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Four Seasons

By Paul Loewen | Nov 13, 2010

I'm usually not one for a ton of sentimentality, but bear with me a little. Many people like to complain about where they live, whether it be because of rain, cold, snow, heat, or taxes. I find this very strange. I love Winnipeg. It's not that I don't like being in the mountains (mountains are awesome), but I just enjoy this city. I also love the depth and range of our four seasons - going from mushy and green in the spring to too hot in the summer, to crisp and clear in the fall, to snow in the winter.

Franklin My Dear, ... (pt II)

By Will Loewen | Nov 02, 2010 | 3 comments

It is probably clear from my last post that I don't have a tonne of respect for the theology of Franklin Graham.  While I probably agree with him on most points of Christianity, I worry that his own anger and vengefulness impact the "gospel" that he spreads, especially in non-American countries.  I know that Samaritan's Purse channels a lot of great Christian generosity, but with Franklin Graham as the figurehead, I'm not convinced those donations will be lovingly distributed.


By Paul Loewen | Nov 01, 2010

It seems that Money is an interesting topic. Perhaps we could go on forever on this subject. David mentioned in his previous post about a Money Mart moving into his neighborhood. He drew the conclusion that the most powerful tenets of our society are debt and money, in that order. I am fully in the camp of utter disgust when it comes to how money is treated in our society. My previous post was argued from the point of money-wise individuals.

Christians and the Structure of Money - An Excerpt

By David Driedger | Oct 28, 2010

I have been reading a very illuminating work by Franco Berardi entitled The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy.  The title will be somewhat misleading for a Christian audience as it is not a theological or spiritual book but an analysis of the shift from an economy that captured the bodies of its citizens (typified in the factory setting) to an economy that now captures the minds of its citizens (caught up in the endless corridors of the technology).  One section reflected some of my thoughts that I articulated in my previous post.

Christians and the Structure of Money

By David Driedger | Oct 28, 2010

Christians and Money

By Paul Loewen | Oct 27, 2010 | 4 comments

Should a church parking lot be full of $50,000 cars? Someone once said that it was wrong for Christians to own vehicles of that value. On the one hand, I don't own a $50,000 car. I probably never will. For me a car is a device that gets you from A to B. It doesn't need to be fancy or spectacular. On the other hand, I certainly own some things (an Apple computer, for one) that other people might find excessive. A cheaper Windows machine can (more or less) do all the same things. It would get me from point A to B (to use the driving analogy).

Leaf Blowers

By Paul Loewen | Oct 18, 2010

Leaf blowers are everything that is wrong with this world. 

Let me back that statement up. Jeanette and I are spending our first Fall in a house. When we lived in our apartment, we didn't mind the fact that we didn't have to mow a lawn, shovel a driveway, or rake leaves. But we also looked forward to those things, mostly because they symbolized the fact that we would have a yard, a parking space (or a garage), and trees. Now we have those things. And we're enjoying the yard work. 

Franklin My Dear, ...

By Will Loewen | Oct 18, 2010

The first time I ever visited the Sky Dome, I mean Rogers Centre, it was for a Billy Graham crusade.  I walked right onto the field, ran onto the bases, and then took a seat for the concert and sermon.  Billy got sick that week, so while he still came and spoke for a bit, his son Franklin also took the stage.  Franklin's message was good, but his father's was better.  Billy got a standing ovation.  The man was a powerful speaker, an influential leader and a well-respected figure.  It's quite a legacy for Franklin to live up to.

Spreading Positivity...

By Cheryl Woelk | Oct 06, 2010

I'm trying to be less critical.

Lately, I've noticed my tendency to critique everything. From the beginning. Often before I even have enough information to properly critique. I come in to a situation looking for things I disagree with, things that I want to argue. Overall, it leaves me feeling kind of blah and less than optimistic about things in general.

It's not just affecting me.

Siemens-Brunk Christianity

By Will Loewen | Sep 23, 2010

I'm looking forward to the upcoming issue of the Canadian Mennonite where some attention will be given to the life and work of former Conrad Grebel University College professor A. James Reimer.  Though I never worked closely with Jim, I was a student in more than one of his theology classes and I was a big fan of his bluegrass gospel performances.

Positively Separate - Creation

By Paul Loewen | Sep 23, 2010

Do we care too much about creation? To continue what I said last week, there are all kinds of good things that can separate us from God. It still is strange to me that Paul would list many of these instead of purely negative things, but at the same time it's an important message to keep in mind. 

Schools of Caring

By Cheryl Woelk | Sep 15, 2010 | 2 comments

I first heard of Nel Noddings in a class on "Social and Ethical Issues in Education." Her comments on the ethics of care, that is, putting caring first in ethical decision-making as essential for education, caught my attention.

She came to EMU last spring to speak on caring and attachment theory. As her ideas provided foundations for EMU's education department, people were excited to say the least.

Positively Separate - Life

By Paul Loewen | Sep 13, 2010

Life is a good thing. I don't think there's anyone who would argue that. In the beginning, God created life. In fact, given that there are plenty of potential times I probably could have already died, God sustains life in an active and involved way. There are many times where He gets involved in the nitty-gritty. It's not always obvious in the moment, but usually looking back you can see His fingerprints like they're glowing in the dark. 

