Volume 25 Issue 16D
This past year, I followed a honey gatherer up Macedonian hills, watched a recording session with a legendary jazz singer, witnessed the political turmoil within Denmark’s parliament, and traveled throughout Canada to the strains of Handel’s music. All these adventures happened while I lounged on the living room sofa.
A long time ago I told God that I was his, and that I would follow him wherever he led me. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to decipher God’s leading!
Does that still small voice belong to God, or is that just my own will whispering loudly? Closed doors and open windows are often a sign but, sometimes, as you crawl through the window, you wonder if this is really the best way.
Who knew that ostriches are mentioned multiple times in the Bible? Job 39:13 says: “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though they cannot compare with the wings and the feathers of the stork.”
She was born Danielle Dubois and placed in foster care at age three. She stayed in five different foster homes until, shortly before her fifth birthday, the Loewen family adopted her and gave her a new name.
Now known as Theresa Loewen, she grew up on a farm west of Saskatoon and says she “was immersed in the Mennonite world.”
Osler Mennonite Church congregants gathered on Canada Day, July 1, in the local cemetery next door, to sing some hymns, share their sorrow and pray together. But it wasn’t one of their own they were grieving. The congregation met instead to grieve in solidarity with its Indigenous neighbours on the finding of unmarked graves at Indian Residential School sites.
After a too-quiet 2020, when summer camps were cancelled due to the pandemic, Camp Squeah of Hope, B.C., is once again a place to hear the sounds of children’s laughter and families gathering this summer.
Crowds will be back for the 2021 Festival for World Relief sponsored by MCC B.C., to be held on Sept. 17 and 18. (Photo courtesy of MCC B.C.)
A September tradition in British Columbia is returning with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) B.C. Festival for World Relief, scheduled in Abbotsford on Sept. 17 and 18.
MDS Canada volunteers Joe Bless and Nic Hamm of Vineland United Mennonite Church, and Dave Brubacher of Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, with the special mitts given them by the MCC Indigenous Neighbours program as a token of thanks for their work on the MCC office in Timmins, Ont. (Photo by Lyndsay Mollins Koene)
In light of the news about the unmarked graves of children at former residential schools in B.C., Saskatchewan and other parts of the country, the work of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada at the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Indigenous Neighbours office in Timmins, Ont., took on new resonance for volunteers.
A proposal made by Toronto United Mennonite Church’s worship committee has evolved into a new podcast project called “TUMC On Air.”
Hosts Peter Haresnape and Michele Rizoli, the church’s pastors, explore new ways of conducting church solely through audio. The podcast encourages congregational members to disengage their eyes and focus on listening.
Laura Funk wore a blessing cloak made of more than 100 handprints at her ordination service, since COVID-19 prevented her community from gathering in-person for the laying on of hands. She received handprints from people aged six months to 93 years old, across three countries and at least five denominations and two faiths. (Photo by Gilbert Detillieux)
Laura Funk is the first person to be ordained for the ministry of spiritual direction by Mennonite Church Manitoba. She is also the regional church’s first spiritual director in residence.
Ed Janzen, middle, meets with students Kenzie Thielmann, left, and Cameron Warren as part of his role as chaplain of Conrad Grebel University College. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)
Ed Janzen, right, meets with the Grebel chapel committee members: from left: Rebekah Lindsay, Suomi MacCarthy and Andre Wiederkehr. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)
Ed Janzen says, “It’s obvious!”
It’s obvious why he would want to serve as chaplain of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., for 23 years. Janzen, who is retiring at the end of July from a job he loved, names several things that inspired his work.
Ed Janzen, left, Grebel’s retiring chaplain, recently led a group of students on a learning tour in Wellington County, Ont., exploring sites from early Black settlements in the area, including this cemetery. The cycling tour was part of his commitment to making learning real. (Photo by Adrien Neufeld)
For some musicians during COVID-19, the landscape of music making, performance and choir conducting transformed into environments for community resilience. As a recent graduate from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto, with a master of sacred music degree, Matthew Boutda reveals the ways musicians are conductors of human connectedness.
The CPT-MC Canada accompaniment team spent a month at Unist'ot'en camp in unceded Wet'suwet'en territory in northern B.C., learning from Indigenous land defenders and helping wherever they were needed. (Photo by Steve Heinrichs)
The healing centre at the Unist'ot'en camp provides cultural teaching, runs youth camps and reconnects people with the land. (Photo by Josiah Neufeld)
The Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) in Unist'ot'en territory, where life is deeply interconnected with creation. (Photo by Allegra Friesen Epp)
Allegra Friesen Epp is wrapping up a six-month internship with Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), but she is already brainstorming ways to continue doing solidarity work.