Daryl Redsky of the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation stands on a temporary bridge over the man-made channel that used to isolate his community but has now been replaced by Freedom Road. (2014 file photo by Will Braun)
Workers construct the Greater Winnipeg Water District aqueduct between 1915 and 1919. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)
A worker stands on an incomplete section of the Greater Winnipeg Water District aqueduct. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)
Klaas W. Brandt’s dredge used to construct the aqueduct. (Photo courtesy of the Mennonite Heritage Archives)
For the first time in more than a century, the isolated island of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is now connected to the rest of mainland Canada.
The Indigenous community, located on the Manitoba-Ontario border, just celebrated the official opening of Freedom Road, a 24-kilometre, all-season road that links to the mainland via the Trans-Canada Highway.
When Philip Martin discovered several years ago that “cycling education in Canada is almost non-existent,” he set out to do something about it.
Local elders greet walkers at the Health Sciences Association of Alberta office in Calgary as part of the closing ceremony. (Photo by Jonas Cornelsen)
Allegra Friesen Epp carries the eagle feather at the head of the group as they walk along Range Road 11 between Airdrie and Calgary. (Photo by Jonas Cornelsen)
Caleb Kowalko (left) and Steve Heinrichs celebrate reaching their destination in Olds. (Photo by Jonas Cornelsen)
Cassidy Brown (right) and her mother Nola Brown walk along Highway 2A north of Olds, Alta., carrying the Treaty 7 flag. (Photo by Jonas Cornelsen)
Roger Epp of First Mennonite Church Edmonton), left, Kevin Guenther Trautwein of Lendrum MB Church, Werner De Jong of Holyrood Mennonite Church in Edmonton, and Jake Froese of Trinity Mennonite Church in DeWinton join the first leg of the Walk for Common Ground in Edmonton. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)
Undaunted by the poor air-quality index due to the Alberta wildfires, Vic Thiessen, former Mennonite Church Canada staffer, braves the smoke-filled air to join the Walk for Common Ground. The walk began in Edmonton on May 31. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)
Led by Diana Steinhauer and her eagle staff, a group of Indigenous, unionist and church friends travel together on the Walk for Common Ground that began in Edmonton. The treaty walk is meant to nurture treaty understanding and relationship. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)
A group of Indigenous, unionist and church friends kick off the Walk for Common Ground in Edmonton on May 31. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)
Friends and family huddled in light afternoon rain on June 14, waiting for about 30 participants in the Walk for Common Ground to arrive in Calgary. The walkers were led in by a Scottish bagpiper, then greeted with drumming and singing by local Indigenous elders. Tears of joy mixed with the rain as walkers were congratulated for finishing their 14-day journey from Edmonton to Calgary.
Crowd participation was part of the dance presentations at the World Refugee Day event held in Abbotsford on June 22. (MCC B.C. photo)
The Quach/Luu family attended the World Refugee Day celebration held June 22 in Abbotsford B.C. Huu Quach came to Canada with his mother as the first government-sponsored refugee to the area in 1979. (MCC B.C. photo)
The anniversary cake was cut by Henry Braun, Abbotsford mayor; Wayne Bremner, MCC B.C. executive director; and Jennifer Mpungu, MCC B.C. refugee sponsorship coordinator. (MCC B.C. photo)
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) B.C., along with other local organizations, celebrated World Refugee Day at Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford on June 22. Over 200 people, some newcomers to Canada as well as refugee sponsors and community members, came to enjoy and live out this year’s theme “Choose Welcome.”
Church members brought back the circle games they used to play at weddings and church events when they were young. (Photo by Rick Friesen)
Over 150 people gathered to celebrate Arnaud Mennonite Church’s 75th anniversary. (Photo by Rick Friesen)
Past and present members of Arnaud Mennonite Church revived the church choir, a feature that was a regular part of weekly worship in the past. (Photo by Rick Friesen)
While many churches in rural Canada face closure, Arnaud Mennonite Church recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. Located in the prairie town of Arnaud, Man., the church is home to a wide range of ages, from young families with children to seniors.
Sarah Johnson, of the Voices Together hymnal committee, displays the blank pages of the new hymnal mock-up, reminding participants at a regional worship service, held at Rosthern Mennonite Church, that the contents of the new hymnal haven’t yet been decided.
Anneli Loepp Thiessen, of the Voices Together hymnal committee, leads congregational singing at Rosthern Mennonite Church during the first of four regional worship services presented by MC Saskatchewan and Voices Together.
The people of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan love being together. In particular, they enjoy singing and worshiping with one another. This apparent enjoyment sparked the idea of holding regional worship services.
Over the last 53 years, the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale has raised more than $12 million for relief, development and peacemaking efforts around the world by Mennonite Central Committee. In that time, in addition to favourites like doughnuts, strawberry pies and spring rolls, more than 10,000 quilts have been pieced, quilted, donated and auctioned off at the New Hamburg sales.
