These are the winning photos of Maryam, Haseena, and Rhonda. Photos have been shared with permission. Enjoy!
In January, Mim, our Refugee ministry coordinator, decided to begin a photo contest within our community. The theme of the next three weeks: Winter Beauty. The goal was simple – to enjoy the outdoors, and to share the pictures taken.
During a season of winter blues, it was an incentive for us to go outside and notice our surroundings. It was also a fun way to engage with each other online when we aren’t allowed to meet in person. Submissions received ranged from photos of buildings to rare winter blooms, and holiday light displays to sunsets. Geographically, we even had friends share photos from as far east as Saskatchewan!
Seeing the world through other people’s eyes helps me notice beauty in details I personally would have overlooked. And what I loved throughout this contest was the encouraging atmosphere. As we shared our pictures with the group, our community was so encouraging and supportive of the pictures captured. Much ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ took place after photos were shared.
A few unintended consequences of this photo contest have taken place. For starters, one individual is now interested in sharing their photos more publicly. One of our winning contestants is an amateur photographer, and having won a top 3 spot became an encouragement to continue delving into the hobby. Furthermore, we have begun Community Clubs within our ministry. The interest garnered through this contest has given us incentive to begin establishing other informal groups based on mutual interests. There is talk of a book club as one of the groups!
Below is a compilation of the different photo submission throughout our contest – join us in the joy. And should any of you be interested in knowing more or starting your own Community Club, email us.