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Church doing its piece for peace

By attending the dinner theatre event Those Shoes of Peace put on by the Floradale Mennonite Church, visitors get the opportunity to both financially support peace organizations and learn a bit about peacemaking in the process.

From Apr. 9-11, dozens of members of the congregation will be coming together to put on a play they have been working on for more than seven months.

Mary Frey-Martin has a laugh in her role as an extended family member of the lead roles in the play Those Shoes of Peace, being put on at the Floradale Mennonite Church Apr. 9-11.
Mary Frey-Martin has a laugh in her role as an extended family member of the lead roles in the play Those Shoes of Peace, being put on at the Floradale Mennonite Church Apr. 9-11.

“It’s amazing how many people it takes to do this,” explained the play’s author, Elmira resident Barb Draper. “Once you include the cast and the crew and the makeup people, people who make the dinner, people who help serve the dinner, the ushers and all of that. It really is a community event.”

The play is about a couple from Elmira who welcome their son home from a stint with Christian Peacemaker Teams while their daughter Cassie participates in a peace march. Throughout the show, the two youths experience some tough conversations and begin to wonder how effective their peacemaking efforts are as they interact with their extended families and explore what it means to be peacemakers in the 21st century.

“Being a peacemaker in our day and age is not easy,” said Draper, who has attended the church for almost 38 years and who wrote the last play performed there three years ago. “We are hoping that this play will leave the audience with something to think about when it comes to their role and their experiences.”

The proceeds of the show will go towards supporting a Palestinian refugee family who will be coming to Kitchener-Waterloo after having spent seven years living in a refugee camp on the border of Iraq and Syria. In addition, some proceeds will go to Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization that sends members to places in conflict to try to bring peace.

“Floradale is sponsoring family from Palestine who are set to arrive on Mar. 31,” said Rita Bauman, who also attends the church. “With help from the Muslim community in the tri-city area who know the language and their faith, this is our way to show God’s peace in a humanitarian way.”

The beef dinner on both Friday and Saturday will cost $16 per adult and $7 for children who are aged 10 and under. Those who order dinner will have reserved seats in the auditorium and others are welcome to come just for the play. A free-will offering will be taken at intermission. On Sunday at 12:30 p.m., the church will be serving a Palestinian meal, the proceeds of which will go to an Islamic organization in Waterloo Region that is sponsoring a family of their own. The church has made a commitment to support the family for one full year and their goal is to raise more than $25,000.

“Mennonite Churches Canada encouraged all churches to do something public for peace,” explained Draper, who plays the grandmother in the show. “And I thought, ‘This is what our church could do as a public affirmation for peace, and also a lot of fun.’”

To order meal tickets, call 519-669-2164 or 519-698-2088. For more information, visit www.floramc.org.

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