"Public Relations Improved by Trip to North Jackson"

"Public Relations Improved by Trip to North Jackson"

The following is an article from the Whispering Pines newsletter from CPS Camp 8 which describes the "deputation trip" made by several campees to North Jackson, Ohio, in order to improve relations between the public and the CPSers:


"Public Relations Improved by Trip to North Jackson"

Six campees joined in a trip to North Jackson, Ohio, on Saturday and Sunday June 6 and 7 to conduct several services there in the Federated Church of that district. The quartet composed of Don Liechty, Lester Glick, John Smucker, and Ted Neff, together with Clair Knepp and Andy Brethauer participated in four meetings during the weekend, the meetings being attended by approximately four hundred people.

On Saturday evening the fellows enjoyed a fellowship meeting of the young people of the church at the church's parish house. After several group games, the deputation team led a panel discussion followed by a period of questions and answers. The major portion of the discussion examined the aspects of non-resistance. The great majority of those present believed that the pacifist technique for meeting violence was the most important phase of a C.O.'s philosophy. Carefully the fellows explained that the pacifist sincerely seeks to analyze what he thinks Jesus would do when he faces a specific violent situation.

Sunday morning found the fellows participating in the Sunday School and church services. After Lester Glick presented an introductory statement describing the nature of the CPS program and of our work at Marietta four of the campees taught Sunday school classes, explaining in greater detail their pacifist convictions. The minister of the church, Rev. James Wycker, a pacifist himself, was anxious for the fellows to meet informally as many people as possible so as to convince them of the sincerity of a conscientious objector. Following Sunday School the quartet sang two selections during the church worship service. Sunday was a special day for the Federated Church because it was admitting seven young men into church fellowship.

The deputation team also had the opportunity to hear a Chinaman, Mr. Hsich, describe to the new members what it means to be a member of a church. Mr. Hsich is in North Jackson to study the problems of rural churches. His home is in Peking but because of Japanese bombings his family has been disbursed so that he had not heard from them for over a half year.

The trip home was interrupted by a stop in Salem to attend a meeting of a group of Friends at which Don Smucker was scheduled to speak. Although the campees arrived to late [sic] to hear Mr. Smucker, their visit was profitable because the group there was intensely interested in the CPS program and virtually demanded that the team answer all their questions. After the question period ended the campees were invited to one of the homes for "a dish of strawberries and ice cream."

One of the finest parts of the trip was the opportunity for visiting in the homes of several members of the church. The hospitality of the North Jackson folks was outstanding and the fellowship enjoyed in their homes was a vital part of the weekend.

This deputation trip was different from any other made by Marietta campees. Hithertoo [sic] such trips were made into communities or churches where the majority of the people were conscientious objectors, but at North Jackson the people were more anxious to support the war effort. The men who made the trip, however, were convinced that the reaction of the people to them was very favorable and that the entire visit was very successful.

-Andrew Brethauer


For full newsletter see: Whispering Pines, June 18, 1942.

Used with permission by Mennonite Central Committee.