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Shekinah Retreat Centre installs electric vehicle charging station

An electric vehicle ‘fills up’ at the charging station at the Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Sask. (Photo by Jared Regier)

The Shekinah Retreat Centre, located near Waldheim, Sask., is now home to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station.

Shekinah, which is one of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s camps, had the station added to the grounds this fall.

Art project brings congregation together

Pastor Rachel Navarro, left, and Angelika Dawson, right, reveal the finished artwork that members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., worked on collaboratively in fall. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

A new art project on the subject of “journey” that members of the Emmanuel Mennonite Church congregation took part in painting is now hanging above the building’s front doors.

The idea for the collaborative art project came from member Angelika Dawson, who has spearheaded previous art displays at Emmanuel, and Rachel Navarro, the new family pastor.

CMU music students break pandemic ‘fast’

Two CMU students offer musical talents to community orchestra in Winnipeg. (Photo by Stanley Wiebe)

The Mennonite Community Orchestra (MCO) broke the pandemic silence with a concert featuring two Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) students on Nov. 14 in Winnipeg.

The concert was the ensemble’s first since November 2019, after which the novel coronavirus postponed all further productions.

A little SALT goes a long way

In December 2018, Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike and her husband Christopher Eigbike visit the church she had served at while with SALT in 1982. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike)

Members of Brethren in Christ Church in Mpopoma township, Zimbabwe, gather to bid farewell to Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike at the Bulawayo Airport as she ends her SALT term there on Sept. 1, 1983. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike)

Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike, bottom right, poses with some of the second SALT cohort of 1982 during orientation in Akron, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike)

In the summer of 1982, 20-year-old Sophie Tiessen-Eigbike was about to get on a plane bound for Zimbabwe. She didn’t know it yet, but this trip was going to change the trajectory of her life.

She was going to Zimbabwe for a year-long term with Serving and Learning Together (SALT), a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) program that was in just its second year.

Foodgrains Bank continues to feed hungry with help of local community

The Common Ground Growing Project near Rosenfeld, Man., harvested 12 hectares of wheat in August. (Photo by Gordon Janzen)

The coronavirus has intensified a multitude of world issues, including hunger. The United Nations’ State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report revealed a big increase in the number of people facing hunger in 2020.

Warm but not fuzzy in 2050

Highway 1 in B.C. washed out by severe rain on Nov. 17. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Flooding in B.C. on Nov 22. (Province of British Columbia photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Climate change has been on the agenda of our global village for a generation. The science, the discourse and the mood have shifted over time. As has reality. What was once a dark cloud in the distance has become an atmospheric river overhead.

MCC reverses decision to close Plum Coulee warehouse

Pictured above is a Mennonite Central Committee relief kit filled with towels, shampoo, soap and other essential items. (MCC photo by Paula Holtzinger)

In January 2021, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada and MCC Manitoba declared that they would close their warehouse in Plum Coulee, Man., about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, and move material resource operations to New Hamburg, Ont.

Speakers announced for Amplify! youth gathering

Christine Kampen Robinson, left, and Christy Anderson. (Photos courtesy of Canadian Mennonite University)

Christine Kampen Robinson and Christy Anderson, both on the staff of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, have been named as the keynote speakers for Amplify!, the nationwide youth gathering happening next summer at Camp Valaqua, near Water Valley, Alta., from July 31 to Aug. 4, 2022.

Massive B.C. flooding affects Menno community

The Sumas Prairie is pictured in the beginning stages of the refilling of Sumas Lake. At this point in time, the worst flooding was further to the west but, after the dike was breached, this area filled up with more water. (Photo by Elaine Binnema)

The submerged interchange of Highway 1 and Whatcom Road in Abbotsford. (Photo by Elaine Binnema)

A member of Yarrow United Mennonite Church was among those working through the night sandbagging to help save the Barrowtown Pump Station. (Photo courtesy of Darnell Barkman)

The Barg farm just east of Chilliwack was spared from flooding, and was able to take in the cows from this flooded barn. The Bargs attend Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack. Mary reports, ‘We are holding up okay, finding a rhythm with our new herd, working hard to coordinate with and support the efforts to continue to evacuate cows that are stranded.’ She says the farmer was ‘pretty thankful to be able to save all of his animals, including the chickens, and he even was able to leave some food for the barn cats in the hayloft.’ (Photo by Mary Barg)

Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack had its basement flooded in mid-November. Pictured squeegeeing up is Calvin Patterson. More than 90 percent of the basement was covered in a few inches of water. Since the basement has been the site of two local food-based ministries to seniors and students during the pandemic, there was a lot of food to quickly move to safety after the flood. (Photo by Aaron Roorda)

Aaron Roorda, pastor of Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack, took this photograph on his commute home from Abbotsford along Highway 1 on the evening of Nov. 15. The highway was closed 15 minutes later. The river of water to the right of his truck was the centre of the roadway between the east- and west-bound lanes. (Photo by Aaron Roorda)

As catastrophic rains pummelled the Lower Mainland of British Columbia in mid-November, causing massive flooding and mudslides that deposited debris over local highways, Mennonites in the community experienced both uncertainty and loss, and they responded with compassion and a willingness to help others.

Exhibit tells the story of Brubacher House hosts

The living room of the upstairs apartment in the Brubacher House. (Photo by Jacquie Reimer)

Nancy Maitland and her dog are pictured in front of the Brubacher House. Nancy and husband Ted were the first live-in hosts from 1980 to 1982. Prior to their marriage, Nancy lived there beginning in 1977 as a live-in custodian and consultant/curator. (Photo courtesy of Ted and Nancy Maitland)

The Brubacher House, as it looked from the outside in 1982, when Dorothy Bean moved in as host, along with Ida Habermehl. They took an active interest in preserving Mennonite history instead of retiring into rocking chairs. (Photo by Dorothy Bean)

Imagine what it would be like to live in a museum. Past and present live-in hosts at the Brubacher House in Waterloo, Ont. are sharing what it is like to live in the upstairs apartment of this historical landmark in a new digital exhibit.

The art of preaching

Meghan Good leads students in a brainstorming session on sermon presentation. (Photo by Emily Summach)

Sharon Shultz, pastor of Eyebrow (Sask.) Mennonite Church, reviews her notes during class. (Photo by Emily Summach)

If art is the imitation of life, then the art of preaching is about the imagination of new life. At least that’s the message Meghan Good preaches. According to her, “Preaching is for transformation, not conveying information. We need to preach to that goal. Turning minds is different from turning hearts and lives.”

‘It’s only limited by our imaginations’

Religious and community leaders invited by Indigenous elders gather together at the Kapabamayak Achaak Healing Forest at St. John's Park in Winnipeg, on Sept. 19 to re-enact traditional ceremonies that were part of the signing of Treaty One in 1871. (Photo by Michael Pahl)

The land where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet the Prairies, including Winnipeg and most of southern Manitoba, is Treaty One territory. Treaties, which exist in many parts of Canada, are commitments by multiple parties to live in relationship and share the land. Aug. 3, 2021, marked 150 years since representatives of the Crown and Cree and Anishinaabe peoples signed Treaty One.

MC B.C. posts land acknowledgment

Members of Mennonite Church B.C. congregations were among those who heard First Nations drummers on Orange Shirt Day in Abbotsford in 2018, supporting children who survived residential schools in the past. MC B.C. continues to support relations with First Nations of B.C. through a statement of land acknowledgment now posted on its website. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

In the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of British Columbia, a statement of land acknowledgment has been adopted by Mennonite Church British Columbia. It states: “We respectfully and gratefully acknowledge that we gather on the unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of Indigenous First Nations.”

MC Canada urged to act for climate justice

The organizers of the “7 Calls to Climate Action for Mennonite Church Canada,” from top to bottom, left to right: Steve Heinrichs, Mona Neufeld and Josiah Neufeld, Mark Bigland-Pritchard, Anna Bigland-Prichard, Katie Goerzen-Sheard, Justin Sun and Will Braun.

At the beginning of November, thousands of people from across the globe gathered at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, to address the climate crisis.

‘If you see someone in need, you lend a hand’

Donated hay about to be loaded in Ontario for farmers in Saskatchewan. (Photo by Lester Weber)

For Bradley and Virginia Walker, livestock farmers in Endeavour, Sask., this year’s weather was a disaster.

“The rain was so patchy,” says Bradley. “Some places got good rain; we got nothing.”

The lack of rain meant they couldn’t grow enough hay to feed the 350 head of cattle on their organic beef farm.

