Monday, September 03, 2012

On the Seventh Day...God Played Ball

Our society as a whole no longer observes a seventh day or first day of the week pause in commerce to focus on rest and worship. But members of our large Mennonite population who live in rural parts of our region will not sell you one brown egg on Sunday. Handwritten signs at the end of farm lanes advise customers of "No Sunday Sales". After morning chores are done, long lines of horse-drawn buggies drive to simple white meeting houses. By early afternoon long lines of horse-drawn buggies leave for dinner, perhaps at the home of friends or relatives. It is not unusual to see fifteen or more buggies parked at a farm on a Sunday afternoon.

In fine weather the men lounge outdoors in their Sunday clothes as they visit. During the summer you are sure to find several baseball games in progress in farm fields or village parks. Many men travel to the games on bicycle, black pants, white shirts and blue suspenders the uniform worn by both teams.

These young men, clean-shaven, strong and fit, sported fashionable sunglasses as well as the occasional cell phone. The game was was less competitive and more social in nature than organized sports in the city.

Around four o'clock the roads are lined with horse-drawn buggies and people walking or biking home for afternoon chores. Perhaps they will attend an evening hymn sing later or just rest in preparation for another week of hard work.

These pictures were taken yesterday along the Trans-Canada trail near St. Jacobs, Ontario. The trail winds through the heart of Mennonite country along the Conestoga River.


  1. There's something to be said for a simpler way of life sometimes. Love the series of photos Ruth, and enjoy the snapshots you get of the Mennonite people.

  2. Love it that the Sunday white shirts and black pants are the ball playing uniform.
    I see the trail you took goes through Guelph--which is where my parents lived in the mid-1980s. We visited several times, though I don't recall seeing any Amish.

  3. The idea of the Sabbaths is really God's ... sad that we have lost it. D was a great believer on no work on Sunday and only worked if his job scheduled him on. Otherwise, it was a relax day.

  4. When I was a kid, my Pentecostal tradition frowned on ball or even tv. Who knew than it this, the Mennonites were more liberal?

  5. There's something so appealing about the Mennonite way of life. I love the simplicity.

  6. Sometimes I wonder if we haven't given up on too many traditions.My grandparents were very strict about what you do or don't do on Sundays. I stayed with them a lot but didn't mind their rules.I enjoyed the post and the photos of the ball game too!


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