Okay, so now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about the “f” word: feminism. (What did you think I was going to say?!) Feminist theology is part of what I’m studying and I sometimes get some pretty strange reactions when I tell people that fact. I’ve even had someone refuse to include that tidbit about me when introducing me to a congregation, in case it was offensive to someone! It seems there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about feminism out there, so I thought I’d briefly explain how I understand feminism and why it’s important to me.
Recently the Conrad Grebel College newsletter and the Canadian Mennonite have lent some publicity to the fact that myself and a fellow MTS student have received SSHRC research grants. In light of this I feel like a summary of my research direction is called for, on the medium of this blog.
How do we practise peace and justice in our daily lives? That was the question acclaimed activist Shane Claiborne explored at Peace It Together (PIT) 2013, a Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) conference for youth focusing on biblical and Anabaptist themes of peace.
It's not very often that I get a chance to come into contact with experts in the field of peace and justice, so when I heard about the Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference in Waterloo, Ont., as a peace and conflict studies student at Conrad Grebel University College, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn't miss.
Anna-Marie Epp-Janzen has 13 dresses, eight pairs of pants, 26 pairs of shoes, eight scarves and eight sweaters, but for the past 31 days she's been wearing the same dress.
A few weeks ago, my little family (my husband, my baby son, and I) celebrated parent/child dedication along with our church community. Though it’s obviously a different sort of event than the infant baptism practiced in other Christian traditions, I still felt like it was a significant occasion in this new aspect of my identity: being a mother. It’s no small thing to promise before our community to try to raise our child in the Mennonite, Christian faith that’s so important to me.
When I grew up in a conservative, non-denominational church, the issue of homosexuality was never discussed, but it was regarded as “sin.” It was not until a friend came out to me at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg that I had a direct experience with someone who is homosexual. My strong friendship with this person let me see her humanity, rather than just a sexual orientation.
The choirs, bands and performers at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) produce some of the most beautiful music around, but a few graduates are using music to help people achieve non-musical goals.
I remember coming home the day my brain started bleeding.
I had worked the morning shift that Friday and was pulling into my driveway when the spots in my eyes wouldn’t go away. I nonchalantly dismissed it as the brightness of the morning sun, thinking nothing of it at first.
This past summer, the worship theme at my church, Toronto United Mennonite, was about how the church is or can be salt and light, as per Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:13-16. The following is part 2 of a sermon I preached in September on this theme, with slight revisions. Part 1 can be found here.
Scripture passages: Matt. 5:13-16, 1 Cor. 1:1-7 (NRSV)
Before a couple years ago, I couldn’t pinpoint Cambodia on a map. I mean, generally I knew it was in Asia somewhere near Vietnam and Thailand. Really I didn’t have a clue about this country. When it came to what language was spoken, what were cultural customs, the name of the capitol city, or any sort of historical background, I was completely ignorant. I’m glad to say that this has slowly changed.
This past summer, the worship theme at my church, Toronto United Mennonite, was about how the church is or can be salt and light, as per Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:13-16. The following is part 1 of a sermon I preached in September on this theme, with slight revisions.
Scripture passages: Matt. 5:13-16, 1 Cor. 1:1-7 (NRSV)
The accident that came to shape Lisa’s life happened three months after her first birthday. She was run over by a car.
“The front and back wheel went over my head,” she says. “My eyes were pushed out and my ear was almost cut off, it was just hanging by a little bit of skin. I was unconscious for 32 days and the doctors said there was no hope I would make it.”
This past spring, I walked the Camino de Santiago, an 800-kilometre pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galacia in northwestern Spain. Tradition has it that the remains of the Apostle James are buried at the site of the cathedral.
Maia was four years old when she was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). She remembers being confused and upset. In many ways, the anger the Winnipegger feels towards her mother hasn’t dissipated after more than 30 years. “My mom did what to me?” she asks. “What happened?”
I’m not waiting for marriage.
This past summer, Kathy Moorhead Thiessen, who works for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraqi Kurdistan, visited the Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation in northwestern Ontario to prepare the community for the arrival of a CPT Aboriginal Justice delegation.
“Walk together, children, don’t you get weary,” said Bernice King, daughter of the legendary Martin Luther King Jr.
Those words were spoken to a crowd that organizers estimated at 70,000 who were about to take symbolic and literal steps towards reconciliation on Sept. 22, the day after the Vancouver Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) events ended.
Monday October 7th marked an anniversary of 250 years since the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was made. This proclamation, or promise, recognized the Aboriginal people of Canada as sovereign with rights to land. This proclamation was made legal part of Canada's Constitution. A gathering of more than 200 people, Aboriginal and Mennonite included, at the Idle No More Event on Monday evening in Winnipeg, MB came together to recognize that this constitution of Canada has not been in honoured in 250 years.
For those of you who are justice minded and love a good conversation starter, I want to direct you to Kris Miner's blog.
LINK: Kris' blog - http://circle-space.org/2013/08/19/working-with-restorative-justice-circ...
At first glance, Shane Claiborne and Arika Fraser would seem to have little in common.
Claiborne is from Tennessee, is a popular author and is in demand as a speaker in Christian circles.
Arika lives in inner-city Winnipeg and sleeps under parked cars on nights when there is no better option.
What they have in common is poverty.
Crossing the street in a big Canadian city like Calgary isn’t very remarkable, but it’s a different story on the busy streets of Kathmandu.
Stefan Dyck, 25, from Okotoks, Alta., learned this first-hand after moving to Nepal in August to begin a one-year term with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Serving and Learning Together program.
Like me, you may be following the recent news from Quebec about the “Charter of Values” that’s being proposed, and, like me, you may be feeling appalled at the very idea.
“To love our neighbours as we love ourselves means also to love ourselves as we love our neighbours. It means to treat ourselves with as much kindness and understanding as we would the person next door who is in trouble.