When the conversation is lagging in social situations, one of my favourite questions to ask is, “What are you reading?” This inquiry often leads to an interesting interchange of ideas and suggestions.
Today, I’ll turn the table and tell you about some things that I’ve been reading. And watching. And listening to. Here are a few things on my content buffet:
Rosthern (Sask.) Mennonite Church members meet in Brian and Delilah Roth’s farm shop to sort and crush bottles donated through their bottle drive. Pictured from left are Brenda Isaak, Brooklyn Isaak, Denise Epp, Jeanette Hanson, Todd Hanson, Lloyd Schmidt and Cheryl Schmidt. (Photo by Delilah Roth)
Four pick-up trucks laden with bottles and other refundable items prepare to leave the Roth farm for the recycling depot in Rosthern, Sask. (Photo by Delilah Roth)
Every Saturday in May, Rosthern Mennonite Church members drove the streets of Rosthern, picking up bottles and other refundable beverage containers.
Joyce Ngumbao and her husband Pius Kisumo stand in a corn and bean field on their farm in Kwa Kavisi, Kenya, that is not planted using conservation agriculture techniques, but was prepared using conventional methods of plowing and scattering seed. These crops are stunted and not growing well. When they can afford to hire help, they want to plant this field with conservation agriculture methods too. (Photo by Matthew Lester)
The water pump at MCC partner Sembrandopaz’s experimental farm just outside of Sincelejo, Colombia. The Montes de María region of Colombia is suffering a shortage of water due to a combination of factors, including aggressive land clearing and droughts worsened by climate change, as well as poor infrastructure. The experimental farm is home to one of the only functional water pumps in the surrounding area, and throughout the day local residents come to the farm to fill up containers. (MCC photo by Annalee Giesbrecht)
The mandate of a new Mennonite World Conference (MWC) creation care task force states that, “MWC is a global communion of Anabaptist churches that are together facing the climate crisis.” It then asks: “What does it mean to follow Jesus into this crisis?”
The task force is to:
The Anglican-Mennonite Dialogue scrapped plans for a meeting at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., this spring, due to pandemic restrictions but met electronically on May 29 and 30.
Claire Ewert Fisher, interim pastor of Rosthern Mennonite Church, speaks during MC Saskatchewan’s virtual town-hall meeting, “Dreaming church beyond pandemic.” (Screenshot by Donna Schulz)
Sharon Schultz maintains that the quality that should characterize the church of the future is hope. Speaking during a local power outage, her words seemed to offer a light in the darkness during MC Saskatchewan’s virtual town-hall meeting, “Dreaming church beyond pandemic.” (Screenshot by Donna Schulz)
“We have to embrace the disequilibrium we feel right now and let it teach us what it needs to teach us,” said Claire Ewert Fisher, interim pastor of Rosthern Mennonite Church, speaking at Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s virtual town hall event, “Dreaming church beyond pandemic.”
Friends Bob Bartsch, left, and Dick Hildebrandt, members of Black Creek (B.C.) United Mennonite Church, both trace their ties to the original two Prussian Mennonite delegates selected to survey land that eventually led to the Mennonite migration to what became Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of Bob Bartsch)
Two members of Black Creek United Mennonite Church in British Columbia have found a common heritage that goes back 234 years to the Russian Empire.
In the late 18th century, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia conquered land she called “New Russia”—now Ukraine—and invited Europeans, including Mennonite farmers from Prussia, to settle the southern plains.
“The people,” he said. “There is something beautiful . . . about all those people . . . being the presence of Christ in their communities.”
David Martin is passionate about curling. He is competitive and once won Steinmann Mennonite Church’s version of The Amazing Race. He is a bit nerdy and techy, and he loves a great superhero movie now and then.
Sierra Janzen, two-year-old granddaughter of Abe Janzen, former executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Alberta, is swinging for 100 minutes to raise money for this year’s Go!100 challenge (Photo by Abe Janzen)
Deb Kirkpatrick from Edmonton First Mennonite Church is praying 100 times through prayer labyrinths to raise money for MCC’s Go!100 challenge. On this day she is praying with a hand-held clay labyrinth. (Photo by Deb Kirkpartrick)
One hundred homemade tarts were made by 12-year-old Kai Willms from Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary to raise money for MCC’s Go! 100 challenge. (Photo by Deanna Willms)
The Harder family in High Level, Alta., commit to collectively “move” 100 kilometres by biking, hiking, walking and skateboarding before the end of June to raise money for MCC’s Go!100 challenge. Pictured from left to right: Khyrin, Tyrell and Josiah. (Photo by Ashley Harder)
No soup and pie fundraiser in Rosemary. No Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta relief sale in Sherwood Park. No golf fundraisers with barbecued lunches.
After nine-and-a-half years of service, Ken Warkentin concluded his time as executive minister of Mennonite Church Manitoba on June 30.
Many years ago now—I’m getting a bit long in the tooth—I took what I thought would be a bird course in my second year at what was then known as Waterloo College. It turned out to be anything but, and I remember more from that course than from any other in my seven years of university education. It was a course on political philosophy.
Mennonite Church Saskatchewan is offering Sunday school for children via Zoom. Josh and Cindy Wallace started hosting the half-hour sessions at the end of May.
So far, about eight families, with children ranging from 3 to 10 years of age, have participated. They represent four or five congregations.