The Mennonite Centre serves people in need in Ukraine
Since the horrific invasion by Russia in February, the Canadian-based Mennonite Centre in Ukraine has increased relief work while providing near-daily war updates. These gripping accounts provided the opportunity for me to extract the found poem below (slightly treated).
Valerie serves up tasty food for me and my sister
My writer friend Valerie Giles was a woman of faith. She shared pivotal moments about her road to Roman Catholicism in her history column in the Prince George Citizen. Her stories about serving with food were mouthwatering!
Walter Ratliff’s excellent book discusses the journey Helena took
Helena Graewe Warkentin (1865-1942) shares her amazing story about how she travelled across deserts and mountains in a wagon train from South Russia to Turkestan, Central Asia in 1880.
Dimitri and Agathe with children (in birth order):
Anna, Tina, Daniel, Willy, Liselotte and Peter in Romania, ca. 1950
My dad’s aunt Agathe Graewe wrote from Jena, Germany after the city was bombed in 1945. The family later wrote from another sort of war zone, after they were forced to move to communist Romania. I’ve also included my dad’s story of their legendary romance.
Jakob and Emma Plett in Vancouver in 1983
My uncle Jakob shares about his family’s flight from Russia to Germany in this excerpt from his Life Story.
Heinrich Plett wrote to this historical Rundschau in 1882
I recently discovered some of my great-grandfather’s letters to a Mennonite publication and found them a fascinating window into a past from which most records were destroyed after families were uprooted. Then based in the U.S., the Mennonitische Rundschau was a lifeline for separated families and friends on different continents. The translated letters are shared below along with a short biography of Heinrich, information about his descendants, and photos.
In this story, I give tribute to a courageous woman who loved against all odds, as my father recounts some experiences with her in the 1930s Soviet Union.
My poem inspired by A Course in Miracles
According to A Course in Miracles, true forgiveness is our only real work in this life. With practice, we get better. Maybe it’s finally sinking in for me.
A Christmas angel
A young mother had chills when I recently shared my dad's angel story, inspiring me to share it with you.
Inspiring reading with a message of hope
Julian of Norwich (ca 1342-1416) is believed to be the first woman author in the English language. Revelations of Divine Love, or Showings, contains her visions of a “powerfully inclusive spirituality that is still radical now.” Julian comes alive again in Ralph Milton’s inspiring historical novel, Julian’s Cell.