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Panelists to explore the implications of legalizing marijuana at upcoming CMU discussion event

A police officer, a pastor, a rehabilitation counsellor, and a producer of medical cannabis are set to participate in a panel discussion at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) exploring the implications of legalizing marijuana.

Titled, “Our Need for Weed? Sparking Conversations in the Church and Community,” the discussion will take place Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Canada’s federal government is committed to implementing the legalized production, sale, and recreational consumption of marijuana by July 1, 2018.

“CMU is inviting people to join a conversation that broadens awareness, explores questions, and discerns ways forward as churches and communities confront this new reality,” says Terry Schellenberg, Vice President External at CMU.

Questions that panelists will discuss include:

  • Can we understand more clearly the government’s full intention and the implications that arise with legalization versus decriminalization?
  • What medical realities do we need to understand about cannabis use?
  • Can the church be a place for real conversation about this issue? What are our fears? What questions, theological and otherwise, should Christians and the church be asking?

The panelists are: 

  • Max Waddell, commander with the Organized Crime Division of the Winnipeg Police Service;
  • Erin Morash, pastor at Crystal City Mennonite Church (Crystal City, MB) and Trinity Mennonite Church (Mather, MB);
  • Daniel Dacombe, rehabilitation counsellor with Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and addictions specialist with the Manitoba Government; and
  • Nelson Martens, member representative and business developer at Bonify, a licensed producer of medical cannabis located in Winnipeg.

Dr. Chris Huebner, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at CMU, will moderate the 90-minute event, which will include opportunities for questions and comments from the audience.

“There are economic, social, moral, and ethical dimensions to all of this,” Schellenberg says. “We’re not professing to have all of the answers. Rather, we want to provide a respectful forum where people can begin to discuss the implications of legalizing marijuana.”

Started in 2013, Face2Face is a series of conversations organized by CMU, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

“Our Need for Weed?” is the first of two Face2Face events CMU is scheduled to host during the 2017-18 school year. For details, visit cmu.ca/face2face.

 

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 900 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Video

Face2Face | A Conversation within an Abrahamic Tent: A Jew, Christian, and Muslim in Dialogue (video)

Too rarely do Jewish, Christian, and Muslim believers sit with one another under a temporary canopy for conversation—those who, in spite of great present diversity, share faith roots within an ancient Abrahamic tent.

This Face2Face panel brings together committed practitioners of distinct faiths into dialogue with followers from other religious traditions.

Participants

  • Moderator – Dr. Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at CMU
  • Jewish Tradition – Dr. Ruth Ashrafi, Judaic Studies Advisor at Gray’s Academy
  • Christian Tradition – Dr. Karl Koop, Professor of History and Theology at CMU
  • Muslim Tradition – Shahina Siddiqui, founder and Executive Director of the Islamic Social Services Association

Questions Framing this Conversation

Heart and Contribution: 

What lies at the core of your faith heritage? What kind of a person is generated by the best of your faith tradition? What gift or contribution does your faith tradition bring to its adherents and to our society?

Challenges and Strains:

By virtue of living in a secular, individualized culture, all faith traditions face challenges and strains. Within that broader context, does your faith tradition face particular challenges? Does your tradition encounter unique growing edges, perplexities or trials to which you believe attention should be given in order to strengthen its collective identity and contribution?

Possibilities for Ways Forward:

What does your religious tradition value most in the other two faith traditions? Understanding present divergence and diversity among Jews, Muslims and Christians, how might believers from these traditions together model life-giving ways forward? What possibilities can we imagine for working together for peace and justice in the world?

[ NEWS RELEASE ]

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Panelists to explore how their different faiths intersect at Face2Face discussion

A Jew, Muslim, and Christian will dialogue about what lies at the core of their faith heritages and how people from these distinct faith traditions might work together for peace and justice, at Canadian Mennonite University’s next Face2Face community discussion.

