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Once Round the Barn: Pat-on-the-back Edition

Video below: ‘Once Round the Barn’ rides again. Resident ranter Will Braun has some choice words about how Mennonites talk about their generosity.

He’s our resident ranter, our pigpen pundit. Canadian Mennonite writer Will Braun rants around the barn on his southern Manitoba farmyard. This time he’s got opinions on how Mennonites talk about their generosity. (See the video below. Then scroll down more and check out more rants.)

 

North Korean farmers visit Manitoba, build relationships

Jennifer Deibert, left, MCC North Korea program coordinator, and North Korean agricultural delegates An Hui Jun and Jon Bom Ho talk shop with Martin Entz, a professor in the plant science department at the University of Manitoba, at a research farm in Carman, Man. (MCC photo by Colin Vandenberg)

Donna Rice, MCC representative for Northeast Asia, and Ambassador Ri Yong of the North Korean Mission to the United Nations, and others share a meal at the home of Charlotte and Ernie Wiens in La Salle, Man. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)

In those first few minutes after arriving at Syl’s Restaurant in Carman, members of a delegation from North Korea sit at the edge of the outdoor eating area, where they see local resident Rene McFarlane at a picnic table with her son Lane. The visitors move toward McFarlane and, with the help of a translator, a conversation about families in both countries begins.

MCC supports vulnerable people on the move

Daniel (a pseudonym) took this photo as members of the caravan he is with in Mexico climb aboard big trucks that will carry them north for a while. (Photo courtesy of Daniel)

This asylum seeker, unnamed for his protection, takes the bus from Casa Alitas, a respite house in Tucson, Ariz., to his next destination. The vast majority of asylum seekers from Central America have family in the United States with whom they plan to stay while awaiting a decision from immigration courts. (Thomas Nilsson photo: thomasnilsson@mac.com)

An asylum seeker at Casa Alitas, a respite house in Tucson, Ariz., shows his ankle-tracking monitor put on by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent at the Nogales, Ariz., port of entry. (MCC photo by Katherine Smith)

MCC East Coast funds the work of Rachel Díaz, left, a consulting attorney who helps immigrants attending Anabaptist churches in the U.S. to know their rights and get the legal status they are seeking. She is pictured with clients Maria Lopez Solis and Genry Rivas and their son Daniel Andre Rivas Lopez. (MCC photo by Andrew Bodden)

A mural at Centro de Atención a Migrantes en Éxodo (Center for Attention to Migrants in Exodus), a migrant shelter for families and individuals in transit, depicts Jesus riding on top of ‘La bestia’ (‘the beast’) with migrants who ride the train to the north. (MCC photo by Laura Pauls)

María Socorro Pineda, centre, stands with her daughter Evelin Briggith Lopez Pineda, 17, and son Herson Alfredo Pineda, 13, at their house. The family left with a migrant caravan in October but were forced by illness to come back home. (MCC photo by Jill Steinmetz)

When Magdalena Marcos Perez of Guatemala learned to diversify the produce in her garden through an MCC-supported project, she began to make more money. She used to consider migrating to the U.S. (MCC photo by Matthew Lester)

Daniel (a pseudonym, for security reasons) doesn’t have just one reason for leaving his daughter, 8, and parents in Honduras. He has many reasons for joining a caravan of thousands of migrants walking toward the U.S. border with Mexico.

“I was forced to leave because there weren’t jobs or opportunities, plus the insecurity and violence. It was a little bit of everything,” he says.

