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A question of inclusion

(Art by Nick Schuurman)

With great hesitation, I pulled my car into the church parking lot. The winter morning was clear and brisk. After a short stop at a local coffee shop, Aaron and I had arrived at our destination: a local Mennonite church that was hosting a choir for “all abilities.” I had been warned about this event by the organization I work for.

Abbotsford forum explores disagreement in the church

Lydia Fawcett of Mennonite Central Committee B.C.’s End Abuse program. (Supplied photo)

Jesse Nickel is a professor at Columbia Bible College. (Supplied photo)

How to disagree well with fellow Christians was the topic of a forum held at Columbia Bible College (CBC) in Abbotsford, B.C., last month.

The Sept. 21 event, titled “Polarization and Disagreement in the Church,” was sponsored by the Faith in Today’s Church task group of Mennonite Church B.C.

Valaqua cabin dubbed ‘the bat cave’ after furry visitors move in

Little brown bats like this one took over cabin four at Camp Valaqua this summer. (Flickr photo by Ann Froschauer)

Things got a little batty at Mennonite Church Alberta’s Camp Valaqua this summer.

During spring cleaning at the camp, located an hour northwest of Calgary, staff discovered a maternal colony of little brown bats in one of the cabins.

Anti-poverty advocate calls for guaranteed liveable income

Mark Olfert was raised to support those in need. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Mark Olfert has always been passionate about helping people. He wishes the systems in Canada would do more to support people, too.

Olfert, 60, is an anti-poverty activist and a member of Hope Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, Man. He advocates for a guaranteed liveable income, something he says would have made a big difference numerous times in his own life.

Poetic justice

(Photo by Mortimer Mackenzie)

For Di Brandt, being a poet is a natural extension of her upbringing in the Manitoba Mennonite village of Reinland. She says the hymns of her youth were poetic, and poetry was part of sermons and family life.

Single Moms’ Camp brings golden healing

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

(Photo by Amanda Pot)

“It’s so hard to explain something that feels so sacred to you,” Amanda Pot said when asked to describe Single Moms’ Camp at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp in New Hamburg, Ontario. Pot has been running the camp for over a decade. “[It’s] absolutely exhausting,” she said, “but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

RJC stakes its claim on Anabaptist identity

Ryan Wood (left), president and CEO of RJC High School, and David Epp, principal. (Photos supplied by RJC High School)

Students participate in RJC High School’s choir program. (Photo courtesy of RJC High School)

Four years ago, things were looking dire for RJC High School in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Enrollment was the lowest ever, at 65 students. It had been slowly declining for 20 years, according to Ryan Wood. Wood, who served as principal previously, is now president and CEO of RJC.

Mennonites join call for landfill search

Concerned citizens—including people from at least eight Mennonite Church Manitoba congregations—attended an ecumenical event in support of searching the Prairie Green Landfill. (Photo by Michael Pahl)

Mennonite Church Canada, along with the regional churches, has issued a statement calling on “all levels of government” to support a search of the Prairie Green Landfill near Winnipeg for the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, two murdered Indigenous women who are believed to be buried there.

Indigenous camps draw church-goers

Michael Young (in the orange T-shirt) stands with, from left to right: Barbara Young, Dylan Young, Cambria Harris and Kasyn Rapke. (Photo courtesy of Michael Young)

For David Driedger, who serves as leading minister at First Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, the Manitoba government’s refusal to fund a search for the remains of two murdered Indigenous women believed to be buried in a landfill feels like a continuity of a pattern.

MDS Canada closes response in Cape Breton

Local MLA Fred Tilley (second from left) presents a Nova Scotia flag to Ross Penner, executive director of MDS Canada; Ike Epp, MDS project director; and Roman Heuft, Cape Breton response coordinator.

For Amanda McDougall-Merrill, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, volunteers with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada did more than repair homes damaged by Hurricane Fiona in Cape Breton. 

Angola settlement big step for colonies

The new settlement started by Low German-speaking Mennonites from Mexico is near Malanje, Angola. (Google Maps)

Several families from a Mennonite colony in Campeche, Mexico, arrived in Angola earlier this year to begin a new settlement in the African nation. 

It is believed to be the first settlement developed by Low German-speaking Mennonites in Africa and could be the first such organized migration away from North and South America.  

Historical society apologizes to Semá:th First Nation

Sumas Lake, known as Semá:th Lake to the local Stó:lō people, prior to it being drained by government in the 1920s. (City of Vancouver Archives)

“The draining of [Sumas Lake] and our settlement on your ancestral lands was devastating and demoralizing and disrespectful.”

That was part of an apology offered to Semá:th First Nation Chief Dalton Silver and his people by Richard Thiessen, president of the Mennonite Historical Society of B.C.

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