'If we “do” welcome well, those first impressions might lead visitors to stick around and become “one of us.”' (Image by StockSnap/Pixabay)
'In the coming weeks, we move together towards the cross, reaffirming the presence of the resurrected Christ in our midst, and therefore reaffirming whose we are.' (Image by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)
'Each one present... was told about the particular gifts and strengths that he or she brought to make this Circle strong and holy while being offered juice and crackers.' (Image by Ana Segota/Pixabay)
Among the tour options at Mennonite Church Canada’s assembly in 2016 in Saskatoon was a bus trip to the Shekinah Retreat Centre. (Photo by Irma Sulistyorini)
'As someone who embraces this countercultural message of Jesus, I still hear his voice today challenging the idolatry of gun culture.' (Image by 470906/Pixabay)
'I am bothered by the ongoing negative messages about aging. Even more so, I am bothered that I share them in some ways... Our dominant culture fears aging and devalues the aged.' (Image by Free-Photos/Pixabay)
'I pray that the church will wholeheartedly welcome every individual with open, gracious and caring arms and show the love of Jesus to each.' (Image by MetsikGarden/Pixabay)
'Confession isn’t about convincing God to forgive me. It’s letting God shine a light on everything that hinders me from becoming the person God created me to be.' (Image by Ralf Mühe/Pixabay)
‘Sometimes the vision for the trip hasn’t been very clear. Who’s driving this car and where are we going?’ (Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay)
'To hear from each other about what ignites our imaginations is a great idea.' (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
'Donny’s life had obviously not been easy, as he displayed in her room with great anger and frustration... He hated school, he hated kids, he hated teachers, he even hated his own name.' (Photo by PDPics/Pixabay)
'As we seek to love our earthly home and the neighbours God has given us, maybe our task is not as impossible as we think.' (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
'We pray that a significant number of our dreams come to be fulfilled,' Vince Friesen writes. (Illustration courtesy of Pixabay)
'If we are unable to speak of the crushing struggle that compels someone to end his or her life, we give it even more power,' Melissa Miller writes. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
Church can be a beautiful way to be still and meet with the Lord, but it can also be a place where kids are fighting, stealing way too many cookies and running laps through the sanctuary, Christina Bartel Barkman writes. (Courtesy of Pixabay)
'When we come together to collectively recognize and respond to God’s presence in our midst, something happens that we don’t experience on our own,' Troy Watson writes. (Photo courtesy of MC Canada)
'Throughout the biblical story there is a direct correlation between our love of God and our call to love each other,' Ryan Siemens writes. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
MW Manitoba committee members Larissa Pahl, left, and Elsie Wiebe were active participants in the Conversation Circles last fall. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Giesbrecht)
Another edition of ‘Once Round the Barn’: pigpen pundit Will Braun challenges you to get the feet a-stompin’ with some good old country music. See the video below.
“How could one space, one building, one yard, one mountainview, hold so much love, truth, forgiveness and conviction?”—Christina Bartel Barkman
“I wondered if pacifist Christians, who hold a strong commitment to preserving life, had the capacity to consider the possible merits, even mercy, in assisting someone to die. I wondered about how a theology of suffering, redemptive suffering even, so basic to Christianity, would inform the choices we make.”—Melissa Miller
“As we grow spiritually, the tribe we share life with continues to grow. Ultimately, we discover our tribe is humanity. We eventually experience our interconnectedness with all people and creation.” —Troy Watson
Melissa Miller: “Each day I call my mother. Over time, I came to see that my prayer practice was found in the daily phone calls.”
Christina Barkman: “While it is certainly nice to sometimes have a quiet home—like these long winter evenings when the kids are all finally asleep and I can cuddle up with a good book—I love welcoming friends, family and a little extra chaos into my home.”
Troy Watson: “The clarity of divine call deeply and profoundly liberates us. It unleashes us to make a difference in the world without feeling we are responsible to solve all of the world’s problems.”
Donita Wiebe-Neufeld, left, and her son Darian enjoy a sleigh ride. CD, Donita’s horse, is happily back with his herd after a summer of being moved from place to place. (photo and video by Tim Wiebe-Neufeld)
From the World Fellowship Sunday worship resources: Venezuelan migrants welcomed to the Iglesia Menonita de Riohacha, Colombia. (Photo by Iglesia Menonita de Riohacha)
Video below: ‘Once Round the Barn’ rides again. Resident ranter Will Braun has some choice words about how Mennonites talk about their generosity.
