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‘Not what we planned as a 50th anniversary focus’

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp’s dining hall was gutted by fire on Feb. 7. Camp director Dave Erb hopes to have a refurbished or new building set to open by June.

The word spread quickly on Feb. 7 and the days that followed: Silver Lake Mennonite Camp’s dining hall had burned . . . again.

The camp, near Sauble Beach on Lake Huron, suffered a fire in its third year of operations, back in 1968. The present building has been a favourite of campers and off-season users because of its wide open space and large stone fireplace.

Don’t forget your instrument . . . or your voice

Campers who play stringed instruments—including Saskia van Arrangon, Jordan Klassen and Daniel Penner, pictured—as well as brass, woodwinds and piano, or those who sing, are all welcome at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, held each summer at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont.

Singing around the piano is a popular activity at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp in Waterloo, Ont., each summer, as Heather Imrie, Marlo Young-Sponga, Taya Kehler and Kiana Epp can attest.

It’s 11 p.m. We’ve been treated to the final program—a full, original musical about recycling prepared in two short weeks—and heard dozens of songs done by wind instruments, strings, brass, vocal quartets and pianists. We’re in awe, tired just thinking about what went into the show. Now the only one thing left to do is get the performers—our kids—home!

Family camp to debut this summer at Camp Squeah

Archery is one of the many activities offered by Camp Squeah that can be enjoyed by all age groups at this summer’s inaugural family camp.

Summer camp is not just for children any more.

For one week this summer, Camp Squeah will be alive with the sound of voices of all ages as the camp tries something new: a multigenerational family camp, to be held from July 25 to 29.

Nurturing creation connections @ camp

Canoeing is one way Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp gets campers to understand the need to nurture creation.

Camp is the perfect place for environmental principles to be brought to life. An Arctic glacier slowly melting may be too far removed for children to fully grasp the significance of, but a caterpillar in hand, a hike in a forest or a camp-out under the stars are real and immediate demonstrations of the importance of caring for God’s creation.

Let war resisters stay in Canada, rally urges

Protesters at the Let Them Stay rally picket the office of Vic Toews, federal minister of public safety, in hopes of setting up a meeting to discuss the deportation and incarceration of American war resisters. Michael Bueckert, holding the Peace Alliance Winnipeg sign, right, protests as a representative of Project Peacemakers.

The Steinbach office of Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was the scene of a mid-January rally in support of American war resisters seeking asylum in Canada that took place in the wake of the defeat of Bill C-440.

Help build a peace library in South Africa

Canadians can help fill the shelves of the Anabaptist Network in South Africa Peace Library and share Anabaptist theology across South Africa by donating books and resources to the cause.

Peace and justice projects in South Africa are creating a large appetite for the nonviolent peace principles of Anabaptist theology. Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers Andrew and Karen Suderman invite Canadians to feed that need by helping them to build the Anabaptist Network in South Africa Peace Library.

Sharing the good news of hope, peace, and justice in South Africa

Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker Karen Suderman, right, chats with Ladysmith women who are committed to feeding hundreds of South African children each day.

Hungry children are being fed, students of peace are learning nonviolent responses to conflict, and ordinary people are making extraordinary sacrifices to bring hope and justice to those on the margins.

Are you ready?

On Aug. 13, 2010, after one month in the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alta., my dad died of mesotheliomameso, cancer of the outer lining of the lung. Although Dad had experienced shortness of breath for the past year, it never stopped him from maintaining a busy social and family life. He even attended a Calgary Stampede breakfast the day he entered the hospital.

My mother’s couch

Waking from a nap on my mother’s couch, I stretch and think, “What a blessing.” My mother’s couch is a perfect spot for napping: generously long, wonderfully comfortable and cozily firm. It’s also lovely to look at, with a flowered fabric of rose and blue trimmed by light oak wood.

Readers Write

Celebrate the ‘kitchenhood of all believers’

Re: “East paska together and be glad,” Feb. 21, page 10.

The church that I attend invites all ethnicities. We share our stories. Even though the potluck tables are still heavily Russian-Ukraine-oriented, this is changing as our own cultural fabric evolves. This is how it should be.

For discussion

1. When did your congregation first have a woman preach a sermon or first have a woman pastor? How open was the congregation to this change? Were there surprises in who resisted? How has the attitude toward women pastors changed since the 1970s?

‘I don’t have to prove anything’

Martha Smith Good, left, talks with Johanna Wall, pastor of the now-closed Warden Woods Church, Scarborough, Ont., in June 2009.

Throughout her childhood and youth Martha Smith Good believed her conservative Swiss Markham-Waterloo Mennonite church north of Toronto was all about rules and regulations. “In my spirit/soul I knew there was something more, and I wanted to find that,” she says.

Not a stereotype

Donita and Tim Wiebe-Neufeld are ordained in May 2006 by Jim Shantz, Mennonite Church Alberta conference minister.

As far as I know, I’m the only one. I’m the only home-grown Alberta woman who left the province, studied in Mennonite institutions, and is a pastor back here. Friends in other provinces wondered, “Why go back?” They knew Alberta’s redneck reputation. Happily, stereotypes are never the whole truth and sometimes they are lies.

From a closed community to an open heart

Wilf Dueck, moderator of First Mennonite Church, Burns Lake, B.C., presents Pastor Eve Isaak with flowers and an education bursary from the congregation at her ordination service last June.

Growing up in a very conservative Old Colony Mennonite home in the 1950s and ’60s, I soon learned that education was not encouraged. Church was meant only to attend. I was to keep anything I heard or learned to myself; the men would sort out what needed to be sorted out. My place was to marry, have children and submit unconditionally to my husband, to leadership and to authority.

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