Tim and Donita Wiebe-Neufeld of Edmonton First Mennonite Church own an electric Nissan Leaf car. Tim’s cousin, Arlyn Friesen Epp, owns a Leaf. Another cousin, Kendall Jongejan Harder, owns a Leaf. Tim laughs, “I guess our family cheers for the Leafs!”
Louie Vivra, left, Melise Michaline and Karin Florvil plant a breadfruit tree in a demonstration garden in Wopisa, Haiti, in 2016. The children participated in a kids club supported by MCC and Canadian Foodgrains Bank that focused on environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture. (MCC photo by Paul Shetler Fast)
Issa Ebombolo, MCC’s peacebuilding coordinator for Zambia and Malawi, unloads cooking oil in the village of Tomali as part of MCC’s Cyclone Idai flood relief project in Malawi in 2019.(MCC photo by Amanda Talstra)
In 1994, bean seeds helped Burundians displaced by ethnic conflict toward a more hopeful future. MCC, with local Mennonites and others, assisted people (such as the unnamed woman and her child) affected by the genocide against the Tutsis by providing food, seeds, blankets and clothing, and by organizing peace and reconciliation seminars. (MCC photo by Dave Klassen)
One hundred years ago, in 1920, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) began in response to drought, hunger and violence. Canadians were quick to answer the pleas of their global neighbours, although they themselves were recovering from a deadly flu pandemic at the time.
The Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) store in Vancouver has closed, but the idea of fair-trade products continues to inspire a new generation to shop both ethically and globally. Kasandy/Locally Global occupies the space that TTV formerly had on Granville Island.
Ernie Hildebrand, standing at the microphone, speaks at the FEARO hearings regarding a proposed uranium refinery in the Warman, Sask., area, in 1980. (Photo courtesy of Jake Buhler)
More than 200 community members, many of whom were Mennonite, testified at the FEARO hearings regarding a proposed uranium refinery in the Warman, Sask., area, in 1980. (Photo courtesy of Jake Buhler)
Members of the Warman and District Concerned Citizens Group gather for a group photo. Pictured from left to right, front row: Wilfred Buhler and Jake Buhler; second row: Emille Van Pinxteren, Garry Boldt, and Edgar Epp, who was the organization’s second chair; and back row: Louise Buhler, Sam Rempel, Gertie Rempel, Leonard Doell, Peter Froese, Jeanie Van Pinxteren, Lyle Stucky and Ruth Buhler. Missing from the photo are Nettie Wiebe and Ernie Hildebrand. (Photo courtesy of Jake Buhler)
It’s been 40 years since David battled Goliath on the plains of Saskatchewan. David, in this case, was a group of ordinary citizens, many of whom were Mennonite, and Goliath was the nuclear industry.
Nadine Ens and her daughter Jenice tie knots in a comforter at the Great Winter Warm-up in Saskatoon on Jan. 18, to kick off MCC’s centennial. MCC is using a webinar series and new podcasts to share stories about its work in Canada and around the world. (MCC photo by Myriam Ullah)
Corinne Narine, left, her daughter Jaden Narine, and Ting Terrazas, all of Winnipeg, are tying their first comforter of the day at the Great Winter Warm-up, a comforter-tying event that was held across Canada, the United States and Europe to kick off MCC’s centennial on Jan. 18. In total, MCC received 9,504 comforters, exceeding the goal of 6,500. (MCC photo by Emily-Ann Doerksen)
Volunteer Gord Friesen helps load 210 completed comforters into a truck at the end of the Great Winter Warm-up event at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg, on Jan 18. An MCC webinar episode, called ‘From hearts to hands: Material resources,’ describes meaningful volunteer opportunities for people to make and pack comforters and relief kits. (MCC photo by Emily-Ann Doerksen)
“One bar of soap isn’t just a drop in the ocean of need. The ripples keep moving out in ways we may not even be able to count.”
Carol McNaughton hikes the Wasootch Ridge as a participant in the 2020 Camp Valaqua hike-a-thon fundraiser. (Photo by Hossein Talebi)
Lethbridge Mennonite Church and Springridge Mennonite Church in Pincher Creek, Alta., join forces to raise money for this year’s Camp Valaqua hike-a-thon. (Photo by Elaine Klassen)
Lorne Earl of Holyrood Mennonite Church, Edmonton, hikes along the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, in support of the 2020 annual Camp Valaqua hike-a-thon fundraiser. (Photo by Patrick Earl)
Camp Valaqua received great news recently. As of Aug. 26, its annual hike-a-thon raised a record amount of $34,456, nearly double the previous record of $18,000.
