It may surprise you to learn that Mennonites live all over the world. This Protestant denomination founded by Menno Simons (d. 1561) has broadened in its scope of ways-of-being, until those young Japanese tourists I saw on the main street of St Jacobs might well be Mennonites themselves.
My own Mennonite relatives, however, are not Oriental youngsters who could fit in on any campus; they’re German-speaking, Old-Order Mennonites. The locals. But there is none among them that I know to call family.
And so I treaded fairly lightly in my camera wielding on Thursday. Many Mennonites are uncomfortable about getting their photos taken. In today’s pictures, then, I’ve avoided close-ups and full-face shots. I hope everyone’s okay with that.
Mennonites are “plain Deutsch” as opposed to “fancy Deutsch” . The women don’t need to wear black, but they go for quiet colours, small prints, and standard dress patterns. Don’t want to stand out. A prayer cap is worn because St Paul asked that women cover their heads when they pray, and you never know when you’ll need to send one up to the Almighty. Any of you who have children, reflect on this idea for thirty seconds and you’ll probably agree how sensible it is.
By the way, not all Mennonites restrict themselves to horse-and-buggy transportation. This woman is selling her produce out of a truck.
Mauve print dress, with a comfortable, cover-all apron. Her grandchildren are helping to replenish the maple lollipop stand.
This woman looks like my great aunt. In fact, I wish she were my great aunt: she’s the cinnamon-bun baker!
Just between you, me, and the fencepost, buggywatching is easier than birdwatching. You can blink, turn around, and you still won’t miss it.
In fact, your car will go out of date, look ridiculous, and fall to rust, and you still won’t miss it.
“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Take your time. Do your tasks carefully and prayerfully. Be real.