The Schürch Family Association of North America

Justin Shirk Signed with the Colts

Although Justin’s time with the Colts finished at the end of August, we wish him well with his career in football. This article was first published in the Fall 2015 issue of Bloomsburg, The University Magazine. Justin is Code H844463123.


7th Cousins Walk from Pennsylvania to Waterloo

7th Cousins Complete Ancestral Trek from Pennsylvania to Waterloo

Brubacher cousin Hike - Version 2

Two Toronto cousins have finished a 700 km trek from Pennsylvania to Waterloo, roughly following the migration route their Mennonite ancestors completed in the early 1800s.
Erin Brubacher and Christine Brubaker are descendants of Magdalena and John E. Brubacher, who built and lived in the historic Brubacher House in 1850 on what is now the north end of the University of Waterloo campus.
John E. Brubacher (of the Brubacher house) was a descendant of Christian Erb and Maria Scherch who moved to Canada in 1806. John E. Brubacher’s mother was Catherine Sherk whose father, Joseph Schoerg, came to Waterloo in 1800. Erin is descended from Code C3, Maria Sherk.
In an effort to connect with their heritage the two cousins walked for nearly a month from city to city across parts of the United States and Canada, staying at the homes of Mennonite families, in hotels and camping along the way. They forged across a creek in the valley of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, encountered bears and crossed into Canada on the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.
For more information regarding this journey go to

Excerpts taken from Waterloo Region Record, August 7, 2015

Madeline Marck-Sherk Perfects her Golf Game

The 16-year-old Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School student, who has topped the leaderboard in four of her five events on the Niagara District Junior Golf Association tour and won three tournaments in one week, credits her successful summer to an off-season regimen that kept her focused on the game.

As one of the 12 members on the Golf Association of Ontario's Team Waterloo invitation-only development program, Marck-Sherk spent upwards of three hours every second Sunday working on all aspects of her game, from strength and conditioning to how to keep the memory of a bad shot from getting in the way of her next shot.

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She said training under the watchful eyes of coaches increased her endurance and built up her lower-body strength. “I'm in better shape in general for a golfer,” said Marck-Sherk, who will be started Grade 12 in September and is hoping to get an athletic scholarship to play golf at the post-secondary level in the U.S.

The Bridgewater Country Club member also perfected her swing throughout the winter months by launching balls through an opening the size of a garage door and into a snow-covered field. “The garage was heated, but it was still cold,” she recalled with a laugh.

Madeline Marck-Sherk started her winningest week ever with a five-stroke victory at the Ontario Summer Games in Windsor and led the girls flight when the Niagara tour stopped at Bridgewater the following day. She tried not to let the wind get into her head between shots.

Madeline is playing a “stronger mental game,” again thanks to her off-season training with Team Waterloo. She said while golfers need finesse and strength, the importance of the mental aspect shouldn't be downplayed. “Everyone can hit a shot, but not everyone can control their emotions after they make a bad shot. You have to put everything you've done behind you and focus on the next shot.”

Family under Different Flags

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Dear Cousins in North America,

Here is some information from the SGNS Switzerland.

On Saturday March 22, our annual general meeting took place in Schönenwerd. 24 members met at the hotel Storchen. First we visited the museum of a local artist, Paul Gugelmann: Poetic Machines. We gazed at works of art which had been built with great effort and meticulous detail. All of them still ran either with compressed air (instead of the still existing mini steam engines), spring drives or electric motors.

After a tasty meal our president, Ueli, opened the official part. Most of the agenda items passed without discussions. Only the theme, historical research, which at the moment runs on rather low activity, gave cause for requests to speak.

Under miscellaneous, Kurt informed about the project Castle Trachselwald which the state of Bern wants to sell for sfr.1. Now all the Emmental communities are trying to save this historical building, which is associated closely with the Anabaptist (Täufer) movement and they hope to receive support from the descendants who emigrated in the early 18th century. Within 10 days the SGNS and the mayor of Summiswald received many positive reactions.

Following this, we enjoyed a photographic selection of some of the many pictures sent from our cousins from the SFAofNA of their last year’s Heritage Tour.

All board members would be pleased to see numerous Schürchs at the summer gathering which will take place in the former tram depot in downtown Berne on August 9, 2014.

