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Portable CMU

About Portable CMU

CMU’s Portables, offered through The CMU Centre for Faith and Life, are intended to nurture the vocation of the church. Through them CMU is committed to resource congregations as they seek to strengthen their witness and mission.

We encourage congregations to consider a Portable structure that works best in their setting, and to explore whether collaboration with other congregations, neighbours or church or community agencies, might promote a unique, larger learning opportunity. 

In considering their needs and interests, it is critical that the Portable instructor be consulted in order to clarify their availability to lead various options.

Options for Booking a Portable

  1. Three or Four Session Portables (available across Canada; Cost $400)
    1. Weekend Focus  Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning (3-4 sessions)
    2. Retreat Focus – Friday evening and Saturday or all day Saturday, 9:00 to 3:00 (3–4 sessions)
    3. Sunday Focus – Sunday sermon, adult education session, potluck lunch with presentation, evening session (3-4 sessions)
  2. Three Adult Education Class Portables (available in Manitoba; Cost $300)
    1. Three Adult Sunday School classes on subsequent Sundays
  3. One or Two Session Portables (available in Manitoba; Cost $150 for 1 Session; $250 for 2 sessions)
    1. Adult Education – One or two adult education classes on separate Sundays
    2. Sermon – A sermon focused on one aspect of a particular theme

Portable Costs

For further information or to make a reservation, please contact:

Joyce Friesen
Canadian Mennonite University
Email: PortableCMU:@:cmu.ca
Phone: 204.487.3300
Toll-free: 877.231.4570
Fax: 204.487.3858

Please call early to make a booking since some offerings will be in high demand. We welcome bookings both by individual congregations and by two or more congregations working together.

 

Portable CMU Courses (2017-18)

Believers in every time and context wrestle with how to be faithful to their Christian commitment. Portables, offered by CMU faculty and community members, afford congregations the opportunity to engage with their own questions of faithfulness. Portables reflect the commitment of faculty to resource the church with the goal of enriching the imagination, faith and life of congregations.

Discover the Bible

Using the Bible

Joyful Wrestling: The Art of Reading Scripture
Gerald Gerbrandt, President Emeritus & Professor Emeritus of Bible

It is the faith of the church that through Scripture God speaks to us. But all too often when we read scripture we hear ourselves rather than God. A fundamental need in the church today is to learn again how to read Scripture. The church must learn “afresh to acknowledge the Bible as the functional center of life, so that in all our conversations, deliberations, arguments, and programs, we are continually reoriented to the demands and promises of the Scriptures.” (Ellen Davis). This portable will consider what factors and assumptions undermine hearing the God of Scripture, and how we might read it again with integrity and effect, keeping in mind two themes: 1) that reading the Bible can be a delight and joy, and 2) that at the same time, it inevitably is a struggle or wrestling match.

The Books of the Bible

A Living Faith: Discipleship and the Letter of James
Sheila Klassen-Wiebe, Associate Professor of New Testament

Even though Martin Luther called the letter of James an “epistle of straw,” this book of the Bible continues to be a favourite for many Christians. With its vivid imagery and straightforward instruction, the letter of James seems to make Christian faith practical and relevant for daily life. And yet, living out the vision of Christian discipleship set out by James is anything but easy or simple. Many Christians wrestle with where to find grace and where to find Jesus in this short instructive letter. In this portable we will begin with an overview of the book and a look at its historical context and literary background. Most of our time will be spent studying a selection of some key themes in the letter: speech, wealth, perfection, tests and trials, wisdom, friendship with God, anger, prayer, and faith in action. Our aim will always be to reflect on how this letter can and does shape faithful Christian discipleship today. In the process we will find Jesus in the letter as well! 

The Good News of Jesus According to Luke
Sheila Klassen, Wiebe Associate Professor of New Testament

All four Gospels tell the story of Jesus. This Portable will look at Luke’s distinctive version of that story, with attention to several of the Gospel’s characteristic themes and unique texts. We will explore Luke’s understanding of the salvation Jesus brings, Jesus’ practice of table fellowship, and the Gospel’s strong emphasis on discipleship and wealth. Depending on the season of the church year and congregational interest, we could also explore Luke’s distinctive presentation of Jesus’ birth, his death, or his resurrection. Our study will hopefully lead us to a renewed appreciation for the significance of Luke’s portrait of Jesus for the church today.

