A group of children visited a greenhouse on the last day of Bread for Success, an after-school project in Saskatoon supported by Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) Global Family education program. The kids are learning about how vegetables are grown, and Chris Buhler, co-owner of Floating Gardens Ltd., showed them around where tomatoes and eggplants twist their way toward the ceiling.
God at work in the World
April Yamasaki speaks about fasting from the Christian perspective at the Abbotsford interfaith symposium on July 6, 2015. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)
An interfaith symposium on July 6 at Abbotsford’s Garden Park Tower found Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs reflecting on fasting and peace and then eating together with a meal around formally set tables.
Ziauddin Yousafzai (left) chats with Susan Schultz Huxman about a new peace scholarship that will allow a female student from a region of the world experiencing conflict to study at Conrad Grebel University College in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program. Also part of the conversation are Mohan Kendall and Ahmad Shah.
Conrad Grebel University College is offering a $10,000 scholarship to a female Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) student, thanks to a partnership with Ziauddin Yousafzai, the Global Peace Centre Canada (GPCC) and the Women’s Executive Network. Yousafzai is the father of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
Northeast Thailand is the poorest region in the country. Democracy is uneven, and peaceful protests can land protesters in barred cells overnight. Since a military coup in 2014, poor and landless subsistence farmers are reportedly being evicted from national reserve lands they have farmed for decades.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools released its final report on June 2, 2015, after five years of conducting hearings and gathering thousands of witness statements from former students and their families across Canada.
Panelist Marie Wilson, TRC commissioner, expresses kind words to Mike Cachagee, spokesperson for residential school survivors, as he recalls his childhood in a residential school. (Photo by Dennis Greunding)
Along with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other organizations, Kairos invited children and youth from across the country to create Heart Gardens. These gardens honoured memories of students who did not return from residential schools and pointed to dreams for a reconciled future. A Heart Garden was planted at Rideau Hall during the last TRC events in Ottawa. (Photo by Dennis Gruending)
While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hosted events in Ottawa leading up to the release of its summary report, the ecumenical justice coalition Kairos organized a complementary gathering called Time for Reconciliation.
Lorraine Clements holds burning sage for Gerry Shingoose, a residential school survivor, as she smudges at the closing ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Winnipeg. (Photo by J. Neufeld)
“Reconciliation is not an aboriginal problem. It is a Canadian problem. It involves all of us.” Justice Murray Sinclair spoke those words on June 2 at the closing ceremonies of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa. I watched a live feed of Sinclair’s speech at the University of Winnipeg, among tens of thousands of Canadians who tuned in to witness the historic event.
“And when you send a slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you” (Deuteronomy 15:13-15a).
Members of the Mennonite community and other citizens of Abbotsford, B.C., raised more than $25,000 in a benefit concert at Emmanuel Mennonite Church on May 17 to aid survivors of the earthquakes that ravaged Nepal in April and May.
Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan’s Indigenous Neighbours Program Coordinator, Leonard Doell (left), tells students at Rosthern Junior College what MCC has been doing to help the Young Chippewayan people in their land entitlement claims against the Canadian government. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Four ratepayers of the Rural Municipality of Laird signed a petition to include the Cree name, Opwashemo Chakatinaw, on the road sign leading up to Stoney Knoll. The four signers are descendants of the original Mennonite settlers in the area and members of MC Saskatchewan congregations. Left to right, they are Eldon Funk, Allan Friesen, Wilmer Froese, and Ray Funk. George Kingfisher, hereditary chief of the Young Chippewayan First Nation, is seated at the table. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Rosthern Junior College student Madi Davis (in the red hooded sweatshirt) awaits her turn as her fellow student, Matthias Thiessen adds his name to the petition urging the Rural Municipality of Laird to add the Cree name, Opwashemo Chakatinaw, to road signs leading up to Stoney Knoll. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Looking west from the top of Stoney Knoll, one can see the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The gently sloping hill, once home to the Young Chippewayan First Nation, is some of the best farmland in Saskatchewan. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Should the petition that Rosthern Junior College students signed be successful, this sign will be changed to include the Cree name, Opwashemo Chakatinaw, which translates into English as Stoney Knoll. Over time, the original English name was further changed to become Stony Hill. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
“I feel like a refugee in my own country,” said George Kingfisher. The hereditary chief of the Young Chippewayan First Nation was at Rosthern Junior College (RJC) to tell students how his people lost their land.
Mennonite Church Canada is working to develop entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso so that young Mennonite Christians can support their families and churches. (Photo by Siaka Traoré)
“I love everything about farming,” Abram says. That passion—and his generosity—led him to empower the self-sufficiency of a farmer on the other side of the world.
It’s time for some uncomfortable conversations about climate change and poverty, says Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada.
“We are all equal. Not one person is above others.” Elder Marie Linklater’s words set the tone for a day of learning and discerning on April 18, when about 200 women and men from Saskatoon and area gathered at Mayfair United Church for an ecumenical response to murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.
Worms, balloons, dolly carts and minimal sleep were all part of a Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization event held in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan on April 8 and 9. This year’s Honouring the Earth event focussed on how making small changes to food consumption habits can have a big impact on the global food market.