Zoe Matties and Scott Gerbrandt work for A Rocha Canada. Zoe is the Manitoba program manager and Scott is the Manitoba director. (Photo courtesy of Zoe Matties)
The Boggy River flows right through the property at the Boreal Ecology Centre. (Photo by Scott Gerbrandt)
Climate change is doing more than triggering environmental disasters. It’s also triggering mental health crises and a sense of impending doom for some people.
Jeanette Hanson, associate director for Mennonite Partners in China, will begin as interim director of Mennonite Church Canada’s International Witness program on Aug. 1.
There are hundreds of denominations within Christianity, and it can be easy to focus on the differences between them all. But a group of Mennonites and Anglicans is breaking through those walls.
Drummers welcome walkers at the Kwantlen Nation Longhouse, Fort Langley, B.C., to begin the Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation on May 31. (Photo by Ian Funk)
Walkers approach the former St. Mary’s Residential School in Mission, B.C., on the final day of the Walk for Reconciliation on June 2. (Photo by Deborah Dejong)
In solidarity with their First Nations neighbours, Mennonites in the Fraser Valley joined others in a Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation from May 31 to June 2.
The event was a partnership between Mennonite Central Committee B.C., Mennonite Church Canada, and several other denominations, including Anglican, the United Church and Christian Reformed Church.
“We grew up never talking about Mary. It was like the Catholics got Mary in the divorce settlement and Mennonites got a 30-minute sermon,” said Irma Fast Dueck in her opening talk at the annual Mennonite Church Alberta women’s retreat held from June 7 to 9 at the Sunnyside Retreat Centre in Sylvan Lake.
It was all about working together for the good of the local Cambridge community when Preston and Wanner Mennonite churches partnered with a local theatre group to support the work of the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank.
An Ontario artist is enlivening a Mennonite folk-art tradition that hasn’t been widely practised for more than 150 years.
Over coffee and Turkish sweets at The Mennonite Story in St. Jacobs, Jim Loepp Thiessen, left, has an animated conversation with Faruk Ekinci and Mustafa Ustan while Mustafa Jr. listens in. These Turkish Muslims were interested to learn that many Mennonites also came to Canada as refugees. (Photo by Barb Draper)
On April 30, several Muslim families from Waterloo Region toured The Mennonite Story in St. Jacobs, in order to understand more about Mennonites.
Leon Kehl of Floradale Mennonite Church extended the invitation as part of his effort to foster respect and mutual understanding between Mennonites and Muslims, something he has been working at over many years.
Mary Funk stands in the community garden at Jubilee Mennonite Church’s Community Roots Resource Centre. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Anna Marie Geddert, community minister at Jubilee Mennonite Church, and Serena Traa emcee the launch of the Community Roots Resource Centre. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)
More than a hundred people gathered at Jubilee Mennonite Church in Winnipeg for the launch of the Community Roots Resource Centre. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
The ribbon cutting marked the official launch of the Community Roots Resource Centre, which has been more than a decade in the making. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
“If an alien ship were to come take our church away, would anyone notice?”
This is the question that members of Jubilee Mennonite Church asked themselves more than a decade ago. When they realized the answer might be no, they dedicated themselves to being an active presence in their community.
Key factors surrounding flourishing congregations in Canada, and how congregations can thrive and grow in an age of diminishing importance of the church in society, were the topics for a May 4 seminar entitled “Flourishing congregations: From understanding to practice.”
Charles Olfert is enthusiastic about creating buildings that meet their users’ needs. A principal architect with AODBT Architecture + Interior Design, he recently applied that passion to the study of accessibility.
Guerres Lucien, outside her home in Lahoye, Haiti, is a participant in an MCC-supported community mental-health project with partner Zanmi Lasante, the Haitian branch of Partners in Health. (Photo by Paul Shetler Fast)
“Close your eyes and imagine you are walking to your garden,” says Saint-Hilaire Olissaint, a community mental-health worker. His calm, soothing voice carries over the din of the nearby street market and the curious chatter of the children watching nearby.
As the partisan jostling over SNC Lavalin wanes, we can more clearly examine the ethical questions at the core of a scandal that Mennonite cabinet minister Jane Philpott stepped right into the middle of.
“Light up the church.”
That’s what members of Calgary Inter-Mennonite decided they wanted to do when asked about ways to engage with their local community.
What that meant for the congregation of about 40 households was making their building, located in the northeast part of the city, available for use by others during the week—not only on Sunday mornings by congregants.
Tuesday’s Book Club at Faith Mennonite Church includes, from left to right: Sonja Kuli, Joan Enns, Anne Reimer, Nancy Hogendyk and Rita Unrau.
Tuesday’s Book Club at Faith Mennonite Church includes, from left to right: Anne Reimer, Nancy Hogendyk, Rita Unrau and Linda Thiessen-Belch.
Rita Unrau shows off one of the many ‘encouragement cards’ that have been distributed in Faith Mennonite Church’s pews.
Like at many Mennonite churches, the back of any given pew at Faith Mennonite in Leamington includes a blue hymnal, an offering envelope, and, for the lucky few, a small, colourful, hand-made encouragement card. These one-of-a-kind cards are something new and they point to a wily group of seniors who are helping to bring new energy into the life of the congregation.