A strange act of fealty

(Unsplash photo by Randy Tarampi)

I was on the cusp of starting a family, engaged to an honorable girl.

It is one of the commands of scripture to “be fruitful and increase in number,” so marriage and then children (in that order) are a critical part of being obedient to God and fulfilling my purpose.

Bethlehem Bible College

(Photo: Kathy Bergen/Mennonite Heritage Archives)

Bishara Awad stands outside Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem in 1985. Awad, a Palestinian Christian, founded the school in 1979. He had previously served with Mennonite Central Committee in a Palestinian school and attended Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California, in 1981-82.

Cultural or biblical?

(Unsplash photo by Priscilla du Preez)

It is exactly 100 years ago that my congregation, First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, divided over

the issue of women’s head coverings. Two-thirds of the congregation left

because they did not want women to be forced to wear head coverings. They moved one block up the hill to create Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.

The rally call

(Unsplash photo by Mario Gogh)

Curiosity is a powerful spiritual discipline.

Curiosity has blessed me with many opportunities to spend time with kind, intelligent and reasonable people, in many different social, political and theological camps. I’m grateful for the privilege of hearing the typically calm and logical explanations they have for the positions they hold.

The shoofly pie question

In her new book, Marlene Epp addresses the question of whether there is such a thing as ‘Mennonite food.’ (Image courtesy of Facebook.com/MennoniteStudies)

In her new book, Eating Like a Mennonite, Marlene Epp addresses the question of whether there is such a thing as “Mennonite food.” She assumes there is, and declares it should be celebrated, disagreeing with those who say “Mennonite” is a religious label that should not be used as an adjective for food.

Chapel at Canadian Mennonite Bible College

(Photo: Canadian Mennonite Bible College)

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.

Can we talk about capitalism?

(Unsplash photo by Debora Bacheschi)

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.

Part III: Succession

Cathrin van Sintern-Dick

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.

Consider the roots

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)

The Wiederkehr root cellar, 2023. (Supplied Photo)

Harvesting kohlrabi. (Supplied photo)

Theo storing rutabaga. (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.


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