When international travel was banned in March of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Niagara fruit farmers were in shock.
“I think they’re going to grieve for a while,” says Lois Siemens of Superb Mennonite Church, which held its final worship service on May 31.
The church building, located 212 kilometres west of Saskatoon near Kerrobert, was home to a small but thriving congregation for more than 75 years. It took its name from the hamlet of Superb, where 10 Mennonite families settled in 1927.
Wendell Manuzon, a Grade 10 student at RJC High School, picks up trash in his neighbourhood as part of his ALSO experience. (Photo courtesy of Rosthern Junior College)
Josie Hogan, left, a Grade 10 student at RJC High School, delivers cookies to her neighbour’s doorstep as part of her ALSO experience. (Photo courtesy of Rosthern Junior College)
Tianna Bartsch, a Grade 11 student at RJC High School, makes her world more beautiful by painting her living room window as part of the school’s ALSO Week activities. (Photo courtesy of Rosthern Junior College)
For many students at Rosthern Junior College (RJC High School), ALSO Week is one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of their school year.
ALSO stands for Alternative Learning and Service Opportunities. Each spring during ALSO Week, students leave campus for a variety of destinations to learn about and serve vulnerable people in those communities.
After more than two months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the 10 Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) British Columbia thrift shops were reopening with limited hours by the end of May.
Camp Squeah of Hope, B.C. has cancelled its 2020 camping season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a May 15 statement, camp director Rob Tiessen wrote, “In order to best ensure the health of our campers and staff, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 summer camp session. This applies to all day and overnight camp programs, including Family Camp.”
The original diaries of Johannes D. Dyck (1826-1898) tell, among other things, the stories of his adventures in America, including an escape from an ambush during the California Gold Rush. (Photo by Conrad Stoesz)
A Mennonite man escapes an ambush during the California Gold Rush because he had a fast horse. We know his story because he left behind a set of diaries.
When Bev Suderman-Gladwell was asked by a physician friend to “leverage her Mennonite connections,” to respond to a time-sensitive need, she had no way of knowing an “extraordinary project” would grow out of that request.
Sami and Amina (real names withheld for security purposes) were displaced from their home in Aleppo, Syria. This photo was taken in February 2018 in the home where the family of seven lives in Breike, in the Qalamoun valley. They receive monthly food packages from MCC through local partners. (MCC photo by Emily Loewen)
A century ago, bread was the beginning of the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Relief kitchens in Ukraine (then southern Russia) fed families who had been displaced and were starving. Neighbours from around the world provided loaves of wholesome dark bread.
Three times a week, Arnie Nickel leads a 45-minute exercise session for seniors on Zoom, a virtual-meeting app. Participants are enthusiastic and their numbers are growing.
Johann E. Funk took the cover photo for Mennonite Village Photography: Views from Manitoba 1890–1940 in 1903.
Photographer Peter H. Klippenstein took this portrait in the 1910s. Subject unknown. (Mennonite Heritage Archives photo)
Peter H. Klippenstein took this photo of the Altbergthal village road in the 1930s. Subjects unknown. (Mennonite Heritage Archives photo)
Hundred-year-old images on fragile glass negatives, discovered in a dusty barn in the heritage village of Neubergthal, Man., open a window to Mennonite life in Manitoba in the early 20th century.
Garry Janzen and his wife Diane, who live in a condominium in Ladner, B.C., have found a new way to relate to those around them during the current pandemic: the Nextdoor.ca app.
Graduation for Columbia Bible College’s class of 2020 looked a little different this year. Rather than proudly walking across the stage in cap and gown to receive their diplomas, the graduates took part in a virtual online commencement ceremony on April 18. The college had dismissed classes earlier in the year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Leah Reesor-Keller, the incoming MC Eastern Canada executive minister, is pictured at her computer while participating in the regional church’s annual gathering, this year via Zoom. (Photo by Luke Reesor-Keller)
Delegates to the MC Eastern Canada annual gathering voted electronically on motions presented as poll questions in the meeting held on April 25, through Zoom, a videoconferencing application. After the voting was completed, results were immediately available onscreen. (Photo by Virginia A. Hostetler)
“We are one body in Christ . . . even when scattered. We are members of one another. We can still encourage and pray for and learn from each other.”
