“Know we are connected in ways that are terrible and beautiful.”
As relatively privileged people living in Canada, there aren’t too many times that we think about whether this action or that action might result in our death. Living in these pandemic times, though, reminds me of our years living in southern Africa near the end of official apartheid. We thought often then of whether doing this or that might result in death.
I watched in disbelief as people feverishly filled their carts with toilet paper and bolted before someone could steal their treasure. In less than a minute, the toilet paper was gone and the mob dispersed. Except for one lady standing in front of a stack of six packages of toilet paper, protecting it from the envious eyes of those around her.
With the spread of the COVID-19 virus prompting provincial health authorities to recommend social distancing, including public gatherings not to exceed 250 people, Fraser Valley Mennonite churches scrambled to react appropriately for the third Sunday of Lent on March 15.
When Pastor Siaka Traoré packed his bags for his trip to Canada and the United States in early March, it never crossed his mind that almost every event and visit he had planned would be cancelled.
Kitchener, Ont.—In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mennonite Central Committee is inviting supporters to join the organization in a day of prayer on Wednesday, March 25. “Times of uncertainty call us to reach out to the most vulnerable in our community: those locally and globally who will be most affected by this crisis,” MCC Ontario said in a statement. “We believe this is a time to recommit ourselves to caring for our neighbours and acting generously—whether in our own homes, across the street or around the world. We invite you to join us... as we come together for #MCCdaytopray.
Doug Klassen, executive minister for Mennonite Church Canada, has recorded a sermon for churches to use during this time of social distancing.
As of March 11, the World Health Organization is now describing the global outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 as a pandemic. This move is not to incite fear but to motivate governments to ramp up their preparation efforts before the virus spreads more quickly in their own countries.
With the World Health Organization using the word “pandemic” to describe global infection from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Mennonite World Conference leadership has cancelled the March Renewal 2027 public event and April executive committee meetings that were scheduled to take place in Abbotsford, B.C.