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Helping us not to forget

After getting a coffee I sat down to read The Winter We Danced.

On the table next to me I noticed a book someone left behind. On the cover was a bold notice stating “2.5 million copies sold.” The book was a contemporary work of fiction re-telling the conquest narrative of America expanding into the West doing battle in “Indian country.”

The whole truth

The At-Tuwani Muslim women’s co-op leader talks to tour group members about her life beside an Israeli settlement. (MennoJerusalem photo)

“Have you ever watched those TV court programs where a witness is brought to the stand and asked to raise his hand and swear to tell the truth?” I ask my Israel-Palestine tour groups. I get knowing nods all around and inevitably someone completes the courtroom scenario by adding, “. . . the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

RJC welcomes new personnel and shuttle service

Lisa Isaak

Scott Kim

In addition to new students, Rosthern Junior College began its 2014-15 school year with two new deans. Lisa Isaak, a 2006 graduate of the school, with a psychology degree from the University of Saskatchewan, is partnering with Myrna Wiebe as girls’ dean. Scott Kim, originally from South Korea and with a master’s degree in conflict resolution studies, is serving as boys’ dean with Joel Siemens.

Generational Shift at Conrad Grebel University College

Carol Ann Weaver, centre, flanked by her daughter Myra and husband Lyle Friesen, laughs in appreciation as she is toasted and roasted at her retirement party on June 9.

If anyone has been keeping track, Conrad Grebel University College is going through a generational shift in faculty and staff. This spring saw the retirements of James Pankratz as academic dean and Carol Ann Weaver as associate professor of music, with Pankratz being replaced by Trevor Bechtel and Weaver by Timothy Corlis.

Enduring service

Seniors often take on the responsibility of caring for their peers.

Seniors are often pillars of prayer in their churches.

Seniors may lament the loss of the music they hold dear.

It would appear that 65 is the new 40 across Mennonite Church Canada. As Canadians continue to be active into their 60s, 70s and even 80s, so, too, are Mennonites remaining active in their churches well into their senior years.

Menno maids help families survive

Some of the earliest Mennonites to live in large cities in Canada were young women who went to work as domestics in upper-class homes. Before the 1920s, Mennonites were farmers and the city was considered a foreign and dangerous place, but Mennonite refugee families who had fled from Communist Russia in the 1920s sometimes felt they had no choice but to accept work where it was available.

‘God, you are so cool’

On a hot day, camper Owen Crouse discovers there is nothing like a dip in the pond at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, near New Hamburg, Ont.

Megan Anderson, a camper at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, paints the face of her counsellor, Rachel Ruby, for a ‘counsellor competition.’

The biggest way that camp has affected me is in my faith and my walk with the Lord. For me, this past summer he led me ever so gently with much more grace than I deserve, all because he loves me.

My camp journey

Kristen Berg, the director of Fraser Lake Camp near Bancroft, Ont., balances her daughter Miriam on her shoulders.

Every summer for as far back as I can remember, I would pack my suitcase a week early in anticipation of going up to Fraser Lake Camp near Bancroft, Ont.

Conrad Grebel celebrates 50th anniversary in song

Composer Tim Corlis, left, with Gerard Yun, Kenneth Hull and Mark Vuorinen, conductors of Conrad Grebel University College’s three choirs, who came together to perform Corlis’s musical setting of Psalm 150 on Nov. 30, 2013, at one of the college’s 50th-anniversary events. (CGUC photo)

Composer Tim Corlis, right, is pictured with Lena Williams, who established the Henry A. and Anna Schultz Memorial Fund in memory of her parents. The fund was used to commission Corlis to write a musical setting of Psalm 150 to help Conrad Grebel University College celebrate its 50th anniversary last fall. (CGUC photo)

As home to the Music Department at the University of Waterloo, the culture at Conrad Grebel University College is steeped in harmony. The college hosts dozens of concerts each year: instrumental ensembles, jazz band concerts, vocal performances and choral presentations.

The core never changes

Kathleen Doll, Columbia Bible College’s associate dean of students, relaxes in the commuter lounge with a couple of students.

I was 18 when I first walked on to the Columbia Bible College campus for new student orientation.

Filled with nervous anticipation, I approached the registration table. A young woman smiled and called me by name. Stunned, with no time to dwell on how she could possibly know my name, I was whisked away to my new home.

Students say YESS! to creation care

RJC students Trissy Murphy, left, and Katie Laye craft earth-friendly Christmas gifts during the school’s Youth Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (YESS!) Summit on Nov. 28.

Vincent Massey Community School Drumming Group from Saskatoon, led by principal Ian Wilson, right, were featured in a workshop entitled ‘Living in rhythm with the earth.’

RJC students Jenae Funk, left, and Mackenzie Nicolle express their hopes for the earth on construction paper leaves, which were later added to a large wall mural.

Students in the “Natural building options” workshop, presented by Jesse Ens of Rosthern, Sask., work together to construct a model timber frame house with cordwood walls.

The YESS! Summit wall mural created by students depicts their hope for restoration and renewal of the earth.

A completed model timber frame house with cordwood walls and a living roof, constructed by students during the YESS! Summit held at Rosthern Junior College on Nov. 28.

They had only 20 minutes to create a skit based on a Bible text and a box of props. It was “creation care” up close and personal for the students and staff at Rosthern Junior College (RJC), who took time from their academic schedules to examine their attitudes and habits affecting the environment.

‘A dream which became true’

Finn Klebe, a Grade 11 student from Germany studying at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, is pictured with Jacob Deng of Wadeng Wings of Hope, an organization committed to helping the rural people of South Sudan.

The staff, students and teachers at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener, Ont., had the privilege to welcome Jacob Deng, one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” to speak to us in chapel and in class this fall.

MCC is more than thrift stores to MCI students

Jimmy Juma, centre, coordinator of the African Peacebuilding Institute in South Africa, talks with Mennonite Collegiate Institute students Rebecca Giesbrecht, Karina Letkeman, Renee Peters and Sam Schellenberg during MCC Day at the school on Nov. 21, 2013.

Taking learning beyond the regular classroom, Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) invited Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) on Nov. 21, 2013, as guest speakers engaged students in interactive workshops on interfaith dialogue, material resources, an introduction to MCC’s work, and peace in an African context.

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