Imagining a new world at Women Doing Theology 2018

Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros presents her talk “A Theo(poetic) Revolution: The Language of Liberation” at the 2018 Women Doing Theology conference in Elkhart, Indiana (Photo by Kayla Berkey)

The speakers at the 2018 Women Doing Theology Conference (left to right), Rev. Yvette Blair, Dr. Malinda Elizabeth Berry and Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros, explored the theme “Talking’ ’Bout a Revolution: Dialogue, Practice and the Work of Liberation.” (Photo by Kayla Berkey)

In the workshop, “Mennonite and Feminist: The Revolutionary Work of Theologian Lydia Neufeld,” a panel of Canadian women responded to Harder’s most recent book, The Challenge is in the Naming: A Theological Journey. Left to right: Michele Rizoli, Kim Penner, Susanne Guenther Loewen, Lydia Harder Neufeld, and Carol Penner. Other workshops were led by Canadians Sarah Kathleen Johnson (on questions of worship and language), Marilyn Zehr and Svinda Heinrichs (on post-Mennonite lesbian pastors) and Steph Chandler Burns (on queer theology). (Photo by Virginia A. Hostetler)

Joanne Gallardo (left) leads singing during a worship session of the Women Doing Theology conference. (Photo by Kayla Berkey)

“Wipe away all tears for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.” Over 200 people from across North America filled the Chapel of the Sermon of the Mount with these lyrics, singing and dancing the “Canticle of the Turning” at the third biennial Women Doing Theology (WDT) conference. The conference, which took place Nov.

Christmas: Let it be, let it go

As we celebrate Christmas, it may be helpful to sort out what is worth releasing for the enjoyment of the season and what is worth keeping, or even adding. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

A nativity scene is a reminder of the coming of the Christ Child, the reason for Christmas celebrations. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Amy Dueckman is pictured with her Christmas tree and musical decorations. (Photo courtesy of Amy Dueckman)

When Jill (a pseudonym) turns her calendar to December, she’ll read a message she wrote to herself a year ago: “Be intentional all through the month to not put pressure on myself and to avoid the stress of the holidays.” 

Rural church celebrates 70 years of God’s presence

Pastor Erin Morash, left, and artist/quilter Esther Hildebrand stand in front of the banner that was designed and quilted by Hildebrand to commemorate the church’s 70th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of Jill Hildebrand)

About 160 people gathered in Crystal City Mennonite Church, Man., on Nov. 4, 2018, to celebrate 70 years of God’s faithfulness and guidance.The theme “In God’s Hands” was reflected in the stories and memories that were shared of the church’s past and present experiences, says Pastor Erin Morash. “God’s presence is constant and eternal, even when we are unaware of it.

Emmaus Mennonite closes after 90 years

This well-kept building has been home to Emmaus Mennonite Church since it was moved on to the property in 1937. Now that the congregation has closed, the building is for sale. (Photo by Lorna Wiens)

Marvin Wiens, Emmaus Mennonite’s congregational chair, leads worship during the church’s closing worship service. Also pictured are Lorna Wiens, Susan Peters and Gaylia Wiens. (Photo by Ryan Siemens)

Fred Heese, who served as Emmaus Mennonite’s pastor for over 20 years, shares the congregation’s history at its closing service, held in Wymark on Oct. 28. (Photo by Ryan Siemens)

“There’s not one of us that isn’t grieving,” said Lorna Wiens. “We’re all unhappy to lose our church building, our congregation, our friends.” Wiens was reflecting on the decision to close Emmaus Mennonite Church in Wymark, Sask.

Palestinian and Israeli share dreams for peace

Tarek Al-Zoughbi, left, of Wi’am: the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center, and Sahar Vardi, with the American Friends Service Committee, provided their views on a just peace in Israel-Palestine at Speaking Our Peace at Canadian Mennonite University. (Byron Rempel-Burkholder)

Sahar Vardi and Tarek Al-Zoughbi live less than 20 kilometres away from each other—Vardi in Jerusalem, and Al-Zoughbi in the West Bank city of Bethlehem to the south. A literal wall, checkpoints and cultures of mutual hatred separate the regions each call home. 

