Faith journeys

A journey from fundamentalism to freedom

Donna Dinsmore, interim pastor of Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary, is pictured with her beloved seven-year-old Tucker. ‘Tucker makes every community more human,' she says. (Photo courtesy of Donna Dinsmore)

Donna Dinsmore served from 2015 to 2017 as minister of the Bella Coola Pastoral Charge while living on the Nuxalk First Nation in British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Donna Dinsmore)

Donna Dinsmore never felt she fit into church life.

AMBS trains Sudanese-Canadian to make a difference

Rebecca Riek (second row, second from left) and Rebecca Yoder Neufeld (next to her) stand among fellow participants at the September 2018 Journey Weekend Learning Event at Amigo Centre in Sturgis, Michigan. (Jason Bryant)

Thousands of miles from their homeland, a group of about 30 South Sudanese women gathers on Tuesdays in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. Meeting in each other’s homes, they pray for their war-torn country and its people, share about their lives and study the Bible together. Rebecca Riek, who came to Canada from South Sudan 16 years ago, helped start the group in 2007 and continues to lead it.

A biblical call—to justice and peacebuilding

Jessica Reesor Rempel co-founded Pastors in Exile in 2015. (Photo by John Rempel)

Jessica Reesor Rempel leads a session at PiE’s recent Winter Camp for Grown-ups’ retreat. (Photo by Jacquie Reimer)

‘I don’t think anyone else has a job quite like this,’ says Jessica Reesor Rempel, right, pictured with PiE co-founder Chris Brnjas, left, and Tamara Shantz, centre, PiE’s current pastor. (Photo by Dave Klassen)

Jessica Reesor Rempel lives in Kitchener, Ont., with her husband Steven and their daughter Anna Julian. (Photo by John Rempel)

Participants worship in Victoria Park in Kitchener, Ont., at an Easter sunrise service organized by PiE. (Photo by Dave Klassen)

Jessica Reesor Rempel enjoys bringing people together and helping them find meaning.

From Mexican Quaker to Canadian Mennonite

Andrea De Avila enjoys her role as associate pastor at Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Andrea De Avila is pictured at her graduation from Eastern Mennonite University. To the left are her grandparents, Ana Victoria Aguilera Martinez and Juan Manuel De Avila Perez. To the right are family friends Nancy Peachy Bontrager and Marion Bontrager. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Andrea De Avila is pictured at the Forks in Winnipeg with her husband Nate and their friend Carina Contreras. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Andrea De Avila, second from left, celebrates Christmas in 2013 with, from left to right, her sister Isabela, mother Norma, father Rodrigo, sister Laura, and brother Rodrigo. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Participating in a Quaker youth pilgrimage to the U.K. was a formative experience for Andrea De Avila. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Ask Andrea De Avila when she first wanted to become a pastor and her answer is simple: “I didn’t.”

Prodigal pastor

Lee Hiebert is the new pastor at Steinbach Mennonite Church. (Photo courtesy of Lee Hiebert)

Lee Hiebert with Jacqueline Neun at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Kelowna First Mennonite Church earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Lee Hiebert)

Lee and Rachel Hiebert with their Harley. (Photo courtesy of Lee Hiebert)

Seventy-four-year-old George Ediger rushed out of church during the final song and caught up with the newcomer in the parking lot before the big young visitor with the shaved head and biker beard could escape in the maroon hot rod that stood out among the grey and beige sedans.

Letting Christ abide, from Saskatchewan to Gambia

Tending to the grapes she grows in the house she lives in provides Terri Lynn Paulson with a very tangible way of considering John 15, a chapter of the Bible she has been reflecting on in recent months. It begins: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”

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