Fall 2019 List of Books & Resources

Barb Draper | Books & Resources Editor
Photo: flickr.com/travis_simon

Theology, Spirituality

Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. Jim Wallis. HarperCollins, 2019.
Wallis argues that many Christians have become disconnected from Jesus’ primary message. He identifies eight questions that Jesus asked, or were asked of him, as a way to measure our spiritual foundations. He is critical of American religion that is tied to politics. 

From Risk to Resilience: How Empowering Young Women Can Change Everything. Jenny Rae Armstrong. Herald Press, 2019, 208 pages.
Armstrong writes about the many risks for girls around the world, especially during their teen years, and describes how the church can help them be more resilient. She argues that an end to gender discrimination, especially when it comes to education, is a good first step.

Intercultural Church: A Biblical Vision for an Age of Migration. Safwat Marzouk. Fortress Press, 2019, 212 pages.
Worship in the church is enriched by an intercultural identity, so we should welcome and celebrate differences of culture. By showing hospitality to migrants, the church can rediscover the biblical vision of the church as a diverse community, says Marzouk, who is an associate professor of Old Testament at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. 

Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness. Leslie Verner. Herald Press, 2019, 220 pages.
Using her experiences as the mother of young children and having lived in China for five years, Verner reflects on the importance of hospitality and community in our churches and in our day-to-day lives. Her comments are rooted in the stories of Jesus. The book includes discussion questions for each of the 10 chapters.

Peaceful at Heart: Anabaptist Reflections on Healthy Masculinity. Don Neufeld and Steve Thomas, eds. Wipf and Stock, 2019, 250 pages.
Edited by the coordinators of Mennonite Men in Canada and the United States, this book includes 15 essays exploring what it means to have a healthy masculinity. The chapters are written by Mennonite men, many who have served as leaders in the church in Canada and the U.S. In the first chapter, Don Neufeld, the Canadian coordinator of Mennonite Men, reflects on masculinity and how his faith community has nurtured his own sense of self.

Women in Ministry Leadership: The Journey of the Mennonite Brethren 1954-2010. Douglas J. Heidebrecht. Kindred Productions and the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission, 2019, 326 pages.
For many decades, the Mennonite Brethren in Canada and the United States have been discussing whether or not it is appropriate for women to hold positions of ministry leadership in the church. This book follows that complex and ongoing conversation.

 

History

Mennonite Funeral and Burial Traditions: Interviews and Personal Stories from Waterloo Region, Oxford, Perth and Wellington Counties. Marion Roes. Privately published, 2019, 102 pages.
Roes describes the funeral and burial practices of a variety of Mennonite and Amish groups, both past and present, primarily using the words of her interviewees. She includes many colour photos. The book is available at local bookstores or by email to mlroes@sympatico.ca

Minority Report: Mennonite Identities in Imperial Russia and Soviet Ukraine Reconsidered, 1789-1945. Leonard G. Friesen, ed. U. of Toronto Press, 2018, 352 pages.
This is an academic book that explores new interpretations of the Mennonite experience in Russia. 

My Sojourn in Mexico from 1955 to 1995. Helen Ens. Privately published, 2019, 122 pages.
Helen Ens tells the story of her 40 years of working in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, the business centre for many Old Colony Mennonite villages. She worked as an educator and community developer, helping to establish a school and a Mennonite church. Ens now lives in Winnipeg. Available from CommonWord.ca.

On My Own: A Journey from a Mennonite Childhood. Hildegard Margo Martens. Anderson Publishing, 2018, 324 pages. 
Martens grew up in southern Manitoba, the daughter of Mennonites who fled from Russia in the 1920s. She tells the story of how she chose to leave behind the cultural and religious expectations of her community to find an independent life in Toronto.

 

Other books

Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals About Us. Timothy McMahan King. Herald Press, 2019, 272 pages.
Using his personal experience, King describes opioid addiction from the inside. He shares his extensive research about drug addiction and what is needed for recovery, declaring it is a community, not an individual, problem.

All That Belongs. Dora Dueck. Turnstone Press, 2019, 333 pages.
As Catherine prepares to retire from her job as an archivist, she finds herself examining her own family history. The fictional book explores themes of Mennonite culture, religious fanaticism, shame and inherited trauma. Previous books by Dueck include This Hidden Thing and What You Get at Home. 

Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings. Brad Igou, ed. Herald Press, 2019, 239 pages.
Using 25 years of Family Life, an Amish periodical published each month in Aylmer, Ont., the compiler has put together a wide variety of comments by Amish writers reflecting on their way of life. Among the topics are marriage and family, youth, aging, discipline, clothing and “the world.”

