Young Voices

Come together

A selection of thematically diverse prints constitute Rudolph’s contribution to “Tandem: Going Places Together.” (Photo courtesy of Miriam Rudolph)

Miriam Rudolph and Terry Hildebrand met 11 years ago while studying fine arts at the University of Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Miriam Rudolph)

Rudolph is an accomplished printmaker currently working on her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Alberta. (Photo courtesy of Miriam Rudolph)

“Are You There?” by Miriam Rudolph. (Photo courtesy of Miriam Rudolph)

“Assiniboine River Trail II” by Miriam Rudolph. (Photo courtesy of Miriam Rudolph)

Originally from Winkler, Terry Hildebrand earned a Master of Fine Arts degree with a focus on ceramics from the University of Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Miriam Rudoph)

A tea set by Terry Hildebrand. (Photo by Terry Hildebrand)

From Winnipeg to Minneapolis to Edmonton, Terry Hildebrand and Miriam Rudolph’s journey together as artists and life partners has taken them to a variety of different places.

‘We’re not sitting on the sidelines’

Jim Cheng and Matthew Veith rode their bikes from New York City to Pennsylvania to take part in PA 2015.

Noel Dueckman

Gabby Martin

Ben Willms

Aaron Peters

Diana Jensen

Youth and young adults from all over the world went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from July 21 to 26 for a reunion with the global Mennonite family. We spoke with a handful of young Canadians who were at Mennonite World Conference assembly  about their time in Harrisburg. Though, as one young person pointed out, MWC is something best witnessed first-hand.

 

Hoping for strength and unity in spite of disagreements

Coming out to Charleswood Mennonite Church, the congregation in Winnipeg that he grew up in, was an emotional experience for Dustin Loewen. (Photo by Anya Snider)

John Braun, pastor at Charleswood Mennonite Church, says he was never concerned about how the congregation would respond to Loewen. (Photo by Anya Snider)

Anya Snider

Growing up, Dustin Loewen was sometimes teased by his friends for being a “Mennonite poster boy.” He had a well-rounded Mennonite upbringing, attended Mennonite schools and has attended Charleswood Mennonite Church since he was two years old.

Then, at 27 years old, Loewen stood in front of his church community and told them he is gay.

Singing a new song

When children arrive at Mennonite Church Manitoba’s (MCM) three camps this summer, they will have a new tune to learn. “This Ground” is a simple, catchy, four-chord song—and it was written by current and former staff of MCM’s camping ministry, Camps with Meaning (CWM).

A ray of sunshine in the classroom

Will Friesen (centre), a Grade 5/6 student with severe cognitive and physical disabilities, poses with some of his classmates at Rosenfeld Elementary School. (Photo by Jackie Nickel)

Mattea Nickel.

Wilhelm (Will) Friesen, a Grade 5/6 student, does not have a voice. Will was born with severe cognitive and physical disabilities which prevent him from performing basic tasks, including speaking. Born in a Mennonite colony in Bolivia in 2004, he moved with his parents and two sisters to Manitoba in 2007.

A different way of thinking

Mattea Nickel

Jonas Cornelsen

This story is part of a series called Voice of the Marginalized, written by students in Canadian Mennonite University's course Journalism: Principles and Practice. The series connects writers with people on the margins of the community.

Imagine these words as pictures with no direct meaning. That’s part of what it’s like to have dyslexia.

Baking cookies for clean water

Tyreese Hildebrandt demonstrates a model of the type of hand pump used to draw water from the sand near a sand dam. Hildebrandt raised money to buy similar pumps by putting on a bake sale at Mount Royal Mennonite Church, where he and his family attend. (Photo by Len Andres)

Tyreese Hildebrandt is a 10-year-old who dreams of helping people to have clean drinking water. A while back, Hildebrandt read a book that touched him deeply. Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that Brought them Together by Herb Shoveller is about a Canadian boy who raised money to dig a well in Uganda and a Ugandan boy who became his friend.

Staying close to God

Afonso Arrais left his home in Portugal to find better career opportunities abroad. (Photo by Michael Veith)

Michael Veith

When people complete high school, they are often overwhelmed and stressed because there are so many career options. When Afonso Arrais graduated, his stress came from a lack of options.

 Arrais, now a student at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg, was born in Portugal and attended high school in the capital city, Lisbon. He was constantly concerned about his future.

Lessons learned at L’Abri

The view at the L’Abri branch in Huémoz, a small village surrounded by the Swiss Alps. Janzen spent two weeks there last year. (Photo by Tasha Janzen)

An accomplished musician, 20-year-old Tasha Janzen first got involved in her church as a child when her grandmother paid her $5 to play piano during the offertory. (Photo courtesy of Tasha Janzen)

The red piano in Janzen’s room represents the importance of music in her life. It also inspired the name of her Red Piano Rhapsody blog. (Photo by Tasha Janzen)

In addition to playing piano in church, Janzen has studied classical music, accompanied choirs and performed in rock bands. Last year, she performed with Abbotsford, B.C.’s Quinn and Tonic rock band. From left: Tasha Janzen, Rick Chappell, Savannah Quinn (foreground), Nick Kirby and Colin Hoock. (Photo courtesy of Tasha Janzen)

When Tasha Janzen thinks back to her time in Switzerland last year, learning the importance of life balance is one of the biggest things that sticks out for her.

