"Why should young people from our congregations choose a Christian college or university like Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C., Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., or Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg, instead of a public university?” The question posed to me for this piece is often seen as the either-or choice for students, and the obvious starting point
You obey every day. You obey the legislations of government—even those you don’t agree with. You obey an employer, school teacher or parent. Some have to heed all three on the same day. Much of life seems to be about some form of compliance, doesn’t it? And, as a general rule, we are more ready to obey an authority we trust, respect and love.
When I reflect on how I became a Mennonite, I find myself agreeing with what a peasant once told an Irish priest. The priest, who approached the peasant praying by the roadside, said, “You must be close to God!” The peasant replied in a way that points to the precedence of God’s love over our faith (I John 4:19), saying, “Yes, he is fond of me.”
Henry Neufeld, right, spent a lifetime building positive relationships among Mennonite and indigenous peoples. He is pictured standing beside Pastor Jeremiah Ross from Cross Lake, Man., at a Conference of Mennonites in Canada (now Mennonite Church Canada) conference in Vancouver in 1981. In 1968, Neufeld was given permission to build a house and to live with the people of Little Grand Rapids.
“Are you on a tour?”
Squinting in the summer sunlight, we glanced across the street as a man stepped out of his car. Guilty as charged. Our walking neighborhood tour, composed of members and friends of Home Street Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, had come to stop at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Aboriginal Catholic Parish on Ellice Avenue in the heart of the city’s West End.
Ted and Darlene Enns Dyck came in the late 1980s to Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ont., from Winnipeg, Manitoba’s urban capital. When they completed their time at Grebel, they felt a call to co-pastor and expected to do that in “more liberal” southern Ontario. But no call came to them from there.
Our purpose at Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) in Gretna, Man., is to educate young people in an Anabaptist/Christian context, seeking to develop their God-given potential in terms of physical, intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, social and spiritual well-being, and to develop in them an appreciation of our Mennonite heritage.
I recently enjoyed a visit with a Rosthern (Sask.) Junior College (RJC) alumnus whose graduating class is from decades past. There were many smiles as we talked about old classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches. His stories were certainly evidence that RJC is a place where one makes friendships that last a lifetime, and that RJC has been a true learning community for generations.
On a hot June weekend, more than 100 Rockway Mennonite Collegiate alumni rehearsed, relived and performed a Rockway choral experience.
Three beloved choral directors—Jan Overduin, Robert L. Shantz and Ann L. Shultz, a 1984 graduate—each chose a hymn and two pieces that, with prayer and reflections, were melded into a moving, worshipful experience.
“We Are Your Future/Somos Su Futuro” opened at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in Winnipeg on Sept. 9. The exhibition focusses on the lives of women from the indigenous community of Tlamacazapa, Guerrero, Mexico. It features etchings by Cuernavaca artist Alejandro Aranda and watercolour paintings by gallery curator Ray Dirks, along with palm weaving by 30 women from Tlamacazapa.