Volume 23 Issue 22D

#ICYMI: 2019 in review

'On the road of discipleship, let’s remember: The God we follow invites us to let go of past mistakes, cling to a strong vision and aim for new acts of faithfulness.' (Graphic by Betty Avery)

It’s mid-December as I sit down to review the content published by Canadian Mennonite over the past year. Here are a few observations.


Getting into the Christmas spirit across Canada

The Menno Simons Christian School Junior-high band, conducted by Christina Carpenter, performs at a seniors lunch at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary on Nov. 28. (Photo by Mackenzie Miller)

In keeping with the season, Canadian Mennonite has wrapped up four Christmas events—from Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia—into one package for your festive reading.


Gleaners host Christmas open house to thank supporters

Dylan Ricci Adams is pictured with a load of carrots on their way to the washing machine. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Todd Stahl shovels diced carrots into the auger that will deliver them to the Gleaners’ gigantic dehydrator. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Todd Stahl is pictured in the Gleaners’ warehouse. Each skid has 42,000 meals on it, and the whole room currently holds 800,000 servings. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

The work of farmers is difficult. They have to work with the land to bring about a decent crop in order to make a living. And even though they may successfully bring hundreds of hectares to fruition, there’s no guarantee that all of that crop can go to market.

175 years by faith

Three generations of St. Jacobs Mennonite Church share a readers theatre called ‘175 Years by Faith’ during a worship service celebrating its 175th anniversary. Pictured from left to right: Jonah Willms, Doris Kramer and Micah Jarvis sit on a bench from the 1851 meetinghouse at the church’s original location in the unmarked hamlet of Three Bridges. (Photo by Marcia Shantz)

A display celebrating 175 years of St. Jacobs Mennonite Church shows a key to the first meetinghouse, the first English songbook, and a baptism pitcher. (Photo courtesy of St. Jacobs Mennonite Church)

In 1844, just under a half-hectare of land near the east bank of the Conestoga River was purchased from John Brubacher for the sum of five shillings.

New vision, new life

Greg Wiens assembles glasses on a trip to the West Bank with MCC in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

A man in Zimbabwe was able to go from being legally blind to seeing well enough to pass a driving eye exam with the help of Global Vision 2020. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Greg Wiens makes a pair of glasses right on the spot for Manitoba correspondent Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe, to demonstrate how the process worked. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Greg Wiens is the faith-based outreach coordinator for Global Vision 2020. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Mennonite farmers travel to Malawi with Greg Wiens as part of the joint project between MCC and Multiply. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Refugees in Malawi who are trained and certified to be eyeglasses distributors carry out vision tests. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Adjust the dial. Pick a colour. Pop, snap. A new pair of glasses is ready to wear in five minutes.


Two knitters and a potter

Mikaela Heidebrecht, left, Barb Heidebrecht and Lori Pauls have opened Willow ’n Wool, a shop in Airdrie, Alta., that sells yarn, pottery and accessories. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Mikaela Heidebrecht, Sheryl Grasmeyer, Carol Bartel and Barb Heidebrecht knit and chat at Willow ’n Wool in Airdrie, Alta. Community members are invited to the shop every Wednesday evening and Friday morning for just such activities. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

The interior of Willow ’n Wool shop in Airdrie, Alta. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Potter Lori Pauls at the wheel at the Willow ’n Wool shop in Airdrie, Alta. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Many people dream of having a business but it never comes to pass.

Barb Heidebrecht of Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury, Alta., wondered if it was just a pipe dream as her daughter Mikaela Heidebrecht and daughter-in-law, Lori Pauls talked about how bored they were and how they should open a store together.

‘A bigger impact in the neighbourhood’

People in Montreal experiencing homelessness have access to 30 mattresses at Care Montreal, an outreach program of Hochma Mennonite Church. (YouTube photo)

In October, Care Montreal opened seven nights a week as a licensed shelter after completing extensive renovations. Now volunteers at the shelter, housed at Hochma, a Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregation, provide supper in the basement at 6 p.m.

Money for missions

Baked goods sell quickly at St. Catharines United Mennonite Church’s annual Mennonite Food and Craft Bazaar. (Photo by Maria H. Klassen)

In 1989, a group of women from St. Catharines United Mennonite Church decided to sell their crafts and baking to raise money for missions. This “making and baking” was something the women did well, and their efforts became known as the Mennonite Food and Craft Bazaar.

Adapting to changing volunteer realities

Volunteer Jim Wiebe, left, visited with Eugene from 1996 to 2011. Eugene continues to see Jim since his release. He says, ‘It was good to be in P2P. It helped open my eyes to my surroundings and who I was. By watching and learning from my visitor, I realized life is more fun if you can control your urges.’ (Photo courtesy of Heather Driedger)

Dale von Bieker is a P2P volunteer from Nipawin, Sask., where he is a member of the United Church. He wrote this poem a few years ago for an inmate he was visiting. (Photo courtesy of Heather Driedger)

“This is how I am a Christian,” says Heather Driedger of her work with Parkland Restorative Justice. As executive director of the non-profit organization, Driedger provides programs for inmates at the Prince Albert penitentiary.


Churches partner to help residents in recovery

Board chair Garry Janzen, right, gives thanks for 10 years of ministry at Place of Refuge in Vancouver. A building project earlier this year enabled the construction of the Place of Refuge Resource Centre on the property, for office space and counselling. (Place of Refuge photo by Jeff Borden)

Twenty years ago, two men attending Vancouver’s Sherbrooke Mennonite Church desperately needed a safe place to live so they could find their way out of the world of addiction.

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