Last week I made a quick trip to Winnipeg for Future Directions Task Force meetings where I stayed on campus at Canadian Mennonite University, so of course I needed to visit the new CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre.
For those who can drop by in person, CommonWord is a great place to browse for books, gifts, and fairly traded products from Ten Thousand Villages, plus you can treat yourself to coffee, tea, or other beverages and snacks at the nearby folio cafe (which, by the way, selects one of four precise water temperatures to brew your chosen tea, and I must say, my mint tea was perfect).
Even if you’re nowhere near Winnipeg, you can still make good use of CommonWord:
#1 CommonWord is a unique combination of library-bookstore.
Before you buy, you can preview resources. The regular loan period is 4 weeks by mail, with 3 weeks for new and seasonal materials, 6 weeks for extended loans. This summer, I hope to try their Cheaper by the Dozen loan option to borrow 12 books for 6 weeks.
#2 CommonWord is a curated collection of Anabaptist and related materials.
Browse various topics like: Anabaptist/Mennonite, Bible/Theology, Christian Formation, Congregational Life, Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mission, Peace, Worship.
#3 You can subscribe to the CommonWord Curator which highlights the latest resources.
This monthly newsletter comes packed with information on available resources. It’s really too much to absorb at once, so I usually give it a quick scan, highlight whatever I want to follow up, and save for later. Get your copy by subscribing by email here.
#4 Besides the books available for loan and purchase, CommonWord resources include several thousand free downloads.
I’ve downloaded worship materials submitted by other pastors and churches, followed up links to blogs and YouTube videos, for both seasonal and more general use. I’m already looking forward to using Elsie Rempel’s new study guide on communion practices, Come Lord Jesus, Be Our Host.
#5 Best of all, CommonWord is a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada, so all this is available at no extra charge to Mennonite Church Canada members.
For others with a Canadian address, CommonWord memberships with full borrowing privileges are available for $30/year. Unfortunately, loans cannot be made outside of the country, but those with USA or other international addresses can still access the CommonWord website.
While I was at CommonWord, I couldn’t resist taking this picture of my Sacred Pauses on the same shelf as Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s Vulnerable Faith and Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday–wow, what great company!
And not to be outdone, Ordinary Time with Jesus was in the store too.