As of the end of 2015, the Mennonite Brethren Herald, the 54-year-old periodical of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, will cease to exist. This untimely death calls for a eulogy and some lessons learned, some warnings implicit as it goes through its dying throes.
The journey towards reconciliation is not easy. Attempts to repair wrongs involve time and intentionality. Healing broken relationships takes longer still.
On April 18, Karen and Andrew Suderman and at least 18 others protest recent eruptions of xenophobia by wrapping about 100 trees in the downtown core of Pietermaritzburg with yellow fabric and a statement from South Africa’s Freedom Charter: ‘South Africa belongs to all who live in it.’ (Photo courtesy of Karen and Andrew Suderman)
As a colourful protest against xenophobia unfolded in downtown Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, people living in the neighbourhood come out and help wrap trees in yellow fabric to symbolize friendship, warmth, welcoming, joy and hope, and to fasten posters of inclusion to the fabric. (Photo by Andrew Suderman)
What do you do in the face of hatred, a hatred so immense that it drives people to pillage, beat and even kill others? What do you do when that hatred is simultaneously “out there” and in your own backyard? How do you show love, kindness and hospitality in rejection and defiance of such wanton violence?
How to plant a church is not a big mystery. Any good Mennonite gardener knew how to take a clump of bulbs from her front garden, split them up and transplant them into the bed at the side of the house. In the spring, the new garden proudly displayed the same brilliantly coloured daffodils and tulips for all to enjoy.
I’m in a beautiful and sorrowful place. My travels have brought me to a stunning seaside within a country that significantly restricts the proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Lord. Here, unless you were born Christian, you can’t abandon the national religion to follow Jesus. Those who change their mind in that way are not treated well. They are considered traitors, sometimes even martyred.
I am, and always have been, a “doer,” and my late husband was the same. If people needed help, we found a way to help them. If something was broken, we found a way to fix it. I guess God decided we should meet a large team of fixers and helpers known as the Mennonites.
I stopped short when the ’70s picture of a serious-looking white-haired man in a suit and tie popped up on my screen.
Louise Sawatsky has boarded the bus for Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s Touring Mission Fest every year the event has been offered. For the 92-year-old from Saskatoon’s First Mennonite Church, the annual tours are worthwhile and enjoyable.
Weather was again the main story at the annual Camp Squeah paddle-a-thon held on April 18 and 19, but this time—unlike some years—for all the right reasons. Sunny skies, warm weather, little wind and no major mishaps meant that the 31 paddlers who finished their two-day sojourn down the Fraser River arrived energized and in great spirits.
“I thought if we could do $3,000 to $4,000, that would be what we’ve done in the past. When I was off by $10,000, I was elated.”
These words came from Gordon Baergen, a member of Holyrood Mennonite Church in Edmonton who helped to organize a May 21 pre-sale fundraiser in preparation for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta’s annual Relief Sale held in Didsbury on June 5 and 6.
“And when you send a slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you” (Deuteronomy 15:13-15a).
Members of the Mennonite community and other citizens of Abbotsford, B.C., raised more than $25,000 in a benefit concert at Emmanuel Mennonite Church on May 17 to aid survivors of the earthquakes that ravaged Nepal in April and May.
The late Isaac Andres and his wife Mary are sharing their passionate faith and generosity in a legacy that continues to inspire and nurture new generations of Mennonites.
The view at the L’Abri branch in Huémoz, a small village surrounded by the Swiss Alps. Janzen spent two weeks there last year. (Photo by Tasha Janzen)
An accomplished musician, 20-year-old Tasha Janzen first got involved in her church as a child when her grandmother paid her $5 to play piano during the offertory. (Photo courtesy of Tasha Janzen)
The red piano in Janzen’s room represents the importance of music in her life. It also inspired the name of her Red Piano Rhapsody blog. (Photo by Tasha Janzen)
In addition to playing piano in church, Janzen has studied classical music, accompanied choirs and performed in rock bands. Last year, she performed with Abbotsford, B.C.’s Quinn and Tonic rock band. From left: Tasha Janzen, Rick Chappell, Savannah Quinn (foreground), Nick Kirby and Colin Hoock. (Photo courtesy of Tasha Janzen)
When Tasha Janzen thinks back to her time in Switzerland last year, learning the importance of life balance is one of the biggest things that sticks out for her.
Sarah French and Mary Fehr start their trip on May 18 at Mile 0 in Victoria, B.C. (Photo courtesy of Sarah French and Mary Fehr)
Mary Fehr just learned to ride a bike a few years ago, when she was 17. Now she and Sarah French are cycling thousands of kilometres across Canada—from Victoria, B.C., to St. John’s, Nfld.—to raise money for Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) through its Bike To Grow campaign.
In an effort to do something creative with the snow from this past winter, these three snow words were made in front of Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. However, these words were vandalized one night. The heart in “love” and a couple of the letters in “peace” were destroyed. This seemingly small act of destruction brought a new symbolic meaning to this project.