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UNDERCURRENTS

UNDERCURRENTS

By Ken Ogasawara
Welcome to a third season of Undercurrents!
We go behind the scenes of an epic quilt auction, to South Africa with the SALT program; we dig into Indigenous food sovereignty, and much more.

For all of you who used Undercurrents in the classroom, Sunday school, or community event, we’re excited to be including a resource package with each episode complete with discussion questions and action items.
Thank you for joining us - please subscribe!
Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union.
Original music by Brian MacMillan.
Artwork by Jesse Bergen.
Mixed by Francois Goudreault.
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Ep 10: Giving gifts/receiving gifts

UNDERCURRENTS

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Ep 18 - "You need to chill out!" and other lessons from SALT
This is a special episode - a conversation between the Undercurrents team Ken Ogasawara and Christen Kong about their shared experience of doing the SALT program nearly 20 years apart. Some hard times, some funny times, and always a good time. To learn more about the SALT program, go here: mcco.ca/SALT To hear directly from more SALTers living in their placements, go here: SALT videos Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Produced and edited by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
26:12
July 31, 2022
Ep 17 - Lay of the Land
"I had to take my own leadership and not everybody was happy about that, let me tell you." In the newest episode of Undercurrents, Colleen Hookimaw shows us the lay of the (physical and metaphorical) land. We talk smoked geese, 5000 pounds of potatoes and maggots. We also explore historical challenges to Indigenous food sovereignty in Canada. Transcription can be found here. Read Bill Louttit's story here: https://mcccanada.ca/stories/why-living-land-crucial-nearly-impossible-do Discussion resource can be found at mcco.ca/undercurrents. Credits: Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
23:10
June 06, 2022
Bidder Sweet update: "You're missing a part of the story."
A mystery caller provides some more behind-the-scenes insight into the thrilling quilt auction profiled in Episode 16 -  Bidder Sweet: A Quilt to Remember. See you at the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale on Friday May 27th and Saturday June 28th! nhmrs.com
05:40
May 20, 2022
Ep 16 - Bidder Sweet: A Quilt to Remember
We go back in time to investigate the heart-pounding, sweaty-palm-inducing thrill of the greatest quilt auction ever caught on tape. Join us for a fun bonus episode of Undercurrents that will whet your appetite for the coming relief sale season! Transcription can be found here. Here is a link to the original auction footage. Thank you to Jennifer Johnston for recording and uploading!  Check out all things New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale at their website here, including a photo of the Renske’s newest (and last) feature quilt. Here is link to all the relief sales in Canada and US! Renske Helmuth’s blog has plenty of insight into her quilts, including a whole section on her relief sale quilts (this is not updated but still a rich resource). Credits: Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
21:59
April 04, 2022
Season 3 Trailer!
Welcome to a third season of Undercurrents! We go behind the scenes of an epic quilt auction, to South Africa with the SALT program, we dig into Indigenous food sovereignty, and much more. This season we’re excited to be adding something new with each episode. We heard from many of you who were using Undercurrents in group sessions like church Sunday schools and community outreach events. To help you out with that, starting with episode 2 on Indigenous food sovereignty, we’ll be including a resource package with each episode complete with discussion questions and action items. Undercurrents is sponsored by Kindred Credit Union. Find Undercurrents wherever you listen to podcasts and look for our first episode of Season 3 which drops on April 4th.
