Joe & The Cemeteries, Part 4: Rudnerweide


At this point, I had been adventuring with Joe for who knows how long (probably not that long; she had made time for me after work and before supper, and I’m grateful) and she had one more stop in mind before we parted ways: Rudnerweide.

This interested me personally because this is the name that is on a history book wherein my great-grandfather David Neufeld is documented as a minister in this conference: Rudenerweider, aka EMMC. However, that particular congregation was located near Gladstone. But this was in fact where the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference has gotten its start.

I’d like to return to this site to read Search for Renewal: The Story of the Rudnerweider/EMMC. Particularly “The Rending” on page 49. This describes how the Rudnerweider emerged from a split from the Sommerfeld conference.

It seems the Rudnerweider conference did not take its name from the home village of its first Bishop, but rather “because so much of the organizational activity had happened in the Sommerfelder Church in the Rudnerweide community.” Right here.

I would probably observe the headstones differently, if I took some time, together with this book.

For the time being, I will say, I did not retain much (or anything, unfortunately) that Joe shared with me that day.

But in the feature photo you see our reflection looking at the grave marker map. At the very top, it says “Graves On Road Allowance Not Marked”. So… does that mean people are buried under the road, or the ditch? It definitely means this cemetery preceded the actual road.

Where the graves are not marked.

So, despite its name, I don’t think the Rudnerweider congregation ever met here. Unless you count the meetings leading up to the division: “The meeting at Rudnerweide was conducted in similar fashion…” but I’ll spare you the details here. I could choose to make it all sound deceptively juicy, using words such as “whoremongers” and “false prophets” (quoting from the book, entirely out of context) but I will resist mightily.

Rudnerweide Sommerfeld Mennonite Church

Anyway. None of this was discussed on this day. I am just picking and choosing from the book (obviously), as I seek to discover the significance of this site.

It was here that we said a quick goodbye, and that was the last I ever saw of Joe. (In 2023, that is!)

I was very tired, and needed to head back to Winkler for faspa with many of my aunts and uncles.

When I arrived, my uncles were not there.