The Friends of Dismas


Lenten Newsletter 2011

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Lent V3Lent is a special time of preparation.

We prepare for that moment on Good Friday when Dismas looked at Jesus and said  "remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus responds to the thief with the reassuring words "Today, you will be with me in paradise."

We want to begin by thanking all who participated in our various Christmas programs, through gifts of prayer, time and treasure. Our generous community made it possible to host a beautiful Christmas dinner at the Dismas Fellowship, to support 35+ families of ex-prisoners with a Christmas basket of food and gifts and to give 55+ gift bags to women and men in various halfway houses.

As we look forward to Lent and Easter we have a number of activities and retreats you may want to participate in or support.
Please take a moment to read about them and join us if you can. 

Thank you for your continued support and prayers of the ministry.


Rev. Harry Nigh and Deacon Mike Walsh

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                             Remember Me  

   A project by: Artist Robin Pacific and Twelve ex-prisoners  


Artist Robin Pacific spoke with twelve ex-prisoners, and she asked them two questions:
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • If you were going to leave a gift for someone, what would it be?

These works will be on display at Toronto City Hall Rotunda, February 26 - March 6.  


For those in the Toronto area we invite you to join us for a reception on Tuesday, March 1 between 6-8 PM.  


Remember Me

Please feel free to e-mail us for more information at: 

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"Sharing in Freedom"

"...those who have been deeply wounded by life cry out to be healed and not merely patched up and repaired."(Dr. Charles Taylor, That They May Have Life)


Aboriginal NightNext month we are planning a retreat experience for men who have been in prison and who are trying to overcome the pain and memories of early trauma. We're calling it "Sharing in Freedom" and it will take place from March 11-13 at Five Oaks Retreat Centre near Brantford.



Aboriginal Night 3We have witnessed men struggle with self-hatred and inner pain ("I feel shattered") that locks them into their own destructive pain-killing patterns and often back to prison. Talking about his deep-rooted rage one man said, "I need an elder to grab it out".


We hope to respectfully blend both aboriginal and Christian healing approaches in a circle of Elders from the aboriginal community, ministers and counselors, volunteers and ex-prisoners.  


We would appreciate your prayers for the retreat - a first of its kind for us - and would welcome your donations to help cover the costs.

Donate Now
 Click on the link to donate online and enter Friends of Dismas and follow the instructions to make an online donation or mail a your gift to the address below:

Friends of Dismas

PO. Box 117

Markham, ON  L3P 3J5


Charitable Organization Number   83734 5560 RR0001 

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Building our Community: Retreats for Women

Jesus weptJesus wept.  The shortest verse in the Bible, yet powerful.  Jesus wept when he sat beside Lazarus' grave.  However, he did not only weep.  Jesus prayed, he pushed the stone away, and called out for his friend to walk out of the tomb.  


Women connected with Dismas or Community Chaplaincy in Hamilton, Brampton and Toronto are listening to Jesus' personal invitations through attending upcoming women's retreats. 


Please Pray!  We are having a retreat, with 26 women this Saturday, February 26. We will be asking Jesus: "Who do YOU say that I am?".


Jesus and womenYou are invited to participate on teams to coordinate logistics (driving, shopping, refreshments), arts (crafts, painting, drama), spiritual nurture (prayer, worship, musical instruments) and more.    


The next retreat will be held on April 9 and our yearly weekend retreat will be held on July 8-10.


The weekend retreat, which takes place over a weekend in July, costs about $100 per person per day. We need your continued support to make this weekend a reality.  Would you consider sponsoring one woman?  


To find out more about these retreats and sponsorship opportunities e-mail us at the links below.   


Please invite God's spirit to show you if and how you might join this ministry.  

Thank you.


For more information on these retreats or any aspect of our ministry to women ex-prisoners please email  


Susan Kroeker:

Shauna Mayer  

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New Play Explores Restorative Justice


Daniel CriagOn Sunday, March 20, Roseneath Theatre and Trinity-St. Paul's Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts turn the spotlight on restorative justice with a dramatic reading of a new play by award-winning playwright David S. Craig.


Based on two years of research, Tough Case is a gritty, fast moving dramatization of restorative justice in action. The reading features members of Toronto's theatre community directed by Richard Greenblatt (Two Pianos/Four Hands). A Q&A with the playwright and Harry Nigh, a Community Chaplain with Correctional Services Canada, will follow.


Tough Case was commissioned by the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Association. It will be produced and tour in Nova Scotia this spring and headline an international restorative justice conference in Halifax in June.


Don't miss this one-time preview!


DATE:    March 20th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

PLACE: Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. West (Bloor just west of Spadina)



Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on addressing the harm to people and their relationships that results from a wrongful act.  Through restorative justice processes, those affected by a crime - the perpetrator(s), the victim(s), their families and support communities, along with representatives of the wider community - are given the opportunity to come together. They discuss what happened in order to understand what harm was caused and to make a plan for making it better. 

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Lent Meditation 2011 

Seeking the Face of Jesus on the streets of Toronto 

Rev. Harry Nigh - Wednesday, March 30th Noon
Seeing the face of the Imprisoned 


St. Andrew's Church in downtown Toronto is holding a series of Lenten meditations each Wednesday in Lent starting on Wednesday, March 16th.

On Wednesday, March 30th Harry will be the meditation leader and his topic is: "Seeking the face of the imprisoned".

Please join this mediation series where each week participants reflect on the question - Where might we see the face of Christ today?

Lent Series

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Mennonite Central Committee Presents

1st Annual

Art Sale and Silent Auction

May 14th 7-9 pm


Mennonite Central Committee will be holding its first annual Art Sale and Silent Auction to support the Restorative Justice Program in Hamilton.


Art created by the women through community chaplaincy will be on sale as well as many amazing items from local businesses and supporters of the program.


We are requesting items to place for bidding in our silent auction.

If you or your business have an item to donate please contact Shauna Mayer, Community Chaplain at:

 or phone 289-808-1165.  


All auction donation items will be issued tax receipts.


Please consider selling tickets for the event and spreading the word at your local church community.  We would love have you attend the evening and bid on some great items as well.  All are welcome!

Art Sale Ad

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