Awards 2018

Published on May 5, 2018 by in Features, News

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Winners of the awards presented May 3, 2018 for publications in 2017.

CCP and ARCCC Conference
Sheraton Hotel, Hamilton, ON

EDITORIAL: MAGAZINE
Judge: Michele Beacom

Third Place: Faith Today
Church is not a Private Club
Author: Bruce Clemenger
Editor: Bill Fledderus

Second Place: Canadian Mennonite
Making Space for the Spirit
Editors: Virginia A. Hostetler and Ross W. Muir

First Place: The United Church Observer
Observations: If Statues Could Talk
Author: David Wilson

EDITORIAL: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Michele Beacom

Third Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
Dead is dead; but death is not the end
Author: Joanne Shurvin-Martin

Second Place: The Catholic Register
Our Leaders Failed
Author: Jim O’Leary

First Place: Christian Courier
God of Small Things
Author: Angela Reitsma Bick

FROM THE EDITOR
Judge: Michele Beacom

Third Place: Canada Lutheran
Ministry in the Margins
Editor: Kenn Ward

Second Place: Mandate
Righting Wrongs
Author: Kathryn Dorrell

First Place: The United Church Observer
Observations: Free Speech and Civility
Author: David Wilson

NEWS PHOTO: MAGAZINE
Judge: Terrance Pack

Third Place: Mandate
Canadian Mission & Service Community Ministries
Photographer: Derek Ford

Second Place: Salvationist
A Journey of Reconciliation
Photographer: Pamela Richardson

First Place: Canada Lutheran
Ministry in the Margins
Photographer: Joshua Hergesheimer

NEWS PHOTO: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Terrance Pack

Third Place: The New Brunswick Anglican
Guest Book
Photographer: Gisele McKnight

Second Place: The Catholic Register
For the Sake of our Children: Teens and Welfare Reform
Photographer: Michael Swan

First Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
Taking it to the Streets
Photographer: Grace Paterson

NEWS STORY: MAGAZINE
Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Foi & Vie
Salut, Québec!
Author: Kristin Ostensen
Editors: Ken Ramstead & Geoff Moulton

Second Place: Faith Today
Rev. Lim and the Church that Prayed Him Out
Author: Craig Macartney
Editors: Bill Fledderus & Karen Stiller

First Place: The United Church Observer
Resisting Genocide
Author: Sally Armstrong

NEWS STORY: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Christian Courier
Canadian Colonialism Dressed up as Aid
Author: Maaike VanderMeer
Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

Second Place: The Catholic Register
Doctors Being Bullied
Author: Michael Swan

First Place: The New Brunswick Anglican
PM Drops in at St. Margaret’s Coffee Club
Author: Gisele McKnight

IN-DEPTH TREATMENT OF A NEWS EVENT: MAGAZINE
Judge: Richard Landau

*No Third Place Awarded*

Second Place: Salvationist
A Mobilized Army
Author: Pamela Richardson

First Place: The United Church Observer
Resisting Genocide
Author: Sally Armstrong

IN-DEPTH TREATMENT OF A NEWS EVENT: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Huron Church News
Huron Anglicans march against intolerance/Creating space for dialogue while holding to our values/Our message will heal the world, one demonstration at a time
Authors: Sandra Coulson; Bishop Linda Nicholls and
Reverend Marty Levesque

Second Place: The Catholic Register
Saving Our Kids
Author: Michael Swan

First Place: The New Brunswick Anglican
May you fly with the Angels – Archbishop Nutter Laid to Rest;
Archbishop Nutter Remembered for his Kindness;
A Life Well Lived: Archbishop Harold Nutter
Author: Gisele McKnight

FEATURE PHOTO: MAGAZINE
Judge: Terrance Pack

Third Place: The Voice of the Martyrs Canada
Solitary Refinement
Photographer: Wes Laing

