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Spring 2010 List of Books & Resources

Focus On | By Canadian Mennonite | May 03, 2010


1 & 2 Timothy, Titus. Paul M. Zehr. Herald Press, 2010, 406 pages.

This is the 22nd volume of the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series. Zehr has many years of experience as a pastor and teacher, including at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics and Devotion in the Book of Revelation. J. Nelson Kraybill. Brazos Press, 2010, 224 pages.

Filling the Kohma

Lisa Heinrichs of B.C. is pictured with her cookbook and family history that she wrote. Inset: Jane Heinrichs of London, England, helped design and illustrate the book. (Photo courtesy of Jane Heinrichs)

Focus On | By By Evelyn Rempel Petkau | May 03, 2010

New cookbooks are ubiquitous, and family histories have become popular, but a cookbook that is a family history—or a family history that is a cookbook—is a curious hybrid.

Lisa Heinrichs, who lives in Langley, B.C., loves to cook. She was well into research on her family’s history when she realized she could incorporate her culinary passion into her genealogical interests. “My idea was to gather a collection of recipes from my mother’s family, both recipes that my grandmother would have made and also favourites within each family unit,” she explains.

Sophomore CD released to much applause

The Friesen Family Band released its sophomore CD, Dappled Things, at a concert in Edmonton. Pictured from left to right: Silas 15; Simone 13; Godwin 11; Amos, nine; mother Louise and father Chris. Not pictured: Junia, three, who earlier wowed the crowd with her rendition of “Jesus Loves Me.” (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)

Artbeat | By Reviewed by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld | May 03, 2010

The Friesen Family Band just keeps getting better! As quickly as the children grow, the seven-member family grows in its music, adding instruments, expertise and new material.

On March 24, 2010, the band released its second CD, Dappled Things, at a concert at St. Andrews United Church, Edmonton.

The music is fresh and often surprising in its complexity of harmony and variety of instrumentation. Lively lyrics send the ancient words of faith singing into contemporary life. “We do a lot of writing from the Psalms,” says father Chris.

Take good care of your children

Viewpoints | By Take good care of your children | May 03, 2010

“Who will take care of our children if something happens to us?”

The decision about guardianship of minor children is one of the major hurdles facing parents when writing a will. Often it is because parents can’t agree on whom to name. Each parent may want his or her side of the family to be responsible. Sometimes they are in a new area and don’t yet have a lot of close friends to choose from. It may be that they have a special-needs child and have no one who could take on this responsibility.

They call it ‘couple-love’

Viewpoints | By Melissa Miller | May 03, 2010

A season of weddings. That’s what I see as I look ahead to the next few months. Many of the children born in the 1980s are now young adults falling in love, pledging their troth and bravely preparing to marry.

Several invitations for these weddings dot our family bulletin board, some of which include photos of the engaged couple. They are young, full of promise and good intention. With sparkling eyes and sweet smiles, they radiate joy and eagerness to declare their love. They are beautiful and so is the love that spurs them forward.

Specializing in a Google world

Viewpoints | By Arlyn Friesen Epp | May 03, 2010

In a Google world where millions of written works are at your fingertips, it’s tough for the average user to discern appropriate resources for Christian formation, leadership, peace and mission. And it’s an even greater challenge to keep Anabaptist and related resources as visible and accessible as we’ve come to expect them to be.

Fortunately, there are circles of partnership in our wider Mennonite world that help us tailor bibliographies and help widen their accessibility:

Celebrating women's stories

University student Melinda Goertz poses with her baking and the fair trade products she used to create them.

Focus On | By By Dave Rogalsky | Apr 19, 2010

Indian dancers from the Swastini Dance Group led by Swati and Nidhi Juthani swirled over the stage at Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener on March 27. Both traditional and “Bollywood” styles were showcased to welcome Roopa Mehta from India to “Women’s stories/Women’s hope: An international celebration” of fair trade hosted by Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

MPN struggling to publish in a digital age


Artbeat | By By Deborah Froese | Apr 19, 2010

For Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN), the ministry of publishing is growing ever more complex.

The mission for the publisher of Mennonite Church Canada and MC U.S.A. remains the same: providing materials to equip the church to experience and share the gospel of Jesus Christ from an Anabaptist perspective. But coping with the impact of the Internet and readily available free digital media is changing the face of business. The economic downturn of 2009 has compounded that challenge.

The gospel in three parts . . . times three

Viewpoints | By Phil Wagler | Apr 19, 2010

Before reading any further, answer this question: What is the gospel?

You didn’t do it, did you? You just kept reading. Bad reader. Return to line one.


Many Christians go into blushed silence when asked to articulate the good news of God’s reign. However, if we are to be cracked pots spilling out this glorious message, the gospel must be understood and lived. To that end, let’s look at three unique, yet interrelated biblical images of the gospel.

Seated among the unsettled

Viewpoints | By Will Braun | Apr 19, 2010

There are people who feel entirely settled in their lives. They feel confident about their location, occupation and calling in life.

Then there are the rest of us. We’re not so sure. We’re not sure where to live, what to study, who to marry, where to work, when to retire, which church to attend, whether to apply to Mennonite Central Committee or what our calling is. We spend an inordinate amount of time pondering these decisions, possibly wishing for audible directions from on high.

‘Bombs bursting in air’?

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Apr 19, 2010

James Brenneman has dropped a bombshell.

At first blush, I decided not to join the fray over Goshen College’s decision to play the American national anthem at some sporting events, considering it something of a local theological/educational debate. Like the raging healthcare reform debate across the border, I thought Canadians might be at best amused or, at worst, detached from my homeland’s unique political complexities.