Eating Together for Peace

By Cheryl Woelk | Sep 10, 2010

For anyone following U.S. media, it would seem that there is a divide between Christians and Muslims that has lead to violence in the past and will inevitably lead to more. This is a disturbing narrative reinforced by the media coverage of isolated extremist groups.

More comments I've heard recently are the need for the voices of peace to speak up and to act for peace. On the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) campus and in the community of Harrisonburg, I experienced the strength of voices for peace this week.

Positively Separate

By Paul Loewen | Sep 06, 2010

Romans 8:38–39 pro­vides a list of all kinds of things. You’re prob­a­bly famil­iar with it. It goes some­thing along these lines, “Nei­ther A nor B, nei­ther C nor D, nei­ther E nor F, will be able to sep­a­rate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” While I have always loved the verse and always loved what it was say­ing, I some­times missed what was going on. I, pos­si­bly like many oth­ers, knew the out­line of the verse but didn’t have it mem­o­rized.

Why Environmentalism is Set to Fail

By David Driedger | Sep 05, 2010

At the cor­ner of St. James St and Portage Ave in Win­nipeg is a build­ing which has pro­vided the can­vas for some mas­sive murals for Win­nipeg Hydro. As I passed by the mural today I saw two kids lay­ing back on the grass at the edge of a lake. They were look­ing up into a blue sky made lighter with the pres­ence of dis­tinct white clouds. It was the clas­sic sce­nario of see­ing ‘some­thing’ within the unique and ran­dom shapes that pass by. The clouds, how­ever, betrayed the clear and unmis­tak­able shapes of an energy-efficient light bulb and wash­ing machine.

End-of-Summer Worship

By Cheryl Woelk | Sep 01, 2010

After the sum­mer of peo­ple com­ing and going, hol­i­days, and uncer­tain sched­ules, we finally returned to wor­ship. Although it felt strange com­ing back up the hill after so many weeks away, enter­ing the space of wor­ship and excit­ing greet­ings of old friends and a few new faces, I sensed famil­iar­ity, warmth, and rejoic­ing in community.The theme of wor­ship through the sum­mer had con­nected with gar­den­ing. From prepar­ing the gar­den soil, to sow­ing seeds, to nur­tur­ing plants, to the har­vest, we jour­neyed through the metaphor of our lives and spirit.

Face to Face, Part II

By Paul Loewen | Aug 31, 2010

I’d like to con­tinue to add to last week’s post. There I made the point that, although we are cer­tainly using tech­nol­ogy more and more for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, human beings will always rely on (and get the most joy from) face-to-face inter­ac­tion. Some of you may have heard of the iPhone 4. It’s Apple’s new smart­phone that’s sell­ing faster than borscht at a Men­non­ite Church potluck. One of the most adver­tised fea­tures of the iPhone 4 is “Face­Time,” a video con­fer­enc­ing tech­nol­ogy that allows you to chat with friends, fam­ily, and ene­mies face-to-face.

Hero or Heretic?

By Will Loewen | Aug 31, 2010 | 2 comments

Do you know Bradley Manning? And no, he is not related to Preston. Some would argue he is a new American military hero. Some would argue he is a traitor. We have no idea how the history books will paint him. We don’t even know the details of the case because there is a pending legal investigation around it, but here’s what I’ve gathered from the various quasi-news sources.

The Miracle of Rest

By Cheryl Woelk | Aug 30, 2010

There’s some­thing about being in God’s cre­ation that seems to stretch time. I feel a sense of abun­dance and re-connection with the Cre­ator of all. Time taken in rest, away from the people-creations which focus on time, money, pro­duc­tion, and con­sump­tion, I remem­ber who I am, I re-centre my self and life in Christ, and I re-commit myself to the com­mu­nity of faith which seeks to live in the king­dom of the Creator.

I might just be ready for a new semester.

Face to Face

By Paul Loewen | Aug 22, 2010

Let’s face it, we all use tech­nol­ogy. The fact that we’re read­ing from oth­ers on a blog is evi­dence to that fact. Jeanette and I use email as our pri­mary com­mu­ni­ca­tion method. It’s quick. It allows peo­ple to respond on their own time. And it doesn’t inter­rupt life the way a phone (espe­cially a cell phone) does. As we’re get­ting used to all this tech­nol­ogy, many peo­ple of older gen­er­a­tions (mine included) are opposed to some of the move­ments among the younger crowd. Tex­ting, face­book­ing, etc. They scare us. “It’ll reduce face-to-face inter­ac­tion,” we say.

Reviews of The Gift of Difference

By David Driedger | Aug 10, 2010


I will be sub­mit­ting a shorter review for print but any­one inter­ested can read a longer engage­ment with a great new col­lec­tion put out by CMU Press, The Gift of Dif­fer­ence: Rad­i­cal Ortho­doxy, Rad­i­cal Ref­or­ma­tion.

Part I

Part II