Sil Selects Book Club (May 2008)

Several years ago a friend invited me to help her start a book club. This group of women has become an important feature in my life. Every June, at a catered pot luck lunch we choose the books we will read for the next year. Belonging to a book club has stimulated my interest in reading and I am enjoying a past time that I had neglected.

From time to time I am going to share a book that has particular interest to me and might be of interest to you.

28 Stories of Aids in Africa by Stephanie Nolan

I was not looking forward to reading this book and I procrastinated ordering it from the local library. I started reading with a sense of obligation; my heart was not in the venture.

However, I quickly was drawn into the stories that are related by this talented author. Instead of depressing narratives that bring guilt and sadness, I read inspiring stories of hope and courage. Each story is accompanied with a photo that puts a face on the women, men and children who are living with HIV and AIDS. Each face tells its own story and it was a privilege to be allowed into those stories.

Stephanie Nolan was born in Montreal and lives in South Africa. Her stories and articles are often carried in The Globe and Mail.

Stepping Lightly by Mark A Burch

The hymn Touch the earth lightly1 is given new meaning by the writings of Mark Burch. His view of recycling is having nothing to recycle and he sets out practical ways to accomplish this goal. He calls his method “voluntary simplicity”.

This book isn’t for the faint of heart. It challenged many of my assumptions and values, and it will take me some time to digest Burch’s ideas. Nevertheless it made me stop and consider my role as an occupant of our planet home.

Mark Burch lives in Manitoba and he will send you the book if you send him $20. Contact Mark at

What are you reading which you would like to share with other MILC members? Please send your articles to



Everything Scottish: Concert review

Highland Tunes and Tales Raises Money for Huntington

Many thanks to Rev. Dr. Malcolm Sinclair of Metropolitan United Church Toronto, Rev. Dr. David McKane of First-St Andrew’s United Church, London, Faye Moffat of Trinity United Church, Capreol, and the Sudbury District Pipe Band and Dancers for an evening of Highland High Jinks – complete with haggis! It was a delight to welcome Malcolm and David back to Sudbury forty years after they graduated from Huntington. The concert raised $1100 which has been donated to Alumni Development at Huntington University.

Crapshoot Review: Putting Education into Action (May 2008)

The horrifyingly disturbing images in the movie “Crapshoot”, shown at our recent meeting in Capreol, led to a vigorous discussion about how we can “think globally and act locally” about issues of water and waste management.

Perhaps the most important messages were that:

  • We cannot assume that technology will find solutions to the problems we are creating; huge changes in public policy and private behaviour are required.
  • In order to motivate change, we need to overcome the disconnect which currently exists between our behaviours and their consequences. We need to be aware of where our water comes from and where our waste goes.
  • We can make a difference through political and social action. These issues will become part of the public debate if we demonstrate to local, provincial and federal politicians that they matter to us.
  • We can make a difference through our personal choices.

Suggestions from the group included:

  •  Using environmentally friendly cleaning products; this involves educating ourselves so that we are able to make good choices.
  • Supporting recycling projects for items like batteries and cell phones and starting such projects if they don’t exist in our communities
  • Promoting and using hazardous waste depots
  •  Treating pharmaceuticals carefully – they can often be returned to pharmacies; but discuss store policies to make sure that that returned products are appropriately processed
  • Conduct inventories of our homes to ensure that we are being as responsible as possible in our use of water and disposal of waste.

Sincere thanks to Nels Conroy for this presentation and to the members of Trinity United Church, Capreol who hosted this event and provided a wonderful meal and an excellent forum for discussion and fellowship.