01:06
March 16, 2022
Ep 10: Giving gifts/receiving gifts
Why MCC's relief materials are created as gifts and how one such hand-made item changed the life of one young girl in a refugee camp over forty years ago.  Impact report for Material Resource volunteers: https://mcccanada.ca/learn/about/annual-reports/impact-report-material-resources-summer-2021 New! MCC’s Dignity Kits: Provide sustainable support for vulnerable women and girls! https://mcccanada.ca/dignity-kits Story of MR champions at Grantham MB Church: https://mcccanada.ca/stories/its-privilege-joy-serve-way Credits: Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
27:02
December 03, 2021
Ep 15: Chuck
This episode covers some heavy topics, including pedophilia and suicide. We don’t go into details, but please take care as you listen. In this final full episode of Season 2, we hear from Chuck, a man who both experienced and caused great suffering. We also hear from his therapist, as we ask ourselves 'how can we keep our community safe from sexual harm'? The answer might not be what we expect. Transcription here. Here are some important resources that could save a life, prevent a victim, and reduce future harm. Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) Andrea Bevan (Therapist, social worker, featured in this episode): 289-228-7317 Alan Kaine (Sexual Therapist): 905-578-4127 Shalem Mental Health Network is a faith-based, Ontario-wide network  that provides responsive and preventive mental health support to  individuals, families and communities. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), an international association of practitioners and researchers in the fields of sexual abuse, deviance, and related topics. Mental Health and crisis resources from the Government of Canada Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres, https://www.sadvtreatmentcentres.ca/ . Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Research by Cameron Phillips Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original and theme music by Brian MacMillan Additional licensed music from deWolfe Music. Artwork by Jesse Bergen
28:01
November 24, 2021
Ep 14: John
Content warning: This episode covers some heavy topics, including pedophilia and suicide. We don’t go into details, but please take care as you listen. This story is about a father's anguish and pain, as well as resilient hope and love as he walks through unimaginable challenges with his son who has committed a crime. Part 1 of a two-part series on Restorative Justice and Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA).  Transcription is here. Here are some important resources that could save a life, prevent a victim, and reduce future harm. Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) Andrea Bevan (Therapist, social worker, featured in Episode 15): 289-228-7317 Alan Kaine (Sexual Therapist): 905-578-4127 Shalem Mental Health Network is a faith-based, Ontario-wide network  that provides responsive and preventive mental health support to  individuals, families and communities. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), an international association of practitioners and researchers in the fields of sexual abuse, deviance, and related topics. Mental Health and crisis resources from the Government of Canada Credits: Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Research by Cameron Phillips Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original and theme music by Brian MacMillan Additional licensed music from deWolfe Music. Artwork by Jesse Bergen
24:35
November 17, 2021
Ep 13: I believe in miracles
We hear the story of someone whose life was saved through not one, but multiple miracles. We explore the questions: What are miracles? Have you experienced one? And is it possible to work miracles ourselves?  Show notes: Transcription here. If you are interested in refugee sponsorship, email refugee@mcco.ca for an automated reply with lots of resources or visit: https://mcccanada.ca/learn/what/refugees Read about how former sponsored refugees are making an impact during the pandemic. https://mcccanada.ca/stories/resettled-refugees-support-front-lines-during-covid-19 Credits: Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original and theme music by Brian MacMillan Additional licensed music from deWolfe Music. Artwork by Jesse Bergen
34:51
November 10, 2021
Ep 12: Making a Living
In this episode, we explore what it means to "make a living" - what does that mean? How much is enough? And what happens when you can't make it? Also, we explain why we love Kindred Credit Union so much.  Here is the transcription for this episode. Here is the Living Wage Framework that shows how the Living Wage is calculated, and here is a blog post from the Ontario Living Wage network on how that has been updated to calculate the 2021 Living Wage. Check out the Ontario Living Wage Network: https://www.ontariolivingwage.ca/ A business owner tells us why Living Wage is good for business. Marjorie’s boss, Executive Director of House of Friendship explains why they implemented a Living Wage Credits: Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Edited by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original and theme music by Brian MacMillan Additional licensed music from deWolfe Music. Artwork by Jesse Bergen
27:54
November 03, 2021
Ep 11: Save the evidence (Re-release)
This episode is from Season 1 and originally aired in spring of 2020 but with the renewed and urgent calls for accountability and truth-telling after the recovery of graves starting at Kamloops Residential School, we wanted to share this story again. We learn about the oldest Residential School in Canada and hear a powerful story from a survivor. We hear from settlers who are wrestling with the legacy of colonialism and residential schools. And we hear from Indigenous partners who are courageously reclaiming their culture. Transcription can be found here Links: Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save The Evidence campaign. VIDEO: Sandy Yuen and Nick Hamm share about their experience learning from indigenous leaders and working at the Mohawk Institute Residential School. VIDEO: Karen Hill shares part of her story as a survivor of Mohawk Institute Residential School along with visuals of the Mohawk building looks like, inside and out. Learn more about MCC’s Indigenous Neighbours program Deeper reading (which we will be getting into more in Season 2!) Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Statement from Mennonite Church Leaders in response to TRC. Credits: Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union.
