A cycle of practical love

Supper at the Wiederkehrs. All ingredients are home grown, except the salt. (Photo by Andre Wiederkehr)

Several varieties of dry beans ready for threshing on the Wiederkehr farm. (Photo courtesy of the Wiederkehr family)

Cascade Ruby-Gold Flint corn with corn sheller. (Photo courtesy of the Wiederkehr family)

Andre Wiederkehr adding a pail of “humanure” to the compost pile. (Photo by Theo Wiederkehr)

My memories of high school are largely a featureless blur—I did graduate 40 years ago—but one incident that stands out in detail is a lecture in my vocational agriculture class. Mr. Upp drew an illustration of nutrient cycling on the chalkboard, complete with stick-figure cows.

The nudge

Photo by Khyta (Unsplash)

How do you discern a career change? Or, to use language many in the church are familiar with, how do you discern a new call? 

After 25 years in local ministry, specifically in the areas of church planting, revitalization and change leadership, my new call came through various means.  

Children forgotten in peacebuilding activities

Bontu recovered from her trauma after participating in a series of healing sessions. (Supplied photo)

For the past two years, the Meserete Kristos Church (MKC)—the Anabaptist denominational body in Ethiopia—has been working with communities and local institutions to restore peace between warring ethnic groups in the Nono district of the West Shewa Zone of Oromia Regional State.

A blended family

(Photo: Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

In December 1924, this family was starting a new life in more ways than one. Katharina (Enns Rempel) and Jacob P. Braun, both widowed, separately emigrated from the Soviet Union to Ontario. A few weeks after their arrival, they were married in the Waterloo region. Here the newly blended family prepares to move from the home of their first Ontario Mennonite hosts.

Deconstructing or reconstructing?

(Photo by Betty Avery)

I heard some strong language this summer about church from various extended family members. I’m sure this is not just in my family! Conversation at family gatherings is not usually conducive for more thoughtful or caring conversations, but these phrases caught my ear and attention.

“I’m done with church.”

“I’m done with denominations.”

“I’m deconstructing my faith.”

Organic architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house. (flickr photo by Mariano Mantel)

This is the first summer I haven’t gone camping for at least 25 years, maybe my entire life. Since Tammy and I got married 23 years ago, our family holidays have focused on hiking, kayaking and sleeping in tents. Often in the rain. My family suggested we try something different this year, and I found myself connecting with God and nature in a new way—through architecture.

Learning about waiting

(Unsplash photo by Ümit Bulut)

I’ve been learning about waiting.

After avoiding it for three years, I tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of July—just in time to disrupt the return of the Grand Wallace Road Trip.

Each year we pile the kids into our vehicle and drive hard from Saskatchewan to Montana to Michigan and back to visit family. Or at least, we did until the pandemic started.

Vibrant, powerful book explores family violence

Arthur Boers’ new book unpacks the ways his father’s violence shaped the person he became. (Supplied photo)

Shattered includes vibrant, emotional vignettes. (Supplied photo)

In his new book Shattered, Arthur Boers writes, “I realized that I never understood my father, our relationship, or even myself.” In this coming-of-age story, Boers explores his relationship with his father, trying to make sense of why he both feared and loved him. How did his father’s violence shape the person that Boers became?

Mightier than the mountains of prey

The cast of Alone, Season 8, which was taped around Chilko Lake, B.C. (Photo by The History Channel)

I love the outdoors, but I’ll admit I’m far from being able to call myself a legitimate outdoorsman. I romanticize the idea of living out in the bush, being off the grid, being self-sustaining, focusing on survival. But I know it’s not as lovely as I make it out to be in my imagination, nor do I have the skills needed, or maybe the will, to do it.

Peter J. Dyck

(Photo by Central Photographic)

Peter J. Dyck was recognized with an honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo on Oct. 18, 1974. Dyck was born in 1914 and immigrated with his family to a farm near Laird, Saskatchewan, in 1927. During World War II, he and his wife, Elfrieda were part of the MCC work in Europe helping refugees emigrate. Dyck studied and served as a pastor in the U.S.


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