Volume 23 Issue 3

The love it held

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“How could one space, one building, one yard, one mountainview, hold so much love, truth, forgiveness and conviction?”—Christina Bartel Barkman

When we pulled up the steep driveway of my grandparents’ old house, I was overcome with tears of nostalgia and tears of loss for the love that this space once held.

Can we talk about MAID?

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“I wondered if pacifist Christians, who hold a strong commitment to preserving life, had the capacity to consider the possible merits, even mercy, in assisting someone to die. I wondered about how a theology of suffering, redemptive suffering even, so basic to Christianity, would inform the choices we make.”—Melissa Miller

In June 2016, the government of Canada enacted legislation that enabled eligible adults to seek medical assistance in dying (MAID). At the time, I followed some of the debate with many questions and a mixture of hope and dread. My questions included the incongruity of lodging the matter with healthcare professionals, who are committed to saving and serving life.

Sharing life with your tribe

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“As we grow spiritually, the tribe we share life with continues to grow. Ultimately, we discover our tribe is humanity. We eventually experience our interconnectedness with all people and creation.” —Troy Watson

In 2013, I embarked on an ancestral pilgrimage to Scotland. The first site I visited was Lochmaben Castle, where, according to my Aunt Faye’s genealogical research, one of our ancestors was born. 

Bergey

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Photo: Doug Millar / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

Why do you travel? For fun, to learn, to connect? All three combined for Dorothy, Lorna and Gertrude Bergey as they joined a Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario bus tour to Pennsylvania in May 1983. Here, they stand in front of the Pennsylvania home of European emigrant Hans Ulrich Bergey in Salford. In 1897, Pennsylvanian David H.

‘Passing quilt’ gives dignity in death

The family of a recently deceased Menno Place resident watch as their loved one is escorted out under the ‘butterfly passing quilt’ made for this purpose. (Photo by Austen Holmquist)

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Dolores Martens, left, and Lenora Zacharias, members of the Menopositives quilting group, view the ‘butterfly passing quilt’ they sewed for Menno Place care facility. (Photo courtesy of Menno Place)

Death is a frequent visitor at Menno Place, B.C.’s largest senior care facility.

MCC cuts Canadian programs to focus on advocacy

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Labrador Innu elder Elizabeth Penashue, left, hosts an MCC learning tour. (2016 MCC Newfoundland and Labrador Facebook Page photo)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada is cutting about $350,000 from its Indigenous Neighbours, Restorative Justice and Low German programs. The changes are driven by a decrease in thrift store income, a shift to more international spending, and a decision to “go deeper” rather than wider. 

‘This is about us’

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Emily Cohen, left, a workshop leader, chats with Matthew Bailey-Dick, coordinator of the Anabaptist Learning Workshop, at a ‘Caregiving in a #ChurchToo world’ seminar on Jan. 19, 2018, at Steinmann Mennonite Church in Baden, Ont. Behind them on the wall, coloured heads represent people's stories and experiences of sexual abuse that are known to workshop participants. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

How do churches prevent sexual harassment and abuse in their midst? How do they respond when abuse happens? How do they shift the culture in their ranks so that victims feel safer to share their stories?

Freedom on two wheels

A member of Freedom Concepts Inc.’s staff works on a custom bike. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

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Colin Bock builds custom bikes for people with disabilities, at Freedom Concepts Inc. of Winnipeg. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

If you ever see a candy-apple-red tandem bicycle cruising through the streets of Winnipeg, you can be sure it’s the Dueck family.

“We go out pretty much daily, weather permitting, from as early in spring as we can go out until as late fall as we can,” says Linda Dueck. “We are well-known in our neighbourhood for the people with the red bike.”

They put a spell on you

‘One of the best things about the group is the community and friendships,’ Incantatem co-founder Allison Alexander says. (Photo by Kyle Rudge)

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Formed in January 2016, Incantatem performs music from movies, TV shows and video games. (Photo by James Cheng)

Non-geeks and non-Christians are invited to join Incantatem, which rehearses every Monday evening at River East Church in Winnipeg. (Photo by Kyle Rudge)

Don’t expect to hear anything by Bach, Brahms or Beethoven if you attend a performance by Winnipeg’s Incantatem. The a cappella choir’s repertoire has a unique focus: music from movies, TV shows and video games.

‘To the heart through dal’

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Ashisha Lal, an MCC IVEPer who served at Thrift on Kent in Kitchener, Ont., made dal for her coworkers. (Photo courtesy of Ashisha Lal)

During my year of living in Canada as part of the International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP), sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), I made dal (lentil soup) a number of times. In my country, India, dal is a basic everyday food.

Lessons in the Kinderforest

College Kindergarten students play in the snow during a Kinderforest Day in Goshen (Ind.) College’s Witmer Woods on Jan. 15. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

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College Kindergarten students work in Witmer Woods on a fort made from branches during a Kinderforest Day on Jan. 15. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

Teacher Jenna Labash talks to her Kindergarten class during a Kinderforest day in Witmer Woods last September. (Goshen College photo by Brian Yoder Schlabach)

About once a month, 24 students from the Goshen College Laboratory Kindergarten class—a partnership between the college’s education department and Goshen Community Schools—spend the day climbing trees, building shelters and making mud pies in Witmer Woods. 

Volunteers ‘go beyond’ in the community

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Grade 9 Rockway students Thomas Klassen, left, and Haolin Li repair bicycles at the Working Centre’s Recycle Cycles shop in downtown Kitchener, Ont. (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate photo)

Our journey at Rockway focuses on students developing an ability to lead with compassion when classroom learning is extended so they can live out Christ-centred values, develop empathy and perspective, and serve the community locally and globally. This is the inspiration behind Rockway’s new Students Learning in Community (SLIC) partnerships. 

Seminarians study sustainability at Merry Lea

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Benjamin and Rianna Isaak-Krauss sit in front of a pocket prairie at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center’s Rieth Village in Indiana. (Merry Lea photo)

A vision for incorporating sustainability into seminary education came to fruition in the fall of 2018 when two students from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Ind., joined the Sustainability Leadership Semester at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen (Ind.) College.

From Winnipeg to Win-Stick

RJC Grade 10 students pose with the Win-Stick, an artistic representation of what they learned on their class trip to Winnipeg. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

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The Win-Stick, created by RJC’s Grade 10 students, tells the story of their class trip to Winnipeg, where they learned about many forms of injustice through the theme “Insiders and outsiders.” (Photo by Donna Schulz)

It’s called the Win-Stick and it tells a story. Created by the Grade 10 class at Rosthern Junior College (RJC), the Win-Stick expresses some of what they learned during a class trip to Winnipeg.

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