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Rural church celebrates 70 years of God’s presence

Pastor Erin Morash, left, and artist/quilter Esther Hildebrand stand in front of the banner that was designed and quilted by Hildebrand to commemorate the church’s 70th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of Jill Hildebrand)

About 160 people gathered in Crystal City Mennonite Church, Man., on Nov. 4, 2018, to celebrate 70 years of God’s faithfulness and guidance.The theme “In God’s Hands” was reflected in the stories and memories that were shared of the church’s past and present experiences, says Pastor Erin Morash. “God’s presence is constant and eternal, even when we are unaware of it.

Emmaus Mennonite closes after 90 years

This well-kept building has been home to Emmaus Mennonite Church since it was moved onto the property in 1937. Now that the congregation has closed, the building is for sale. (Photo by Lorna Wiens)

Marvin Wiens, Emmaus Mennonite’s congregational chair, leads worship during the church’s closing worship service. Also pictured are Lorna Wiens, Susan Peters and Gaylia Wiens. (Photo by Ryan Siemens)

Fred Heese, who served as Emmaus Mennonite’s pastor for over 20 years, shares the congregation’s history at its closing service, held in Wymark on Oct. 28. (Photo by Ryan Siemens)

“There’s not one of us that isn’t grieving,” said Lorna Wiens. “We’re all unhappy to lose our church building, our congregation, our friends.” Wiens was reflecting on the decision to close Emmaus Mennonite Church in Wymark, Sask.

Palestinian and Israeli share dreams for peace

Tarek Al-Zoughbi, left, of Wi’am: the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center, and Sahar Vardi, with the American Friends Service Committee, provided their views on a just peace in Israel-Palestine at Speaking Our Peace at Canadian Mennonite University. (Byron Rempel-Burkholder)

Sahar Vardi and Tarek Al-Zoughbi live less than 20 kilometres away from each other—Vardi in Jerusalem, and Al-Zoughbi in the West Bank city of Bethlehem to the south. A literal wall, checkpoints and cultures of mutual hatred separate the regions each call home. 

Study connecting genetics and bipolar disorder enlists Mennonites

The surfacing of her bipolar disorder may have ended Bev Miller's teaching career, but the Eastern Mennonite University alumna has used her experiences to educate others about the disorder and to encourage participation in a National Institute of Mental Health study of the disorder in Anabaptists. (Photo by James Pruitt/The Village Reporter)

In a study on genetics and bipolar disorder, vials of cells in the study are removed from a deep freezer. (Courtesy photo)

The Mennonite Game—tracing the genealogy of a new acquaintance until finding a common ancestor—might be a fun pastime for people with Mennonite backgrounds, but their relatively shallow gene pool is also helpful for understanding the neurobiology behind bipolar disorder.

Mennonite Gallery celebrates 20 years of art and relationships

Ray Dirks, centre, is pictured with Teresita Chiarella, left, and Winnipeg artist Anthony Chiarella at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s 20th anniversary fundraising event. (Photo by Gladys Terichow)

Eleanor and Al Hamm of Steinbach, left, are pictured with Winnipeg artist Lynda Toews at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s 20th anniversary fundraising event. Toews painted the nativity scene from her photograph of people from Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach: Al is the shepherd on the left, Eleanor Hamm is one of the wise men whose face has been changed, John Peters is Joseph, Alyssa Lord is Mary, and Gary Brown is the faceless shepherd on the right. (Photo by Gladys Terichow)

A nativity painting by Winnipeg artist Lynda Toews brings attention to Joseph’s commitment to God, and to the bond between farm animals and people. The donkey’s dorsal strip forms a cross pointing to Baby Jesus. 

Alumni award winner works tirelessly for peace

Marcus Shantz, Conrad Grebel University College president, left, stands with Grebel’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Service Award winner, Dean Peachey. Peachey was honoured for his far-reaching contributions in promoting peace in church and society. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

A crowd of old friends and alumni, as well as people interested in restorative justice, filled the Grebel Gallery on Oct. 11, 2018, to hear from Dean Peachey. He reflected on the seeds of peace that were sown during the 25 years he and his wife Melissa Miller spent in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Rooted and Grounded speakers call for changed worldviews

Ken Quiring, pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Brandon, Man., and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, give a presentation on biblical storytelling and creation care stories, and presented Scripture for a number of the worship sessions during AMBS’s Rooted and Grounded conference. (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Randy Woodley, distinguished professor of faith and culture and director of intercultural and Indigenous studies at George Fox University/Portland (Oregon) Seminary, gives a keynote address on ‘Resurrecting ancient wisdom and worldview.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary in New York City gives a keynote address on ‘A moral framework for concern about climate and related environmental issues.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Valerie Bridgeman, dean and vice-president for academic affairs at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, give a keynote address entitled ‘If only: Learning from creation.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

As the floodwaters of Hurricane Florence crested in South Carolina in late September, three keynote speakers at this year’s Rooted and Grounded conference on land and Christian discipleship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) told participants that shifts in the dominant western belief systems and priorities would be needed for people to live in right relationship with God’s creati

‘Everything was getting better’

Victoria Mamani Sirpa noticed that her family was healthier after they started growing and eating vegetables grown in their greenhouse in El Alto, Bolivia. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky) 

Victoria Mamani Sirpa, left, an agricultural technician and teacher for Fundación Communidad y Axión, visits Luciana Llamaca de Condori’s greenhouse in El Alto, Bolivia. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky) 

Before 2008, Victoria Mamani Sirpa had only ever cooked with four vegetables: carrots, chard, celery and onions.

B.C. Festival for World Relief raises $1 million-plus

More than 20,000 people attended the annual MCC British Columbia Festival for World Relief on Sept. 14 and 15, 2018, at the Abbotsford Tradex, which raised more than $1 million to support uprooted and vulnerable people locally and around the world. (MCC B.C. photo)

More than 20,000 people attended the annual Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) British Columbia Festival for World Relief in mid-September, raising more than $1 million to support uprooted people locally and around the world.

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