For 22 years it was ‘all about the residents’

Linda Tiessen, who recently retired from her administrative duties at the Leamington (Ont.) Mennonite Home, is pictured in front of the facility with her granddaughter Larissa. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Growth, change and progress are three big words that come to mind when looking back over Linda Tiessen’s time as administrator of Leamington Mennonite Home. And after serving nearly 22 years at the home, she is ready to enjoy retirement.

Family of artists share their work in new book

Proudfoot family portrait of 2018: (left to right) Annora Proudfoot, Robert Proudfoot, Valerie Proudfoot (nee Braun) and Alicia Proudfoot. (Photo by Alicia Proudfoot)

A couch harp, created by Alicia Proudfoot, on display at the Hernandez Art Gallery in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Alicia Proudfoot)

Many individuals dream of writing a book, but it’s not often that an entire family writes a book together. Three generations of artists from the Proudfoot family compiled a book of short stories, essays, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and poetry. It was published in February 2019 by Friesen Press.

‘A mile in my moccasins’

Madelaine Kioke, a Cree artisan, demonstrates hand-stitching on a moccasin while sharing from her family story during “A mile in my moccasins” workshop, sponsored by MCC Ontario’s Indigenous Neighbours program. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

(Photo by Janet Bauman)

Madelaine Kioke was born in the woods near Attawapiskat, in the James Bay region of northern Ontario, where her parents hunted and trapped. She lived out on the land until she was nine years old, learning to hunt and fish, and set traps and snares with her father. At age six, when her mother first gave her a sewing needle, her love for making moccasins began.

Helping others, one stitch at a time

Eric Berg works on the floor, pinning together the top, batting and lining of a blanket. (Photo by Marlies Berg)

Eric Berg, a member of the St. Catharines (Ont.) United Mennonite Church, has been making blankets and donating them to MCC for a number of years. It all started years ago when he was helping his wife Marlies, an avid sewer and quilter, cut out squares. When he was cutting faster than she could sew and the squares were piling up, he started sewing them together.

Glimpsing the face of God

Palmer Becker, left, presents a Mandarin version of his Anabaptist Essentials book to Yin Hongtao and Zhang Shaojie. (Photo by Myrrl Byler)

Youth worship in a Chinese church. (Photo by Myrrl Byler)

Tobia Veith, centre in blue top with scarf, teaches a group of Chinese women. (Photo courtesy of Tobia Veith)

The Poovong family moved to Thailand five years ago. (Photo by Tom Poovong)

The Friends of Grace Church Association opens its new office in Khon Kaen, Thailand. (Photo by Tom Poovong)

Mennonite Church South Korea members prepare for a peace march held last April. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)

Editors of the newly formed Peace Journal are pictured in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)

Posters advertises the Peace Chain movement in South Korea. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)

‘Our teams at PeaceBuiders Community, Inc., and [Coffee for Peace] are being led, spiritually, to work with leaders of Indigenous Peoples [in the Philippines] . . . .This spiritual perspective of partnership governs the inclusive development strategies we practise in the field,’ say Dann and Joji Pantoja, left. (Photo courtesy of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc.)

Why are we doing international ministry? As I engage with people in many regional churches I often get this question. It is my favourite question. Don’t ask unless you are prepared for my long answer, but I can also point you to the answers of others for a shorter version.

New vision, new life

Greg Wiens assembles glasses on a trip to the West Bank with MCC in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

A man in Zimbabwe was able to go from being legally blind to seeing well enough to pass a driving eye exam with the help of Global Vision 2020. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Greg Wiens makes a pair of glasses right on the spot for Manitoba correspondent Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe, to demonstrate how the process worked. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Greg Wiens is the faith-based outreach coordinator for Global Vision 2020. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Mennonite farmers travel to Malawi with Greg Wiens as part of the joint project between MCC and Multiply. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Refugees in Malawi who are trained and certified to be eyeglasses distributors carry out vision tests. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Adjust the dial. Pick a colour. Pop, snap. A new pair of glasses is ready to wear in five minutes.


Two knitters and a potter

Mikaela Heidebrecht, left, Barb Heidebrecht and Lori Pauls have opened Willow ’n Wool, a shop in Airdrie, Alta., that sells yarn, pottery and accessories. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Mikaela Heidebrecht, Sheryl Grasmeyer, Carol Bartel and Barb Heidebrecht knit and chat at Willow ’n Wool in Airdrie, Alta. Community members are invited to the shop every Wednesday evening and Friday morning for just such activities. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

The interior of Willow ’n Wool shop in Airdrie, Alta. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Potter Lori Pauls at the wheel at the Willow ’n Wool shop in Airdrie, Alta. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Many people dream of having a business but it never comes to pass.

Barb Heidebrecht of Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury, Alta., wondered if it was just a pipe dream as her daughter Mikaela Heidebrecht and daughter-in-law, Lori Pauls talked about how bored they were and how they should open a store together.

Knitting project portrayed as pilgrimage

A few people linger to talk to Kirk Dunn, left, and to examine his ‘Stitched Glass’ knitted artwork after his performance of The Knitting Pilgrim at Floradale Mennonite Church on Oct. 26. (Photo by Barb Draper)

The audience was absolutely amazed when Kirk Dunn finally revealed his “Stitched Glass” knitted panels at the end of his one-man show, The Knitting Pilgrim, held at Floradale Mennonite Church on Oct. 26. The performance described his 15-year knitting pilgrimage of making three panels in the style of stained-glass windows representing the three Abrahamic faiths. 

