Number 17

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Differently gifted

"I don't want to remember it,” Hugo Unruh says of the grim spring day in 1972. He and his wife at the time, pulled into the 40-hectare complex an hour west of Winnipeg that then housed 1,000 people with intellectual disabilities with Nick, their 13-year-old son.

The deadly sin of greed

On a perfectly lovely summer day last month, I joined a couple hundred people for a worship service on the edges of a wheat field. The crop on the field is dedicated to the work of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Each year, individual farmers from Catholic, Lutheran and Mennonite churches join with local seed, fertilizer and insurance businesses to produce a crop.

Camp Valaqua builds for the future

It takes a lot of hands to raise a cabin wall! Families work together on the Mennonite Disaster Service cabin-building project at Camp Valaqua.

Samuel Friesen, left, Levi Jowet-Stark, Kobe Friesen and Asher Warkentin are hard at work pounding nails for the foundation of a new cabin at Camp Valaqua.

Camp programs were in full swing alongside Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) hammers at Camp Valaqua this summer. MDS teams are usually found on disaster sites, helping to rebuild homes, so why are they building cabins at a thriving church camp? And why are there children wearing hardhats, pounding nails and using staple guns?

Righting an historical wrong

Ilda Bauman in the early 1940s in front of The House of Friendship for all the Nations on King Street in Kitchener, Ont.

From left to right, flanking the Joseph Cramer cut-out are: Shelley Holmes, HoF stewardship officer; Martin Buhr, former HoF director; and, Sharon Reimer, Mary Lynn Dedels and Ken Bauman, who received the Buhr Friendship Legacy Award on behalf of the late Ilda Bauman. (Credit: Dave Rogalsky)

A paper cut-out of Joseph Cramer has stood prominently at the many House of Friendship (HoF) events during the Kitchener-based social agency’s 75th-anniversary year.

Celebrating summer fun together

Sometimes one needs to step over the line in order to score a hit, as this youngster discovers at MC Saskatchewan’s ‘day in the park’ in Saskatoon last month.

Sometimes one needs to step over the line in order to score a hit, as this youngster discovers at MC Saskatchewan’s ‘day in the park’ in Saskatoon last month.

Children aren’t the only ones enjoying games at MC Saskatchewan’s recent ‘day in the park.’ Ken Warkentin of Nutana Park Mennonite Church has some fun knocking a stack of pails over with a foam ball.

Picnickers enjoy Vietnamese cuisine at MC Saskatchewan’s recent ‘day in the park.’ The meal was a fundraiser for Saskatoon Vietnamese Mennonite Church.

Thanh Tung, pastor of the Saskatoon Vietnamese Mennonite Church, thanks participants for their support following a fundraising meal held as part of MC Saskatchewan’s ‘day in the park.’

Musicians Sam Dlugokecki, left, Becky Reesor from Ontario, right, and Danielle Miller from British Columbia, centre, entertain members of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan at the area church’s recent ‘day in the park.’

The sun shone, the air was warm—but not too warm—and there were no mosquitoes. It was, in fact, a day perfect for a picnic.

On Aug. 10, people of all ages gathered at Scott Park, adjacent to Mount Royal Mennonite Church in Saskatoon, to enjoy Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s “day in the park.”

Listening to those being served

Executive director John Neufeld, left, and board president Trent Bauman stand with the Joseph Cramer cut-out at House of Friendship’s 75th annual meeting on June 17. Behind them is a quilt designed by Judy Martin and sewed by Arlene Martin, to be auctioned off to help fund House of Friendship.

When John Neufeld took the reins as director of Kitchener’s House of Friendship (HoF), he was confused by the 19 separate programs it was running: shelters, a food bank, addiction programs, a youth program, work in community centres, and on and on. How to make sense of it all?

Building friendship through music

Sol Sanderson, former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, addresses festival-goers at the Spruce River Folk Festival.

The Joy Singers—left to right: Wilf Buhler, Art Zacharias, Gordon Martens and Ben Buhler—perform at the Spruce River Folk Festival. Three of the four singers are members of Osler Mennonite Church.

Roland Ray, left, of the Mathias Colomb First Nation, Sandy Bay, Sask., shows festivalgoer Les Hurlburt how ancient rock paintings depict the land that once belonged to the band.

George Kingfisher, Young Chippewayan hereditary chief, addresses festival-goers at the Spruce River Folk Festival.

Prince Albert singer/songwriter Violet Naytowhow performs traditional and original compositions at the Spruce River Folk Festival.

It may be a blip on the radar compared to other events of its kind, but what it lacks in size the Spruce River Folk Festival more than makes up for in heart.

Getting back to the garden

Johanna and Sophia Nast-Kolb with two of their rabbits. (Photo by Evelyn Rempel Petkau)

Marcus Rempel and Johanna Nast-Kolb tend plants in the Christian community’s greenhouse. (Photo by Evelyn Rempel Petkau)

Nestled in the bend of the Brokenhead River at the very end of a country road is a small Christian community trying to live responsibly and faithfully. Four family units are shareholders of this 58-hectare piece of land that was formerly a commercial strawberry farm. 

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