Recently seen online: a quote on a black T-shirt: “The church has left the building.”
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.
“Know we are connected in ways that are terrible and beautiful.”
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
“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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
The minutes, board actions, nominations slate and budget at this year’s MC Manitoba annual gathering were all approved. (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.
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 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.
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)
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.
Barry Reesor is widely known for the generosity with which he shares his famous homemade butter tarts. He calls it his “butter-tart ministry.”
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)
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.