Viewpoints

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Learning to let go

Four generations of women at various stages of learning to let go. Pictured from left to right: Margaret Brubacher, Erma Birky, Sophia Heidebrecht and Carmen Brubacher. (Photo by Ray Brubacher)

End of an era. The author has mixed feelings about letting go of the family stroller that transported her four children: left to right, back row: Nathan, Sophia and Conrad; and Jesse Heidebrecht in the stroller. (Photo by Carmen Brubacher)

It takes me a long time to learn a lesson.

Hauling strawberries

Photo: Jacob J. Doerksen Family Photo Collection / Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies

In February 1928, the first trainload of Mennonite farmers from the Prairies arrived in Yarrow, British Columbia, with prospects of farming the newly accessible land in the Fraser Valley. The introduction of raspberry and strawberry farming in the early 1930s increased the viability of these farms. The photo shows Len Doerksen (b. 1936) with his little brother Dan (b.

One word

A year ago, a friend issued a challenge. He urged me to select one word as the word for me in 2017. A word on which to focus and meditate. A word of (at least hoped for) transformation.

Bloodvein Reserve

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Mennonite / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

Many years ago, our archives first described this photograph as “School children at Bloodvein Reserve, ca. 1956.” The subject heading included the phrase, “Indians of North America,” correct for the time.

Collective Kitchen involves all abilities

Nancy Kube and Krista Loewen co-edited the new cookbook, One Big Table: Recipes from Friends of L’Arche Collective Kitchen.

The act of eating and preparing food is my greatest joy. Creating the dance of different flavours upon my palate is a spiritual experience. Robert Farror Capon writes in The Supper of the Lamb, “Food and cooking are among the richest subjects in the world. Every day of our lives, they preoccupy, delight and refresh us . . . Both stop us dead in our tracks with wonder.

Singing off the wall

Photo courtesy of the United Church Publishing House / Mennonite Archives of Ontario

The phrase “singing off the wall,” referring to singing from projected words rather than a hymn book, first appeared in Canadian Mennonite in 2010. This image shows that the practice went back much further. Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., recently donated a collection of glass “lantern slides” probably in use circa 1924-45.

Jesus isn’t talking to you

‘The Sermon on the Mount’ by Carl Bloch, 1877

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

We know who we are

 

Common knowledge helps to form our identity. It creates the basis from which to describe ourselves and helps us to understand others.

Change can create a crisis of identity. When what we thought to be fact changes, it can create a distressing cloud of confusion and uncertainty. We wonder if there is anything we can know. And we no longer trust what we think we know. 

Only one thing is essential

Troy Watson

In Luke 10:40, Martha complains to Jesus about having to do all the kitchen work by herself. Jesus responds. “Martha, you’re distracted by many things, but only one thing is necessary.”

Notice that Jesus doesn’t give Martha a list of seven or 47 things that are essential to life. Just one thing. If that doesn’t give focus to our spiritual journeys, I don’t know what will.

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