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.
Volume 25 Issue 20
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.
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.
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.
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)
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?
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.
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.
Long ago I studied both sociology and theology, and I remain intrigued by the relationships between culture and faith. We can’t have one without the other. Which influences the other more?
Being authentic has always been important to me. However, what authenticity means or looks like isn’t always as straightforward as I’d like. Especially as a pastor.
Going right back to Menno himself, Mennonites have valued simplicity. But to what extent has this ethos survived the age of gadget-saturation, relentless advertising and soul-numbing consumption?
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.
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.
“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.
Menno Home, one of the residential care homes on Menno Place senior care campus in Abbotsford, experienced a COVID-19 outbreak the first week of September. It was announced by Fraser Health on Sept. 2.
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)
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.”
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)
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.
At the Sept. 9 launch for Betty Pries’ new book, called The Space Between Us: Conversations About Transforming Conflict, Jennifer Ball called it a “handbook for being human,” and “essential reading for anyone navigating conflict.”
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.