Choir conductors Ben Pauls and his son Matthew share enthusiasm, talent and a passion for choral music. This fall, they had the unexpected opportunity to share the stage at a fundraising concert for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
The cast and crew of #ChurchToo, from left to right: Johnny Wideman, dramaturg; Chad Dembski, stage manager; Robert Murphy, Meghan Fowler, Lindsey Middleton and Brendan Kinnon, actors; and Matt White, director. (Theatre of the Beat photo)
What does “turn the other cheek” mean when you’re abused by your pastor? What does “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” mean when you’re dealing with gendered power imbalances within your group of friends? What does “made in the image of God” mean when you’re an LGBTQ member of a church experiencing alienation?
In their appreciative foreword to Mennonite theologian Lydia Neufeld Harder’s retrospective essay collection, Kimberley Penner and Susanne Guenther Loewen write of the time, hospitality and encouragement that Harder provided to both of them during their PhD studies and dissertation writing.
The phrase “take care of yourself” is often heard today, but how to find time to do that in today’s world? For many Christians, the idea of self-care sounds contrary to the command of Jesus to deny themselves and follow him. How exactly do believers balance these two seemingly opposite pursuits?
Owen McCausland (tenor), left, tells the story of the Dog from Algiers who saves his master’s life on the battlefield to Larissa Koniuk (soprano), Alexandra Beley (mezzo-soprano), and Keith Lam (baritone), in the new Llandovery Castle Opera, whose music was composed by Stephanie Martin. (Photo courtesy of Will Ford, Llandovery Castle Opera)
The plaque commemorating Mary Agnes McKenzie at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto sent Stephanie Martin on her three-year journey to produce the opera Llandovery Castle. Years later, the church installed a stained-glass window above the plaque of Mary and Martha each serving Jesus in their own ways. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Stephanie Martin had often led practises with the Pax Christi Chorale at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto. But during one practice in 2015 she was drawn to a plaque on the north wall of the sanctuary honouring nurse Mary Agnes ‘Nan’ MacKenzie, “who after three years of service lost her life by the torpedoing of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle, June 27, 1918.”
The publication, named so brilliantly for a tough, adaptable plant that ... could grow almost anywhere Mennonites could and was an important part of Mennonite diets in hard times, and was characterized as “hardy but a bit sour”—the “perfect symbol of Mennonite culture” did not survive the winter of 2017-18. (Photo by Will Braun)
On the edges of Canadian Mennonitism lies a disproportionately rich literary tradition. Or perhaps it lies just beyond the edges of our community. In either case, despite the exceptional accomplishments of Mennonite writers, a magazine that has showcased their work died rather peacefully last fall.
At a time when many churches and their choirs are dwindling, music teacher Kim Friesen Wiens created something amazing in Edmonton with the potential to help reverse both trends.
Kaitlyn Janzen (centre) leads the chorus in “O Bless The Lord.” The disciples and chorus used their own names for their characters in RJC’s production. (Photo by Rosthern Junior College)
Every year, as part of homecoming and graduation weekend at Rosthern Junior College, the students present a large-scale musical. This year they performed Godspell by John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz.
Mennonite Church Canada recently released Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization, the latest of several publications that explore reconciliation and Indigenous-settler relationships.
Retired missionary Mary Derksen didn’t start out to write a book about the 45 years she and her late husband spent as missionaries in Japan. But she has just completed the story of the couple’s ministry there: Rise and Shine! 45 Years in the Land of the Rising Sun.
David MacGregor, a Grade 11 student in Alan Sapp’s drama class, performs his version of ‘The Shoes.’ Multiple performances were offered by different students, each one a different interpretation using only the same pair of boots. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Lei Tian, an international student from China, shows off his industrial design project. Using parts ordered online and a 3D printer, his project is for a face recognition bike locking station. A Grade 12 student, Tian has been accepted into the prestigious Central Saint Martins, a constituent college of the University of the Arts in London, England. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
The works of Grace Kim focus on the theme of perceptions, using reflections to explore reality. Notice that in the painting of puddles the figure only appears in the reflection, not in reality. The artist is the daughter of Kyong-Jung Kim, the former director of the Korean Anabaptist Center who is now studying at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, and Ellen Kim. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Karen Scott Booth, head of Rockway Mennonite Collegiate’s Grade 10-12 visual arts program, exudes pride in the work of her students.
“Mirage: An exhibition of visual art,” held at the school on April 24, 2018, showed why.
