Leadership from 18 Anabaptist organizations in the United States and Canada convened at the Anabaptist Collaboration on Climate Change (ACCC) on Jan. 26 and 27 to address what many consider a moral emergency.
Humanity wastes 931 million tonnes of food each year. This figure—from the 2021 United Nations Environment Programme Food Waste Index Report—is an estimate with an admittedly wide margin of error, but it is probably the best of the wildly varying estimates of food waste in the media.
We all inhabit a genuinely complicated world—a world of generosity and incomprehensible inequality.
I have compiled various numbers and statistics that relate to the wealthy and the poor, and the efforts to bridge the divide—topics of interest to biblical writers.
Numbers, too, are complicated, and they are both informative and deceptive.
Hyejung Jessie Yum, left, and Junggyu Anthony Yang work with Korean and other Canadians through Sowing for Peace in Toronto. They are members of Danforth Mennonite Church in Toronto and licenced pastors through Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. (Photo courtesy of Hyejung Jessie Yum and Junggyu Anthony Yang)
“The Mennonite tradition has a very precious heritage as a peace church,” says Junggyu Anthony Yang. “If we focus more and more on peace in our daily lives, then we truly become the children of God.”
Church members look at the property where the new church building was later constructed. (Grace Mennonite Church photo)
The original Grace Mennonite Church building located on 15 Street West in Prince Albert, Sask. (Grace Mennonite Church photo)
Children participate at Daily Vacation Bible School held at Camp Kinasao. (Grace Mennonite Church photo)
Volunteers, many of whom were members of Grace Mennonite Church, take part in a Person to Person visitation evening. (Grace Mennonite Church photo)
After 80 years, Grace Mennonite Church held its closing service on Jan. 31. The service marked a months-long discernment process and a bittersweet celebration of all that God has done through the church.
Grace Mennonite began with a mission, and the church’s legacy of mission in the community will continue.
Mennonite Church Canada and MC U.S.A. are collaborating to create a centralized, comprehensive guidebook for regional churches, conferences and congregations that addresses prevention of abuse by lay and credentialled leaders, as well as leadership accountability. The prevention and accountability project is expected to be completed in early 2023.
“There’s certainly a sense of urgency and immediacy to our request,” says Kerry Reimer, director of Parkland Restorative Justice, based out of Prince Albert, Sask.
One of Parkland’s main programs, Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), has been sustained largely through a federal funding initiative, but that funding is set to expire on March 31.
Right now it feels hard to believe, but eventually the COVID-19 pandemic will end. What will last longer are the strained and hurt relationships the virus has created.
Mediation Services in Winnipeg launched a new training program on Dec. 6 to help people learn how to navigate difficult conversations and maintain relationships when they disagree.
Fill the Bus campaign was held in December 2021 when the United Mennonite Home residents, families, staff, suppliers and community members filled the home’s bus with toys, personal-care items, non-perishable food, clothing and gift cards to support the local Community Services Village of Hope. (United Mennonite Home archives photo)
At the beginning of this pandemic, long-term-care homes were hit hard, with residents contracting the COVID-19 virus and many of them died of it.
Walter Sguazzin, executive director of the United Mennonite Home in Vineland, Ont., is happy to declare that not one resident had contracted, or died, of COVID-19 and its variants during the first four waves of the pandemic.
Clara Rodríguez holds two cans of MCC canned meat that she received through the Brethren In Christ Church of Cuba. (BICCC photo by Ramon Guisa)
The situation in Cuba was incredibly dire when a shipment of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) relief kits and canned food arrived.
It may be a pandemic, but Thrift on Mill in Leamington, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift store, had its highest grossing month of all time in November 2021.
Jess Klassen sews her own clothes. During the pandemic she also picked up crocheting and punch needle skills.
Tara Epp, left, Anna Goertzen Loeppky and Katrina Woelk Balzer worked together to create clothing using only local fibres and dyes.
