In July, Safwat Marzouk concluded his roles as associate professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and chair of the Bible Department at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), after 10 years of service. He is now serving as associate professor of Old Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va.
Employees of Boxbrite Technologies—pictured from left to right: Aaron Neufeld, Enes Demirsoz, Joseph Olmez, Lori-Ann Livingston, Niloofar Abbasvandi, Alina Kehl, Shirin Talaei, Seyma Nur Ozcan and Leon Kehl—attend a rally against Islamophobia. Kehl, who started the company, intentionally hires newcomers to Canada, and fosters a sense of community among his employees who work from home. (Photo by Aaron Neufeld)
It has happened more than once. Someone approaches social entrepreneur Leon Kehl with the name of a highly qualified person who needs help getting a start in Canada. Kehl has learned these nudges often have “God’s fingerprint all over them,” so he takes a “leap of faith” and hires the person. “People come into my life. . . . How do you not see God in that?'' he asks.
Dona Park designed the cover art for Mennonite Church U.S.A.’s study program, ‘Defund the Police? An Abolition Curriculum,’ meant to help Christians think about police abolition within a biblical context and as a practical alternative to policing. (Artwork by Dona Park)
Dona Park, a young Korean-Canadian artist, is one of the first two recipients of Mennonite Church U.S.A.’s #BringthePeace Award, sponsored by the denomination’s Church Peace Tax Fund. Park, who affiliates with Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Abbotsford, B.C., and Michelle Armster of Wichita, Kan., received the awards, recognizing the work of denominational peacemakers.
For many students, the outdoor education class at RJC High School was fun, memorable and character building. But for most, the skills aren’t ones they now use in their everyday life. For Emily Hand, a 2002 graduate, however, that is exactly what happened.
Three months after a cancer diagnosis, Erwin H. Rempel, 76, died June 25, at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Va. Erwin and Angela, his wife of 55 years, served with Mennonite Mission Network and a predecessor agency, the Commission on Overseas Mission (COM), on four continents, from 1975 to 2009.
Laura Funk wore a blessing cloak made of more than 100 handprints at her ordination service, since COVID-19 prevented her community from gathering in-person for the laying on of hands. She received handprints from people aged six months to 93 years old, across three countries and at least five denominations and two faiths. (Photo by Gilbert Detillieux)
Laura Funk is the first person to be ordained for the ministry of spiritual direction by Mennonite Church Manitoba. She is also the regional church’s first spiritual director in residence.
Ed Janzen, middle, meets with students Kenzie Thielmann, left, and Cameron Warren as part of his role as chaplain of Conrad Grebel University College. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)
Ed Janzen, right, meets with the Grebel chapel committee members: from left: Rebekah Lindsay, Suomi MacCarthy and Andre Wiederkehr. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)
Ed Janzen says, “It’s obvious!”
It’s obvious why he would want to serve as chaplain of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., for 23 years. Janzen, who is retiring at the end of July from a job he loved, names several things that inspired his work.
Ed Janzen, left, Grebel’s retiring chaplain, recently led a group of students on a learning tour in Wellington County, Ont., exploring sites from early Black settlements in the area, including this cemetery. The cycling tour was part of his commitment to making learning real. (Photo by Adrien Neufeld)
For some musicians during COVID-19, the landscape of music making, performance and choir conducting transformed into environments for community resilience. As a recent graduate from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto, with a master of sacred music degree, Matthew Boutda reveals the ways musicians are conductors of human connectedness.
The CPT-MC Canada accompaniment team spent a month at Unist'ot'en camp in unceded Wet'suwet'en territory in northern B.C., learning from Indigenous land defenders and helping wherever they were needed. (Photo by Steve Heinrichs)
The healing centre at the Unist'ot'en camp provides cultural teaching, runs youth camps and reconnects people with the land. (Photo by Josiah Neufeld)
The Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) in Unist'ot'en territory, where life is deeply interconnected with creation. (Photo by Allegra Friesen Epp)
Allegra Friesen Epp is wrapping up a six-month internship with Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), but she is already brainstorming ways to continue doing solidarity work.
My grandmother’s chicken noodle soup was the stuff of legends. My father has told me that when he was a young boy, his mother would make chicken noodle soup for people in their village in Manitoba who were sick or had experienced some family tragedy.
My grandmother didn’t write down her recipe, but my aunts put their heads together to recall how Grandma made her chicken noodle soup. I received lots of help from my aunties Mary Fransen, Nettie Peters, Louise Friesen and Helen Loeppky.
Donna Entz, right, and Doaa Ajani, a Syrian translator, at the “Under Wraps” event held at Lethbridge Mennonite Church in 2017. Mennonite and Muslim women shared about their experiences with head coverings. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Gross)
Loren and Donna Entz, centre and right, receive an invitation to the home of Iranians Behrouz Delavari, left, and his wife, Mehri Davar (not pictured). (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Gross)
English-as-a-Second Language students celebrate Canada Day with Donna Entz (wearing red ball cap) at the end of the class term in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Gross)
Mennonites across Alberta know her. Her heart for Muslims and those who are newcomers to Canada is well known. She has fed hundreds of refugees and immigrants over the past decade in her little apartment, which is situated in a low-income, multi-ethnic neighbourhood in North Edmonton.
