Flowing with the River: Soundings from my Life and Journey. Sue Clemmer Steiner. Self-published, 2013, 174 pages.
Royden Loewen and Steven Nolt have undertaken a difficult challenge in writing a history of Mennonites in North America. The scope of the project is broad, not only in terms of time and geography, but also in terms of the wide spectrum of theological diversity among Mennonite communities across Canada and the United States.
Sue Clemmer Steiner’s recent publication crosses genres within autobiography. It is personal memoir and spiritual recollection. It is reflections on a life in pastoral ministry. It is a historical snapshot of a 1950s eastern Pennsylvania traditional Mennonite community and a Mennonite girl facing the social upheaval of the 1960s. Steiner offers poetry and evocative images.
When Moses Falco heard the words, “We never gave up our sovereignty,” at an Oct. 7 rally held in Winnipeg to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, they struck a chord. “I realized that I, by the way I continue to live, am not just suppressing a people, I am suppressing nations in my own country. I’m not okay with that.”
Youth from the !Explore program at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary worked with Pedal Power, a ministry of the Voluntary Service unit in Elkhart, Ind., connected to Prairie Street Mennonite Church. From left: Isaiah Friesen, Sara Erb (event pastor), Nick Simons (from Prairie Street), Ryan Miller, Madeline Gerig, Lynea Brubacher Kaethler.
As two Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary students led a program that encourages high school youth to consider ministry, their own call to ministry grew stronger.
1. During the Second World War, what happened when young men in your family or community were called up for military service? What are the stories of your congregation dealing with conscientious objectors? Has the Mennonite church been disrespectful to those who participated in military service?
Of memories I have of family members, the one about my Uncle Sam’s arrest on April 19, 1944, and his imprisonment, which became legendary in our community, left an indelible mark. Uncle Sam was born in the U.S. and was 18 months old when the family moved to Duchess [Alta.]. He had been baptized into the Mennonite Church and attended regularly.
An Altona, Man., war memorial bears the names of local Mennonites who served and died during the Second World War.
V. Wiebe of B.C.’s Fraser Valley served with the Canadian forces in the Second World War, earning five medals. According to ‘The Mennonite Menace: Real or Imagined, an online report from a University of the Fraser Valley student, 66 of 99 Mennonites in Yarrow, B.C., served in the Canadian military, either in combatant roles or as part of the medical corps.
V. Wiebe of B.C.’s Fraser Valley served with the Canadian forces in the Second World War, earning five medals.
Of late, many peace-minded Canadians have been decrying the country’s increasing militarization, calling to mind this country’s proud peacekeeping tradition as if it was a defining feature of confederation. Unfortunately, it’s a false memory, as Canada’s peacekeeping forces weren’t formed until 1956. Its military involvements, however, go back nearly to our country’s beginning.
The local newspaper editor called it a soap opera. The local Member of Parliament tried to make the spokespersons for the historic peace churches lone fringe persons in a celebration of the War of 1812, speaking only for themselves and not for the members of the several Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Friends (Quaker) churches in Stouffville, Ontario.