Philippians:  Explorations in the meaning of ‘Citizenship’
Gordon Zerbe, Professor of New Testament

One of the central themes of Paul’s letter to Philippi is that of citizenship: its character, privileges, and responsibilities. By entering into the political, social, and religious world of Paul and the congregation in Philippi, we will seek insight into how Paul consoled and challenged that congregation, and what relevance that message has for Jesus-loyalists today. (Zerbe is the author of the recently released commentary on Philippians in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series sponsored by Mennonite churches.)

Where the Human Heart and the Heart of God Meet:  Exploring the Psalms
Pierre Gilbert, Associate Professor of Bible and Theology

The book of Psalms is about the heart. In the Psalter, we find no stories, little dogmatic teaching, and no sustained appeals to embrace the faith. While there is no shortage of ideas to analyze and dissect, it represents first and foremost a place where the human heart and the heart of God meet.

The Psalms provide a framework for the believer and God to relate to each other. The Psalms supply words and emotions to facilitate the interaction between humans and God. Nothing is off-limits: Joy, praise, wonder, trust, confidence, sadness, guilt, regret, distress, even red-hot, blinding anger are on the menu. As long as there is humble faith and sincerity, the Psalms will accommodate the whole range of human emotion and experience, thereby enabling the man or the woman of faith to encounter the living God.

Choosing the Way of Life in an Age of Freedom: The Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament
Pierre Gilbert, Associate Professor of Bible and Theology

How can we communicate the Christian faith in a society where most people no longer recognize the authority of Scripture and tend to be cynical of organized religion?

The wisdom books of the Old Testament (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon) can provide a fresh perspective on that question. Wisdom writings were intentionally designed to address an audience, which like today, was faced with a multiplicity of options, was cynical towards the faith, and would not be coerced by tradition. In this respect, wisdom teachers did not attempt to impose an opinion, but extended a vibrant invitation to consider what gives significance to human existence from the perspective of faith.

To a generation like ours that is struggling with purpose and meaning, the wisdom books offer a wonderful way to discover the Way of Life that is to be found only in Jesus Christ the power and the wisdom of God.

Rapture or New Creation? Biblical Visions of the End
Dan Epp-Tiessen, Associate Professor of Bible

What does the Bible teach about God’s ultimate purposes for humanity and the world? This short course will explore topics like: origins of biblical thinking about the end, Jesus’ announcement that the Kingdom of God has arrived, the return of Christ, Paul’s proclamation that the resurrection of Christ heralds the beginning of the end, the colourful imagery of Daniel and Revelation, and the origins of the end-times and Rapture scenario promoted by the Left Behind novels and figures like Hal Lindsey and Jack Van Impe. This portable will challenge some popular misconceptions about the Bible and will emphasize that the God who lovingly created the world in Genesis 1, and who has been at work to redeem it ever since the Fall, will in the end lovingly re-create the world and free it from evil, sin, and death. This hope is central to Christian faith and has profound implications for the shape of Christian discipleship.

Deuteronomy as a Sermon for the Church Today
Gerald Gerbrandt, President Emeritus & Professor Emeritus of Bible

As Israel prepares to enter the Promised Land, Moses presents guidelines for how to live in that land in a way that can lead to blessing. The land may be an unmerited gift, but at the same time, living in the land entails responsibilities, with the potential of losing the land. In what way might these guidelines inform the church of today, and how we live together in our community?

The World of the Bible

The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Beginnings
Gordon Zerbe, Professor of New Testament

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been heralded as one of the most important archaeological finds of the twentieth century, and has had a major impact on how scholars understand the complex world of Judaism(s) in the time of Jesus. Copies or fragments of nearly 1,000 different manuscripts have been found, including biblical manuscripts (40%), guidelines for the common life of the community that wrote and preserved these writings, handbooks of biblical interpretation, songbooks and much more. How has this discovery changed our understanding of the world of Jesus and emerging Christianity? How did the community that housed the library come to be, who were they, and how did that group fit into the array of renewal movements in the time of Jesus? Why did this community come to an abrupt end around the year 74 CE? What kind of theologies are expressed in these writings, and what relevance does this have for understanding the New Testament?

Jews and Christians in a Roman World
Gordon Zerbe, Professor of New Testament

How did ‘Judaism’ and ‘Christianity’ slowly consolidate as separate and (often) mutually hostile movements in the years after the time of Jesus? How did Jews and Christians begin to understand their identities in relation to each other, and as they both navigated the challenges of a world politically dominated by Rome and culturally oriented to Greece? This Portable begins by exploring the complexities of “second temple Judaism” and Jewish migrant (diaspora) experiences in the Greek and Roman worlds, and then reviews how the Jesus movement arose in this context, eventually emerging as a movement painfully divorced from ‘Judaism’.

