Sunday, May 10, 2015

Menno Land

Saturday was the day of discovering where the Mennonites came from. Above is the Catholic Church where Menno Simons was a priest before leaving and joining the anabaptists.

The church is now Dutch Reformed. In general, few people attend churches in the Netherlands these days. The fifty of us soon filled the space.

We also visited the first hidden church in Pingjum. The front is a dwelling place so that people can see that someone lives there, and in the back is a small sanctuary.

Our tour guide had us stop by a windmill for a picture. The mill is a pumping station to drain the rain water from the land into canals that lead up to the sea. It was a very windy, rainy day to be out and about.

Our tour guide had the bus stop at a friend's farm and all fifty of us landed up unannounced traipsing through the barn and then the attached house. This is a view of the kitchen (part of it anyway). We were amazed that these people were willing to let us run through the house (fifty people at one time). 
A moment to remember.

In Witmarsun there is a Mennonite memorial. It is the replica of a demolished building and is supposed to represent the varieties of Mennonites around the world.

This is the site of one of Menno Simon's homes. It celebrates the origin of the world wide Mennonite church.

So you know we were really there 

It sort of looks like we are caged Mennonites, but you can see the door handle near Phyllis's head.

On the way back to the retreat centre after a long day out, most people took a nap.

We stopped on the dike to look at the Dutch Spanish two headed statue. The dike is quite impressive.

Our last stop was at another hidden church in Berlikum.

Our tour guide collects books and he showed us some Martyrs Mirrors from  the 1600s. 

A major highlight for most of us at the retreat is the presence of a five week old boy. He is pretty oblivious about being passed around.

More flat trees.