Grace Lao

Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario

Women at Grace Lao Mennonite Church sing at a “ladies’ revival” in 1999. This was an important year for the congregation of about 90 people, as they also dedicated their own independent church building in Kitchener, Ont. Previously, they worshipped nearby at St. Jacobs Mennonite Church. The church grew from the efforts of refugee families sponsored by St.

An enemy of hope

'Nostalgia is an enemy of hope...' (Photo by Josh Hild/Unsplash)

Three years after graduating from Bible college on the prairies, I returned for a one-week complimentary alumni seminary course. I was excited to be back in the classroom again, but if I’m completely honest, I was just as, if not more, excited to return to a place that held so many good memories.

‘Whatever happened to simple living?’ - Part 2

More-with-Less Cookbook author Doris Longacre Janzen (pictured) is 'one of our best theologians,' says Kenton Lobe, who teaches a course on simple living at Canadian Mennonite University. (MCC Canada photo/Mennonite Heritage Archives)

For 45 years, the More-with-Less Cookbook has been a beacon of the Mennonite legacy of simple living. The popular, and much more recent, cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, is rooted in a decidedly more First-World spirituality. The divergent books illustrate something of the tension faced by Mennonites living in a land of plenty.

Holy space

(Photo by Photo by De an Sun/Unsplash)

When I was director of Person-to-Person, a prison visitation program started by Mennonite Church Saskatchewan in the early 1970s, the V&C Room (Visitors and Correspondence Room) was often a place of holy space. While the prison system has a strict policy of nothing in and nothing out, God seemed to have little interest in following those guidelines.


(Photo: Mennonite Heritage Archives / Walter Bergen)

On the heels of the Second World War, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church were concerned about scouting programs that promoted patriotism to boys and girls. In 1957, the Wayfarers girls club was begun and in 1958, Mennonite Publishing House published a Torchbearers guide book and manual for boys.

A more inclusive story

Laura Enns and her son Oran view the new information panel in front of the Brubacher House museum. (Photo by Joshua Enns)

How can Mennonite historical sites become sites of decolonization and reconciliation? This question has challenged and inspired my husband Joshua and me for the past four years, as we have served as hosts of Brubacher House Museum.

Doris Moyer

(Photo: David L. Hunsberger / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

David Hunsberger’s photos are normally more well-composed. But it appears he saw the expression of expectation and joy on the face of music teacher Doris Moyer and he couldn’t wait to capture it. She grew up in Pennsylvania and taught at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in Kitchener, Ont., in 1954, when this photo was taken.

What is enough?

(Photo by Mathieu Stern/Unsplash)

“Who says they have enough money? We’ve never heard such a thing!” blurted the students at a Christian college at which I used to teach. I had just told them that I was going on an international human-rights delegation. After asking about funding, they vocalized their surprise that I was paying my own expenses. “I have enough money,” I had said.

What is the loving thing to do?

Meheret Evangelical Church in Kitchener, Ont., looks normal from the outside. As the church has now reopened, it has adapted to the pandemic and has made changes along the way. (Photo by Yeabsera Agonfer)

There is no question that COVID-19 has been disruptive. We, like the Israelites, found ourselves wandering in the wilderness, anxious to get back to normal.

We have realized that  “normal” will not happen anytime soon so, like the Israelites, we made our home in this new place, building houses (carving out offices) and planting gardens (noticing and practising what is life-giving).

Expanded belonging

“There is a form of belonging and connection that is intended to not only transcend our capacity to imagine it, but also the boundaries of exclusion that are so fundamental to all these other ways of imagining belonging. . . .” (Photo by Mireia B L from istock.com)

I’m not naturally a morning person; it usually takes a lot to get me started at the beginning of my day. But this last Wednesday, I set my alarm a little earlier and bounced up from bed like a child on Christmas morning.

Will COVID-19 create lasting divisions in churches?

Kyle Penner, assistant pastor of Grace Mennonite in Steinbach, Man., is also the Mennonite poster boy for vaccinations in the province. Literally. Penner is on the advisory committee for Protect MB, the provincial government’s COVID-19 outreach initiative.

The correlation is unavoidable. Some of the areas with the lowest vaccination rates in Canada are areas inhabited by lots of Mennonites.

The Globe and Mail reported on vaccination resistance in the Aylmer area of Ontario, with special mention of Mennonites.


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