Second Place: The United Church Observer
Yoko Kihara
Photographer: Ian Sheh

First Place: Salvationist
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Photographer: Carson Samson

FEATURE PHOTO: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Terrance Pack

*No Third Place Awarded*

Second Place: The Catholic Register
Helping Hands
Photographer: Meggie Hoegler

First Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
Remembering the Anglican boys from Craik
Photographer: Jason G. Antonio

FEATURES (NONFICTION): MAGAZINE
Judge: Cynthia Shannon

Third Place: The Canadian Lutheran
Reformation 500: Heart and Sola
Author: Reverend Dr. James Gimbel

Second Place: Salvationist
The Children Who Never Came Home
Author: Kristin Ostensen

First Place: The United Church Observer
Resisting Genocide
Author: Sally Armstrong

FEATURES (NONFICTION): NEWSPAPER & NEWSLETTER
Judge: Cynthia Shannon

*No Third Place awarded*

Second Place: The Catholic Register
I was in prison, and you visited me
Author: Angela Saldanha

First Place: Christian Courier
Zombies and a Gospel Conversation
Author: Trent deJong
Editor: Monica de Regt

OPINION PIECE
Judge: Mirko Petricevic

Third Place: Faith Today
Fearless: Christians are part of culture, and culture is part of us
Author: Anna Robbins
Editors: Bill Fledderus and Karen Stiller

Second Place: Christian Courier
The Limits of Thoughts and Prayers
Author: Lloyd Rang
Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

First Place: The United Church Observer
Culture Thieves
Author: Pieta Woolley

COLUMN: MAGAZINE
Judge: Emily Stassen

Third Place: Salvationist
Her Story
Lieutenant Kristen Jackson-Dockeray

Second Place: The United Church Observer
To the Point
Author: Michael Coren

First Place: Faith Today
Go With God
Author: Carolyn Arends
Editors: Bill Fledderus and Karen Stiller

COLUMN: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Emily Stassen

*No Third Place awarded*

Second Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
God’s power shown in our weakness; Resurrection is the bedrock of our hope; Reconciliation comes through God’s grace
Author: The Reverend Cheryl Toth

First Place: The Catholic Register
Herman Goodden columns
Author: Herman Goodden

DEPARTMENT
Judge: Bruce Soderholm

Third Place: The Canadian Lutheran
Reformation 500
Editor: Mathew Block (featuring work by Mathew Block, The Reverend Dr. Edward G. Kettner and Kelly Klages)

Second Place: The United Church Observer
Superlatives
Authors: Nancy Fornasiero, Mario Toneguzzi and Jon Tattrie

First Place: The Catholic Register
Youth Speak News
Editor: Jean Ko Din

SERVICE JOURNALISM
Judge: Amy MacLachlan

Third Place: Faith & Friends
Fair Trade in an Unfair World
Author: Kaitlin Adlam
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

Second Place: Salvationist
In Harm’s Way
Author: Major Shirley King

First Place: Faith Today
Stability Is the Key: Helping Children After a Divorce
Author: Alex Newman
Editors: Bill Fledderus and Karen Stiller

PHOTO ESSAY: MAGAZINE
Judge: Terrance Pack

Third Place: Salvationist
Island of Hope
Photographer: Joel Johnson; Designer: Timothy Cheng

Second Place: The United Church Observer
Trump Country
Photographer: Nigel Dickson

First Place: Canadian Mennonite
Back to School Around the World
Photographers: Various; Designer: Ross W. Muir

PHOTO ESSAY: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Terrance Pack

Third Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
Celebrating Ordinations at Pentecost in Saskatoon
Designer: Jason G. Antonio

Second Place: The New Brunswick Anglican
Celebrating Safe Harbour House
Artist, Designer and Photographer: Gisele McKnight

First Place: The Catholic Register
Nativities Cover Every Corner of the Earth
Photographer: Jean Ko Din

MEDIA REVIEW
Judge: Michael Coren

Third Place: Faith & Friends
Son of a Preacher Man
Author: Giselle Randall
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

