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Celebrating with the people and congregations of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference w i n t e r 2012-13

God’s people, God’s creation: Camp Keola marks 46 years of ministry in the Pacific Southwest


orty-six years ago, a small group of Mennonites began a search for a retreat site with the goal of establishing a place where people could further their relationship with Christ while experiencing his beautiful creation. Soon after, Camp Keola was purchased in the High Sierras on the shores of Huntington Lake, Calif. Camp Keola has seen many changes since those early years. Dedicated volunteers have turned a rustic camp of tent platforms and dirt into a comfortable, forested campus with 12 permanent cabins, a beautiful dining hall and Huntington Lodge, affording guests a comfortable and memorable experience. Camp Keola’s summer schedule has grown from two weeks of use per year to a full summer schedule, while still keeping a slowpaced and peaceful environment. Huntington Lake is truly one of California’s hidden gems. Keola’s private waterfront features a swim area, fishing, and boating; sailboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboats. Oh, the crazy fun that happens when kids and water are brought together! And then there are the wacky games you only can learn at camp played on the recreation field, along with volleyball, horseshoes, basketball and ping-pong. Camp Keola is surrounded by a wide


Camp Keola’s beautiful waterfront on Huntington Lake, in the High Sierra of Fresno County, includes plenty of equipment to enjoy the water: sailboats, paddleboats, canoes and kayaks. array of day/ afternoon hikes. One of the easiest and most rewarding hikes is to take a quick stroll up to nearby Inspiration Point (IP) where you will be awed by a spectacular view of the sunset, and with a little patience, might see more shooting stars than you can count on two hands! The ever-present cross at IP, which has survived vandalism, extreme weather, and even a catastrophic forest fire in the early 1990s, reminds us of our Creator and Savior. Many of the most memorable and life-changing experiences happen during evening campfires, which can be spiritually challenging, energetic, and always fun, providing spiritual growth and new insights into life with Jesus and each other. Camp Keola uniquely brings together youth and adults alike from throughout Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, to experience God and learn how to live together in Christian community. At their baptism a year and a half ago, five young people from Mennonite Community Church in Fresno talked about how they came to a relationship with Christ and his church. Continued next page




Register for Phoenix 2013, an assembly in our own backyard!

What’s the scoop? People and events in PSMC

ReconciliAsian peace center is up and running



What’s coming up at News you can use: PSMC’s Winter Resources for Assembly in Pasadena congregations

Camp Keola

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Fostering fun, friendship and faith in the great outdoors

Panorama is a publication of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, which unites and serves congregations across Arizona, California and Nevada. Does your congregation get short shrift in Panorama? Help get the word out about what’s going on in your neck of the Pacific Southwest by adding Panorama to your email announcements or newsletters list, or by letting us know about your Facebook page. Short articles, announcements and photographs are also always welcome. Check out the fullcolor version of Panorama, available at the PSMC website, pacficsouthwest. org Write to the editor, Doreen Martens, at: dmartens@ (905) 829-9640

From page 1 They spoke of the importance of the time spent at Camp Keola and the helpful guidance they received while there in developing their commitment to a life with Christ. Jessica Mast, former Youth Pastor at Mennonite Community and Program Director at Camp Keola the past several years, explains the unique experience young people have at Camp Keola: “There is a consistent, stable sense of community. The small camp atmosphere means that campers do not come up to be campers with strangers, but instead to do life with their old friends . . . lifelong relationships have been fostered up at Keola. “I’ve had the beautiful opportunity to know many campers for several years, and see them grow in their faith from tiny shy 4th graders to blossoming young adults eager to follow Jesus in their adult life. This sense of community is what I believe to be the most important aspect that allows campers to go deeper in their relationship with Christ –– they are in a place where they feel loved and safe and confident in who they are, and that foundation allows God to move them more deeply. Keola offers an environment where each camper knows that they are a valued human being, and worth God’s love!” As anyone who has been to Keola knows it is a very unique and special place. There are many ways you can be a part of Keola this summer: • Work at Keola this summer or during weekends this fall. We are looking for summer and fall managers, cooks, maintenance staff and lifeguards. Find available positions and a job application at

