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 records, Newsletters, Bulletins, 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.
Series 1: Official Records
1-7 Congregational Meeting Minutes, 1922-1995
8-9 Congregational Meeting Annual report, minutes, 1995-2015
- Church Council Minutes, 1925-46
- Church Council Minutes, 1925-41
- Church Council Minutes, 1942-59
- Church Council Minutes, 1949-53 (Earle Snyder Papers)
- Church Council Minutes, 1967-70 (Earle Snyder Papers)
- Church Council Minutes, 1968-76
- Congregational restructuring, 1995-1996
- Church Council handbook, 2015
- Mission Board Records, 1930-36
- Mission Board Accounts with Alice Baechert, 1937-40
- Mission Board Correspondence with Alice Baechert, 1937-73 (Earle Snyder Papers)
- Mission Board Records, 1945-47
- Mission Board Correspondence with Leona Cressman, 1948-55
- Mission Board Records, 1948-50
- Mission Board Reports (Incomplete), 1944-58
- -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
- -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.
- Printed Ephemera arranged chronologically (bulletins for ordination and anniversary services and other special events, brochures)
- Women's Missionary Association Annual Reports, 1965-1968, 1988/89-1989/90, 2005-2013
- Women's Missionary Association meetings, 1923-1979
- Vesper Circle, 1952-1972
- 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.
- Membership Book and lists of charter members
- Early financial records, deeds and correspondence
- Cradle Roll Certificates
Majory May Bachert, 1925
Dorothy Bowman, 1927, 1928
- Marriage Register
- Sunday School Constitution and Minute book, 1924-39
- Church Constitutions
- Young People's Society Constitution
- Record Book of the Stirling Crusaders, 1944-51
- Young People's Meeting re: WWII, 15 September 1939; Special Business Meeting, 23 October 1939
- Crusaders' Records, 1943-49
- Young People's Society Attendance Book, 1948-49
- Young People's Society Attendance Book, 1941-47
- Junior Young People's Society Financial Records, 1951-55
- Minute book of Young People's Society, 1926-30 and Stirling League, 1931-33
- Young People's Society Minutes, 1940-41
- Young People's Society Programs for Meetings, 1929-36
- Young People's Society Report Book, 1938-40
- Junior Young People's Society Minute book, 1950
- Intermediate Society Attendance Records, 1946-50
- Young People's Society Misc. Records, 1942-47
- Young Peoples, Society Minutes, 1942-50
- Young People's Society Minutes, 1959-63
- Letter of resignation from Sunday School teachers who left church in 1940s
- Sunday School programs and correspondence, 1940-45
- Minutes and Correspondence of Sunday School Committee, 1935-41
- Sunday School Financial Records, 1943-65
- Sunday School Committee Minutes, 1950-59
- Sunday School Attendance Records, 1943-45
- Sunday School Workers' Meeting Minutes, 1945
- Sunday School Attendance Records, 1939-1952
- Sunday School Committee Minutes, 1957-67
- Sunday School Records, 1938-40
- Sunday School Committee Minutes, 1949-64
- Women's Sunday School class records, 1945-1965
- Junior Sunday School attendance records, 1936-1949
- Beginners Sunday School attendance records, 1948-1953
- Stirling Seniors, 1971-1978
- Stirling Young Adults
- Resource Reports, Stewardship Sector Program, 1957
- Resource Reports, Stewardship Sector Program, 1957
- Resource Reports, Stewardship Sector Program, 1957
- Stirling League Records, 1930-38
- Stirling League Minutes, 1930-38
- Stirling Choral Society Records, 1930-41
- Junior Missionary Circle Records, 1925-39
- Young People's Society Bible Student Fund Account Book, 1942-45 (inc.)
- Minutes of Deacons' Meetings, 1965-70
- Minutes and Records of Young Married Couples and Homemakers Groups, 1957-1969
- Minutes and Records of Young Married Couples and Homemakers Groups, 1950-56
- Junior Mission Records, 1940-41
- Choir Records,1951-59
- Minutes of Intermediate Society, 1943-49
- Youth Choir Attendance Records, 1943-47
- Young People's Camp Records, 1943-50
- Camp Records, 1945-55
- Camp Records, 1958-59
- Camp Records, 1960
- Camp Records, 1961
- Camp Records, 1962
- Junior Camp Records, 1963
- Recreational Camp Records, 1948-56
- Brotherhood Group Minute book, 1946-62
- Anniversary Service Records, 1945 and 1950
- U.K. Weber Records re: Resignation in 1940, 80th Birthday Programme in 1959, Sermon entitled "Ministering to a Needy World" [n.d.]
