General News News Releases

CMU Press Author Dora Dueck To Give Reading In Winkler

Novel This Hidden Thing offers one woman’s compelling, ordinary, and surprising life
For release June 24, 2010

Following the release of her second novel, This Hidden Thing, Winnipeg author Dora Dueck will be reading at the South Central Regional Library in Winkler on Tuesday, June 29, at 7:30 pm.

“This book is of special interest to our area because part of the story is set in Winkler and provides insight into the experience of Mennonite families who emigrated from Russia,” says branch librarian Elaine Dyck. “Many may be reminded of a grandfather or grandmother, aunt or uncle in the characters of the book.”

This Hidden Thing tells the story of Maria Klassen, a young Mennonite woman who has recently emigrated from Russia. She soon finds work as domestic for a wealthy English family in Winnipeg, while her family settles in the nearby town of Winkler. Later in the novel, we meet Maria in adulthood – devout, industrious, and dedicated to her family. Yet she is reserved and intensely private. This is the story of a life that contained passion and suffering that no one knew.

Dora Dueck is the editor of Northern Lights: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Writing in Canada. Her stories have been featured on CBC Radio, and in journals such as Room, Prairie Fire, Rhubarb, and Journal of Mennonite Studies.

For more information about This Hidden Thing visit:

Order directly from:
CMU Bookstore
600 Shaftesbury Blvd. Winnipeg MB R3P 2N2
Toll-free: 1-877-231-4570 Tel: 204-487-3300
Fax: (204) 487-3858

Ordering Information:
This Hidden Thing
Dora Dueck
CMU Press 2010 | 350 pages, paper | $19.50
ISBN 978-0-920718-86-5

Praise for This Hidden Thing:

“Dora Dueck tells a compelling woman’s story too often obscured by history. She inhabits her characters in such a way that the reader is drawn into a living, breathing world that lingers even after the covers of the book are closed. This Hidden Thing offers a worthy female, urban counterpart to Rudy Wiebe’s Peace Shall Destroy Many.”

Ann Hostetler, author of Empty Room with Light and editor of A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry

“Dora Dueck’s powerful and deeply engaging novel follows the fortunes of Maria Klassen, a young immigrant whose heart’s purest desires are in tension with domestic service, sexual passion, and the demands of family and church. Beautifully and intelligently written, the story transcends its Mennonite particulars to shed light on the universal and timeless struggles of the human spirit.”

Sarah Klassen, author of A Feast of Longing and A Curious Beatitude

“I never knew what the next page of This Hidden Thing would bring, never could guess what way the story would go, never imagined what the end would be for Maria, whom I had come to love so deeply.”

Katherine Arnoldi, author of The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom and All Things Are Labor

For more information about CMU Press visit:

For CMU PRESS information, contact:
Jonathan Dyck CMU PRESS Project Manager

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen CMU Communications & Marketing Director

General News News Releases

CMU’s Shaftesbury Campus, Menno Simons College, and Outtatown Celebrated the Accomplishments of 219 Graduates and Program Participants

For release June 18, 2010

Canadian Mennonite University in April celebrated the graduation of 95 students at its Shaftesbury campus and, last week, recognized 60 graduates in Conflict Resolution Studies and International Development Studies at its Menno Simons College, located in downtown Winnipeg at The University of Winnipeg. In April, CMU also celebrated the safe arrival back in Canada and program completion of 64 Outtatown students returning from South Africa and Guatemala. In total, CMU celebrated the accomplishments of 219 students in recent ceremonies.

“We applaud our graduates for their achievements,” says CMU President Gerald Gerbrandt. “As CMU students enter into their careers or continue with further studies, we take deep satisfaction from the fact that their achievements have been earned not only by their own efforts, but through the support of parents, faculty, staff, and friends and donors. It is gratifying to consider how our community helps and encourages our students to shape their faith and their futures through their studies and experiences, while also helping our university to attain its overall vision and mission.”