Hardy young souls warm up at the campfire after an early-morning “polar bear swim” in the lake. • Come to camp! •The Junior/Junior High Camp is July 14-20 • High School Camp is July 21-28. • As a family or single adult, you can spend some quality time at Vacation or Family Camp. • Volunteer and have some fun, too, at one of our work weekend camps – Memorial Day or the third weekend in October. • Be a camp counselor, lead crafts, share your gift of music! Keola is a place where all of God’s people can minister and be ministered to. If you would like to register for camp or learn more about Camp Keola, visit the website at –– By Galen Quenzer

Your invitation to Phoenix 2013


ow’s the time to sign up for Phoenix 2013, the Mennonite Church USA convention to be held July 1-6 on the theme “Citizens of God’s Kingdom: Healed in Hope.” If you’ve never had the chance to attend a churchwide assembly before, this is a great opportunity. Not only is this assembly being held in our own backyard, making it much less expensive to attend, you get two assemblies in one, since a briefer version of PSMC’s Summer Assembly will be held in conjunction with the big event. Registration for the convention and hotel bookings at convention rates are now open. The youth assembly held simultaneously is a not-to-be-missed experience for PSMC teens, and lends an exciting energy to the whole event. Among the speakers for the youth convention is Hal Shrader, pastor at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, Ariz. There are also special activities planned all week for junior youth and younger children, with outings to fun places around Phoenix. In addition to business sessions and a raft of workshops and seminars, speakers at the main assembly include Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, moderator-elect; Methodist Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, a pastor nationally recognized for her work in immigration reform; Albany (Ore.) Mennonite Pastor Meghan Good, a passionate preacher, storyteller and speaker on subjects such as hermeneutics, integrative worship and the church’s gener-

ation gap; and Richard Twiss, a member of the Lakota people in South Dakota and speaker, activist, educator, author and networker among innovative thinkers within the global Indigenous community. For complete information about the assembly and how to register, including lodging, please visit:

What’s the scoop? People and events


onations and volunteers from other churches came to the aid of All Souls Christian Center recently, to help the church repair its property. The building is now in good enough shape to allow for some rentals, which provides a much-needed source of revenue to the largely immigrant congregation in Los Angeles. “Praise God for this gift,” says Conference Minister Dick Davis, who had encouraged other congregations to pitch in over the fall.


ore and more churches are making caring for Creation an important part of their witness and practice. The “climate change action team” at Pasadena Mennonite Church came up with a practical way to challenge the whole community to get involved: They’re asking members to take one day on the first weekend of each month to “either educate yourself about climate change or take steps to change your lifestyle.” Through the year, there will be a whiteboard set up in the church foyer where people can share their ideas and information. outh Venture 2013 locations are now posted. If Y you’re a young person aged 14 to 22 and would like to spend one to three weeks learning through service this summer, you’re eligible. You could serve with local Christians in Colombia, South Africa, or Spain or in Alaska, Texas or Florida. Go to MennoniteMission. net/Serve for more info and click on Youth Venture.


re you sending your high school teens to the Phoenix 2013 Youth Assembly? Many congregations have found fun ways to raise money to give their youth this potentially life-shaping experience. Mennonite Community in Fresno came up with one slightly alarming method: Stage a mock “kidnapping” of their brand new pastor, Gordon Smith, and seek a ransom in the form of donations to the youth convention fund. Below is how that one got announced. What’s your fundraiser?

Send Panorama a note and maybe a picture at, and we’ll feature it in the spring issue. ennonite Mission Network’s Service Adventure M program is looking for people aged 24 and up to commit to a two-year term (beginning August 2013) as unit leaders. As a leader, you live in a unit house with a small group of 17- to 20-year-olds and offer guidance and support as they serve and live in community. For more information contact Diana Cook at DianaC@ or visit serve/sa/Pages/Home.aspx ave you heard about the DREAMer fund? It’s H money available through Mennonite Church USA to help undocumented young people connected with Mennonite congregations pay the fee required to apply for a deferment. Each person who qualifies for funding will need to sign a covenant along with their supporting congregation. If you are interested in applying or know someone who is, check out the Immigration page on the Mennonite Church USA website: ducational opportunity: Hesston College has proE posed to PSMC a “Weekend Event for Conference Leaders” for late spring or early summer of 2013. The purpose is to nurture potential leaders of the Mennonite Church by exposing them to quality teaching on important theological issues and introducing them to the Pastoral Ministries Program at Hesston College, a program designed to develop new leaders. The event would be a three-day weekend featuring an introductory overview of a Hesston college class and the Pastoral Ministries Program. Much of the expense of the weekend will be underwritten so the cost to participants will be low. The location is yet to be determined but the area that shows most interest could be chosen to host the event, so a quick response is important. Class options include Anabaptist History and Thought, Peacemaking and Justice, and Introduction to Biblical Literature. These classes are not offered for college credit. If this interests you, send a note with your preference for one of the three classes to Conference Minister Dick Davis at he friendly new voice you’ll hear on the other end of T the line when you call the PSMC conference office is that of Agnieszka (Agnes) Chigoji, who recently began

