Number 20

Icons bridge art, church traditions

‘Book,’ a 2007 painting by Winnipeg artist Seth Woodyard.

Michael Boss began creating icons, including this 1998 image of St. Michael, as a way of tapping into an art tradition larger than himself.

A copper crucifix, created in 2000 by Michael Boss.

Today, when people think of the word “icon,” images of computers and technology come to mind. For centuries, though, the icon—derived from the Greek eikon or ikon—has referred exclusively to images of the divine or sacred.

‘I’ve been everywhere, ma’am’

Wilmer Martin, president and co-owner of TourMagination, sitting front left, and Yvonne Martin, back in sunglasses, enjoy tea while travelling in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on a joint TourMagination/MEDA trip in 2007.

Yvonne Martin, right, observes an irrigation project in Zambia while travelling in 2011.

Yvonne Martin, retired from the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union, and her husband Murray, also retired, have travelled to many places—all of Canada, half of the U.S., and many locations in South and Central America, Europe, Africa, New Zealand and Asia—reminding one of Geoff Mack’s 1962 song, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man,” sung by Canadian country music icons Stompin’ Tom Connors and Hank Snow

An inkling into the Inklings

English professors Monika Hilder and Stephen Dunning together bring more than 40 years of research on the Inklings’ authors. They head the newly formed Inklings Institute of Canada at Trinity Western University.

Trinity Western University has established a new research unit dedicated to the study of a group of popular British authors and thinkers, the Inklings. While the name may not be immediately familiar to many, the most famous members—C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien—are certainly household names, conjuring memories of favourite childhood fantasy stories.

‘Blessed by God to be a blessing’

Rachel Kehl makes her own path to the future at First Mennonite Kitchener’s 200th anniversary fiesta.

Christina Edmiston, worship and music pastor, guides a young participant at First Mennonite Kitchener’s 200th anniversary fiesta on Sept. 28 to hear Ronno, an internationally known children’s performer who makes First Mennonite his home.

Dave Rivera cooks up dinner at First Mennonite Kitchener’s 200th anniversary fiesta.

Brent Martin, chair of the First Mennonite Church Kitchener leadership team, left, and Nancy Brubaker, lead pastor, right, along with many member of the congregation, watch as Noa Baergen helps plant a tree at the church’s 200th-anniversary celebrations on Sept. 29.

The Women’s Missionary and Service Commission (WMSC) held a Pioneer Tea to celebrate the contributions of women like Mary Brubacher, Barbara Bowman Shuh and Mary Ann (Nahrgang) Cressman. A commemorative wall-hanging by Lisa Packull, second from right, and sewn, quilted and appliquéd by members of the WMSC was unveiled. Also pictured, from left to right: Grace Weber, Pat Janowski, Judy Gascho-Jutzi and Elizabeth Rudy.

A 200th anniversary fiesta broke out on First Mennonite Church’s parking lot on Sept. 28 with a bouncy castle, face painting, and worship in Spanish and English with the invitation “¡Bienvenidos todos y todas!”

‘Settlers’ warned against feeling guilty

Grace Smallboy sits among the decimated residents of North America/Turtle Island after many years of settler activity in the blanket exercise at a Kairos event held at Valleyview Mennonite Church, London, Ont., on Sept. 28.

Grace Smallboy, an Indian Residential School (IRS) survivor, sat on a small folded blanket in the middle of the Valleyview Mennonite Church sanctuary while around her others—including London area Mennonites—stood on their own blankets representing a variety of Canada’s indigenous people groups.

Waste makes haste

Brad Reimer with MCC Manitoba’s waste vegetable oil-powered vehicle.

When Ken Rempel stopped for a construction delay on Highway 2 near Winnipeg, the flagman asked if he was the guy who ran his car on vegetable oil. The flagman had confused Rempel with another Highway 2 commuter, but just the same, Rempel’s interest was piqued.

Rethinking peace

Arlyn Friesen Epp, director of Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre in Winnipeg, recalls peace lamps being introduced at the 2002 MC Canada assembly in Saskatoon. Congregations were invited to purchase the lamps and pray for peace. Some churches continue to light the peace lamps today.

Osler Mennonite Church photo Osler (Sask.) Mennonite Church took its peace message to the community’s 2012 Canada Day parade. Described as the ‘For Peace Marching Band,’ the group played peace songs on its kazoos, earning a blue ribbon from parade organizers for ‘creativity.’

Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s Peace and Justice Group developed a bus campaign in conjunction with MC Canada’s ‘Peace in the public square’ initiative in 2010. For two months that year, messages such as the one pictured above were seen on Saskatoon streets.

‘I think it is important for Mennonite congregations to emphasize that we are a Peace Church because we have committed our lives to Jesus . . ., not because peace is an Anabaptist distinctive that we must preserve at all cost.’ (Esther Epp-Tiessen)

‘The heresy we face today is salvation without discipleship, and if you take salvation seriously you have to take the words of Jesus seriously.’ (Bernie Loeppky)

Evelyn Rempel Petkau

“In the last 15 or 20 years, I have heard only one sermon on peace,” says Bernie Loeppky, a member of Grace Mennonite Church in Winkler, Man., and a member of the Evangelical Anabaptist Fellowship (EAF).

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