Number 23

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Courage for Lydia

(l-r) Meaghan McCracken, Rebecca Campbell, Carol Ann Weaver, Ben Bolt-Martin and Willem Moolenbeek perform Winter Prayers and Blessings from Weaver’s Three Seasons for Lydia Herrle, on Oct. 31 at Conrad Grebel University College.

Elementary school student Lydia Herrle was thrown 25 metres after being hit by a truck as she stepped off her school bus in front of her family’s Country Farm Market on Erb’s Road near Waterloo in May. It took months before she came home from hospital and she has years of rehabilitation ahead of her. She and her family attend Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church.

‘Job’ sings the blues

Job (Mark McKechnie) refuses to be convinced by Sonny (Dan Bieman), the fundamentalist Christian, while the “High and Mighty” house band play in the background in Ross Muir’s Job’s Blues.

Ross Muir, managing editor of Canadian Mennonite, penned the lyrics to his blues’ opera, Job’s Blues, during one of the happiest times of his life, in 1988. The idea had been in his mind for a dozen years, ever since he had heard a twelve part sermon series on the Biblical book of Job while at the University of Victoria, B.C.

Ukraine oak ‘grandchild’ planted at M.E.I.

With the oak sapling in the background, Art Friesen addresses the group gathered to recognize the gift of the tree grown from the famous Chortitza oak to M.E.I.

The Chortitza oak, a large tree that has stood in Ukraine for over 700 years, continues living on in a new generation on the campus of Mennonite Educational Institute (M.E.I.) in Abbotsford, thanks to a gift from Art and Marlyce Friesen.

Mothers and daughters learn about HIV in Tanzania

Dinah John (left) and Angel Mathew are part of an intergenerational team of women learning and sharing information about HIV and AIDS in Arusha, Tanzania.

Tears flow freely at Binti Mama (daughter/mother) gatherings as mothers and their teenage daughters talk openly about issues such as HIV and AIDS. Led by an intergenerational team of students, teachers and women, the gatherings provide a safe setting for listening and learning across generations.

Snow, warning letter and study enthusiasm

Cheryl Pauls (right), president of Canadian Mennonite University and Terry Schellenberg, vice-president external, were among those who attended the Mennonite Church Canada leadership assembly in Edmonton where winter came early. They also met with pastors, parents and students in Edmonton and Calgary during their trip.

A blast of winter welcomed Mennonite Church Canada leaders to Edmonton’s First Mennonite Church for the annual fall leadership assembly Nov. 7-10. Most travellers managed to be on time, and laughter about inadequate footwear, lack of coats, and snow-covered signs was common fodder at coffee break.

Beyond politics

I’m a sucker for politics. I read the papers, stay up late on election nights and get far too emotionally involved. But at the same time, I maintain a fundamental suspicion of partisan politics. While I know and respect people in the political sphere, I will never buy a party membership, go door-to-door with pamphlets, or bang a sign into my front lawn.

For discussion

1. What are some of your warm “waiting for Christmas” memories? What is it about Advent and Christmas family traditions that make them so special? Do you have negative memories mixed with the nostalgia? What role does gift-giving play in Christmas nostalgia?

Coming home

In my first year at Canadian Mennonite University, my first year away from home, I kept a running countdown to the Christmas holidays on the whiteboard stuck to my dorm room door. Only 12 days until I fly home, 19 days until Christmas.

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