Study connecting genetics and bipolar disorder enlists Mennonites

The surfacing of her bipolar disorder may have ended Bev Miller's teaching career, but the Eastern Mennonite University alumna has used her experiences to educate others about the disorder and to encourage participation in a National Institute of Mental Health study of the disorder in Anabaptists. (Photo by James Pruitt/The Village Reporter)

In a study on genetics and bipolar disorder, vials of cells in the study are removed from a deep freezer. (Courtesy photo)

The Mennonite Game—tracing the genealogy of a new acquaintance until finding a common ancestor—might be a fun pastime for people with Mennonite backgrounds, but their relatively shallow gene pool is also helpful for understanding the neurobiology behind bipolar disorder.

Mennonite Gallery celebrates 20 years of art and relationships

Ray Dirks, centre, is pictured with Teresita Chiarella, left, and Winnipeg artist Anthony Chiarella at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s 20th anniversary fundraising event. (Photo by Gladys Terichow)

Eleanor and Al Hamm of Steinbach, left, are pictured with Winnipeg artist Lynda Toews at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s 20th anniversary fundraising event. Toews painted the nativity scene from her photograph of people from Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach: Al is the shepherd on the left, Eleanor Hamm is one of the wise men whose face has been changed, John Peters is Joseph, Alyssa Lord is Mary, and Gary Brown is the faceless shepherd on the right. (Photo by Gladys Terichow)

A nativity painting by Winnipeg artist Lynda Toews brings attention to Joseph’s commitment to God, and to the bond between farm animals and people. The donkey’s dorsal strip forms a cross pointing to Baby Jesus. 

Alumni award winner works tirelessly for peace

Marcus Shantz, Conrad Grebel University College president, left, stands with Grebel’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Service Award winner, Dean Peachey. Peachey was honoured for his far-reaching contributions in promoting peace in church and society. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

A crowd of old friends and alumni, as well as people interested in restorative justice, filled the Grebel Gallery on Oct. 11, 2018, to hear from Dean Peachey. He reflected on the seeds of peace that were sown during the 25 years he and his wife Melissa Miller spent in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Rooted and Grounded speakers call for changed worldviews

Ken Quiring, pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Brandon, Man., and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, give a presentation on biblical storytelling and creation care stories, and presented Scripture for a number of the worship sessions during AMBS’s Rooted and Grounded conference. (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Randy Woodley, distinguished professor of faith and culture and director of intercultural and Indigenous studies at George Fox University/Portland (Oregon) Seminary, gives a keynote address on ‘Resurrecting ancient wisdom and worldview.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary in New York City gives a keynote address on ‘A moral framework for concern about climate and related environmental issues.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Valerie Bridgeman, dean and vice-president for academic affairs at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, give a keynote address entitled ‘If only: Learning from creation.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

As the floodwaters of Hurricane Florence crested in South Carolina in late September, three keynote speakers at this year’s Rooted and Grounded conference on land and Christian discipleship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) told participants that shifts in the dominant western belief systems and priorities would be needed for people to live in right relationship with God’s creati

‘Everything was getting better’

Victoria Mamani Sirpa noticed that her family was healthier after they started growing and eating vegetables grown in their greenhouse in El Alto, Bolivia. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky) 

Victoria Mamani Sirpa, left, an agricultural technician and teacher for Fundación Communidad y Axión, visits Luciana Llamaca de Condori’s greenhouse in El Alto, Bolivia. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky) 

Before 2008, Victoria Mamani Sirpa had only ever cooked with four vegetables: carrots, chard, celery and onions.

B.C. Festival for World Relief raises $1 million-plus

More than 20,000 people attended the annual MCC British Columbia Festival for World Relief on Sept. 14 and 15, 2018, at the Abbotsford Tradex, which raised more than $1 million to support uprooted and vulnerable people locally and around the world. (MCC B.C. photo)

More than 20,000 people attended the annual Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) British Columbia Festival for World Relief in mid-September, raising more than $1 million to support uprooted people locally and around the world.

