Volume 26 Issue 8

A small regional church with big impact

As Mennonite Church Alberta prepares to host the MC Canada national gathering from July 29 to Aug. 1, it is fascinating to consider how a small regional church body affects the flow of city life in Edmonton, its development and the surprises and challenges that emerge. (Photo by Len Franz)

The face of Mennonite Church Alberta in Edmonton is like the river that flows through it, dynamic and always changing. Congregations have come and gone, such as Faith Mennonite (1980-1996) and the Vietnamese Mennonite Church (1995-2017). In the last 10 years, three of the five churches in the city have become predominantly African. (Photo by Len Franz)

South Sudanese Mennonite Church women lead worship in the Gambela region in Ethiopia in January. (File photo by William Tut)

Bethel International Church Edmonton Oromo Congregation families are pictured at the front of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Edmonton, where they meet for services. (CM file photo by Joanne De Jong)

You are easily forgiven for not knowing that Edmonton is a beach city. In spite of its northern location and prairie landscape, sandcastles and sunbathers began appearing along a bank of the North Saskatchewan river in 2017.

Listen, debate, decide

(Image by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

In a few months Garry Janzen, the executive minister of Mennonite Church B.C. will retire. He’s served MC B.C. for 14 years in that role.

When he informed MC B.C. leadership about his upcoming retirement, we gathered to create a hiring process.

How will we discern God’s will for a future candidate?

Ukraine immigrant

(Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

What would you carry if you emigrated to another country? Twenty-three-year-old Anna Neufeld wore this locket in 1917 when her fiancé, Cornelius Tiessen, left, and brother Peter, both pictured in their Red Cross uniforms, served on medical trains during the First World War. Anna lived near present-day Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, now site of another war. Anna would marry Cornelius in 1918.

Becoming the enemy you hate

(Photo by Andre Hunter/Unsplash)

The story of Israel warns us of how easily we can become the very thing we hate.

The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, oppressed by Pharaoh and forced into slave labour to perpetuate the greatness of the kingdom. They suffered under oppression and longed to be freed from it. God heard their cry and set them free.

Boy’s bake sale raises funds for Ukraine

Cliff Gusztak with his mom Ashley hand over baked goods at his bake sale at Foothills Mennonite Church on March 27. (Photo by Jessica Evans)

Cliff Gusztak is a little boy with a big heart. An idea for a small cupcake stand evolved into a fundraising campaign that raised a total of $7,150 for Mennonite Central Committee’s Ukraine emergency response.

“I was maybe thinking that we could stop the war,” he said innocently but sincerely of his efforts.

Live theatre returns to Rockway with ‘Anne’

Anne Shirley, centre, played by Kira Andres, pleads with Marilla Cuthbert, left, played by Rebecca Janzen-Martin, to be allowed to stay at Green Gables, as Matthew Cuthbert, played by Marcus Dion looks on. (Photos by Tracey Matthews)

In a fit of temper, Anne, right, played by Kira Andres, breaks a slate over the head of Gilbert, played by Leo Schellenberger.

After a two-year hiatus, students at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, in Kitchener, were thrilled to perform Anne of Green Gables. The two-hour play was mounted by a cast and crew spanning grades 7 to12, with people from every grade enthusiastically contributing. Six performances ran from March 30 to April 2.

Making comforters for Ukraine refugees a community effort

Mother and daughter Marion and Irene Griese work together at a comforter at Niagara United Mennonite Church on March 26. (Photos by Emily Fieguth)

Women from the Westview Centre4Women work on the comforters.

A pile of comforters created at Niagara United Mennonite Church on March 26.

A basement room full of volunteers tie comforters at Niagara United Mennonite Church on March 26.

Bags of comforters ready for delivery to Mennonite Central Committee.

Niagara United Mennonite Church called its congregants and neighbourhood community together to tie comforters in the church basement on March 26. Advertisements in the local newspapers and in church bulletins invited anyone interested to gather for the morning.

Youths volunteer with MDS over spring break

Gerald Dyck, left, led a group from Emmanuel Mennonite Church in restoring a house damaged by last November’s floods. Also pictured, from left to right: Rachel Navarro, Emmanuel’s family pastor; Olivia Jesse; Naomi Cheny; and Isaac Boynton. (Photos courtesy of Rachel Navarro)

Naomi Cheny, left, and Olivia Jesse paint a house damaged by the B.C. flood as part of a church youth group work day in March.

Several young people from Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., volunteered with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) during spring break to help victims of last year’s massive flood.

Laughs at book launch

Manitoba humorist/author Andrew Unger introduced and signed books at an April 2 event at Abbotsford, B.C.’s, Mennonite Heritage Museum. (Photo by Wendie Nickel)

After several years of pandemic-induced Zoom book launches in B.C., satirist Andrew Unger winged his way to Abbotsford to face a living, breathing audience at the Mennonite Heritage Museum on April 2.

‘I wanted to know more about it’

Marion Roes’s book tells the history of funeral businesses in Ontario’s Waterloo Region. (Photo by Barb Draper)

This hearse, acquired by Chris Dreisinger about 1915, was the first motorized funeral vehicle in the area. (Photo courtesy of Marion Roes)

When Marion Roes began researching her family history, she came across some surprises connected to her family’s business. Intrigued, she tried to find out more about local undertakers, but there was almost no material available. So she began collecting information and doing interviews.

New digital resources for ‘Peaceful at Heart’

​​​​​Mennonite Men has created an audiobook, study guide and a podcast/video interview series based on the 2019 book, ‘Peaceful at Heart.’

Peaceful at Heart was released in 2019 to present a vision of peaceful living as an alternative to the expectations for masculinity widely held by society. The goal has been to engage as many men as possible in this important conversation.

Deborah Lynn Sprunger

Deborah Lynn Sprunger (1950-2022)

Deborah Lynn Sprunger, 71, of Lancaster, Pa., passed away on March 27, 2022, at Lancaster General Hospital surrounded by her loving family. Deborah was the loving wife of Rev. JW Sprunger.

She was born in Presque Isle, Maine, on April 17, 1950, to Clayton and Lynette Coffin.

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