25:24
October 20, 2021
Ep 9: Merle's Story (Re-release)
Transcription can be found here. Show notes: National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419. Kid’s Help Phone line 24/7: 1-800-668-6868 https://kidshelpphone.ca/ Merle Nisly’s reaction to the uncovering of 215 Indigenous children in Kamloops. https://mnisly.com/the-impact-of-215/ “Every child matters” - Indigenous History Month: https://mcco.ca/remembering TRC 94 Calls to Action: http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf Justice Sinclair: “TRC One Year Later” https://youtu.be/_MhqF4yeSXo?t=241 “Change may not look like what you thought it would” CBC - news: “Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKKLgwlosaw Some history of Northern Light Gospel Missions and Poplar Hill https://ontariomennonitehistory.org/2015/06/08/ontario-mennonites-and-the-poplar-hill-development-school/ Canadian Mennonite series: https://canadianmennonite.org/articles/how-complicit-are-mennonites-residential-school-abuse “A first step towards healing” - Personal reflection on the first TRC event (June 2010) https://canadianmennonite.org/articles/first-step-towards-healing “MC Canada shares the pain of Indian Residential School legacy” - A report on discussions at MC Canada Assembly 2010 https://canadianmennonite.org/articles/mc-canada-shares-pain-indian-residential-school-legacy Credits: Edited by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Production Research by Seun Olowo-Ake Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
36:20
September 29, 2021
Episode 8: Home
Israeli Jewish filmmaker Lia Tarachansky shares a powerful story of shared humanity, shared home, and challenges all of us who live on settled land. Palestinian poet Izzy Hawamda shares beautiful art throughout this episode as he grieves the ongoing tragedies of the occupation, as well as sharing his hopes for the future.  Transcript is here. Show notes: A link to Lia Tarachensky’s feature film “On the side of the road” where she explores Israeli soldiers’ collective denial of their roles in displacing Palestinians. https://vimeo.com/117772052 A link to Lia’s short film OCEAN which juxtaposed raw audio from her field recordings of the 2014 Gaza War, with images from her new life in Toronto: https://vimeo.com/181224988 MCC’s A Cry For Home campaign which is packed with stories, videos, fact sheets, and more: https://mcccanada.ca/learn/where/middle-east/palestine-israel/cry-for-home Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union Editorial assistance by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
40:47
September 21, 2021
Season 2 Trailer!
"Some things in this life ... have no explanation". Season 2 of Undercurrents is coming! We take a deep dive into some incredible stories from our programs and partners. We hit rock bottom, we wonder at miracles, we find defiant hope, and own our shameful past.  Check out the trailer and subscribe on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Thank you to our sponsors Kindred Credit Union for making Season 2 possible! Artwork by Jesse Bergen Theme song by Brian MacMillan Production assistance by Christen Kong Additional editorial assistance by Seun Olowo-Ake and Cameron Phillips. Mixed by Francois Goudreault Jr at Hello Francy Sound and Music.