Second Place: The United Church Observer
Culture: Colour me Sedated
Author: Pieta Woolley

First Place: The Canadian Lutheran
In Review: Silence
Author: The Reverend Ted Giese

THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
Judge: Rolf Pedersen

Third Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
Resurrection is the bedrock of our hope
Author: The Reverend Cheryl Toth

Third Place: Salvationist
At the Same Table
Author: Major Christine Johnston

Second Place: The Catholic Register
There’s still a long road to Church unity
Author: Michael Swan

Second Place: Canada Lutheran
Early Legends about Jesus’ Birth and Childhood
Author: The Reverend Dr. Kristine Ruffatto
Editor: Kenn Ward

First Place: The United Church Observer
When Neurons meet Prayer
Author: Trisha Elliott

BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
Judge: Doug Koop

Third Place: Canadian Mennonite
Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
Author: John D. Rempel
Editors: Virginia A. Hostetler and Ross W. Muir

Second Place: Faith Today
You Anoint My Head With Oil: What a Bronze Age warrior-king can teach us about friends and enemies
Author: Mark Buchanan
Editors: Bill Fledderus and Karen Stiller

First Place: Salvationist
Fear and Trembling
Author: Dr. Donald Burke

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: CIRCULATION LESS THAN 10,000
Judge: Muriel Duncan

Third Place: Tapestry
An Intervention
Author: Amy Bracebridge

Second Place: Mandate
Living in Hope
Author: Geraldine Robertson, as told to writer Charlotte Empey

First Place: Canada Lutheran
Early I Loved Him
Author: The Reverend Nancy Vernon Kelly
Editor: Kenn Ward

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: CIRCULATION ABOVE 10,000

Judge: Brent van Staalduinen

Third Place: The Catholic Register
I was in prison, and you visited me
Author: Angela Saldanha

Second Place: Faith Today
Welcoming Refugees in Uganda
Author: Karen Stiller
Editor: Bill Fledderus

First Place: The United Church Observer
Involuntary Pilgrim
Author: David Giuliano

INTERVIEW

Judge: Michael Coren

Third Place: Salvationist
Force for Change
Authors: Geoff Moulton and Kristin Ostensen

Second Place: Huron Church News
The state of Huron: This is what I’m seeing / ‘The passion and energy of people in Huron give me hope’
Author: Sandra Coulson

First Place: The United Church Observer
Martin Rumscheidt
Author: Paul Knowles

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE: MAGAZINE
Judge: Donald G. Bastian

Third Place: Faith & Friends
Hammer’s Time
Author: Ken Ramstead
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

Second Place: Canadian Mennonite
Prodigal Pastor
Author: Will Braun
Editors: Virginia A. Hostetler and Ross W. Muir

First Place: The United Church Observer
Fall from Grace
Author: Justin Dallaire

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Donald G. Bastian

*No Awards Awarded*

HUMOUR: ARTICLE
Judge: Kevin Frank

*No Third or Second Place Awarded*

First Place: Faith & Friends
Cowpocalypse Now
Author: Phil Callaway
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

HUMOUR: CARTOON
Judge: Phil Callaway

*No Third or Second Place Awarded*

First Place: Foi & Vie
Pour L’Amour du Ciel
Artist: Kevin Frank
Designer: Brandon Laird

ORIGINAL ARTWORK: MAGAZINE
Judge: Carson Samson

Third Place: Faith & Friends
Cowpocalypse Now
Artist: Dennis Jones
Designer: Brandon Laird

Second Place: Mennonite Brethren Herald
The Polarity of Discipleship
Designer: Colton Floris

First Place: Rupert’s Land News
Urns for Healing
Artist: Carolyn Mount

ORIGINAL ARTWORK: NEWSPAPER
Judge: Carson Samson

Honourable Mention: Christian Courier
Harbour Lights
Artist: Adam Young
Editor: Monica deRegt

