God at work in the World

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Lifesaving latrines and the importance of local partners

This is the frame of the first latrine to be built as part of MCC’s project in the rural community of Wopisa-Gabriyèl in Haiti. (MCC photo by Ted Oswald)

The shortest route to get medical assistance for people from Wopisa-Gabriyèl requires descending this waterfall. By building latrines, community leaders and MCC expect the number of cholera cases to be reduced. (MCC photo by Ted Oswald)

Hurricane Matthew hit the rural community of Wopisa-Gabriyèl, Haiti, hard last October, leading Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to respond to sanitation needs identified by community leaders.

Stations of the Cross on Broadway

Maelle, left, and Esme Kulik enjoy bannock provided by Kairos Manitoba. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

Jade Hullen sings spirituals for the gathered. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

Stops 2 and 3 include the provincial legislature, and the law courts (pictured), where presenters highlight the systemically entrenched obstacles with which Manitoba’s poor must do daily battle to survive. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

Stop 4 is a bus shelter, made remarkable by the presence of a man who calls it home in the winter. Introduced as ‘Brian Smith, poet without a home,’ he leads the group in a reflection by reading some of his own writing. His title is well deserved. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

Character homes from a bygone century abound. Behind, far up the street, the turrets of the Fort Garry Hotel are just visible, a statement all their own on the reason for this pedestrian protest. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

Indigenous drummer Corinna Mintuck, foreground. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

On the steps of Klinic, a local non-profit devoted to mental health support, pilgrims hold up the effigy. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

The ninth and final station is hosted at Crossways, in Young United Church, from where the gathered depart, to wait and hope and pray for an Easter Sunday reality, soon. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

On Good Friday, April 14, 2017, pilgrims from Winnipeg and beyond gather at Broadway Disciples United Church to walk the Stations of the Cross on Broadway, one of Winnipeg’s oldest and most historic thoroughfares.

Before observing the first station at the church, and setting out against the day’s damp cold, guests are invited to warm themselves with music, snacks and hot coffee.

‘A downstream solution to an upstream problem’

Volunteers show off food baskets in front of the newly rebuilt House of Friendship Emergency Food Distribution Centre on Guelph Street in Kitchener, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

The House of Friendship Emergency Food Distribution Centre on Guelph St. in Kitchener, Ont. At the left is the entrance and welcoming waiting room, and at the right are the delivery, sorting, picking and packing areas. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Gail Martin, marketing and communications specialist, and Matt Cooper, program coordinator, are pictured in the sorting and picking room at the House of Friendship Emergency Food Distribution Centre on Guelph St. in Kitchener, Ont. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Candace Perry, a five-year volunteer, packs halal meat for a Muslim family of eight at the House of Friendship Emergency Food Distribution Centre on Guelph St. in Kitchener, Ont. Her T-shirt reads ‘I survived tent city,’ a reference to the tents erected on a neighbouring property to keep the distribution centre open during the re-build from last August to December. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

When the first food bank was created in Canada in 1981 in Edmonton, it was seen as a short-term project that would be unnecessary when the economy improved. Fast-forward to 2017 and Kitchener’s House of Friendship’s emergency food program that distributes food to 1 in 20 people living in Waterloo Region.

Learning cycles of peace

Jorgina Sunn tells her life story at the Parkland Restorative Justice Spring Banquet in the Woods. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

“I needed to go through what I did because that’s what helps me understand the people I work with,” said Jorgina Sunn. The indigenous singer/songwriter was the featured speaker at Parkland Restorative Justice’s Banquet in the Woods, held April 22, 2017, in Prince Albert.

Fraught with possibility

Hereditary chief George Kingfisher, left, and Mennonite landowner Ray Funk chat during a scene from the documentary film, Reserve 107, about land rights in Saskatchewan. (Photo by Brad Leitch)

Fish is smoked over an open fire during an aski (Cree translation for ‘land’) learning tour. (Photo by Lyndsay Mollins Koene)

A Sachigo First Nation woman grows tomatoes to provide food security for herself and her family. (Photo by Lyndsay Mollins Koene)

Long before the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission or the celebrated United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), we already had a 4,000-page report with 400 recommen

An idea worth sharing

Karl, left, and Marla Langelotz, Mennonite Church Canada short-term workers serving at Friedenshaus in Ludwigshafen, Germany, address the audience at a TEDx event at the Zurich International School in Switzerland on March 18, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Church Canada)

Peace is rooted in building relationships, and that means creating space to get to know one another. With that thought in mind, Karl and Marla Langelotz of Winnipeg addressed an audience at Zurich International School in Switzerland on March 18, 2017, for a TEDx talk they entitled “A modest proposal for world peace.”

