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 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
In just a few short weeks, Canadians will celebrate their first ever annual Mennonite Heritage Week. And I don’t think any of us are ready. We were all a little stunned and a lot embarrassed earlier this year to see Members of Parliament from across all party lines get up in the House of Commons … More How to Prepare for Mennonite Heritage Week
When I was a grad student studying history, stories used to go around about rich Americans who would pay people like us to dig up their family histories. Though it sounded like a cash cow, the stories usually ended with having to deal with the ire of people discovering that their ancestors were neither luminaries … More Oh, look. Another Disillusioned Mennonite
I was recently perusing the internet and discovered an appalling number of errors in Mennonite bread making. I know there were errors in the past – the historical record is replete with disputes over baking. Not, it is true, in the “mainstream” historical literature, but they’re there if you know how to look. They were … More Bread of Contention
Imagine this: it’s 1941 and a Mennonite farm worker is sitting by his shortwave radio in Canada listening in rapt attention to the news coming out of Nazi Germany, contemplating immigration. Cut to Eastern Europe at approximately the same time, and see Heinrich Himmler touring the land of that farm worker’s youth and cooking up … More Was Opa a Nazi?
No, really. You shouldn’t have. At first glance, I thought that the new CBC Fifth Estate piece on the “Mennonite Connection” was just a piece shamelessly capitalizing on CBC’s Pure, a low budget filler piece reflective of reduced CBC budgets, or a kinda sad example of a show needing to remind itself and others of … More That’s sweet, but really you shouldn’t have.