FRONT COVER – MAGAZINE: CIRCULATION LESS THAN 10,000
Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Mandate
2017-2018 Mission & Service Special Edition
Photographer: Ruth Noble

Second Place: Canada Lutheran
Luther’s Legacy
Designer: Catherine Crivici

First Place: Mennonite Brethren Herald
The Holy Spirit Living in us
Designer: Colton Floris

FRONT COVER – MAGAZINE: CIRCULATION ABOVE 10,000
Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Faith Today
The Mystery of the Incarnation
Designer and Illustrator: Janice Van Eck

Second Place: Faith & Friends
The Sky’s the Limit
Designer: Brandon Laird
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

First Place: The United Church Observer
Stolen Mothers
Designer: Ross Woolford

FRONT PAGE – NEWSPAPER

*No Third or Second Place Awarded*

First Place: The Catholic Register
The Poet Priest
Photographer: Michael Swan

FEATURE LAYOUT & DESIGN – MAGAZINE: CIRCULATION LESS THAN 10,000
Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Mennonite Brethren Herald
Spreading Hope with the Southridge Jam Company
Designer: Colton Floris

Second Place: Canada Lutheran
Liberated by God’s Grace
Designer: Catherine Crivici

First Place: Mandate
On the Road to Reconciliation
Designer: Lisa Rebnord

FEATURE LAYOUT & DESIGN – MAGAZINE: CIRCULATION ABOVE 10,000
Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Salvationist
Bridge Builders
Designer: Timothy Cheng; Photographer: Giselle Randall

Second Place: Faith Today
The Incarnation Mystery: Why God becoming flesh is the paramount teaching of the Christian faith
Designer and Illustrator: Janice Van Eck

First Place: The United Church Observer
Many Faces, One Humanity
Designer: Ross Woolford

FEATURE LAYOUT & DESIGN – NEWSPAPER
Judge: Saskia Rowley

Third Place: The New Brunswick Anglican
2017 Events and Activities
Artist/Designer: Gisele McKnight

Second Place: The Catholic Register
Canada Day 150
Designer: David Chan

First Place: Christian Courier
What is the Purpose of Christian Education?
Designer: Naomi Francois
Editor: Monica de Regt

EDITION LAYOUT & DESIGN – MAGAZINE: CIRCULATION LESS THAN 10,000
Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Mennonite Brethren Herald
Discipleship
Designer: Colton Floris

Second Place: Mandate
Reconciliation
Designer: Lisa Rebnord

First Place: Canada Lutheran
Luther’s Legacy
Designer: Catherine Crivici

EDITION LAYOUT & DESIGN – MAGAZINE: CIRCULATION ABOVE 10,000
Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Faith & Friends
The Sky’s the Limit
Designer: Brandon Laird

Second Place: Faith Today
May/June 2017 issue
Designer: Janice Van Eck

First Place: The United Church Observer
Many Faces, One Humanity
Designer: Ross Woolford

EDITION LAYOUT & DESIGN – NEWSPAPER
Judge: Saskia Rowley

Second Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican
September 2017 Edition
Designer: Jason G. Antonio

First Place: The Catholic Register
Christmas 2017
Designers: Mike Simpson, Mickey Conlon and Erik Canaria

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Judge: Scott Refvik

Honourable Mention: Salvationist
Facebook.com/salvationistmagazine;
Twitter.com/Salvationist;
Instagram.com/salvationistmagazine;
YouTube.com/salvationistmagazine
Editors: Kristin Ostensen and Giselle Randall; Designer: Brandon Laird

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – WEBSITE
Judge: Scott Refvik

Second Place: The United Church Observer
Designer: Kevin Spurgaitis

First Place: Salvationist.ca
Designers: Radiant and Brandon Laird

WEBSITE REDESIGN
Judge: Scott Refvik

Honourable Mention: Salvationist.ca
Designers: Radiant and Brandon Laird

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – MAGAZINE
Judge: David Harris

