Volume 27 Issue 10

How I almost bought a Tesla

The Tesla that tempted me. (Photos from Kijiji post, compilation by Betty Avery)

I came closer than I’d like to admit.

Three weeks before a family road trip to Ontario, our ex-Hutterite mechanic gave our 2004 Jetta wagon the death sentence. The ensuing car search turned into a troubling family crash course in the psychology of real-life environmental ethics.

Commerce, church and belonging

Milo Shantz pictured with a turkey in the late 1950s. Shantz and his brother Ross started a highly successful turkey business. (Photo courtesy of Marcus Shantz)

Diorama of a barn-raising at the St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway, a tourist attraction in St. Jacobs. (Photo by Dean Holtz)

Milo Shantz, left, and his son Marcus, pictured in 2004. (Photo courtesy of Marcus Shantz)

Zacchaeus being called down from the sycamore tree by Jesus. (istock photo by benoitb)

I was delivering a sermon on the story of Zacchaeus last October when I realized that when I talked about Zacchaeus, I was actually thinking about, and picturing, my father.

Though not short in stature, my father, like Zacchaeus, was a man whose occupation was often controversial in his community. My father, Milo Shantz, who died in 2009, was a businessman.

Time to be a champion

Kirsten Hamm-Epp (right) and her mom, Marilyn Houser Hamm. (Supplied photo)

These days I’ve been thinking about youth and the church. Connecting youth to the church is a passion of mine, and I’m fortunate that the wonderful people of Saskatchewan see fit to pay me to do this work. I am also fortunate to have had a number of people invest significant time encouraging me to live into my passion and work for the church.

Mennonite Men of Canada

(Photo: The Canadian Mennonite / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

By 1961, men’s groups in General Conference churches had proliferated to the point where a national organization, “Mennonite Men of Canada,” was formed. Here, in 1962, are executive members Henry M. Dick (Calgary), Carl Ens (Saskatoon) and Ted Friesen (Altona, Manitoba). Men’s groups met for fellowship, service projects and to run boys’ clubs.

Standing ready for the end

Olfert cousins, gathered at Aunt Anne’s funeral. (Supplied Photo)

Recently, another of my old aunts died. Aunt Anne was my dad’s sister. The Olfert family was a large one, with six boys and six girls. Three sisters and a brother remain.

Aunt Anne was a grand old lady, who carried the family trait of great determination. Her life was often not easy. A long-time widow, she had also buried two of her children.

Everything is connected

(Photo by Tumisu from Pixabay)

This column is going to attempt two tasks, because, well, everything is connected! As usual, I may be trying to do too much—let’s see!

First of all, May is mental health month. Several years ago, I wrote about my own mental health struggles. Of all the columns I have written, it was the scariest of all to send to readers, but also generated the most public and private responses.

Ernie Regehr presents analysis of Ukraine war

Ernie Regehr (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)

Ernie Regehr—a prominent Canadian voice on disarmament and peacebuilding for over 40 years—shared his unique analysis of the Ukraine conflict at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, Ontario on May 6.

Regehr co-founded Project Peacemakers in 1976 and currently serves as a research fellow at Conrad Grebel University College. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.

Philippines learning tour

Coffee beans drying outside at the Malipayon Peace Hub. (Photo by Dorothea Enns)

Over brunch on Sunday, April 23, at Niagara United Mennonite Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, two members of the church shared about the Mennonite Church Canada learning tour to the Philippines. Dorothea Enns and her niece Anita Dong spoke about the time that they and 10 others spent in the Philippines during the January 12 to 22 trip.

Grebel grandma

Mark Leistra, Leola Roth and Owen Roth enjoy an intergenerational supper together. (Supplied photo)

While cousins Adam and Owen Roth had grown to “love the Grebel community,” as first-year students at Conrad Grebel University College, one crucial thing was missing from their new lifestyle: supper at Grandma’s.

Author addresses collective trauma in new book

Joni S. Sancken speaks at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary earlier this year. (AMBS photo by Kayla Holdread)

A new book aims to help Christians process collective traumas.

In All Our Griefs to Bear, seminary professor Joni S. Sancken suggests practices that church leaders and members can use to nurture resilience and compassion as they work through the traumas they face, including the pandemic.

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