Terry Stefaniuk, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s moderator, welcomes delegates and guests to the regional church’s 2020 annual delegate sessions. (Screenshot by Donna Schulz)
After a year spent exploring the theme, “Deepening our walk with each other,” Mennonite Church Saskatchewan continued, inadvertently, to ponder what this means during its annual delegate sessions (ADS).
When COVID-19 forced the postponement of the regional church’s annual general meeting, slated for mid-March, planners scheduled a virtual meeting, via Zoom, for April 25.
COVID-19 has permeated the collective psyche. And although kids may not be watching The National or spending their coveted screen time on the Health Canada webpage, COVID-19 is on their minds. I asked several parents to ask their kids—aged 5 to 13—about the new reality. Below are some of their responses, verbatim.
The home windows of Moses Falco, pastor of Sterling Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg, who started the #whiteoutMB movement with Karen Schellenberg. (Photo by Moses Falco)
Tracy Enns, Carman Mennonite Church, joined in by decorating the windows of her workplace with hearts. (Photo courtesy of Karen Schellenberg)
Over the past two years, thousands of Manitobans have gathered in the streets of Winnipeg to cheer on the Winnipeg Jets in the hockey playoffs. Many were hoping to don their all-white outfits and join these “whiteout parties” again this spring, but the novel coronavirus prevented that.
The Easter worship service of Cedar Valley Church in Mission, B.C., was livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook. It included singers and instrumentalists performing from separate locations, a message from Pastor Rob Ayer, and information about a Minecraft Easter egg hunt for children. (Photo from YouTube video)
“We’ve been thrown out of the boat and now we’re learning to walk on water!”
Thiciano Pareja Saucedo, 8, washes her hands at El Comedor de Niños, an after-school program for children in the Montero area of Bolivia, about an hour from Santa Cruz. One of its main goals is to improve nutrition and health outcomes in the community by teaching children about healthy eating, gardening and hygiene. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)
Middle East Council of Churches, an MCC partner, distributed MCC relief kits, which contain hygiene supplies, to the most vulnerable displaced people and host community members in a neighbourhood in the Syriac Orthodox diocese in Aleppo, Syria, in 2016. This year, MCC’s partners in Syria and Lebanon will distribute individual hygiene kits and food to help people protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. Names are withheld for security reasons. (Photo courtesy of MECC)
As COVID-19 spreads and worsens, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) continues its worldwide work while attending to the health and well-being of its staff.
How does a community fellowship deal with the current physical distancing and self-isolation situation that everyone is facing?
House of Friendship’s Sunnydale Community Centre, usually a hub for a diverse range of community programs, is quiet, its programs cancelled or modified due to pandemic protocols outlined in the notices on the door. (Photo by Janet Bauman)
House of Friendship’s Sunnydale Community Centre, usually a hub for a diverse range of community programs, is quiet, its programs cancelled or modified due to pandemic protocols outlined in the notices on the door.
Notices on the door of House of Friendship’s Sunnydale Community Centre in Waterloo, Ont., explain the pandemic protocols that have led to the closure of the centre and the cancellation or modification of its diverse range of community programs. (Photo by Janet Bauman)
How do you stay home when you don’t have a home? How do you physically isolate when you already seem invisible? How do you wash your hands frequently when public facilities are closed?
COVID-19 has altered the lives of most Canadians, but for those in prison and those reintegrating into society after prison terms, the pandemic’s impact is enormous.
Tim and Sandra Kuepfer of Vancouver are among those doing their part to keep themselves and those in their neighbourhood safe during the current pandemic.
Many families are spending more time together at home these days, requiring greater parental involvement in schooling.
“A little bit of yeast makes the whole dough rise . . . you do your part; I’ll do mine,” sings Bryan Moyer Suderman, using his body as a percussion instrument. But instead of singing at a concert or a worship service, the itinerant musician is at home singing into an iPad propped up on a stack of books, doing his part to practise physical distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While people and governments alike are sprinting to mitigate the current crisis of COVID-19, David Driedger is starting to run the marathon of addressing its long-term implications.