Hymn Stories – June 2023

It was in 1912 that C. Austin Miles was asked to write a hymn text that would be “sympathetic in tone, breathing tenderness in every line; one that would bring hope to the hopeless, rest for the weary, and downy pillows to dying beds.” Find out more about In The Garden.

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Butterfly Release and Sitewide Memorial – June 16, 2023

Hymn Stories – May 2023

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, which is sung to the music of Beethoven’s “Hymn of Joy”, is generally considered by hymnologists to be one of the most joyous expressions of hymn lyrics in the English language. Find out more about this hymn inspired by the Berkshire mountains!

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Lifting of Universal Masking Requirements and Screening – Effective April 6, 2023

Effective April 6, 2023 – BC Government Announcement: End of Respiratory Season Update News

We are delighted to announce that the Provincial Health Officer has announced the end of respiratory season and is lifting mthe mandatory requirements with respect to visitors in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living.

What has changed?

  • Visitors will no longer be required to provide their vaccination status, and those who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to visit freely at long-term care and assisted living sites.
  • Visitors will no longer be required to undergo a rapid antigen test or confirm a recent negative rapid antigen test prior to visiting.
  • Visitors will not be required to wear masks while vising long-term care and assisted living sites, unless specifically required based on a Point of Care Risk Assessment (assessment by a health care worker that masking is required based on the risks of infection, including a resident’s symptoms, the type of interaction with residents, and the environment).
  • There will be no restrictions on gatherings, events or activities including visitors, indoors or outdoors, regardless of visitor vaccination status.
  • Active screening of visitors is no longer required.

What doesn’t change?

  • Sign-in / Sign-out when you come for a visit at a long-term care site or assisted living site
  • Practicing hand hygiene to keep germs from spreading
  • Not visiting when you are ill
  • Wearing a mask if you choose to wear one

Hymn Stories – April 2023

Christ the Lord is Risen Today was written by Charles Wesley in 1739 for the first chapel service held in a deserted iron foundry in London, England, which later became known as the Foundry Meeting House. Find out more about this hymn!

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Hymn Stories – March 2023

As a young boy, the author of this month’s hymn, O God, Our Help in Ages Past, was challenged by his father to write better hymns for their congregation. Isaac Watts went on to be a prolific writer of hymns, theology, sermons and other works. All of these writings had a powerful influence upon the thinking of the late seventeen and early eighteenth centuries. Find out more about this hymn!

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Hymn Stories – February 2023

Jesus Loves Me. Without doubt the hymn that has influenced children for Christ more than any other is this simply stated one, written in 1860 by Anna Bartlett Warner. Warner wrote this text as a poem spoken by one of the characters in a best-selling novel written by her sister. Find out more about the fascinating Warner sisters!

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Menno Place welcomes Ms. Sujata Connors as our new Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of the Mennonite Benevolent Society is pleased to announce Ms. Sujata Connors as our new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Sujata is a values, faith-based leader, with over 20 years of progressive leadership experience.

Sujata was born in Halifax and raised in New Brunswick.  Having grown up in a small town of 2500 people, Sujata deeply values community and connection and very much appreciates the need of the residents at Menno. She started her career in nursing working both in the UK and Canada. She transitioned to leadership roles and has worked for a number of years within the BC Health Authorities, currently serving as a Director within the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.  Her career has been predominantly focused on supporting seniors and providing high quality health services that promote wellness, independence and choice through a person-centered approach.  Additionally, Sujata has been actively involved in collaborative partnerships to build coordinated care and streamlined systems across local and regional levels.  She has led facility redevelopment, rebuilds, capital planning and property management to support clinical services.

Sujata holds a Master of Public Administration, a Bachelor of Nursing and a Bachelor of Science. She has also had significant training in quality improvement through the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council as well as the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.

I want to extend my appreciation to the senior leadership team for providing interim leadership.  They will work closely with Sujata to ensure a seamless leadership transition to Menno over the next few months.

We are confident that Sujata will bring leadership, fresh eyes, thoughtfulness, creativity, care and devotion to the position.  She will be starting at Menno Place on February 22, 2023.

Carol Dyck, MBS Board Chair
on behalf of the MBS Board

Menno Place says good-bye to CEO, Karen Biggs who retired today

Menno Place said good-bye to retiring CEO, Karen Biggs today, January 13, 2023.

After 9.5 years of faithful and dedicated service to Menno Place, Karen Biggs did a final walkabout. The Menno Place Team gathered to wish her well in her retirement, sharing photo memories from her first week of work in 2013.

Thank you, Karen, for your leadership, your advocacy and the improvements that you brought to residents, families and staff while you led us. We thank you for your leadership, especially during the COVID pandemic when care for the elderly was most challenging.

We wish you a wonderful retirement with many opportunities to share your love, knowledge and skill with others.

Blessings to you, Karen!


Until a new CEO is announced, Kathrin McMath (COO) will be Acting CEO of Menno Place.

Hymn Stories – January 2023

This month’s hymn is a All Creatures of our God and King. This inspiring expression of praise found in nearly every hymnal was originally written in 1225 by one of the most interesting figures in all of church history. Giovanni Bernardone, who was better known as Saint Francis of Assisi, was a medieval monk who spent his lifetime as an itinerant evangelist, preaching and helping the poor people of Italy.

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