Expanding Our View of Cemeteries: Places of Tradition, Ritual, Stories & Community


Saturday, October 5, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Wilmot Mennonite Church, 2995 Bleams Rd, New Hamburg

Event type: 

  • Public meeting


Join us to hear about two unique local projects exploring Mennonite funeral and burial traditions, and how cemeteries can be places of learning.

Marion Roes

Marion Roes

Mennonite Funeral & Burial Traditions: Researching, Writing, Self-Publishing

The topic of Mennonite funeral and burial traditions was going to be a section in Roes’s book about undertakers histories. Her illustrated presentation will tell how it came to be a separate book.  Roes will describe a few of the traditions and related occupations, plus her experience as a self-publisher, promoter and seller for this book. 

Marion Roes is a local and family historian, writer and researcher, most recently focusing on histories of early and current undertakers and funeral businesses in all of Waterloo Region.


Matthew Bailey-Dick

Matthew Bailey-Dick

The Cemetery as a Classroom for Community Development & Hope

How can a cemetery function as a classroom, and how can death teach us about community development and hope? In this presentation, you will learn about a “Cemetery Café” research project that involved small-group meetings in  cemeteries. You will also be invited to reflect on how cemeteries can play an educational role as Mennonites figure out how to live faithfully in these times of climate emergency and other kinds of unravelling.

Matthew Bailey-Dick recently completed a PhD at the University of Toronto where he studied the links between death, hope, and adult education. Matthew works as the coordinator of a non-degree educational program within the Mennonite community, and as a sessional instructor in the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Conrad Grebel University College.

No admission charge. A freewill offering will be taken.