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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weekly Wire for May 1, 2013

Upcoming Events at a Glance

Apr 29-May 3 Samish Island Work Week

May 4-5 Ribstone Enrichment Weekend

May 12-13 Hills of Peace Camp Opening – Cancelled

May 24-26 Arts on the Lake Hills of Peace – Cancelled

May 31-June 2 Camp Genesis (8-9 yrs) Samish Island

May 31-June 2 Adult Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace

June 7-9 College Age Young Adult Retreat Hills of Peace

Jun-08 Samish Island Work Day

June 8-14 Adult Reunion Samish Island


Ribstone Enrichment Weekend

Enrichment 2013


2013 Online Camping Brochure

It’s time to register for summer camps, retreats and reunions.  Get all the details here!New-Picture-14_thumb2_thumb1


Last call for submissions for

“What’s Up…In the CWM”

Spring 2013 issue


Do you have a great story to tell?  Would you like to share your experience at a CWM Retreat, Event or Activity?  Has your congregation done something we should know about? Send your submission to or call 1-877-411-2632

And don’t forget to send lots of photos!


Arts on the Lake

Due to lack of registrations, Arts on the Lake has been cancelled this year.  If this is something you’d like to see happen next year, please offer to help and remember to register early!



Live at Hills of Peace!

Caretaker Job Opportunity

May 1, 2013


The Caretaker of the Hills of Peace Campground is responsible for maintaining the grounds, buildings, and services of the Hills of Peace Campground in a safe and attractive condition for the benefit of all users. For a complete list of duties, go to Caretaker Job Opportunity. Accommodations, utilities and a small remuneration are included.

Please send your application to Courtney Znak at


Head Cook and Assistant Cooks for HOP

Temporary Positions June 29 to July 16, 2013

One Head cook and 2 assistant cooks are required for 17 days at Hills of Peace Campground in Alberta. There is the possibility of additional days added to this and the opportunity to cook for one or two weekend retreats. Your own transportation is ideal but for the right candidate(s) other arrangements could be made. Please forward your application to Courtney Znak, HOP Board Director at or mail to Box 143 Hughenden,  Alberta, Canada T0B-2E0


Click here for Job Description and more


July 20-27, 2013

Camper Information Package

Please let Greg Goheen know (by phone, text or email) if you are planning to attend
SPECTACULAR with our delegation as soon as possible - even before sending forms.
This will help immensely with booking flights and planning.
BC Youth please contact Rocio Cabrera


Register Today for Mission Conference in Edmonton!


Registration Form here 


Summer Volunteer(s) Needed - Samish Campground

Samish Campground located in the NW corner of Washington State is seeking
an individual or couple with an RV to serve as grounds and maintenance volunteers during May through August, 2013. The position entails mowing and maintenance of the
grounds, some handyman work and stocking shelves when food orders arrive, etc. An RV site with full hookups will be provided. Telephone and wireless Internet are
available in dining hall. Meals are provided during camps ( approximately 85%
of this time).

Application Form and Proforma Employment Agreement including Job Description are available by contacting Glen Fishel, Board President, at (360) 757-4559 or by e-mail at or, if he is not available, Donald Brady, Camp Manager at (360) 766-8125 or by e-mail at



Peace and Justice  --  Human Rights

April 29, 2013


The overall situation in Darfur has not changed significantly.  While a recent Doha Conference resulted in over $3 billion pledged for Darfur reconstruction, it is partly a charade given Sudan itself pledged over $2 billion while bombing Darfur citizens.  Apart from that, little can be done until peace and stability exists, something that is no closer.  On the broader scene the Nuba region of Sudan continues to be bombarded and starved.  And within the last couple of days a new rebel offensive has started in a previously relatively untouched area of Northern Kordofan, and also closer to Khartoum.  For more details see Darfur Current Status (UntilAll).

There are two actions in this newsletter.  The first one calls on the U.S. to fill the position of Special Envoy for Sudan which has been vacant since the end of 2012.  As noted in a background article, some groups are critical of the rumored front runner, on the basis that his policies are likely to resemble too closely perceived past failed policies.  While the eventual solution for Sudan must be a political solution embraced by all of Sudan’s stakeholders, and while some feel U.S. involvement primarily skews results in U.S. favour, the stance of this newsletter is that a Special Envoy under Sudan’s current dynamics is a better option than not having one, at least if the second action below (Sudan Peace and Accountability Act), becomes more clearly some of the guiding principles (this newsletter and the above link have previously outlined some of the complexities and conflicting U.S. priorities).

Tell Obama to Fill Position for Special Envoy to Sudan (open to all):

Genocide scholars’ questions go unanswered; then Envoy resigns
Front Runner for Envoy Position Criticized



The second Darfur / Sudan action involves U.S. citizens, who can tell their members of Congress to support the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act, introduced with bipartisan support.

Take action (U.S citizens only):

Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013



The Boston Marathon bombings were a terrible tragedy.  And while it did bring out wonderful acts of courage and humanity, it also brought out a repulsive act.  Fox News commentator Erik Rush tweeted the words "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all." In his tweet, “them” referred to Muslims, and it was tweeted to his nearly 40,000 followers.  If you find this going well beyond the line of any journalist licence, then please consider taking the following action:

Tell FOX News to Drop Erik Rush: (You can edit the message depending on your TV habits):



One of the disturbing but largely hidden trends being tested over the last few years relates to companies trying to obtain patents, oversimplified, to what are in essence life building blocks, whether genes or seeds.  It is yet another area where ethics and laws are struggling to catch-up to technology, and more importantly to the influence that such large multi-nationals can exert on politics.  In this instance companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to have exclusive rights over conventional seeds (such as everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons).  Such loopholes need to be shut before they set a dangerous global precedent.