Don’t Try This at Home: One Family’s (Mis)Adventures Around the World. Daria Salamon and Rob Krause. Turnstone Press, 2019, 280 pages.
This family rented out their Winnipeg home and travelled around the world for 12 months. The Mennonite connection is somewhat tenuous.

The Farm Wife’s Almanac. Shari Wagner. Cascadia Publishing House, Dreamseeker Books, 2019, 116 pages.
The poems in this collection are written from the perspective of a farm wife. This is the author’s third poem collection; she was chosen Indiana Poet Laureate in 2016-17.

Glitter and Fall: Laozi’s Dao De Jing: Traninhalations. Di Brandt. Turnstone Press, 2018, 85 pages. 
This is a new collection of creative poems by Di Brandt.

The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible and the Journey to Belong. Karen González. Herald Press, 2019, 189 pages.
As a child, González and her family fled from Guatemala to live in the United States. She reflects on migrant stories from the Bible, her own experiences as an undocumented immigrant and the plight of people on the move today.

Isaac Janssen, MDiv. George G. Epp. Privately published, 2019, 350 pages.
Written from the perspective of a struggling prairie minister, this collection of 30 connected short stories explores the meaning of life. Epp writes with a kind of folksy wisdom that has a stream-of-consciousness element.

The Salvation of Yasch Siemens, 35th Anniversary Edition. Armin Wiebe. Turnstone Press, 2019, 267 pages.
This humorous story, set in a fictional Mennonite village in southern Manitoba, was first published in 1984. This edition includes an essay by Nathan Dueck.

 

Resources

Anabaptist Witness: Mission in Conflict Zones. Jamie Pitts, ed. Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 2019 (Volume 6, No. 1), 124 pages.
Many of the articles in this issue are written by experienced missionaries, who reflect on their experiences working in places of armed conflict. Anabaptist missional theology tends to adapt when it serves societies caught in conflict zones. 

By the Way: Getting Serious about Following Jesus. Derek Vreeland. Herald Press, 2019, 231 pages.
Using many anecdotes from his own life, Vreeland explores what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Each of the 10 chapters has a list of discussion questions, making this a useful resource for a small group study. Although he is not Mennonite, Vreeland’s theology is quite Anabaptist.

4 Canoes: Teach Us with Culture and We Can Learn. Glen Woolner, ed. 
Four magazine/volumes provide insight into Indigenous culture with the following titles: “The Ojibwe of Great Spirit Island”; “The Haida of Haida Gwaii”; “The Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland”; and “The Yavapai . . . People of the Sun.” Also available is a DVD, The Art of Being Métis. More information at canoekids.com

Journal of Mennonite Studies: JMS Forum: A People of Diversity. 2019 (Volume 37). Royden Loewen, ed. University of Winnipeg, 430 pages. 
The papers in this volume are from the Mennonite history conference “A people of diversity: Mennonites in Canada since 1970,” held Nov. 15 to 17, 2018. They show how Mennonites in Canada have become very diversified in the last 50 years.

Let the Children Come to Me: Nurturing Anabaptist Faith Within Families. Lisa Weaver and Elizabeth Miller. Cascadia Publishing House, 2019, 62 pages.
Using colourful illustrations and photos, this book provides resources for families in nurturing the faith development of elementary-aged children. Each of the 12 faith practices comes with Scripture passages; suggestions for spiritual practices; and stories, both historical and modern. 

Raising Disciples: How to Make Faith Matter for Our Kids. Natalie Frisk. Herald Press, 2019, 210 pages.
Written by the curriculum pastor for The Meeting House, a Be in Christ church in Oakville, Ont., this book provides parenting tips for raising children in the church. As well as explaining the stages of faith development, Frisk provides many practical suggestions for Christian parents. 

Safezone: Promoting Healthy Boundaries in Christian Camps. Carol Penner. Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, 2019, 40 pages.
Church camps are important places of faith formation and leadership development, but it is important that relationships among the staff and children are healthy. This resource is designed to help foster healthy boundaries for everyone.

Many of the featured titles on the book list are available for purchase or to borrow from CommonWord Book Store and Resource CentrWe in Winnipeg. For more information, visit CommonWord.ca, or call 204-594-0527 or (toll-free) 1-877-846-1593.

Further reading from our Fall 2019 Focus on Books & Resources:
The world in colour
Journal connects Korean Anabaptists around the globe
Book explores healthy masculinity
'I realized I had been duped!'
CommonRead connecting churches from coast to coast
Overcoming the siren diversions of our digital age
Part memoir, part devotional reading

Previous resource lists:
Spring 2019 List of Books & Resources
Fall 2018 List of Books & Resources
Spring 2018 List of Books & Resources
Fall 2017 List of Books & Resources
Spring 2017 List of Books & Resources

Photo: flickr.com/travis_simon

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