Pastor, professor and rock music impresario—David Cramer’s CV is diverse.
I sat in the shade of an oak tree on the first day of summer outside Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo and listened to a recording of the sounds of a spring morning at the site of that oak tree’s parent in Ukraine.
Standing at an intersection of mile roads on the more-or-less open prairie near Neubergthal, Manitoba, David Scott explained how members of the Ojibwe Grass Dance Society once called that area home.
“This landscape has changed so much,” he said, noting that he came to the area in his youth for ceremonies.
One hundred years ago, the first of 21,000 Mennonites who left the former Soviet Union boarded a train in Quebec City for new lives across Canada. On July 6, some of their descendants, along with others, will replicate that journey. Over 120 people have signed up for all or parts of, “Memories of Migration: Russlaender Tour 100,” a three-stage train trip from Quebec City to Abbotsford, B.C.
Land acknowledgments are usually spoken, but Angela Hildebrand was curious how they could be expressed in other mediums. “Being a very visual person, I resonate a lot with things I can see, touch,” she said. “So I began to think about, what would that look like for me, for our fellowship?”
Cathy Abbott remembers the preacher’s phrase that got her to consider taking a big step toward providing shelter for refugees arriving in Canada.
It was 2015 and Canadians were learning about the Syrian refugee crisis. The conflict had pushed millions of people to camps in neighbouring countries, with millions more displaced internally.
Parents in Molochansk, Ukraine, awoke one morning in May to a message from Russian authorities: “Dear parents: Evacuation has been announced at the school. Today, arrive at the school building with documents for the child and a minimum of things for a couple of weeks.”
There was no magic lamp or genie involved when MaryLou Driedger made her wish, just a felt tip marker and a famous pond.
When Dan Driediger closes his eyes, he sees rivers, rises and roads. His unique photographic memory comes in handy. Driediger is a cartographer: He creates, prints and sells maps to people and organizations across Canada.
Seated (left to right): Henry Fast, George Epp, Edith (Koop) Krahn, Gertrude (Janzen) deKleine, Myrna Zacharias. Standing: Henry Schroeder, Richard Epp, Peter Neufeld, Harold Epp, Sigrid (Martynes) Warkentin, Guenther Toews, Rudy Dahl (partially hidden), Evelyn (Janzen) Roden, Peter Rempel, Violet (Schapansky) Atwell, Tony Funk, Art Hildebrand, Verna (Wiens) Ewert, Ken Rempel, Edna (Friesen) Koop, Elsie (Bergen) Epp, Caroline Martens-Clappison, Ruby (Isaac) Harder, Barry Toews, Mervin Dyck (partially hidden), Eileen (Epp) Ewert, Walter Klassen, Elsbeth (Epp) Moyer, Ed Bergen. (Photo by Henry Schroeder)
To the sounds of much laughter, along with moments of sadness, the Rosthern Junior College (RJC) class of 1960 met in Saskatoon on May 18-19 to mark 63 years since graduation. Given that students generally complete high school at age 18, most of us at the reunion had reached the age of 81. More than one walker and cane were noted.
A little-known Mennonite mission, hidden away in a quiet residential neighbourhood on the flats of Richmond, B.C., celebrated its fortieth anniversary on June 7.
Art Koop was cleaning up after teaching his last class of the day when the emergency alert blared from his cell phone. The message called for an immediate, mandatory evacuation. A wildfire threatened Edson, Alberta, the community where Koop lives and works. The sky was an eerie orange colour and thick with smoke.
Sarah Hodges-Kolisnyk approaches art through the lens of storytelling.
“My journey as an artist and a curator has always been linked to exploring the world and sharing stories with others,” she says. “I approach everything with a questioning and a searching for the story, and hoping those stories bring people together.”
A recent fire forced the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Furniture Thrift Store in Winnipeg to temporarily close its doors due to smoke and water damage. A vacant house beside the shop went up in flames on May 11, just after 1 a.m., with the cause of the fire still under investigation.
Nearly 100 years have passed since 21,000 Mennonites fled disease, starvation and violence in some of the same areas now experiencing war in Ukraine. Many came to Southern Manitoba, and their trauma quietly came with them.
When 19-year-old Anita Shevchuk found herself in the streets of downtown Toronto in the summer of 2022, she held onto her faith in God and her then-husband’s promise that everything would be okay.
People visit outside following a service at a Mennonite Brethren church in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo. (Justin Makangara/MCC/Fairpicture)
Antoine Kimbila, general secretary of CEFMC, speaks at a church in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo, in February. (Justin Makangara/MCC/Fairpicture)
Ever since survivors of brutal fighting in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo fled to the city of Kikwit in 2017, the Mennonite Brethren Church has been ministering to them with faith and action.
Amanda has worked at The Raw Carrot since its inception nine years ago. (Photo Courtesy of The Raw Carrot)
Leah Cober serves as kitchen manager for the MCC/Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church branch of The Raw Carrot. (Photo Courtesy of The Raw Carrot)
A simple job creation project that started with two women’s concern for a young church member is now seeking new church partners to expand beyond its four current locations.
Canadian Mennonite received seven awards from the Canadian Christian Communicators Association in May.
Ernie Regehr—a prominent Canadian voice on disarmament and peacebuilding for over 40 years—shared his unique analysis of the Ukraine conflict at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, Ontario on May 6.
Regehr co-founded Project Peacemakers in 1976 and currently serves as a research fellow at Conrad Grebel University College. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.
At its annual gathering, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada welcomed new congregations, announced a break from status quo spending and heard bold challenges from Fanosie Legesse and Rebecca Riek.
Decolonization, interfaith dialogue, intersectionality—these terms can feel heady and intimidating, but Suzanne Gross says they can all happen through the well-practiced Mennonite art of hospitality.