Matthew Froese’s paska follows his grandmother’s style: loaf pan, glazed with rainbow sprinkles and served with cheese spread. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Froese)
Throughout COVID-19, schools and universities across the country have moved between learning in the classroom and online remotely. But what about education happening outside of traditional academic settings?
Many people have taken the different rhythm of life the pandemic has created as an opportunity to start learning and teaching in new ways.
Finding ways to help Japanese and Canadian churches connect with each other is one goal of a pastoral couple serving in Japan after years of ministry in British Columbia.
When Gerald Neufeld, pastor of Mennonite Japanese Christian Fellowship in Surrey, B.C., and his wife Rie felt a call to return to Japan, their family moved there last year.
Alvin Klassen, Keith Rudance and Joy Dougans take a load to the dump in Princeton. Read about the efforts of Mennonite Disaster Service to help clean up the town in December, a month after severe flooding and mudslides wreaked havoc in British Columbia. (Photo by John Longhurst)
As part of the clean-up in Princeton, B.C., Mennonite Disaster Service volunteer Alvin Klassen emerges from a basement with a damaged chair.(Photo by John Longhurst)
Joy Dougans, left, Alvin Klassen, right, and Keith Rudance, in the back, discuss their next move in the cleanup operations. (Photo by John Longhurst)
“The Mennonites are coming!”
That was the buzz around the town of Princeton, B.C., in early December 2021, when the first 16 Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers arrived to help residents hard hit by flooding in mid-November.
People in the town are “so exhausted,” said Spencer Coyne, Princeton’s mayor. But knowing help was arriving put “a glimmer of hope in their eyes.”
It is very difficult to go to the northern part of Ethiopia after the war broke out. Despite the security concerns, when I heard that members of our church in western Tigray were in difficult conditions, I organized a team. We would go there to show our love for Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) members in the area.
Cathrin van Sintern-Dick, MC Eastern Canada’s regional minister, centre, talks with Faith Glover, left, and Rielly McLaren at at Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington, Ont., at one of eight regional ‘Courageous Imagination’ gatherings last fall. (Photo by Yeabsra Agonfer)
Leah Reesor-Keller, MC Eastern Canada’s executive minister, standing at the mic, addresses a ‘Courageous Imagination’ regional gathering held at Ottawa Mennonite Church last fall. (Photo by Mollie Moua)
It is “progress report” time, partway through Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s year-long discernment process.
“Courageous Imagination: A journey together listening for God” was initiated last spring by the executive council of the regional church, noting that the last strategic plan was developed in 2014, and the current vision and mission statement was written in 2005.
A variety of Mennonite bonnets are on display at an exhibit at Schneider Haus in Kitchener, Ont., that explores the symbolism and meaning of women’s head coverings. (Photo by Janet Bauman)
The vast majority of North American Mennonite and Muslim women do not wear any sort of veil or head covering. Why then do head coverings receive so much public attention? Do Muslim head coverings and Mennonite bonnets provoke the same response?
University of Manitoba students who gather online for peer support, topical discussion and spiritual guidance in the E-Menno Office had an unexpected surprise during the fall term.
Depictions of God have always informed the faith of Christian believers.
‘Whether stretching our bodies for fitness, or stretching our spirits in worship, we experienced the empowering sabbath rest of God as we pulled “away from the crowds” for this short time,’ says Rudy Dirks. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)
Abigail is the niece of the key leadership couple, Leonard and Antoinette Kiswangi. Through the help of some friends in Canada, it was possible to get her special eyeglasses for her unique optical needs. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)
Mama Germain, the wife of a Mennonite pastor in Kikwit, prepared one main meal each day for the leadership coaching group that came to her home every afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Dirks)
Travelling from Canada to meet with Congolese and Angolan church leaders in Africa, Rudy Dirks is struck not by the cultural, social and economic differences between himself and those he meets, but rather their similarities.
In response to a fundraising appeal letter from Steinbach Community Christmas in October, Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) determined that it didn’t have any money to give, but decided that it could give of itself.