A Mennonite church is not a typical venue for a Remembrance Day service, but on Nov. 11, 2015, members of several Mennonite Church Saskatchewan congregations came together at Osler Mennonite Church to pay tribute to those whose lives have been turned upside down by war.
Pastor Patty Friesen led the time of worship, which included songs of peace. Winona Senner of Nutana Park Mennonite, Saskatoon, read Judyth Hill’s poem, “Wage Peace.” “Our act of remembrance is to work for peace,” said Claire Ewert Fisher, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan, as she introduced featured speaker Rami Shamma.
From Ramallah, Lebanon, Shamma is with the Development for People and Nature Association, which seeks to build peace between Lebanese citizens and the millions of Syrians living in refugee camps in his country. It is work that brings hope to a hopeless situation. “[We] peacebuilders always say we are doomed to be optimistic,” said Shamma. “The only thing that makes us get out of bed and go to work is the hope that we can make a better life [for the refugees].” Shamma challenged his audience to think of ways in which they can live in solidarity with the people of Syria.