Lutheran writer builds connections between church communities, supports people affected by poverty

You make a connection with someone far away from you when you support people in developing communities overseas. You will most likely never get to meet. But you have made an important mark on each other despite the distance between you and the differences in your lives.

Waterloo author Jane Ann McLachlan is donating the proceeds from her new short story collection to the work of Canadian Lutheran World Relief and Mennonite Central Committee. Photo provided by Jane Ann McLachlan.

Waterloo author Jane Ann McLachlan is donating the proceeds from her new short story collection to the work of Canadian Lutheran World Relief and Mennonite Central Committee.

Jane Ann McLachlan, an author and member of Christ Lutheran Church in Waterloo, ON, explores connections like these in her new short story collection, Connections: Parables for Today. It is about the differences that separate people—differences of opinion, lifestyle, culture, situation and appearance—and how we can bridge those differences with understanding, compassion and faith. It is about seeing the connections, rather than the barriers, between people.

We’re glad that she’s joining us at the appreciation reception we’re holding at her church on Saturday, September 7, where she will launch Connections. All the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to aid our work and the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

Bridging church communities

“My father was United Church and my mother was Anglican,” Ms. McLachlan says, “so I grew up attending both churches. When my husband and I moved to Waterloo with our children, we joined Christ Lutheran, where friends of ours already worshipped, and have become very involved in it. You could say my faith life has always been about seeing the connections between churches, rather than the differences.

“I am very involved in the work of Canadian Lutheran World Relief through my church,” Ms. McLachlan says, “and I was delighted when the MCC offered CLWR the use of their warehouse for our annual We Care campaign, to send supplies to refugee camps in Mauritania, Africa. So when Pandora Press, a Mennonite press in Kitchener, decided to publish my book, it was just natural to continue that connection between Mennonites and Lutherans by dividing the proceeds between the two organizations.”

Book and reception details

Connections: Parables for Today is a book of 10 short stories, each followed by a brief comment on the theme of the story and Christian-based questions for discussion or personal reflection. You can read the first story, and view some of Ms. McLachlan’s other work, on her website:

The reception will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, 445 Anndale Road, Waterloo, from 2-4 p.m. The event is free and all are welcome! Come to the entire event or for any part you’re available for.


2:00 pm: Reception and refreshments

2:30 pm: Presentation by Tom Brook, Community Relations Director of CLWR

3:00 pm: “Amazing Grace” sung by Susan Snelling of The Singer’s Studio, Brantford

3:05 pm:  Bob Lebold, Material Resources Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee Ontario

3:15 pm: Remarks by Rev. Riitta Hepomaki, assistant to Bishop Pryse, Eastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

3:20 pm: Remarks and a reading from Connections by Jane Ann McLachlan

3:30 pm: Reception and refreshments, and book signings

More events in the KW area!

CLWR’s We Care Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) Baling Days will be held August 26-28 at the MCC warehouse, 61 Kent Avenue in Kitchener. Donated items including quilts, hygiene, school and medical supplies will be checked and packed by volunteers into a shipping container to help people living in refugee camps in Mauritania. Your kind support makes this possible! To volunteer or donate, please contact

Another CLWR reception will be held the morning of September 7, 10 a.m. to noon, at Historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 137 Queen Street South, Kitchener. (There won’t be a book launch at this event, although there will be refreshments and a presentation and question time about CLWR). All are welcome!

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