Aug 19, 2010
In 2008 and 2009 I participated in a program called Serving and Learning Together, SALT, a one-year service and learning experience for young adults of the Mennonite Central Committee, MCC (www.mcc.org/salt); my blog from that time is available at www.blogs.mcc.org/salt/rebeccaj1/. Over the course of eleven months, I lived in Managua, Nicaragua, and volunteered at the Batahola Norte Cultural Centre (www.friendsofbatahola.org). Thanks to the program, I learned about Nicaraguan culture by living with a host family, attending a Nicaraguan church and interacting with my Nicaraguan coworkers.
After my year of service and learning ended, I began studying in Toronto and when my first year of a PhD program ended in May, I decided to see some friends I had in Argentina and Uruguay, and while I was there, see where my grandparents worked and where my mom was born in Paraguay, and since I was in the region, return to Nicaragua.
I did a little bit of everything. I saw impressive infrastructural developments, like the slaughterhouse and milk factory in the Menno colony in Paraguay and the Itaipú dam between Brazil and Paraguay and natural wonders, like the Iguazú Falls and the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Better still, in the Quebrada de Cafayate I went for a long bike ride where I felt like stopping to take pictures every few minutes. Most importantly I was able to meet interesting people, and in this way was able to see the beauty of my new surroundings because I was not convinced that my way was better.
By emphasizing relationship-building, especially in church-related contexts, I was able to better understand other people’s hopes, dreams and daily realities. At CEMTA, a Mennonite Conference School of Theology and Music, for example, I learned that all students everywhere procrastinate, and in Paraguay, drinking maté together makes it more fun. In Buenos Aires, the Floresta Mennonite Church invited me into its community, and I realized that all Mennonites are connected, both through faith, the Mennonite game and a commitment to peace and justice. As I return to life in Toronto, I hope to continue to seek out and develop these kinds of connections.
Aug 17, 2010
Thought that it might be of interest, especially to the BC readers, that on July 1st, 2010, after an absence of 3 years, a NEW name and under the umbrella of Mennonite Church BC, MCBC Women's Ministry was welcomed back into full membership by Erna Neufeldt; president of Mennonite Women Canada.
We are looking forward to re-establish the good working relationship that was always present between Mennonite Women Canada and the women in BC.
Aug 16, 2010
A Mennonite Woman, part narrative, part theology, part spiritual memoir, Dawn Ruth Nelson asks us to wake up to what is shaping us spiritually as contemporary Christians in North American culture. Discover why Mennonites have been drinking deeply from contemplative spiritual formation wells in the last 30 years. Experience the story of twentieth-century Mennonite agrarian spirituality through the lens of one woman’s life and one seminary.
Borrow this title from the MC Canada Resource Centre online catalogue here.
Aug 12, 2010
July 1 at our Annual Meeting we elected two women to leadership positions in Mennonite Women Canada. Liz Koop, Vineland, ON as President-elect and Lois Mierau, Langham, SK as Secretary-Treasurer.
WELCOME, Liz and Lois!
Left to right: Erna Neufeldt, Lois Mierau, Liz Koop
Photo by Waltrude Gortzen