Volume 25 Issue 18D
A rant is taking shape in your brain, anger is seething in your gut, your finger is poised over the “post” button. What could possibly go wrong? One option is to step away from your device, take a deep breath, and think “reconciliation.”
There is no question that COVID-19 has been disruptive. We, like the Israelites, found ourselves wandering in the wilderness, anxious to get back to normal.
We have realized that “normal” will not happen anytime soon so, like the Israelites, we made our home in this new place, building houses (carving out offices) and planting gardens (noticing and practising what is life-giving).
I’m not naturally a morning person; it usually takes a lot to get me started at the beginning of my day. But this last Wednesday, I set my alarm a little earlier and bounced up from bed like a child on Christmas morning.
Mohamed Al-Attar, at right in blue, lost his wife, children and his home during the violence in Gaza in May. Rifqa Hamalwai, far left, and Khaled Abu Sharek, centre back, staff members from Al Najd, MCC’s local partner, visited Mohamed and his nephews, Yaser Dia Al Attar, bottom left, and Ali Tamim Al Attar, back left. All local COVID-19 protocols were followed in this photo. (Photo courtesy of Al Najd)
Mahmoud Alhalimi, and sons Kareem, centre, and Anas, right, are pictured in front of their still-standing house. (Photo by Sanabel Alhalimi)
Nighttime was the hardest for Mahmoud Alhalimi. With the electricity cut and bombs falling, the hours were dark and loud, as he tried in vain to help his two young children fall asleep.
Mennonite Church U.S.A.’s smallest and first hybrid convention, “Bring the peace!” drew more than 1,000 people—608 at Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at least 495 online —over five days in early July, with programming to strengthen the denomination’s peace witness.
This past June, scholars, practitioners, support workers, health-care experts and interested parties from across the globe gathered together virtually over the course of three weeks to advance the connections between spiritual practice and the effects of aging, at the ninth International Conference on Aging and Spirituality.
The MennoCast, a new podcast aimed at connecting Mennonites across Canada, launched on June 23.
“It’s been a dream for years. I’m just so happy that it’s out!” says Moses Falco, pastor of Sterling Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg, and one of The MennoCast hosts. “It’s like we accomplished the goal! But it’s just the beginning.”
In April, prior to Ontario schools returning to online learning, two Rockway Mennonite Collegiate families set out to make the learning spaces in the school safer for students. They introduced “Austin,” a HEPA-air-filtration system that improves air circulation and quality in indoor spaces.
A July 1 satellite image of the forest fire that destroyed much of the village of Lytton, B.C., this summer. (Antti Lipponen image / Creative Commons Licence (http://bit.ly/cclicence2-0))
When the village of Lytton, B.C,. was nearly destroyed by wildfires in mid-August, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) B.C. was among those that moved to help. This is one of more than 260 fires in the province this summer that have burned 650,000 hectares, with hot temperatures, dry conditions and high winds exacerbating the situation.
In July, Safwat Marzouk concluded his roles as associate professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and chair of the Bible Department at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), after 10 years of service. He is now serving as associate professor of Old Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va.
Employees of Boxbrite Technologies—pictured from left to right: Aaron Neufeld, Enes Demirsoz, Joseph Olmez, Lori-Ann Livingston, Niloofar Abbasvandi, Alina Kehl, Shirin Talaei, Seyma Nur Ozcan and Leon Kehl—attend a rally against Islamophobia. Kehl, who started the company, intentionally hires newcomers to Canada, and fosters a sense of community among his employees who work from home. (Photo by Aaron Neufeld)
It has happened more than once. Someone approaches social entrepreneur Leon Kehl with the name of a highly qualified person who needs help getting a start in Canada. Kehl has learned these nudges often have “God’s fingerprint all over them,” so he takes a “leap of faith” and hires the person. “People come into my life. . . . How do you not see God in that?'' he asks.
Dona Park designed the cover art for Mennonite Church U.S.A.’s study program, ‘Defund the Police? An Abolition Curriculum,’ meant to help Christians think about police abolition within a biblical context and as a practical alternative to policing. (Artwork by Dona Park)
Dona Park, a young Korean-Canadian artist, is one of the first two recipients of Mennonite Church U.S.A.’s #BringthePeace Award, sponsored by the denomination’s Church Peace Tax Fund. Park, who affiliates with Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Abbotsford, B.C., and Michelle Armster of Wichita, Kan., received the awards, recognizing the work of denominational peacemakers.
For many students, the outdoor education class at RJC High School was fun, memorable and character building. But for most, the skills aren’t ones they now use in their everyday life. For Emily Hand, a 2002 graduate, however, that is exactly what happened.