‘A beautiful way to make peace’

Mariam Al Mahmoud, right, writes an Arabic greeting on the blackboard for Grade 10 students at Rosthern Junior College. Afterwards, Dana Krushel, left, Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan’s migration and resettlement coordinator, invited students to try their hand at writing the greeting. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

David Epp, a Grade 10 teacher at Rosthern Junior College, attempts to write in Arabic as Syrian newcomer Israa Alsalo, holding her daughter, Yemen, watches. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

The best way to learn about a new culture is to experience it first-hand. Rosthern Junior College (RJC) Grade 10 students recently had the opportunity to learn a little about Middle Eastern culture when two Syrian couples, who came to Rosthern as refugees in 2016, shared with the students about their culture and their Islamic faith.

Creation care in action

Bob Lebold, 50 Kent Avenue’s physical resources coordinator, checks the output on one of the 10 banks of solar electric panels on the roof. In spite of the cloudy day, the system was producing electricity. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Bob Lebold, 50 Kent Avenue’s physical services coordinator, stands in front of the air-to-air heat exchange units on the roof of the building and under the 200-kilowatt solar electric installation. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

One of three clerestory window units on the roof at 50 Kent Avenue. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Bob Lebold, 50 Kent Avenue’s physical services coordinator, stands in front of the electrical system. The last unit beside him was added when the building was built, with the hope of eventually adding a solar electric array. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Bob Lebold, 50 Kent Avenue’s physical services coordinator, checks the electricity being routed into the system by the solar panels. One meter measures the solar-array production and the other, the building’s use.

One of the smart system’s junctures, moving warm or cool air to where it is needed in the building. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Building to green standards using cutting-edge technology is a significant expense.

‘Not just an activist political group’

Byron Rempel-Burkholder, second from right, and Carolyne Epp-Fransen, right, co-lead a workshop at the MC Manitoba annual general meeting in early March in Winkler focussing on the Israel-Palestine resolution passed at last summer’s national church assembly. (Photo by Beth Downey Sawatzky)

The Palestine and Israel Resolution Working Group has compiled resources for congregational study, including a PowerPoint presentation and a discussion guide.

Mennonite Church Canada’s resolution on Israel and Palestine took centre stage during an informative workshop in early March 2017 at the Mennonite Church Manitoba annual general meeting.

Church opens doors to exercise club

Retired physician Arnie Nickel, wearing the headset, is one of five volunteer trainers who lead the Forever in Motion Club that meets at Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

June Giles, left, is the coordinator for the Forever in Motion Club that meets at Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

 

Stretching is an important part of the exercise regime of the Forever in Motion Club that meets at Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Everyone’s welcome, it’s free of charge and refreshments are served. Those selling features should attract Mennonites by the dozen. Surprisingly, though, most participants in Nutana Park Mennonite Church’s seniors exercise club aren’t Mennonites at all.

Serving up social justice

Kyle Dyck

More than just food will be on the menu when the Abby Eats Café opens here next year. The non-profit eatery, according to founder and proprietor Kyle Dyck, will focus on social justice and food insecurities and offer a culture of welcome for customers of all socioeconomic groups. The unique twist is that this restaurant will be “pay what you can.”

Talking with our cousins

A public panel discussion on the relationships between the three Abrahamic religions couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, occurring as it did on the heels of the opening of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s showing of “Synagogues in Germany: A virtual reconstruction” and the recent Quebec City mosque shooting.

Roots and routes

A presentation by Timothy Epp on the enduring relationship between blacks and Mennonites quickly morphed into a time of sharing and storytelling by members of the two communities during this year’s annual Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan “peace event,” held on Nov. 12, 2016, at Saskatoon’s Bethany Manor.

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