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.
It is no secret that Mennonite Churches have long been active in sponsoring and supporting refugees among us. This, and an appreciation for quilting as an art form, is one of the very few things that pretty much all of the different kinds of Mennonites can get behind. I say “pretty much” because with the … More The Truth about Mennonites and Refugees
Personally, I’m more of a hat kinda gal than a bonnet one. Not that I have any problems with the Mennonite women out there who choose to wear bonnets and find them spiritually meaningful. I’m not calling for a bonnet ban. I think, you know, that women should wear whatever they want on their heads. It’s … More A Mennonite Hat Trick
This post was first published in April, 2015. I have made some minor edits, but otherwise kept it the same. For years – centuries, really – Mennonite women have been doubly silenced. Once by a broad patriarchal society that shut down all women’s voices and then additionally by a religious culture that reinforced that message. … More Courage, Faith and Selective Memory
This post was originally published on the old site in August 2016. I haven’t changed a thing. Well that photo of Winnipeg is new. I have an acquaintance whose Mennonite mother told her that her family had lived in Manitoba “forever.” Oh, honey, it only feels like forever. Though I grew up in Ontario, I … More Friendly Mennotoba