Third Place: Faith & Friends
Kim’s Convenience, The Sky’s the Limit & From Trauma to Triumph
(September, October & November 2017)
Designer: Brandon Laird
Editors: Ken Ramstead & Geoff Moulton

Second Place:Canadian Mennonite
September 25, October 9 and October 23 issues
Publisher: Tobi Thiessen
Executive Editor: Virginia A. Hostetler
Managing Editor: Ross W. Muir

Second Place: Faith Today
July/Aug, September/October and November/December issues of 2017
Designer: Janice Van Eck
Editors: Bill Fledderus and Karen Stiller

Second Place: The United Church Observer
September, October, November
Editor: David Wilson

*No First Place Awarded*

GENERAL EXCELLENCE – NEWSPAPER
Judge: Robert White

Second Place: The New Brunswick Anglican
September, October and November Editions
Editor: Gisele McKnight

First Place: The Catholic Register
April 9, 16 and 23, 2017
Editor: Jim O’Leary

A.C. FORREST MEMORIAL AWARD – CIRCULATION LESS THAN 10,000
Judge: Richard Swain

Honourable Mention: Christian Courier
Two Tales of a City
Author: Jonathan Boone
Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

First Place: Canada Lutheran
Ministry in the Margins
Author: Joshua Hergesheimer
Editor: Kenn Ward

A.C. FORREST MEMORIAL AWARD – CIRCULATION OVER 10,000
Judge: Richard Swain

Honourable Mention: The Catholic Register
Digging for Truth
Author: Michael Swan

First Place: The United Church Observer
Resisting Genocide
Author: Sally Armstrong

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CCP and the Future

Published on April 14, 2018 by in Features, News

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CCP and the Future: Responding to Change

Early last year the CCP executive initiated an e-mail discussion with members about these changes, and what they mean to the organization. There was follow-up discussion at the 2017 AGM in Quebec City in June, and a live online discussion in September.

Taking these various consultations into account, the executive established a committee to produce a discussion document (below). The goal is to hold another in-person discussion at our AGM in Hamilton (May 2-4) where members can provide feedback and let us know if we should continue to proceed in this direction. If that is the way people feel we should go, it will be brought to the 2019 AGM for a vote.

If you cannot be at this year’s convention, please share your thoughts with us by email. Your feedback is welcome!

The Future of the CCP: A Discussion Document

The world of communications and journalism is changing fast. Publications—both secular and church-based alike—are challenged on many fronts. Each year more publications close, including church-based publications.

Canadian Church Press (CCP) is caught up this change, along with its members. The question facing us is: How doe we respond to these changes? How do we adapt so that the organization continues to serve its members, and all those who are professional Christian communicators both now and in the future?

Current Situation

Currently, the CCP’s membership model is based on publications. Specifically, the constitution states that membership is open to “Christian print and web-based periodicals published in Canada” that are circulated regionally, nationally or internationally.

While this model has worked well for decades, the decline in the number of publications is problematic. Since 2001, the CCP has lost 32 publications, most of them to closure (three in 2017 alone). Since the future for many others does is also uncertain, this puts the future of the CCP at risk.

A Possible Course of Action

While publications are in peril, it can be said that there has never been more communication than ever before, and in so many different ways—much of it online. And many Christians still feel called to be communicators in mainstream journalism, church publications, or as bloggers, graphic and visual artists, on social media and other ways.

With that in mind, we are suggesting that CCP consider changing its membership model from being publication-based to being based on a combination of publications and individuals. At the same time, we suggest changing the name to Canadian Christian Communicators (CCC) to reflect that communication today is no longer “press” based, but takes place in many different ways.

This change would allow us to cast a vision for an organization of Christian communicators that engages the world in a broader way (beyond only publications), and that makes it possible for many more people to consider joining—Christians who are involved in journalism, public relations, communications, editing, and design work for church publications, non-profit agencies, NGOs, in the wider marketplace, as freelancers, or as bloggers.

