A vision for incorporating sustainability into seminary education came to fruition in the fall of 2018 when two students from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Ind., joined the Sustainability Leadership Semester at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen (Ind.) College.
Warmed by a campfire and the scent of wood smoke, pastors prepare for a forest church experience outdoors. (Photo by Jennifer Schrock)
Hopelessness. Denial. Grief. Guilt. Despair. Pastors face these emotions in their congregations as they walk with people suffering from personal losses.
Ken Quiring, pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Brandon, Man., and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, give a presentation on biblical storytelling and creation care stories, and presented Scripture for a number of the worship sessions during AMBS’s Rooted and Grounded conference. (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)
Randy Woodley, distinguished professor of faith and culture and director of intercultural and Indigenous studies at George Fox University/Portland (Oregon) Seminary, gives a keynote address on ‘Resurrecting ancient wisdom and worldview.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)
Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary in New York City gives a keynote address on ‘A moral framework for concern about climate and related environmental issues.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)
As the floodwaters of Hurricane Florence crested in South Carolina in late September, three keynote speakers at this year’s Rooted and Grounded conference on land and Christian discipleship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) told participants that shifts in the dominant western belief systems and priorities would be needed for people to live in right relationship with God’s creati
Sam Dueckman, left, and Emmanuel Denguessi, who helped organize the Emmanuel Mennonite summer cleanup day, survey the bags of garbage collected by church members. (Photo courtesy of Sam Dueckman)
Leane Winger, pictured with son Steven, work together to clean up the garbage on Blueridge Drive near Emmanuel Mennonite Church. (Photo courtesy of Sam Dueckman)
One plastic cup, one can, one disposable diaper at a time, Mennonite residents of B.C.’s Fraser Valley are trying to make a difference by cleaning up their environment. Crossroads Community Church of Chilliwack and Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Abbotsford are among those congregations that are supporting the Mennonite Creation Care Network through community cleanup initiatives.
Dan and Erin paint the Repair Café trailer outside the Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church. (Photo by Frank McKinney)
Five-year-old Summer watches volunteer fixer Bennett McCardle fix the broken clasp on her purse that her grandma gave her. (Photo by Julie Trinh)
Jason Yuen watches as volunteer fixer Kenny Fong examines a broken bathroom scale. (Photo by Sandy Yuen)
Four years ago, my father Albert Kiang passed away. He was the ultimate Mr. Fix It, whether it was cars, computers or electronics. He was always tinkering away.
John Klassen, a Rockway alumnus and board member and Kindred’s finance and compliance chief, right, helps a Rockway student mulch flower beds at Mennonite Central Committee Ontario’s building in Kitchener, where Thrift on Kent is located. (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)
Rockway principal Ann L. Schultz sorts donations at Thrift on Kent in Kitchener with a group of students. ‘All in all, students witnessed first-hand how, when we work together with shared values, we come closer to the peaceful, just communities to which we all aspire.’ (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)
Rockway alumnus Ben Janzen, left, now Kindred’s values integration director, loads wheelbarrows with earth for the planting of kale at Hacienda Sarria Market Garden, along with a Rockway teacher and students. ‘Looking back, I can see how Envirathon Servathon helped to shape my view of the community and what the purpose of education is,’ Janzen says. (Photo by Jennie Wiebe)
As the presenting partner of this year’s Rockway Mennonite Collegiate Envirathon Servathon, Kindred Credit Union had its staff join 300 students and teachers, who fanned out across the region on May 7, 2018, to do everything from planting trees and preparing garden beds, to sorting clothing donations and serving meals.
Berzegin Yimam stands in front of the protected hill outside of Lalibela, Ethiopia. She is a member of the local committee responsible for protecting the hillside. Since restoring the hillside, the community has seen many benefits, including more reliable water springs and new plants that can be used to make organic pesticide. (Photo by Stefan Epp-Koop)
Two hills, sitting side by side in a valley outside of Lalibela, Ethiopia, have a story to tell.
One hill is brown, its vegetation stripped away by livestock and deforestation. Deep gullies are carved through the hillside, where the unprotected soil was washed away by the rain. Trees have disappeared, cut down for firewood.
Staff member Barratt Bender, left, and volunteer Virginia Kreitz sort clothing that has been shipped from another thrift store to MCC’s new rePurpose store in Elmira, Ont., where it is sold by the pound. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Volunteers who work at any of the many Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) thrift stores know the sorrow of unsold goods: clothing that hangs around for more than a month or dishes that don’t move out the door to grace someone’s table.
Donning my biology lab coat and goggles, I push through the bustling crowd of eager campers who are anxiously waiting to sing for their lunchtime mail delivery, and I raise my hand in the air. “Ready?” I ask. “One, two, three!” And the crowd of 80 bursts into an enthusiastic, barely organized uproar.
Field day at the University of Manitoba's Carman research farm. (Photo courtesy of Natural Systems Agriculture, University of Manitoba)
Harvesting grain as part of a long-term organic crop rotation study at the University of Manitoba's Glenlea research farm. (Photo courtesy of Natural Systems Agriculture, University of Manitoba)
Agriculture is changing. Perhaps it always has been. Markets realign. Tastes shift. Ideas evolve. Climatic conditions rearrange.
Mennonites are part of the change—as farmers, thinkers and eaters.
One of Tomie dePaola's beautiful collages in The Song of Francis. (Photo by Susie Guenther Loewen)
I was happy to discover another gem of a children’s book on the subject of faith at my public library recently: it’s called The Song of Francis, written and illustrated with beautiful, vibrant collages by Tomie dePaola. It’s another one of my son’s current favourites.
When Bob Lovelace, a chief of the Ardoch Algonquin of Northeastern Ontario, wrote about his people’s struggle over uranium exploration on their land, he did so from a Canadian maximum security prison. To protect their traditional territories from uranium exploration, the Ardoch Algonquin had set up roadblocks.
Mountaintop removal. Tar sands. Mass destruction of earth and creation for sake of getting at the coal and oil underground. While there are inevitably complexities for each community facing companies that look for energy sources in their neighbourhoods, and there are no simple stories, on an instinctive level I know it's wrong.
Christine Penner Polle used to turn off the radio when global warming was discussed. Now the former nurse, writer and self-described “climate-change avoider” volunteers full-time as a climate-change campaigner in the northwestern Ontario town of Red Lake. She and her family maintain ties to Hope Mennonite Church, Winnipeg.