Volume 19 Issue 18

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What do you think?

It’s been 14 years since Canadian Mennonite conducted an independent readership survey. In the next edition (Sept. 28), print and digital readers will find a list of questions that invite your feedback, solicit your opinion on content and attempt to ascertain your reading habits in both venues—print and digital.

Christian reflections on balance and the Middle East

While in the West Bank city of Hebron, Hannah Doerksen, left, Naomi Peters and Jenny Sawatzsky were approached by local students. The Canadians are students at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg. (Photo by Ramon Rempel)

During a recent trip to the Middle East, Ramon Rempel’s students met many people, learned about their lives and deepened their knowledge of the world. (Photo by Ramon Rempel)

Photo by Ramon Rempel

Not long ago I returned from a trip to the Middle East, where I led a group of ten students from Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) in Winnipeg through many parts of Palestine, Israel and Jordan. We met many people, stayed in local homes, saw many sights of biblical and recent significance, and I trust the world of my students grew a little wider and deeper than it was before.

Staying put

My family and I moved from Vancouver to Regina in July and are slowly searching for a faith community. So far we’ve attended two churches close to where we live, and with which we would feel comfortable, theologically. When we arrived (late) at both services, the first thing I noticed was that there were mostly older folks sitting in the chairs.

Anna Thiessen, Winnipeg missionary

Photo from Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies/Mennonite Archival Image Database

Missionary to the city of Winnipeg, Anna Thiessen, is seated with some girls she worked with in 1919. Rural life has been an important part of Mennonite life and self-understanding. The city was seen as dangerous and unhealthy and therefore shunned. Mennonite Brethren missionary Anna Thiessen was one of the first Canadian Mennonites who chose to work in the city, beginning in 1915.

Gathering footprints of faith at Mennonite World Conference assembly

The Mennonite Women Canada quilt gathered 160 footprints at MWC assembly. (Photo by Liz Koop)

Antje van Dijk stopped by the Mennonite Women Canada display to chat with Liz Koop. Van Dijk coordinates women’s groups in the Netherlands. (Photo by Liz Koop)

Liz Koop met Ekien-E-Kiag Baudouin, who is planting a Mennonite Church in Durban, South Africa. He wants to connect women from South Africa with women from Canada. (Photo by Liz Koop)

I can hardly find words to describe the experience of worshipping, singing, eating and fellowshipping with about 7,500 others at Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly, held in Harrisburg, Pa., this summer. We came from so many different countries, speaking so many different languages, yet connected to each other by a common confession of faith. What an amazing and inspiring week it was!

Conrad Grebel partners with Tabor Manor in chaplaincy internship

Michelle Koop served as a summer chaplaincy intern at Tabor Manor, St. Catharines, Ont., for the summer of 2015. She worked under the supervision of Waldo Pauls. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Michelle Koop grew up going to Vineland (Ont.) United Mennonite Church, next to the Vineland Mennonite Home. She worked at the Home and helped care for the father of Ed Janzen, chaplain at Conrad Grebel University College (CGUC). In part, it was her stories of that care that convinced Janzen of Koop’s “heart for the aged and seniors—living out the love of God.”

South Korean CO freed after 15 months

Sang-Min Lee enjoys some of his favourite fast food after being released from prison, where he served 15 months for refusing to participate in mandatory military service. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

Conscientious objector (CO) Sang-Min Lee, a member of Grace and Peace Mennonite Church in Seoul, South Korea, is free. He was released from prison on July 30, after serving 15 months of an 18-month sentence for refusing military service. The time he spent as a barber in the prison system was credited as additional time served.

Mennonites in Panama oppose clear-cutting, request prayer

A Mennonite World Conference delegation attended a worship service at the Mennonite Brethren church in Majé, Panama, in February 2015. (Mennonite World Conference photo by Henk Stenvers)

This household in a remote village in Panama hosted the Mennonite World Conference delegation. (Mennonite World Conference photo by Henk Stenvers)

The mother of a man sentenced to 20 years in prison on false charges participates in a community meeting in the Wounaan village of Majé, Panama.(Mennonite World Conference photo by Henk Stenvers)

With the future of the Wounaan indigenous people of Panama being chopped down before their eyes, the largely Mennonite leadership of the group is asking the global Mennonite community to stand with them, and kneel with them in prayer for fair treatment.

Sunday dinners with the homeless

Volunteer Ingrid Schultz, right, enjoys dinner and fellowship with a guest at one of this summer’s fellowship dinners in Abbotsford. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Mennonite Central Committee B.C.’s offices and thrift shop may be closed on Sunday, but two Sunday afternoons a month there is plenty of activity in the back parking lot of the MCC Centre. Here homeless and low-income people meet with volunteers for a hot meal, friendship, and free clothing and groceries.

New director hopes to increase restorative justice

Heather Driedger is the new executive director of Parkland Restorative Justice, an agency supported by MC Sask. (Photo courtesy of Heather Driedger)

Parkland Restorative Justice has a new executive director. The agency, which is supported by Mennonite Church Saskatchewan (MC Sask), hired Heather Driedger to fill the position recently vacated by Ryan Siemens. Originally from Saskatoon, Driedger is a 2004 graduate of Rosthern Junior College.

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp explores ‘pride and prejudice’

Laura Bruno (Eliza Doolittle), Josh Neufeldt (Henry Higgins), Kate Strathdee (Eliza Doolittle), and Ben Thiessen (Colonel Hugh Pickering) perform in My Fair Lady. At music camp roles are often shared and at this point the two Elizas were changing places. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

When Linnea Thacker suggested to her co-director of Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, Elizabeth Rogalsky Lepock, that they perform a shortened version of My Fair Lady as the musical at the camp’s closing program, Lepock wondered at its non-religious content.

Seniors and youth find common ground at Friendship Manor

Beverley Winter has lived at Friendship Manor in Altona, Man., for the past eight years. (Photo by Paige Mierau Friesen)

Paige Mierau Friesen

For Beverley Winter, the Friendship Manor community includes teenagers from the Altona Mennonite Church (AMC) youth group. Winter looks forward to monthly Sunday morning breakfasts with the youth group, a tradition started in 2011.

 “We become a ‘nutcase’ when we’re isolated,” Winter says. “But it’s been so nice since [the youth group] have been here.”

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