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Mennonite Girl at the Welcome Inn cover

Book Details:
  • 296 pages
  • Black & White
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Available Formats:
  • Paperback
  • eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
  • 978-1-4602-6524-6 Paperback
  • 978-1-4602-6525-3 eBook

Mennonite, The Welcome Inn, Community centre, helping less fortunate, living with sinners, personal memoirs, follow a calling from God

Mennonite Girl at the Welcome Inn
by Mary Ediger

Welcome to the Welcome Inn and welcome to the life of Mary Ediger. A work of creative non-fiction, Mennonite Girl follows Mary from her life as a young girl in a quiet rural parsonage to an inner city community center in Hamilton, Ontario.

The daughter of a Mennonite preacher, Mary struggles with the trials of growing up Mennonite in a non-Mennonite community, while her parents continue to follow God's call. Young and old, religious and non-religious readers alike will find themselves drawn into Mary's tale, laughing all the while as she deals with everything life throws at her.

With interminable wit and an everlasting sense of humour, this is a coming of age story for the child in all of us.

Author's Note:

My father wasn't cut from the same cloth as other Mennonite preachers.

And he spoke about receiving "callings" from God. When I was young I interpreted this to mean that God actually spoke to him, like He did with Moses. One day Dad announced that he'd had a calling to move to a big city where we would open a community center, ministering to the poor and underprivileged. So in 1966 my family moved from our parsonage in rural Oklahoma, to the inner city of Hamilton, Ontario. 

The move plopped me, a chubby six-year-old with homemade clothing and a pixie cut, into a place where everything was foreign except the language. And where our Mennonite ways were about as familiar to the community residents as yak butter. My world was transformed from riding a school bus along country roads to walking by the Genesee House tavern on my way to school. From living where we could see only the church, crop fields and one house in the distance, to having groups of neighbourhood children staring through our front door. From loving school to being routinely bullied by three girls on the playground. Our home of quiet family rituals suddenly became a center where the doors were open at all hours of the day to anyone, and everyone, for a host of organized and random activities, or just to hang around.

Though I did not always agree with my parent's opinions and ideas, I greatly admired their faith, and their unwavering willingness to try to do God's work.

Dad had said, "The sign will read WELCOME INN and at the bottom, we'll add: "Well...come in!"

Welcome to the Welcome Inn and my very unconventional Mennonite upbringing.

Mary Ediger grew up in a mobile Mennonite family. She held numerous jobs in many places, most notably teaching elementary school in Burnaby and Mission, B.C. She currently lives with her husband in Port Mouton, Nova Scotia where she writes and combs the nearby beaches to find sea glass for her artisan business, Saltwater Angels.


Mary Ediger
Edited by
Stephanie Ediger and Cynthia McMurray
Cover drawing by
Mikaela Ediger

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