Volume 26 Issue 2

Thanks to you

(Photo by Kevin Butz/Unsplash)

Thanks to you, this magazine has entered its 25th year of publishing under the name Canadian Mennonite. We picked up the mantle in September 1997 from The Mennonite Reporter, a bi-weekly newspaper for the 26 years before that.

Simple wonder, peculiar generosity

Annie Janzen and Mira Hoover enjoy rosehip tea at Janzen’s apartment last fall. (Photo courtesy of Tanya Hoover)

Annie Janzen in her Winnipeg apartment. (Photo by Craig Terlson)

Annie Janzen as a young girl. (Photo courtesy of Marvin Hamm)

Annie Janzen lowers a prize parsnip to socially distanced friends at Bethel Place. (Photo courtesy of Tanya Hoover)

Annie Janzen served as cook at Canadian Mennonite Bible College for 27 years. (Photo courtesy of Marvin Hamm)

Annie Janzen earned no degrees and was never elected chair of a church council. She did not start a church, write a best-seller or perform for large audiences.

She did cook at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg for 27 years, travel the globe and make an unlikely diversity of friends. She lived a good, simple life. It was also a decidedly unconventional life.

Key 73

(Photo: Mennonite Heritage Archives / Conference of Mennonites in Canada)

The banner at the Conference of Mennonites in Canada gathering in Vancouver in August 1971 read, “That the world may believe,” based on John 17:21.

The ‘chicken whisperer’

(Photo by William Moreland/Unsplash)

Genesis 1 describes God’s creation activity as, among other things, blessing the male/female that God had created, and commanding them to rule over every living creature that moves on the ground. Meanwhile, Indigenous spirituality offers stories of hunters extending thanks to the fallen creature that gave up its life so the hunter’s community might have food, shelter, warmth, tools.

On evangelization

(Photo by Jon Tyson/Unsplash)

I am in favour of talking about faith in Jesus. I especially like to do so with those who do not hold to that faith. Some call that “evangelism” and use it as a dirty word. We all know great abuses have occurred doing evangelism. Still, I am in favour of it. I even want to talk about conversion.

Prayer and lasting

(Photo by Jon Tyson/Unsplash)

For a few years now, I have felt good about my slow but steady pace of reading reflectively through Scripture. It is a spiritual discipline I’ve moulded in a way that works for me. Prayer, however, is one that, although certainly not absent from my life, could use some work.

MCC sends food and relief to Cubans in crisis

Clara Rodríguez holds two cans of MCC canned meat that she received through the Brethren In Christ Church of Cuba. (BICCC photo by Ramon Guisa)

Rafaela Fuentes Duarte with the items from the MCC hygiene kit and canned meat she received through the Brethren in Christ Church of Cuba. (BICCC photo by Ramon Guisa)

The situation in Cuba was incredibly dire when a shipment of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) relief kits and canned food arrived.

Thriving at Thrift on Mill

Alfred Driedger, 87, refurbishes the sewing machines at Thrift on Mill. (Photo by Charleen Jongejan Harder)

Cindy Epp, general manager of Thrift on Mill in Leamington, Ont., assumed her role three weeks before the pandemic hit in early 2020. (Photo by Charleen Jongejan Harder)

It may be a pandemic, but Thrift on Mill in Leamington, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift store, had its highest grossing month of all time in November 2021.

Hands-on learning

Jess Klassen sews her own clothes. During the pandemic she also picked up crocheting and punch needle skills.

Nadya Langelotz displays one of the pottery pieces she created. (Photo courtesy of Nadya Langelotz)

Tara Epp, left, Anna Goertzen Loeppky and Katrina Woelk Balzer worked together to create clothing using only local fibres and dyes.

Matthew Froese’s paska follows his grandmother’s style: loaf pan, glazed with rainbow sprinkles and served with cheese spread. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Froese)

During the pandemic, Emily Stobbe-Wiebe is learning how to quilt.

Matthew Froese

Throughout COVID-19, schools and universities across the country have moved between learning in the classroom and online remotely. But what about education happening outside of traditional academic settings?

Many people have taken the different rhythm of life the pandemic has created as an opportunity to start learning and teaching in new ways.

Building connections in Japan

Gerald and Rie Neufeld, pictured at his ordination celebration at Mennonite Japanese Christian Fellowship in 2019, are seeking to build reciprocal relationships with churches in Japan and Canada. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

Finding ways to help Japanese and Canadian churches connect with each other is one goal of a pastoral couple serving in Japan after years of ministry in British Columbia.

When Gerald Neufeld, pastor of Mennonite Japanese Christian Fellowship in Surrey, B.C., and his wife Rie felt a call to return to Japan, their family moved there last year.

‘A tremendous honour’

Ryan Siemens ordains Susanne Guenther-Loewen in June 2021. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Siemens)

Ryan Siemens, third from left, along with his wife, Sandra Sinnaeve, left, help lead music for an MC Saskatchewan virtual service during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Siemens)

“I’m very grateful for my time with Mennonite Church Saskatchewan,” says Ryan Siemens, current executive minister of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan. “It’s been wonderful getting to know the congregations, the pastors, the denominational leaders and just to connect with people who want to do the work of the church.”

Church planter-entrepreneur leaves rich legacy in France

In the late 1990s, Robert Witmer served as a consultant for the Giving Project in Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. (Canadian Mennonite file photo)

Robert Witmer, who served in France from 1956 to 1984 with the Mennonite Board of Missions (MBM), helped to plant the Châtenay-Malabry church in Paris and was instrumental in opening doors for people with disabilities. He died on Dec. 2, 2021.

Working in a life-giving job is the silver lining

Jeff Nickel, right, has served with Communitas Supportive Care Society for 25 years. He is pictured with his friend Richard. (Communitas photo by Krista Petrie)

There are not many people these days who can say they have been in a job they love for 25 years, but Jeff Nickel says exactly that. As he celebrates his silver anniversary working with the Communitas Supportive Care Society, he reflects on the many reasons he has stayed.

Physical appearances don’t reveal what’s inside

‘I am fine with not being able to walk, but I want to make a difference in the world, and a difference in the lives of people I meet,’ says Matt Ferguson, who attends Sterling Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg. (Photo courtesy of Matt Ferguson)

Matt Ferguson is smart, likes rocking out to music such as the Tragically Hip, is a big fan of the Winnipeg Jets and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and has cerebral palsy. He relies 100 percent on other people to attend to all his bodily needs, such as putting food and liquids in his mouth.

Rockway mounts virtual Christmas concert

Pictured here are several high school students who participated in the Lower Voices Ensemble, directed by Jeff Enns. (Photo by Xingyi (Jessica) Li)

Musicians come from all walks of life, with varying degrees of passion for what they do, but most are quite resilient to begin with. Add a global pandemic for two years, with assorted lockdowns and restrictions, and the desire to make music together with others increases exponentially. Rockway Mennonite Collegiate musicians are no different.


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