Getting into the Christmas spirit across Canada

December 18, 2019 | News | Volume 23 Issue 22D
Various Contributors |
The Menno Simons Christian School Junior-high band, conducted by Christina Carpenter, performs at a seniors lunch at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary on Nov. 28. (Photo by Mackenzie Miller)

In keeping with the season, Canadian Mennonite has wrapped up four Christmas events—from Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia—into one package for your festive reading.


CALGARY—Foothills Mennonite Church hosts a seniors lunch once a month, during which they gather in fellowship and share a delicious meal. On Nov. 28, the Menno Simons Christian School Junior-High Band, conducted by Christina Carpenter, joined the seniors for lunch and provided them with some classic Christmas carols to get them into the Christmas spirit.


With around 30 people at the dinner from Foothills and the community, their singing and harmony were astounding! The band sat with the seniors who had come that day, and some described the gathering as a gift between young and old.


Donna Dinsmore, Foothills’ intentional interim pastor, led the group in singing some Christmas carols before everyone ate a delicious meal of pasta, salad, and, of course, garlic bread. The ice cream was served with strawberries while the band warmed up in the fireside room.


Menno Simons Christian School is supported by Foothills, Calgary First and Trinity Mennonite churches. From Kindergarten to Grade 9, Menno Simons has around 200 students, who perform and interact with Mennonite churches in Calgary musically through its choirs and bands, and dramatically through readers theatre presentations.


The school and churches are mutually grateful for this relationship, and the opportunity to grow in faith and community through shared experiences. 

—By Mackenzie Miller. Mackenzie has been attending Foothills Mennonite Church since 2009 and is currently enrolled in Grade 9 at Menno Simons Christian School.


EDMONTON—Edmonton First Mennonite Church held its 26th annual Christmas craft fair and bake sale (pictured above) on Nov. 23 to raise money for its refugee fund. The event included a cookie walk and bake sale, handmade crafts, and a cinnamon bun and coffee café. Customers who brought their own shopping bags were invited to enter to win a Christmas gift basket. The event raised $ 2,375. —Text and photo by Joanne De Jong.


LEAMINGTON—During Leamington’s annual Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 30, UMEI students performed at the Mill Street Market in Leamington, Ont., for passersby. Pictured above from left to right, front: UMEI student singers Abby Krueger, Denise Schmitt, Madi Kehl, Monica Klassen and Sydney Bruner, with Sonia Bedal, UMEI’s principal, peeking in from the back. The market is a new addition to the city, inviting residents to enjoy gift shopping and food trucks, often with live entertainment. Text and photo by Zach Charbonneau.


YARROW—The congregations of Yarrow, British Columbia, including Yarrow United Mennonite Church, came together for their second annual community Christmas tree lighting event on Nov. 29. Pictured above: those attending enjoy some hot chocolate, hot dogs and popcorn. The evening also included singing Christmas carols, reading the Christmas story from the Book of Luke, horse-drawn hayrides and music by a live band. "When it came to the tree lighting, the city had been battling squirrels who were chewing up the wires on the lights, and only half the tree was lighting up the day before," says Pastor Darnell Barkman of Yarrow United Mennonite. "But when the moment of truth came after our 10-second countdown, the whole tree lit up with a big, new, bright star on top." Despite near-freezing weather, some 1,500 people came out for the event. Photo by Darnell Barkman. Text by Amy Rinner Waddell.

Related stories:
Watch: How to make peppernuts
Waiting in the dark
Christmas Eve tradition brings comfort and joy
Proclaiming Immanuel 

The Menno Simons Christian School Junior-high band, conducted by Christina Carpenter, performs at a seniors lunch at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary on Nov. 28. (Photo by Mackenzie Miller)

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