At the April 25 graduation services, the Canadian Mennonite University Shaftesbury campus saw a weekend of special activities as the community celebrated CMU’s largest graduating class to date, with 95 graduates awarded Bachelor and Master degrees: four with four-year Bachelor of Arts degrees with honours; 39 with four year Bachelor of Arts degrees; 35 with three year Bachelor of Arts degrees; three with Bachelor of Arts in Church Ministries degrees; 11 with Bachelor of Music degrees; two with Bachelor of Music Therapy degrees; and one with a Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies. Speaking at the Graduation Service this year was Dr. David T. Barnard, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. Offering a context for the graduates in decision-making after leaving university, Barnard invited graduates to “read responsibly, and then live responsibly.”

Valedictorian Michael Bueckert, a four year Bachelor of Arts graduate majoring in International Development Studies (IDS), encouraged his peers to take a broad view of their education, acknowledging that education is a gift from many people. Bueckert told the graduates that, while they have had a hand in this process; education is not a product that they created, or even earned, but rather a gift bestowed in many ways, including through experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Bueckert drew on examples from his own practicum in Olepolos, Kenya working in a Maasai community.

The Menno Simons College (MSC) graduation services took place June 10 in beautiful Convocation Hall, following The University of Winnipeg’s morning convocation services. MSC graduates and families were then welcomed to a luncheon and a special graduation program. Of special note, among this year’s 60 graduates was the winner of three UWinnipeg gold medals, MSC graduate Caitlin Eliasson. Program participants included (outgoing) Dean Dr. Paul Redekop, CMU President Dr. Gerald Gerbrandt, and UWinnipeg’s Global College Principal Dr. Marilou McPhedran, with reflections shared by new Menno Simons College Dean Dr. Richard McCutcheon and CRS and IDS major, student Candace Préjet.

In her address, Préjet expressed appreciation on behalf of the graduating class to faculty and staff who are “the heart and soul” of MSC and “whose time, effort, and dedication make it such a great place to be.” Préjet spoke in particular about what she sees as a significant challenge to today’s society – that of indifference. “We have lost touch with our sense of community and with it, our responsibility to that larger community.” Yet, she reminded her audience, “One person can be incredibly powerful and transformative.” She encouraged her fellow graduates to “choose the route that requires courage, sacrifice, compassion, caring, responsibility, and engagement” rather than the route of indifference – and silence – on inequalities and social ills that plague today’s communities. “You can make a difference,” she said. “We all have something of value to contribute to those around us.”

Menno Simons provides education flowing from Anabaptist Mennonite understandings of faith, peace, and justice while engaging other religious traditions and intellectual perspectives. The College fosters a learning community that prepares students from diverse backgrounds for participation and leadership in local and global communities. Considered a pioneer in International Development Studies and Conflict Resolution Studies, MSC offers a wide range of courses and experienced faculty in these areas, along with practicum opportunities and supporting scholarships.

On April 17 and 18, the week prior to the general CMU graduation services, Outtatown celebrated the homecoming of its site leaders and 64 student participants just returned from their memorable year in the Outtatown discipleship program, having recently experienced the patterns of daily life, faith journeys, and hospitality of their host communities in South Africa and Guatemala.

“The opportunity for students to leave their comfort zones, entering into a cross-cultural learning environment that examines world issues from a Christian faith perspective will give shape to their faith, their self-understandings, and their direction in life,” says Outtatown Director Paul Kroeker.  During this eight-month program, which is eligible for university credit,  students travel together in what many refer to as a “spiritual pilgrimage,” as students learn to know God, to know their own gifts and abilities, and to open themselves to personal growth and transformation.

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU offers undergraduate degrees as well as two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,800 students, including MSC and Outtatown students, and is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). CMU operates a number of schools and institutes, including The School of Writing at CMU and the Canadian School of Peacebuilding, currently underway at the CMU Shaftesbury campus.

For MSC information, contact:
Ruth Taronno:; tel. 204.953.3846

For Outtatown information, contact:
Paul Kroeker, Director of Outtatown:; tel. 204.487.3300 ext. 649

For CMU enrolment information, contact:
Abe Bergen, Director of Enrolment:; tel. 204.487.3300 ext. 652

For CMU general information, contact:
Nadine Kampen CMU Communications & Marketing Director; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

General News News Releases

Denominational Leaders Jack Suderman And David Wiebe Welcomed

For release June 18, 2010

Canadian Mennonite University today welcomed well respected denominational leaders on campus as part of its ongoing commitment to maintain vital relationships with two church bodies, Mennonite Church Canada and the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.  2010 marks significant leadership transitions within both denominations.

