Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church

Classification scheme: 
XIII-2.15

Title: Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of Creation: 1924-

Physical description: 3.8 m of textual records; 6.5 cm of printing plates

Administrative history: On 3 August 1924 Bishop Jonas Snider excommunicated 154 members from First Mennonite Church, Kitchener. The question of headgear for women was the ostensible cause of friction. The real cause was the deeper one of church government. Those dissenting were opposed to episcopal authority in the Mennonite Church. What they desired instead was congregational rule. Most of the excommunicated members reorganized as an independent Mennonite congregation. The charter membership was 120. On 3 October 1924 a constitution was adopted, a church council was elected, Urias Weber was invited to assume the pastorate, and arrangements were confirmed for the construction of a church building. A church subsequently was built on the hill overlooking First Mennonite Church and dedicated on 1 February 1925.

The congregation remained independent until 1946 when it joined the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church. On 1 January 1970 it became an associate member of both the Mennonite Conference of Ontario of the Mennonite Church and the Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario of the General Conference Mennonite Church.

One notable program of the church was the Peace and Justice Centre, created in 1987. Formed out of a Peace and Justice Working Group that began meeting in the early 1980s, the Centre was the first Mennonite peace centre in Canada to be housed in a congregation.

Custodial history: The records were received in no apparently discernible order from successive congregational historians and arranged into four series: official records, unoffical records, bulletins and newsletters.

Scope and content: This fonds is one of the largest congregational fonds in the Archives. It contains minutes, directories, reports, pastors' correponsdence, ephemera, newsletters and bulletins. The fonds is arranged in five series: Official records, Informal recordsNewslettersBulletins, Peace and Justice Working Group.

Notes: For further reference see Stirling Ave. Mennonite Church / [compiled by Bertha Landers].- 1979; Frontier Community to Urban Congregation : First Mennonite Church, Kitchener 1813-1988 / E. Reginald Good.- Kitchener, Ontario : First Mennonite Church.- 1988; Risk and Endurance : A History of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church / Laureen Harder.-Kitchener, Ontario : Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, 2003. 

For photographs related to this congregation search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
For sound recordings related to this congregation, see Hist.Mss.9.25 and Hist.Mss.9.27/29
Further materials related to this congregation can be found by searching the Archives. 

File list:

Series 1: Official Records

Vol.1

1-7 Congregational Meeting Minutes, 1922-1995

8-9 Congregational Meeting Annual report, minutes, 1995-2015

Vol.2

  1. Church Council Minutes, 1925-46
  2. Church Council Minutes, 1925-41
  3. Church Council Minutes, 1942-59
  4. Church Council Minutes, 1949-53 (Earle Snyder Papers)
  5. Church Council Minutes, 1967-70 (Earle Snyder Papers)
  6. Church Council Minutes, 1968-76

Vol.3

  1. Mission Board Records, 1930-36
  2. Mission Board Accounts with Alice Baechert, 1937-40
  3. Mission Board Correspondence with Alice Baechert, 1937-73 (Earle Snyder Papers)
  4. Mission Board Records,  1945-47
  5. Mission Board Correspondence with Leona Cressman, 1948-55
  6. Mission Board Records, 1948-50
  7. Mission Board Reports (Incomplete), 1944-58
  8. -16. Mission Board Records, 1954-1970

     17.Board of Missions and Service Records, 1974-76

     18.-22. Mission Board Records re: Sudbury Mission, 1956-1959, 1961

Vol.4

  1. -44. Annual report, 1928-1972

     45.-52. Membership list, 1973-1980
Note: Church directories from 1976 and 1980 are included in these files.

      53.-73. Church directories, 1981-2007
Note: Photo directories from the following years are included: 1989, 1993, 2008 and supplements, 2013 and supplements.

Vol.5

  1. Printed Ephemera arranged chronologically

Vol.6

  1. Women's Missionary Association Annual Reports, 1965-1968, 1988/89-1989/90, 2005-2013
  2. Women's Missionary Association meetings, 1923-1979
  3. Vesper Circle, 1952-1972
  4. Friendly Circle, 1938-1977
    Note: Files 2-4 contain typed transcriptions and summaries by Anne Millar donated to the Archives in 2013. The original minute books are held by the Church.

