Camp Squeah lived up to its Salish name as a “place of refuge” during the week of Nov. 15, when mudslides cut off the town of Hope and the camp found itself sheltering more than a hundred marooned motorists. Torrential rains Nov.
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)
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Attending a communion service on election day is not at the top of most voters’ priority lists, but for those who gathered at Mount Royal Mennonite Church on Sept. 20, it proved to be the right way to start the day.
In 1926 a small group of immigrant Russian Mennonite families settled near Port Rowan, a small town in rural southern Ontario, half an hour’s drive from the bigger towns of Simcoe and Tillsonburg. Worship services were started, with families initially meeting in their homes, then renting space, and finally owning their own building in 1940.
“There is a song that sings deep within me,” Doris Weber wrote in Mary A. Schiedel’s book, Pioneers in Ministry. It is that song which guided Doris throughout her life, and accompanied her as she died on Sept. 9, 2021.
Volunteers dish out watermelon with rollkuchen at the MCC B.C. Festival for World Relief. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)
The parking lot of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Centre on Gladys Avenue was filled with 400 volunteers and thousands of attendees on Sept. 18 for the annual MCC B.C. Festival for World Relief.
In September 2020, Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Church U.S.A. and Herald Press began encouraging Mennonites to engage in a “common read,” a shared reading experience focused on specific books written to nurture Christian faith in this cultural moment.
Nine years ago, farmers in Saskatchewan sent hay to drought-stricken livestock producers in Ontario through Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada. Now farmers in Ontario are preparing to repay their generosity the same way.
“It is important to let go of perfectionism and the desire to get things right. We will make mistakes. People forget to go on mute, there is background noise, videos don’t work. Despite all this, it is still worship,” says Peter Haresnape, a pastor at Toronto United Mennonite Church.
Menno Home, one of the residential care homes on Menno Place senior care campus in Abbotsford, experienced a COVID-19 outbreak the first week of September. It was announced by Fraser Health on Sept. 2.
Mennonite Church congregations in B.C., most of whom are just resuming in-person worship, are celebrating the beginning of the church year in various ways.
Youth and young adults from Chinatown Peace Church in Vancouver started off the year in August with tent camping on Mt. Seymour.
The Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church building in Mayfair, Sask. is no longer open for regular services, but a small group of members and former members still want to see it maintained. (Photos courtesy of Laura Toews)
The Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church, near the village of Mayfair, Sask., needed new siding and windows, but there was no money left in the operating fund. So the Toews family decided to hold a barbecue.
“Our family has been part of that church from when it was first built,” says Laura Toews. “My grandfather was a lay minister.”