Refugees and Migrants in the Biblical Period
Gordon Zerbe, Professor of New Testament

Migrant experience is at the core of the biblical narrative, in the context of turbulent political and economic circumstances. This Portable will identify and explore crucial episodes in that story, and will reflect on analogies with our own time, and will consider the call to “love the foreigner,” the New Testament’s word for “hospitality.”

 

Understand the Church’s Story

Questions of Identity: Why Anabaptism?
Karl Koop, Professor of History and Theology

The North American religious landscape seems to be in constant flux. Should we hold fast to tradition or participate whole-heartedly in the latest trends? What is Anabaptism and why is it important? Why are a wide range of churches and denominations interested in embracing Anabaptist theology? What are the core convictions of Anabaptism that can provide direction for our lives today? How do we understand these convictions in the context of Christian diversity or religious pluralism? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in a session on Anabaptism, or in multiple sessions.

Confessions of Faith in the Anabaptist Tradition
Karl Koop, Professor of History and Theology

What role do confessions of faith play in discerning the will of God in the life of the Christian community? Are confessions a source of unity or division? These are some of the key questions that will be addressed as we discuss together what it means to discern faithfully in the context of congregational life and in area church settings.

The Mennonite Brethren Story
Brian Froese, Associate Professor of History

This portable provides an orientation to the historical experience, denominational identity and contemporary priorities and challenges of the Mennonite Brethren Church. Beginning with a brief historical exploration of the origins and development of the sixteenth-century Anabaptist movement, and the subsequent development of the Mennonite Church within the wider context of Protestantism in Europe, special attention is given to the origin and growth of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia, North America, and its emergence as a global movement during the twentieth century. The historical survey will serve as the backdrop against which to interpret cultural, theological and sociological forces and factors that shaped Mennonite Brethren faith and life, theology, worship, ecclesiology and ethics.

Who Are “We”? – Mennonites and Anabaptists within a Global Church
Gerald Gerbrandt, President Emeritus & Professor Emeritus of Bible

A common discussion among us is whether to use the term “Mennonite” or “Anabaptist” for ourselves.  Or even, whether either term remains helpful or relevant. How do we understand ourselves, and speak of ourselves, within this tradition? And how might we relate that understanding to our larger identity as Christians? This Portable will consider who we are, our story and theological emphases, how to understand ourselves in relation to these two terms, and how we are part of a particular tradition as well as part of the global Church.

Church: Congregation, Denomination, and the Global Body of Christ
Gerald Gerbrandt, President Emeritus & Professor Emeritus of Bible

We commonly use the term “church” of our local congregation. At the same time, we realize our congregation is not the full church, but only a small unit of the global body of Christ, or the “holy catholic church” as the creeds speak of it. But what about all the denominations and organizations in between? Are they a necessary part of the church, or are they even a distraction and waste? What role or place might they have in our larger understanding of church?

You Had to be There: A History of Humour, Laughter and Comical Christianity
Brian Froese, Associate Professor of History

Laughing, joke telling, cartoons and humour in general has played a vital part of human history for entertainment, teaching, fomenting revolution, dismissing opponents and for many other reasons. In this portable we will explore four selected episodes in church history that underscore the role of humour in the development of Christianity in terms of theology, day-to-day experiences, and critique. Humour may be the best medicine, but it is fine history too.

  1. Introduction, and
         a. “What have the Romans ever done for us?” Humour in the Early Church Era
  2. An Early Modern Late Show: Erasmus, In Praise of Folly
  3. Mere Mirth: C.S. Lewis and Laughter
  4. A Comical Gospel: Sarah’s Laughter and Foolishness in Corinth
 

The Church in Our Time

Being the Church Even When We Disagree
Wendy Kroeker, Instructor of Peace & Conflict Transformation Studies and Co-Director of Canadian School of Peacebuilding

Conflict is a normal and inevitable part of congregational life and yet many feel ill-prepared to handle conflict in the church and choose to avoid working with it. The conflict can emerge from changing times, diverse expectations, differing styles of leadership or disagreement over theological issues. This portable will explore some of the root causes of conflict and its impacts on interpersonal dynamics in the community. As well, various models for working with conflict and transforming conflict will be presented. Some topics will include approaches for handling difficult persons and conversations, styles of conflict and communication skills for enhancing interactions. Learning methods will utilize presentations, participatory activities and small/large group discussions.