Jack Suderman, Executive Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, retires on July 23 after serving in this capacity since 2005.  David Wiebe, Executive Director of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, transitions from his leadership position at the end of 2010, having served in this capacity since July of 2000.

At the invitation of CMU, Suderman and Wiebe today joined faculty and staff for a time of reflection, at which event the University acknowledged the significance of their leadership commitments and created an opportunity for conversation with CMU faculty and staff.

“It proved to be an absorbing hour of interaction as both church leaders reflected on the present and future of each denomination,” says CMU Vice President (External) Terry Schellenberg. “Both David and Jack expressed gratitude and joy in the personal and congregational relationships which they have cultivated during their leadership tenure. Each reflected on the deep and faithful integrity of so many within the church. And each spoke about the present reality of their respective denominations and the challenges their churches face within Canadian society.”  Suderman and Wiebe also identified the hope and optimism they hold in and for the church in the coming decades, even as they spoke about the significance of the challenges that lie ahead for the church.

This was an important opportunity for a university community, committed to be a ‘university of the church for the world,’ to be in direct dialogue with leaders of the church with whom they partner.   “David and Jack affirmed the work and importance of faith and leadership formation as it is occurring at CMU,” said Schellenberg. “They reflected on the fact that each of their children graduated from CMU, with each having been formed deeply by their experience.”

CMU faculty and staff expressed gratitude for the leadership and vision that each has embodied and affirmed the importance of ongoing connections between university and church.

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU offers undergraduate degrees as well as two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,800 students, including MSC and Outtatown students, and is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

For information, contact:
Nadine Kampen CMU Communications & Marketing Director; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University , 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

General News News Releases

Canadian School Of Peacebuilding Welcomes Renowed Instructors to Campus for Week Two

Professors Marc Gopin, Karen Ridd, and Harry Huebner featured in School’s second session

For release June 9, 2010

The second session of Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP), running June 21 to June 25, will feature three renowned instructors, each to teach a weeklong intensive course that will shed further light on the issues surrounding peace, justice, and conflict resolution.

Professor and Rabbi Marc Gopin of George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, VA will teach Agents of Change in Intractable Conflicts: Lessons from Middle East Peacebuilding, based on his book, To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy.

Karen Ridd, sessional instructor in Conflict Resolution Studies at The University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) and associate of Training for Change in Philadelphia, is teaching Peace Skills Practice, which will examine numerous approaches to dealing with conflict and give participants the opportunity to practise peacebuilding.

CSOP’s second session will also offer the course Mennonite Approaches to Peace and Justice, taught by Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at CMU and co-founder of Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Gopin, Ridd, and Huebner are part of a group of 12 instructors participating in CMU’s second-annual CSOP, which offers eight one-week intensive courses in peacebuilding, social justice, and conflict resolution, divided into three sessions, for academic credit and professional development. CSOP offers insights and perspectives from, and to, peacebuilders from all faiths, countries, and backgrounds.

The first session runs from June 14 through June 18 and brings together seven instructors for courses in the music of social justice, indigenous practices of nonviolence, and contested food systems. The third and final session will be held June 28 to July 2, featuring Howard Zehr on Perspectives on Restorative Justice and Lois Edmund on Congregational Peacebuilding.

Canadian Mennonite University, through Menno Simons College (MSC, CMU’s campus at UWinnipeg) and its southwest Winnipeg Shaftesbury campus, offers one of the most comprehensive undergraduate programs in peace and conflict studies in the world.



Marc Gopin, Rabbi, Professor of Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, and the Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR).

This course will help participants examine and measure in a new way the dynamics of their own potential impact on war and peace. It explores: the theory and practice of positive incremental change and citizen diplomacy; a central case study from the Middle East; and the philosophical and spiritual ethics, East and West, of decision making in conflict.

Marc Gopin
Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, and the Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Gopin has lectured on conflict resolution in several countries and numerous academic institutions. He has trained thousands of people worldwide in peacemaking strategies for complex conflicts in which religion and culture play a role. Gopin conducts research on values dilemmas as they apply to international problems of globalization, clash of cultures, development, social justice and conflict and he has engaged in back channel diplomacy with religious, political and military figures on both sides of conflicts. Gopin was ordained as a rabbi at Yeshiva University in 1983 and received a PhD in religious ethics from Brandeis University in 1993.