01:53
August 18, 2021
Ep 7: Merle's Story (early release)
*This is a special early release of one episode from the upcoming Season 2 of Undercurrents. Look for the rest of Season 2 in September!* This is the story of how one man, who used to work at a residential school, has spent the rest of his life trying to hold himself accountable, and what it means for other Settler Canadians. Undercurrents is produced with support from Kindred Credit Union. Transcription of the episode can be found here. National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419. Kid’s Help Phone line 24/7: 1-800-668-6868 https://kidshelpphone.ca/ Merle Nisly’s reaction to the uncovering of 215 Indigenous children in Kamloops. https://mnisly.com/the-impact-of-215/ Stories of repair: a reparative justice resource. A very practical booklet of 'next steps' for churches and individuals to take: https://dofdmenno.org/stories-of-repair/ “Every child matters” - Indigenous History Month: https://mcco.ca/remembering TRC 94 Calls to Action: http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf Justice Sinclair: “TRC One Year Later” https://youtu.be/_MhqF4yeSXo?t=241 “Change may not look like what you thought it would” CBC - news: “Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKKLgwlosaw Some history of Northern Light Gospel Missions and Poplar Hill https://ontariomennonitehistory.org/2015/06/08/ontario-mennonites-and-the-poplar-hill-development-school/ Canadian Mennonite series: https://canadianmennonite.org/articles/how-complicit-are-mennonites-residential-school-abuse “A first step towards healing” - Personal reflection on the first TRC event (June 2010) https://canadianmennonite.org/articles/first-step-towards-healing “MC Canada shares the pain of Indian Residential School legacy” - A report on discussions at MC Canada Assembly 2010 https://canadianmennonite.org/articles/mc-canada-shares-pain-indian-residential-school-legacy Edited by Christen Kong Mixed by Francois Goudrealt of Hello Francy Sound and Music Production Research by Seun Olowo-Ake Original music by Brian MacMillan Artwork by Jesse Bergen
36:43
June 24, 2021
Update 2: "We are listening."
Listeners call in from around the world with messages of insight, gratitude, and inspiration for our interview subjects ... and one call that missed the mark but made the cut. Thank you to all who responded! Undercurrents is produced with support from Kindred Credit Union. Original music by Brian MacMillan  Artwork by Jesse Bergen Sponsored in part by Kindred Credit Union
07:24
July 30, 2020
Ep 6: Save The Evidence
We hear stories from a residential school survivor that she refuses to tell her own family; we hear from indigenous partners who are working to reclaim their culture; and settlers wrestle with their evolving relationship with Canada (it’s complicated). Links: Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save The Evidence campaign. VIDEO: Sandy Yuen and Nick Hamm share about their experience learning from indigenous leaders and working at the Mohawk Institute Residential School. VIDEO: Karen Hill shares part of her story as a survivor of Mohawk Institute Residential School along with visuals of the Mohawk building looks like, inside and out. Learn more about MCC’s Indigenous Neighbours program Deeper reading (which we will be getting into more in Season 2!) Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Statement from Mennonite Church Leaders in response to TRC. Credits: Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union.
24:38
June 04, 2020
Update 1: Let's give them a hand!
We would have been hearing great feedback from you - THANK YOU. It reminded us that especially during this time of self quarantine and physical isolation, it would be especially meaningful for those who shared their stories so vulnerably and candidly, to hear from YOU.  We are asking you to send a note of encouragement, gratitude, inspiration, etc, to our podcast guests who shared their stories with us. Please send your notes of encouragement, thanks, etc to podcast@mcco.ca or even better, leave a voicemail at 519-745-8458 ext 233. Toll free at 1-800-313-6226 ext 233. (Please leave your contact information in case we'd like to get your permission to share your message in a future update.) We are so grateful for people like Wayne (Ep 2: Wayne's World) who shared about his life and journey to stable housing. There’s Patrick and his family (Ep 3: Refugees and Piano Lessons)  who used music and language to stay connected to their culture after arriving in Canada as a refugees. Or Maria (Ep 4: Radical Acceptance) who taught us the power of radical acceptance after two stints in prison. And Israeli peace activist Sahar Vardi (Ep 5: David and Goliath) who had been imprisoned by her own government for advocating for Palestinian human rights. Or crusty old MCC staff like Pete Olson (Ep 1: Being Jesus) who shared his testimony and how it challenged him to work with people who were made homeless.
