Light the Fire Launch Ignites Community

At the recent Light the Fire capital campaign launch party hosted by Camps with Meaning, one message was clear: our camping ministry has a powerful way of building community, highlighting the best parts of who we are as Mennonite Church Manitoba and what we can accomplish together.

Those who have been to camp know this firsthand. But all who attended the launch party, whether they have had camp experience or not, can now testify to Camps with Meaning’s impact on our churches, the ministries that we collectively support, and the wider community of Manitoba.

People of all ages gathered at Alloway Hall in the Manitoba Museum on the evening of April 14. Hosted by retiring MCM staff member Kathy Giesbrecht and Kyle Penner, pastor at Grace Mennonite Church (Steinbach), the launch party featured live music by Steve Bell, Bucky Driedger, Alisa Wiebe, and Mike Wiebe. All spoke to the significance of Camps with Meaning, a message reinforced by a video featuring past and present MCM and Camps staff and supporters.

“This was really a celebration of camp and a tangible support for a vision that grew out of a collaborative process of discernment,” says Camps with Meaning Director Dorothy Fontaine. “Out of this, a strategic plan was developed in 2016, and later updated in 2020.”

The vision aims to support and strengthen our current programs, secure the long-term sustainability of Camps with Meaning, and unveil new initiatives. These include an expanded leadership program for a small group of young adults, retreat opportunities tailored for churches and other faith-based groups, a venue for these retreats and other events such as weddings, and a space dedicated to Indigenous (MMIWG2S) families affected by the tragedy of their missing and murdered loved one. The development plans also address much needed facility updates at both Camp Koinonia and Camp Assiniboia.

“We are so grateful to all who came out, and we are eager to spread the word!” says Krista Neustaedter Barg, chair of the Light the Fire committee. “If you would like to meet with us personally or come speak to your congregation or small group, please feel free to contact us.”

Check out for more information on the capital campaign. Pray for Camps and for this campaign, and consider donating or pledging a regular gift. Help us Light the Fire!