Volume 19 Issue 14

Humility over hubris

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A modern-day wannabe prophet calling himself a “marginal Mennonite” audaciously predicts that this year’s Mennonite World Conference gathering will see a “mass exodus” from that body and maybe the end of the assembly, depending on the outcome of the polarizing sexuality debate at the Mennonite Church USA assembly this month in Kansas City.

The Sermon on the Mount: living it out in mind and heart

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The Sermon on the Mount is the thorn in our side and the rainbow in our sky, discomforting and comforting by turn, but always calling us beyond our perspective to a more joyous and loving existence.

I was down in Mississippi, at a small African-American church. My parents were volunteering there with a ministry that had many different programs going. They had a farm, a clinic, a law office, a school, sports activities for the youth of the community, a resale shop, among other worthy endeavors.

Winds of change

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In a couple weeks, my family and I will move to my hometown, Regina, where I’ll start school next fall. Maybe it’s because I’m in a time of transition in my personal life—books packed up, clothes and toys in boxes, cleaning buckets everywhere—but I’m sensitive to winds of change around me.

Oka: 25 years later

Canadian soldier Patrick Cloutier and Saskatchewan Native Brad Laroque come face to face in a tense standoff at the Kahnesatake reserve in Oka, Que., Sept. 1, 1990. (Photo by Shaney Komulainen/The Canadian Press)

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Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin (National Film Board of Canada photo)

It’s been 25 years since the military faced off against Mohawk Warriors in the pine forest between the village of Oka and the community of Kanehsatake, 53 kilometres west of Montreal. The 78-day armed siege was the most violent and consequential clash between indigenous people and the Canadian state in modern times.

What has changed since then?

More on Oka

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In the summer of 1990 the Canadian military faced off against Mohawk Warriors between the village of Oka and the community of Kanehsatake, 53 kilometres west of Montreal, Que. This led to a 78-day armed siege, the most violent and consequential clash between indigenous people and the Canadian state in modern times.

Hope is a gift friends can give each other

Yvonne Johnson and Rudy Wiebe together authored Johnson’s autobiography.

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Mary Stacey, Yvonne Johnson, Kate Janzen and Jeannette Thiessen are friends who support Johnson in working to become self-sufficient.

What do Martha Stewart and Yvonne Johnson have in common? They both spent time in prison. Stewart, wealthy and famous, served five months for manipulating stocks, while Johnson was charged with first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. This is where the similarities end.

Hutterites thank John J. Friesen for teaching courses

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This painting by Victor Kleinsasser depicts John J. Friesen talking to Hutterite students after class. It was commissioned by the Hutterian Brethren Education Committee and presented to Friesen as a gift.

A new artwork honouring a professor from Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and commissioned by the Hutterian Brethren Education Committee was unveiled in CMU’s new library on June 3. It honoured John J. Friesen, professor emeritus of history and theology, for his contribution to the Hutterite community.

The Gathering Church celebrates ten years

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Jim Loepp Thiessen and Catherine Gitzel stand in front of the Gathering Church’s store front offices on Activa Ave. in Kitchener, Ont., across the street from the W. T. Townshend Public School, where they gather on Sunday mornings. The congregation celebrated its tenth anniversary in February this year. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Two in three church plants don’t make it past the five-year mark. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been successful, but long life is not part of most church plants. The Gathering Church, a full member of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, celebrated its tenth anniversary quietly in February this year.

Lebold dinner funds new pastoral training program

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Rudy Baergen, interim pastor at Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church (left) chats with Roberson Mbayamvula, pastor at Hagerman Mennonite Church. Baergen was the keynote speaker at the June 11 Lebold fundraising dinner at Conrad Grebel University College and Mbayamvula was last year’s speaker.

A new focus was announced this year at the Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment fundraising dinner, because last year it reached its goal of $1 million to fund pastoral training at Conrad Grebel University College (CGUC). This fund, jointly supported by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) and Conrad Grebel, was founded in 1997 and is named after Ralph Lebold and his wife.

New peace award at Grebel to empower women

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Ziauddin Yousafzai (left) chats with Susan Schultz Huxman about a new peace scholarship that will allow a female student from a region of the world experiencing conflict to study at Conrad Grebel University College in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program. Also part of the conversation are Mohan Kendall and Ahmad Shah.

Conrad Grebel University College is offering a $10,000 scholarship to a female Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) student, thanks to a partnership with Ziauddin Yousafzai, the Global Peace Centre Canada (GPCC) and the Women’s Executive Network. Yousafzai is the father of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Ride for Refuge to support ministry in Thailand

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Tom and Christine Poovong recruited local volunteers to assist with a newly launched nursery, a community outreach program in Khon Kaen, Thailand. From left to right: Benz Khemma, Tom and Christine Poovong with their young children, and Amp and Naaming Anantasak with their young son.

Northeast Thailand is the poorest region in the country. Democracy is uneven, and peaceful protests can land protesters in barred cells overnight. Since a military coup in 2014, poor and landless subsistence farmers are reportedly being evicted from national reserve lands they have farmed for decades.

A different way of thinking

Mattea Nickel

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Jonas Cornelsen

This story is part of a series called Voice of the Marginalized, written by students in Canadian Mennonite University's course Journalism: Principles and Practice. The series connects writers with people on the margins of the community.

Imagine these words as pictures with no direct meaning. That’s part of what it’s like to have dyslexia.

Baking cookies for clean water

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Tyreese Hildebrandt demonstrates a model of the type of hand pump used to draw water from the sand near a sand dam. Hildebrandt raised money to buy similar pumps by putting on a bake sale at Mount Royal Mennonite Church, where he and his family attend. (Photo by Len Andres)

Tyreese Hildebrandt is a 10-year-old who dreams of helping people to have clean drinking water. A while back, Hildebrandt read a book that touched him deeply. Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that Brought them Together by Herb Shoveller is about a Canadian boy who raised money to dig a well in Uganda and a Ugandan boy who became his friend.

Women’s retreat a time for worship and laughter

Calgary Chin Church women’s singing group shared special music on Sunday morning at the Alberta women’s retreat. (Photo by Helena Ball)

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A blues group from Foothills Mennonite Church participated in the Saturday night variety show at the Alberta women’s retreat. (Photo by Helena Ball)

About 60 women between the ages of 20 and 80 gathered for a Mennonite Church Alberta women’s retreat at Sylvan Lake on May 22-24, 2015. They joined together to worship, pray, learn, share in meals, and most importantly to laugh together at the Saturday night variety show.

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