In the Advent and Christmas stories, fear is a prelude to God’s bringing new and wonderful things into the human story. (Photo from Pixabay)
Mel’s ‘Martha,’ left, enjoys Christmas cookies with her daughter Madison and her mother, Wendy Desmarais. Mel is trying to find a time and a place to be both Mary and Martha. (Photo courtesy of Mel Harms)
“Whatever our age or stage, each one of us is affected by the death that is always present in life.”—Melissa Miller
Dave Toews’s relatives took the culinary Christmas tradition of peppernuts with them when they left the Netherlands in the 16th century. (Photo by Barb Draper)
Making peppernuts for Christmas are, from left to right: granddaughters Kishina and Anaya Toews, and Oma Marion Toews. (Photo by Dave Toews)
The Barkmans say their final goodbyes to their Peace Church friends in Manilla this past spring. (Photo courtesy of the Barkman family)
Shirley Redekop, the president of Mennonite Women Canada, is pictured with a Maasai student from Monduli Village from Monduli Village. (Photo courtesy of Shirley Redekop)
“I encourage you, Gentle Reader, in your attempts to talk with, and listen to, someone whose political views are at variance with yours.”—Melissa Miller
Diana Shaw’s mother, pictured in her kitchen making sugar rolls, still expresses her concern for others through her baking. (photo by Diana Shaw)
Flowers hang in the former backyard of Peter and Leona Dueck Penner in Winnipeg. (Photo by Leona Dueck Penner)
“I recognize discomfort comes with such difficult topics and sometimes wish they would just disappear. That is not going to happen, and so we need to find firm ground on which to stand and the means to connect with each other in the midst of the complexities.”—Melissa Miller
Bob Janzen built a ‘gratitude bench’ on one of the hills of the family farm and wove the word eucharisteo (gratitude) onto the fence. (Photo by Kate Janzen)
Betty Ann Martin and Kate Van, the foods skills coordinator at the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, Ont., prepare fresh local asparagus. (Photo courtesy of Betty Ann Martin)
Shimeles Retta, a former refugee, teaches Ethiopian church leaders with the support of Mennonites in Germany. (Photo courtesy of Carl Hansen)
This is the traditional way to serve these pancakes. Each person takes a pancake from the stack, sprinkles on cinnamon and sugar (or fruit such as applesauce or rhubarb sauce) and rolls it up. (Photo by Barb Draper)
Members of the Mennonite Women Manitoba working group, from left to right: Laura Funk, Elsie Rempel, Larissa Pahl, Elsie Wiebe and Kathy Giesbrecht. (Photo courtesy of Elsie Rempel)
During the Sixties Scoop Apology Engagement at Edmonton’s Amiskwaciy Academy on March 1, 2018, survivors were invited to paint their experiences onto canvas for others to see. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld )
The ‘Blues Sistas’ from Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary lip sync to ‘Do You Love Me?’ by the Blues Brothers during the talent show at this year’s MC Alberta women’s retreat. Pictured from left to right: LaVerna Elliot, Jenny Hiebert, Linda Bohnet, and Charlotte Mikalson. (Photo by Helena Ball)
It takes commitment to use up 18 large squash. Pictured with the squash is April Klassen. (Photo courtesy of Erin Froese)
Erin Froese enjoys turning squash into butternut bisque for those who live in her intentional community and the guests who join them. (Photo courtesy of Erin Froese)
‘We have a responsibility to our sons to break down the systems of emotional constriction that lead so many men to have lives of quiet desperation and depression,’ says scholar Jackson Katz. (Photo by The Representation Project)
Thien Phuoc Quang Tran is a 2017-18 Mennonite World Conference/International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP) intern serving in the MCC United Nations office in New York City. He is pictured in the Security Council hall of the United Nations. (MCC photo by Doug Hostetter)
Screenshot from an episode of CBC Radio’s show “Out in the Open,” which originally aired Jan. 8, 2017. The photo appears on the Farmers with Firearms Facebook page.
Representatives of the organization Mennonite Men call for truth-telling about sexual abuse and invite men to embrace a healthy masculinity. From left to right: Don Neufeld, Steve Thomas and Hans Peters.
Four generations of women at various stages of learning to let go. Pictured from left to right: Margaret Brubacher, Erma Birky, Sophia Heidebrecht and Carmen Brubacher. (Photo by Ray Brubacher)
Video below: With chickens as witnesses, senior writer Will Braun offers a few thoughts as he strolls around his barn south of Morden, Manitoba.
Nancy Kube and Krista Loewen co-edited the new cookbook, One Big Table: Recipes from Friends of L’Arche Collective Kitchen.
Video: Church looks different from the pig pen. With a nod to Ranting Rick Mercer and with a black sheep grazing in the background, senior writer Will Braun offers a few thoughts as he strolls round his barn south of Morden, Manitoba.
Each year Tim Sauer, left, takes his first rhubarb pie to John Neufeld, the executive director of House of Friendship in Kitchener, Ont., because rhubarb is John's favourite. (Photo courtesy of Tim Sauer)