young voices

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Intimacy is not an invitation to abuse

Every 17 minutes, a woman in Canada experiences sexual assault. (Photo courtesy of

Every 17 minutes, a woman in Canada experiences sexual assault. Many times these women are assaulted by someone they know, sometimes even by someone they’re in a romantic relationship with.

The latter was true for Jessica (a pseudonym), who grew up attending a Mennonite Church Canada congregation and agreed to speak to Canadian Mennonite anonymously to protect her identity.

Making Space for the Stranger

We are accustomed to reading the narrative of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) as something of an ethereal event, a moment of encounter with the divine realm during which Mary’s feet didn’t quite touch the ground. But in our preoccupation with the other-worldly, we can overlook the fact that this is one of the most this-worldly narratives in the entire Bible, since its principal concern is Mary’s sharing of her body and blood with God, making it possible for God to become incarnate.[1]

‘A family camping trip . . . with a lot more guitars’

Formed in 2009, Pocket Change solidified its current line-up in 2012. Pictured from left to right: Nolan Kehler, Brandon Letkeman, Jonas Cornelsen and Mike Wiebe. (Photo by Matthew Ryan Photography)

Most university students use reading week to study or go on a quick vacation, but not the members of Pocket Change, a Winnipeg rock band. While their peers were hitting the books or the ski slopes this past February, the band members were busy recording their new EP, Party Culture.

Swords into ploughshares

“So they took up arms, these and a million other Canadians - men and women - who put on the uniform and beat their ploughshares into swords.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“The regenerated do not go to war nor fight. They are children of peace who have beaten their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks and know of no war. They give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. Their sword is the sword of the spirit which they wield with good conscience through the Holy Ghost.” – Menno Simons, 16th century Anabaptist leader

On a radical journey

As a student at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener, Ont., I was taught to care about the well-being of others. When I graduated in 2009, I originally planned to pursue social development studies at the University of Waterloo, Ont., since I figured that working towards societal change would be a good way of doing that.

Thoughts on Ottawa

I’m finding it difficult to respond without cynicism as I think about the violent events which occurred in Ottawa this past week. By now, we’ve heard the sequence of events repeated hundreds of times on the news, and we’ve heard Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s interpretation of events repeated, too. He was quick to label this a “terrorist attack” and to speak of it as an unprovoked attempt to destroy our “freedom” and “democracy” – and, I might add, he was also quick to bring God into it at the end of his speech, which caused me deep discomfort.

Who's in or out, and why?

At the beginning of this month, I had the pleasure of going to “Ex-Mennonite, Near Mennonite: Liturgical, Non-denominational, Secular,” a conference hosted by the Chair in Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg (one of the perks of living in Winnipeg again!). Though it might seem like a strange fit for someone like me who considers myself committed to remaining within and contributing to the Mennonite church, I actually found it very interesting.

Values, views and visions

The morning begins with many hugs, some handshakes and the hearty, infectious laugh of Kathy Giesbrecht, or “Kathy G.” as many refer to Mennonite Church Manitoba’s energetic associate director of leadership ministries. There is a sense of reunification as we tell stories of our summers and new things that are happening in our lives this fall.

Supplementary reading

Did you know that there’s an illustrated Bible that retells the stories in Scripture using Lego? The Brick Testament is a series by a man in California named Brendan Powell Smith, who has spent thousands of dollars using those small, colourful bricks recreating biblical stories and then photographing them.

Peace, Pies, and Prophets

Do you  know a lot about Pies, Peace, and Prophets? Come to a live comedy performance of I’d Like to Buy an Enemy by Ted and Company. Bring a handcrafted pie for auction (along with a short story about your pie- fact or fiction). If you don't want to make a pie, come bid on a handcrafted pie! I'm hungry just thinking about it!

Christian Peacemaker teams will be hositing this fundraiser event at 7:00 pm on November 9, 2014 at Home Street Mennonite Church (318 Home Street, Winnipeg, MB).

This Weekend: Ex-Mennonite/Near Mennonite FREE Conference

Hello fellow Mennonites, near Mennonites, and perhaps even ex-Mennonites. I just want to take a quick to highlight an event going on this weekend in Winnipeg -- it sounds like a really interesting FREE conference. I'm hoping that between school, work, and other commitments, I'll have have a chance to pop by -- let me know if you'll be there, and maybe you can write a blurb for the blog! 


Title: Ex-Mennonite/Near Mennonite: Liturgical, Non-denominational, Secular 

CMU Farmers Market TODAY

The CMU Farmers Market is TODAY folks! We've got 28 vendors lined up, a toonie lunch (farmer sausage on a bun) to offer, and a forecast of sunshiney goodness.

Also, I'll be a vendor there this year!


Something special about this year: 
1) Busking Corner - We're introducing a busking corner this year, open to students and non-students alike. Its free to reserve a slot, and musiciansare welcome to put out a hat or boot, as well as sell their CD's.


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