My memories of the church I grew up in are good ones. I liked seeing my friends in Sunday school every week and enjoyed singing in the grown-up service. The Halloween game nights, Christmas musicals and Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) were fun. They were also opportunities—at least the musicals and VBS—for people to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts.
During my first year as a member of the Women of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (WMCEC) executive, I was fortunate to be invited to an information session about the possibility of Sister Care (a women’s empowerment program created by Mennonite Women U.S.A.) coming to Canada. Being quite the “newbie” in 2014, I had no idea what to expect.
This photo is of a men’s quartet singing for a radio broadcast in a Vancouver Mennonite church basement circa the 1960s. Advances in mass communication such as radio were first met with suspicion and in some cases were banned in Mennonite communities warning about worldly influences entering the home and community. Committees were established to consider the best response to these innovations.
Both Jessica Reesor Rempel and Chris Brnjas are fond of puns, as perhaps only geeks are.
Self-professed “church geeks,” they kicked off their new ministry, Pastors in Exile (PiE) at the Queen Street Commons café in downtown Kitchener on Sept. 27, 2015, with many pies being consumed by the 85 people who attended.
An interactive blanket exercise on Missions Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, shows members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., a different way of looking at Canadian history. Indigenous representatives had participants—including Pastor April Yamasaki, front left—stand on blankets representing the land of North America in the years before European settlers came.
People who want to love their indigenous neighbours must first learn to love themselves, according to Dr. Patricia Vickers, a psychotherapist and Tsimshian theologian. Vickers spoke at an event organized by Mennonite Church Manitoba on how churches can respond to the calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
She is a novelist and world traveller, speaks Mandarin and has a brown belt in karate. Shaimaa Kraba also wears a hijab and is a Sunni Muslim. At the third annual Christian-Muslim dialogue in Edmonton on Oct. 17, 2015, emcee Miriam Gross humorously addressed the issue of stereotyping when she quipped, “There is more to her than a ‘scarf-clad’ girl. After all, it’s a hijab, not a halo!”
Leona (Unger) Rogalsky was born into an Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC) family in southern Manitoba in the 1930s. During her childhood, her family spent some time in the Gospel Hall, a Pentecostal church in Steinbach, but they were convinced to return to the Mennonite fold by her father’s brothers, a minister and a deacon in the EMC.
Conrad Stoesz, Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) archivist, is passionate about pursuing peace and the history of conscientious objection to war. His long-held convictions inspired him to contribute a chapter to a new book on the subject and to successfully pursue a grant for the production of a video documentary.
It takes Anna Chemar almost two hours to dress in her favourite style. The elaborate makeup alone requires 45 minutes. Carefully slipping into the clothes—bell-shaped skirt, blouse and corset—takes another 20 minutes. The rest of the time is devoted to final touches: wig, headdress and painted lips. When finished, she looks like a Gothic-styled doll.