The story of Orie O. Miller is also the story of how Mennonites in the 20th century moved from being isolationist and the “quiet in the land,” to being a church with strong institutions involved in North American society and around the world.
Leona (Unger) Rogalsky was born into an Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC) family in southern Manitoba in the 1930s. During her childhood, her family spent some time in the Gospel Hall, a Pentecostal church in Steinbach, but they were convinced to return to the Mennonite fold by her father’s brothers, a minister and a deacon in the EMC.
Conrad Stoesz, Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) archivist, is passionate about pursuing peace and the history of conscientious objection to war. His long-held convictions inspired him to contribute a chapter to a new book on the subject and to successfully pursue a grant for the production of a video documentary.
There’s nothing comfortable in the artwork of Edgar Heap of Birds. Especially for people whose ancestors came to this continent as settlers.
When Linnea Thacker suggested to her co-director of Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, Elizabeth Rogalsky Lepock, that they perform a shortened version of My Fair Lady as the musical at the camp’s closing program, Lepock wondered at its non-religious content.
Erin Brubacher and Christine Brubaker are seventh cousins, more or less. Before their 700-kilometre walk from Brubaker Valley Road in Lancaster, Pa., to the historic John E. Brubacher House in Waterloo, Ont., they discovered a common ancestor, Hans Bruppacher, born in Switzerland in the 1600s. Erin comes from the Abraham Brubacher line and Christine from the Hans Brubacher line.
In Search of Promised Lands: A Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario
By Samuel J. Steiner. Herald Press, 2015, 877 pages.
A letter to my congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender into the company of Jesus.
By Ken Wilson. Read the Spirit Books, 2014.
“Church growth strategies are the death gurgle of a church that has lost its way,” is how Stanley Hauerwas describes this book, noting that, “God is making us leaner and meaner.”
Bethany Horst sings in the benefit concert in Kitchener on May 24, 2015, helping raise funds for MCC’s Nepal Relief fund. (Photo courtesy of the Grand Philharmonic Choir)
With the Canadian Federal Government’s pledge to match funds for Nepal relief coming to an end, a flurry of events in Waterloo and Toronto raised an additional $28,000 on May 24.
Steven Carpenter’s new book, Mennonites and Media: Mentioned in It, Maligned by It and Makers of It, offers a summary of both the ways Mennonites have been portrayed in popular media and the ways they have used it in North America to convey distinctive Mennonite insights.
The apocryphal book of Judith contains the story of a righteous Jewish widow who saves her people from the ravages of the Assyrian/Babylonian army led by Holofernes. While her city is besieged she leaves with her maid and is welcomed into the general’s tent. He thinks he will seduce her, but when he is alone with her and drunk from partying, she beheads him.
Lewis Burkholder’s A Brief History of Mennonites in Ontario, published in 1935, is a “brief” book compared to Sam Steiner’s new book on the same topic: In Search of Promised Lands: A Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario.
Ken Esau, right, director of biblical studies at Columbia Bible College, cuts the ribbon opening the Metzger Collection to the public. At left is Greg Thiessen, collection manager. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)
A one-of-a-kind collection of museum-quality art and artifact replicas has found a permanent home at Columbia Bible College. With the cut of a ribbon, the Metzger Historical Collection was officially opened to the public on March 14 in the basement of Columbia’s Resource Centre.
“Faith and death: An evening with Rudy Wiebe” drew an interested crowd to hear the noted Canadian Mennonite author speak at Trinity Western University (TWU) on March 3.
‘Barn raising,’ an iconic image by David L. Hunsberger of mutual aid, has come to define the essence of community for many, including Governor General David Johnston. (Photo by David L. Hunsberger, The Mennonite Archives of Ontario)
With his camera and notepad, David L. Hunsberger captured on film Mennonite life in Waterloo Region in the 1950s and ’60s. (The Mennonite Archives of Ontario)
Pastor Wilfred Ulrich greets his congregation at Stirling Ave. Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ont., on a Sunday morning in 1958. (Photo by David L. Hunsberger, The Mennonite Archives of Ontario)
Abner Martin, founder of the Menno Singers, examines one of David L. Hunsberger’s photographs on display at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont., at the show’s opening on Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
According to Paul Heidebrecht, director of Conrad Grebel University College’s MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement, “Advancing peace requires many hands. It requires shoulders to lean on, and to stand on. It is sustained by the mundane tasks that make daily life possible. Peace becomes possible when we experience genuine community.”
A buzz of conversation filled the Bethany Manor fellowship hall as about 150 people gathered to celebrate the launch of three new books by Saskatchewan authors.
Jake Buhler, president of the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan, which hosted the Feb. 22 event, said that “promoting the telling of stories” is something his organization needs to do.
“It’s a good thing you in the church are discussing homosexuality, because otherwise I don’t think you would be discussing sex at all,” was one of many funny lines Ted Swartz threw to an overflow crowd, acting as a widowed father in his 50s named Daryl in dealing with his son, Jared, “coming out” as a gay man.
Artist Lynda Toews is pictured in her studio with some of her works from ‘A place in the kingdom: Paintings and heritage stories celebrating farm animals,’ on display at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in Winnipeg until June 20. (Photo by Gary Brown)
‘Supper Chores’ by Lynda Toews (acrylic on canvas) - ‘I recently learned that there was a time when cows were milked right on the field, instead of being herded into barns,’ says artist Lynda Toews. ‘Of course the farmer may only have owned a few cows. The housebarn in the background was my great grandfather’s in Blumenhof, Man., and the late autumn afternoon landscape is invented.’
‘Equally Yoked’ by Lynda Toews (acrylic on canvas) - ‘I obtained permission from Janet Kehler, the graphic artist for the South East Manitoba Draft Horse Association, to use her photograph of Mark and Tracy Bergen’s Percheron mares,’ explains artist Lynda Toews. ‘Many of my paintings are based on photographs that members of this association have allowed me to take of their horses and this is much appreciated.’
With brilliant and detailed clarity, Manitoba artist Lynda Toews has painted a series of farm animal portraits that will be on display at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in Winnipeg from March 13 to June 20.
Film review: American Sniper
Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Jason Hall and Chris Kyle. Starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. A Warner Bros. Pictures release, 2014. Rated 14A.
“Walls became an obsession when I went to Berlin in 2010,” artist Rhonda Harder Epp told the crowd at the opening of her Walls: Arbitrary Impediments art exhibition at King’s University College, Edmonton, last month.
The Rosco boys, from left to right: Trevor Hunsberger, producer; Ken Ogasawara, writer/actor; and Jonathan Steckley, writer/director. (Photo courtesy of Rosco Films)
Ken Ogasawara, right, hangs out with a friend in The Volunteer, exchanging stories and working through bad relationships. (Photo courtesy of Rosco Films)
When filmmakers get around to showing their work to their family and community, it is usually a past project for them.
Such was the case for Rosco Films, whose principals—Jon Steckley, Ken Ogasawara and Trevor Hunsburger—grew up at Shantz Mennonite Church, Baden, Ont.
Nine months after Darren Aronofsky’s biblical spectacle, Noah, we get Ridley Scott’s biblical spectacle, Exodus: Gods and Kings. I wasn’t a big fan of Noah, but at least it was original and made some effort to bring a 21st-century perspective to the familiar Sunday school story.
Directed by Francis Lawrence. Screenwriters: Peter Craig and Danny Strong. Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. A Color Force/Lionsgate release, 2014. Rated PG-13.