Volume 25 Issue 12

Growers and eaters

(Photo by Thomas Gamstaetter/Unsplash)

What do city dwellers and farmers have in common? They are all eaters! And, in the Mennonite community, another important characteristic is their shared faith. Yet, despite those commonalities, country and city folk sometimes bring different points of view to the question of how our food is grown.

All will be well!

‘St. Paul in prison,’ by Rembrandt, in the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro (cc-by-sa/4.0))

This mural of Julian in Norwich, Norfolk, Great Britain, was painted by Antony Allen in January 2020. Julian is believed to have been the first woman to write a book in English that has survived. It is entitled Revelations of Divine Love and is based on a series of 16 visions she received on May 8, 1373. (Photo © Evelyn Simak (cc-by-sa/2.0))

Last September, at the school where I teach, the director noted the many restraints and restrictions staff and students were experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It seemed that everywhere we turned, we were told we couldn’t do something. Many excellent teaching practices were out of reach because we needed to maintain social distancing.

Courageous stories

(Image by congerdesign/Pixabay)

We have gone to places yet unknown, trusting in a God who leads and a Spirit who prays when our own words cease. Mother’s Day 2020 was the beginning of many outbreaks at the Leamington (Ont.) Mennonite Home, where I serve as chaplain.

Egg collection

Photo: The Canadian Mennonite Collection / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

We wish we knew more about George Hamm of Didsbury, Alta., and his egg collection. This photo was found in The Canadian Mennonite files from the 1960s, but it was not published in the newspaper. His collection was later listed in the Royal Alberta Museum inventory. Even in this side view, we sense his pride and passion for these marvels of the natural world.

A sign of the presence of God

(Photo by David Marcu/Unsplash)

Several months ago, I bleated piteously about a diabetes diagnosis. That has moved forward well, managed by diet, exercise and pills. Alongside, however, has come a new struggle with balance, dizziness and nausea. (To you medical folks, no, it’s not a sugar low.) A doctor and a therapist are working with me. Again, moving forward quite well.

Of course, a story comes out of that.

False false prophets

(Image by Carlos Lincoln/Pixabay)

Are you ever afraid to say something because it might not be the popular opinion? Do you struggle to muster the courage to speak out within your congregation because you’re worried you’ll offend someone’s well-intentioned but misinformed idea?

Book explores divergent views on food, farming

Will Braun, who wrote one of the articles in Germinating Conversations, is pictured with his son Matoli on their farm south of Morden, Man. (Photo courtesy of Will Braun)

Germinating Conversations: Stories from a Rural-Urban Dialogue on Food, Faith, Farming and the Land

Will Braun, who wrote one of the articles in Germinating Conversations, is pictured with his son Matoli on their farm south of Morden, Man. (Photo courtesy of Will Braun)

Since 2012, the “Germinating Conversations” initiative has brought together small farmers, bigger farmers and urban folks who care about food.

Pandemic forces couples to reassess wedding plans

Despite the pandemic, Samih Saltah and Katherine Kandalaft managed to plan a special wedding in 2020. (Photo courtesy of the bridal couple)

A masked videographer captures the wedding ceremony of Katherine Kandalaft and Samih Saltah last Oct. 12, reflecting the new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of the bridal couple)

With their parents as witnesses, Raymond and Stephanie are united in marriage by Pastor Tim Kuepfer at Chinatown Peace Church on March 28. (Photo courtesy of the bridal couple)

Newlyweds Maxwell and Nicole (Redekop) Stow celebrate outside their wedding venue on April 10. (Photo courtesy of the bridal couple)

The bride and groom may have hoped for a traditional church wedding with an entourage of attendants, surrounded by all their friends and extended family, followed by a fabulous catered wedding dinner. What they ended up with might have been a scaled-down gathering of fewer than a dozen people and a simple backyard meal with everyone wearing masks, or even a drive-by, no-contact reception.

The growing phenomenon of cohabitation

Irma Fast Dueck, associate professor of practical theology at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, gave three workshops on cohabitation in May at the invitation of Springridge Mennonite Church. (Photo courtesy of Irma Fast Dueck)

“What questions does cohabitation raise for you?” asked Irma Fast Dueck at a Portable CMU event hosted by Springridge Mennonite Church in Pincher Creek, Alta., in May.

The gospel is a seed buried within the church

Fanosie Legesse, middle row, left, was guest speaker during one of Peace Mennonite Church’s midweek Bible studies. Also pictured, from left to right, top row: Florence Driedger, Donna Schulz and Otto Driedger; middle row: Peter and Margaret Peters, and Peichen Gu; and bottom row: Eve and Rich White, Yao Che and Dario Hernandez. Zahara Alli and Eugene Laramee joined the meeting after this screenshot was taken. (Screenshot by Donna Schulz)

Peace Mennonite Church gathers for Bible study every Tuesday evening. Since the pandemic began, the Regina-based house church has been meeting via Zoom, enabling members who no longer live in Regina to also attend.

Public-health nurse postpones retirement to work in northern Ontario

Lily Hiebert Rempel inside the nurses station at Sandy Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario, where she worked as a public-health nurse on three different occasions during the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)

The nurses station at Sandy Lake First Nation, where Lily Hiebert Rempel worked during her three, four-week rotations as a public health nurse in the community. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)

The nurses residence at Sandy Lake First Nation, where Lily Hiebert Rempel and other nurses stayed during their four-week rotations in the community doing public-health work. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)

Lily Hiebert Rempel took a chartered flight with other health-care workers bound for northern Ontario communities. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)

After more than 40 years as a nurse, Lily Hiebert Rempel was starting to ease into retirement. That is when COVID-19 hit, and the health-care system needed more nurses, not fewer. She was not prepared to go into full-time critical care nursing but, with her public-health experience, she did have much to offer.

Making space for grief

Kari Miller recently graduated from CMU with a degree in thanatology – the study of death. (Photo courtesy of Kari Miller)

When Kari Miller tells people her major in university, they either look uncomfortable and walk away, or begin sharing deeply personal stories. That’s because she studied thanatology—the study of death.

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