Over the years, I’ve learned that every grand enterprise depends on a certain amount of work behind the scenes, those unglamorous tasks that sustain the public vision but don’t get noticed very often. Paying the bills, maintaining the calendar, wiping the kitchen cupboards, watering the plants, taking out the garbage, changing the toilet paper rolls. . . .
Recovering a lost language or learning to speak a language doesn’t happen overnight. But a desire to learn will unbolt the door—swinging it wide open—and fill our lungs with sparkling morning air.
“It is so good to connect with each other.” In my role as executive minister of Mennonite Church Alberta, I have heard this sentiment expressed many times in many different ways. It is a feeling I heard expressed again on a Monday evening in late June as I met with the church chairs from the congregations of the regional church.
Hochstadt, Man., near Altona was the location of the first delegate meeting of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada (CMC) in 1903. A cairn was unveiled in July 1978 at that location to mark the 75th anniversary. On the left is Peter J. Hamm, but who is the man with the beard on the right?
It’s Friday. I drive to Rosthern, Sask., and pull in at the Good Neighbours Food Centre, where I will spend the day volunteering. My task, besides praying before the doors are opened, is to deliver groceries to cars, and to offer relationships to everyone I encounter. It’s a good fit.
What is a bike to you: Exercise? A commuter vehicle? Opportunity for a family outing? Tool for close-by errands? A connection to simple living? Related to your spirituality?
I remember singing in various youth-group settings the once popular, and now dated-sounding, worship song, “Refiner’s Fire.” Admittedly, I never really took the time to ponder the metaphor of being refined in the fire. The words “Purify my heart, let me be as gold and precious silver” sounded nice, accompanied with lyrics desiring holiness.
The former meeting place of Horse Lake Mennonite Church had some unwelcome visitors on the evening of June 21. Vandals threw rocks and bricks and broke every window of the historic site. (Photo courtesy of Patty Neufeld)
Every window in the former Horse Lake Mennonite Church building was broken when vandals threw bricks and rocks through them, both from the inside and the outside. (Photo courtesy of Patty Neufeld)
“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘We might as well burn it down.’” says Patty Neufeld, of the former Horse Lake Mennonite Church building. “It was really depressing.”
The church building was vandalized sometime during the evening of June 21. Though nothing appears to have been stolen, every window in the 111-year-old building was broken.
Following the recent move to Stage 3 of the provincial Covid Restart Plan, some Mennonite Church B.C. congregations are gladly worshipping in person once again.
After two years of construction, a pandemic, and a decade of dreaming and planning, Conrad Grebel University College’s new kitchen and renovated dining room are complete. More than a thousand donors contributed more than $4.2-million to the Fill the Table capital campaign to make it happen.
The Velo Renovation collective cycles year round as the primary mode of transportation for themselves and their supplies. (Photo courtesy of Velo Renovation)
If you see someone cycling in Winnipeg, toting behind them stacks of lumber, buckets of paint or even a ladder, it’s probably a member of Velo Renovation. They are used to the double takes they get at supply stores.
My grandmother’s chicken noodle soup was the stuff of legends. My father has told me that when he was a young boy, his mother would make chicken noodle soup for people in their village in Manitoba who were sick or had experienced some family tragedy. If it was winter, my father would deliver his mother’s soup using a little sled pulled by his dog Rover.
My grandmother didn’t write down her recipe, but my aunts put their heads together to recall how Grandma made her chicken noodle soup. I received lots of help from my aunties Mary Fransen, Nettie Peters, Louise Friesen and Helen Loeppky.
Donna Entz, right, and Doaa Ajani, a Syrian translator, at the “Under Wraps” event held at Lethbridge Mennonite Church in 2017. Mennonite and Muslim women shared about their experiences with head coverings. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Gross)
Loren and Donna Entz, centre and right, receive an invitation to the home of Iranians Behrouz Delavari, left, and his wife, Mehri Davar (not pictured). (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Gross)
English-as-a-Second Language students celebrate Canada Day with Donna Entz (wearing red ball cap) at the end of the class term in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Gross)
Mennonites across Alberta know her. Her heart for Muslims and those who are newcomers to Canada is well known. She has fed hundreds of refugees and immigrants over the past decade in her little apartment, which is situated in a low-income, multi-ethnic neighbourhood in North Edmonton.