Volume 24 Issue 7

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Love in the time of COVID-19

3d Rendering of the Corona Virus In Red Background - Microbiology And Virology Concept (Photo taken from istock.com/RomoloTavani)

Thursday, as I sat down to a board meeting for the Micah Mission, a restorative justice organization in Saskatoon, I got the news that the Juno Awards show was being cancelled in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. For months I’d been hearing the Junos hyped on CBC Radio 2 and seeing advertisements on billboards around town, where the shows were to be broadcast from.

Old photo

Photo: Mennonite Genealogy Inc. Photo Collection

Photography in generations past was a very deliberate, expensive and intense hobby. Special equipment, such as chemicals, film, lighting and the camera itself, was needed. Photographers often had to develop their own photos, which meant they had to have a dark room.

Thrift shopper, peacebuilder

'I can’t even count how many times our local thrift store has provided exactly what I was looking for.' (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/mccthrift)

I was walking to church for an event a few weeks back and stopped by our local Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) thrift store for my usual weekly peek and to say hello to the dear ladies who faithfully volunteer their time.

Being the church in risky times

Arli Klassen and Keith Regehr with their children in Maseru circa 1993. (Photo courtesy of Arli Klassen)

As relatively privileged people living in Canada, there aren’t too many times that we think about whether this action or that action might result in our death. Living in these pandemic times, though, reminds me of our years living in southern Africa near the end of official apartheid. We thought often then of whether doing this or that might result in death.

Fear not

(Image by Jasmin Sessler/Pixabay)

I watched in disbelief as people feverishly filled their carts with toilet paper and bolted before someone could steal their treasure. In less than a minute, the toilet paper was gone and the mob dispersed. Except for one lady standing in front of a stack of six packages of toilet paper, protecting it from the envious eyes of those around her.

‘Greater love has no one . . .’

The Rose Cottage, located in the historic ‘plague village’ of Eyam, England, where 250 of the village’s 350 residents died of the Black Plague between 1665 and 1666. (Photo by Michael Beckwith / bit.ly/cclicence2-0)

“Greater love has no one than to lay their life down for their friends,” said Jesus.

That’s an amazing thing for anyone to do. But what about a whole village laying down its life for people it doesn’t even know?

What makes us Mennonite?

Tewodros Beyene, outgoing president of Meserete Kristos Church, washes the feet of his successor, Deselagn Abede. (Photo by Tom Eshleman/LMC)

“Talking about ‘a’ Mennonite identity seems passé,” wrote Marlene Epp in 2018. Still, Epp, a member of a pre-eminent family of Mennonite historians, is more than willing to talk about Mennonite identity. 

In a time of uncertainty

The sign outside Level Ground Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., announces the stark reality of church closure due to health concerns. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

With the spread of the COVID-19 virus prompting provincial health authorities to recommend social distancing, including public gatherings not to exceed 250 people, Fraser Valley Mennonite churches scrambled to react appropriately for the third Sunday of Lent on March 15.

Heading home early

Siaka Traoré, a Mennonite Pastor of the Eglise Evangelique Mennonite in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

When Pastor Siaka Traoré packed his bags for his trip to Canada and the United States in early March, it never crossed his mind that almost every event and visit he had planned would be cancelled. 

‘I have hope now’

Participants in East Zorra Mennonite Church’s learning trip to the Philippines are pictured with MC Canada Witness workers Dann and Joji Pantoja in front of the Coffee for Peace sign. (Photo courtesy of waves.ca)

The East Zorra Mennonite Church learning tour group gathers at the Davao City welcome sign, in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, where they visited tribal groups and witnessed the peacebuilding efforts of MC Canada Witness workers Dann and Joji Pantoja. (Photo courtesy of waves.ca)

(Photo courtesy of waves.ca)

Participants on a learning trip to the Philippines from East Zorra Mennonite Church gather with the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe as part of celebrations that included dancing, music, prayer and food. The tribe hopes to establish itself as quality coffee producers. (Photo courtesy of waves.ca)

Participants on a learning trip to the Philippines from East Zorra Mennonite Church listen to an elder from the Talaandig Tribe. (Photo courtesy of waves.ca)

Twelve people from East Zorra Mennonite Church, near Tavistock, Ont., knew they would be impacted by their 10-day learning tour to the Philippines in early January. What they didn’t expect was how much their visit would impact the Indigenous people they met.

