God at work in the World

Speaking with one voice

German Mennonite theologian Fernando Enns, who first proposed the Decade to Overcome Violence, speaks at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica, an event held to celebrate the decade’s conclusion.

Thomas Finger, a former professor at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va., leads a workshop on ‘Peace: The lens for re-visioning Christian theology and mission,’ at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica.

Participants at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC)—held last month in Kingston, Jamaica, to celebrate the end of the Decade to Overcome Violence—released a message expressing their unified experience of a week-long exploration of a just peace and ways to navigate a path forward as they return to their homes and churches around the world.

Inspired to alleviate suffering

Disaster recovery studies graduate David Barker, second from right, poses with, from left, CMU president Gerald Gerbrandt and instructors Lois Nickel and Kenton Lobe.

Three years ago, in the middle of reading Roméo Dallaire’s traumatic first-hand account of the Rwanda genocide, David Barker decided his future would be in disaster response.

“It was the first time I read something about the actual suffering going on in the world,” says Barker, recalling his profound emotional response to Dallaire’s book, Shake Hands with the Devil.

‘A light in the darkness’

MDS volunteers Dave Friesen and Eric Penner examine the drywall finishing work they are completing.

Destruction path left over from the devastating flood in Kingcome, B.C.

On the weekend of Sept. 25-26, 2010, the Kingcome River raged through the remote First Nation community of Kingcome. Floodwaters forced lifelong residents of the Pacific coastal village to flee from their homes with only a few minutes notice. As the waters quickly rose, villagers gathered at the school and waited to be airlifted out by helicopter.

In gratitude of J.S. Bach

Now no longer hosting classical radio shows or conducting the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Howard Dyck enjoys his leisure time at his Waterloo Region home.

The response to my request for an interview last September said it all: “Maggie and I are in Tuscany. . . . We’ve rented a small villa very near Cortona [Italy] and will be here until the end of October. I’m afraid the interview will have to wait until early November. Ciao.”

Let war resisters stay in Canada, rally urges

Protesters at the Let Them Stay rally picket the office of Vic Toews, federal minister of public safety, in hopes of setting up a meeting to discuss the deportation and incarceration of American war resisters. Michael Bueckert, holding the Peace Alliance Winnipeg sign, right, protests as a representative of Project Peacemakers.

The Steinbach office of Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was the scene of a mid-January rally in support of American war resisters seeking asylum in Canada that took place in the wake of the defeat of Bill C-440.

Ernie Regehr receives Pearson Peace Medal

Ernie Regehr, left, the cofounder of Project Ploughshares and a longtime peace advocate, holds the Pearson Peace Medal he received from Governor General David Johnston during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Ont., on Jan. 21, while his wife Nancy looks on.

Ernie Regehr, cofounder of Project Ploughshares and longtime peace advocate, was honoured with the 2010 Pearson Peace Medal at a special ceremony in Ottawa last month.

A new direction for Sam’s Place

Patrons at Sam’s Place in Winnipeg, Man., enjoy coffee, reading and good conversation under the watchful eye of ‘Sam,’ the Komodo dragon. The formerly independent, community-based, non-profit organization is now a part of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba and the board that ran it now acts in an advisory capacity.

Sam’s Place, a used book store, café and performing arts venue, has developed into a welcoming meeting place for people living in Elmwood, a working class neighbourhood in the northeast part of Winnipeg.

Protesting death in Georgia

Josie Winterfeld, missions, peace and justice worker at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ont., participates in the ‘die-in’ during the annual peace protest outside of the former School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga.

Fort Benning, Georgia—the home of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of the Americas—is also the home of annual peace protests each November.

Three Waterloo Region Mennonites—Nathan Gorvett, Josie Winterfeld and Richard Albrecht—took part in the 2010 protest, which stretched over a three-day weekend.

Remembering peace

Ying Ying Wang of China and Santiago Gomez of Colombia sport both poppies and MCC peace buttons at the Remembrance Day service in Warman.

Wearing both the traditional red poppy and the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) alternative peace button, Ying Ying Wang from China and Santiago Gomez from Colombia—participants in MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program—stood before a crowd of 600 people gathered in Warman for a Remembrance Day service, and talked about peace.

Tree-planting project takes root

Jake Rempel and Brian Wiebe prepare a hole to plant one of 37 trees that will border the Carman Mennonite Church property on three sides. About half of the funding came from Manitoba Hydro’s Forest Enhancement Program.

On Nov. 9, a wagonload of 37 trees and an eager group of Carman Mennonite Church members armed with spades, including a massive tree spade powered by a tractor, showed up in the church parking lot. A plan to enhance the parking lot, provide shelter from the winds and care for the environment had been developed years ago and now was about to take root.

Above the Underground best kept secret in Abbotsford

Above the Underground associate Pam Thompson, left, and manager Darlene Davy welcome shoppers to their trendy thrift store—‘the best kept secret in Abbotsford.’

For a little clothing store, Above the Underground is making a big impact on the lives of people in Abbotsford. And if Darlene Davy, the store’s manager, has her way, many more people will know about it.

“I always say Above the Underground is Abbotsford’s best kept secret, but I’d like to change that,” she says with a smile.

‘Swimming against the current’

Alejandra Romero, a Colombian, enjoys the “sky swing” at Camp Valaqua, Alta., during this summer’s ‘Planting peace: How do we stop killing each other?’ event that brought together 10 international young adults and a group of their Canadian counterparts.

What does peace look like? “In my context, working for peace is to swim against the current,” writes Alejandra Romero, a Colombian who helps school children with conflict resolution in a country where violence is prevalent. “It is not easy to commit to live in peace when there are people willing to harm you.”

350 reasons to care for the Earth

Christine Penner participates in Hope Mennonite Church’s YouTube video that presents 350 biblical reasons for Christians to care for the Earth.

Hope Mennonite Church in Winnipeg produced a video for YouTube expressing its belief that God calls Christians to look after creation.

The idea was conceived on Peace Sunday, November 2009. On that Sunday, the congregation divided into small groups to discuss how they could make a public declaration for peace.

Hi, my name is Imvu

Imvu enjoyed the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in South Africa this summer.

Imvu, the Zulu sheep, sports his trusty backpack. The creation of MC Canada Witness worker Karen Suderman, Imvu is a good ice-breaker as she and her husband Andrew develop an Anabaptist Network in South Africa and build relationships with the churches there.

Imvu can be seen peering over the shoulder of MC Canada Witness workers Andrew and Karen Suderman.

A passion for writing children’s stories and a desire to engage children in church life gave birth to Imvu, a small knitted sheep who connects Mennonite Church Canada ministry in South Africa with children around the world.

Seeking higher ground

Floods have destroyed homes and livelihoods across much of Pakistan, including the Dera Ismail Khan District, pictured. Photo: Zafar Wazir, Church World Service

Pakistan’s worst floods in eight decades have killed more than 1,600 people and disrupted the lives of more than 14 million—about 8 percent of the population. With hundreds of thousands of homes already destroyed in what the National Management Authority is calling “the worst disaster in Pakistan’s history,” people there are in immediate need of basic necessities.

MCC, MEDA collaborate to help Haiti’s homeless

Homes that will be built through the collaboration of MCC, MEDA and Fonkoze will be similar to this one repaired for Isaac, Viola, and Estania Auguste, left to right, of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti.

Haitians left homeless by January’s earthquake are getting construction help from a collaborative venture of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - God at work in the World