Young Voices

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Swords and ploughshares

Graffiti painted on the Wall surrounding the West Bank. (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Snyder-Penner)

Daoud Nassar’s brother shows the Yella group a well at the Tent of Nations. (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Snyder-Penner)

One of the cave-bedrooms built underground at the Tent of Nations (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Snyder-Penner)

Vanessa Snyder-Penner at Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Snyder-Penner)

“To live in the Holy Land, you must be crazy, or you must believe in miracles,” farmer Daoud Nassar tells our group assembled in a cave just outside of Bethlehem. He is sharing the story of his family’s land and their struggle to keep it. Yet the man sitting in front of us does not seem crazy. He has quiet, intense eyes and a resolute tone. There is fire behind those eyes, but not insanity.

Nursing the soul

It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. It takes someone who will stay up all night rocking and singing to a screaming child. Someone like Carly Penner who will respect diverse faith traditions and care for a child while their mother goes to say her prayers five times a day as required by the Islamic faith. Someone who will go out of their way to care for a patient, even if they have different ideas of care based on culture.

Going all the way

Love, sex, and baptism are seemingly unrelated topics, but according to Irma Fast Dueck, they each involve a deep commitment.

Roughly sixty youth, youth pastors, and youth sponsors gathered on the last weekend of January 2012, at Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Sask., to hear Fast Dueck, share her insight into what seems like a strange union of topics on the surface. To relate these ideas and shape the weekend’s conversation, Fast Dueck asked question during the opening session, “What does it take for us to go the whole distance? To go all the way?”

Learning through serving

Last year, during my last few months of university, I started thinking about what to do after graduation. Like many people my age, I wanted to travel and experience something different before settling down and joining the job market.

I decided to apply to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program. My placement was at a computer lab in Kenya, where I helped with maintenance and teaching computer skills to young adults.

Printing places

Growing up, Miriam Rudolph always said she wanted to be an artist . . . or a gardener. Now, only 28 and working as a full-time printmaker, she gets to live out one of her childhood dreams.

Unsure when her creative drive began, Rudolph believes she always had an intrinsic desire to create. Her parents, both teachers, encouraged that desire, and a steady stream of art supplies for her mother’s early childhood education class gave her lots to work with.

Calling all ‘young voices’

Here begins a new adventure: Canadian Mennonite’s Young Voices section. What is this section, you ask? Why is it here?

Upon reflection, the magazine realized that its readership is—how to put this gently—aging. And while this threatens the life and breath of subscriptions, it’s also a problem because many voices in the church aren’t part of the conversation.  


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