Volume 25 Issue 20

Indigenous elder leads series on history, reconciliation

A large group gathers for David Scott’s first talk on Sept. 28 at Morden (Man.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Denise Thiessen)

This fall, a collective of people in southern Manitoba working at Indigenous-settler reconciliation, called the Truth and Action Working Group, is hosting a series of talks with David Scott, an elder and policy advisor from Swan Lake First Nation.

Violence in Myanmar, prayers in Canada

An internally displaced Kachin family in Myanmar. (Photos courtesy of Partners Relief & Development)

A grandmother from Karen State, Myanmar. Violence has broken out in this area, leading to a new wave of displacement.

What for many of us may be a fleeting headline about strife on the other side of the world is for others within our faith family a heartbreaking reminder of a painful past and ongoing hardship for relatives in their country of origin.

Second year of Common Read begins

‘Tongue-Tied: Learning the Lost Art of Talking about Faith’ is the Common Read title for fall 2021. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

In September 2020, Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Church U.S.A. and Herald Press began encouraging Mennonites to engage in a “common read,” a shared reading experience focused on specific books written to nurture Christian faith in this cultural moment.

Ordinary time

(Photo by Aron Visuals/Unsplash)

Traditionally, Mennonite churches have recognized the special times of the church year: Christmas (along with the season of Advent and Epiphany) and Easter (with the season of Lent and the Day of Pentecost). Then there’s the time in between—what is labelled “ordinary time” in the church calendar. The season begins with the Sunday after Pentecost; in 2021 that was May 30.

Defund the police?

The Winnipeg Police Service sparked outrage in April 2020 when one of its officers shot 16-year-old Eishia Hudson following a robbery, car chase and collision. Hudson died in hospital. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Daniel Friesen is critical of the Winnipeg Police Service. ‘If we reallocate resources away from police and toward programs and services that meet people’s needs… the need for police will shrink and go away entirely,’ he says. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

On March 11, 2020, the day before Manitoba reported its first infection of the coronavirus, Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land stood up in a multipurpose room at First Mennonite Church in Winnipeg to give a lecture exploring the question: How is it that Winnipeg has so many police, and so little justice and peace?

Holy space

(Photo by Photo by De an Sun/Unsplash)

When I was director of Person-to-Person, a prison visitation program started by Mennonite Church Saskatchewan in the early 1970s, the V&C Room (Visitors and Correspondence Room) was often a place of holy space. While the prison system has a strict policy of nothing in and nothing out, God seemed to have little interest in following those guidelines.


(Photo: Mennonite Heritage Archives / Walter Bergen)

On the heels of the Second World War, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church were concerned about scouting programs that promoted patriotism to boys and girls. In 1957, the Wayfarers girls club was begun and in 1958, Mennonite Publishing House published a Torchbearers guide book and manual for boys.

A more inclusive story

Laura Enns and her son Oran view the new information panel in front of the Brubacher House museum. (Photo by Joshua Enns)

How can Mennonite historical sites become sites of decolonization and reconciliation? This question has challenged and inspired my husband Joshua and me for the past four years, as we have served as hosts of Brubacher House Museum.

MDS launches effort to help drought-affected farmers

Bales of hay at Flynn Farms in Clinton, Ont., are being loaded onto a truck owned by Hutton Transport of Paisley, Ont. MDS hopes to send 50 truckloads of hay to Saskatchewan. (Mennonite Disaster Service Canada photo)

Nine years ago, farmers in Saskatchewan sent hay to drought-stricken livestock producers in Ontario through Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada. Now farmers in Ontario are preparing to repay their generosity the same way.

Toronto-area leaders reflect on virtual worship

Churches across Canada are sharing online services. Here Moses Falco leads worship at Sterling Mennonite in Winnipeg. (Screenshot from MC Canada website)

“It is important to let go of perfectionism and the desire to get things right. We will make mistakes. People forget to go on mute, there is background noise, videos don’t work. Despite all this, it is still worship,” says Peter Haresnape, a pastor at Toronto United Mennonite Church.

B.C. churches kick off new church year

Anne Herridge (director of children’s ministry) and Gerry Binnema (lead pastor) enjoy some lighthearted moments as they help launch the church year at Crossroads Community Church in Chilliwack, B.C. (Photo courtesy of Crossroads Community Church)

Mennonite Church congregations in B.C., most of whom are just resuming in-person worship, are celebrating the beginning of the church year in various ways.

Youth and young adults from Chinatown Peace Church in Vancouver started off the year in August with tent camping on Mt. Seymour.

Preserving history

The Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church building in Mayfair, Sask. is no longer open for regular services, but a small group of members and former members still want to see it maintained. (Photos courtesy of Laura Toews)

Former members and friends of Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church in Mayfair, Sask. gather for a fundraising barbecue on the church grounds.

The Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church, near the village of Mayfair, Sask., needed new siding and windows, but there was no money left in the operating fund. So the Toews family decided to hold a barbecue.

“Our family has been part of that church from when it was first built,” says Laura Toews. “My grandfather was a lay minister.”

The end of an era at MHC Gallery

Ray Dirks travelled to Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2001 to hear stories from Mennonite families and meet artists for his book, In God’s Image: A Global Anabaptist Family. (Photo courtesy of Ray Dirks)

Ray Dirks founded the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, located on the campus of Canadian Mennonite University. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

The founder and curator of the Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) Gallery, Ray Dirks, retired after 23 years of leadership. His career at the gallery, which ended on July 31, has included producing four books and countless exhibits, receiving multiple awards and building dozens of relationships with artists and visitors.

Calligrapher creates facemask artwork for fun, reflection

Wall hanging from used (and laundered) paper facemasks, by Lois Siemens. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

Lois Siemens saw used facemasks as a canvas for calligraphy. (Photo by Lois Siemens)

Whether they’re covering faces, hanging from rear-view mirrors, lining pockets or lying in gutters, facemasks are ubiquitous. But for Lois Siemens they are also a blank canvas.

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