Big Bird on philanthropy

That provocative question came not at a church revival meeting, but from a researcher speaking to a mostly secular audience about trends in Canadian philanthropy. Regular congregants give a disproportionately large share of all charitable donations, Penelope Burk told hundreds of fundraisers from across Canada at a national conference in Toronto, Ont., this spring.

Family Ties

After the long and sometimes exasperating car trip with her husband, Martha joked to her friends, “Anytime I got mad at him, I just climbed in the back seat with my book and stayed there till I cooled off.” Those who have been trapped in a car for extended hours with a frustrating companion—not to mention their own heated anger—might identify with the pride and satisfaction of Mart

A place to belong

A place to belong: These few little words became especially important to me as I reflect not only on the upcoming 60th anniversary of Mennonite Women Canada in 2012, but also on a recent experience that helped me to see that such a “belonging place” had been missing in my own life since we moved and changed churches a few years ago.

What shapes us?

A popular Mennonite plaque that has hung in many homes states: “True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant; it clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry; it comforts the sorrowful; it shelters the destitute; it serves those who harm it; it binds up that which is wounded; it becomes all things to all men.”

Revisiting 9/11

South of the border, there was lots of attention again this year around Sept. 11, especially given that it was the 10th anniversary of those terrible events. That it happened to fall on a Sunday made me think of offering a voice of lament, confession and a call for nonviolent peacemaking.

The ethics of flirting

The guy on the bus was flirting boldly. First he locked a laser stare on the young woman in front of him. Then he shot her a wide smile. When she smiled back, he upped the ante by reaching both hands up to his ears and giving them a comical pull. At that point, as onlookers chuckled, his father, standing behind his stroller, said, “He’s a big flirt.

Who is to blame?

The Vancouver Canucks’ inability to score and some people’s penchant for blowing things up has caused me to agree with a zealous atheist. “Religion poisons everything,” contends Christopher Hitchens. He may be on to something—at least to the degree “Hockeyanity” has become Canada’s de facto religion.


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