August 10, 2023
By Gary Dyck with Nathan Dyck
This week Nathan Dyck has joined the team at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) as our new Development Coordinator. We are happy to have someone capable like Nathan as this position has remained empty since May. Recently I asked Nathan some questions so that you can get to know him better as we hope he will be here for a long time.
Interview: Part 1
Welcome to MHV Nathan! What is your background growing up, education, previous work, etc?
I grew up in Steinbach and have seen this community grow and change significantly over the past four decades. At 19 I packed off to New Zealand to attend Capernwray Bible School which began my enduring connection with that country as well. After studying and travelling abroad, I returned to study music education at the UofM and after several years I felt the pull back to New Zealand. I moved to there in 2006 to work at Capernwray Bible School as a Resident Coordinator where I was involved in leading student groups in community outreach and being a support to the international student community. While promoting our school at the Parachute Christian music festival I met my wife Emma, a local kiwi girl, and a year later we got married.
In 2008 we moved to Winnipeg where both Emma and I finished our education degrees. While Emma began her teaching career at Landmark Collegiate, I worked as a music teacher in Blumenort and after a few years left to be a stay-at-home parent to my son while pursuing a Masters of Arts in Religious Studies at the UofM. This research really formalized my deep fascination with history and understanding its role in developing our societies today.
We moved back to New Zealand for family reasons in 2016. We enjoyed being only an hour drive to either coast and close access to many hikes and beautiful places to explore. After two years we all realized we were missing the great people and organizations that make Steinbach home and so we decided to move back. Since this time, I have been working as a teacher in different schools and most recently was running the Lorette Alternative Academic Campus, an offsite high school program for students who need a different way to attend school, which I found rewarding in ways totally different than teaching in a classroom and was able to work alongside great people.
What attracted you to MHV and this role?
I have always been attracted to history as it is the way by which we as a society can understand ourselves and our place in the world, as well as providing perspective to direct us into the future. Socrates is famously attributed to having said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This sentiment is echoed by James Baldwin in his novel Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953), where he writes, “Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came.”
Being part of an organization that attempts to help our community and its visitors to travel this road of our shared history is something I see as a great honor and incredibly meaningful. I attempted the same goal daily as a teacher, to inspire young people to inquire about their world and seek to understand their place in it, and I hope to continue that in my role at MHV.
I am also deeply invested in Steinbach and area as a community and want to see it grow and develop as a community that honors its Mennonite traditions while finding a welcoming place for all people going into the future. MHV is a space that can provide opportunities for lots of community programming and engagement, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to partner with many of the great institutions and community supports in the Steinbach area to connect with our rich past of helping each other and extending that hand to newcomers to our region.
This interview will be continued in next week’s Village News.
The Peace Trek is fast approaching and there is still room for more riders, volunteers and donations! Proceeds go towards supporting the work of the MHV and programming at the Eden Foundation. Please visit https://mennoniteheritagevillage.com/peace-trek/ for more information and to access the registration and donation through the Eden Foundation. For volunteer opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MHV’s grounds and Livery Barn Restaurant are open seven days a week! The restaurant is open 11am to 4pm, and the grounds are open 9am to 5pm, except Thursdays 9am to 8pm, and Sundays 11:30am to 5pm, including our famous Sunday buffet till 2pm.
Peace Trek, August 19, Eden Foundation and the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) are proud to co-host our second annual Peace Trek! Help us reach our fundraising goal of $30,000 by cycling the Peace Trail. There are great prizes for all ages including a new Trek bike. This peer-fundraising event seeks to enhance recreational, social, and spiritual well-being by trekking the historic Peace Trail; a route similar to what the first Mennonites took to settle in southeastern Manitoba.