Karen Ridd, Sessional Instructor in the Conflict Resolution Studies department of UWinnipeg, Associate of Training for Change in Philadelphia, and Associate Trainer for Resolution Skills Centre.

Participants examine a variety of approaches to dealing with conflict in diverse locations such as: first party conflicts (responding to your own conflicts), third party to conflicts (helping others in conflicts) and learning to recognize the cultural elements of conflict resolution (moving beyond your own culture). Students will practice the role of the peacebuilder in situations when gossip, venting, and advice-seeking are being experienced.

Karen Ridd
Karen Ridd is a dynamic educator, facilitator and speaker with experience throughout North America and overseas, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Thailand and Cambodia. Karen is presently a sessional instructor in the Conflict Resolution Studies department of The University of Winnipeg, an associate of Training for Change in Philadelphia and as well as an associate trainer for Resolution Skills Centre. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts (1984), a Master of Arts in Peace and Justice (2009), a Diploma in Mediation Skills, and has been working and studying in the field of conflict resolution since 1986. Karen began her affiliation with Mediation Services in 1995, when she became the Training Coordinator, responsible for carrying out and developing trainings, as well as overseeing the program as a whole. Karen presently lives in rural Manitoba, and is the delighted mother of Ben and Daniel. She has received numerous honours for her work, including the 1992 Government of Canada 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation Governor-General’s Award, the 1990 Canada YM/YWCA Peace Medal and the 1989 Manitoba International Human Rights Achievement Award.

In collaboration with Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, author, formerly with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem, and co-founder of Christian Peacemaker Teams

This course draws from the professor’s experiences in peacemaking as one who has been involved in both Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Central Committee. It examines peace and justice literature by both Mennonite and non-Mennonite authors, including John H. Yoder, Gordon Kaufman, J. Denny Weaver, A. James Reimer, Duane Friesen, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Stanley Hauerwas, and it seeks to develop a viable peace/justice theology especially for organizations like MCC.

Harry Huebner
Harry Huebner graduated from University of Manitoba with a BA in Philosophy/Psychology and an MA in Philosophy. He earned his PhD in Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College. Harry has been teaching at Canadian Mennonite University and its predecessor colleges from 1971 – present. He took one year off to do PhD work in Toronto from 1974-5 and served with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem from 1981-3. Harry was also involved in the founding of Christian Peacemaker Teams. In his spare time Harry enjoys traveling, especially to the Middle East. Harry Huebner hails from Crystal City, Manitoba. He and his wife Agnes attend Charleswood Mennonite Church, where Harry has taught Sunday School, has been Congregational Chair, and has served in several conference and MCC committees.


For CSOP information, contact:
CSOP Co-Director Valerie Smith; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 315
Canadian School of Peacebuilding at CMU
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, CMU Communications & Marketing Director; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2

General News News Releases

International & Local Peacekeepers To Teach At CMU’s Canadian School Of Peacebuilding In June 2010

John Bell of Scotland and Canada’s Ovide Mercredi among Renowned Instructors for First Session, June 14 – 18, 2010
For release May 27, 2010

When Canadian Mennonite University hosts its second annual Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP) three weeks from now, June 14 to July 2, 2010, it will welcome a diverse group of peacekeepers to its south Winnipeg campus.

CSOP this year welcomes 12 instructors ready to share insights and perspectives at CSOP’s summer program, through its eight one-week intensive courses for professional development and academic credit. Applications in hand to date represent interested individuals from over 30 countries.

“We are honoured to welcome local and international members of the world peacemaking community as CSOP instructors for the 2010 program,” says CSOP Co-Director Jarem Sawatsky.  CSOP aims to create a space where people from different backgrounds and perspectives can connect in positive and respectful ways—learning together, supporting each other, and creating networks of engaged peacebuilders. CSOP is for peacebuilders from all faiths, countries, and identity groups.

The 2010 course offerings include the music of social justice, contested food systems, indigenous practices of nonviolence, intractable conflicts, peace skills practice, Mennonite approaches to peace, restorative justice, and congregational peacebuilding.

