Volume 27 Issue 21

God have mercy on the Middle East

A building used by the Near East Council of Churches, a partner of the Mennonite Central Committee in the Gaza Strip. The building was damaged by the Israeli bombardment. October 13, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Neart East Council of Churches (via MCC))

As we prepare to send this peace-themed issue of the magazine to press, all eyes are on Gaza. Israeli tanks sit poised at its northern border, ready to invade. Long lines of transport trucks laden with aid sit at its southern border, as a humanitarian catastrophe unfolds. The people of Gaza, mostly civilians, sit in between—cut off, trapped, at the mercy of outside forces.

Memory carrier

Nelson Groh was a Mennonite killed in the Second World War. (Photos by A.S. Compton)

This bear was among Nelson Groh’s personal effects, returned to his family after his death.

Nelson Groh’s personal effects, returned after he died in the Second World War.

“Sir,” said the man, “you and your family can be very proud of your son.”

Wanner Mennonite Church

(Photo: David L. Hunsberger / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

This photograph shows Wanner Mennonite Church at worship in July 1950. In the mid-20th century, it was a new pattern for many Ontario Mennonite congregations to have men and women sitting together in a worship service rather than men on one side and women on the other. What is your congregation’s “social geography?” Who sits where? Why do you think this is?

Whose side are you on?

Bombed building in Gaza, 2014. (Photo by Joanna Hiebert Bergen-MCM Palestine-Israel Network)

In Joshua 5, we come across one of those wonderfully strange biblical stories that shakes our preconceptions and leaves us with more questions than answers.

Israel is encamped at Gilgal, preparing to besiege Jericho at God’s command—so they firmly believe. Suddenly Joshua sees a man whom he does not recognize standing in front of him, sword drawn.

Part I: Family ties

Cathrin van Sintern-Dick

Why cut what can be untied? This wise, old saying can apply to family conflicts. Some of our family ties are threadbare and frail; there is strain, and there is underlying conflict that we are aware of but too timid and, dare I say, too peace-loving to address.

Palestinian voices

This photo comes from the friend of a member of the Mennonite Church Manitoba Palestine-Israel Network. It shows the remains of the house next to that of the sender in Gaza, which was recently bombed, killing 17 people. (Supplied photo)

Yousef Alkhouri

Yousef Alkhouri is a Palestinian Christian from Gaza. He is a lecturer at Bethlehem Bible College, though is currently studying in Europe. He visited Canada last year, along with Jack Sara, at the invitation of Mennonite Church Canada. The following is part of a note he sent to Canadian Mennonite on October 14.

Mennonites in Ecuador reach out as their country struggles

ICAME’s refugee support program in Quito, Ecuador. (Photo courtesy of ICAME/MWC)

Alexandra Meneses (right) records distribution of food aid to Carmen Maria Garcia, a recent immigrant to Ecuador. (MCC photo by Annalee Giesbrecht)

In August, Iglesia Cristiana Anabautista Menonita de Ecuador (ICAME) published a statement calling for prayers amid escalating violence in the country.

Rod Suderman, Emmanuel pastor, dies at 63

Rod Suderman, in recliner, surrounded by members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

Rod Suderman, lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., died on Sept. 2 following a cancer diagnosis earlier this year. He had also served as a pastor in Saskatchewan and worked in China, both with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church.

Theatre group tackles abuse

Theatre of the Beat performs ‘I Love You and it Hurts.’ (Photo by Cedric Martin)

Interactive theatre requires audience participation, explained Cedric Martin as he introduced “I Love You and It Hurts,” a Theatre of the Beat performance held at the Kitchener Public Library on September 30. “Don’t panic,” he added quickly, promising that no one would be coerced or shamed into participating.

Children find belonging, friendship in Winnipeg choir

Last May, the Sargent Junior Choir performed ‘The Agape League,’ a musical about the fruit of the spirit. (Supplied photo)

Norinne Danzinger-Dueck has led the Sargent Junior Choir for 11 years. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

The choir rehearses every Wednesday evening from September to May. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Choir members rehearse a song about Deborah, an Old Testament prophet. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

It’s a Wednesday evening and the two dozen children gathered in a room at the back of Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church in Winnipeg are singing about candy-coated chocolate.

“Mommy made me mash my M&M’s” isn’t a sentence one expects to hear in church, but the members of the Sargent Junior Choir are singing the phrase as part of their warm-up exercises.

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