The shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting employees of Coffee for Peace, a social enterprise managed by Joji Pantoja, a Mennonite Church Canada International Witness worker in the Philippines.
Before COVID-19, southern Ontario not-for-profit Willowgrove offered summer camps, outdoor education and seasonal events in Ontario from its Willowgrove Day Camp and Outdoor Education Centre in Stouffville and Fraser Lake Camp in Bancroft. In order to maintain its mission but move its work online, Willowgrove has created Camp @ Home, a unique online camp experience that allows children and youth to have personal, genuine camp connections under the supervision of a live counsellor. Each day, campers log on from home for a three-hour condensed camp schedule.
(Image by PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay)
Never thought there would be Sundays without singing.
Like churches across Canada, ours has been shuttered as a precaution against the novel coronavirus. I understand why this must be, but I sure miss getting together and joining our voices.
In the past few weeks, it’s likely you’ve seen a video of people singing together virtually.
When the members of Winnipeg’s Prairie Voices choir had to cancel their 20th anniversary concert as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they channeled their disappointment into this video.
As I write, my household is entering into our fourth week of physical distancing. Facing the fast-spreading and potentially deadly coronavirus, my spouse and I sit in a comfortable house, with a dependable supply of food and are thankful for good sanitation. We have books, music and movies. We’re still employed, and we’re connecting digitally with a network of family and friends.
As with everybody else, my life and work these past few weeks have been a scramble to adjust and respond to the ever-evolving pandemic that has now hit us here in Canada as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic feels surreal. Streets of our cities are nearly empty, even at rush hour. Kids are home, schools have gone online, and some workers log in from home after many years of regular commutes to an office. And huge numbers of workers have been laid off.
“A little bit of yeast makes the whole dough rise . . . you do your part; I’ll do mine,” sings Bryan Moyer Suderman, using his body as a percussion instrument. But instead of singing at a concert or a worship service, the itinerant musician is at home singing into an iPad propped up on a stack of books, doing his part to practise physical distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While people and governments alike are sprinting to mitigate the current crisis of COVID-19, David Driedger is starting to run the marathon of addressing its long-term implications.
With COVID-19 limiting the ability to connect in person, virtual meetings now seem to be the wave of the future. Mennonite Church Alberta had already been using the Zoom platform to hold small provincial committee meetings online, but when its annual general meeting (AGM) was cancelled, the regional church decided to explore whether a larger meeting with Zoom could work as well.
The spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced Canadians to learn to cope with forced isolation, loss of work and social events, and an uncertain future. For a church community accustomed to weekly worship services and small group gatherings, learning how to maintain a sense of community and foster wellness among members presents an unprecedented challenge.
Most people’s lives have shifted dramatically in the past few weeks, as they grapple with social isolation, educational upheaval, job changes, pandemic preparations and health-care emergencies surrounding COVID-19. Conrad Grebel University College is no different.
For Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), COVID-19 has had a significant impact on operations.
It started on March 13, when the organization closed all current projects in locations across the United States due to the coronavirus; there were no projects in operation in Canada. A week later, it suspended all summer programs in both countries.
The executive directors of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) have published a letter of encouragement to constituents this week during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter—which you can read below—acknowledges the unusual circumstances and challenges surrounding this year’s Holy Week, while offering a message of hope and unity.
The Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in Winnipeg may be closed to the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but its latest exhibit is available for online viewing. Titled “Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence 2,” the exhibit features work by amateur and professional artists. It’s the follow-up to a one-day exhibition held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in November 2018, and it aims to bring the issue of domestic abuse to the wider public.
How is COVID-19 affecting Anabaptists worldwide? How does our faith offer hope in this uncertain time?
Robert and Irene Suderman. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/MennoniteChurchCanada)
I am—apparently—vulnerable. This for two reasons: I’m chronologically categorized (senior), and I’m locationally challenged (live in a senior’s community).
But I don’t feel vulnerable. My wife and I are both in excellent health, with robust energy, and significantly active in meaningful things. The social definition and my personal experience of who I am don’t match.
Things like frequent handwashing and social distancing have become the new normal. This is life during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures help reduce the spread and keep everyone safe. We’re all in this together.
Mennonite Church Canada, in collaboration with its regional churches and their local congregations, will share worship services each week for congregations across our nationwide community of faith.
While school and government officials work together to bring the group home, 36 students, six leaders and two program staff from Canadian Mennonite University’s Outtatown Discipleship School are waiting patiently in Guatemala, putting the semester's lessons to the test.
Recently seen online: a quote on a black T-shirt: “The church has left the building.”
Thursday, as I sat down to a board meeting for the Micah Mission, a restorative justice organization in Saskatoon, I got the news that the Juno Awards show was being cancelled in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. For months I’d been hearing the Junos hyped on CBC Radio 2 and seeing advertisements on billboards around town, where the shows were to be broadcast from.