Fall 2015 Books & Resources List

October 21, 2015 | Focus On | Volume 19 Issue 21
Compiled by Barb Draper, Books & Resources Editor |

Theology, Spirituality

Changing Lenses: Restorative Justice for our Times. Howard Zehr. Herald Press, 2015.
First published 25 years ago, Herald Press has re-issued this textbook on restorative justice. As well as updated terminology, this edition provides additional resources and recommended reading.

Galatians: Believers Church Bible Commentary Series. George R. Brunk III. Herald Press, 2015, 336 pages. 
This commentary by George R. Brunk III gives historical and cultural background to this letter written by the Apostle Paul. This commentary series is designed to be accessible to lay readers and to be used for Bible study at all levels. The book is available in paperback or electronic versions.

Meditations for Adoptive Parents, New Edition. Vernell Klassen Miller. Herald Press, 2015. Meditations for the Newly Married, New Edition. John M. Drescher. Herald Press, 2015. Meditations for Single Moms, New Edition. Susanne Coalson Donoghue. Herald Press, 2015. 

These three little devotional books have been redesigned and republished. They provide a month of daily devotions with prayers and scriptural meditations.

Rewilding the Way: Break Free to Follow an Untamed God. Todd Wynward. Herald Press, 2015, 288 pages. 
Wynward challenges Christians to think carefully about the values taught by western civilization, to break away from “affluenza,” and to think about Jesus’ teachings in new and wild ways. He believes this will help Christians understand that they are called to care for creation.

Sons and Mothers: Stories from Mennonite Men. Mary Ann Loewen, ed. University of Regina Press, 144 pages. 
In this collection of honest and candid stories, Paul Tiessen, John Rempel, Josiah Neufeld, Nathan Klippenstein, Byron Rempel, Lukas Thiessen, Christoff Engbrecht, Howard Dyck, Andrew C. Martin, Lloyd Ratzlaff, Michael Goertzen and Patrick Friesen reflect on their relationships with their mothers. (See more here.)

What We Believe Together, Second Edition: Exploring the ‘Shared Convictions’ of Anabaptist-Related Churches. Alfred Neufeld. Good Books, 2015, 166 pages. 
Published in cooperation with Mennonite World Conference (MWC), this book outlines the seven shared convictions that unite the members of MWC. Copies were distributed to everyone who attended MWC assembly this summer. It has an introduction by César García, MWC’s general secretary, many colourful photos and study questions for each of the nine chapters.



The Cross Roads: A History of Virgil Village. David F. Hemmings. Privately published with Bygones Publishing, 2015, 279 pages. 
This social history of the village of Virgil, near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., includes many stories of Mennonites who have had a significant impact on this fruit-growing area.  

Escape to Paradise. Edgar Pankratz. Self-published with FriesenPress, 2015, 368 pages. 
Using his own experiences as the base, Pankratz tells the story of a Mennonite family who fled from Ukraine in the Second World War. It is a story of faith and hope in difficult situations. The author was born in Ukraine and now lives in Abbotsford, B.C. The book is available in print and electronic versions.

Forward in Faith: History of the Kenya Mennonite Church, a Seventy-Year Journey, 1942-2012. Francis S. Ojwang and David W. Shenk, eds. Kenya Mennonite Church, 2015, 287 pages. 
This book begins with a history of the various traditional societies in East Africa and includes many stories of individuals who participated in the formation of a Mennonite church. It also has photos, maps, and lists of congregations and leaders.

Go Well: A Global Pilgrimage. Ronald J. R. Mathies. Self-published, 2015, 360 pages. 
In this memoir, Ron Mathies tells his story of growing up in New Hamburg, Ont., the son of Mennonite immigrants. He and his wife volunteered as teachers abroad with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) soon after their marriage. This experience influenced them profoundly and he spent many more years committed to the work of MCC. Copies are available at mathies.rg@gmail.com.

Ink Against the Devil: Luther and His Opponents. Harry Loewen. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015, 335 pages. 
This is a revised and expanded version of Loewen’s earlier book, Luther and the Radicals, published in 1974. He analyzes Luther’s comments against a variety of opponents, including Anabaptists, peasants, the papacy, Erasmus and others. 

