and current president Susan Schultz Huxman.

Author and professor Marlene Epp launches Bridging Mind and Spirit: Conrad Grebel University College 1963-2013 at Grebel’s 50th-anniversary weekend last month. The colourful 92-page retrospective, created with the assistance of archivist Laureen Harder-Gissing and graphic designer Jen Konkle, was well received by alumni and friends.

Conrad Grebel University College celebrated an anniversary last month that many in the Mennonite world thought would never happen.

Music festival brings Mennos together

Gordon Allaby, pastor of Osler Mennonite Church, performs with his 14-year-old daughter, Katherine, at a Mennonite Church Saskatchewan gathering in Saskatoon on Aug. 14.

Saskatchewan Mennonites of all ages gather in a park near Mount Royal Mennonite Church on Aug. 18 to listen to local musicians and get updates on different area church programs.

Val Wiebe of Langham Mennonite Church, left, prepares to sing at a Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s ‘day in the park’ in Saskatoon on Aug. 14. She is accompanied by Carole Epp and Anna Rehan (on flute).

It was the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon on the Prairies. Saskatchewan Mennonites gathered in a park near Mount Royal Mennonite Church in Saskatoon on Aug. 18 to listen to local musicians and get updates on different area church programs.

Miracles of love and care

Irma and Cornie Neufeld

The Wiens family includes, from left to right, back row: Linda and Ron and son David; and front row: daughters Danielle and Keira.

No matter what language you speak, romantic love is one of the greatest gifts to give or receive. When it’s new, it’s fireworks, warm fuzzies, pure electricity! As you mature, that love encompasses honour, respect, devotion, unity and even mutual caregiving.

Our unchecked blind spot

The average Canadian child is among the most blessed, nurtured—and entitled—in the world. Imagine if such a child announced it has decided to leave the family because it just isn’t getting fed! Now, imagine the parental response. A child who would leave an otherwise nurturing family because it is “just not getting fed” would be scoffed at. It would be seen as immature and flighty.

For discussion

1. What have been your experiences with the Roman Catholic Church? Do Mennonites today still have the same suspicions about Catholic theology that Will Braun says he grew up with? What do you appreciate about Catholic worship? What are your questions about it?

Holy contradictions

The San Francesco Basilica in Assisi, Italy, attracts both the faithful and interested tourists to its doors.

St. Peter’s Basilica pictured in the early morning.

The Sedia Gestatoria (litter) of Pope Pius VII (1800-23), part of an exhibition of various thrones in the Galerie des Glaces of Château de Versailles.

Garry Wills

Despite gaping holes in the biblical basis for its elaborate hierarchy, and despite relatively widespread pedophilia among its priests, the Roman Catholic Church holds on to roughly twice as many official adherents—1.2 billion—as all Protestant denominations put together.

A magazine is born

The year was 1953. Mennonites scattered across Canada were a disparate group, having come to this land of freedom in several migrations from Europe, the first of which was of Swiss-German origin from the German Palatinate coming from Pennsylvania and settling in what was to become the Niagara Region of Ontario as early as 1786.

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