Setting the stage for some historic peace pie bidding

March 16 we, Tim Ruebke and I, were in McPherson Kansas for a Peace Pies and Prophets show, in the historic McPherson Opera House, originally built in 1888.

Jerry Bowen of McPherson Church of The Brethren and Kathy Neufeld Dunn, First Menno of McPherson — both Christian Peacemaker Teams alumni — were the hosts and organizers. Kathy is an old friend from the Ted and Lee Armadillo Tour days. She was host and instigator for a memorable show in Ann Arbor in the mid 90’s. That’s one of the perks of having pastors move around. Sometimes those connections take you to another community, another part of the country.

Jude and Doug Krehbiel of “Road Less Traveled” opened the evening and we had one of our most spirited shows ever while setting a  record for money raised in support of CPT. For the first time we netted over $9000 for Peacemaker Teams.

In addition, once again Tim urged the youth in the first three rows to take a hat around and collect money to bid on a pie. “Do you like pie?” he asked. “Are you going to buy one? Go collect some money for a pie—either that or mow some lawns.” Several girls, we found out later they were veterans of the PPP in Beatrice Nebraska, grabbed the hat and took off through the 500 seat, three tiered hall—the fabulously renovated Opera house. Later in the evening they bought a pie for $90 and soon after entered the bidding for a gorgeous strawberry pie. After bidding the pie up to $290, the spokesperson ended the bidding with an abrupt and emphatic “$533!” Sold! The highest pie bid in over a year of Peace Pies and Prophets shows went to the COB youth.

While the event is not a typical “family show”, the laughter and community-bonding that happens through Peace Pies and Prophets, time and again strikes a chord with young audience members. Not only have youth caught on quickly to the pie-bidding excitement, the father of an 8 year old, told us his son was, “laughing so hard, he ended up completely turned around in his seat.”

Another of our favorite responses to the evening, “I laughed so hard, I had to use my inhaler.”  But, we also appreciate the reaction, “Did they just go there!? Yup, they did.”

Thank you Jerry, Kathy and Michael, and thank you McPherson, Kansas.

The McPherson show total took the earning for the year to $41,000 for CPT, and three shows in April in Ontario raised the total to $71,000 for the year…we have 4 more shows in the fall, two slots still available… (interested?)…we would love to get to $100,000 for the year.


  1. Michael Dunn on June 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    2 stories started that night:

    From the booth I could hear both my father, Jim Dunn, and my father-in-law, Ken Neufeld, bid each other up over the one raisin, not raisin cream, pie in the auction. (Jim got it for $350.) Neither knew who the other bidder was. They both had some later at a dinner to celebrate Easter.

    Big Jim Stucky, from McPherson, bought one of the first pies but had no intention of eating it. He just told you to “sell it again.” He is now undergoing treatment for a tumor at the base of his esophagus. Eating is sometimes difficult even with the NG tube. Still he showed that when supporting things like CPT, the enjoyment of the pie is not necessarily in the eating.