Japanese Mennonites consider ‘Shared Convictions’

Japanese Mennonites used the ‘Shared Convictions’ of Mennonite World Conference to reflect on the faith and practice of global Anabaptists. (Photo by Atsuhiro Katano) 

At the annual Peace Missions Centre seminar, members of Nihon Menonaito Kirisuto Kyokai Kyogikai (Mennonite church) in Japan used the “world café” discussion method to reflect on MWC’s ‘Shared Convictions.’ (Photo by Atsuhiro Katano)

A quiz on global Christianity and Anabaptism (including MWC statistics) prepared participants from Nihon Menonaito Kirisuto Kyokai Kyogikai (Japan Mennonite Christian Church Conference) for a discussion of the “Shared Convictions” of Global Anabaptists.

Manitoba Mennonites to explore vulnerability and mission

This learning event will replace the fall meeting of Mennonite Church Manitoba delegates.

Embracing vulnerability can help congregations “engage with the world the way Jesus did,” says Ken Warkentin, Mennonite Church Manitoba Executive Minister.

Through plenary talks and workshops, Manitoba congregations will have the opportunity to learn about mission and vulnerability at InFuse, a one-day learning event that takes place at Canadian Mennonite University Nov. 3, 2018.

Anabaptist Peace Network creates space for relationships

In April 2018, the steering committee of the emerging Global Anabaptist Peace Network met for its first face-to-face meeting, in Limuru, Kenya. From left to right: Pascal Kulungu, Fulco van Hulst, Andrés Pacheco (Global Anabaptist Peace Network coordinator), Wendy Kroeker, Andrew Suderman (Peace Commission secretary). (MWC photo by Karla Braun)

he meeting between Ricardo Esquivia (left) and Wendy Kroeker (right) exemplifies the pertinence of a network that enables peacebuilders to meet face-to-face. (MWC photo by Karla Braun)

Coffee breaks at the triennial Mennonite World Conference (MWC) General Council, Commissions and networks meetings in Kenya, April 2018, allowed Colombia peacebuilder and human rights lawyer Ricardo Esquivia to share with an old friend his vision for the Global Anabaptist Peace Network (GAPN): to build networks supporting peacebuilders in the field and communicating with the broader Mennonite c

Education equips Ethiopian leader to serve

Distance education director Tigist Alamirew, standing, with students in class at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Tigist Alamirew)

Distance education director Tigist Alamirew at her desk at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of Tigist Alamirew)

“With the grace of God, I escaped many deaths throughout my journey in Christ,” says Tigist Alamirew. Born to an Orthodox family in Finote Selam, she now serves as distance education director at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

Voices Together committee seeks input

The Central Practices Committee, a part of the Voices Together hymnal project, includes, from left to right: Irma Fast Dueck, Isaac Villegas, Heidi Miller, Sarah Kathleen Johnson, Adam Tice and Allan Rudy-Froese. (MennoMedia photo)

Six people who have been meeting virtually for the last two years via videoconference gathered together in person for the first and only time this summer to speak through and listen to the worship resources that will be part of Voices Together, a new hymnal to be published by MennoMedia in 2020 for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church U.S.A.

‘I need to go to school’

Kanku Ngalamulume and Kapinga Ntumba are orphans living in Tshikapa, where they fled to after their parents were killed in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (MCC photo by Mulanda Juma)

Ten-year-old Kanku Ngalamulume fled from his home in the village of Senge after armed groups beheaded his mother and father and his siblings too.

He was among 1.4 million people in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have been forced from their homes as violence among local militias and the Congolese military erupted in August 2016.

Young people key to resilient church

César García, Mennonite World Conference general secretary, second from right, is pictured with, from left to right: Abby Hershberger, program assistant; Thien Tran, IVEP Intern; Katie Garrison, program Associate; and MCC UN office director Doug Hostetter. (MCC United Nations Office photo)

Throughout its history, the people of the Vietnam Mennonite Church have never failed to demonstrate their resilience and their commitment to live out the peaceful way of Christ.

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