Mennonite Heritage Village

In the Beginning

by Gary Dyck

I remember a time when we were innocent. COVID-19 was just beginning, and we all didn’t know what to think or expect. We were ready to do our part. The distant connection of acquaintances in the store or the simple greeting of neighbours on the street became more precious to us. However, over time we became tired and lost trust in one another.

At the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) we outline the Mennonite journey through our exhibits and village, through our programming and events. One of the largest themes I see is a deep value and search for community. When there is a good mix of responsibility and grace it goes well. When it is about individual rights and legalism it falls apart.

It seems along the way we are losing our shared culture and values. And that is unfortunate, because for true dialogue to take place we must be able to know and appreciate that what is common is greater than what is different. We cannot survive and thrive as community until we accept human frailty with reverence and respect. Let’s stop glaring at others as if they are a monster as soon as we find out we disagree. May responsibility and grace season all our relationships. The issue of the time may come and go, but our need for strong community will always be there.

On Tuesday, October 19th MHV will host its final online ‘Mennonites at War’ speaker series. Guest speaker Bruxy Cavey is an Anabaptist author and pastor from Ontario. He has learned how to lead a multi-site congregation in the way of peace and community. I’m sure his message on “Enemy Love and the Gospel” will challenge and encourage you. There will also be a question and answer time. Sign up today on our website:

Here’s a portion of his recent blog which you can find at

To be clear, I am under no delusion that pharmaceutical companies and secular governments are always acting out of other-centred love and the milk of human kindness. People want to make money and exercise power. I get it. Our Canadian government, like most governments, has often acted in unloving, damage-causing, truth-hiding ways, especially toward indigenous and marginalized people. This lived experience will understandably make many people more hesitant to trust. Whatever the reason behind our trust hesitancy, my encouragement to all Christ-followers is to remember that when we submit to government we are not so much trusting in government as much as we are trusting in God. We are not declaring that government is good, but that God is good and God is great and that in all things God works for our good.

This does not mean that we are never called upon to speak truth to power, only that our prophetic voice must occur within the framework of God’s Providence, which should lead to a disposition of peace in the middle of the storm. Love, even enemy love, is always our motivation rather than fear and its accompanying outrage.

Upcoming Events

MHV gift shop and galleries are open Tuesday to Saturday.

Mennonites at War Speaker Series, October 19th. Join us for our final installment of the ‘Mennonites at War’ online series. Guest speaker Bruxy Cavey is the senior pastor of a multi-site Anabaptist congregation in Ontario called ‘The Meeting House’ and best-selling author. The topic will be “Enemy Love and the Gospel: Anabaptist Theology on Peace and Why it Matters”.

Photo Caption: A sculpture of Dirk Willems rescuing his captor from the icy waters is the key feature of the Dirk Willems Peace Garden at the Mennonite Heritage Village.