Focus On

Gifted for this time

Susan Schultz Huxman, new president of Conrad Grebel University College, is pictured in the entrance to her new office.

As Susan Schultz Huxman settles into her role as president of Conrad Grebel University College, the school of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada at the University of Waterloo, Ont., Canadian Mennonite settled in for a conversation about her and the university college.




New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale goes ‘green’

Tyler Yantzi, centre, moves compostable paper bowls from a blue box into the green bins as volunteers Scott Bauman, left, and Mark Brubacher, right, look on.

Savang Nay, a volunteer from the Grace Lao Mennonite Church, Kitchener, takes a break from making spring rolls to load up on fries and ketchup, served in a recyclable paper container.

In past years, garbage bins at the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale were filled with a mix of recyclables, compostables and garbage. This year, there was an effort made to sort the garbage before taking it to the landfill.

One of the stated goals of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is creation care, to the point of MCC Ontario hiring Darren Kropf part-time to spearhead this effort in congregations. But activities like the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale, now having completed 45 years, are run by grassroots organizations and are not part of MCC proper.



‘This is home’

St. Clair O’Connor residents Julia Bringau, Jane Huggins, Mae King, Joyce Cockburn and Doris Cullen enjoy the community’s tea room, a place where residents and the public can enjoy a drink or shop for gifts.

Aquafit classes led by Linda DeHaan, front, help St. Clair O’Connor residents Norman Tom, Janet Grant, Pat Cavanagh, Pat Murray and John Harpen stay active

As Canada’s population ages at an ever-faster pace, Toronto’s St. Clair O’Connor Community may hold the key to keeping seniors independent longer, and teaching young people to respect their elders. Since opening in 1983, the community has provided family townhouses, independent apartments for seniors and a nursing home all under one roof.

A Psalm-like devotional

Tongue Screws and Testimonies, a book of essays, poems and artwork reflecting on Martyrs Mirror, is written by insiders for insiders. In the introductory essay, Kirsten Beachy, the editor, states that this volume reflects a wide variety of opinions of, and attitudes to, the role that Martyrs Mirror has played, and is playing, in the Anabaptist community.

Shedding light on southern Manitoba’s conservative Mennonites

This comprehensive biography of Wilhelm H. Falk (1892-1976), founding bishop of the Rudnerweide Mennonite Conference, is an important addition to the history of Mennonites, particularly in southern Manitoba. The book outlines the early history and origins of the Rudnerweide Gemeinde, later to become the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church.

MEDA software goes bananas

An employee of the APPBOSA co-operative prepares bananas for shipping to customers in Europe and North America.

If you buy a bunch of fair trade or organic bananas, you may get a product with a hidden stamp from Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

MEDA has helped co-operatives in Peru to streamline their certification procedures to maintain the rigorous requirements of fair trade and organic distributors, and thus gain a premium price.

‘Not what we planned as a 50th anniversary focus’

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp’s dining hall was gutted by fire on Feb. 7. Camp director Dave Erb hopes to have a refurbished or new building set to open by June.

The word spread quickly on Feb. 7 and the days that followed: Silver Lake Mennonite Camp’s dining hall had burned . . . again.

The camp, near Sauble Beach on Lake Huron, suffered a fire in its third year of operations, back in 1968. The present building has been a favourite of campers and off-season users because of its wide open space and large stone fireplace.

Don’t forget your instrument . . . or your voice

Campers who play stringed instruments—including Saskia van Arrangon, Jordan Klassen and Daniel Penner, pictured—as well as brass, woodwinds and piano, or those who sing, are all welcome at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, held each summer at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont.

Singing around the piano is a popular activity at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp in Waterloo, Ont., each summer, as Heather Imrie, Marlo Young-Sponga, Taya Kehler and Kiana Epp can attest.

It’s 11 p.m. We’ve been treated to the final program—a full, original musical about recycling prepared in two short weeks—and heard dozens of songs done by wind instruments, strings, brass, vocal quartets and pianists. We’re in awe, tired just thinking about what went into the show. Now the only one thing left to do is get the performers—our kids—home!

Family camp to debut this summer at Camp Squeah

Archery is one of the many activities offered by Camp Squeah that can be enjoyed by all age groups at this summer’s inaugural family camp.

Summer camp is not just for children any more.

For one week this summer, Camp Squeah will be alive with the sound of voices of all ages as the camp tries something new: a multigenerational family camp, to be held from July 25 to 29.

Nurturing creation connections @ camp

Canoeing is one way Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp gets campers to understand the need to nurture creation.

Camp is the perfect place for environmental principles to be brought to life. An Arctic glacier slowly melting may be too far removed for children to fully grasp the significance of, but a caterpillar in hand, a hike in a forest or a camp-out under the stars are real and immediate demonstrations of the importance of caring for God’s creation.

Canadian students enjoy benefits of distance education

In 2009, the high percentage of Canadian participants in the pastoral studies distance education program at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) left program administrators scratching their heads. Ten of the 16 students were from Mennonite Church Canada, with eight of these coming from MC Eastern Canada.

Last year, six of the eight continuing students were Canadians.

A serious interest in student well-being

Christy Anderson, second from the left, shares her experience at Canadian Mennonite University with fellow students.

“Most universities are good at academics,” says Sue Sorensen, who teaches English literature at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg, adding, though, “If you turn up on our campus, people are going to care about you, whether you want them to or not!”

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