I’m not exactly a new Canadian as I arrived in Vancouver back in 1989, leaving behind my hometown of Dadwan, Punjab, India.
My grandparents were traditional Hindu and Sikh, but my father joined the British army and so converted to Christianity, though he was a very nominal Christian. My mother had been born into a Sikh family, but she attended a Catholic Church.
Mennonite World Conference held its first assembly in 1925, which was the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the Anabaptist movement. With the 500th anniversary now only 10 years away, many people are wondering how MWC plans to commemorate it.
So Jesus was striding down the street one day when a kid in front of him turned around and asked for a bus ticket. Jesus had noticed the boy—a skinny teenager wearing a too-big T-shirt—aimlessly tapping a stick on a nearby fence. Jesus had wondered why the boy wasn’t in school, and if he was waiting for an adult doing business at the auto shop or picking up a coffee at the Tim’s.
The fragrance of old books mingled with stale pipe tobacco washed over me like finely aged wisdom, fermented from years of deep contemplation. Every wall of the late history professor’s study was concealed behind rows of shelves fully stocked with hardcover and paperback treasure. My sense of gratitude for the invitation to come “pillage” Robert’s library morphed into unbridled excitement.
I have had a recurring dream that began after a trip to Italy. During my time there I visited at least 50 churches and was struck with the fact that many claimed to be the home of sacred relics—especially bits of the cross of Christ.
It’s been 25 years since the military faced off against Mohawk Warriors in the pine forest between the village of Oka and the community of Kanehsatake, 53 kilometres west of Montreal. The 78-day armed siege was the most violent and consequential clash between indigenous people and the Canadian state in modern times.
What has changed since then?
In the summer of 1990 the Canadian military faced off against Mohawk Warriors between the village of Oka and the community of Kanehsatake, 53 kilometres west of Montreal, Que. This led to a 78-day armed siege, the most violent and consequential clash between indigenous people and the Canadian state in modern times.
What do Martha Stewart and Yvonne Johnson have in common? They both spent time in prison. Stewart, wealthy and famous, served five months for manipulating stocks, while Johnson was charged with first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. This is where the similarities end.
’Tis the season of graduations. Society recognizes graduation as an important transition in the lives of young people and so we ritualize the event with special ceremonies. At a typical ceremony young people hear various words of encouragement: A whole world of opportunity lies before you. Pursue your passions and dreams. Become whatever you want to be.
Looking out the café window on a warm spring day, I watched as a short, rotund man pulled off his shirt and bared his quite large tummy to the friendly rays of the sun. “There’s a man sitting at the bus stop who’s just taken off his shirt—” I started to tell my companion, a pastor colleague thirty years my junior.
“What?” he teased. “Is that driving you to lust?”
The brilliant Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “The world is in truth a holy place.” He was echoing the words of the prophet Isaiah who wrote, “the whole earth is filled with God’s glory.” God’s presence and glory can be perceived anywhere if we have “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Yet it is clear certain places, people and things help us tune into the reality of God’s presence mo
Dave Rogalsky explores the ruins of Machu Picchu, the mountaintop retreat and administrative centre of the ancient Incan empire. (Photo by Annemarie Rogalsky)
The ruins of Machu Picchu, the mountaintop retreat and administrative centre of the Incan Empire. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Atahualpa Inca with the condor, puma, and snake—the guardians of the sky, earth and underworld in the cosmology and religion of the Incas. By the time the European explorers reached Latin America, the Incan civilization had assembled a significant empire from southern Panama deep into Chile. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
It was a huge painting. At least 3 x 3 metres. It was part of a show in the Dominican church of San Domingo, built over and incorporating Qurikancha, a central Inca complex in Cuzco, Peru. My congregation, Wilmot Mennonite Church near Baden Ont., had given me the privilege of travelling to Peru for two weeks in early May this year.
How to plant a church is not a big mystery. Any good Mennonite gardener knew how to take a clump of bulbs from her front garden, split them up and transplant them into the bed at the side of the house. In the spring, the new garden proudly displayed the same brilliantly coloured daffodils and tulips for all to enjoy.
I’m in a beautiful and sorrowful place. My travels have brought me to a stunning seaside within a country that significantly restricts the proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Lord. Here, unless you were born Christian, you can’t abandon the national religion to follow Jesus. Those who change their mind in that way are not treated well. They are considered traitors, sometimes even martyred.