Viewpoints

All about love

At the request of Elsie Wiebe of Mennonite Women in Manitoba, Mennonite Collegiate Institute graduating student Amelia Pahl interviewed Martha Epp, 77, of Morden, Man., who has been the primary caregiver for her husband Henry, 88, ever since debilitating arthritis set in all over his already frail body four years ago. Both Epp and Pahl attend Morden Mennonite Church.

My conversion

Recently the Listening Church video (listeningchurch.ca) was released, in which lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer (LGBTQ) people speak of their experiences in Mennonite churches. One speaker challenged people “who had changed their minds” to tell their stories. Here I take up that challenge.

Crowd surfing

Banff, Alta., has hosted numerous Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren national youth gatherings. Pictured are youth “crowd surfing” at a 1995 Mennonite Brethren event in Banff.  Events like these have been important times of building friendships with youth leaders, people within one’s own church, and those from across the country.

Mennonite plays

Dianne Bailey, Mary Bechtel and Beth Good play Mennonite pioneer women in the 1970 production of Trail of the Conestoga. Several ambitious drama projects were undertaken by Ontario Mennonites during this time, spurred on in part by Canada’s centennial in 1967 and a new emphasis on multiculturalism. The New Commandment by Barbara Coffman was produced in 1967.

Strange, suspect voices

One of the things I most admire about Scripture is the space it creates for the undominant voice, specifically the strange and suspect voice. For sure, the text is far from perfect. Alongside all those male authors, heroes and stories, give us some more women! And next to those Israelite colonists, how about a few Canaanites—those dispossessed natives—offering their truths?

Montreal River memories

‘Braun, Harder, Andres with wives at Montreal River,’ read the caption on the back of this photo taken by conscientious objector Wes Brown in 1942. As luck would have it, I knew Ted and Mary Harder, the centre couple, who were my great-uncle and great-aunt. E-mails to relatives confirmed the couple at left as Mary and Henry Braun. But who were the Andreses?

Native awareness

Freeman Simard is pictured in traditional indigenous regalia in the front of a church in Manigotogan, Man., which is about 200 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. A small portable record player is helping Freeman as he participates in an event called ‘Native awareness’ around the Christmas season in 1979.

History matters

Last summer, the Mennonite Heritage Centre was given a German language database of more than 110,000 family registries. We were ecstatic! With this new resource, we could reconnect families torn apart during the Second World War. The “lost” had been found. A branch from our faith family tree could be grafted back on.

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