Apr 21, 2010


Restorative justice is an approach to justice where offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, "to repair the harm they've done” and build healthy relationships which leads to reintegration into a community. It moves the focus of seeing crime as one committed against the state to one in which the crime is harmful to individuals, families and community. Its goal is not one of punishment, but of restoration of relationship for the victim, the offender and the community.

As women and mothers, we can be models in restorative justice in how we love, care and teach our children, how we assist them to take responsibility, how we live the gospel of love for our families, the stranger, our enemies and ourselves. Jesus called us friends. He leveled relationships. He saw the value of each and every one of us. He asked us to love all. Restorative justice is based on these core values.

There are many opportunities to volunteer in the programs and services in which restorative practice is basic to the service. Mennonite Central Committee and faith groups often are looking for volunteers to become friends, to visit, to love and restore to community the alienated, forgotten or strangers. Often it is in these loving acts, the victim or the offender finds support to turn their life around. It is a most rewarding service. I am often humbled by the love shown to me by those who I often misjudge as having little to offer. As I love I am loved in return.

For more information you can search Restorative justice through one of the internet search sites, or contact Canadian Mennonite University or Mennonite Central Committee offices in your province.

To read the complete article go to http://www.menonnitechurch.ca/mwc/resources.htm

Florence Driedger
Regina, Saskatchewan
April 2010

Apr 16, 2010


Love is a way of life, not a rule. Its focus is on relationship – relationship to God, to others and to oneself. The question is “do I love God, the other or myself?” not “have I broken a rule or a law?” Paul suggests there is no law against love or the qualities growing out of love such as kindness, peace, joy, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

Living this life of love as Disciples of Christ is our calling as women, mothers, sisters, grandmothers and all who call ourselves Christians. It is this life of love which calls all to reject violence and evil in our lives, families, communities and society.

So the troublesome question arises when violence occurs in our lives, families and communities which also include our congregations. How do we respond to victims and those who use violence? What is the practical application of love in all spheres of our life?

There are many resources to draw on, whether you are a victim, a friend, or one who is dealing with violent tendencies in your own behavior. More will be said about this at the end of this article.

For the rest of this article by Florence Driedger, Regina, Saskatchewan please go to

Apr 7, 2010

Elisabeth of Berlin: When the World is on Fire, do you Follow your Friends, your Fuehrer, or your God? DVD, Vital Visions, 2008.

When Elisabeth Schmitz died in 1977, only seven persons attended her funeral. But this forgotten woman, a student of the greatest theologians and scholars of twentieth century Europe, was one of the only voices of resistance to the Nazis in the church.

This groundbreaking film was created especially for the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi's "Night of Broken Glass," which many mark as the beginning of the Holocaust. After witnessing the violence of this program against Germany's Jews, Elisabeth Schmitz knew that life could no longer continue normally: her Christian faith compelled her to put her own life at risk in order to live on behalf of others.

Her most important writing was a twenty-four page memorandum that described, in detail, hardships endured by Jews across Germany. It was written to church leadership in order to urge them to take action. Because writing something like this was illegal in those days, she wrote it anonymously. Although it was well-known after the war was over, an archivist attributed it's authorship to someone else. Elisabeth Schmitz was forgotten until her handwritten draft was discovered in a dusty church basement in her hometown.

Home Use Only.

Borrow this title from the MC Canada Resource Centre online catalogue here.

Questions or suggestions?
Please contact the Resource Centre
or check our loan policy.

Loaned books are sent anywhere in Canada - free of charge - both ways!

We'll profile a new title at this blog every month

Apr 4, 2010



Apr 2, 2010

Celebrating Good Friday

The idea of ‘celebrating’ Good Friday seems a contradiction. On Good Friday, after all, we Christians remember the suffering of Jesus the Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death by crucifixion. What is to celebrate?

Yet, the idea of celebrating is quite appropriate. One definition of ‘celebrate’ is ‘to honor especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business.’ To celebrate Good Friday, then, is ‘to honor’ the suffering, the Passion, of Jesus on behalf of sinful humankind. His resurrection on Easter morning is the culmination of this Holy Week.

Oh love, how deep, how broad
(attributed to Thomas à Kempis, 15th c.)

Oh love, how deep, how broad, how high! It fills the heart with ecstasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals’ sake.

For us he was baptized and bore his holy fast, and hungered sore.
For us temptation sharp he knew,
For us the tempter overthrew.

For us he prayed, for us he taught, for us his daily works he wrought
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not himself, but us.

For us to wicked hands betrayed, scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed
He bore the shameful cross and death,
For us at length gave up his breath.

Eternal glory to our God for love so deep, so high, so broad;
The Trinity whom we adore
For ever and forevermore.

Photo by Aldred Neufeldt