The goal would be the same: To offer support, networking, training, community, and opportunities to gather through an annual convention, and to promote the creation of effective, engaging, and high-quality communications in various forms. Awards would still be offered to publications that continue to value them.

Communicators who could benefit from CCC include editors, reporters, writers, communication coordinators (denominational, local church, ministry organization), social media coordinators, videographers, bloggers, public relations professionals, graphic designers.

It is possible that smaller subgroups or cohorts may develop on the basis of location or specialization, e.g. the Winnipeg Christian communicators’ group, which organizes its own meetings and training events (Barefoot). Also, bloggers or designers might form a group based on their affinity rather than location.

Concluding Comments

Now, perhaps more than ever before, there is a need for good, high-quality and trustworthy communications. At the same time, economic challenges make the future of publications and the CCP uncertain. By expanding the concept of membership to all Christians who produce communications, while continuing to value, support and award the good work of existing member publications, a new organization can harness our collective strength, knowledge and energy to help many people follow their call to communicate about our faith to the wider world.

http://canadianchurchpress.com/ccp-and-the-future/2017-agm-minutes/

 

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Uncovering Truth in an Uncertain World

Published on March 15, 2018 by in Features, News

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A joint conference of Canadian Church Press and the Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada

Click here to view conference brochure and schedule.

Student discount added! Although it’s not on the registration page, students can now join this national gathering of editors, journalists and more Thursday (May 3) 9:00-4:15 including lunch for only $50 (includes presentation on Fake News by Paul Berton of The Hamilton Spectator). Or Friday (May 4) 9:00-5:30 including lunch for only $50 (includes panel of luminaries on the Importance of Rigorous Journalism; workshop on Improving Indigenous–Settler Relations by Rev. Canon Virginia “Ginny” Doctor, national coordinator for Indigenous ministries, Anglican Church of Canada; and Kairos Blanket Exercise by Major Shari Russell, territorial Indigenous ministries consultant for the Salvation Army). Check out all the keynote speakers and workshop options by clicking the above link.

To take advantage of this great student discount, please RSVP to cdnchurchpress@hotmail.com and just pay your $50 upon arrival. (To attend Wed evening, May 2 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. including a talk by charities expert Bruce MacDonald and a wine and cheese reception, register like anyone else for $25 at www.catholicregister.org/ccp.

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CCP town hall meeting

Published on September 7, 2017 by in Features

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Join this Canadian Christian communicators town hall meeting, led by the Canadian Church Press and hosted by the R.C. Archdiocese of Toronto, 1155 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Sept 12, 2017.

Join by phone toll-free: 1-855-344-7755 or local  1-416-933-3852. Conference code is: 480 018 4

NEW instructions:

Remember to review the report on revisiting CCP mission and structure by president Bill Fledderus.

Download the PowerPoint presentation to follow along at home.

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CCP 2016 Awards of Merit 

Editorial – Circulation Under 10,000

(Judge: Mark Bourrie)

First Place: Christian Courier

The Lord’s Hand of Forgiveness

As told to Bert Witvoet

by Betty Vanderburg

 

Rev. Francois Guillaume was arrested after he had prayed for the well-being of Queen Wilhelmina during a church service in the Netherlands while it was under  German occupation. Honouring the Dutch queen, who at that time was in exile in England, was considered a crime against the German Reich. One of his parishioners reported Guil­laume to the German authorities, and, because by praying for his Queen he had become an enemy of Hitler’s Nazi empire, he was arrested and sent to Dachau, one of the worst concentration camps that Hitler’s henchman Herman Goebels had devised.