Vol.7

  1. Membership Book and lists of charter members
  2. Early financial records, deeds and correspondence
  3. Cradle Roll Certificate, 2 May 1925, for Majory May Bachert
  4. Marriage Register
  5. Sunday School Constitution and Minute book, 1924-39
  6. Church Constitutions
  7. Young People's Society Constitution

Vol.8

  1. Record Book of the Stirling Crusaders, 1944-51
  2. Young People's Meeting re: WWII, 15 September 1939; Special Business Meeting, 23 October 1939
  3. Crusaders' Records, 1943-49
  4. Young People's Society Attendance Book, 1948-49
  5. Young People's Society Attendance Book, 1941-47
  6. Junior Young People's Society Financial Records, 1951-55
  7. Minute book of Young People's Society, 1926-30 and Stirling League, 1931-33
  8. Young People's Society Minutes, 1940-41
  9. Young People's Society Programs for Meetings, 1929-36
  10. Young People's Society Report Book, 1938-40
  11. Junior Young People's Society Minute book, 1950
  12. Intermediate Society Attendance Records, 1946-50
  13. Young People's Society Misc. Records, 1942-47
  14. Young Peoples, Society Minutes, 1942-50
  15. Young People's Society Minutes, 1959-63
  16. Letter of resignation from Sunday School teachers who left church in 1940s
  17. Sunday School programs and correspondence, 1940-45
  18. Minutes and Correspondence of Sunday School Committee, 1935-41
  19. Sunday School Financial Records, 1943-65
  20. Sunday School Committee Minutes, 1950-59
  21. Sunday School Attendance Records, 1943-45
  22. Sunday School Workers' Meeting Minutes, 1945
  23. Sunday School Attendance Records, 1939-52 (inc.)
  24. Sunday School Committee Minutes, 1957-67
  25. Sunday School Records, 1938-40
  26. Sunday School Committee Minutes, 1949-64

Vol.9

  1. Resource Reports, Stewardship Sector Program, 1957
  2. Resource Reports, Stewardship Sector Program, 1957
  3. Resource Reports, Stewardship Sector Program, 1957
  4. Stirling League Records, 1930-38
  5. Stirling League Minutes, 1930-38
  6. Stirling Choral Society Records, 1930-41
  7. Junior Missionary Circle Records, 1925-39
  8. Young People's Society Bible Student Fund Account Book, 1942-45 (inc.)
  9. Minutes of Deacons' Meetings, 1965-70
  10. Minutes and Records of Young Married Couples and Homemakers Groups, 1957-65
  11. Minutes and Records of Young Married Couples and Homemakers Groups, 1950-56
  12. Junior Mission Records, 1940-41
  13. Choir Records,1951-59
  14. Minutes of Intermediate Society, 1943-49
  15. Youth Choir Attendance Records, 1943-47
  16. Young People's Camp Records, 1943-50
  17. Camp Records, 1945-55
  18. Camp Records, 1958-59
  19. Camp Records, 1960
  20. Camp Records, 1961
  21. Camp Records, 1962
  22. Junior Camp Records, 1963
  23. Recreational Camp Records, 1948-56
  24. Brotherhood Group Minute book, 1946-62
  25. Anniversary Service Records, 1945 and 1950
  26. U.K. Weber Records re: Resignation in 1940, 80th Birthday Programme in 1959, Sermon entitled "Ministering to a Needy World" [n.d.]
  27. Anniversary Service Records, 1974
  28. Mary Mae Schwartzentruber Evaluation Records, 1990 (Restricted until 2000)