02:34
May 22, 2020
Ep 5: David and Goliath
What happens when David becomes Goliath? This is our only international episode in Season 1. We explore the tragic realities of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, and hear from those on both sides of the wall working for peace. What can you do? When confronted with the enormity of this story, we might feel angry, dispairing, or helpless. Here are a few action items for you to do to work toward Palestinian justice: Advocate: Sign this petition. It is a call for the Canadian government to "request that Israel immediately lift the blockade on Gaza to enable medical and humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, and insist that Israel permanently end its blockade of Gaza; and vote at the UN General Assembly in alignment with the majority of the international community taking a stance in line with international law and human rights for Palestinians." Sign this petition. No Way To Treat A Child Canada - "I urge you to prioritize human rights of Palestinian children and hold Israeli authorities accountable for widespread and systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian child detainees. " Donate: Support MCC's work in Palestine and Israel. Pray: Click here to read or download this beautiful prayer for peace for Palestinians and Israelis. Links: A Cry For Home - a rich resource of stories from Palestinians and Jews living in Palestine and Israel. Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Centre, where Tareq Al-Zougbi works. Implications of US “Peace Plan” for Middle East   US Congressional Research Service report on Israel - detailing US military aid to Israel over the years. Credits: Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union. Leave us a message at podcast@mcco.ca or 519-745-8458 ext 233. We would love to hear from you!
27:08
May 14, 2020
Ep 4: Radical Acceptance
Restaurants and restorative justice. Shame vs accountability.  And what it takes to be a bridge from prison to community. Links: Restorative Justice (RJ) program at MCC in Ontario: mcco.ca/rj Faith Community Re-integration Program (FCRP) is a program funded by Correctional Service Canada. Credits: Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union. Leave us a message at podcast@mcco.ca or 519-745-8458 ext 233. We would love to hear from you!
14:24
May 06, 2020
Ep 3: Refugees and Piano Lessons
Forced migration, the unique way Canadians can protect lives, and how music is helping one resettled family stay grounded. (This was originally the pilot episode created Fall 2018 but has been updated to reflect current statistics). Links: Choose Welcome - a national campaign for Canadians to transform lives through refugee sponsorship: www.choosewelcome.ca Credits: Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union. Leave us a message at podcast@mcco.ca or 519-745-8458 ext 233. We would love to hear from you!
11:54
April 29, 2020
Ep 2: Wayne's World
From a childhood lesson, to homelessness, to dress shopping, Wayne shares one of the most valuable things we can receive: the gift of a stranger’s story. Links: Circle of Friends: https://mcccanada.ca/learn/more/circle-friends Credits: Assistant producer: Broderick Visser Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union. Leave us a message at podcast@mcco.ca or 519-745-8458 ext 233. We would love to hear from you!
19:09
April 22, 2020
Ep 1: Being Jesus
This episode is about homelessness, an obnoxious ex-pastor, and the age old question: What would Jesus do (and why don’t we do it)? Links: TOOLS program: https://www.mcctools.net/ Interview with Dr. Sam Tsemberis from the Housing First website: https://youtu.be/pMLsG8x-3Rs Excellent resource on homelessness in Canada with statistics, research, and case studies: https://www.homelesshub.ca/ Assistant producer: Broderick Visser Theme song and other original music from Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen. Licensed music from deWolfe Music. Sponsored by Kindred Credit Union. Leave us a message at podcast@mcco.ca or 519-745-8458 ext 233. We would love to hear from you!
24:50
April 15, 2020
Introducing: Undercurrents
Welcome to MCC Ontario's first podcast! Undercurrents is an experiment - a new way of sharing the stories we are privileged to hear through our work. From starting a new life after prison, to piano lessons in a new world, we hear from program participants, volunteers, staff, and others, who face each day with courage and hope. Most of the stories will be from our local programs here in Ontario but we may occasionally jump out to stories from across Canada or even an internationally story if we can wrangle it. Season 1 drops on April 15th. Subscribe to Undercurrents at Apple podcasts or Google podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. Produced with support from Kindred Credit Union.  Original music by Brian MacMillan. Artwork by Jesse Bergen.
01:18
April 04, 2020