Don’t be alarmed: It’s a fundraising joke!

duties as PSMC’s new Conference Administrator. She and her family live in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Agnes earned a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Southern California. She is a volunteer at the local MCC Thrift Store and a Sunday School teacher, education coordinator and member of the church council at First Mennonite Upland, where she’s a member. She also volunteers as a Good News Teacher at the Upland Elementary School. In gratefully announcing her appointment, Conference Minister Dick Davis also expressed appreciation to Nancy Ellis, who graciously served as the interim administrator for several months. Contact information for PSMC is found on the back cover of Panorama.

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Jan. 31 PSMC Elder Training, Pasadena Feb. 1-2 PSMC Winter Assembly Pasadena Mennonite Church, Pasadena March 2 & 16 Anabaptist Theology class Church for Others, Temple City, Calif. April 5-6 West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale & Auction Fresno April 12-14 Sister Care women’s retreat Yucaipa, Calif. May 17-18 Southern California Festival & Sale Upland July 1-6 ‘Citizens of God’s Kingdom’ Mennonite Church USA Assembly, Phoenix (PSMC Summer Assembly to be held in conjunction)

Agnes Chigoji

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Did you know? Love your tablet reader? Now you can get many of Herald Press’s key theological books and Bible commentaries online so you can read them any way you like. MennoMedia is converting them into digital formats to reach a wider audience with Anabaptist themes. Visit www. to learn more.

Participants in the restorative justice workshop held in December for Korean Christians in the L.A. area.

ReconciliAsian peace center launched


econciliAsian, the exciting new peace center ministry begun in the Los Angeles area by Hyun Hur and Sue Hur last spring, is officially off the

ground. The Hurs planned a special launch service on Jan. 21 in Los Angeles featuring as main speaker Don Mosley, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity and founder of Jubilee Partners, who has worked for years toward building homes in North Korea as an act of peacebuilding in the Korean Peninsula. But the work of ReconciliAsian –– sharing the theology and tools of reconciliation and conflict transformation with immigrant churches –– started well before that ceremonial beginning. In November, the Hurs organized a workshop geared to Korean pastors on conflict resolution in congregations, led by Duane Ruth-Heffelbower, head of the Fresno Pacific University peace program. The idea was to encourage pastors to see resolving conflict “as a foundational tool they should have while ministering,” says Sue. On Dec. 8, another gathering on restorative justice, geared more broadly to Korean Christians, was led by Jae Young Lee, an Anabaptist pioneer of restorative justice in Korea who leads the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute, which trains participants from various countries in the region (whose people often have a history of hostility) in peacebuilding skills. “We were happy to welcome participants who came to our previous workshops, but we also saw new faces who were eagerly soaking in all the information,” the Hurs write of the December workshop on the center’s website, “Many remarked that they were deeply encouraged to see that mediation skills are not only important concepts, but a life-transforming tool in the Korean society as shown in the numerous life examples shared by Jae Young.” The Hurs, who planted Church for Others in Temple City –– one of only two Korean-language Mennonite

churches in the United States –– were especially encouraged in November to be awarded a $15,000 grant from the Schowalter Foundation. The grant will focus on the three aims of the Conflict Transformation for the Korean Immigrant Church Project: drawing on and adapting Anabaptist resources for peacemaking and conflict resolution to develop programs to serve Korean immigrant churches ; building relationships between leaders, practitioners and scholars across Mennonite Church USA and extending that network as a resource to Korean churches; and developing a library of translated materials and new resources to help those congregations in the ministry of peacemaking. The Hurs are visiting local PSMC churches to seek support for their unique vision for peacemaking in Los Angeles, a multicultural region they see as ripe for the Anabaptist peace message. For more information, visit their website,, or speak with Conference Minister Dick Davis about having the Hurs visit your congregation.

Jubilee Partners founder Don Mosley with Hyun Hur.