“I have hope now,” one of the local coffee farmers told the group from East Zorra. 

Looking forward during a time of transition

The minutes, board actions, nominations slate and budget at this year’s MC Manitoba annual gathering were all approved. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

Gerald Gerbrandt, MC Manitoba moderator, left, and Ken Warkentin are pictured at the regional 2020 annual gathering. Warkentin will be leaving his role as executive minister after nine years in the position. (Photo by Darryl Neustaedter Barg)

“Where are we headed? What are the challenges we are facing?” At the 2020 Mennonite Church Manitoba annual gathering, the regional church focused on these big questions it is addressing in the coming year.

A time to reminisce

John Friesen, one of the original founders of the Menno Simons Centre, speaks at the farewell celebration for the facility, held on March 14. (Photo by Evan Kreider)

The chapel at the Menno Simons Centre in Vancouver has served as a meeting place for Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship since 1986. (Photo by Evan Kreider)

The Pacific Centre for Discipleship, which owns the Menno Simons Centre in Vancouver, has decided to sell the student building and prepare to build a larger student residence on the edge of the University of B.C. campus. 

'Nunsense' cooks up laughs for Grebel audiences

Heather Agnew, left, Tracy Weber, Vicci Taylor, Sarrah Scott and Alison Enns perform in the ‘Little Sisters of Hoboken’ talent show during a performance of Nunsense, a fundraiser for Grebel’s kitchen and dining room expansion. (Photos by Margaret Gissing)

Vicci Taylor, who played Reverend Mother, teaches the audience how to be a proper nun in a performance of Nunsense. (Photos by Margaret Gissing)

Alison Enns, co-producer of Nunsense, plays Sister Mary Amnesia as she shows off her ventriloquism skills. (Photos by Margaret Gissing)

Alison Enns, left, Vicci Taylor and Tracy Weber cook up laughs in the convent kitchen during a performance of Nunsense. (Photos by Margaret Gissing)

Conrad Grebel University College presented Nunsense, an off-Broadway hit musical comedy, over four days in late February. This comical tale was mounted as a fundraiser for Grebel’s Fill the Table campaign for the college’s kitchen and dining room expansion.

A lifetime of taking pictures

Henry Harms proudly displays a camera that once belonged to Esther Patkau, former missionary to Japan and long-time spiritual care director at Bethany Manor, where Harms lives. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Henry Harms holds up the Baby Brownie Special he bought when he was nine years old. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Henry Harms shows a damaged old photograph taken at a Sunday school picnic near Hague, Sask. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Henry Harms shows his restored version of the same Sunday school picnic photo. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Henry Harms’s photo of the demolition of a grain elevator in Osler, Sask., was taken in 1999. (Photo by Harry Harms)

Henry Harms restored this historic photograph of the sinking of the S.S. City of Medicine Hat when it struck the traffic bridge in Saskatoon in 1908. (Photo by Harry Harms)

Henry Harms displays the original glass negative he used to restore the photo of the sinking of the S.S. City of Medicine Hat. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

Henry Harms enjoys using digital technology to create new photographs. Here he shows a composite photo he created depicting five Boldt brothers from Osler, Sask. (Photo by Donna Schulz)

This picture of a Baltimore oriole shows Henry Harms’ skill as a nature photographer. (Photo by Harry Harms)

This photo of the UofS Huskies men’s basketball team shows Henry Harms’s skill at capturing athletes in action. (Photo by Harry Harms)

Henry Harms once owned a thousand cameras. He still has a closet full of them. They bear witness to a life-long love of photography.

Harms was 9 when he bought his first camera—a Baby Brownie Special. As a boy growing up on a farm near Hague, Sask., he would go to Saskatoon to watch ball games at Cairns Field. He purchased the camera at a store next to the ball diamond.

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