ALW Blog

Every next imaginable thing

Here is the landscape under all the white,

Everywhere wrapped in cold and wonder.

Every last summer tucked beneath a quiet blanket –

This is the landscape where you are learning to walk.


Here is the fertile ground covered with snow,

Every clump of soil resting, breathing, anticipating.

Everything unconquerable about this field ready to poke through –

There is no turning back

Marie Fortune and Emily Cohen

I clearly remember my first thought walking into the fellowship hall at Steinmann Mennonite Church. I was very excited to see almost 200 people from several different faith communities ready to spend a day discussing and learning about the persistent and perplexing issue of sexual violence in faith communities. I was also impressed with the introduction to the guest speakers. Keynote speaker Marie Fortune has been a driving force behind church responses to sexual violence since I was a toddler (and I’m not that young). I can’t imagine how hard her work would have been four decades ago.

Making love manifest

On Epiphany Sunday I spent the morning with Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church (Waterloo, ON) for worship and adult Sunday School. At the top of the agenda was Ephesians chapter 3 which is one of the lectionary passages for Epiphany Sunday.

The Terrifying Mercy of God

I own a t-shirt that features these words: “Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t coming”. There is no other visual imagery on the shirt – just plain white letters against a black background. I always thought the message was basically, “Just because you can’t see the great, creative, astonishing world of opportunity that lies ahead doesn’t mean it isn’t coming”. Then I had a conversation with someone who interpreted the t-shirt as a warning about something bad that was going to happen.

School for Laypeople: Doing Spiritual Care

Through this Anabaptist Learning Workshop led by Alicia Buhler, the lay-participants learned many aspects of offering spiritual care.

Two Creation Stories

After braving the cold winter winds and snowy roads, the welcome felt especially warm as we gathered at  Renison University College for our workshop entitled “When Skywoman Fell: Cosmology and Theology in the Haudenosaunee Tradition.” (This workshop was organized by Renison Institute of Ministry, and ALW co-sponsored the workshop as a practical exp

To Think About the Unthinkable

The following blog was written after the ALW workshop on October 24, 2018 on “Prayer and Preparedness for Local Tragedies”.

Would we be ready?

Fear. That is what I have written in my notebook in big, bold letters from the Anabaptist Learning Workshop “Prayer and Preparedness for Local Tragedies” that occurred in the basement of Elmira Mennonite Church (October 24, 2018).

Worshipping God in an Anabaptist Community

On Friday, September 28, the staff of UMEI Christian High School (Leamington, ON) welcomed Carol Penner for an ALW workshop titled “Worshipping God in an Anabaptist Community”.  We began with a few fun activities – for Carol to get to know all of us, and also for Carol to get to know a bit more about UMEI.

Rain, Turtle, Heron

The following piece was written about the ALW workshop “Cultivating Spiritual Practices While Canoe Camping” from September 14-17, 2018. (For more reflections about the canoe trip, see this blog and this blog