Canadians are struggling with the heaviness of this winter. The prospect of several more months with physical gathering restrictions is as depressing as the grey skies of southern Ontario in February. As a society, we have started to squabble, point fingers and shift blame.
“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their parents, “What do these stones mean?” tell them, “Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground”’” (Joshua 4:20-22).
Many of us are taking crowds very seriously these days and avoiding them as much as possible. For the sake of public health, I cannot encourage this enough. But there’s a crowd we have been avoiding since long before the pandemic started.
Scarlet fever, cholera, diphtheria, smallpox, typhoid and whooping cough were some of communicable diseases that plagued communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Jacob Kroeker (1836-1914) came to Manitoba in 1876 and settled in the village of Schoenweise. From 1881 to 1885 halskrankeit (diptheria) was a significant communicable illness that affected many.
I believe it is important that we are called to belong to a faith community that is beyond our own congregation. My main question today is: “How do we belong, how do we connect with the people in our Anabaptist church (regional, nationwide, international) beyond our congregation?
I’m writing this on Jan. 18 and I’m wondering how tone deaf my article will seem by the time you read it. I have no idea what the world will be like in a few days, let alone a few weeks. Who knows what catastrophic event or pivotal moment in history will have occurred between now and early February?
When the missions and service ministry team at Mount Royal Mennonite Church in Saskatoon was trying to identify a giving project the congregation could rally behind, it thought of the Friendship Inn.
Linda Bartel, centre, volunteers at the Good Neighbours Food Centre in Rosthern, Sask., every week. She is pictured with fellow volunteer Rachel Wallace, left, and Good Neighbours community catalyst Pristine Chabaylo. (Photo courtesy of Good Neighbours Food Centre)
It’s not uncommon for Linda Bartel to meet former students while volunteering, and she’s always delighted to see them.