Focus on Book & Resources

Updated history of Mennonites in Canada commissioned

Mennonites in Canada, Volumes 1-3, by FRank H. Epp and T.D. Regehr

The last time a history of Mennonites in Canada was published, it covered the period from 1920 to 1970—the year Pierre Trudeau was prime minister, Canada was converting to the metric system, the federal voting age was lowered to 18, and the October Crisis rocked Quebec.

It was a long time ago, in other words.

Conspicuous absences

"[T]he figure of the absent Christ is not invoked pessimistically with images of abandonment, but instead it is interpreted in continuity with the peaceful, non-possessive and uncoercive character of Jesus."

The Absent Christ is a clearly written and compelling exploration of Anabaptist-Mennonite theology that engages with both historical Anabaptist sources and contemporary political concerns, in order to advance a constructive argument centred on the figure of the empty tomb.

Book explores healthy masculinity

Once upon a time, living in splendid isolation, Mennonite men were moulded differently from the rest of society. Worshipping in a traditional peace church with a different set of values, they didn’t fit the western stereotype of a male. But today, Mennonite men are diverse; as much urban as rural, as much men of colour as white, and they have diverse views on politics, religion and lifestyle.

‘I realized I had been duped!’

Gordon Toombs, left, was deceived by the Canadian military when he tried to register as a conscientious objector during the Second World War. His recent book, "L74298: Recollections of a Conscientious Objector in World War II," is dedicated to Conrad Stoesz, right, archivist at Winnipeg’s Mennonite Heritage Archives, in gratitude for revealing the deception.

Gordon Toombs was deceived by the Canadian military when he tried to register as a conscientious objector (CO) during the Second World War. His recent book, L74298: Recollections of a Conscientious Objector in World War II, is dedicated to Conrad Stoesz, archivist at Winnipeg’s Mennonite Heritage Archives, in gratitude for revealing the deception.

CommonRead connecting churches from coast to coast

The number of people who read the Bible is steadily declining, studies have found. Whether they can’t reconcile problematic texts with their lives, or feel like they just aren’t getting anything out of it anymore, people are leaving the Bible on the bookshelf. Meghan Larissa Good is trying to change those attitudes with her book The Bible Unwrapped: Making Sense of Scripture Today. It explores questions about Scripture that many people are too afraid to voice, and it explains where the Bible comes from, how it was written and, above all, it shows people why the Bible matters.

CommonWord shares books by the dozen

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)

CommonWord’s ‘Cheaper by the dozen’ program sends 12 books to Mennonite Church Canada congregations anywhere in Canada, free of charge, on a six-week loan. (Photo courtesy of CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre)

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. 

Readers ‘zoom’ to discuss Unsettling the Word

Congregants at a Toronto church did a six-week study of 'Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization' via video conference. (Photo courtesy of David Warkentin)

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.

Translation valuable to Swahili-speaking pastors

Begin Anew, authored by Palmer Becker, and its Swahili translation, Anza Upya. (Photo by Joyce Maxwell)

Palmer Becker, centre, leads a workshop session in Tanzania in February. Also pictured are Debbi DiGennaro, Eastern Mennonite Missions’ regional representative, and translator Baraka Amolo Ouso. (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.

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