The Problem of Prayer
Pierre Gilbert, Associate Professor of Bible and Theology

Prayer can be a very confounding practice. Why do we pray? Why do we often have the impression that God doesn’t answer our prayers? Does prayer really make a difference? We will explore this question by first examining the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6:9-13. Second, we will look at the flipside of the issue and consider what happens when God does indeed answer our prayers, but in ways we didn’t expect. Habakkuk, a seventh-Century prophet, once received an answer to an urgent prayer. But God’s response shocked him...beware what you pray for... Matthew 6:9-13 and the book of Habakkuk will provide a foundation for understanding more adequately the nature of prayer and will give us some insights into the basic principles we need to take into account as we anticipate God’s response.

Church Practices and the Christian Imagination
Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology

The most vital and subtle lessons of the Christian faith and life are conveyed in the practices, rituals and gestures that the church engages in. What makes them powerful is that they are embodied theology that refuses to separate the mind, heart and body. The practices of the church function as a prism, enabling Christians to view the world with a particular imaginative lens—at their best, with the imagination of Christ. This Portable will examine particular practices of the church and see what they reveal about what it means to be Christian and part of the Body of Christ. Special attention can be given to practices such as baptism, communion, healing, Sabbath, weddings and funerals.

It's Like Dating Around: Emerging Adults and the Church
Peter Epp, Church Engagement Coordinator and/or Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology

Why does it sometimes seem like fewer young adult Christians are committing to the Church? Why, for example, are some young adults identifying as Christian without getting baptized? Based on interviews with young adults who identify as Christian but have not yet chosen to be baptized, this Portable explores why young adults might compare their thoughts about commitment to the church to "dating around." Then, it explores how broader social trends—namely emerging adulthood and expressive individualism—have been quietly shaping Christians' attitudes towards church. Finally, this Portable provides opportunities for congregations (or other Christian groups and organizations) to consider theological concepts and practical suggestions for being the body of Christ in the twenty-first century.

Human Sexuality, the Bible and the Life of the Church
Depending on congregational interest and need can be offered by numerous faculty including: Gerald Gerbrandt, Dan Epp-Tiessen, Irma Fast Dueck, and Harry Huebner.

Many congregations desire sound Biblical reflection and honest conversation about human sexuality, particularly given the church’s strain related to LGBTQ questions and issues. Several CMU faculty have addressed these themes from various perspective and in different contexts. These faculty are willing to walk with congregations in a portable or workshop format focused on how understandings of Scripture, Confessions of Faith, the Church, Family, Relationships, and Gender can inform our own convictions and questions about sexuality. Congregations may choose to invite one or more faculty based on the issues and questions most relevant to their context. Please communicate your congregational interest and to the extent possible, CMU will work with you to shape a portable or workshop most appropriate to your setting and need. 

Depending on congregational interest and need can be offered by numerous faculty including: Gerald Gerbrandt, Dan Epp-Tiessen, Irma Fast Dueck, and Harry Huebner.

Testing the Waters: Young Adults and Baptism
Peter Epp, Church Engagement Coordinator and/or Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology

How are today's young adults thinking about baptism? Why do some of them identify as Christian without getting baptized? Why do others get baptized and then seem to disappear from our churches? What can we learn from the sharing of young adults who have had profoundly positive experiences with baptism and church commitment? This Portable tests the waters of baptism today, exploring what young adults' hopes, questions, and concerns about baptism might show us about baptism and the church today. Then, it dives into the church's Biblical, theological, and historical story—asking how the church's rich foundations and heritage can continue to guide and shape baptism for the church of today and tomorrow.

Without Rings–Without Strings: Couples Living Together
Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology

Understandings and practices of marriage have shifted considerably in the past century. Increasingly couples choose to live together either instead of/or before getting married. This Portable will reflect on this contemporary reality. Why are couples increasingly choosing to live together? How does living together shift an understanding of marriage? How does the church minister in light of these contemporary realities?

Death, Dying, and the Trinity
Justin A Neufeld, Instructor of Philosophy and Theology

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the ban on physician assisted suicide (physician assisted dying), ruling that the ban violates the right to life, liberty, and security of the person granted by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In this portable we will engage some of the issues surrounding physician assisted suicide through an unusual route: the doctrine of the Trinity. We will explore what has led the church to characterize God as three and we will examine what this characterization has to do with the values of life, liberty, and security of the person.