- Anniversary Service Records, 1974
- Mary Mae Schwartzentruber Evaluation Records, 1990 (Restricted until 2000)
- Records of Deacons' Meetings, 1968-75
- Organ Committee, ca. 1966-1967
- Records of process leading to team ministry, 1974-1976
- Youth Ministry Records, 1969
- Records of process leading to team ministry, 1968-1975
- Opinion Polls, Data and Analysis, 1968-1970
- Records of Various Committees, 1968-1975
- Evaluations, 1973-1979
- Study Committee Records re: Dual Membership in Ontario Mennonite and United Mennonite Conferences, 1963-1970
- Inter-Mennonite Planning Committee Records for Planting a Church in K-W area, 1966-1967
- Visitation Programme Records, 1961
- Financial Statements, 1966-75
- Misc. Records, 1971-72
- Records of Council of Boards, 1968-75
- Committee on Relationship of the Church to the Boys at Camp, n.d.
- Correspondence, 1972-74
- Pastoral Committee Records, 1940-41
- Sunday Evening Home Services Records, 1966
- Sunday Evening Services, 1965-67
- Statistical Analysis of Membership, 1950-60
- Student Sociological Paper Comparing Stirling Ave. and W-K Mennonite Churches
- Church and Conference Memos, 1942-50
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Deputy Provincial Secretary re: Registration of Marriages
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence, 1955-56
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence re: Ontario Hebrew Mission, 1951-56
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Andrew Shelly, 1952-53
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence, 1955
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence, 1958
- Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1951
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Andrew Shelly, 1951
- Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1952
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence with Andrew Shelly, 1952
- Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1953
- Wilfred Ulrich Personal Correspondence, 1954
- Wilfred Ulrich Correspondence re: Stirling Ave.
- Wilfred Ulrich minister's certificate, 1951
Series 2: Informal Records
- Wilfred Ulrich's Scrapbook
- Scrapbook, 1942-1949
- Church history by Bertha Landers
- Questionnaire re: Mennonite Church history
- Transcribed interviews with charter members, 1984
- Nicholas Fehderau Reminiscences
Note: Includes transcript of interview with Al Weber, 26 Jul 1970; manuscript of immigration memories; sketches of childhood and youth ("Skizzen aus meinem Leben..."). Also includes reminiscences of Gerhard J. Enns, 1970.
- Non-Resistant Relief Organization Records, 1945-50; 1961-64
- Risk and Endurance by Laureen Harder, 2003
Note: File includes photographs used in the book in .jpg format on compact disc. Photographs are individually described in the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
- Printing plates
- Sunday School picture lesson cards used at Stirling, 1920s
- Notes kept by organist, Helen Critchison, of music played at weddings and funerals, and some special services, 1965-2000
- Betty (Weber) Litwiller's Sunday School attendance pins
- 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.
- Glass slide collection, ca. 1950
- Historical notes, chronologies and lists
See also historian's reports in annual reports and newsletters
- Worship resources
Worship guide for households, 2006
Healing and annointing service
- Youth song book, compiled 1996
Series 3: Newsletters
- Newsletters issued by the Young People's Society, 1942-45
- "Crusader News," 1946-50
- "Church Messenger," 1944-51
3a. "Stirling Messenger," 1952-1960
3b. "Stirling Messenger," 1961-1965
- - 16. "Stirling Messenger," 1965-1977
- - 31. "Stirling News," 1978-1992
32. Letters circulated to congregation, 2004-2006, 2007-2008, 2015
33. "Stirling Quarterly," 1994-1999 (some missing)
34. Newsletters, 2005-2009
Series 4: Bulletins
1946-1985, 1987-1995 (not complete), 1996-2016
Note: Includes separate files of wedding bulletins (1988-1996) and funeral bulletins (1987-1997)
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
- Reports, 1988-2005
- 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
- Correspondence, incoming, 1985-1997, 2000
- Correspondence, outgoing, 1986-1996
- Contact lists
Sub-series 2: Local committees
- 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
- World Community Council of the Regional Waterloo Area, 1986-1989
- 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
- Persian Gulf War, 1990-1991
- Local peace activities, 1986, 1988, 1989-1992, 1994-2004, 2009
Sub-series 4: History
- 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.