Vol.10

  1. Records of Deacons' Meetings, 1968-75
  2. Report of the Organ Committee, ca.1966
  3. Records of process leading to team ministry, 1974-76
  4. Youth Ministry Records, 1969
  5. Records of process leading to team ministry, 1968-75
  6. Opinion Polls, Data and Analysis, 1968-70
  7. Records of Various Committees, 1968-75
  8. Evaluations, 1973-79
  9. Study Committee Records re: Dual Membership in Ontario Mennonite and United Mennonite Conferences, 1963-70
  10. Inter-Mennonite Planning Committee Records for Planting a Church in K-W area, 1966-67
  11. Visitation Programme Records, 1961

Vol. 11

  1. Financial Statements, 1966-75
  2. Misc. Records, 1971-72
  3. Records of Council of Boards, 1968-75
  4. Committee on Relationship of the Church to the Boys at Camp, n.d.
  5. Correspondence, 1972-74
  6. Pastoral Committee Records, 1940-41
  7. Sunday Evening Home Services Records, 1966
  8. Sunday Evening Services, 1965-67
  9. Statistical Analysis of Membership, 1950-60
  10. Student Sociological Paper Comparing Stirling Ave. and W-K Mennonite Churches
  11. Church and Conference Memos, 1942-50

Vol.12

  1. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Deputy Provincial Secretary re: Registration of Marriages
  2. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence, 1955-56
  3. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence re: Ontario Hebrew Mission, 1951-56
  4. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Andrew Shelly, 1952-53
  5. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence, 1955
  6. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence, 1958
  7. Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1951
  8. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Andrew Shelly, 1951
  9. Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1952
  10. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Andrew Shelly, 1952
  11. Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1953
  12. Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1954
  13. Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence re: Stirling Ave.

Series 2: Informal Records

  1. Wilfred Ulrich's Scrapbook
  2. Scrapbook, 1942-49
  3. Church history by Bertha Landers
  4. Questionnaire re: Mennonite Church history
  5. Transcribed interviews with charter members, 1984
  6. Nicholas Federau Reminiscences
  7. Non-Resistant Relief Organization Records, 1945-50; 1961-64
  8. Risk and Endurance by Laureen Harder, 2003, and photographs used in the book in .jpg format on compact disc
  9. Printing plates
  10. Sunday School picture lesson cards used at Stirling, 1920s
  11. Notes kept by organist, Helen Critchison, of music played at weddings and funerals, and some special services, 1965-2000
  12. Betty (Weber) Litwiller's Sunday School attendance pins
  13. Of such is the kingdom : a pictorial history of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church / D. Douglas and Anne Eby Millar, 1993. - Includes note by Anne Millar further identifying individuals in photographs.

Series 3: Newsletters

  1. Newsletters issued by the Young People's Society, 1942-45
  2. "Crusader News," 1946-50
  3. "Church Messenger," 1944-51
    3a. "Stirling Messenger," 1952-1960
    3b. "Stirling Messenger," 1961-1965
  4. - 16. "Stirling Messenger," 1965-1977
  5. - 31. "Stirling News," 1978-1992

     32. No newsletters, 1993

     33. "Stirling Quarterly," 1994-1999 (some missing)

     34. Newsletters, 2005-2009

Series 4: Bulletins

1946-1947 (mostly complete), 1949-1985, 1996-2016

Series 5: Peace and Justice Working Group

Note: A list of items withdrawn from this series during archival processing is filed at the beginning of the series. Many of the items withdrawn were part of the Peace and Justice Centre lending library.

Sub-series 1: Minutes and correspondence

  1. Reports, 1988-2005
  2. Minutes and correspondence, 1983-2005
    Note: "Read, Share and Act" was the original name of the group, which began as a Sunday School class in 1983
  3. Correspondence, incoming, 1985-1997, 2000
  4. Correspondence, outgoing, 1986-1996
  5. Contact lists