“The CSOP community is shaped by an ethic of respect and collaboration,” says Valerie Smith, who was recently appointed Co-Director along with Sawatsky. “We bring peacebuilders from around the world together in a collaborative learning community.” CSOP aims to nurture and equip its participants for various forms of peace practice and expose them to some of the most significant emerging ideas and teachers in the field.

Canadian Mennonite University, through Menno Simons College (CMU’s campus at The University of Winnipeg) and through its south Winnipeg Shaftesbury campus, offers one of the most comprehensive undergraduate program in peace and conflict studies in the world. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU has over 1,800 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through its Outtatown discipleship program. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.



John Bell, The Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland
Irma Fast Dueck, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Canada

This course examines the relationship of worship and social justice, exploring the works of poets and prophets from biblical times on to the present, many of whom come from the fringe of the church, giving particular attention to their importance in the struggles for justice around the world.

John Bell
John Bell, a native of Kilmarnock, lives in Glasgow where he studied Arts and Theology. After spells of voluntary work in London and Amsterdam and engagements in student politics, he was ordained by the Church of Scotland. For ten years, he worked in youth ministry with his colleague, Graham Maule, before transferring to concentrate on music and worship.
John lectures, preaches, and conducts seminars across denominations in Europe, North America, Australasia and, more recently, in Southern Africa. He is a hymn writer, author, and occasional broadcaster on national radio and television, but retains a primary passion for congregational song. He and the work he shares with his colleagues has been honoured by the Royal School of Church Music, the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, and the University of Glasgow, the first and second of which bestowed on him the status of Fellowship, the third a Doctorate.

Irma Fast Dueck
Irma was born and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was a university chaplain and pastor before beginning her teaching career at Canadian Mennonite Bible College (a predecessor college of CMU) in 1991. She received her Doctorate of Theology from Victoria University at the University of Toronto, a Masters of Divinity from the University of Winnipeg and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo. Irma’s research interests frequently lead her to themes connected to the practices of the church and the theology purveyed/conveyed by those practices. In the past few years she has given more sustained focus to the rituals of the church such as worship and baptism and on themes related to power. More recently her commitment to peacemaking has led her to participate in a number of reconciliation endeavours including Muslim-Christian dialogue (sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee); she also continues to be involved with Mennonite-Catholic dialogue groups around Winnipeg.

Ovide Mercredi, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada, current Chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation in Manitoba, and current Chancellor of the University College of the North.
Mercredi will share a Cree perspective on non-violence based on traditional values and look at contemporary examples of these values. Culture and non-violence will be studied as it relates to maintaining peace and harmony within a family group or community.

Ovide Mercredi
Chief Ovide Mercredi is the first Chancellor of the University College of the North. He is a Cree, a lawyer, a negotiator, an author, a lecturer in Native Studies, and an activist on behalf of First Nations in Canada. He is known for his involvement in constitutional law reform issues, and Aboriginal and Treaty rights negotiations. He was a sessional adjunct professor on Aboriginal peoples at the University of Sudbury, the University of Lethbridge, and McMaster University. In addition, he has lectured at other Canadian universities, including the University of Manitoba and The University of Winnipeg. Mercredi acted as a key adviser in First Nations’ opposition to the Meech Lake Accord, and in 1989 was elected as the Manitoba Vice-Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He held the position of National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations from 1991 to 1997, and led the First Nations negotiations in the Charlottetown Accord. Among Chief Mercredi’s many honours and awards are the Order of Manitoba, nomination for the Gandhi Peace Prize, and honorary law degrees from Bishop’s University, St. Mary’s University, and Lethbridge University.

Our contested food system: cultivating a just peace (In collaboration with Canadian Foodgrains Bank)
Cathy Campbell, Rector of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Winnipeg, and author Stations of the Banquet: Faith Foundations for Food Justice
Martin Entz, Professor in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba, researcher on cropping systems and natural systems agriculture.
Kenton Lobe, Instructor in International Development Studies at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, former food policy advisor for Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and organic farmer
Ray Vander Zaag, Assistant Professor of International Development Studies at Canadian Mennonite University, formerly with Canadian International Development Agency as a Project Officer

An interdisciplinary team including an agricultural scientist, a geographer, a theologian and a food activist will teach the course. Dialogue and participant engagement will play a critical role in the learning process.
This course examines the current realities of our food system, mainstream prescriptions, and emerging discourses around local food systems, sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty / democracy, with the aim of understanding the worldviews that underpin them.
It pays particular attention to faith-based narratives and the possibilities for cultivating a just peace in what are being called “food wars.”

