Artbeat

‘This is a holy and good thing’

A scene from #ChurchToo. (Photo by Saul Tahuite)

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)

(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?

One writer, many dreams

Alliana Rempel wrote and illustrated her book One when she was just 10 years old. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Alliana Rempel has raised thousands of dollars to support inner-city shelters in Winnipeg, the Children’s Hospital and the Malala fund. Most recently, she published her first book, the proceeds of which will support education around the world.

Alliana, of Arborg, Man., is also just 11 years old.

Is self-care selfish?

A new book by B.C. pastor and author April Yamasaki, published by Herald Press.

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?

A cry for ‘no revenge’

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)

The cast, director, librettist and composer (Stephanie Martin, fifth from left)of the Llandovery Castle Opera take a bow on June 26, 2018. (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.”

Rhubarb runs out

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)

The final issue of Rhubarb magazine

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.

RJC performs Godspell

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)

John the Baptist (Nathan Bartel) “baptises” Benjamin Gerwing in the opening sequence, “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord.” (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.

Decolonization through unsettling Scripture

Steve Heinrichs, holding the microphone, speaks during a panel discussion at the launch of Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization at Canadian Mennonite University on May 24. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Mennonite Church Canada recently released Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization, the latest of several publications that explore reconciliation and Indigenous-settler relationships.

Serving in Japan as ‘ordinary people’

Mary Derksen of Abbotsford, B.C., has chronicled the story of her Canadian missionary family serving in Japan in her new book, Rise and Shine! 45 Years in the Land of the Rising Sun. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

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.

Not a ‘mirage’

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)

The work of Grace Kim focuses on the theme of perceptions, using reflections to explore reality. (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.

Singing into the future

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)

More than 80 people gathered at Douglas Mennonite Church in Winnipeg on March 11 to sing together and raise funds for the new Mennonite worship and song collection. (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.

‘That’s the Spirit’

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)

Not your grandmother’s apple doll, this one is doing yoga to stay supple. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Paper and rose petal beads form this walking sculpture. (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.

The Anthrocene revisited

‘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)

‘The Case for Persons.’ This painting commemorates the 1929 British Privy Council decision that, in spite of male wording in the British North America Act, women were indeed persons. (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:

Gospel songs with an edge

Jeremy Hamm and Jess Reimer have been playing music together for more than 15 years. (YouTube photo)

Doug Reimer, left, Jeremy Hamm, Tim Osmond and Jess Reimer perform at Winnipeg’s Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club. (Photo courtesy of Jess Reimer)

Down the Valley album cover

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.

The ordinary lives of ordinary Mennonites

The documentary "Seven Points on Earth," features Mennonite farmers around the world.

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).

Seeking reconciliation through multicultural art

Art by Ovide Charlette of the Opaskwayak First Nation. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

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)

A dream catcher by exhibition co-organizer Marlene Gallagher. (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)

Art by Ojibwe artist Trip Charbs. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

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.

Many Voices, One Song

A B.C. congregation produced a video to tell its story and to highlight members’ connections to their church.

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.

In the beginning

A new book tells the story of the United Mennonite Church of Black Creek.

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.

Painting on borrowed time

Jim Tubb sits in his Duke Street studio in Kitchener, Ont., surrounded by paintings, art supplies and the music—including jazz—that fuels his work. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Jim Tubb’s jazz-inspired paintings are stacked up to be chosen for a show in the spring at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Jim Tubb sits in his Duke Street studio in Kitchener, Ont., surrounded by paintings, art supplies and the music that fuels the work. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Jim Tubb has lived on borrowed time for more than 40 years.

In 1975, he was told that he had only a short time to live due to respiratory issues, but he says that in the meantime he’s had “a fantastic life.”

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