Volume 25 Issue 16D

Onscreen adventures

Still from the documentary Honeyland, directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov. (Photo courtesy of NEON)

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.

Hearing from God

(Pixabay.com image by Couleur)

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.

Springridge Mennonite considers the birds of the Bible

American robin (Photo by Asher Warkentin)

Pigeon (Photo by Asher Warkentin)

American avocet (Photo by Asher Warkentin)

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Asher Warkentin)

Great horned owl (Photo by Asher Warkentin)

Pelican with broken wing photo, taken in Frank Lake, Alta. (Photo by Lois Everett)

Pelican, taken in Frank Lake, Alta. (Photo by Lois Everett)

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.”

An Indigenous woman’s journey and advice to Mennonites

Tree Bird stands with her youngest son, Morrison, at the memorial service held by Osler Mennonite Church in response to the findings of unmarked graves at residential school sites. (Photo by Susan Braun)

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.”

Congregation holds memorial service for graves at residential school sites

Osler Mennonite Church gathers in the local cemetery on Canada Day for a memorial service in honour of children who died at Indian Residential Schools. (Photo by Susan Braun)

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.

Summer camping returns to Squeah

With a modified program, B.C.’s Camp Squeah is welcoming campers again this summer. (Photo courtesy of Camp Squeah)

Camp Squeah is open for business this summer, although in a modified format. (Photo courtesy of Camp Squeah)

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.

Bake sale, borscht and bouncy castles

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.)

Vereniki remains a popular food choice for those attending the annual MCC B.C. Festival for World Relief, 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, MCC complete office renovation project in Timmins

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.

Toronto church podcast offers a ‘call to rest’


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.

MC Manitoba ordains first spiritual director for service

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.

‘It’s obvious!’

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 will retire at the end of July after 23 years as Conrad Grebel University College’s chaplain. (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.

Grebel chaplain leads cycling tour of early Black settlement

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)

Ed Janzen, retiring chaplain of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., liked to provide students with the chance to engage their faith with real-life experiences.

During his 23 years as chaplain, he led many summer canoe trips and service opportunities with Mennonite Disaster Service.

On being a musician during COVID-19

Matthew Boutda conducts the choir at Leaside United Church’s hymn festival in June 2019. (Photo by Murray Fenner)

Matthew Boutda playing the organ. (Photo by Matthew Boutda)

Matthew Boutda

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 frontlines are where history is being made’

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 did a six-month joint internship with CPT and MC Canada this year, doing Indigenous solidarity work. (Photo courtesy of 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.

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