Volume 27 Issue 1

The holy paradox of modern Mennonite identity

Mennonite demographics have shifted greatly over the centuries. Perceptions need to follow. (Design: Betty Avery)

I grew up happily embedded in white Mennonite culture in rural Manitoba. Our family regularly travelled to Winnipeg and on the edge of the city we would pass a Chinese Mennonite church. I never visited, heard about, read about or asked about that church. I just saw that sign and wondered vaguely how we all fit together.

Maria Kroeker

(Photo: Peter Kroeker Photo Collection)

In 1893, Maria Kroeker married Johann Neufeld in Reinland, Man. The couple moved to Lost River, Sask. in 1911. Then, in 1926, when the Saskatchewan government insisted that Mennonite children attend government schools, Maria and Johann moved their 11 children to Paraguay, where they helped establish the village of Bergthal.

Makin’ space

(Unsplash photo by Ambitious Creative Co.-Rick Barrett)

My youngest son, Cai, has developed a passion for working out, so for Christmas he asked for a home gym. More specifically, an Olympic barbell, bumper plate weights, an adjustable bench and a power rack. It was pretty expensive, so he offered to pay for half, and said, “You can use it too, Dad! It would be something we could do together.”

Apocalypse, peace, identity

Sofia Samatar speaks at Goshen College on Sept. 30, 2022. (Goshen College photo by Julian Gonzalez)

When Sofia Samatar took an American literature class at Goshen (Ind.) College more than 20 years ago, she wrote a paper about Walt Whitman, who is sometimes called the “good grey poet.” Among the thousands of student papers I read, this one stands out.

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