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.

Teach us to pray

(Unsplash photo by Timothy Eberly)

On a Wednesday in mid-October, I’m at the auto shop for winter tires; a TV on the wall flashes tanks, rubble and protests alongside talking heads.

On social media, I can’t look away from children held hostage or from parents pulling kids from collapsed buildings.

Part II: Aging

Cathrin van Sintern-Dick

“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.”

Wanner Mennonite Church

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

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?

Whose side are you on?

Bombed building in Gaza, 2014. (Photo by Joanna Hiebert Bergen-MCM Palestine-Israel Network)

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.

Part I: Family ties

Cathrin van Sintern-Dick

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.


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