Sub-series 2: Local committees

  1. Local Militarism Research Coalition
    1. Minutes and correspondence, 1988-1989
    2. "Militarism in our community and beyond" workshop, 1989
    3. Golden Triangle Military Industry Research Project, 1989
    4. Militarism news clippings
  2. World Community Council of the Regional Waterloo Area, 1986-1989
  3. Christian Peacemaker Teams
    1. Christian Peacemaker Teams, 1987-1993
    2. Christian Peacemaker Teams (Ontario), 1996-1997
    3. Brochures, clippings
    4. Mohawk crisis, 1990
    5. Campaign against violent toys, 1994

Sub-series 3: Local news clippings

  1. Persian Gulf War, 1990-1991
  2. Local peace activities, 1986, 1988, 1989-1992, 1994-2004, 2009

Sub-series 4: History

  1. Peace and Justice Working Group History Project, 2003-2005
    Note: Includes correspondence, research notes, partial interview transcripts and a manuscript draft. Interview tapes are located in sub-series 7.
  2. Certificate of Christian Affirmation, Mar 1998
    Note: Certificate received from the Conference of Mennonites in Canada for Stirling's exemplary commitment to peace and justice ministry.

Sub-series 5: Activities and resource materials

  1. Other peace organizations (pamphlets, directories, catalogues)
  2. Peace-themed worship resources
  3. Articles on peacemaking and the church
  4. Environmental issues
  5. Notes from talks by Carrie Harder
  6. Christian resources for children's peace education
  7. Justice issues (lifestyle, economics, poverty)
  8. Miscellaneous church statements to government, 1982, 1985-1987
  9. Witness for Peace first Canadian delegation, Oct 1985
  10. War tax resistance, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995
  11. Articles on nonviolence, [19--], 1986-1987
  12. "Creating Community and Doing Shalom" Sunday School class, 1987-1988
  13. "Earth Stewardship" Sunday School class, 1988-1989
  14. "Learning from our Conscientious Objectors" Peace Sunday service, 1988
  15. Congregational interviews by Peace and Justice members, 1988
  16. Central American refugees, 1985-1990
    Note: The following was removed. A copy is located in the Milton Good Library: Bridging the gap: beyond refugees' material needs, a study of Central American refugees in Kitchener-Waterloo / K-W Council of Churches. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.: [the Council], 1988.
  17. Sanctuary for refugees, 1989-1993
  18. Peace Brigades International report from El Salvador, Oct 1989-1990
  19. Military low level flying in Labrador, correspondence and information, 1990
  20. Apartheid information, 1990, 1992
  21. Persian Gulf War response, 1990-1991
  22. Information on violence against women, 1992-1993
  23. Federal election information, 1993
  24. "Discipleship Revival" planning group, 1992-1993
  25. "100,000 Faces" planning meeting, Jan 1993
  26. Indigenous issues, 1990-1993, 2000
    Note: The following publications were removed from the file. Copies are located in the Milton Good Library: MCC Contact (Nov 1992); Native Issues (May-Jun 1992);  All Our Neighbours (Nov 1997).
  27. Conscientious Objectors Registry, 1991
  28. Protest of planned armoury at Stirling Ave. and East Ave., Kitchener, 1992
  29. National Referendum on Charlottetown Agreement information, Oct 1992
  30. "Festival of Peace" service, 11 Nov 1994
  31. Orlando Conference publicity photographs, 1995
  32. Mennonite Church and General Conference peace mailings, ca. 1998
  33. "Stirling's Peace and Justice Work: Sharing the Story" project, 1998-1999
  34. Jubilee information, Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice, 1998
  35. Mennonite Church Peace and Justice Committee mailings, ca. 2000

Sub-series 6: Published materials (booklets, kits and periodicals)

  1. Bloor Street United Church Nicaragua Study Group. 1986. Nicaragua: a dream under fire : a report prepared by members of the Bloor Street United Church Nicaragua Study Group, Toronto, following a visit to Nicaragua in October, 1986. Toronto: Bloor Street United Church Nicaragua Study Group.

  2. Anselma House (shelter for abused women), 1995

  3. Project Ploughshares. [1987?]. Common Security: New Light for the Planet.

  4. Church Council on Justice and Corrections (Canada). 1986. Why kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong? Ottawa: The Council.

