CMC-MPS steering committee members meet at St. Charles Retreat Centre, Nov. 1996. The group helped shape the future directions for a churchwide publication. Front, left to right: Waldo Neufeld, Ruth Braun, Sam Steiner, Ron Rempel. Back: Marg Neufeld, Lawrence Burkholder, Jack Suderman, Ted Regehr. Missing: Otto Driedger. (Photo by Aiden Enns)
In the summer of 2003, as I pondered how to say farewell to a 24-year career as editor of Canadian Mennonite and its predecessor, Mennonite Reporter, a friend suggested I reflect back on some defining moments.
A particular joy this year has been the restarting of events cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I travelled to Israel/Palestine in the spring of 2008 and wrote about it for Canadian Mennonite. It was, however, the follow-up article where I related the issues to my own backyard that sticks with me.
Having been the B.C. correspondent for two publications over 10 years, it’s hard to choose only one story to highlight. So, I chose two, both involving my son Aaron:
As I wrapped up my time in 2018, I realized that I had always seen the correspondent’s job as an extension of my calling as a pastor, a calling I’ve now been following for more than 40 years. I can’t reduce it to one article, but there are groups of articles that I enjoyed very much.
In 2013, I wrote about the Old Oder Mennonite community near Gladstone, Man., after 13 of its adults were charged with child abuse and 40 children were removed from their homes by Child and Family Services (CFS).
I met Wayne and Carry Dueck in my hometown of Rosthern one morning in August 2019 and followed them out to a property they owned west of Duck Lake, Sask.
Canadian Mennonite has been a gift to Mennonites across Canada and beyond since the first issue rolled off the press 25 years ago. And it has generated gifts for me!
A photograph I took dominated the cover of the first issue of Canadian Mennonite 25 years ago.
You are looking at one of the oldest original photographs in the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, likely taken in 1867. The father and daughter are John (or Jean) and Anna (“Annie”) Kennel. John was an Amish immigrant from France, like many of the first Amish settlers in Canada, who began arriving here 200 years ago.
I was in Ottawa recently for the anniversary of the church that my parents started 50 years ago. In 1972, we were five families eager to start a new—and different—church in the east end of Ottawa. I was the oldest child among the five families, sometimes the babysitter for the others, and sometimes with the adults in creating a new church.
“Come to the water, living water. Come to the water, come all, singing.” These are the words of Voices Together No. 35, “Come to the Water.” For its composer, Carol Ann Weaver, the experience of finding living water has not only been metaphorical but also profoundly tangible.
In an episode of the television show The Simpsons, Homer complimented his boss, Mr. Burns, on being the richest person he knew. Mr Burns replied, “Ah yes, but I’d trade it all away. . . for a little more.”
A racer attempts to ‘army crawl’ underneath barbed wire as part of the Fury Road Race. (Photo by Taylor Summach)
Despite the intensity of the race, there were plenty of fall colours to enjoy. (Photo by Taylor Summach)
Shekinah Retreat Centre, located in the North Saskatchewan River Valley, hosted its annual Move-A-Thon fundraiser on Sept. 17, with 120 people participating in the volunteer-led event.
A cyclist rides the Peace Trail, which crosses almost 55 kilometres of southeastern Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Heritage Village)
The Shantz Immigration Sheds cairn, one of the waypoints on the Peace Trail, marks where Mennonites stayed when they first landed in Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Heritage Village)
A new trail, spanning almost 55 kilometres across southeastern Manitoba, has been created by a group of Mennonites.
The Peace Trail was dreamed up and implemented by the EastMenn Historical Committee, a group under the umbrella of the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, along with community members volunteering on the Peace Trail working group.
Ericka Hoajaca and Ruth Ramirez examine their autograph from the Vancouver Canucks mascot, Fin, while enjoying worship music from the Punjabi Masihi Church. Hoajaca is Pastor Jorge’s wife and is a member of Sherbrooke and First United Spanish Mennonite Church. Ramirez attends Sherbrooke Mennonite. (Photo by Walter Toews)
Three Mennonite Church B.C. congregations joined together for the annual Neighbourhood Fall Festival on Sept. 11.
First United Spanish Mennonite, Vancouver Vietnamese Mennonite and Sherbrooke (English & Korean) churches invited the Punjabi and Tamil churches that rent Sherbrooke, and together they had one big block party celebrating Jesus.
After a rainy day on Aug. 30, about a hundred guests enjoyed a balmy evening on the shore of Lake Ontario, listening to stories shared by various Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario staff.
Abe Epp, a longtime fruit farmer on Lakeshore Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake, invited MCC to use his beach-front property to host this event called “MCC stories by the shore.”
I knew I would eventually have to interview my neighbours who staunchly resisted COVID-19 mandates and proudly supported the Ottawa trucker convoy. Actually I have many such neighbours. But it took a year of working through my pandemic enmity until I was ready to listen to them.
Some readers will see more danger than value in such interviews, so let me explain my motives.