Young Voices

Welcoming the vulnerable

From Feb. 18-20, I was part of a group of 30 students and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) staff from across Canada who met in Ottawa for the annual MCC Student Seminar to learn about refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons. We heard from United Nations staff, MPs, MCC staff who work with refugees, and volunteers who assist newcomers to Canada.

Making a Mennonite

‘Not going back to camp will be tough,’ says Andrew Brown of his experiences at MC Manitoba’s Camp Moose Lake. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)

‘At camp, I got learn what it means to follow Jesus.’ (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)

‘I made great friends at camp,’ says Andrew Brown. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)

‘I wanted to give campers the same great experience I had.’(Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)

‘I returned to camp every summer because I loved everything about it.’ (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)

I did not grow up attending a Mennonite church. Growing up two hours southeast of Winnipeg in Piney, Man., I attended International Christian Fellowship, a small congregation that includes an interesting mix of people and theological backgrounds. It is an international amalgamation of American and Canadian churches on the U.S.

More than just punchlines

What makes Mennonites funny, and what does their sense of humour say about them?

Those are the questions at the heart of That Mennonite Joke, a new documentary from Prairie Boy Productions. Written and directed by Winnipeg filmmaker Orlando Braun, the documentary follows Niverville, Man., comedian Matt Falk as he traces the roots of Mennonite humour.

Set up to succeed

I paid for my undergraduate degree with scholarships and my own savings, and graduated without student debt. I am touchy about this. I tell anyone listening about how expensive it was, how I kept my grades high and earned scholarships, what weird part-time work I did and the imaginative ways I found to save money.

The geek shall inherit the earth

Allison Barron developed an interest in computer games and science fiction at an early age. Reconciling her pop culture interests with her Christian faith has not always been easy, though.

“I’ve never felt very ostracized or pressured because of my [interests],” says Barron, 26. At the same time, “I did not feel like that was something I could bring to church, either.”

Solace in a subculture

It takes Anna Chemar almost two hours to dress in her favourite style. The elaborate makeup alone requires 45 minutes. Carefully slipping into the clothes—bell-shaped skirt, blouse and corset—takes another 20 minutes. The rest of the time is devoted to final touches: wig, headdress and painted lips. When finished, she looks like a Gothic-styled doll.

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