Ron Janzen, who is often the biggest fundraiser, beat his own record, raising more than $10,000 this year.
Why was so much raised in 2020?
The Government of Canada is matching donations to the Humanitarian Coalition and its members, including Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to support families in crisis in Lebanon. (World Vision Canada photo)
The Humanitarian Coalition salutes the commitment of the Canadian government to match the donations made to provide assistance to people in Lebanon after the disaster that devastated the city of Beirut, Lebanon.
Members of Low German-speaking Mennonite communities in southwestern Ontario have experienced public discrimination recently because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in their population. Incidents include negative online comments, cancelled playdates with children in the Low German community, and aggressive verbal attacks at the grocery store.
Seeds Church in Altona, Man. has started a new podcast for hosts and guests to explore what it means to live lightly in relation to God’s creation.
I started out by digging into the commitments recently made by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) in relation to Indigenous peoples, commitments that include renouncing “white supremacy” and “unsettling” evangelical theology.
Ronald Kleinsasser prays during a Sunday morning worship service at Emmanuel Church, near Langham, Sask. Since resuming in-person worship, the church has been livestreaming services on its Facebook page. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Pastor Ronald Kleinsasser indicates the portrait of Emmanuel Church’s first pastor, Andreas Stahl. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Pastor Ronald Kleinsasser stands in the cemetery of Emmanuel Church, a church with Hutterite as well as Mennonite roots. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
It is not unusual to hear of a small rural church closing its doors. It is, however, a rare thing to hear about a rural church reopening after being closed for more than 40 years.
And yet this is the story of Emmanuel Church, a tiny congregation whose building is situated about 15 kilometres southwest of Langham, Sask., and 24 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.
A longtime B.C. pastor and church leader is making a transition to a different kind of ministry.
After 30 years as a pastor, most recently of Level Ground Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen began a new career chapter on Aug. 1 as dean of students at Columbia Bible College.
Emily Unger’s mom, Tammy, is a Mennonite Nursing Home (MNH) resident. She escorted her daughter to MNH’s graduation celebration. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Don Regier, a resident of Pineview Manor, MNH’s assisted-living wing, accompanied his grandniece, Kate Hanson, to MNH’s graduation celebration. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Doug Knoll, a Mennonite Nursing Home (MNH) resident, escorted his granddaughter, Kendra Schlichemeyer, to MNH’s graduation celebration. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Mennonite Nursing Home honoured seven employees with a graduation celebration recently. Pictured, from left, are: Emily Unger, Hague High School; Kate Hanson, Rosthern Junior College; Kael Wilton, Waldheim High School; Micah Wood, Rosthern Junior College; Kendra Schlichemeyer, Rosthern High School; Rhoan Alfelor, Rosthern High School; and Alysia Wielinga, Rosthern High School. (Photo by Darlene Klassen)
Graduation was disappointing, or non-existent, for many high-school students this year thanks to COVID-19. So Karen Chaskavich and the team at Mennonite Nursing Home (MNH) held a graduation celebration of their own.
August 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
Mennonite World Conference (MWC) has joined a wide coalition of faith-based communities from around the world that issued a call to governments to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) has released its framework for the upcoming academic year, entitled “Learning and living well in an era of pandemic.”
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) leaders have been discerning plans for the 2020–21 academic year during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic—with the goal of giving students and employees safe access to campus spaces while making it possible to study or work from home for those who need this option.
Representatives of the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on baptism include, from left to right: Alfred Neufeld, Theodor Dieter, Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, Marie-Hélène Robert, Larry Miller, Friederike Nüssel, Fernando Enns, John Rempel, Luis Melo, Kaisamari Hintikka, Musawenkosi Biyela, William Henn, Avelindo Gonzalez. (Photo by Wilhelm Unger)
The final report on the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation on baptism has been published. The report summarizes five years of theological consultations between the three communions on the understanding and practice of baptism in light of contemporary pastoral and missional challenges facing all three Christian communities.
