In a phone conversation with a friend, she reveals her struggle with an event she is planning. Given that the gathering will be held in a small space, there are a limited number of people she can invite. After telling me whom she thinks she will include, she speaks of others, those left off the guest list. “I feel badly because they might be hurt,” she sighs. “I’m not sure what to do.”
Lately, I have had several conversations with people about downsizing or simplifying their estates. Some talk about rearranging their financial affairs to make life easier for their executors someday. Others face the physically and emotionally demanding task of moving from the homes they have lived in for many years to smaller, more manageable accommodations.
Mennonites learned how to harness the wind while in the Netherlands, and used this knowledge in the 16th and 17th centuries in Prussia, where wind-powered mills were primarily used to pump water to drain land. Between 1876 and ’78, four windmills were built in the Steinbach, Man., area by Mennonites.
During the Sixties Scoop Apology Engagement at Edmonton’s Amiskwaciy Academy on March 1, 2018, survivors were invited to paint their experiences onto canvas for others to see. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld )
“Sorry” is a very Canadian expression, but what does it mean?
To the more than 200 Sixties Scoop survivors gathered at the Amiskwaciy Academy in Edmonton on March 1, 2018, the word is problematic. The hearing is the last of six events held across Alberta by the NDP government in an effort to make an upcoming government apology meaningful.
When I first heard that Easter falls on April Fools’ Day this year, my mind immediately thought about how many people think I’m a fool for believing in the Easter story. I can hear them scoffing, “Do you believe in the Easter bunny too?”
The ‘Blues Sistas’ from Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary lip sync to ‘Do You Love Me?’ by the Blues Brothers during the talent show at this year’s MC Alberta women’s retreat. Pictured from left to right: LaVerna Elliot, Jenny Hiebert, Linda Bohnet, and Charlotte Mikalson. (Photo by Helena Ball)
Recently I was asked what is so special about the Mennonite Church Alberta women’s retreat.
I remember, as a kid, my mom leaving us in my father’s care in order to go to “women’s conference.” We had a big family, and for my mom to take time away from the conference was something unheard of.
What is our baseline for unity in the church? The most basic shared reality is that the church is a community of people who follow and walk faithfully with Jesus Christ. In order to follow, this means that we know Jesus.
There was an intense, seemingly overwhelming ache in my heart. Separated by 2,500 kilometres for our third school year apart, I longed for my sweetheart. I read her letters over and over, and again once more. They offered a delightful glimpse into her mind and heart, but they just didn’t cut it. I wanted nothing more than to be “with” her.
Last fall when Erin Froese and her household received the gift of many large squash they had trouble using it all up. They made a couple large pots of Butternut bisque and invited their neighbours to join them for a winter soup night.
When a friend asked me last spring if I would like to live with nine other people for the following school year, my initial reaction was a firm no. I couldn’t imagine figuring out all of the details like eating, cleaning, sharing spaces and resolving conflicts, among many others. Despite my hesitation, somehow I found myself agreeing to this adventure in intentional communal living.
This image of a Passover meal appears next to Exodus 12 in a Bible published in Zurich in 1531. The idea of owning a family Bible, especially in one’s own language, was very new at the time for families of modest means. This particular Bible travelled from Switzerland to Pennsylvania to Ontario with the Reesor family of Markham.
‘We have a responsibility to our sons to break down the systems of emotional constriction that lead so many men to have lives of quiet desperation and depression,’ says scholar Jackson Katz. (Photo by The Representation Project)
During a Facebook livestream on Ash Wednesday, podcaster and author Mike McHargue made an emotional plea for men to reconsider what masculinity looks like. (MikeMcHargue.com photo)
‘[A] man is empathetic, because a man who is not afraid of his own feelings is not afraid of the feelings of other people,’ says Mike McHargue. (Photo by The Representation Project)
Although many brave young people have spoken up in the aftermath of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., to advocate for tighter gun regulations in the U.S., it’s words spoken by a man in his 40s that I keep coming back to.
“Changes coming upon us / It keeps moving, moving around us. / Got to keep singing, knowing he loves us; / Got to keep joy in our hearts.”
It was a tender time. Our 86-year-old mother had fallen ill and was hospitalized. Family members who lived nearby were keeping vigil at the hospital, consulting with doctors and caring for Mom’s basic needs, at points even helping her to eat.
It was my first day on the job as associate pastor. I enthusiastically unlocked the door to my new office and was taken aback by the writing on the wall. Literally. There was a massive white banner hanging on the wall with a warning, handwritten in giant red letters, that read, “We don’t like change!”
“In the spring of 1928, not quite 15 years after the settlement had begun, Jake Funk opened the new red-brick store on a prominent corner of Main Street in Blaine Lake, Sask.
Growing up as a preacher’s son, I was immersed in Christian values. Every memory I have revolves around Vietnamese Mennonite Church in Ho Chi Minh City. I learned the way of Christ: to love my neighbours and to give to the poor.
Farmers with Firearms are flexing on Facebook. Indigenous activists are indignant. Justin Trudeau is straining to hit all the enlightened notes, as usual. And Murray Sinclair is urging justice reform, again.
In recent months there has been unprecedented exposure of sexually predatory men in high places, as well as unprecedented violence perpetrated by solitary men with little or no regard for human life.
Anabaptist Essentials ‘a quintessential travesty’
The following letter was abridged from one originally sent to Herald Press, the publisher of Palmer Becker’s Anabaptist Essentials.
The tale “The Christmas Guest,” as told by Johnny Cash on his album Christmas with Johnny Cash, is a fable about an old man, Conrad, who receives a message from an angel that the Lord will appear to him on Christmas Eve. Conrad readies his place, expectant for Jesus to knock at his door. But throughout the night, Jesus doesn’t appear as expected.
I love doing funerals. As a young pastor, I now have nine under my belt. It seems I enjoy them more with each one. To be honest, I haven’t had any difficult funerals to do yet. No tragic circumstances or painful dynamics to deal with. Each one being a dear old saint, ready to be united with Christ in the heavens.