faith

‘Queer and quirky and profoundly worthy of wonder’

Tamara Shantz, left, and Thea Andres lead the ‘Beyond binaries: Creating an affirming church’ event at Waterloo North Mennonite Church on April 6. (PiE photo)

The gathering hymn, “God Welcomes All,” called some 120 people to worship at the opening of the “Beyond binaries: Creating an affirming church” event hosted by Waterloo North Mennonite Church on April 6. 

God has swept us together

One of Holyrood’s music teams. Pictured from left to right: Cajetan Ngede, Gordon Baergen and Dorathy Chokpelleh. (Photo by Helena Ball)

Holyrood Mennonite Church’s puppeteers, pictured left to right: Pastor Werner De Jong, Helena Chokpelleh, Zach Chokpelleh and Joanne De Jong. (Photo by Helena Ball)

Near the beginning of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo speaks memorable words to his fellow hobbit Sam about the adventure that lies before them: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.

Canadian Mennonite bids farewell to Donita Wiebe-Neufeld

Longtime Alberta correspondent Donita Wiebe-Neufeld is pictured with CD, her beloved horse. Over the years, she wrote around 385 stories, features and news briefs. (Photo by Melanie Cumin)

After more than 18 years of contributing to Canadian Mennonite as the Alberta correspondent, Donita Wiebe-Neufeld, who has developed a fondness for horses over the years—especially CD—has resigned from her reporting position to take on an increased role with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta. 

Equally welcome

'I pray that the church will wholeheartedly welcome every individual with open, gracious and caring arms and show the love of Jesus to each.' (Image by MetsikGarden/Pixabay)

The other day I hosted a diverse group of women from church: some single, some widowed, some married with kids, some married without kids, some in their 20s and some in their 80s. While sharing our joys and our struggles, we each honoured the unique life stories around the room and created a space for all to feel cared for and valued.

Impacting the universe with the sounds we make

Ysaÿe Barnwell, visiting scholar for the Sawatsky Lecture, teaches a clapping rhythm to her audience at Conrad Grebel University College during an interactive presentation filled with demonstrations of the power of music to create inclusive communities. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

With her powerful, resonant voice, Ysaÿe Barnwell, composer, vocalist, speaker and former member of the African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, began to sing “Amazing Grace,” stretching out the length of each phrase. Members of the audience started to hum along. Soon she invited everyone to sing in full voice.

'Everything is possible'

Alma Darweesh, left, Reem Younes, Krista Neustaedter Barg and Brian Darweesh at Younes and Darweesh’s citizenship ceremony. (Photos courtesy of Reem Younes)

For Reem Younes and Brian Darweesh, everything seems possible now that they’re citizens of Canada.

Originally from Syria, Younes and Darweesh moved to Winnipeg in 2015 as privately sponsored refugees, welcomed by a Mennonite community there.

‘Vice’ director Adam McKay talks about Mennonites on popular podcast

Adam McKay is the writer-director of the acclaimed 2018 film 'Vice,' which explores the life of Dick Cheney. (Photo courtesy of Instagram.com/ghostpanther2018)

Filmmaker Adam McKay recently revealed that when he was growing up, he attended a Mennonite church for a time.

During his appearance on the March 20 episode of the podcast You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, the writer-director shared that after his mother became a Christian, they attended a number of different churches.

Why I advocate for human rights

'I want to learn from our history and remind others that cultural and religious differences must not make us complicit in denying dignity and equality for all,' Leona Lortie writes. (Photo by Johannes Plenio/Pixabay)

In contemplating where our passions come from and why we do what we do, we often look to our childhoods. In my childhood, I was faced with several tensions, which formed me and led me to study history.


Leona Lortie is the public engagement and advocacy coordinator for MCC's Ottawa office. (MCC photo by Meghan Mast)

April Yamasaki named new editor of Purpose magazine

April Yamasaki has been selected as the new editor of Purpose magazine, a monthly magazine published by MennoMedia that offers stories of inspiration and promise. She is an ordained minister with 25 years of experience in pastoral ministry at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., who currently serves as resident author with Valley CrossWay Church in Abbotsford, B.C., and speaks widely in other churches and ministry settings.

Is belief in Jesus’ resurrection necessary?

Caravaggio’s ‘The Incredulity of Saint Thomas’

‘The Resurrection of Christ’ by unknown painters in the 17th century

‘The Resurrection of Christ’ by an unknown 14th century Greek artist

Tintoretto’s ‘The Resurrection of Christ’

It’s a question I’ve heard many times over the years: “Do Christians really need to believe in Jesus’ resurrection?”

It is, after all, a pretty difficult idea to accept. And this is not just a modern difficulty. It’s been obvious to humans for a very long time that dead people stay dead.

A big fan of Jesus . . . the church not so much

‘In the last couple of years, I’ve been embarrassed to tell people that I went to church or was a Christian.’—Aaron Dawson (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)

‘I have also been deeply hurt by experiences in the church and have sometimes wondered why I stay. But I have stayed because, in the end, unlike Aaron, I find that it does matter to me. This is my tribe, warts and all.’—Angelika Dawson (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)

Aaron Dawson and his mother Angelika in their Star Wars ‘Force for change’ T-shirts. (Photo courtesy of Angelika Dawson)

A lot has been said and written about millennials: What’s wrong with them? What’s influenced them? What does their future hold?

10 under 30

We asked and you responded.

This past fall, Canadian Mennonite put out a call to readers. We wanted to hear about the young adults who are making a difference in your community—the emerging Mennonite leaders from across Canada who care about and support the church.

Bethlehem experiences

Tear gas containers litter the gardens near the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank Palestinians know that every Friday they can expect tear gas to be lobbed into the refugee camps outside of Bethlehem. (Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe)

The separation wall in Bethlehem, in the West Bank. (Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe)

‘How you experience holy is different than you expect it to be.’ -Rev. Carrie Ballenger Smith

After a year of travel, seeking faith and justice on four continents, there are lessons that I am still unpacking. Between the busy schedules of church, master’s thesis work, travel and work with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), it takes a moment of pause to catch up with my experiences. And so, I pause. I look back to remember.

Living on the corner: In the wake of terror in Paris/Beirut/Baghdad

Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe

Once again, we have lived through a moment that will continue to define our century. The wake of the triad of terror that has happened in the last days in Paris and Beirut and Baghdad will create rhetoric similar to 9/11, the attacks in New York and Washington. Our mindsets and attitudes will bend, our politics and apologies will twist, all to address this day.

I can't breathe

The logo of the #ReclaimHolyWeek campaign, organized by Holy Week of Resistance www.holyweekofresistance.net

After a recent experience in New York comes this reflection on racism and the social context of our faith.

I can't breathe. At this moment, this is one of the most politically charged statements you can say in the United States. It drudges up a social context where racism and state brutality are killing innocent people.  It evokes a memory that causes resistance to injustice. It is a call to action. It is conviction.

A Thought on Cross-cultural Learning and Faith

What does cross-cultural learning have to do with our faith?

I believe it's at the heart of the good news that Jesus taught and lived: Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with each other. These are not mutual exclusive concepts. When we reconcile with each other, we have a more full sense of who God is and how God works in the world.

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