- 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
- Other peace organizations (pamphlets, directories, catalogues)
- Peace-themed worship resources
- Articles on peacemaking and the church
- Environmental issues
- Notes from talks by Carrie Harder
- Christian resources for children's peace education
- Justice issues (lifestyle, economics, poverty)
- Miscellaneous church statements to government, 1982, 1985-1987
- Witness for Peace first Canadian delegation, Oct 1985
- War tax resistance, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995
- Articles on nonviolence, [19--], 1986-1987
- "Creating Community and Doing Shalom" Sunday School class, 1987-1988
- "Earth Stewardship" Sunday School class, 1988-1989
- "Learning from our Conscientious Objectors" Peace Sunday service, 1988
- Congregational interviews by Peace and Justice members, 1988
- 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.
- Sanctuary for refugees, 1989-1993
- Peace Brigades International report from El Salvador, Oct 1989-1990
- Military low level flying in Labrador, correspondence and information, 1990
- Apartheid information, 1990, 1992
- Persian Gulf War response, 1990-1991
- Information on violence against women, 1992-1993
- Federal election information, 1993
- "Discipleship Revival" planning group, 1992-1993
- "100,000 Faces" planning meeting, Jan 1993
- 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).
- Conscientious Objectors Registry, 1991
- Protest of planned armoury at Stirling Ave. and East Ave., Kitchener, 1992
- National Referendum on Charlottetown Agreement information, Oct 1992
- "Festival of Peace" service, 11 Nov 1994
- Orlando Conference publicity photographs, 1995
- Mennonite Church and General Conference peace mailings, ca. 1998
- "Stirling's Peace and Justice Work: Sharing the Story" project, 1998-1999
- Jubilee information, Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice, 1998
- Mennonite Church Peace and Justice Committee mailings, ca. 2000
Sub-series 6: Published materials (booklets, kits and periodicals)
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.
Anselma House (shelter for abused women), 1995
Project Ploughshares. [1987?]. Common Security: New Light for the Planet.
Church Council on Justice and Corrections (Canada). 1986. Why kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong? Ottawa: The Council.
National Film Board of Canada. War. 1984. (promotional materials for the 7-part film series)
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.
Jutzi, Robin. 1987. The Good Sikh and Other Plays on Peace and Justice. Mennonite Central Committee Canada.
Ontario. Ministry of Community and Social Services. 1984. Family Violence Prevention: Professional Information Package.
Maple Key. Junk Mail Free Zone Kit. 1991. Waterloo: Maple Key.
Mennonite Central Committee.1992. Hungerfest: A Packet of Events to Help You Discover Hunger.
Peace and Justice Committee. Mennonite Church General Board. 1999. Youth Peace Education Packet.
- Catholic New Times, Jun 1992-Feb 1996 (incomplete)
- Global Community Centre News, 1992-1994 (incomplete)
Global Community Centre Annual Report, 1988/89
- Institute for Central American Studies. Mesoamerica, 1990-1991 (incomplete)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR. n.d. Refugees. Geneva: UNHCR, 1990-1995 (incomplete)
- Sheshatshit Innu Resource Centre. Update Nitassinan, Jul 1991 (IX), Jan 1992 (X), Sept 1992 (XII), Sept 1993 (XIII)
- 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.
- Terry Widrick, "Peace and Mission," East Zorra Mennonite Church: New Life Assemblies, 6 Nov 1999. - 2 audio cassettes.
- Adrienne Harris, "The Woman as Peacemaker," Ideas, CBC Radio, 1986. - 3 cassette tapes.
- Taizé Community (France), and Philip Dixon. Songs & prayers from Taizé. Chicago: GIA Publications, Inc., 1991. - 1 audio cassette
- 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.
- Tom Yoder Neufeld and Marietta Jaeger speaking at a conference on prison ministries, Kansas?, 17 Oct 1988. - 3 cassette tapes.
- 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.
- Members of the Peace and Justice Working Group / interviewed by Laureen Harder-Gissing, 2 Sept 2004 and 4 Nov 2004. - 2 audio cassettes.
- Audio cassette accompanying Alternatives, XIII-220.127.116.11/6.
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
- Fellowship of Reconciliation "No Blood for Oil" campaign mailing canister
Note: See also XIII-18.104.22.168/1 Persian Gulf War.
- "Think Globally Act Locally" bumper sticker, Donnelly/Colt Custom Stickers, Hampton, Connecticut
- "Peace and Justice in Central America" bumper sticker, Donnelly/Colt Stickers, Hampton, Connecticut
Sub-series 9: Photographs
Note: Photographs are individually described in the Mennonite Archival Image Database. Originals housed with XIII-2-15.2/14 Glass slide collection.