Friendships flourish at Hidden Acres inclusion camp

Participants in CLASP, an inclusion camp experience, enjoy a hike at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp and Retreat Centre near New Hamburg, Ont. (Photo by Chris Pot)

Like many other organizations, Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp and Retreat Centre was forced to rethink its programs and services when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down normal operations last year.

It “forced us into creatively brainstorming and dreaming about how we could use our facilities,” says program director Chris Pot.

Two Vancouver churches revitalize through music

A joint youth/young-adult choir performs at the baptismal service on Oct. 24 for Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship, which took place at Sherbrooke Mennonite Church in Vancouver. (Screenshot by Amy Rinner Waddell)

A church choir is a rarity these days when worship teams predominate; even more rare is one made up entirely of members under age 30 from two different congregations. But singing in a choir is exactly what young people ranging in age from 14 to their mid-20s, from Vancouver’s Chinatown Peace Church and Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship, are doing.

Indigenous elder leads series on history, reconciliation

A large group gathers for David Scott’s first talk on Sept. 28 at Morden (Man.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Denise Thiessen)

This fall, a collective of people in southern Manitoba working at Indigenous-settler reconciliation, called the Truth and Action Working Group, is hosting a series of talks with David Scott, an elder and policy advisor from Swan Lake First Nation.

Violence in Myanmar, prayers in Canada

An internally displaced Kachin family in Myanmar. (Photos courtesy of Partners Relief & Development)

A grandmother from Karen State, Myanmar. Violence has broken out in this area, leading to a new wave of displacement.

What for many of us may be a fleeting headline about strife on the other side of the world is for others within our faith family a heartbreaking reminder of a painful past and ongoing hardship for relatives in their country of origin.

‘Community for all’ at Parkwood

At Parkwood Seniors Community, Ruth Klassen, left, Phares Bauman, Lloyd Martin, Hilda Lorenz and Leeta Horst have room at the table where a “community for all’ model means “everyone has an equal place at the table,” no matter their physical, emotional, financial or spiritual needs. (Photo by Rachel Lincoln Photography)

Don Elliot, right foreground, a resident at Parkwood, is shown with event chair Erna Koning after he finished Walk the Kindness Way, a two-day trek raising funds for healing gardens at Parkwood and partner organization Fairview. (Photo by Chris Steingart)

Marion Good, left, Parkwood’s board chair, presents Don Elliot, a resident of Parkwood, with his medal for completing Walk the Kindness Way, a two-day, 42-kilometre trek raising funds for healing gardens at Parkwood and partner organization Fairview. CEO Elaine Shantz, right, looks on. (Photo by Chris Steingart)

A fundraising campaign at Parkwood Seniors Community is underway, which will see 28 affordable units created in a six-storey, 90-unit building on its Waterloo campus, to be completed by late 2023.

Seeking made-in-Leamington solutions to homelessness

Ruth Boehm is pictured in the church parking lot where a man spent a year sleeping out in his truck. (Photo by Charleen Jongejan Harder)

Working to provide homes, pictured from left to right: Hilda MacDonald, mayor of Leamington; Alissa Enns, project leader for the Leamington Homelessness Project; Lisa Bezaire, Housing Information Services; Carolyn Warkentin, South Essex Community Council; and Colm Holmes, Family Services Windsor Essex. (Photo by Abby Neufeld Dick)

It was the spring of 2018, Pastor Ruth Boehm of Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington recalls, when the father of one of the kids attending the after-school program at the church approached her, asking if he could park his truck in the church parking lot overnight. He could not stay in his home.

Protesting pipelines in British Columbia

Piles of pipe for the Coastal Gaslink just outside of Houston, B.C. (Photo by Josiah Neufeld)

Mennonite Church B.C.’s Indigenous Relations Task Group, which is committed to creating redemptive relationships between settler Mennonites and their Indigenous neighbours, has officially registered its opposition to the Canadian Government’s support for two projects: the Coastal GasLink Pipeline bringing fracked gas from the Peace River to Kitimat, B.C.; and the Trans Mountain Pipeline bringin

Grants help people recover from disasters big and small

After a successful first two rounds of funding, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada is once again offering its Spirit of MDS Fund to Canadian congregations.

Created in response to COVID-19, the Fund provided a total of 81 grants worth $206,900 in 2020-21 to help congregations and other organizations respond to needs in their communities due to the pandemic.

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