Number 12

Deepening community

Maison de l'Amitie photo

Paul Born

MCC Photo by Nina Linton

“I really do not want more community than we already have at this church,” shared a congregant during a Sunday morning adult Sunday school discussion. “What I like about this church is that no one judges you for not being more involved or attending regularly. If we had more community, people would expect too much from me.”

Chastised by the chief

Over the past 20 years I have dedicated much effort to advancing the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the rest of us. I have lived in, worked with and written about various aboriginal communities. Currently, I work part-time for the Interchurch Council on Hydropower, which advocates for fair treatment of indigenous people affected by dams in Manitoba.

‘The fruit of renewal’

The cross with the crucified Christ is an important icon for Greek Catholic worshippers. (Credit: George Dyck)

Exterior roof repairs to the former Mennonite church in the former village of Schoensee—now Snegurovka—are visible. (Credit: George Dyck)

The sanctuary of the Greek Catholic church today. (Credit: George Dyck)

A former Mennonite church building in Ukraine is being restored and transformed with the help of Canadian Mennonites into a Greek Catholic church.

According to observers, this development is an example of Mennonite-Catholic collaboration in the spirit of other exchanges over the past decade or so.

Gathered to grow . . . scattered to serve

Recent member Donna Bentz and founding member Ron Zehr look at photos from Hillcrest Mennonite’s 50 years at the anniversary celebration on May 24. Behind them are the 50 comforters knotted this year as an anniversary service project.

Founding member Earl Bender holds his great-grandson Jack at Hillcrest Mennonite’s 50th-anniversary celebration on May 24.

Hillcrest Mennonite Church’s present and former pastors pose at the 50th-anniversary celebration on May 24. Pictured from left to right, front row: Mary Schiedel, Maurice Martin, Jan Steckley and Glenn Zehr; and back row: Kevin Peters Unrau, Vernon Brubacher, Gerald Good and Harold Schlegel.

Beth Ann Lichti, a young adult who returned for the 50th-anniversary celebrations at Hillcrest Mennonite, sings at the Saturday evening music and video event. Behind her is the anniversary wall hanging that was dedicated that evening.

Things moved fast 50 years ago. On May 14, 1963, East Zorra Mennonite Church near Tavistock decided that it needed to plant a daughter church to alleviate crowding in the mother church. A building committee met the next day to plan where the new congregation’s building would be and what it would look like.

A bridge to community

Josephine and Garcie Cogar of Webster Springs, W.V., test out their new walking bridge that connects their home to the community. It was built by Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers as part of the organization’s efforts after Hurricane Sandy devastated the eastern seaboard of the U.S. in 2012. MDS and community volunteers can be seen in the background. (MDS photo by Paul Hunt)

MDS volunteers construct the footers for a new swinging bridge that provides safe passage between the home of Josephine and Garcie Cogar and their community of Webster Springs, W.V. The original bridge was washed out during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (MDS photo by Paul Hunt)

Thirteen metres isn’t a long walk, but it can be a difficult journey when the creek between your house and the rest of your community is running high and the bridge across it is out.

Broadcaster brings his faith to the airwaves

Elmer Hildebrand, left, chief executive officer of Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. in Altona, Man., is pictured with Brad Fehr, an on-air radio host/producer.

As a young boy, Elmer Hildebrand enjoyed selling greeting cards and garden seeds to his neighbours in the farming community near Altona. He had no idea where these interests and skills of his would lead. All he knew was that he didn’t want to farm.

Faith explored through literature

Participants at Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s continuing education seminar, ‘Faith and literature,’  held recently at First Mennonite Church in Saskatoon, explore the transformative nature of literature through Toni Morrison’s novel A Mercy.

“I’m hoping it’ll be like a three-day book club,” said one participant of the continuing education event offered by Mennonite Church Saskatchewan recently.

Eating mindfully

It was an average supper for us. My partner made potato-leek soup and I put some buns on the table. We said grace and we ate. I liked the soup, so I had a second helping and another piece of bread. It wasn’t long before our soon-to-be-two-year-old was no longer interested in eating and wanted to go outside. I cleaned my bowl, finished the rest of his serving and took him out.

The economy and my new pair of shoes

Shoemaker Jacinto Perez works on a pair of shoes in his Guatemalan shop. (Photo by Tobias Roberts)

Tobias Roberts models his refurbished Dockers. (Photo courtesy of Tobias Roberts)

The other morning, after dreaming to the tune of the constant patter of rain on the tin roof of my house, I woke early to enjoy a morning stroll through the mountains of northern Guatemala. After an hour or so of watching the mystical dance of clouds caressing the valleys and peaks of the green hills, I began to notice that my right foot was soaking wet.

What would Jesus eat?

‘The Last Supper,’ by Leonardo da Vinci (1451-1519); tempera and mixed media on plaster; 4.6m x 8.8m. Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy. What did Jesus really serve his disciples at the first communion service?

Like most North Americans, I grew up in a household where no meal was complete without a serving of meat, although I didn’t really know where the meat that I ate came from.

Calling all ‘young voices’

Emily Loewen

Here begins a new adventure: Canadian Mennonite’s Young Voices section. What is this section, you ask? Why is it here?

Upon reflection, the magazine realized that its readership is—how to put this gently—aging. And while this threatens the life and breath of subscriptions, it’s also a problem because many voices in the church aren’t part of the conversation.  

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