Volume 27 Issue 12

The duty of tension

Maxime Bernier, former Conservative cabinet minister from Quebec, and now leader of the People’s Party of Canada—ran in the federal by-election in southern Manitoba, basing his campaign in the heart of Mennonite country. This image is from a June 10 rally in Winkler, where the big-city francophone politician has won the hearts of a suprising number of Mennonites. (Photo by Will Braun)

I did not plan to write about polarization—I’ve filled my quota on that topic—until Maxime Bernier held a rally near my home. Bernier leads the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) and may be the most prominent populist politician in the country. I couldn’t resist the chance to cross the political divide.

Broken to serve

The glass sculpture titled, Imperative Change, is made from upcycled glass by Steinbach, Manitoba artist George Klassen. (Photo by George Klassen)

Henri Nouwen in 1996. (Photo by Kevin F. Dwyer, used by permission of the Henri J.M. Nouwen Archives at the University of St. Michael's College)

This glass fountain is made from upcycled glass by Steinbach, Manitoba artist George Klassen. (Photo by George Klassen)

Arthur Boers (Photo by Helen E. Grose)

In my mid-30s, two decades after the last time my father beat me, and two years after he died, I broke glass twice in one week. Once, for the first time in my life, in anger.

Are pick-and-shovel prayers still tearing through God’s rooftop?

(Photo by Shchekoldin Mikhail, Shutterstock)

In Mark 2:1, Jesus teaches the word to crowds gathered at his home. (Most readers don’t realize this was likely Jesus’s house). Jesus didn’t want the crowds. In the previous verses he healed a leper and told him not to tell anyone. However, the healed leper couldn’t keep his mouth shut, which resulted in large crowds forming at Jesus’s house.

Walnut Receiving Home

(Photo: Conference of Mennonites in Canada, Native Ministries)

In 1976, Jake and Trudy Unrau bought a home at 171 Walnut Street in Winnipeg and opened it up for Indigenous people visiting Winnipeg for medical appointments. In 1977, the Conference of Mennonites in Canada bought the home, and the Walnut Receiving Home became part of its ministry.

The gift of urgency

Jesus teaching from a fishing boat on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. (Photo by Annalisa Jones, Shutterstock)

An impassioned rant by a grandchild included these words: “Opa, why are you not dead yet?”

Why indeed.

The comment regarding my deserved death connects to the story of a recent event in my life.

Reno with a cause

The home Cathy Abbott shares with refugees in Waterloo, Ontario. (Supplied photos)

Cathy Abbott’s home during renovations.

Cathy Abbott remembers the preacher’s phrase that got her to consider taking a big step toward providing shelter for refugees arriving in Canada.

It was 2015 and Canadians were learning about the Syrian refugee crisis. The conflict had pushed millions of people to camps in neighbouring countries, with millions more displaced internally.

Children taken from Ukrainian families

Assistance provided by the Uman Help Centre, a partner of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine. (Photos courtesy of Uman Help Center)

Uman Help Centre supports Ukrainians.

Parents in Molochansk, Ukraine, awoke one morning in May to a message from Russian authorities: “Dear parents: Evacuation has been announced at the school. Today, arrive at the school building with documents for the child and a minimum of things for a couple of weeks.”

Northern cartographer runs thriving map business

Dan Driediger with one of his 42-inch map printers. (Supplied photo)

Map of the Boreal Trail East in Saskatchewan, one of Dan Driediger’s favourite maps. (Photo by Taylor Summach)

When Dan Driediger closes his eyes, he sees rivers, rises and roads. His unique photographic memory comes in handy. Driediger is a cartographer: He creates, prints and sells maps to people and organizations across Canada.

Class of ’60 reunion

Seated (left to right): Henry Fast, George Epp, Edith (Koop) Krahn, Gertrude (Janzen) deKleine, Myrna Zacharias. Standing: Henry Schroeder, Richard Epp, Peter Neufeld, Harold Epp, Sigrid (Martynes) Warkentin, Guenther Toews, Rudy Dahl (partially hidden), Evelyn (Janzen) Roden, Peter Rempel, Violet (Schapansky) Atwell, Tony Funk, Art Hildebrand, Verna (Wiens) Ewert, Ken Rempel, Edna (Friesen) Koop, Elsie (Bergen) Epp, Caroline Martens-Clappison, Ruby (Isaac) Harder, Barry Toews, Mervin Dyck (partially hidden), Eileen (Epp) Ewert, Walter Klassen, Elsbeth (Epp) Moyer, Ed Bergen. (Photo by Henry Schroeder)

To the sounds of much laughter, along with moments of sadness, the Rosthern Junior College (RJC) class of 1960 met in Saskatoon on May 18-19 to mark 63 years since graduation. Given that students generally complete high school at age 18, most of us at the reunion had reached the age of 81. More than one walker and cane were noted.

The sky ablaze

Skies ablaze over the airtanker base in Edson, Alberta on May 5. (Photo by Art Koop)

‘I didn’t think we’d be the ones evacuating,’ says Art Koop. (Photo courtesy of Art Koop)

Art Koop was cleaning up after teaching his last class of the day when the emergency alert blared from his cell phone. The message called for an immediate, mandatory evacuation. A wildfire threatened Edson, Alberta, the community where Koop lives and works. The sky was an eerie orange colour and thick with smoke.

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