More than 50 years ago, Walter Paetkau founded Abbotsford Community Services (ACS), an umbrella organization bringing various local service organizations under one roof.
Arlyn Friesen Epp is the director of CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre, located in Canadian Mennonite University’s Marpeck Commons. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)
Still a hidden gem for some, CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre is a well of resources for the Mennonite community and beyond. One of the ways it shares these materials and guidance is through its “Cheaper by the dozen” program.
In a large city like Toronto, attending a church small group or Bible study may not be feasible for those with families or busy schedules. But Toronto United Mennonite Church has found a technological solution.
Begin Anew, authored by Palmer Becker, and its Swahili translation, Anza Upya. (Photo by Joyce Maxwell)
In mid-February, 50 Tanzanian Mennonite Church leaders, under the guidance of Palmer Becker, a Canadian Mennonite author and teacher, studied spiritual leadership, pastoral care and Anabaptist essentials using a translation of Becker’s book Begin Anew: Christian Discipleship Seminars.
Meghan Florian’s name surfaced in the small circle of Mennonite pastors and friends I know in the United States. Because this is how I found this book, I assumed it would be a “churchy” (or religious, or theological, or spiritual) collection of essays. What I found was a case for better writing in the church.
A widely published poet, a retired professor, a farmer, a recent graduate and an engineer regularly discuss literature and theology together. Hard to imagine? The sight is more likely than you might think.
Alliana Rempel has raised thousands of dollars to support inner-city shelters in Winnipeg, the Children’s Hospital and the Malala fund. Most recently, she published her first book, the proceeds of which will support education around the world.
Alliana, of Arborg, Man., is also just 11 years old.
In their appreciative foreword to Mennonite theologian Lydia Neufeld Harder’s retrospective essay collection, Kimberley Penner and Susanne Guenther Loewen write of the time, hospitality and encouragement that Harder provided to both of them during their PhD studies and dissertation writing.
The phrase “take care of yourself” is often heard today, but how to find time to do that in today’s world? For many Christians, the idea of self-care sounds contrary to the command of Jesus to deny themselves and follow him. How exactly do believers balance these two seemingly opposite pursuits?
On July 8, 2018, Mezgebu A. Tucho held a book launch for his Principles of Conflict Transformation at Trinity Lutheran Church in Edmonton. The book, originally written in the Oromo language, presents a transformative approach for resolving congregational and interpersonal conflict by combining conflict theory and biblical and theological reflection. Tucho is pastor of the newest Mennonite Church Alberta church—Bethel International Church Edmonton Oromo Congregation—which was welcomed into the regional church at its March 2018 annual meeting.
Mennonite Church Canada recently released Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization, the latest of several publications that explore reconciliation and Indigenous-settler relationships.
At Bluffton (Ohio) University’s Musselman Library, archivist Carrie Phillips stores seven copies of the 1748 edition of the Ephrata Martyrs Mirror in boxes specially designed to keep them preserved. But this year, Phillips had multiple opportunities to take the books off the shelf and showcase both their religious and historical significance during presentations on and off campus.
Retired missionary Mary Derksen didn’t start out to write a book about the 45 years she and her late husband spent as missionaries in Japan. But she has just completed the story of the couple’s ministry there: Rise and Shine! 45 Years in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Life at the End of Us Versus Them is an unconventional critique of the postmodern world from the perspective of a youngish father who lives off the land. Part theologian, part philosopher, Marcus Rempel examines contemporary culture from the perspective of someone who takes the message of Jesus seriously.
‘I understand God through inspiration,’ says writer Johnny Wideman of Stouffville, Ont. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wideman)
Writing short stories has been different than writing plays for Wideman, pictured here with one of his Theatre of the Beat colleagues, Rebecca Steiner. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wideman)
‘With Theatre of the Beat, I know who my audience is,’ says Johnny Wideman, pictured here performing in This Will Lead to Dancing. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wideman)
Most people know Johnny Wideman as a playwright and the artistic director for Theatre of the Beat, the social justice-oriented troupe behind plays like This Will Lead to Dancing and Yellow Bellies. Now Wideman has released To Aid Digestion, a collection of 26 original short stories and poems.
In Donald B. Kraybill’s The Upside-Down Kingdom, Jesus is slightly irreverent. He critiques the rich, scorches nationalism, redefines Old Testament law, and undercuts the authority of religious leaders.
Kraybill points out that Jesus is into sharing, not hoarding. Service, not status. Community, not competition. Basins, not swords. Loyalty to God, not nation.