The action below is from Avaaz, and is close to reaching 2 million signatures. Such broad implication issues like this one require a giant outcry to help support the needed outcomes.  So please consider signing the petition and try to get it over 2 million:

Tell the EU Patent Organization to Fix Patent Laws:


UN (and US) Approves Arms Trade Treaty; Plus Further on NRA Dialogue

On April 2, the US joined 153 other nations in approving the Global Arms Trade Treaty. That said, for the U.S. to ratify it, it must be passed by its Senate by a super majority.   This is deemed unlikely due to the influence the NRA has on the Senate.  So for US citizens, stay tuned for the rhetoric to heat up again.

You may recall my attempt in a previous newsletter to try to understand the opposition of the NRA to the Treaty (see:  I did it primarily out of my core principle of dialogue (bumbling as I am at it) – to truly attempt to engage with the stance that seemed so utterly foreign.  And I did find a thin “sliver” of contact - that a person could genuinely connect the dots in a moral way according to all their underlying framings, that would indicate that signing the Treaty was wrong.  It centered around the need to track items.

And before going farther, I would love to continue the personal exploration with anyone via the blog link at the top, unwieldy as blogs are.

But as it currently stands for me, I find that the NRA has shut off dialogue.  It has entered a harmful world of self-righteousness, where its answers and framing are the only true ones, and under no circumstances can it yield even one inch.  Every counter view is a slippery slope, which is part of cascading slippery slopes which always lead to a single family left defenceless in the face of an armed crazed person, or armed tyrannical government or oppressive UN world force.  I find that logic incredulous.  Again I do remain open to mistaken perceptions on my part, but until persuaded otherwise I must be clear the danger and harm I see in the current NRA dynamics.

Somewhat  aside, the following link shows 12 NRA ads over time, showing it going from a government-friendly organization primarily for hunters (actually simply suggesting that belonging to a rifle club is a good way to gain a skill and have fun), to a complete fear-based stance – a fear not only of who lurks in society but to a government and its institutions (FBI, etc.) who you leave open to coming after you if the NRA is not supported, for only it is the true guardian of the Second Amendment.  Now I did find a bit of a sleight of hand going on – for instance from 1920 until now there is a higher proportion of people who lock their doors.  That is, times do change and there is more fear than before at that level.  Plus the rapid changes of today are very loosely linked to a rise in fear.  But neither of those examples fully explains the dramatic shift of the ads.
NRA Ads from 1920 to the present

Tunisia: Latest Trend in country that started Arab Spring

Michael Ayari talks to RTCI about the rise of Salafism in the country and the "challenges of the new Tunisia".
ICG Report: Salafism in Tunisia (YouTube clip)


Guatemala Genocide Trial a Landmark . . . And Then Was Scrapped

The trial of former de facto head of Guatemala, Efraín Ríos Montt, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, is a landmark achievement in the fight for justice in Guatemala and is a testament to the courage and tenacity of Guatemala’s victims and human rights groups.

However, the trial had been in process for a month when on April 18, a separate court annulled the entire case.  Seen as “beyond logic and due process” one can only hope that for the sake of all those who testified and all for whom they represent, as well as for any sense of justice, that a successful appeal will occur.  Here is a short and longer version of the current situation:
Amnesty International article
LA Times more in-depth article


In appreciation and support,
  Rod Downing


2013 Camping/Event Calendar

April 24-28 Fine Arts Retreat Samish Island

Apr 29-May 3 Samish Island Work Week

May 4-5 Ribstone Enrichment Weekend

May 12-13 Hills of Peace Camp Opening

May 24-26 Arts on the Lake Hills of Peace – CANCELLED

May 31-June 2 Camp Genesis (8-9 yrs) Samish Island

May 31-June 2 Adult Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace

June 7-9 College Age Young Adult Retreat Hills of Peace

Jun-08 Samish Island Work Day

June 8-14 Adult Reunion Samish Island

July 1-6 Canada West Youth Camp

June 30-July 6 Camp Mungai (10-11 yrs) Samish Island

July 6-12 Family Reunion Hills of Peace

July 12-16 Junior Camp (8-11 yrs) Hills of Peace

July 13-20 Family Reunion Samish Island

July 20-27 Spectacular Graceland University

July 22-28 Camp Planning Retreat - Hills of Peace

July 21-27 Camp Kluane (girls 12-14 yrs) Samish Island

July 28-Aug 3 Camp Chimacum (boys 12-14 yrs) Samish Island

August 9-11 Young Family Weekend Hills of Peace

August 4-10 Camp Kimtah (15-18 yrs) Samish Island

August 11-17 Singles’ Reunion Samish Island- Cancelled

Aug 30-Sept 1 Canada West Mission Conference Edmonton AB

September 27-29 Men’s Retreat Hills of Peace

September 27-29 Singles’ Retreat Samish Island

October 4-6 Young Adult Retreat Samish Island

October 4-6 Women’s Retreat Chilliwack


Remember to Register early for Camps and Retreats so the Camp Director and Cooks can make the best plans possible for you!

Debra CWM photo

~Debra Donohue~

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