CMU cyclists to pedal for foreign student aid

Focus On | By Canadian Mennonite University Release | Apr 05, 2010

A team of five cyclists, made up of Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) faculty members and alumni will race from Vancouver to Winnipeg in pursuit of ultra-marathon cyclist Arvid Loewen, to raise money for international student financial assistance and international practicums. Hot Pursuit 2010 begins on July 17, when CMU’s team of five will try to overtake Arvid Loewen, who is racing for the Mully Children’s Family Charitable Foundation, which helps abandoned and orphaned children in South Africa.

Combines called back to Winkler for another world-record harvest attempt

Focus On | By From a Children’s Camps International Release | Apr 05, 2010

Four years after Winkler hosted more than a hundred combines in an attempt to set a record for harvesting 65 hectares, the rural southern Manitoba community is at it again. On Aug. 7, World Harvest for Kids 2010 hopes to bring together more than twice as many combines to harvest 97 hectares and hopefully set a record this time.

New book gives greater voice to minority Reformation traditions

André Gingerich Stoner, director of interchurch relations for Mennonite Church U.S.A., left, talks with Walter Sawatsky, who has recently edited a book of proceedings from consultations that brought together representatives of Reformation movements in Europe.

Artbeat | By By Mary E. Klassen | Apr 05, 2010

Walter Sawatsky, professor of church history and mission at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), has edited proceedings of two ecumenical consultations in a newly released book, Prophetic and Renewal Movements: The Prague Consultations, published by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).

Counting the cost of retirement

Viewpoints | By Mike Strathdee | Apr 05, 2010

Are you somewhat jealous of your teacher friends, who, in their early 50s, are already counting the days, only a few years away, when they can say goodbye to their day job while enjoying a full pension? Do you wonder how your circumstances will ever make retiring possible?

It is pretty difficult to find any biblical support for the modern notion of retirement—turning our back on work at a certain age. God made us to be productive. But society has taught us all to look forward to retirement, if not how to plan for it properly.

Putting the cat to sleep

Viewpoints | By Melissa Miller | Apr 05, 2010

Recently I took my sick cat to the vet, who diagnosed him as having a significant tumour lodged in his intestines. That explained the odd behaviour we’d observed, like him using the breadbox for a bed and the bathtub for a toilet. There were other signs of distress, including loss of weight and difficulties walking. I had prepared myself for euthanizing my cat, but it was still a hard step to take. I gave my consent to the kind veterinarian, and soon my pet had “gone to sleep,” as the euphemism goes.

Words are powerful

Editorial | By Dick Benner | Apr 05, 2010

Speech seems to be on the public mind these days.

As I write this, much of the Canadian press and Ottawa University seem to be in a spat over the sanctity of free speech springing from the invitation, then the cancelling, of right-wing American pundit Ann Coulter, who was to speak to the students.

Cherish this magazine

Editorial | By Larry Cornies | Mar 22, 2010

Over the past six years, I’ve had the great privilege of serving on the board of Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service (CMPS), overseer of this magazine. It’s time now to say goodbye. By the time you read this, the annual meetings of CMPS will have been held in Abbotsford, B.C., and a new board chair will have been elected.

Experiencing the Chaco through Paraguay Primeval

Paul Dueck plays the Paraguayan harp during the prelude to Paraguay Primeval.

Artbeat | By by Dave Rogalsky | Mar 22, 2010

The standing-room-only audience in the Conrad Grebel University College chapel on March 3 listened to street sounds (cars, voices, music), Spanish voices shift into aboriginal ones, German voices, and modern and traditional worship music, while slides of Asunción, Paraguay, morphed into the South American countryside.

Convert . . . or die

Viewpoints | By Phil Wagler | Mar 22, 2010

It’s quite unfashionable these days to think people should change their minds. This is a strange thought that, well, needs to change.

In some parts of the world—places some Canadians look at with disdain because of their backward “fundamentalism”—to change one’s mind is an act of high treason. Think of those strange bedfellows Iran and North Korea. One is a theistic state, the other atheistic, yet both systems are equally paranoid of people changing their minds.

Pondering dissent from popular films

Viewpoints | By Aiden Enns | Mar 22, 2010

Warning: Part A below uses evangelical language. If you are sensitive to harsh judgments, please skip ahead to Part B for a gentle conclusion.

Part A: “Hate” is such a short, strong word, isn’t it? It’s so strong that I try to refrain from directing it at people and reserve it for more nebulous things. For example, I hate it that there are audiences for pornography, lotteries, and airports with shopping malls.

New directions in Manitoba

Viewpoints | By Hans Werner | Mar 22, 2010

At the recent annual gathering of Mennonite Church Manitoba, the talk was about new directions. It seems the search for new ways of organizing ourselves is in the air everywhere. Our connections to each other as congregations seem to be fraying, we value our independence in ever greater measure, and see less and less need to support and depend on each other.

A crisis of faith and plumbing

Camp Valaqua out-trip leader Jared Bourn prepares for another day of paddling on the North Saskatchewan River.

Focus On | By By Jon Olfert | Mar 08, 2010 | 1 comment

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:15-17).

A Mennonite artist in the Canadian landscape

Artbeat | By By Dave Rogalsky | Mar 08, 2010

A cornucopia of events and exhibits in Waterloo Region has celebrated the centenary of artist Woldemar Neufeld’s birth.

Abundance in times of need

Viewpoints | By Dori Zerbe Cornelsen | Mar 08, 2010

Sometimes preaching and hearing about God’s abundance is harder than one might expect. Take, for example, Jan. 17, the Sunday after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. On that Sunday, pastors and congregations who use the Revised Common Lectionary will have read John 2:1-11, the story of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana.