Nutana Park Mennonite Church in Saskatoon came up with a creative way to celebrate Easter and care for their congregation at the same time.
They called the event a paska faspa, with paska being a traditional Mennonite Easter bread, and faspa a simple bread-based meal. The church’s deacons, spearheaded by Denelda Fast, organized the event, which involved baking, icing and decorating 401 paska buns; nesting the buns in boxes lined with Easter grass; and delivering a box, along with an Easter card, to each household in the congregation.
Marlene Froese and her sister, Hedie Harder, baked the buns ahead of time and stored them in freezers at the church. On Good Friday, volunteers prepared the boxes, and the next day more volunteers iced and decorated the buns and assembled the packages.
Fourteen drivers delivered the Easter packages to homes in Saskatoon, Osler, Warman, Langham and Clavet.
Fast says, “It was about making connections with people we haven’t seen for a long time in church.”
Froese says, “I felt like I was baking holy bread. So many people were touched by it.”
Some recipients, especially those with small children, ate their buns immediately. Others saved theirs for faspa on Zoom on Easter Sunday afternoon.
Sisters Marlene Froese, left, and Hedie Harder, right, with a few of the 401 paska buns they baked to share with Nutana Park Mennonite Church. (Photo by Denelda Fast)
Elisabeth Reimer, left, and Ruth Wiens, right, ice and decorate paska buns in preparation for delivery to each home in their congregation. (Photo by Denelda Fast)