Join PSMC in Pasadena for Winter Assembly


any People Becoming God’s People’ is the sweeping theme of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference’s Winter Assembly, to be held at Pasadena Mennonite, Feb. 1-2. With their blend of lively multicultural music, storytelling, and “worshipful work,” PSMC’s assemblies are a great way to learn more about the diverse and growing Mennonite church in the Southwest, capture a vision to take back to your home congregation, and get to know some really amazing people. Churches are, of course, encouraged to send delegates, but you don’t have to be an official delegate to take part in all or part of the event, which begins 7 p.m. Friday at Pasadena Mennonite Church and continues from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Saturday, allowing plenty of time to get home for your usual Sunday activities. As to the theme: When it comes to thinking about building bridges between cultures, you could hardly do better than keynote speaker Iris de León-Hartshorn, Director of Transformative Peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA. The focus of de León-Hartshorn’s work is immigration, undoing racism and building bridges between cultures toward a transformed, inter-cultural church. She holds a master’s degree from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. She was ordained in 1994 by Western District Conference and South Central Conference, while serving as a chaplain with Northwest Hospice in Humble, Texas. De León-Hartshorn was part of a volunteer

antiracism team for Western District Conference in the mid-1990s and later became a trainer for Mennonite Central Committee’s Damascus Road Anti-Racism Process. She also served as co-pastor of Houston Mennonite Church with her spouse, Leo Hartshorn, before accepting the position of Director of Peace and Justice Ministries with MCC U.S. in Akron, Pa., in 1996. In this role, which she held until 2007, she worked on issues related to immigration, women’s concerns, peace advocacy and antiracism. Since then she has served as the denomination’s Director for Intercultural Relations and more recently as executive conference minister for Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. De León-Hartshorn will offer the keynote Friday evening. Saturday morning will be devoted partly to reflecting on the conference’s story –– how it has grown and changed from 1994 to the present, featuring some of the individuals who have been part of PSMC’s formation and growth –– as well as people who now have churchwide roles but have been closely associated with PSMC, such as Stanley Green, executive director of Mennonite Mission Network, and Terry Shue, director of leadership development for Mennonite Church USA. Saturday afternoon will be devoted to thinking ahead to PSMC’s future and how we can prepare for the next 20 years of ministry as an area conference. Brochures and registration information for the assembly have been sent to all member churches. This information as well as online registration are available at the PSMC website,

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Help with money Are you on the church finance committee? Do you know a treasurer looking for helpful resources? Look no further than the Treasurers Handbook, which can be found at the Mennnonite Church USA website: treasurers-and-finance/ This resource includes budgeting tips, sample policies and procedures and suggestions for churchwide giving. You’ll also find a Congregational Budget Packet, in English or Spanish, at the same web page.

Learning tour forges church ties with Indonesia’s JKI By Pastor Sunoko Lin rvin Stutzman, the executive director of Mennonite Church USA, and I had the opportunity to travel together to Indonesia for 14 days, Aug. 30 to Sept 14, 2012. The purpose of the trip was a learning tour for Ervin, as MC USA Representative, to gain a deeper understanding of our JKI Synod and to engage in conversation to discuss a possible partnership in these areas of ministry: education, missions, and church planting. We visited several cities and rural areas on the island of Java. Ervin preached and taught in a number of venues, including congregational worship services, pastoral gatherings, and a seminary training event. We had the opportunity to meet with the leadership of three very large Mennonite congregations of JKI Synod to learn about their evangelistic activities and community involvement: JKI Injil Kerajaan (the Holy Stadium Church) in Semarang, Jakarta Praise Community Church in Jakarta, and JKI Maranatha in Ungaran. We had some memorable highlights from the trip. First, we witnessed an enthusiastic response to Ervin’s lectures from the group of 150 young people at JKI Bible college, Sangkakala in Kopeng. Second, we experienced vibrant worship in every teaching ministry we attended. Especially, the young people worshipped God with great


enthusiasm. Third, we learned much about faithfulness from Indonesian believers. While in a very challenging context, they actively proclaim the Gospel to nonChristians through preaching and community involvement such as providing free medical care and education. It is my prayer that this visit will open the pathway for MC USA and JKI Synod to explore global partnership in the areas of education, missions, and church planting. Both churches have much to contribute to the global body of Christ. –– reprinted from PSMC e-Update

Below, Mennonite Church USA Executive Director Ervin Stutzman and Maranatha Christian Fellowship (Northridge) Pastor Sunoko Lin worship with students at the Sangkakala seminary.

