God at work in the Church

Lorraine Roth’s collection finds archival home

Laureen Harder-Gissing, archivist at Conrad Grebel University College, examines some of the items from Lorraine Roth’s collection that recently found a new home at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

A lifetime of persistent and meticulous research into the lives and family histories of Amish Mennonites has been donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo. Lorraine Roth first became intrigued with genealogy as a teenager in the 1940s, and spent the ensuing decades reading and corresponding widely.

Bethel Mennonite Church celebrates 75 Years

One stop on a guided bus tour was the Furby Street building where members worshipped from 1945-1955. This 105-year-old building is now used by the St. Demetrius Romanian Orthodox Church. It is also the birthplace of Canadian Mennonite Bible College (now CMU).

On the occasion of their 75th anniversary, Bethel members erected a Peace Pole to symbolize its commitment to peace.

In 1937, a tired and aging Rev. Benjamin Ewert sat in the old Eaton’s waiting room in downtown Winnipeg. As young people drifted through, he studied their faces to see if he could match any of them to the rural Mennonite people he knew in southern Manitoba.

Saskatoon MEDA chapter hears about Ghana

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) helps women get loans to develop small businesses, such as this woman in Ghana who sells salt at the market.

Although the Saskatoon chapter of MEDA is considered to be a small group, their dreams to help others are big. Each year, this group of business people raises money for one project with an eye to giving $20,000 toward their chosen project. This past year, they agreed to help rice farmers in Ethiopia and at their spring gathering, over three quarters of that amount was raised.

Ukraine oak ‘grandchild’ planted at M.E.I.

With the oak sapling in the background, Art Friesen addresses the group gathered to recognize the gift of the tree grown from the famous Chortitza oak to M.E.I.

The Chortitza oak, a large tree that has stood in Ukraine for over 700 years, continues living on in a new generation on the campus of Mennonite Educational Institute (M.E.I.) in Abbotsford, thanks to a gift from Art and Marlyce Friesen.

Snow, warning letter and study enthusiasm

Cheryl Pauls (right), president of Canadian Mennonite University and Terry Schellenberg, vice-president external, were among those who attended the Mennonite Church Canada leadership assembly in Edmonton where winter came early. They also met with pastors, parents and students in Edmonton and Calgary during their trip.

A blast of winter welcomed Mennonite Church Canada leaders to Edmonton’s First Mennonite Church for the annual fall leadership assembly Nov. 7-10. Most travellers managed to be on time, and laughter about inadequate footwear, lack of coats, and snow-covered signs was common fodder at coffee break.

Long pastorate provides stability in mobile congregation

Don and Dorothy Friesen enjoy the service of retirement, recognizing Don’s many years of pastoral service at the Ottawa Mennonite Church.

Friesen at the piano in the early years.

Friesen preaches in 1980. Over time, only the colour of his beard has changed.

Pierre Trudeau was Canadian prime minister for the first time. Jimmy Carter was president of the United States and Leonid Brezhnev of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Gasoline sold for under 50 cents a litre and the Canadian Constitution had not been repatriated when Don and Dorothy Friesen moved to Ottawa so he could begin pastoring the Ottawa Mennonite Church (OMC).

Process begins for new Martyrs Mirror

Robert (Jack) Suderman (left) was among 35 people from seven countries gathered at Goshen College to begin the process of gathering stories about costly discipleship.

More than 35 people from seven countries gathered at Goshen College on August 5-8 for an international consultation on the theme, “Bearing Witness: A New Martyrs Mirror for the 21st Century?” Hosted by the college’s Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism, the international gathering explored the possibility of a major story-gathering initiative, focused especially on the theme of “costly

Youth create their own film to tell VBS stories

Owen Sararus and Andre Wiederkehr act out a Bible story as Theo Wiederkehr films, Dave Sararus directs and Lydia Dyck supervises. The youth at Hanover (Ont.) Mennonite Church were very involved in their congregation’s Vacation Bible School program as they made films for each day’s Bible story.

Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Hanover Mennonite Church has been an inspiring ecumenical endeavor year after year, but the dramas of the MennoMedia curriculum were always a challenge. When it seemed in 2012 as though the VBS dramas were on the brink of collapse, the idea of having the youth film the dramas turned out to have the youth wholeheartedly engaging the Scriptures.

Chiara House

Norm Voth, director of Evangelism and Service for Mennonite Church Manitoba, and Jamie Arpin-Ricci, pastor of Little Flowers Community Church, stand outside Chiara House.

When Andrew, a new Christian in Little Flowers Community Church, tragically took his life, it shook the church to its core.

Sharing what they have gained

Pastoral intern Christina Edmiston engages ministry team leader Mike Thiessen in conversation at the potluck following Wanner Mennonite’s 175th-anniversary celebration service on June 24 in Cambridge, Ont.

The way Ken Bechtel, Wanner Mennonite Church historian, puts it, the “175” in this year’s celebration refers only to the construction of the first dedicated church building.

Portage Mennonite Church closes

Derek (7) and Michael (10) Thiessen, comprising the entire Sunday School, began a goat project in June, just weeks before the last worship service of Portage Mennonite Church. They are not sure where will they will go to church now that it is closing. 

Portage Mennonite Church

For over 35 years “the little church that could” nurtured faith, built community, and sent many of its members out into the wider world to work in with MCC, Canadian Foodgrains Bank or Mennonite Church Canada programs. It was a place for those Christians who moved into the city of Portage la Prairie to grow in their faith and find fellowship with others who shared these Anabaptist convictions.

Hutterite author inspires heritage retreat

Kurt Janz, left, host of the Alberta Heritage Retreat at Camp Valaqua on June 6, poses with guest speaker Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of I am Hutterite, during one of several breaks.

“Interesting!” “Informative!” “Inspiring!” were immediate responses to the question, “What did you think of the day?” Well over 100 participants, most of them over 60, participated in the annual Alberta Heritage Retreat held at Camp Valaqua on June 6, an exceptionally strong turnout.

CMU announces $11-million capital project

Architect’s rendering of Canadian Mennonite University’s new library and learning commons, and pedestrian bridge.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) has made public its plans for a major new capital project that will significantly enhance CMU’s infrastructure for delivering quality post-secondary education. This important new campus asset will also serve as a valuable resource to the broader Manitoba community.


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