Paul Dueck and Darryl Neustaedter Barg lead singing at the new worship and song collection fundraiser held at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg earlier this year. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Marilyn Houser Hamm leads the congregation at Winnipeg’s Douglas Mennonite Church in singing ‘What is This Place.’ (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Music is an integral part of Mennonite worship. Whether it’s in church, at camp, at school or in everyday activities, songs have been faithful companions to Mennonites for centuries.
Paper bead and found materials walk across the table, or form birds that will talk. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Carolyn Good ‘lights up’ one of her sculptures of found materials and paper beads. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Talking birds, paper and rose petal beads, walking jewellery, found-art sculptures. With these and other works, Carolyn Good’s recent show at the WalterFedy-Architecture, Engineering, Construction offices on Queen Street in Kitchener showed off her Mennonite roots of reusing and recycling.
‘Death and Life.’ A stump rotting away at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp speaks of a life well lived and a death creating new life. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)
Annemarie Rogalsky’s Waterloo ‘Hinterland’ paintings, a four-season cycle, at her solo show ‘The Anthrocene Revisited’ at the Minto Gallery in Harriston, Ont., in February. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)
Annemarie Rogalsky presents her artist’s statement at the opening of her solo show ‘The Anthrocene Revisited’ at the Minto Gallery in Harriston, Ont., on Feb. 4. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)
‘Hope Realized.’ This painting focusses on a swamp at Rondeau Provincial Park in southern Ontario. Of no intrinsic value, it harbours the only Canadian nesting site of the Prothonotary warbler. Reflecting on this scene begs the question about hierarchies of values. (Photo by Canadian Mennonite)
Annemarie Rogalsky, a member of First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., had a solo show of her landscapes at the Minto Gallery in Harriston during the month of February. Of her images, she says:
Jess Reimer recalls the first time a friend told her about Jeremy Hamm, the man who would become her musical partner and husband.
“I remember being excited there was a guy who wasn’t a senior citizen who was into bluegrass like me,” she says.
Seven Points on Earth, Paul Plett’s documentary about Mennonite farmers around the world, premiered at Winnipeg’s Real to Reel Film Festival on Feb. 21, 2018. The hour-long film tells the story of seven Mennonite farming families in seven different countries: Canada (Manitoba), United States (Iowa), The Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Bolivia and Russia (Siberia).
Rosanna Deerchild, host of CBC Radio One's Unreserved, reads a poem from her book Calling Down the Sky. The book tells the story of residential schools in Canada and her own mother's experiences and struggles as a generational survivor. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Bryn Friesen Epp of Home Street Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, adds a leaf to a collaboratively decorated tree. Each leaf contains a gallery visitor's hope for reconciliation and commitments to taking part in it. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Clairissa Kelly and Marlene Gallagher organized the Reconciliation Through the Arts exhibition. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Clairissa Kelly, right, her mother Marie, and her Grandmother Lorraine, seated, are pictured in front of 'Granny Lorraine.' Kelly, coordinator of the Peguis Post-Secondary Transition Program at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), and Rick Unger, a CMU maintenance technician, used acid on metal and etching techniques to create the rusted portrait. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Jochebed Giesbrecht, Laura Carr-Pries and Allegra Friesen Epp stand around Tracy Fehr's installation of clay bowls. Fehr encourages visitors to take a bowl in honour of an important woman in their life and leave a note about the woman in its place. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
A collection of photographs and pieces of abandoned Canadian residential schools. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Clairissa Kelly smudges the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in preparation for the exhibition's opening event. (Photo by Ray Dirks)
Clairissa Kelly gives roses to the many different artists involved in the Reconciliation through the Arts exhibition. Over 15 artists were involved in creating the many diverse pieces on display. (Photo by Ray Dirks)
Clairissa Kelly’s daughter, Chloe Mallett, dances for a large audience at the exhibition’s opening event. (Photo by Ray Dirks)
Around 200 people gathered at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery on Jan. 26 to celebrate the opening of Reconciliation Through the Arts, an exhibition of Indigenous and settler art that explores the history and present reality of colonization in Canada and different visions of reconciliation.
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, a Vancouver congregation produced a documentary featuring its church. Many Voices, One Song: The Story of Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship is a 27-minute video telling both the history of Point Grey and how it contributes to and enriches the faith of its members.
Last November, the United Mennonite Church of Black Creek launched a new book, In the Beginning—Stories of our Founders, during an evening of speakers, images and history.