Number 5

Eden and the rock

Dick Benner

His passion for creation care was palatable, his enthusiasm infectious, his words direct but searing the silence. His stature was not imposing, his voice not booming and bouncing off the walls, but as he spoke his words not only reached beyond the abstractions that sometimes cloud things “environmental,” but his spirit touched ours with an almost magical resonance.

Only God can determine the time and place of death

Sikander Hashmi

“Do not kill yourselves: for verily God is to you most merciful” (Qur’an 4:29).

It is commonly understood that when we were born, we had no choice but to become a citizen of this world. We didn’t get a chance to choose our parents or birthplace either. But if entering this world was not of our choosing, do we have the choice to decide when we leave it?

For discussion: Other faiths speak out on end-of-life issues

1. John Longhurst refers to a recent poll indicating that 70 percent of Canadians support physician-assisted suicide and 68 percent believe that those who help a seriously ill person commit suicide should not face legal charges. How would you respond to these questions? Why do you think these numbers are so high? What concerns do you have about assisted suicide?

Make the kids pay for vacation

Andrew Epp

Sitting on the beach, swimming and building sandcastles all seem like a dream right now as I look out my window at the deep snow banks. Our three children, ranging in age from 2 to 6, are dreaming about summer camp, playing in the sun and bicycling with friends. There’s nothing like a relaxing week with happy kids, good friends and a beautiful spot in nature.

The deadly sin of sloth

A few years ago, a Mennonite church offered a Lenten worship series on the Seven Deadly Sins. For each of the six Sundays of Lent, the preacher’s sermon focused on one of the traditional offences, like pride or wrath or envy. Given that there were more sins than Sundays, sloth was eliminated from the list.

Not okay with violent play

Filipino artist Neil Manalo captures the pervasiveness of violence in his painting of children waving toy guns and sticks as they watch violence on television. The painting is on display at the Pinto Art Gallery in Antipolo City, east of Manila.

The Barkman family, from left: Cody, Darnell, Christina and Makai.

As followers of Jesus, Darnell and I want our sons Cody and Makai to grow up without violent toys and video games. While that can be a challenge in many cultures, it is particularly tough in the Philippines, where violent conflict has been ongoing for decades.

Sunday un-schooling

Will Braun

My wife and I have chosen to keep our sons, aged 3 and 6, out of school, but we're not “homeschoolers.” The whole point of what we do is that it is not school and does not rely on the standard school mindset. Some call it un-schooling.

We're backed by a relatively seasoned body of thought that draws on Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Illich and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Taking the first of 10,000 healing steps

Micah Mission coordinator David Feick, left, chats with Father Joseph Jacek at the ‘10,000 Healing Steps’ conference held recently in Saskatoon in an effort to get people out of gangs.

What do Mennonites and former gang members have in common? “Not much,” one might be tempted to reply. But at a recent Saskatoon conference they sat side-by-side learning about gang intervention and prevention, and the way back to a healthy life.

‘God, you are so cool’

On a hot day, camper Owen Crouse discovers there is nothing like a dip in the pond at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, near New Hamburg, Ont.

Megan Anderson, a camper at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, paints the face of her counsellor, Rachel Ruby, for a ‘counsellor competition.’

The biggest way that camp has affected me is in my faith and my walk with the Lord. For me, this past summer he led me ever so gently with much more grace than I deserve, all because he loves me.

My camp journey

Kristen Berg, the director of Fraser Lake Camp near Bancroft, Ont., balances her daughter Miriam on her shoulders.

Every summer for as far back as I can remember, I would pack my suitcase a week early in anticipation of going up to Fraser Lake Camp near Bancroft, Ont.

A hidden darkness

While the Mennonite faith community has sometimes been contentiously consumed over the past two decades with one aspect of sexuality—homosexuality and same-sex marriage—another darker side has quietly escaped our notice: sexual abuse of women and children.


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