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.

Theatre group tackles abuse

Theatre of the Beat performs ‘I Love You and it Hurts.’ (Photo by Cedric Martin)

Interactive theatre requires audience participation, explained Cedric Martin as he introduced “I Love You and It Hurts,” a Theatre of the Beat performance held at the Kitchener Public Library on September 30. “Don’t panic,” he added quickly, promising that no one would be coerced or shamed into participating.

David Klassen

(Photo: The Canadian Mennonite/ Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

David Klassen of Rosenfeld, Manitoba, age 83, poses for an informal portrait at a family reunion. The photo is from a 1955 article in The Canadian Mennonite, which frequently published articles about family reunions and wedding anniversaries as matters of wider interest to the Mennonite community.

A Saskatchewan pilgrimage

Ben Cassels in Middle Lake, Saskatchewan. (Supplied photo)

As a child, I was vaguely envious of others who had deep connections in Canada. In my family, that was not the case. My parents are from the UK and we spent our vacations going back to visit family. Although born in Canada, I longed for a deeper sense of belonging.

The narcissism epidemic

(Unsplash photo by Caroline Veronez)

Popular author, speaker and shame researcher Brené Brown once quipped, “You can’t swing a cat without hitting a narcissist.” She later apologized for the inhumane image conjured by the idiom, but she stood behind the underlying message. Many psychologists and social scientists agree: Narcissism is everywhere. Some are calling it an epidemic.

Hear the climate call

Listen to the children. Listen without being defensive. (Wikipedia Commons photo by Dcpeopleandeventsof2017)

It’s worth celebrating that the regions of MC Canada have identified the climate crisis as a priority ministry area in recent years. Like all priorities, where the rubber really hits the road is not in reports and lists and minutes from meetings, but where two or three (or 200 or 300) are gathered—the congregation.

Choosing death

Contrary reactions to the concept of assisted dying are respected. (Photo by Jon Tyson from Unsplash)

My sister Helen is a retired nurse who spent much of her career working with palliative patients. In the last few years of her working life, she encountered medical assistance in dying (MAID).


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