Cathy Campbell
Reverend Dr. Cathy C. Campbell, rector of St.Matthew’s Anglican Church in the inner city of Winnipeg, is actively involved in the challenges of living out the food and justice dimensions of the Gospel. She is author of Stations of the Banquet: Faith Foundations for Food Justice (2003) and Faith as if Food Matters (2008). Prior to her ordination she taught at Cornell University and the University of Toronto and held volunteer positions in a variety of non-governmental organizations. She is delighted to have finally returned to her roots on the prairies.

Martin Entz
Martin Entz is a professor of “natural systems agriculture” in the University of Manitoba’s faculty of agricultural and food sciences. Martin has spent 20 years developing food production systems based on nature’s own template. Projects include no-tillage (conservation) farming, organic farming, integration of animals and crops for small-holder production, and development of perennial grains. Martin heads the Glenlea study—Canada’s oldest organic cropping plots. Martin’s international work includes a “pesticides reduction” project in cooperation with universities in Central America. Martin enjoys rural extension and interaction with farmers. Martin is engaged in the debate around “power” and food. He questions the benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops, and worries GM will decrease biological diversity necessary for a sustainable food system. Martin and his family operate a small farm near Libau, Manitoba.

Kenton Lobe
Kenton Lobe’s interest in food and agriculture stems from his interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management. His fieldwork was undertaken in Kerala, India where he explored the social and ecological impacts of globalizing shrimp markets on a small-scale fishing community. Kenton is a teacher/practitioner at heart and until recently balanced his teaching in International Development Studies at Canadian Mennonite University and Menno Simons College with work at an international development NGO. He spent six years working with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Winnipeg as Policy Advisor, examining the structural injustices that allow hunger to exist in a world that produces enough food for all. In particular, his work focused on Canadian public policies surrounding issues of agricultural trade, the human right to food, and development assistance for small-scale farmers in the global South. This work took him to the World Trade Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

Ray VanderZaag
Ray VanderZaag was raised on a potato farm in south-central Ontario. After graduating from Calvin College (B.Sc. – Biology) and Michigan State University (M.Sc. – Crop and Soil Sciences), he went to work in Haiti with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. During the first five years in Haiti, he worked in a rural community development program, supporting local staff and community groups involved in agriculture, reforestation, cooperative, literacy, water, and leadership activities. The next three years he worked in Port-au-Prince giving overall leadership to three CRWRC programs in Haiti. Returning to Canada, he earned an M.A. in International Affairs (Development Studies) and a Ph.D. (Geography) at Carleton University. His dissertation involved 11 months of field research on NGO/local community relations in rural Haiti. Ray then worked for a year for the Canadian International Development Agency as a project officer in the Southeast Asia Regional Program before joining CMU’s faculty. Ray also teaches one course per year in the IDS program at Menno Simons College, CMU’s campus at UWinnipeg.


For CSOP information, contact:
CSOP Co-Director Valerie Smith; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 315
Canadian School of Peacebuilding at CMU

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, CMU Communications & Marketing Director; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 621

General News News Releases

150th Anniversary Commemorated Of Mennonite Denominations With Joint Gathering & Worship Service

Events commemorate the establishment of Mennonite Brethren Conference and the General Conference Mennonite Church
For release May 27, 2010

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of two major Anabaptist bodies, the Mennonite Brethren Church in the Ukraine, and the General Conference Mennonite Church in the USA. To help celebrate this important landmark, CMU will host an all day story-telling session on June 5, 2010 on campus, followed by an evening worship service, open to all, at Winnipeg’s Portage Avenue Church.
The stories of these two churches began in 1860, when two renewal movements, separated by the Atlantic Ocean, led to the formation of two different Mennonite denominations. In that year, one group seeking emphasis on discipline, prayer, and Bible study left the larger Mennonite church in the Ukraine to form the Mennonite Brethren Church. Simultaneously in North America, congregations in Iowa invited other Mennonites to join together to pursue common goals in mission work, service, and higher education, thereby forming the General Conference Mennonite Church, which later merged with the Mennonite Church to form Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.
“The dynamics and influences within these origins, together with later migrations and events, shaped the minds and hearts of these two denominations in ways that are still present today,” says Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) President Gerald Gerbrandt. “We are delighted to present an opportunity to share and learn from the two stories in a way that we hope appeals to both church leaders and laypeople.”