Preaching with Power and Passion
Dan Epp-Tiessen, Associate Professor of Bible

This Portable is designed to enhance the preaching abilities of lay preachers in the congregation. Workshops, spread over Friday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon, will cover topics like: the purpose of preaching, basics of effective oral communication, moving from biblical text to sermon, sermon structures, beginnings and endings, connecting with the congregation, and using stories, illustrations, and examples. The material can be presented at a variety of different levels depending on the needs of the group. This Portable requires at least eight people to make it viable and so several congregations are invited to jointly sponsor the event.

Pacifism: Can we still believe (live) it?
Harry Huebner Professor Emeritus of Theology and Philosophy, and Director of International and Inter-Faith Theological Initiatives

These sessions will focus on how to understand Anabaptist/Mennonite pacifism. We will ask whether it is still believable or whether we need to make adjustments in light of our new best insights. The first session will review the Anabaptist/Mennonite understanding of the peace position in general; the second will focus on the current challenges and the biblical political theology presupposed by pacifism; and the third will look at how pacifists might live today in light of our violent society. How can we make a difference? Although some parts will be in the form of theological reflection many stories will be told drawing on the presenter’s experiences of peacemaking. The Sunday morning sermon will be entitled “Peace: The Desire of God.”

Proclaiming Jesus Christ in a Religiously Plural World
Harry Huebner Professor Emeritus of Theology and Philosophy, and Director of International and Inter-Faith Theological Initiatives

My own inter-religious experience began in the 1980s when I lived in Jerusalem working with MCC. There, for the first time in my life, I met Jewish and Muslim believers who became personal friends. More recently I have become deeply involved in Mennonite-Christian and Shia-Muslim theological dialogue. I am often asked whether I am able to share my faith that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour in these settings. This portable is designed to address questions related to serious interfaith engagement. Does this require compromise with one's own faith? Does this mean that we can speak only of our agreements and not our differences? Can one be deeply and authentically Christian in such contexts? I am also asked how I am able to take the Muslim faith seriously when there are people who terrorize and kill others in the name of this faith. Hence, the portable will also give some content and history to Islam and its radical fringes.

Science, Faith, and a Christian Response to Climate Change*
Rachel Krause, Assistant Professor of Biology

Climate change has alternately been called the single greatest threat to present-day civilization, and a “hoax”. Together in this Portable, we will unpack some of the confusion around the study of climate change, discuss what “science” and the “scientific method” have to offer, and decode the language used by scientists to communicate about climate change. Finally, we will discuss what a faithful Christian response to climate change might look like.
(*offered in 1 or 2 sessions in Manitoba only)

The Life Work and Thought of Martin Luther King Jr.
Brian Froese Associate Professor of History

“In addition to surveying the life and work of Martin Luther King, this Portable will explore the theological and historical context within which he worked. Emphasis will be placed on the intersection of his theological thought concerning the church and society and the social-historical setting of America in the 1950s and 1960s.”

  1. Background to Civil Rights and King up to the 1950s
  2. Love
  3. War and Labour
  4. "I have a dream;" "I may not get there with you"

Naked Apes in the Image of God: Basic Biology and Big Questions about Humanity
John Brubacher, Assistant Professor of Biology

When I scratch beneath the surface of big questions about “faith and science” (ones that keep me up at night, or that others ask me) it strikes me that many are—at least partly—questions about some aspect of our humanity. What does evolution imply about humanity being made in the image of God, or about our ecological relationship to the rest of creation? How do genes work, and how can they influence personality, preferences, or even free will itself? Is “human life” something that can be unambiguously defined in biological terms, and how might such definitions influence decisions about our interventions in birth, health, or death? The biological sciences will not do all the heavy theological work for us on the larger issues at stake here, but some knowledge of biology is nevertheless helpful and important for productive conversation about them. Would you like a little refresher on “Biology 101?” Choose a question or theme; I’ll offer some biological background and then together we can identify and explore the theological questions that arise.

Learning about Islam
John Derksen Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies

What is Islam? What does the Qur’an teach? What do Muslims believe? What does Islam have to do with 9/11? How shall we relate to Muslims? Islam is the world’s fastest growing major religion, and Christians the world over, including in Canada, find themselves with Muslim neighbours. These sessions will introduce Islam’s origins and development, its scriptures and teachings, and its presence in the modern world. We will also discuss how Christians may relate to Muslims.