Greetings from the SGNS to our good friends in North America!

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Conrad Grebel College Awards Lisa Schirch

Conrad Grebel College Awards Lisa Schirch

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On Thursday, September 25, 2014 a lecture will be given by Lisa Schirch titled ‘Taking Peace to the Pentagon” as part of the celebration of International Day of Peace. Lisa is a distinguished alumna of Conrad Grebel College at University of Waterloo and is being honoured with the ‘Distinguished Alumni Service Award for 2014’. Conrad Grebel College is part of the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

Lisa came to Grebel in the fall of 1988 from Mechanicsville Virginia. After two years studying at Goshen College in Indiana and a service trip to Central America, Lisa was looking for a bigger range of classes to take. She found a rich variety of courses at Grebel and the University of Waterloo, as she worked toward a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. She describes the experience studying at Grebel as “taking courses that had a ‘heart’.” 

As an active member of Grebel’s Peace Society, Lisa began working on stopping NATO air flights from testing on Innu land in Labrador. A Mennonite Central Committee study tour to Labrador the summer after graduation led to Lisa’s first job as MCC Ontario's Native Concerns Coordinator. Lisa worked on First Nations land claims and toward building better relationships between Mennonites and Indigenous people.  “Strangely enough,” Lisa comments, “today I work closely with NATO to develop training for them on how they interact with civilians and the people indigenous to the areas where they work.  So I've come full circle from protesting NATO's action to directly engaging with NATO with the goal of fostering change.”
After completing a Master and Doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Lisa joined the faculty at Eastern Mennonite University where she is a Research Professor in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. She is also Director of Human Security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding. In this role, Lisa connects policymakers with global civil society networks, facilitates civil-military dialogue and provides a conflict prevention and peacebuilding lens on current policy issues.

A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Lisa has conducted conflict assessments and participated in peacebuilding planning alongside local colleagues in over 20 countries in conflict prevention and peacebuilding including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kenya, Ghana, and Fiji. She has published five books and dozens of chapters and articles on a range of themes including the design and structure of a comprehensive peace process in Afghanistan, civil-military relations, and the role of the media in peacebuilding. Lisa works primarily with small local NGOs and civil society organizations.
Helping large institutions begin their own peacebuilding programs, Lisa also has worked as a consultant on conflict assessment and peacebuilding planning for the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, several branches of the US government, the US Foreign Service Institute, and many other international organizations. Lisa played a foundational role in starting up the organization 3P Human Security. 3P’s mission is to foster understanding and support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the US government, emphasizing the need for local civil society perspectives, principled negotiation, peace process support strategies, and sustainable development in security policymaking.
Lisa works primarily with small local NGOs and civil society organizations.

To learn more of Lisa and her work and of the event on September 25, 2014, click here:

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April 2017 Newsletter Excerpts
Go to the Newsletter menu and click on the Newsletter Excerpts link

Reunion 2018 - Save the Date!
The next Schürch Reunion is being held in Lewisburg, PA - a location we have not used before.
The dates: July 27 - 29, 2018
NEW REUNION FORMAT - watch for details on Facebook and here.

Reunion Commemorative Issue on Sale

If you already receive the newsletter, then you should have received this special issue. If you do not have a subscription to the Schürch newsletter, then you can order a copy of this special issue, highlighting the reunion in 2016 in Waterloo, Ontario. Send your order to the correct treasurer and Cary, the editor, will send out a copy.

American Treasurer: Jack Sherick
49 Lovel Court, Apt C Nutley, NJ 07110

Canadian Treasurer: Laurine Mills
1750 Killaly St. E., Port Colborne, ON L3K 5V3

Newsletter Excerpts online
Go to the Newsletter menu.

Reunion 2016 is Over

Watch for photo updates on this site

Schürch Database is online!

The Schürch family database, in its most current form, is now online at two sites:
(This tree, at RootsWeb, is free for all to view.)
(For subscribers)

Updated Booklist on Site

An updated book list is on this site. In the menu across the top, look under Historical Committee, Research Resources, Books related to the Schürch Family

Schürch Photo Gallery is up and Running

For more information about this project go to Photo Gallery Project page in the menu.
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