“In this 150th Anniversary year, it is appropriate to reflect on what these two churches experienced and learned with and from ‘the other’,” says Gerbrandt. “Through the conference and worship service, CMU aims to foster better understanding of the Mennonite denominations, the forces that influenced them, and their continuing impact on current tendencies and emphases. Lastly, we wish to worship God together, celebrating the past, looking into the future.”

Known as peace churches for their commitment to nonviolence, the Mennonite churches worldwide have approximately 1.5 million baptized members in 51 countries on six continents. Both the Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church Canada, along with Mennonite Church USA, are member churches of a broader Mennonite World Conference. Together, these three churches account for 33% of the number of Mennonites worldwide.

The host of the 150th Anniversary Celebration, Canadian Mennonite University, is an accredited Christian university offering undergraduate degrees in the arts, science, music, theology, and church ministries, as well as master degrees in theological studies and Christian ministry. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU has over 1,800 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through Outtatown, CMU’s eight-month adventure and discipleship program that offers students an enriching learning experience in Western Canada, South Africa, and Guatemala.

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For further information regarding the 150th Anniversary Celebration, contact:
Diane Hiebert, Executive Assistant to CMU President G. Gerbrandt
Tel. 204.487.3300 ext 665

For general information relating to CMU, contact:
Nadine Kampen, Communications and Marketing Director
Tel. 204.487.3300 ext. 621 | Toll free 877.231.4570
Canadian Mennonite University | 500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3P 2N2

Attachments follow:



Celebrating 150 Years – Worshipping Together
Portage Avenue Church
7:30 pm to 9:00 pm,
Saturday, June 5, 2010

Worship Leader: Christine Longhurst

Congregational Singing: Rudy Schellenberg

Stories within the Story: Janet Plenert and Ken Reddig will share a story from their larger story which represents a core aspect of their identity

Litany of Celebration: Gerry Ediger

Special Oratorio Choir Choral Music: Conducted by George Wiebe and Bill Baerg

Sermon: Gerald Gerbrandt

Birthday Cake: Following the service

500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg MB
9:00 am to 3:30 pm, Saturday, June 5, 2010

Registration Fee: $20.00
(Fee covers lunch, coffee, and materials)
To register, contact Diane Hiebert: 204.487.3300

The two stories will be reviewed with the goal of communally learning together about the stories and from the stories.

9:00 – 9:15 am : Registration and coffee

9:15 – 10:35 am: Session #1: Stories of Founding and Settling in Manitoba, 1860 -1930
This session of sharing stories focuses on the two stories from their origin in 1860 until roughly 1930 when both groups had become established in Manitoba. The stories will consider influences behind the two movements as well as dynamics around the origins, early developments, and background factors.
• The Mennonite Brethren Story – Abe Dueck
Respondent – Sheila Klassen-Wiebe
• The General Conference Story – Helmut Harder
Respondent – Connie Epp

10:35 – 11:00 – Break

11:00 am – 12:00 Noon: Session #2: Workshops
These workshops focus on topics relating to the interaction of the two stories. In some cases, interaction may have been in the events themselves; in some cases, the workshop will bring about the interaction by considering parallel developments within the two stories.

Workshop Options:
1) Confessing Our Faith – Karl Koop & Doug Heidebrecht
Both the Mennonite Brethren and the General Conference adopted their confessions of faith in the 1990s. This workshop reviews these confessions, tracing their backgrounds and observing differences and similarities between them.

2) Exploring Stereotypes – Terry Schellenberg & Don Peters
Over the decades, each group has developed stereotypical ways of imagining and speaking of the other. This workshop considers a number of such stereotypes, examining them for how they reflect reality and for how they mislead.

3) Marriage across the MB-GC Divide – Delmar Epp (moderator); John & Hedy Martens
A few couples who married across the divide will share stories of their experiences in their families and in congregations.