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PSMC contacts Moderator Brian Fry BrianFry@

Conference Minister Dick Davis dickdavis@ 214-608-6334 Resource Advocate Barbara Ewy

Conference Office 379 N. Campus Ave. Upland, CA 91786 Administrator: Agnes Chigoji agneschigoji@ 909-243-5003 Office Hours: 9 -11 a.m. Tuesday & by appointment

Web site: www.

News you can use:

Resources for congregations


ver the years, Christians have often used the book of Joshua to justify warfare, conquest, colonialism, and even ethnic cleansing. So what would a Bible commentary from a publisher in the pacifist tradition have to say about this book? First, there are fresh new ways to look at this age-old and often misunderstood book, says Gordon Matties, the commentary’s author and a professor of biblical studies at Canadian Mennonite University. And second, the reader must engage in “a difficult conversation, even an argument, with the text.” Joshua (Herald Press, $29.99) is the 25th volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series. “This commentary imagines the book of Joshua as a participant in an intra-biblical conversation in which Joshua interprets other texts, and other texts interpret Joshua,” says Matties. “Viewed that way, the Bible itself bears witness to a lively, if painful, debate about the relationship between violence and the identity and mission of God’s people.” Matties cautions Christians about hearing what they want to hear when they read Joshua and other difficult sections of the Bible. This includes those who believe Joshua justifies war as well as those who reject war. “We do well to foster an openness to the unexpected,” he says. Reading Joshua carefully will push Christians not to settle for easy answers or to give up too soon, says Matties. “This commentary is a plea to pay attention to a difficult text, a text we might well call a ‘text of terror,’” he added. “In a time of religious justification for terrorism and counter-terrorism, Joshua may be a book for our time.” The Believers Church Bible Commentary is a cooperative project of Mennonite Church USA and several other Anabaptist bodies. The set to date can be purchased at, or by calling 800-2457894 and can also be downloaded from Logos Bible Software at n most Christian renewal movements IWilliams in history, say Sian and Stuart Murray (author of The Naked Anabaptist), believers have turned back to what they call a “multivoiced” model of church, in which the whole community, not just a few select individuals, is “gifted, called, empowered, and expected to be involved in all aspects of church life.” In The Power of All: Building a Multivoiced Church (Herald Press, $15.99), the authors examine how a multi-

Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference

voiced church revitalizes Christian life. They see its roots in the New Testament church: its learning, worship, community-building and decision-making. The writers believe Jesus’s ministry and the Day of Pentecost indicate God’s intention for the church, “an expression of the new covenant and a foretaste of the heavenly kingdom.” “Our conviction is that the [church’s] future lies primarily with smaller, more organic and relational communities, which are by nature and design multivoiced,” they write, describing how multivoiced churches equip their members, shaping mature disciples of Jesus who are less dependent on programs and professionals, and who have skills for effective mission and ministry in the world. With courage and persistence, the Murray Williamses say, change toward participation can come in churches where Christians have been passive consumers more than active participants. The Power of All is available through he ongoing gun violence that plagues our streets –– T and sometimes, our schools and movie theaters –– reveals both the depth of human sin and the failure of politicians to address the problem. Sojourners’ resource guide Putting Down Stones: A Faithful Response to Urban Violence is a tool to help people set down their weapons and lay the foundation for initiatives that lead to peace. For Christians and other people of conscience, this resource offers encouragement and guidance to use our gifts and skills to bring about reconciliation and justice. Available for download at $9.95, at


new Bible study guide sponsored by Mennonite Women highlights issues of justice around themes from the book of Amos. Let Justice Roll Down: Women Engaging the World is a flexible 12session study by Rebecca Seiling, guiding participants through Amos with suggestions for reflection and active response.  Topics include the prophetic voice, the church’s witness in the world, consumption and generosity, and the relationship between worship and justice. Let Justice Roll Down joins a collection of studies geared to women’s groups and individuals, including recent titles Wonderfully Made: Women, Faith, and Self-Care, and Seek Peace and Pursue It: Women, Faith, and Family Care. It’s available from MennoMedia, 800-245-7894 or online at 

Support for PSMC Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference gathers California, Arizona and Nevada churches in partnership for leadership, mission and congregational renewal. Giving by congregations and individuals ensures that conference ministers are funded, mission activities flourish, and resources are available for church nurture. Donations may be sent to: PSMC, 379 N. Campus Ave., Upland, CA 91786

Panorama Winter 2012-13  

Newsletter of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference