Seven weeks ago we moved to Morden, and six weeks ago I started as pastor at Morden Mennonite. One of the most common questions I’ve been asked in that time is this: “Do you like Morden?” Often the question is accompanied by a concerned look, a bit of anxiety on the person’s face, as if we might just pack up and go elsewhere if the answer is negative.
My answer? “We love it.”
And it’s true. We’ve lived in England, we’ve lived in the U.S. We’ve lived in big cities bustling with energy. But for most of our life we’ve been in small prairie towns in western Canada.
And we feel at home here. (Yes, I know Morden is a “city.” Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)
There are lots of reasons to love Morden, and you don’t have to Google too long to find a few popular ones. Lake Minnewasta and Colert Beach. Big-treed parks and lots of paths for walking and biking. A historic and quaint, yet vibrant, downtown. The Access Event Centre, with its two rinks and community hall and more. Corn and Apple Festival, now just around the corner. And, of course, the friendly people.
Those are some obvious reasons, and those are just a few. Let me add to those with my own list:
Five Reasons Why I’m Glad We’re in Morden
1) We can stand outside our house at night and see the stars. Gazillions of them. My wife showed me this soon after we moved here. I’d forgotten what infinity looked like.
2) Our kids can bike to the library on their own. I spent half my childhood biking to our town library; it’s nice to be in a place where our kids can carry on the tradition.
3) We’ve got the world on our doorstep. Well, maybe not the whole world. But there’s more ethnic and cultural diversity—peoples, languages, arts, foods—in Morden than in most small towns (er, “cities”) in southern Manitoba.
4) Stuff grows here. We’re told it’s a peculiar climate, nestled up against the escarpment as it is. Lots of different trees and flowers, loads of different fruits and vegetables, of course that corn and those apples.
5) Morden Mennonite Church. Art just came in and offered me cucumbers picked fresh from his garden this morning. ‘Nuff said. But I’ll say more anyway: we’ve landed among wonderful people here, in a community that cares for each other and wants to follow Jesus every day.
These are glimpses of heaven on earth, they are. Here in Morden, Manitoba.