I wouldn’t normally invite a stranger to stay in our house, but there was something about Jane (a pseudonym) that changed me.
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)
It takes me a long time to learn a lesson.
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.
In the early years of our marriage, my wife Sharon and I often sat through our pastor’s annual sermon on tithing consumed by the feeling that we should do more. A serious discussion always followed, but with monthly bills, a mortgage, car payments, and school fees for our daughter, it was difficult to find the means.
The incredible wave of disclosure around sexual abuse has dominated the front pages of our newspapers and our news feeds these past months.
Women, in particular, are saying, “It’s about time that the pain and suffering of victims are acknowledged. It’s time to bring into the open what has been covered up and supressed for far too long.”
‘Come to the table . . . and meet Jesus’
Re: “A memorable remembrance,” Nov. 20, 2017, page 12.
I want to affirm Troy Watson’s assertion that our communion services should “result in our hearts being set ablaze within us.”
The L’Arche Collective Kitchen in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, provides opportunities for people with and without disabilities to share life together. (See more of the story at “Collective Kitchen involves all abilities.”)
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.
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.
“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?
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.
“Believe the best about each other.” When delegates met for the Mennonite Church Canada assembly this past fall, there were swirls of questions, confusion, caution and qualms. From the dense detail and multiple pages on denominational restructuring that we waded through, it was this phrase of hope and encouragement that jumped out at me, and others as well.
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.