Exploring the Refugee Challenge
Stephanie Stobbe, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Trends Reports continue to document unprecedented numbers of forcibly displaced people worldwide due to war, conflict, and persecution. The international community continues to struggle with how to assist refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people. Less than one percent of refugees under UNHCR mandate are resettled in third countries. From an interdisciplinary perspective, we will explore how local communities, such as churches and other groups, can be effective in the resettlement and integration of refugees by listening and sharing stories of refugee and sponsor experiences. Through various cultural lenses we can discuss conflicts that might occur and ways of constructively addressing them; and the importance of material, psychological, and social support needed to build relationships for successful integration.

Germinating Conversations:  Justice, Sustainability, and our Food Systems
Kenton Lobe, Instructor, International Development Studies

In an increasingly interconnected and globalized world, more than 860 million people remain malnourished and just over 1 billion are obese. This, while evidence of the ecological impacts of our food system on biodiversity, water, seeds, soil, climate, and the land continues to rise. This portable will explore food system dynamics at different scales, from the household to the global, with particular attention to the diversity of perspectives that underpin current conversations surrounding ecological sustainability, food security and food justice. We will follow food from the soil, the farms, and the fishing boats, through global and local marketplaces and finally to those who eat. 

 

Portables not offered in 2017-2018 (CMU faculty on Sabbatical)

Love (All) Your Neighbours
Delmar Epp Associate Professor of Psychology

Today’s churches seek to build community in the face of increasing diversity, both within our congregations, and in our broader contexts. Yet there often exists an anxiety over opening our doors to change, and our culture promotes a need for protection and isolation from those outside our circles. Working from a social-psychological perspective, we will explore the origins of prejudice, the variation in people’s prejudicial attitudes and behaviours, and the potential to transform relations among people who differ.

Possible sessions:

Meditation: "Who is my neighbor?”

Living Faithfully in a Media Age
David Balzer Assistant Professor of Communications and Media

We live in a media-saturated society, from personal smartphones to home-theatre sized TVs, to 24/7 Internet connections, to church-based Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. All of these provoke us to adopt, adapt or reject technology and media. This portable examines the opportunities and challenges of living in a mediated society. Is there a biblical mandate to engage new technologies? How do we discern the media messages that shape our reality? How might individuals, local churches and families foster media-related practices that are life-giving?

Living Ethically in a Complex World
Paul Doerksen Associate Professor of Theology

The Christian practice of ethics is often understood as a matter of being good at making decisions.  How might our approach to ethical living be different if church practices such as corporate worship, baptism, communion and prayer generated the way we pursued moral questions? This portable seeks to consider ethics in a way that keeps the church and the Bible central to the discussion. It will consider several moral issues in light of the centrality of the church for Christian ethics.

Speaking of Jesus: Bearing Witness to Our Experiences of Jesus Christ
Andrew Dyck Assistant Professor of Ministry Studies

Participants will be guided into a conversation about the pitfalls and possibilities of speaking about Jesus with friends, neighbours, and colleagues. The following questions will be considered. What are our own experiences of knowing Jesus? Where and when do we hear people talking about Jesus? What can we promise to people who trust Jesus?

The “Oh my God” Project: Exploring a Phrase’s Cultural and Biblical Meaning
David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media

This interactive session is designed to intrigue and inspire youth to investigate a relationship with the living God through an exploration of the “Oh my God” phrase so common in Canadian culture. We believe that a deeper exploration of this phrase can invite youth to consider the nature and character of God. The session includes a screening of the short (10-min.) documentary film “When was the last time you said, Oh my God?” and other video segments from the Outtatown program. If you find yourself intrigued by one of Canada’s most popular phrases, this session is for you.

Being with God: Living Attentively
Andrew Dyck, Assistant Professor of Ministry Studies

Christians have often emphasized having a personal daily “Quiet Time” for reading the Bible, reflecting, and praying. A Quiet Time can, however, become so filled with activity that it no longer includes quietness for paying attention to God’s still small voice. People reasonably ask whether it is possible to hear God’s voice, or whether God still communicates to people. This workshop can help set you on a path towards a conversational relationship with Jesus by means of teachings from scripture and experience, and by practicing stillness and “sacred reading” of Scripture (i.e. lectio divina).
(Suitable for a workshop of up to 5 hours)

 

CMU's Mission Statement

Canadian Mennonite University is an innovative Christian university, rooted in the Anabaptist faith tradition, moved and transformed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Through teaching, research and service CMU inspires and equips women and men for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.

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