Expiring City

‘Frenzy and Envy,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘The Myth of Lusotropicalism,’ 2012. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘7:12 PM (Good Morning),’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Dazed and Confused,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Between Flux,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘The Sigh,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Facade Ponderings,’ 2013. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘A Sleepy Backwater,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Stone Skyline,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Mainland Calling,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

Michael Veith’s photo exhibit on Macau, Expiring City, was held in Winnipeg’s Forth Café from Nov. 1 to 7. (Photo by Matthew Veith)

Michael Veith grew up across the world in Macau, where his parents were Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers. This November, seven years after moving to Canada, he launched a photo exhibit featuring the city where he was raised.

A plausible, persistent passion

The so-called ‘Keeling Curve,’ which indicates concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and ice over time, fascinates Henry Regier, who sees links between temperature and carbon in its various forms. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography chart [])

On a spring morning in 1970, Henry Regier walked out of the residence assigned to guest lecturers at the University of Wisconsin and turned east. Student riots related to the Vietnam War had broken out on campus, and the night before National Guards with bayonets had deployed tear gas.

‘Jesus Christ is present here’

Norm Dyck, right, the new MC Eastern Canada mission minister, presents Brian Bauman with a tribute T-shirt as part of retirement celebrations for Bauman held at the regional church’s fourth annual Mission Festival at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

People from the Chin Christian Fellowship share a cultural dance at this year’s Mission Festival on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

Women from the First Mennonite Church Hispanic congregation share a Colombian cultural dance at this year’s fourth annual Mission Festival on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

People from Meheret Evangelical Church in Kitchener sing at the fourth annual Mission Festival on Oct 26. (Photo by Mollee Moua)

“Jesus Christ is present here. Alleluia!” sang enthusiastic worshippers in many languages to begin the fourth annual Mennonite Church Eastern Canada multicultural Mission Festival, held on Oct. 26 at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener.

Like a bird who flew away . . . and came home

Nancy Frey, left, is pictured teaching at the Benin Bible Institute in Cotonou, Benin. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Frey and Bruce Yoder)

Nancy Frey remembers as a young child seeing a bird flying by and telling her mother, “Someday I am going to be like that bird and fly away.”

She did just that, spending a year in France after graduating from high school. That was only the beginning of a ministry career that has spanned two decades, most of it spent in West Africa.

Langham artist finds connection through painting

‘Created in His Image’ by Valerie Wiebe.

‘A Coat of Many Colours’ by Valerie Wiebe.

‘Down in the Valley’ by Valerie Wiebe.

Painted for MC Canada’s Assembly 2016, ‘Called Out’ by Valerie Wiebe depicts the church (the tiny black marks representing the people of God) leaving the church building and walking toward the setting sun.

Her parents called her Dynamite. Although she didn’t care for the nickname when she was a child, Valerie Wiebe has come to appreciate its layers of meaning.

Senior inspires others with desire to give

The oldest and the youngest participants in the Shekinah Bike-Paddle-Hike-a-thon both rode walking bikes. Irvin Driedger, 84, poses with Finnegan Fast, 3, and his mom Sarah Unrau. (Photo by Jeff Olfert)

Irvin Driedger, left, stands with the paddlers in the Shekinah Bike-Paddle-Hike-a-thon after they had all reached their destination. (Photo by Jeff Olfert)

Cyclists line up behind Irvin Driedger, centre, on yellow walking bike, at the start of the Shekinah Bike-Paddle-Hike-a-thon. )Photo by Jeff Olfert)

The small group of cyclists cheered as Irvin Driedger set off on his walking bike, kicking off the 2019 Shekinah Bike-paddle-hike-a-thon. His participation was inspiring on many levels.

Eight years ago, he suffered a massive stroke. He could only move his eyes and one foot. The doctor told Irvin’s wife Donna that he likely wouldn’t survive.

Dave Wall inducted into sports wall of fame

Son Richard, left is pictured with his parents Dave and Helen Wall at the awards ceremony in Virgil in August. (Photo by Randy Klaassen)

Dave Wall, who was an active member of Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines and an ardent supporter of Silver Lake Mennonite Camp fundraising dinners, was honoured by his local community for the many roles he played there and for his enduring legacy.

Move to Canadian office 'a blessing'

César Garcia, general secretary of Mennonite World Conference is pictured in his Kitchener, Ont., office, where he has been working for the past seven months. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

For César Garcia, general secretary of Mennonite World Conference (MWC), relocating to office space in Kitchener has “been a blessing.” He shares the office with four staff, some of the 40 people who work and volunteer for MWC around the world. MWC shares space at 50 Kent Avenue with staff from a variety of other Anabaptist related organizations.

MCC program shares ‘tools’ to combat homelessness

TOOLS coordinator Pete Olsen sits next to the ‘Homeless Jesus’ statue. (Photo courtesy of Pete Olsen)

A group of TOOLS participants talk with a homeless person at Yonge Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Pete Olsen)

In 2013, the first cast of Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz’s “Homeless Jesus” was installed. The bronze statue, which depicts the Christ figure as a person sleeping on a park bench, was offered to two churches before being installed at Regis College at the University of Toronto.


Subscribe to RSS - People