Artbeat

A more inclusive overview of Mennonite history

Nolt

The book Through Fire and Water: An Overview of Mennonite History was first published in 1996 by Herald Press and presented the Mennonite faith story within the sweep of church history for youths and adults wanting to learn more about the denomination or their heritage. Now, 14 years later, it needed to be revised and updated to be more globally and ethnically inclusive.

Art exhibit explores the unjust food systems of society

The Just Food exhibit included a display of typical food consumed in a poor community in a developing country, left, a middle-class community in a developing country, centre, and many households in North America, right. The sign reads, ‘Where do you fit in?’

A visitor views Annelies Soomers’ piece, ‘Daily Bread: From Plague to Blessing,’ at the Just Food exhibit opening on at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery on Nov. 20.

The right to food is a non-issue for many Canadians. In fact, many people in the western world take food for granted.

From a faith perspective, many feel that, although they may not be hungry themselves, food systems are unjust when there is abundant food available to some while others go without.

To Africa and back, again

Elsie Cressman, foreground, the subject of the new documentary, Return to Africa: The Story of Elsie Cressman, is pictured with filmmakers Paul Francescutti, and Paula and Paul Campsall, at a screening in Waterloo, Ont., this summer.

On June 27, the Princess Twin Cinema in uptown Waterloo had to open up a second room to view the 2010 movie, Return to Africa: The Story of Elsie Cressman, with Cressman, now 87, in attendance.

Listen to the ‘wild goose’

Plans are underway for a version of the family friendly Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival to come to North America in 2011 under the name “Wild Goose Festival.”

U2, Bruce Cockburn, the Emerging Church Movement and Mennonites share one thing in common: each has been present, active and influential at the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival. Established in 1974, it presently draws more than 20,000 people each year to the Cheltenham Racecourse in western England.

A Jewish Jesus in occupied territory

Marty and John Bender, Elkhart, Ind., are pictured in front of the Oberammergau Passion Play Theatre in Germany at the end of May.

In 1633, the people of Oberammergau in Bavaria (now part of Germany) pleaded with God to save them from extinction. Not only had the Black Death—or plague—taken its toll in the village and surrounding area, but the Thirty Years War across Europe between Protestants and Roman Catholics had ended in deprivation and exhaustion for all.

The decline and fall of a legend

As a boy, I couldn’t get enough of the Robin Hood legends. I read every book I could find on the subject and I loved the 1938 Errol Flynn film. While it’s true that Robin dispatched the Sheriff of Nottingham’s expendable soldiers without a second thought, these light-hearted tales about Robin and his merry men conveyed a sense of harmless innocent adventure mixed with justice for the poor.

Men need to understand their ‘warrior’ side

Author Gareth Brandt, seated, signs copies of his book Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality at this spring’s book launch at House of James Christian bookstore, Abbotsford, B.C.

Gareth Brandt has written a personally grounded book on men’s spirituality as a resource for men’s prayer or discussion groups. His goal is to re-frame the basic contours of the field of men’s spirituality, which he considers neither practical nor biblically resonant.

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