“Our God is a God who makes friends,” sang children from three provinces while playing a clapping game with a partner, laughing as the refrain and the clapping got faster. The words of this song by Bryan Moyer Suderman were ignited into action at Gathering 2019 as they participated in a weekend packed with relationship-building activities, excursions and service.
The kids gathered most mornings at Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Abbotsford, B.C., for activities ranging from making butter and apple juice to decorating Gathering 2019 T-shirts and flying homemade kites in the local playground.
Most afternoons, a bus took the children into the community; a highlight was a visit to the seniors at Menno Place, where they sang, played games with seniors around tables, and gave flag gifts to their new friends, and finally shared the snacks they’d made.
Said seven-year-old Isaiah Siemens of Langham, Sask., about himself and eight-year-old Leo Doke Sawatzky of Regina, after stepping off the bus the first morning, “We only met a few minutes ago but we’re already friends.”
For some videos of what the adults were doing, visit home.mennonitechurch.ca/node/1660.
See more about Gathering 2019:
—Corrected July 29, 2019
—Corrected Aug. 19, 2019
Children at Gathering 2019, enjoys fresh bubblegum ice cream from Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford. (Photo by Hilda Bergen)
Maeve Goertzen, one of eight children at Gathering 2019, enjoys fresh bubblegum ice cream from Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford. (Photo by Hilda Bergen)
Children at Mennonite Church Canada’s Gathering 2019, held in Abbotsford, B.C., roast marshmallows over an open fire. (Photo by Hilda Bergen)