4) Worshipping and Working Together – Adolf Ens & Herta Janzen
Although Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonites retained distinct identities, at many points and times they have interacted with each other. Examples include worshipping together in rural communities between the wars; studying together at the MCI; and working together in MCC.

5) Periodicals as Windows – Harold Jantz & Byron Rempel-Burkholder
This workshop considers how periodicals serve as windows into the soul and heart of the two groups. Particular attention will be given to the Mennonite Reporter, the Canadian Mennonite, and Rejoice.

6) Worship in the Two Stories – Christine Longhurst & Rudy Schellenberg
This workshop reflects on the worship styles of the two groups, both today and over the past decade or two.

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm – Lunch

1:15 – 2:30 pm: Session #3: Observations from the CMU Story
CMU has brought the two stories into conversation with each other in a special way. After ten years of cooperation in CMU, it is appropriate to reflect on how the other has been experienced, and what each may learn from the other.
• Student panel discussion – Students will share of their impressions of the other and of the MB-GC dynamic at CMU
• Faculty panel discussion – CMU faculty will share what they have learned from the other through working together at CMU

2:30 – 3:30 pm: Session # 4: Gleanings from the Day
The two denominational General Secretaries, David Wiebe and Jack Suderman, will each share their observations as to what they have heard during the day, and then lead the group in discussion for the rest of the time.

3:30 – 3:45 – Closing coffee

General News News Releases

CMU Press Publishes Novel by Dora Dueck

Offers one woman’s compelling, ordinary, and surprising life
For release May 6, 2010

CMU PRESS is pleased to announce the publication of a new novel by Dora Dueck, This Hidden Thing. The book will be officially launched on May 19, 8 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Beginning in Winnipeg in the1920s, This Hidden Thing tells the moving story of Maria Klassen, a newly landed Mennonite immigrant. Maria becomes a domestic for a prosperous Canadian family in order to support her family as they struggle to build a life for themselves on a farm near the town of Winkler.

“As I was writing Maria’s story, I thought of it as a way of expressing the immigrant experience,” Dueck reflects. “I think too that I’m always looking at how people, especially women, live their lives – as a way of navigating my own.”

Secrets are a major theme in the novel, but not necessarily in the way one might expect. As Dueck notes, the theme of “hiddenness” captures something of the Mennonite immigrant experience. “One of the hardest aspects about being a newcomer in another culture is not being ‘known.’” And for many Mennonite women, this sort of invisibility was already a fact of life. “Women did their theological work privately, and resistance to received wisdom, or knowledge against the grain as it were, would have to be held secretly, perhaps even subversively.” She continues, “In thinking about Maria’s decisions and use of silence, I’m hoping readers might be drawn to reflect on the ways in which secrets might be powerful, even life-giving, and the ways in which they destroy, or build one false wall after the other.”

Among Mennonite writers, Dora Dueck is somewhat unusual for her portrayal of individuals who have remained loyal to their communities of upbringing. Dueck’s previous novel, Under the Still Standing Sun, focussed on the pioneering story of Mennonites in the Chaco. According to Ann Hostetler, who is Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Goshen College, This Hidden Thing “offers a worthy female, urban counterpart to Rudy Wiebe’s Peace Shall Destroy Many.”

“But above all,” continues Hostetler, “this is a novel of character. Dora Dueck inhabits her characters in such a way that the reader is drawn into a living, breathing world that lingers even after the covers of the book are closed.”
Dueck comments: “In my two novels, the protagonists remain ‘insiders’ as it were. It means they reference and use the religious categories, language of the church, the piety, as they live within that world. I’ve tried to present them and that world with integrity, but it shouldn’t feel less complicated for all that.”

This Hidden Thing (CMU PRESS) is available from the CMU Bookstore at 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg. Contact; telephone 204.487.3300. The cost is $19.50.

CMU PRESS is an academic publisher of scholarly, reference, and general interest books at Canadian Mennonite University. Books from CMU Press address and inform interests and issues vital to the university, its constituency, and society. Areas of specialization include Mennonite studies, and works that are church-oriented or theologically engaged.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, offering undergraduate degrees in arts and science, business and organizational administration, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music and music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian ministry. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

For CMU PRESS information, contact:
Jonathan Dyck, CMU PRESS Project Manager

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, CMU Communications & Marketing Director
Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 621