Young Voices

More than a label

Steph Chandler Burns recently served as interim pastor at Bloomingdale (Ont.) Mennonite Church. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘Sometimes I feel invisible in my journey as a queer person,’ says Steph Chandler Burns, pictured with Greg, her partner. (Photo courtesy of Steph Chandler Burns)

Steph Chandler Burns, front row second from left, graduated with a master of theological studies degree from Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., this past fall. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)

‘We miss so much by putting a label on a person,’ Steph Chandler Burns says. ‘You can’t just limit one person to one piece of who they are.’ (Photo courtesy of Steph Chandler Burns)

For Steph Chandler Burns of Kitchener, Ont., talking about her faith journey means talking about coming out as a queer individual.

“I am a bisexual woman and I am a woman created in God’s image, and knowing those two things alongside each other has taught me a lot about who I am in God,” she says.

A space odyssey

AlbertaSat members, including Taryn Haluza-Delay, second from right, met with former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, centre, this past October. (Photo courtesy of Taryn Haluza-Delay)

Taryn Haluza-Delay had a hand in building Ex-Alta 1, Alberta’s first orbiting satellite. (Twitter.com/ualbertaScience photo)

Taryn Haluza-Delay is studying engineering physics at the University of Alberta. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

For most people who dream of exploring outer space, the dream dies before they reach adulthood. That’s not the case for Taryn Haluza-Delay.

The 20-year-old Edmonton resident, who attends First Mennonite Church and is currently a third-year engineering physics student at the University of Alberta, hopes to one day become an astronaut.

‘I’m aware of my sin and my need for a Saviour’

Matthew Kopperud, right, spent 2017 touring with his Close Talker bandmates Will Quiring and Chris Morien. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)

Close Talker’s latest album, Lens, came out on Nevado Records last April. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)

‘It’s the greatest investment you can make,’ Matthew Kopperud says of going to Bible school. (Photo courtesy of Close Talker)

2017 was a big year for Matthew Kopperud. The 25-year-old guitarist toured across North America and Europe with his band Close Talker in support of its most recent album, Lens

Finding shelter from the cold

What started as a simple book club has become a place of deep friendship and support for a group of Winnipeg women. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)

‘The novels, essays, memoirs and graphic novels I’ve read this year have challenged me immeasurably, and I’ve grown as a result,’ Rachel Bergen writes. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)

The Feminist Book Club took a trip to a friend’s cabin in May to rest, recharge, connect and talk about Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)

Some members of the Feminist Book Club took part in a women’s march in Winnipeg this past January to raise awareness about violence against women and to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)

Rachel Bergen never anticipated that the Feminist Book Club would become such an important part of her life. (Photo by James Souder)

I remember the day well. It was Nov. 8, 2016. Donald Trump, whose behaviour as a sexual predator has been widely reported, had just been elected as president of the United States. I felt the wind knocked out of me and, honestly, it felt like the world was ending. 

The time is now

Attiya meets with Steve, her abusive ex-boyfriend, in the documentary A Better Man. (National Film Board photo)

Steve and Attiya, pictured here in the early 1990s, show in A Better Man that all men can become better if they choose to. (National Film Board photo)

In the remarkable documentary, A Better Man, released earlier this year, filmmaker Attiya Khan documents her meeting with Steve (no last name), her ex-boyfriend who abused her daily more than 20 years ago.

Winding down

A group of young adults who formed in response to proposed changes to Mennonite Church Canada (now dubbed the nationwide church) has disbanded.

The Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI) announced its closing in a statement posted to its website on Oct. 31, two-and-a-half weeks after MC Canada’s Special Assembly 2017 in Winnipeg.

Hard work pays off

One of the biggest events in Winnipeg in recent months was the 2017 Canada Summer Games. From July 28 to Aug. 13, 2017, 4,000 young athletes from across the country competed in a variety of sports. It was the 50th anniversary of the Games, and drew an estimated 20,000 visitors to the city. Canadian Mennonite spoke with three young people from Winnipeg about their involvement.

Youth wanted

Members of the Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI) are hoping that financial assistance and special events aimed specifically at high school students will encourage youth to attend Mennonite Church Canada’s special delegate assembly next month.

Breaking the silence

For Jaymie Friesen, responding to abuse and preventing it in communities of faith is a personal calling. As the abuse response and prevention coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba, Friesen supports churches and individuals, and works to raise awareness of abuse and trauma.

Walking for equality

Abby Heinrichs speaks at a rally in Ottawa, where the pilgrimage ended. (Photo by Kathy Moorhead Thiessen)

Abby Heinrichs was one of the youngest participants on the pilgrimage. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Abby Heinrichs, left, is pictured with her father, Steve Heinrichs, right, and Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam, centre. (Photo by Chris Harrison)

This past spring, while her Grade 6 peers were in class writing spelling tests and working on their multiplication tables, Abby Heinrichs was doing something completely different: walking 600 kilometres in support of indigenous rights.

Before I go

Paul Loewen is wrapping up his time as youth pastor at Douglas Mennonite Church and he’s given the youth he currently works with a unique gift. He wrote and self-published a book entitled Before I Go: Nine Ideas You Should Know and presented each youth group member with a personal copy last month.

Lessons learned from the elderly

Danielle Raimbault’s first day of work as the chaplain at a residence for the elderly was a memorable one that quickly shattered her expectations.

When the 24-year-old arrived at Chartwell Elmira Long Term Care Residence in Elmira, Ont., a year ago, she sat down beside a resident and introduced herself.

“Did your mom give you permission to come here today?” the resident asked.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Young Voices