Recently, I found myself hungering for grace. With the world still entrenched in this pandemic, we witness the complexities around public safety, the angry words, the strained relationships, the exhaustion, and the challenges to everyone’s mental well-being. Is there any good news?
‘We are in a climate emergency’: MC Canada
Mennonite Church Canada leaders released the following statement on Nov. 4 during the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland:
The last time my in-laws came north to visit, they brought us a broken electric kettle. We had gifted it to them at a long-ago Christmas. Now, years later, it stopped working. It was under warranty, but that only applied in Canada. With repair, it could function and stay out of the landfill.
Herb Wiebe, facing camera, visits with an inmate at the Oakalla Prison Farm in Burnaby, B.C., in 1970. A growing number of British Columbia Mennonite men volunteered to befriend inmates through the M-2 (Man to Man) program, a prison visitation program then in its early days in Canada.
I expect everyone has forgotten what I had to say when I spoke at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate’s chapel a few years ago. But I know some remember that I asked students to read Scripture in their own languages. For a few international students it was the first time they heard the Bible read in their mother tongue. That has not been forgotten.
After a month in the woods by myself, my sabbatical plan is to spend three months listening to people who aren’t a part of church culture, to see how they view church and understand why they don’t go to church.
Members of Mennonite Church B.C. congregations were among those who heard First Nations drummers on Orange Shirt Day in Abbotsford in 2018, supporting children who survived residential schools in the past. MC B.C. continues to support relations with First Nations of B.C. through a statement of land acknowledgment now posted on its website. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)
In the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of British Columbia, a statement of land acknowledgment has been adopted by Mennonite Church British Columbia. It states: “We respectfully and gratefully acknowledge that we gather on the unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of Indigenous First Nations.”
At the beginning of November, thousands of people from across the globe gathered at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, to address the climate crisis.
For Bradley and Virginia Walker, livestock farmers in Endeavour, Sask., this year’s weather was a disaster.
“The rain was so patchy,” says Bradley. “Some places got good rain; we got nothing.”
The lack of rain meant they couldn’t grow enough hay to feed the 350 head of cattle on their organic beef farm.
Like many other organizations, Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp and Retreat Centre was forced to rethink its programs and services when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down normal operations last year.
It “forced us into creatively brainstorming and dreaming about how we could use our facilities,” says program director Chris Pot.
The SALTers reunited at Martha and Brent Kuehl’s home on Aug. 19, 2021. Pictured from left to right, front row: Melody Steinman, Martha Kuehl and Lorie Yantzi; and back row: Nadine Moyer, Vi Martin and Marlene Letkeman-Holst. (Photo courtesy of Martha Kuehl)
It has been well over half of their lifetime ago—“38 years to be exact,” said one of the six women who gathered on a warm August evening with their spouses to reminisce about their year of living in an intentional community doing voluntary service. One couldn’t attend the gathering.