As MennoMedia prepares to release the full list of songs included in Voices Together before the end of August, it is releasing a sneak peek at titles contained within the collection. These nine songs will appear in the various hymnal editions shipping to congregations later this fall:
An eastern black swallowtail has just shed its skin and has moved to the next size of caterpillar. It will turn around and eat that skin before moving on to some parsley or dill. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
An eastern black swallowtail has just emerged from her cocoon (to her right). This was Susan K. Harrison’s first successful attempt to raise the insect from egg to butterfly. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
Harrison releases a monarch butterfly at a farm in LaSalle, Ont., where the owner, Dick Wood, has allowed the land to naturalize, nurturing biodiversity including monarch and swallowtail butterflies. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
‘The nursery’ in Harrison’s kitchen. Each cage has a test tube holder and tubes full of water that hold cuttings from milkweed that have monarch eggs or newborn caterpillars on them. The other tent has tubes of water holding cuttings of parsley with eastern black swallowtail eggs and newborn caterpillars on them. When they get old enough to pose a threat of eating the other eggs, they are moved to an outdoor cage, where they will eventually form their chrysalides. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
A newly released female monarch butterfly decides it is not ready to leave Harrison, so it walked up her arm and sat on her shirt for the rest of the afternoon. It flew away later that evening. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
Monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed, and they only lay their eggs on the milkweed plant. Without an available supply of milkweed, they are at risk of extinction. To Harrison, they are pretty plants that people who want to help the monarch survive can easily incorporate it into their gardens. (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Harrison)
The human impact on climate and the Earth itself can often be seen on a massive scale. Think of the melting Arctic or check out the photographic work of Ed Burtynsky.
But Susan K. Harrison, a hospice chaplain and psychotherapist in Windsor, Ont., is doing her part to help on a much smaller and more local scale.
Amid the restrictions of COVID-19, pastors and families are still finding creative and meaningful ways to mark, grieve and ritualize the deaths of loved ones. But no two funerals are the same, and there are added stressors, frustrations and disappointments.
Assistant manager Alexandra Ketchum, left, and manager Roberta Taylor pose in front of the newly rebranded fair-trade store in Edmonton. The former Ten Thousand Villages store is now called Village Goods. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)
“What would it take to stay open?” asked members of the Edmonton Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) Society after the organization announced its closure in early January. Independently owned stores across Canada held emergency meetings to decide what to do next.
As Voices Together nears publication, the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee editorial team has assigned the roughly 750 songs across the table of contents and selected the song that will appear first in the collection.
Prairie Mennonite Fellowship gathered for the first time at an outdoor worship service on June 28. (Photo by Jill Hildebrand)
Pastor Erin Morash speaks to Prairie Mennonite Fellowship at its first gathering. (Photo by Jill Hildebrand)
There is a new church among the farmlands of southwestern Manitoba, but it has more than a hundred years of history.
This spring, Crystal City Mennonite Church and Trinity Mennonite Fellowship in Mather merged to create the new Prairie Mennonite Fellowship congregation.
Mennonite pastors Hieu Do and Hong Thi Nguyen, standing left and right, teach theological foundations in Daklak, Vietnam, in June. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Mennonite pastors and leaders share a meal at training conference in Daklak, Vietnam, in June. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Worship time at a Mennonite teaching conference in Daklak, Vietnam. Reverend Hong Thi Nguyen is wearing the purple T-shirt. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Vietnamese Mennonite pastors, including Hong Thi Nguyen, right, receive bags of rice to distribute to those in need due to COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
Hong Thi Nguyen, with arms raised; Y Ya, on guitar; and Hieu Do, right, lead worship at a teaching conference in Daklak, Vietnam, in June. (Photo courtesy of Nhien Pham)
In Vietnam it is still uncommon to see female pastors. But the president of the Evangelical Vietnamese Mennonite Church (EVMC) is a woman and also a pastor. Reverend Hong Thi Nguyen is the leader of 40 Mennonite congregations throughout the southern part of Vietnam.
Johise Namwira, a human rights activist and member of Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg, takes part in a MennoMedia ‘adaptive church webinar’ addressing racism in the church. (Screenshot by Janet Bauman)
Participants in the MennoMedia ‘adaptive church webinar’ addressing racism in the church are pictured from left to right, top row: Dennis R. Edwards, Johise Namwira and Amy Gingerich; middle row: Chantelle Todman, Jerrell Williams and Leah Fulton; and bottom: Delonte Gholston. (Screenshot by Janet Bauman)
Acknowledging that “the church has been awakened and reawakened to racial injustice in our midst after the death of George Floyd,” MennoMedia, an agency of Mennonite Church Canada and MC U.S.A., dedicated one of its ‘adaptive church webinars’ to addressing racism in churches.