pacifism

Swords into ploughshares

Photo: Klaas Brandt Photo Collections

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” These famous words from Isaiah 2:4 have been enacted in various ways over the years. Sculptures have been created, jewelry made and roads built with former military machinery.

Swords into ploughshares, guns into art

Irian Sittler-Fast works as a blacksmith in Floradale, Ont. (Photo by Paul Dimock)

Sittler-Fast sits by her sculpture, ‘Gun Shy’ at her first public showing at Hawkesville (Ont.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Elo Wideman)

(Photo by Paul Dimock)

(Photo by Paul Dimock)

(Photo by Paul Dimock)

Irian Fast-Sittler spends her days hammering hot steel and welding metals together at a forge in Floradale, Ont.

Recently, the 20-year-old blacksmith created a modern-day take on the analogy from the Book of Isaiah of turning swords into ploughshares. Instead, she turned her grandfather’s shotgun into a work of art.

CPT closes Indigenous solidarity team

Members of CPT's Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team participate in a rally in support of Bill C-262 in front of a local parliament member's office in Winnipeg in 2017. (Photo courtesy of CPT)

In order to address a $265,000 deficit, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) will close its Winnipeg-based Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team at the end of March. While CPT hopes to maintain relationships with its Indigenous partners, three full-time and one half-time positions devoted to the work will end.

Celebrating 50 years in Canada

Sue and Sam Steiner celebrate Sam’s Canadian citizenship in 1974.

My husband Sam and I went out for lunch at the end of October to celebrate Sam's 50th anniversary of arriving in Canada as a Vietnam-era draft resister.

Back in Indiana, I had been part of what we would now call an intervention.  We his friends implored Sam to immigrate to Canada. We did not think his spirit could tolerate prison in the U.S. at that time.

Abigail, the peacemaker

“David and Abigail” by 16th-century painter Guido Reni (Wikimedia Commons)

This week I was reminded of a biblical figure who is often overlooked: Abigail (or, as my Bible disappointingly calls her, “the wife of Nabal”!). Her story is found in I Samuel 25. I find it intriguing as a woman and as a Mennonite pacifist, because Abigail is, arguably and perhaps unexpectedly, a master peacemaker, someone who prevents a lot of needless bloodshed through her wise and well-timed words and actions.

Landscapes of war, a people of peace

Jonathan Seiling, right, consults with Carol Penner, pastor of The First Mennonite Church, Vineland, Ont. on a recent historic tour. (Photo by Melissa Seiling)

The War of 1812 is important to commemorate for many reasons. As the only defensive war fought on Canadian soil in the last two centuries, it was also the first testing of the historic peace churches' position of conscientious objection in Canadian history.

Subscribe to RSS - pacifism