I have lived with depression for most of my adult life.
When I began my role as a minister, I realized that, while I could mostly hold my depression at bay while I carried out my daily responsibilities, it was usually in the tiredness of my time at home that my depression would find its expression. Typically, that would play out as irritability towards the one closest to me.
Once upon a time I hitchhiked to a park visitors centre nestled beneath Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. Next to other quotes by famous American wilderness gurus were the words of a far-less recognized teacher of ecological wisdom.
Most of the time I can’t stand typos. They bug me. If I’m completely honest, I’m internally judgmental of people who don’t catch their typos, myself included. I love words, I love Wordle, I have a knack for spelling and, when I catch something spelled wrongly, I have a hard time looking past it and focusing on the intended meaning of the misspelled word in its context.
There is more grace in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
That does not let anyone off the hook; it promises that we can face the grim fate of the Earth and the compromises of our lives without being utterly overwhelmed. (And it means I can break bread with sisters and brothers who do not believe there is a hook that anyone needs to be let off of.)
The variety of banners at the 1978 Mennonite World Conference assembly in Wichita, Kan., is a representation of the diversity of people at the assembly, with 9,500 people registered from 44 counties, including Canada.
I spent my high-school years in a congregation that was proud of our basketball hoops. Greenbelt Baptist Church decided to use public schools for worship and Sunday school, homes for Bible study, and a community centre for weekly youth events. This was a very intentional way of being visible and connected to the local community.
At the heart of the Christ path is a radical notion that our true identity is found in Christ. Paul says it is no longer he who lives, but Christ who lives in him. He says our true identity, our true self, is “Christ in you.” What does this mean?
When I ponder the question of what Mennonites and Anabaptists can bring to the conversation about climate change, I think about the language that many governments and corporations use. The words “fight,” “tackle” and “battle” are commonly used when discussing the imperative to quickly solve the climate crisis.
Canadian Mennonite is launching an online discussion series exploring current events that are impacting the church and wider world, and the climate crisis is the subject of the first event.
What would you carry if you emigrated to another country? Twenty-three-year-old Anna Neufeld wore this locket in 1917 when her fiancé, Cornelius Tiessen, left, and brother Peter, both pictured in their Red Cross uniforms, served on medical trains during the First World War. Anna lived near present-day Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, now site of another war. Anna would marry Cornelius in 1918.
I continue to wander roads surrounding Laird, Sask., with my faithful hound, Bran. These spring days, as the snow slowly recedes, I have discovered a bonanza. Cans and bottles wait to be scooped up! I expect the dollar value of my recent retrievals possibly lies somewhere north of $2!
Since this is the Spring Books and Resources issue of Canadian Mennonite, let me recommend a book that speaks directly to some of the headline news of the past few weeks. No, it’s not something on Ukraine. It’s a book on mission.
The story of Israel warns us of how easily we can become the very thing we hate.
The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, oppressed by Pharaoh and forced into slave labour to perpetuate the greatness of the kingdom. They suffered under oppression and longed to be freed from it. God heard their cry and set them free.
Our new Voices Together hymnal invites us to expand our circle. This involves getting to know people with different abilities, cultural ways, histories, faiths and stories that shaped them. It involves welcoming everyone as members of our human family.
Spring! A time to shake off the cold and grey, decorate the church auditorium with quilts and share lunch and spiritual sustenance. This is the annual spring meeting and lunch of the Ontario Women in Mission at Bethany Mennonite Church in Virgil, Ont., in 1986.
War seems close to home for many of us when it hits Ukraine. My paternal grandparents (and my husband’s) fled Crimea as refugees nearly 100 years ago, getting married in Kitchener, Ont., and then moving to Manitoba. Conversations are being triggered in my family and in our congregation on the multi-generational impacts of those traumas.
Can you believe that I proposed to my wife in a cemetery? It wasn’t premeditated. We went for a walk and ended up there. That’s when it felt right. I got down on one knee like a sentimentalist and said, “This is where it starts and this is where it ends.” The line just came to me.
My grandfather, Harry Giesbrecht, referred to the country, language and people of Ukraine as his “beating heart.” The many trips back “home” breathed life into his aging lungs. The cool water of the Dnieper, the pothole-riddled roads near Lichtenau, Molochansk and Nikopol, and the patriotic anthems transformed my 80-year-old grandfather into a young man.