Outreach Breakfast: “From Being a WWII Refugee to Starting a New Life in Canada”

Our NEXT PARISH OUTREACH BREAKFAST will be on Saturday May 12th at 9 a.m. Our guest speaker is another of St. Peter’s own, the Rev. Dr. Dittmar Mündel. The title of Dittmar’s talk is “From Being a WWII Refugee to Starting a New Life in Canada”.

A sign-up sheet is provided in the church hall, and Geoff NEEDS TO KNOW no later than Thurs., May 10th who will be coming to the event in order to purchase groceries

Remembering what it is like to be refugee and making Canada a new home.
Before my family and I arrived in Canada as immigrants, my parents from Riga, Latvia, had survived the two World Wars, the Bolshevik revolution, and the great trek West from Poland. In the first two years of my life, we had to flee twice: once as the Soviet army was advancing toward the West; and once after the War, as my mother and her four little children tried to get from the Soviet zone to the British and American zones to be reconnected to my father. I was always amazed at my parents’ skill in surviving in extreme circumstances and providing for us, even to the extent of scrounging for food and working on the black market for cigarettes. And in the midst of it all, they kept their Christian faith and found a way to spiritually survive losing their homeland and property in Riga, Latvia, the horrors of war, and of being refugees with little children with only a few suitcases of stuff. Coming to Canada was a way for them to be reconnected to a land, a people, and a community so that their children could be deeply rooted in place and thrive. They knew how to make Canada our new home.
Rev. Dr. Dittmar Mündel
Born during the war in Poland, and spending his early years in bombed-out Düsseldorf, Germany, Dittmar was raised on an orchard in Oliver, B.C. After two years at UBC, Dittmar did his MA in Biblical Theology at the University of Goettingen, Germany and his PhD at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He was ordained into what is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 1970 and served parishes in Edmonton, Vancouver, Walnut Creek, California and Wetaskiwin before taking up his position of professor of Religious Studies at what is now the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta in 1980. He has pioneered and developed the award-winning Prairies-Mexico Rural Development Exchange that examined rural community development from ecological, economic, social, cultural and spiritual aspects in Alberta and the State of Morelos for 15 years. He has co-founded the
“spirit of the land” courses and conferences offered annually at the Augustana Campus since 2012. Dittmar has lectured and conducted workshops on both theology and integrated community development in Germany, Ghana, Mexico, Colombia, Canada and the US. He is an associate director emeritus of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life of the U of A. Dittmar is married to Pat, an educator and community organizer. Together they have 4 grown children.


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