Spring 2023 List of Books & Resources

Barb Draper | Books & Resources Editor

Theology, Spirituality


All Our Griefs to Bear: Responding with Resilience After Collective Trauma. Joni Sancken. Herald Press, 2022, 200 pages.
In a world traumatized by a pandemic, racial trauma and economic uncertainty, Sancken explores how churches can respond. After considering the meaning of collective trauma, she suggests ways to lament, tell stories and find blessing.

Anabaptist Meditations: Thirty Days of Biblical Reflection from the Founders of the Tradition. Colin Godwin. Pandora Press, 2022, 156 pages.
Influenced by Anabaptist writings, the author reflects on Anabaptist teachings based on the themes of voluntarism, discipleship, Christian community, nonresistance and mission. Each entry has a biblical passage, a meditation, quotation from an Anabaptist writer, reflection questions and a prayer.

Ecumenism and Peace: From Theory and Practice to Pilgrimage and Companionship. Fernando Enns, Gelassenheit Publications, 2022, 340 pages.
The World Council of Churches has moved the Christian church toward greater unity through its pursuit of justice and peace in the Decade to Overcome Violence, says Enns. The author, a leader of Mennonite churches in Germany, teaches theology at universities in the Netherlands and Germany.

Living that Matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith. Steve Thomas and Don Neufeld. Herald Press, 2023, 256 pages.
Written by the coordinators of Mennonite Men in Canada and the United States, this book is designed to be used as a resource for men’s groups in the church. It encourages men to have honest conversations and to express healthy masculinity.

The New Orthodoxy: Canada’s Emerging Civil Religion. Bruce Clemenger. Castle Quay Books, 2022, 136 pages.
Clemenger, past president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, examines how liberalism has affected Canadian politics and the role of the church. He is concerned that sectarian liberalism is becoming Canada’s civil religion.

Stuck Together: The Hope of Christian Witness in a Polarized World. J. Nelson Kraybill. Herald Press, 2023, 240 pages.
The Christian church and the world are polarized, says Kraybill, and no human strategy can prevent that. We need to use the biblical text and Jesus’ actions to show us how to maintain relationships in spite of disagreements. 

An Untidy Faith: Journeying Back to the Joy of Following Jesus. Kate Boyd. Herald Press, 2023, 224 pages.
Boyd grew up as an evangelical Christian in North America, but came to see that the church has often misinterpreted Jesus. Recognizing that faith can be untidy, she takes a fresh look at what Jesus taught. The book is easy reading, as she writes from her own experience.




Anabaptism in Tyrol: Faithful Resilience Through Persecution, 1526-1626. Johann Loserth, translated by H. Hugo Brinkmann. Gelassenheit Publications, 2022, 282 pages.
Now available in English, this manuscript was first published in the German language in 1892-93. Based on a large collection of archival material, it describes the first hundred years of Anabaptism in Tyrol.

A Conspiracy of Chickens: A Memoir. David Waltner-Toews. Wolsak & Wynn, 2022, 300 pages.
A writer and veterinarian, Waltner-Toews is a bit tongue-in-cheek as he reflects on life and chickens, and describes his adventures with his own backyard flock.

East of Liberal: Notes on the Land. Raylene Hinz-Penner. Cascadia Publishing House, 2022, 206 pages.
Hinz-Penner reflects on her personal history, growing up in a Mennonite farm community in Oklahoma in the 1950s. She also considers the land itself and those who lived there long before her people came. This book is part of Cascadia’s Dreamseeker Memoir Series 2.

The Legacy of Melchior Rinck: Anabaptist Pioneer in Hesse. Stuart Murray. Herald Press, 2022, 400 pages.
Melchior Rinck was a 16th-century Anabaptist who wanted to see reform in the church and society. This first full study of his life, ministry and legacy includes some previously untranslated writings. It is the most recent publication of the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History series.

Mennonites in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union: Through Much Tribulation. Leonard G. Friesen. University of Toronto Press, 2022, 401 pages.
Friesen traces the history of Mennonites from the beginning through migrations to Poland and Prussia, and then two centuries of settlement in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. He explores Mennonite self-understanding within the context of the larger world.

North Wind Man. Clarence Cachagee and Seth Ratzlaff. Gelassenheit Publications, 2023, 268 pages.
In this co-authored biography, Cachagee describes his life journey that includes foster care in a Mennonite family, struggles with addiction, broken relationships and then a reconnection with his Indigenous spiritual heritage. He is now executive director of Crow Shield Lodge, which focuses on land-based healing.


Other Books


Amish Voices, Volume 2: In Their Own Words, 1993-2020. Brad Igou, ed. Herald Press, 2023, 256 pages.
Family Life is an Amish magazine widely distributed to traditionalist groups in North America. This book gives a glimpse of Amish and Old Order Mennonite life, using excerpts from letters and articles published in Family Life.

Finding Our Way Forward: When the Children We Love Become Adults. Melanie Springer Mock. Herald Press, 2023, 208 pages.
Writing partly from personal experiences, the author reflects on the challenges of parenting, especially as children become more independent and leave the nest. She offers advice for struggling parents and reflection questions at the end of each chapter.

Goods & Effects. Al Schnupp. Golden Antelope Press, 2021, 176 pages.
Al Schnupp, who was raised in a strict Mennonite community in Pennsylvania, explores what happens when someone needs to leave the “tribe.” In the novel, Hannah examines her faith when her church refuses to bury her husband’s body in the cemetery.

The Peace Table: A Storybook Bible. Chrissie Muecke, Jasmin Pittman Morrell and Teresa Kim Pecinovsky. Herald Press, 2023, 384 pages.
This storybook, designed for children aged 5 to 11, retells 140 stories from the Bible with lots of artwork. It includes prayer prompts, questions and action ideas to guide family reflection and conversation. Beginning in 2023, the Shine curriculum will use Bible stories from this book for elementary classes.

The Russian Daughter. Sarah Klassen. CMU Press, 2022, 265 pages.
Set in a Mennonite community in what is now Ukraine, this novel explores one family’s challenges, including the relationship between Mennonites and Ukrainians, during the Russian Revolution and the 1920s.

The Sweetest Dance on Earth: New and Selected Poems. Di Brandt. Turnstone Press, 2022, 240 pages.
Di Brandt, now living in Winnipeg, has been writing poetry for many years and has received numerous awards. This collection includes both old and new poems, often from a feminist perspective and sometimes reflecting her Mennonite childhood on the Prairies.

Thriving Families: A Trauma-Informed Guidebook for the Foster and Adoptive Journey. Jenn Ranter Hook and Joshua Hook. Herald Press, 2023, 248 pages.
Written by a trauma therapist and a clinical psychologist, this book provides practical advice for foster and adoptive parents. While it is challenging to parent through adoption and foster care, the authors say it is holy work that is close to the heart of God.



Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology. “Uncertainty,” Karl Koop, ed. Spring 2023.
The writers of this issue explore how we respond to uncertainty as a society and as individuals, and how we are affected by ecological and biblical uncertainty.


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

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