Menno Simons: Dutch Reformer Between Luther, Erasmus and the Holy Spirit, a Study in the Problem Areas of Menno Scholarship. Abraham Friesen. Privately published through Xlibris, 2015, 397 pages.
Friesen presents an academic study of Menno Simons’ theology. He argues that Menno was influenced much more by Erasmus and Luther than by Melchior Hoffman and the Münsterites. Friesen is professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

My Calling to Fulfil: The Orie O. Miller Story. John E. Sharp. Herald Press, 2015, 442 pages. 
This biography tells the story of how a man with Amish Mennonite roots came to be a primary force behind some of the major Mennonite institutions in the 20th century. He used his administrative skills to create not only MCC, but also overseas missions, schools and other development agencies.

Worth Fighting For: Canada’s Tradition of War Resistance from 1812 to the War on Terror. Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson and Catherine Gidney, eds. Between the Lines Publishing, 2015, 336 pages. 
Among the 17 chapters in this book are two written by Mennonites. The first chapter is by Jonathan Seiling, who describes how the Historic Peace Churches responded to the War of 1812. In a later chapter, Conrad Stoesz writes about Mennonite and other conscientious objectors in the Second World War.


Other books

Armin’s Shorts. Armin Wiebe. Turnstone Press, 2015, 290 pages. 
This collection of short stories by Armin Wiebe brings together some of his writings that were previously published in magazines. The stories are primarily set in Manitoba and many of them probe “flat German” Mennonite culture with a wry sense of humour.

Eigenheim. Joanne Epp. Turnstone Press, 2015, 109 pages. 
This collection of poems explores the author’s growing-up years in a Mennonite community in rural Saskatchewan.

Gather Around the Amish Table: Treasured Recipes and Stories from Plain Communities. Lucy Z. Leid, ed. Herald Press, 2015, 272 pages. 
The recipes in this collection were originally published in 2006 under the title Countryside Cooking and Chatting. The recipes come with stories from Amish and Old Order Mennonites who submitted them to Die Botschaft, an English-language newspaper widely read in Old Order communities across North America. This edition has many colourful photos.

Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from my Prairie Community. Linda Maendel. Herald Press, 2015, 165 pages. 
Part of the Plainspoken series, this is another book written from the perspective of the Plain people. The writer lives in the Elm River Hutterite Colony near Winnipeg and writes about the daily life of her community. The book gives insight into the habits and customs of the Hutterites and how they are different from Canadian society in general.

Joseph’s Dilemma: Return to Northkill, Book 2. Ervin R. Stutzman. Herald Press, 2015, 338 pages. 
This book continues the story begun in Joseph’s Choice. It is set in the Pennsylvania frontier during the Seven Years War and is based on the true story of an Amish father and sons who were captured by Indians.

Painting Over Sketches of Anatolia. Leonard Neufeldt. Signature Editions, 2015, 89 pages. 
The poems in this collection are set in a number of places around the world. Neufeldt was raised in Yarrow, B.C.

Rachel. Reuben. Polly. Andy. Mary Christner Borntrager. Herald Press, 2015. 
These four books from the Ellie’s People series about Amish young people have been re-published and updated. The stories are the same as those published 25 years ago, but the language has been updated. They are designed for readers 10 years of age and up.

Simply in Season: Tenth Anniversary Edition. Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Herald Press, 2015. 
The recipes in this collection are grouped according to the time of year the ingredients are in season. The cookbook encourages readers to prepare food that is fresh and locally available. This edition has an expanded fruit and vegetable guide on how to store fresh produce. It is available in hardcover spiral or paperback.


Children’s books

Thirty Bucks. Donita Wiebe-Neufeld. FriesenPress, 2015, 23 pages. 
The full-colour photos of this story enhance its message about the charm of kittens, the power of love and the importance of neighbourliness. Its setting is Christmastime in a neighbourhood somewhere in Canada. It is available online from friesen.com or amazon.ca. (See more here.)



Circles of Love: Stories of Congregations Caring for People with Disabilities and Their Families. Dean A. Preheim-Bartel and Christine J. Guth, eds. Herald Press, 2015.
This little book provides stories of how congregations have been able to include those with disabilities and support their families. The 10 chapters profile how 10 different congregations have worked at being circles of love.

Spark—Mennonite Women’s Bible Study Guide: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity. April Yamasaki. Herald Press, Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women U.S.A., 2015.
This 12-session Bible study guide is designed to be used in women’s groups or other small-group settings, or by individuals. A retreat kit is also available with guides for organizing a women’s retreat.

Fully Engaged: Missional Church in an Anabaptist Voice. James R. Krabill and Stanley W. Green, eds. Herald Press, 2015. 
The stories and reflections from this collection relate to what it means to be a missional church. The essays are primarily from church leaders and congregations of MC U.S.A.

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