  5. National Film Board of Canada. War. 1984. (promotional materials for the 7-part film series)

  6. The Church Council on Justice and Corrections. 1976. Alternatives: A Program of Community Involvement.
    Note: An educational kit for understanding criminal justice problems and alternative solutions. One accompanying audio cassette is located in sub-series 7.

  7. Jutzi, Robin. 1987. The Good Sikh and Other Plays on Peace and Justice. Mennonite Central Committee Canada.

  8. Ontario. Ministry of Community and Social Services. 1984. Family Violence Prevention: Professional Information Package.

  9. Maple Key. Junk Mail Free Zone Kit. 1991. Waterloo: Maple Key.

  10. Mennonite Central Committee.1992. Hungerfest: A Packet of Events to Help You Discover Hunger.

  11. Peace and Justice Committee. Mennonite Church General Board. 1999. Youth Peace Education Packet.

  12. Catholic New Times, Jun 1992-Feb 1996 (incomplete)
  13. Global Community Centre News, 1992-1994 (incomplete)
    Global Community Centre Annual Report, 1988/89
  14. Institute for Central American Studies. Mesoamerica, 1990-1991 (incomplete)
  15. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR. n.d. Refugees. Geneva: UNHCR, 1990-1995 (incomplete)
  16. Sheshatshit Innu Resource Centre. Update Nitassinan, Jul 1991 (IX), Jan 1992 (X), Sept 1992 (XII), Sept 1993 (XIII)
  17. Single issues of periodicals, miscellaneous

Sub-series 7: Audio cassettes

Note: This sub-series consists of published and unpublished recordings on audio cassette either obtained by or made by the Peace and Justice Working Group. Many were part of the Peace and Justice Centre lending library.

  1. Terry Widrick, "Peace and Mission," East Zorra Mennonite Church: New Life Assemblies, 6 Nov 1999. - 2 audio cassettes.
  2. Adrienne Harris, "The Woman as Peacemaker," Ideas, CBC Radio, 1986. - 3 cassette tapes.
  3. Taizé Community (France), and Philip Dixon. Songs & prayers from Taizé. Chicago: GIA Publications, Inc., 1991. - 1 audio cassette
  4. Fuller Theological Seminary, "The Ministry of Reconciliation," Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary Media Services, 1991. - 10 audio cassettes. - Conference speakers include Tony Campolo, David Augusburger, Speed Leas, William Alvis, G. Brian Jones, Linda Phillips-Jones, Randolph Lowry, Elliot Mason.
  5. Tom Yoder Neufeld and Marietta Jaeger speaking at a conference on prison ministries, Kansas?, 17 Oct 1988. - 3 cassette tapes.
  6. Marietta Jaeger speaking at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, 27 Sept 1988. - Jaeger, from Detroit, speaks about the murder of her youngest child, her Roman Catholic faith, her forgiveness of the offender, and her concern for all victims of violence, particularly in Central America. - 1 audio cassette.
  7. Members of the Peace and Justice Working Group / interviewed by Laureen Harder-Gissing, 2 Sept 2004 and 4 Nov 2004. - 2 audio cassettes.
  8. Audio cassette accompanying Alternatives, XIII-2.15.5.6/6.
  9. Audio cassette to accompany the kit Family Violence in a Patriarchal Culture: A Challenge to Our Way of Living. Ottawa: Church Council on Justice and Corrections, 1988. - file contains cassette only, not other kit materials.

Sub-series 8: Realia

  1. Fellowship of Reconciliation "No Blood for Oil" campaign mailing canister
    Note: See also XIII-2.15.5.3/1 Persian Gulf War.
  2. "Think Globally Act Locally" bumper sticker, Donnelly/Colt Custom Stickers, Hampton, Connecticut
  3. "Peace and Justice in Central America" bumper sticker, Donnelly/Colt Stickers, Hampton, Connecticut

Hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Making an appointment with the archivist in advance is strongly recommended.

Contact

Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238

Email: marchive@uwaterloo.ca