Fifty-seven years ago, a young Mennonite author published a book that turned the Canadian Mennonite world upside down.
During a recent interview focusing on his debut novel and recent CMU Pax Award, acclaimed Mennonite writer Rudy Wiebe spoke on a variety of topics, including Omar Khadr, Miriam Toews, the western Canadian Indigenous story and the MB Herald.
Here's what he had to say.
It’s a hot, humid morning, and Maria Elena Algarañaz de Masabi is working at a booth displaying brightly coloured handicrafts for sale. She carefully lays out cloth purses and drawstring bags and hangs up knit children’s clothes.
ELKHART, Indiana – In the past two years, more than 260 literacy teachers have been trained in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now, they are helping 2,560 others learn to read and write in more than 100 locations. Most of the new readers are women and girls.
On April 3, 2009, southern Manitoba-based folk group the Other Brothers released Points of View. Recorded in the studio at Mennonite Church Manitoba, the album earned critical acclaim—CBC dubbed them “the Simon and Garfunkel of the Prairies”—and a small but loyal following.
Filmmaker Adam McKay recently revealed that when he was growing up, he attended a Mennonite church for a time.
During his appearance on the March 20 episode of the podcast You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, the writer-director shared that after his mother became a Christian, they attended a number of different churches.
General secretary César García and executive assistant Sandra Báez Rojas of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) have relocated to Canada as of last month to work out of the Kitchener, Ont., office.
Internationally renowned peacebuilder John Paul Lederach, who has committed his life and work to nonviolent approaches to conflict for more than 40 years, has been awarded the 36th Niwano Peace Foundation Peace Prize.
Before #MeToo and #ChurchToo—before there even was the Internet—there was Winnipegger Peggy Unruh Regehr.
Unruh Regehr, a member of River East Church (a Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba congregation) died September 27 last year at the age of 89. She was a pioneer in championing the cause of women in leadership in Mennonite denominations in Canada.
Challenges accompany the joys of growth as tens of thousands of people new to Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) swell the denomination.
Now with more than 600,000 participants, the world’s largest Anabaptist conference struggles to train enough pastors, find adequate meeting spaces, and keep vehicles maintained for its teachers, who travel to distant outposts on rough roads.
Thousands of miles from their homeland, a group of about 30 South Sudanese women gathers on Tuesdays in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. Meeting in each other’s homes, they pray for their war-torn country and its people, share about their lives and study the Bible together. Rebecca Riek, who came to Canada from South Sudan 16 years ago, helped start the group in 2007 and continues to lead it.
In order to address a $265,000 deficit, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) will close its Winnipeg-based Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team at the end of March. While CPT hopes to maintain relationships with its Indigenous partners, three full-time and one half-time positions devoted to the work will end.
Visual art for the Voices Together hymnal has been chosen by the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee. The 12 visual art pieces selected will appear in the forthcoming hymnal—including the pew, worship leader, digital app and projection editions.
“A student of literature and a Mennonite journalist with a special passion for the arts,” is how Margaret Loewen Reimer introduced herself during a lecture series entitled “Mennonites and the artistic imagination” at Canadian Mennonite Bible College, in Winnipeg, in 1998.
Ron Byler, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. executive director, right, attended a Korean Anabaptist Conference in Chuncheon, South Korea, along with three South Korean church leaders. Pictured from left to right: Bock Ki Kim, SeongHan Kim and SunJu Moon, all graduates of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. Byler travelled to South Korea in November 2018 to visit MCC program and partner organizations. (Mennonite Central Committee photo)
It has been more than 60 years since the ceasefire that ended the Korean War, but to this day North Korea and South Korea do not have an official peace, and the divide remains great.
Michael J. Sharp and fellow U.N. sanctions monitor Zaida Catalán of Sweden were abducted and killed in 2017 in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo while monitoring sanctions violations and possible war crimes by the Congolese national army and various militias.
Seven women ages 16–22 were baptized at a nearby pool the day the European leaders visited Mennonites in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. (Photo by J. Nelson Kraybill)
In a region of Ukraine that thousands of Mennonites left generations ago, two dozen of today’s Mennonite leaders from across Europe gathered for three days of fellowship in October 2018.
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) moved to a new office in Waterloo, Ont., in December. Taking part in the ribbon-cutting are, from left to right: Allan Sauder, outgoing MEDA president/CEO; Karen Redman, Region of Waterloo chair; Bardish Chagger, Waterloo MP; Dorothy Nyambi, incoming MEDA president/CEO ; Jenny Shantz, MEDA vice-chair; Jim Erb, Region of Waterloo councillor; and Dave Jaworsky, Waterloo mayor. (Photo courtesy of MEDA)
In December 2018, the federal government announced funding for a new five-year project with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) that will improve the economic resilience of women and youth farmers in Senegal.
Sisay Kasu, left, project manager for MCC Ethiopia, and Hussien Edris, project coordinator for Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA), look at the sediment trap leading into a birkat, a traditional water catchment system that MCC and APDA have expanded and modernized as part of an emergency water project in northern Ethiopia. (MCC photo by Rose Shenk)
From where he is standing, MCC Ethiopia representative Bruce Buckwalter can feel warm air escaping from underground steam vents. Notice the dried grass that grows from moisture making its way to the surface from the underground steam. (MCC photo by Rose Shenk)
In parts of the world where the effects of climate change are severe and rains are dangerously infrequent, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is supporting innovative projects to improve access to water.
In the Afar region of Northern Ethiopia, MCC supported the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) to build and maintain a steam well benefitting 60 households.
A team of six students from Conrad Grebel University College participated in MEDAx, a conference that was part of the larger Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) conference, held in November 2018, in Indianapolis.
Oil lamps light the sanctuary of the little church as guests arrive to experience ‘Christmas by lamplight.’ (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Guests arriving for ‘Christmas by lamplight’ at the Mennonite Heritage Museum’s church building in Rosthern, Sask. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Guests enjoy singing carols, listening to stories, drinking hot chocolate and eating peppernuts at the Mennonite Heritage Museum’s ‘Christmas by Lamplight.’ (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Old-fashioned oil lamps graced each windowsill in the tiny sanctuary, their steady flames bathing the room in warm light as people filed into the pews. The people came to experience “Christmas by lamplight.”
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)
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.
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: email@example.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)
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.
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)
“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.