In 1975 the Conference of Mennonites in Canada built the chapel at Canadian Mennonite Bible College (now CMU). Rudy Friesen wrote in the Mennonite Mirror, April 1975, page 7: “It was agreed that the chapel should be simple and unadorned, yet strong and bold. . . . The large barn-like trusses on the inside continue this feeling of strength, and as such form the only decoration.
I’ve spent the past weeks sifting through the rhetoric that is being used to describe the Israel-Hamas conflict, and it’s been confusing, to say the least. At the time of this writing, officials say that more than 10,000 Gazans are dead.
Do you celebrate Buy Nothing Day? For me it’s like a holy day, a short version of Lent—that disruption of the ordinary that makes me notice the taken-for-granted and the practices of the gospel.
The intent of Buy Nothing Day is that for a single day one does not purchase anything. No economic transactions. Live the day with whatever you have. Notice how it feels.
John and Jean—not their real names—had long made plans to retire once John turned 65. They had dreams of travelling and spending more time with family, who lived far away. Plus, it simply was time to let go of their farm operation.
John’s retirement was two years away. The farming operation was held jointly with John’s brother, Pete, and Pete’s wife, Petra.
Detroit Dark Red beets, Chantenay Red carrots, Chieftain potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes and Lowell Ewert’s Jerusalem artichoke, all from the Wiederkehr garden. (Supplied photo)
Over the past two months, our household has spent a lot of time preparing root crops for storage: digging, trimming the tops and packing them in boxes of dry leaves to go in the cellar.
These men visited an alternative service camp in 1942. From left: D.P. Reimer (EMC, Steinbach), Jacob F. Barkman (Holdeman minister, Manitoba), David Schulz (Bergthaler bishop, Manitoba) and George DeFehr (Holdeman minister, Alberta).
Gratitude for foyer discussions
Today I got my COVID booster. Other than a barely perceptible soreness in my arm, I have never experienced side effects from these vaccinations.
I like paying attention to structures and policies. My attention was caught on Sunday when the visiting preacher, Fanosie Legesse of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, said that wisdom is when churches shape structures and policies to be salt and light in the world.
“My children decided it’s time for me to move out of my house and join a retirement community. I don’t agree. I feel like I have no say anymore. I can still think, but they are not interested in hearing me out.”
Pay attention to artists
Thanks for your willingness to address tough issues facing the church and other institutions in our society. I appreciate your attempt at enlarging the tent by listening to voices that have been marginalized.
This photograph shows Wanner Mennonite Church at worship in July 1950. In the mid-20th century, it was a new pattern for many Ontario Mennonite congregations to have men and women sitting together in a worship service rather than men on one side and women on the other. What is your congregation’s “social geography?” Who sits where? Why do you think this is?
In Joshua 5, we come across one of those wonderfully strange biblical stories that shakes our preconceptions and leaves us with more questions than answers.
Israel is encamped at Gilgal, preparing to besiege Jericho at God’s command—so they firmly believe. Suddenly Joshua sees a man whom he does not recognize standing in front of him, sword drawn.
A good friend, Wes Neepin, died this past week. I’ve written columns about Wes in the past but used a pseudonym, because I never got around to asking permission to tell his stories. Anonymity seems less important now.
At this time of year, I begin to rummage through the various drawers of miscellany in search of those red Mennonite Central Committee buttons that say, “To remember is to work for peace.” Maybe you wear such a button too in the run-up to Remembrance Day.
Why cut what can be untied? This wise, old saying can apply to family conflicts. Some of our family ties are threadbare and frail; there is strain, and there is underlying conflict that we are aware of but too timid and, dare I say, too peace-loving to address.