This year, Mennonites all across Canada can be split into those who found a copy of the new Mennonite hymnal under their Christmas tree and those who found a copy of Andrew Unger’s new novel, Once Removed.* It’s a shame, really, that these two books came out in the same year, competing as they were … More A Mennonite Guide to Historical Preservation
My parents liked to joke that theirs was a “mixed marriage” because she was a Russlander Mennonite and he was a Kanadier Mennonite. It was only funny to that tiny subset of the population who was both in the community enough to know the difference and out of the community enough to think it a … More Watch your Language
Once upon a time when I was an adolescent, my mother told me that some of the other Mennonites in the area sometimes called the Church we attended the “Garbage Church” because we apparently accepted anyone. My mother thought those other Mennonites were not being very nice when they did this. She had a point. … More We’ve been called worse.
Last Saturday, when I was getting revved up for a full day at a fake Mennonite relief sale, I made the mistake of logging on to Twitter. Even before I could see if anyone else was tweeting about MCC or speculating as to when hymn-singing would be allowed again, I saw that the word Amish … More Nope, not us. But thanks for all the love.
I have it on very good authority that the Mennonite High School that scarred me for life has lowered its moral standards and is now allowing — nay, even encouraging — dancing. (No, not now during covid-19 lock down when we could assume it would at least involve 6 feet of separation between partners. I … More Small School Dances in a Big Worldly World
Remember when you said I should write a Mennonite cocktail book? No? Huh. I’m pretty sure you said that. In fact, you were pretty insistent. When people in the future ask what Mennonites did during the first great pandemic of the twenty-first century, the answer for most of us will be things like baking, virtual … More About that Mennonite Cocktail Book
I have come to the conclusion that in every minute of every day, there is someone, somewhere trying (and failing) to explain the difference between Mennonites and the Amish. These are people with a little bit of knowledge but not a lot. People who might have Mennonite (or Amish) ancestry. Maybe they lived once in … More Something Amish
The year 2020 did not begin well. We’d all barely finished our portzelky when we were forced to contend with rumours of war and visitations from pestilence. Throughout January, disaster was all around us. But none of that prepared us for the news that would rock the Mennonite world – the closure of Ten Thousand … More Ten Thousand Lamentations
One of the blessings of Mennonite life is living in the knowledge that one will never be too far from an admonition. “How empty the lives of non-Mennonites must feel,” I have often thought, when imagining what it must be like for people who do not experience rebukes on a regular basis. Oh, I know … More Admonitions for All Occasions I: Christmas
Writing the Drunken Menno blog has changed me as a writer. When I started the blog, I had a novel that was close to finished. I am now shopping the manuscript around for an agent and/or publisher. I’ve tinkered with it a bit over the last few years. It’s now called Sheltered. It’s still a … More Books