Volume 22 Issue 10

Gifts of the table

 

Call for volunteers

Recently, my husband and I sat with friends at a table in an Ethiopian restaurant. As we dipped pieces of injera (sourdough flatbread) into the tasty sauces, we reported on our lives: a new business, a new grandchild, past school experiences, current professional realities.

Consider what happens when people gather around the table:

An empty bowl

Photo by Kaylene Derksen

Call for volunteers

‘Soup and Pie’ by Manitoba artist Margruite Krahn was featured in the November 2015 issue of Anabaptist Witness that focussed on food issues. She cites the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as her inspiration. The work hangs at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.

‘Food is a Human Right’ is the title of Filipino artist Bert Monterona’s painting that was featured in the November 2015 issue of Anabaptist Witness, which focussed on food issues. Inspiration for the work was Amos 5:11-12,14 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully.

Peppernuts and anarsa

Neeta Solomon cooks a meal for Marlene Epp. (Photo by Marlene Epp)

Call for volunteers

A plate of anarsa. (Photo by Marlene Epp)

Neeta Epp prepared various dishes, including anarsa for Marlene Epp, who visited India to interview Mennonite women there about their food practices. (Photo by Marlene Epp)

I recently learned to eat anarsa—a sweet, rice-based treat—while travelling in India visiting with Mennonite women, and learning about their religious lives and food practices. It was late February, but I was told that Christians in India normally prepare anarsa at Christmastime as a seasonal and festive treat.

Shoplifting

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Photo: MCC Ontario / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

Under the watchful eye of a Kitchener, Ont., store owner, a teenager browses the record collection. Shortly, she will slip one into her bag, and the owner will catch her in the act of shoplifting.

Celebrating what was, anticipating what will be

Mary and Emery Ens, at the pulpit, reflect on life in the old Zoar Mennonite Church building in Langham, Sask. Sheila Wiens Neufeld is seated at the piano and Valerie Wiebe is standing beside the piano. (Photo courtesy of Zoar Mennonite Church)

Call for volunteers

The old Zoar Mennonite Church in Langham, Sask. will be closing soon as the congregation moves into a new building on the same site. The original building served the congregation for 108 years. (Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan photo)

“We celebrated 108 years of life in that building,” said Ed Bueckert, referring to Zoar Mennonite Church’s sanctuary in Langham, which faces imminent closure.

‘A rich storehouse of treasure awaiting learners’

Fresno Pacific University professor Tim Geddert, right, gives a presentation on Reading the Bible Together at a seminar for Mennonite Church B.C. leaders and congregants at Level Ground Church in Abbotsford on April 14, 2018. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Call for volunteers

Scripture and community were the focus when Mennonite Church B.C. members gathered at Level Ground Mennonite Church in Abbotsford on April 14, 2018, for Reading the Bible Together.

Resource person Tim Geddert, a professor of New Testament at Fresno Pacific University’s Biblical Seminary in California, called the Bible a “rich storehouse of treasure awaiting learners.”

When strangers become neighbours

Ben Pauls of Zoar Mennonite in Waldheim, Sask., leads an ensemble of 15 singers from a number of MC Saskatchewan congregations during a joint worship service at Muskeg Lake Cree Nation on April 22, 2018. (Photo by Jason Gooding)

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A ‘blessing dance’ opens a joint worship service at Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan on April 22, 2018. (Photo by Todd Hanson)

Music continues to be the catalyst for growth in the relationship between Mennonite Church Saskatchewan and its Indigenous neighbours.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2018, Mennonites and members of the Muskeg Lake community gathered for An Afternoon of Song at Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church in Marcelin on the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.

Caring for creation, one ice cream pail at a time

The Heppner Mueller family with their waste from 2017. Pictured from left to right: Kaija, Aria, Connie, Rick and their dog Juno. (Photo courtesy of Connie Heppner Mueller)

The Heppner Mueller family’s 2017 waste, contained in one garbage bag. (Photo courtesy of Connie Heppner Mueller)

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Juno with the family’s ice cream pail designated for garbage. (Photo courtesy of Connie Heppner Mueller)

Connie Heppner Mueller stands behind an extra pile of garbage that amounted to more than all the rest of their 2017 waste, due to garbage left behind by workers during a small renovation and a downsizing of old keepsakes. She says that without it, the first picture isn’t quite truthful. (Photo courtesy of Connie Heppner Mueller)

People hear every day about garbage mountains growing, icebergs melting and species going extinct. With every plastic bag and old cell phone people throw away, they are contributing to the problem. The average Canadian produces 777 kilograms of garbage a year, as of 2009.

Foodgrains Bank brews climate storm on Twitter

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Kenyan farmer Mary Mutua uses conservation agriculture principles promoted by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Her fields are healthier and more advanced than neighbouring crops. These methods are a way to increase resilience to climate change. (Canadian Foodgrains Bank photo by Valerie Gwinner)

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank walks a fine line on climate and walks it well. A recent and rare slip demonstrated the tensions it, like the rest of us, must navigate.

Full Cupboard provides emergency help in Wellesley

Call for volunteers

Kara Carter, pastor of Wellesley Mennonite Church, left, stands with Christa Gerber, chair of Wellesley and Community Food Cupboard Committee and of the Wellesley Mennonite Church Mission Committee. (Wellesley Mennonite Church photo)

Four years ago, while part of a missional leadership group, Kara Carter, pastor of Wellesley Mennonite Church, received news from the local school parents advisory group that there were children who were coming to school hungry.

Wrestling with challenging texts

Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe and Erin Froese ‘yarn-bombed’ a tree on CMU’s campus as part of a project exploring ecofeminism. (Photo courtesy of Erin Froese)

Laura Carr-Pries created a worship resource in the CMU course, Feminist Perspectives on Bible and Theology. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

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Alyssa Sherlock created a photo project exploring themes of perfectionism, self-image and faith. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe and Erin Froese pose with their crocheted work. (Photo by Anna Goertzen Loeppky)

Most upper-level university classes end with a final essay, not a photography project, prayerful meditations or a “yarn-bombed” tree. Sheila Klassen-Wiebe, however, took the road less travelled for Feminist Perspectives on Bible and Theology.

Working together for the common good

Representatives from a variety of faiths gathered in Vancouver in March for Celebrating Our Diversity Now, an interfaith dialogue. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

Celebrating Our Diversity Now was a time of sharing between different religious and cultural groups. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

Call for volunteers

Constantinos Economos, parish priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Vancouver, speaks at Celebrating Our Diversity Now. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

‘It was great to have an intentional and safe space to share and learn about religious diversity in Canada,’ writes Annika Krause. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

Participating in Celebrating Our Diversity Now showed Annika Krause that there are many young people who desire to have conversations about faith and religious practices. (Photo courtesy of Annika Krause)

This past March, I participated in an interfaith dialogue for young people in Vancouver, hosted by the Armenian Diocese of Canada.

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