A sign greets Syrian refugees at Edmonton International Airport, where approximately 60 Mennonites and Muslims were gathered to welcome them to their new home on March 31. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)
Mennonites and Muslims await the arrival of Syrian refugees at Edmonton International Airport on March 31. Mennonite Central Committee Alberta and the Islamic Family Social Services Association are partnering to bring Syrian refugees to Alberta. (Photo by Donita Wiebe-Neufeld)
Ahmad Al-Jamal, his wife Ghada, and their three young children were visibly excited as they waited at Edmonton International Airport on the evening of March 31, 2015.
Cook Carol Weber of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church shows off the soup stirrer created by set-up volunteer Dan Ulrich when he found out that the church had no spoons long enough to stir the deep soup pots used for Stirling Avenue’s community dinners. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Volunteer Kim Barber, standing right, a Wilfrid Laurier University music professor and professional singer who attends Rockway Mennonite Church, serves guests at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church’s community dinner. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Young volunteers Cate, Ruth and Annalee of First and Rockway Mennonite churches prepare the menu board so that guests can see what is being served at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church’s community dinner on March 14. Volunteers like these young women help set up the tables and chairs, and are gone by the time guests arrive. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
“Grab a coffee and go and sit down. You get served at the table. They’re really nice here,” said one guest to another on March 14 of the community dinners served every Saturday night from November through April at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener.
Years ago, when Abe Janzen had just started his work as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) director, he was taken to prison for a visit. There, he said, he “realized how biblical and terribly important and endlessly necessary” this ministry is. “It’s not about fixing things, but about showing up with each other.”
Kirsten Hamm-Epp and Jerry Buhler prepare to serve the Lord’s Supper to participants at the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions held in Saskatoon recently. (Photo by D. Michael Hostetler)
Mennonite Church Canada executive director Willard Metzger, left, visits with Ryan Siemens, pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Prince Albert, Sask., at an ice cream social in honour of Jerry Buhler, outgoing area church minister, at the MC Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions. (Photo by Donna Schulz)
Ed Bueckert of Zoar Mennonite Church, Langham, Sask., left, listens to Aldred Neufeldt, who attended the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions on behalf of MC Canada’s Future Directions Task Force.
“We don’t all know God in the same way,” Bruce Jantzen reflected at the recent Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions, “but that doesn’t change who God is.”
Like her counterparts in other area churches, Ida Buhler has the unenviable task of making budget cuts. At the recent Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions, the finance chair reported a $40,000 shortfall in church donations to the area church in 2014.
With appreciation and affection, participants at Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s annual delegate sessions said thank you and farewell to Jerry Buhler, who served as area church minister for nine year years. It was clear from the standing ovation he received that he made many friends during that time.
“We want a church that is for everyone, and we want to be part of making that happen.” This statement from a Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization (SMYO) report to the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan annual delegate sessions appeared to be borne out by the level of engagement witnessed in members of the SMYO Committee at the March 13 and 14 meetings.
Maciel Arias from Toronto New Life Mennonite Church, left, translates for Lili Hurtarte, lay leader at Toronto New Life Mennonite Centre, while Rebecca Yoder Neufeld of First Mennonite, Kitchener, listens with Lucy Roca of the Refuge de Pais congregations in Quebec. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Former MC Canada Witness workers Julie and Phil Bender visit with Sze-Kar Wan, keynote speaker at the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Brian Bauman, MC Eastern Canada missions minister, left, and Pastor Jehu Lian of the Chin Christian Church in Kitchener, right, listen as Bernard Sejour, newly hired Ottawa Catalyst, shares during the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Louam Vanhbyvang, left, and Liang Nay prepare the Lao-themed dinner for the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Lori and Charlie Derksen, children of Kevin Derksen, one of the pastors at St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, dance as Menno Valley Sound performs at the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers fun evening. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Pastors Norm Dyck of Listowel Mennonite Church, left, Tim Reimer of Danforth Mennonite Church in Toronto, and Steve Brnjas, interim pastor at Zion Mennonite Fellowship in Elmira, visit during an optional ‘coffee time’ event at the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Abate Bekele, pastor of Rehoboth Evangelical Church in Toronto, left; Fanosie Legasse, an Ethiopian who attends Bethel Mennonite Church near Elora Ont.; Tadesse Mekuria Aleme, pastor of Medahnialem Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Toronto; and Pastor Kassa Lemma of the Freedom Gospel Ethiopian Church in Toronto, visit during an optional ‘coffee time’ event at the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Lois Guenther Reesor, left, takes part in a discussion with Sze-Kar Wan and Tom Yoder Neufeld at a public event held during the 2015 MC Eastern Canada School for Ministers. Reesor used Wan’s material in her thesis in the master of theology program at Conrad Grebel University College, where the annual school was held. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
“Evangelism is dangerous,” Sze-Kar Wan said in conclusion of his three-day exegesis of the first three chapters of Galatians at the 2015 Mennonite Church Eastern Canada School for Ministers. “When you evangelize, you include new people in your group and you have to expect change,” he said, noting that it’s possible “the insiders might become marginalized.”