When Ryan Polinsky designed T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Menno & Vaccinated” at the beginning of June, he intended to sell only a few to his family. He has since sold around 50 shirts, plus other merchandise like mugs, buttons and hats. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for the Manitoba Vaccine Implementation Task Force, even highlighted the shirts in a provincial press conference.
A miniature set of drawers. The wood is carved basswood, painted with milk paint and then burnished to allow the undercoat to show through. (Photo by Gerry Giesbrecht)
Gerry Giesbrecht of Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary, in his woodworking sanctuary. (Photo by Pamela Giesbrecht)
Steam-bent plant stand resembling cathedral windows. The bottom and top are poplar and the middle column is birch. (Photo by Gerry Giesbrecht)
Two antique style ceramic burr coffee grinders. The left one is black walnut and the right is cherry. (Photo by Gerry Giesbrecht)
When looking for a spiritual activity, a mental-health strategy, or a chance to reflect and see things from a new perspective, woodworking may not immediately come to mind.
This is where the girls lined up to brush their teeth at the former Blue Quills Indian Residential School. Children were referred to by numbers, not by names. (Photo by Suzanne Gross)
A 2018 learning tour sponsored by MCC Alberta at the University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, formerly a residential school. (Photo by Suzanne Gross)
A look inside the University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, formerly a residential school, during an MCC Alberta learning tour in 2018. (Photo by Suzanne Gross)
At the end of May, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 First Nation discovered the grave site of around 215 children at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Like many people, Jim Shantz, former Indigenous Neighbours coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta says, “It was shocking but not surprising.”
Lily Hiebert Rempel inside the nurses station at Sandy Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario, where she worked as a public-health nurse on three different occasions during the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)
The nurses station at Sandy Lake First Nation, where Lily Hiebert Rempel worked during her three, four-week rotations as a public health nurse in the community. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)
The nurses residence at Sandy Lake First Nation, where Lily Hiebert Rempel and other nurses stayed during their four-week rotations in the community doing public-health work. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hiebert Rempel)
After more than 40 years as a nurse, Lily Hiebert Rempel was starting to ease into retirement. That is when COVID-19 hit, and the health-care system needed more nurses, not fewer. She was not prepared to go into full-time critical care nursing but, with her public-health experience, she did have much to offer.
When Kari Miller tells people her major in university, they either look uncomfortable and walk away, or begin sharing deeply personal stories. That’s because she studied thanatology—the study of death.
Is it news if a crime doesn’t happen? What about when a guy who did break-and-enters for his whole life stops, or if a sexual offender learns how to express emotion in a healthy way and there are no more victims?
Don Engbrecht has built around 200 works, including this Easter sculpture. (Photo courtesy of Don Engbrecht)
Don Engbrecht has been sculpting and welding scrap metal for 20 years. (Photo courtesy of Don Engbrecht)
This special Easter sculpture now sits in Whitewater Mennonite Church in Boissevain, Man. (Photo courtesy of Don Engbrecht)
The outer circle of the Shalom sculpture indicates wholeness, while each segment represents an aspect of shalom: physical wellness, right relationships and healthy spirituality. The pattern of threes symbolizes stability and harmony. (Photo courtesy of Don Engbrecht)
Old agricultural equipment left to languish in junkyards or alongside highways gets a second life in Don Engbrecht’s workshop. He has created approximately 200 works over the 20 years he has been sculpting in Boissevain, Man., with scrap metal and welding tools.
Leonard Enns conducts a DaCapo Chamber Choir rehearsal in a Waterloo parkade during COVID-19 restrictions. Enns won a recent composition competition with a piece called “A Little More Time,” which he wrote as part of a personal challenge to write a short choral work each week during the early part of the pandemic. (Chestnut Hall Music screenshot)
When the novel coronavirus pandemic broke out last spring, shutting down so many activities, Leonard Enns gave himself a challenge: to write a short choral work of three to four minutes in length each week. It is a commitment he kept up from April to June 2020.
John H. Neufeld died on Jan. 11, 2021, after a life of serving the church in numerous places and in various roles. Born in Winnipeg, he lived and served in British Columbia, where he directed a camp and taught school at various grade levels over the years.
Louisa Adria, Foothills Mennonite Church’s congregational support worker, and Ruth Bergen Braun, communications coordinator of Mennonite Church Alberta, sparked joy when they spontaneously decided to do a photo shoot on Feb. 26, next to a brightly painted shipping container near downtown Calgary.
A formative experience for me was a youth work camp I participated in during my teenage years. The event was organized in connection with the ninth assembly of Mennonite World Conference, held in Curitiba, Brazil, in July 1972.