During his imprisonment, Guillaume suffered from a blood clot in one of his legs and was hospitalized for that. This ailment helped him avoid hard physical labour for a while. But even in the hospital his life was always in danger because every morning the patients had to quickly stand at attention for roll call. Whoever was the slowest in getting out of bed and standing at attention was removed from the hospital and taken away to the gas chamber. Guil­laume made sure he got out of bed as quickly as possible. Because he had experience as a pastor, he figured out a way of making the guards less hostile to him. He always asked them how their wife and children were doing, and thus encouraged their human side to emerge, which was suppressed and compartmentalized during their work time in the camp.

Betty told me how various pastors and priests who were incarcerated in Dachau would agree to meet on Sunday evenings for worship near the fence, at the end ofthe camp field. They pretended to be looking at the stars and clouds. Since all Bibles had been confiscated, the pastors would take turns quoting passages they remembered from Scripture. One or two would comment on these passages, and they would take turns praying for each other and their families. For three years it never rained or snowed during that hour of worship. If it did rain or snow before, it would stop at the beginning of the hour and resume afterwards. God was clearly present in the concentration camp. This worship experience gave courage to the participants. It also helped Francois Guillaume become more ecumenical, so that later in life he could not understand how fellow Chris­tians could fight over minor theological issues during and after the war, causing unfortunate schisms.

Sometimes Guillaume was allowed to write a letter to his wife, but he had to write in German so the guards could censor the letter for forbidden information. He was not allowed to write about himself, for example. So Francois would write about a non-existent uncle who lived in a town in which they had spent their honeymoon, and he asked his wife to ask this unknown uncle ifhe had enough food because he might not get enough to eat. Somehow Mrs. Guillaume figured out hat he meant that he himself did not have enough to eat so she would send him a care package. And when he said that the cake did not taste as good as before, she knew that he wanted her to hide pictures of the children in the cake.

After the war

By God’s help and his own cunning, Francois managed to stay alive until his camp was liberated in 1945. He returned from the concentration camp, hollowed out and emaciated. His health had been damaged for the rest of his life. He spent the first few weeks in a hospice, gradu­ ally eating more food so his body could adjust and regain strength. Gradually he was able to resume his pastoral task in his church.

A few years later, someone knocked on the door of the parsonage and told him that the man who had betrayed him was dying and had asked if Rev. Guillaume could visit him and forgive him. Francois, who until that time did not know who had betrayed him to the German authorities, did not want to go. All the pain and suffering he had endured during those horrible years at Dachau came flooding back into his mind. But the Lord told him he had to go. So he went, but he told the Lord that the Lord had better do the forgiving because he himself could not do it.

When Francois met the man who was on his deathbed, the man confessed and asked him for forgiveness. The man held out his hand to him. Francois took his hand and said, “I am offering you the Lord’s hand of forgiveness.” He said that because he could not bring himself to offer his own hand of forgiveness. As he did so, Francois felt the power of God flowing from his body, through his hand, to the dying man. And then he knew that he also could forgive the man for all the pain he had caused him and his family.

Betty was two years old when her father had been taken away in 1942. When he returned she was five. When she saw her father, who looked like a walking skeleton, she ran away from him. For Francois, this was a very hurtful experience. For years afterwards, the children were told by their mother to cut out the best part of their meat or sandwich and put it on their father’s plate.

Rev. Francois Guillaume died in 1972 of heart failure. His concentration camp experience had caught up with him. His wife had gotten up in the morning and had told him to stay in bed for a bit longer. She would make him a cup oftea. When she returned to give him his cup of tea, she noticed that he was gone. The Lord had stretched out his loving hand and had taken him home.

Betty and Herman Vanderburg, who live in Calgary, Alberta, paid Alice and myself a visit at our son John and Doreen Witvoet s home in Calgary on April 8, 2013. It was then that Betty told us about her father, Rev. Francois Guil­laume. Both Alica and I had known rev. Guillaume during the 1960s when he was a pastor at Rehoboth CRC in To­ronto, and knew about his concentration camp experience.

 

 

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