Spreading the word about GROW

Sarah French and Mary Fehr start their trip on May 18 at Mile 0 in Victoria, B.C. (Photo courtesy of Sarah French and Mary Fehr)

Mary Fehr and Sarah French will stop at each of Mennonite Economic Development Associate’s seven chapters across Canada to give presentations about their work with Bike to Grow. (Photo courtesy of Sarah French and Mary Fehr)

Mary Fehr just learned to ride a bike a few years ago, when she was 17. Now she and Sarah French are cycling thousands of kilometres across Canada—from Victoria, B.C., to St. John’s, Nfld.—to raise money for Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) through its Bike To Grow campaign.

CMU graduate from Kenya wants to make a difference at home

Joseph Kiranto (red t-shirt) stands with his family (from left: Elizabeth, Joy, Joel and Kaleb) at a CMU event in September 2014. The Kirantos moved from Kenya so that Joseph could study at CMU. (Photo courtesy of CMU)

Joseph Kiranto was the valedictorian for CMU’s Class of 2015. He wants to use his training in peace and conflict transformation to make a difference in his home country. (Photo courtesy of CMU)

Daniel Friesen

This article is the first in a series called Voice of the Marginalized. These articles were written by students in Canadian Mennonite University’s Journalism: Principles and Practice course. Voice of the Marginalized connected writers with people on the margins of the community.

The Mennonite and the Lurmen

Kyle Rudge is the founder of Geekdom House, a ministry devoted to loving and serving the nerd and geek community. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Rudge)

Conrad Stoesz is an archivist at the Mennonite Heritage Centre, a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada in Winnipeg.

Are there parallels between the Star Wars universe and Anabaptism?

I asked myself that recently after watching an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated TV series.

‘Interaction/Isolation’

The WhizBang Shufflers returned to Mennofolk after first performing at the event in 2005. From left: Donald Willms, Luke Enns, Curtis Wiebe and Rick Unger. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Clockwise from bottom right: Jodi Plenert, Charlie Enns, Brent Retzlaff, Brandon Bertram, Thomas Krause and Clare Schellenberg organized Mennofolk 2015. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘Mennofag,’ a mixed media piece by Jordan Weber, depicts the artist’s struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Well Sister, a folk group fronted by Jaymie Friesen, pictured, was one of three musical acts that performed at Mennofolk 2015. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Jaymie Friesen and Davis Plett of Well Sister perform at Mennofolk 2015. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘Living in the Fast Lane,’ an acrylic painting by Danielle Fontaine Koslowsky. Twenty visual artists ranging in age from 18 to 55 displayed artwork at Mennofolk 2015. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘To a Mad Farmer’s Manifesto,’ a linocut by Laura Tait. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘First Fruits,’ a watercolour painting by Mary Anne Isaak. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

‘First Fruits 2/First Fruits Too,’ a watercolour painting by Mary Anne Isaak. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Luke Enns and Curtis Wiebe of the WhizBang Shufflers perform at Mennofolk 2015. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

When Jordan Weber began making visual art four years ago, he wanted a new way to express himself.

“I never expected my art to be on display for anybody to see,” the 24-year-old said. “It’s super exciting that people have been coming up to me and saying they like my work.”

Countercultural mountain music

For Quiet in the Land, music is meant to be participatory and community-building, an approach that was shaped by the duo’s Mennonite upbringing. (Photo by Meg Harder)

Dan Root and Laura Dyck grew up in the mountains of Pennsylvania, which has influenced the themes in their music. (Photo by Meg Harder)

Quiet in the Land released their debut EP, Songs to Set These Hills on Fire, last year. (Photo by Meg Harder)

Dan Root and Laura Dyck quickly became friends after they met in the fall of 2009 and realized how much they had in common. Both were living in the Conrad Grebel University College residence in Waterloo, Ont.; both were studying international development at the University of Waterloo; and both had a deep love of folk music.

SOS for Syria

Jeremy Enns is asking more than 50 of his friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances to participate in his SOS for Syria campaign.

In the early 1900s, SOS became the worldwide distress signal, but typically in maritime situations. These days it’s used as a sense of urgent message or appeal for help from anybody in any situation.

‘The best possible reward’

Iranian graduate students meet with Charlie Nelson, an indigenous elder from Roseau, Man., third from left. (Photo by Harry Huebner)

Lisa Obirek, a student at CMU, was one of the hosts when a group of graduate students from Iran visited the university in March. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

“I’ll intentionally call you my sister, for I have two and I love them so much. Now I have three and I love them all to the degree that I’m ready to die for them. So you are really beyond a friend for me.”

Growing Mennonite

There is a terrifying amount of paper documenting Mennonite history, and more than a few gems hidden in the vault.

Photos in the Archives document the experience of conscientious objectors during the Second World War.

Olivia Klippenstein grew up in Altona, Man. She explored her Mennonite heri-tage during a practicum placement at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives.

It wasn’t until Grade 6 that I realized it was possible to be more than just a Mennonite. Our teacher asked us to come up with one word to described ourselves. One of my classmates chose the phrase, “Russian Mennonite.”

Nerdy fun

Community Mennonite Church face off against East Zorra Mennonite Church at the 2014 Bible quizzing event. (Photo courtesy of Jeramie Raimbault)

Hawkesville Bible quizzers Liv Cento, left, Irian Fast-Sittler, Paul Cento and Ciaran Fast-Sittler discuss a team question at last year’s event. (Photo courtesy of Jeramie Raimbault)

For about 30 years, youth from several Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregations in Ontario have looked forward to their annual Bible quizzing event. It’s centred around friendly competition, memorization of minute biblical details and application of biblical principles to everyday life.

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