Number 21

“What is truth?”

In this famous painting, Pilate presents a scourged Christ to crowds in Jerusalem. Eastern Canada correspondent Dave Rogalsky explores the meaning of Pilate’s famous question, ‘What is truth?’

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A page from Galileo’s notebook depicting the movement of Jupiter’s moons.

“Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘I find no case against him’” (John 18:37-38, NRSV).

That’s a lot of money!

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I remember a special gift from my Grandpa: a $20 bill in a Christmas card. It came with one instruction: Grandpa had to see my purchase. It was a lot of money for a 10-year old! It was the first time I’d had that much money, and I was a little concerned about using it wisely. It took a few weeks to decide, but eventually Grandpa was shown a sweater and a few books.

Connecting passions

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Part of my role in overseeing Mennonite Church Canada’s assemblies includes reading every word on assembly feedback forms. As I reviewed the 128 forms we received this year—a record number—I was struck by how often people stressed the importance of being together as members of our national faith community.

‘They are not alone’

Melanie Kampen camped out at the Native Women’s Protest site near the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg earlier this month, to protest the government’s lack of response to the 1,182 missing and murdered indigenous women from across Canada. (Photo by Chris Swan)

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Flowers are laid out on the Manitoba Legislature steps in Winnipeg in the pattern of a butterfly at the annual Oct. 4 vigil honouring the 1,182 missing and murdered indigenous women from across Canada. It was one of 130 vigils held this year. (Photo by Kira Burkett)

On a very windy, cold and dark Oct. 3 night, Steve Heinrichs, director of indigenous relations for Mennonite Church Canada, and a few others strung 20 dresses on fishing line on both sides of the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge that spans the Red River near The Forks in downtown Winnipeg.

Encouraged to keep working

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Goshen (Ind.) College president Jim Brenneman, left, presents the Culture for Service Award to alumnus Ray Funk at the college’s fall convocation and homecoming on Oct. 3. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

“Everything I’ve done has been a team sport,” quips Ray Funk as he reflects on his life’s achievements.

Helping us not to forget

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After getting a coffee I sat down to read The Winter We Danced.

On the table next to me I noticed a book someone left behind. On the cover was a bold notice stating “2.5 million copies sold.” The book was a contemporary work of fiction re-telling the conquest narrative of America expanding into the West doing battle in “Indian country.”

Uncle Sam goes to jail

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Sam and Beulah Martin on their wedding day.

Of memories I have of family members, the one about my Uncle Sam’s arrest on April 19, 1944, and his imprisonment, which became legendary in our community, left an indelible mark. Uncle Sam was born in the U.S. and was 18 months old when the family moved to Duchess [Alta.]. He had been baptized into the Mennonite Church and attended regularly.

‘Let nobody judge them’

An Altona, Man., war memorial bears the names of local Mennonites who served and died during the Second World War.

V. Wiebe of B.C.’s Fraser Valley served with the Canadian forces in the Second World War, earning five medals. According to ‘The Mennonite Menace: Real or Imagined, an online report from a University of the Fraser Valley student, 66 of 99 Mennonites in Yarrow, B.C., served in the Canadian military, either in combatant roles or as part of the medical corps.

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V. Wiebe of B.C.’s Fraser Valley served with the Canadian forces in the Second World War, earning five medals.

Like the cenotaphs in Winkler and Altona, the Morden, Man., war memorial also contains Mennonite names.

Of late, many peace-minded Canadians have been decrying the country’s increasing militarization, calling to mind this country’s proud peacekeeping tradition as if it was a defining feature of confederation. Unfortunately, it’s a false memory, as Canada’s peacekeeping forces weren’t formed until 1956. Its military involvements, however, go back nearly to our country’s beginning.

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