I got my first taste of journalism at a Mennonite school. As a second-year English major, I began writing for The Weather Vane, the student newspaper at Eastern Mennonite College (now Eastern Mennonite University), in Harrisonburg, Va. The following year I accepted the challenge of becoming co-editor of the features section.
There is an old story that when Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Pope Julius would come by to yell up at him in the scaffolding, “When will my ceiling be ready?” Michelangelo would grit his teeth and mutter, “When it is finished.”
This past week I attended a cluster meeting with a small group of pastors from southern Manitoba to talk about mission and church engagement in their communities. The pastors talked about the work that their congregations are doing locally and many voiced the need for more resources and support for their mission committees and the members who serve on them.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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)
Death is a frequent visitor at Menno Place, B.C.’s largest senior care facility.
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.
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?
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.”
‘One of the best things about the group is the community and friendships,’ Incantatem co-founder Allison Alexander says. (Photo by Kyle Rudge)
Formed in January 2016, Incantatem performs music from movies, TV shows and video games. (Photo by James Cheng)
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.
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.
In 2018 Ashisha Lal, a young Mennonite from India, worked at the Mennonite Central Committee thrift shop in Kitchener, Ont. This spinach lentil soup (Palak dal) reminds her of her mother who died of cancer. Read her story here.
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)
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)
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.
At Conrad Grebel University College, students engage the arts in two ways.
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.
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.
The vision at Menno Simons Christian School to offer “An education for life” challenges us to provide an education that equips children for now and for tomorrow.
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)
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.
One Westgate Mennonite Collegiate student and two alumni are recipients of scholarships awarded by the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg.