Viewpoints

Solitude and community

Troy Watson

A peculiar thing happened to me last Sunday while I was on holidays. I felt a strong desire to attend a church service. Curious, to say the least. You see, by the time summer arrives, I’m usually churched out. As a pastor, church is not only my work life but a significant part of my personal and social life, too.

Home children

Photo: MCC Ontario/Mennonite Archives of Ontario

George Bryant (standing) was a long way from the home of his birth when he posed with the Katie and Christian Bender family in about 1917. George was a British home child who arrived from Liverpool in 1907 and was sent to Stratford, Ont., for “distribution” to a local family. He believed his mother had died, but as an adult he discovered she was alive.

Lost in transition

Marilyn Rudy-Froese

I have been thinking a lot about transition. Since early 2017, transition has been the theme of my life. When the expiry date of my work visa in the U.S. was nearing, and there was no clear path or short timeline to a new visa, my husband Allan and I faced many decisions about what we would do next, none of which offered completely satisfactory options.

Food creates community

Betty Ann Martin and Kate Van, the foods skills coordinator at the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, Ont., prepare fresh local asparagus. (Photo courtesy of Betty Ann Martin)

Cooking for one or two people can be a challenge, but Betty Ann Martin found that taking Food Fit courses at the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, Ont., expanded her food repertoire. She learned that roasted vegetables are delicious and that sweet potatoes are very versatile—and they don’t need added sugar.

Forestry service and fun

Photo: John P. Dyck Photograph Collection / Mennonite Heritage Archives

Old black and white photos often leave us with the impression that past generations were dour, ridged, thought in terms of black and white, and had no fun. But the technology of photography has done us a disservice in masking some of the character of the past. Life was lived in full colour, was complex with multiple hues, people had a sense of humour, and had fun. This photo came from John P.

Epp Garage

Der Bote Photograph Collection / Mennonite Heritage Archives

The Epp Garage in Fiske, Sask., suffered a devastating fire. When material, like this photograph, comes to the archives with little or no information, we can often learn about it from its context—the other “stuff” that comes with it. But in this case there was no contextual information. We don’t know the family, owner, photographer or date, to help us fully identify this photo.

Activate your core

Troy Watson

It seems the majority of political, social and religious discourse today consists of knee-jerk reactions to the perceived agendas, biases, foolishness and dangerous “isms” of the “other.” This rampant reactivity makes constructive dialogue impossible. To make things worse, we all assume the log is in everybody else’s eye and the tiny speck is in our own. I’m no exception.

Brubacher House opening

Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario

Tea is served on the front porch of Brubacher House Museum at its opening in 1979. The University of Waterloo, Ont., acquired the house and land to expand its campus. In 1968, the house suffered a devastating fire, but it was rebuilt with the help of Mennonite craftsman Simeon Martin.

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