Titled, “A Conversation within an Abrahamic Tent: A Jew, Muslim, and Christian in Dialogue,” the event happens Tuesday, February 7 at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

F2F iContactParticipating in the discussion will be Dr. Karl Koop, Professor of History and Theology at CMU, who will represent the Christian tradition; Dr. Ruth Ashrafi, Judaic Studies Advisor at Gray’s Academy, who will represent the Jewish tradition; and Shahina Siddiqui, founder and Executive Director of the Islamic Social Services Association, who will represent the Muslim tradition.

Conversations like these are important because Jews, Muslims, and Christians share a common humanity as well as a significant portion of scripture and faith tradition, says Dr. Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at CMU, who will moderate the discussion.

“We’ve gone in different directions and we have different specific traditions, but we are part of a common people struggling for the meaning of life,” says Huebner, who also serves as Director of International and Inter-Faith Theological Initiatives at CMU.

Although there is significant divergence and diversity within each of these faith traditions, and only one person will be at the event to represent each tradition, dialogues like this can still have value, Huebner adds.

“It’s important that we speak and listen to each other, even out of a context of imperfection and incompleteness,” he says.

Panelists will talk about what lies at the core of their faith heritage, and what gift or contribution their faith tradition brings to its adherents and to society.

They will also discuss the challenges their faith traditions face, as well as what their faith tradition values most in the other two faith traditions represented.

Panelists will also share their thoughts on how Jews, Muslims, and Christians might be able to work together for peace and justice in the world.

“Adherents of these different faiths are often seen as in some ways competing with each other, and we don’t need to,” Huebner says. “I hope what people see in an event like this is the possibility for there to be mutual respect and significant openness for difference among the adherents of these different faiths. We don’t have to be the same in order to live in peaceful and just relationship with one another.”

Started in 2013, Face2Face is a series of conversations organized by CMU, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

“A Conversation within an Abrahamic Tent” is the third of four Face2Face events CMU is scheduled to host during the 2016-17 school year. For details, visit cmu.ca/face2face.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Uncategorized Video

Face2Face | Why Beauty Matters: Radical Amazement, Spirituality, and the Ecological Crisis (video)

Nature has the power to draw us into her beauty, to inspire feelings of wonder and awe, to connect with our spirit. Sadly, our approach in this technological age is too often the opposite, seeing nature as a tool to be used, a resource to be consumed. In a time of ecological crisis what we may need, more than anything else, is a change of posture.

The phrase “radical amazement” comes from the Jewish rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, whose work represents one strand of Jewish environmentalism. He has argued that the root of the environmental crisis lies in the way that we have changed our posture toward the natural world—from awe, wonder, and amazement to detachment, control, and manipulation.

Mathematician Dr. Tim Rogalsky, biologist Dr. Rachel Krause, and engineer Randy Herrmann take us on a fascinating ‘guided tour’ into the wonder of nature. See with new eyes and stand in awe of the hidden beauty of flora, fauna, and land.

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Scientists to explore why beauty matters at upcoming Face2Face discussion event

Three scientists will take audience members on a guided tour into the wonder of nature at Canadian Mennonite University’s next Face2Face community discussion.

Titled, “Why Beauty Matters: Radical Amazement, Spirituality, and the Ecological Crisis,” the discussion will feature Dr. Tim Rogalsky, Associate Professor of Mathematics at CMU; Dr. Rachel Krause, Assistant Professor of Biology at CMU; and Randy Herrmann, an engineer who works at the University of Manitoba.

The event happens Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 PM at Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Face2Face Poster“All three of us are going to introduce things that we study within our disciplines that can be fairly easily understood and that are just totally amazing,” Rogalsky says, adding that his talk will explore spiral patterns found in flowers, and what we can glean from this natural display of beauty.

The phrase “radical amazement” comes from the Jewish rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who has argued that the root of the environmental crisis lies in the way that we as humans have changed our posture toward the natural world—from awe, wonder, and amazement, to detachment, control, and manipulation.

In 1955, Heschel wrote, “As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. Humankind will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation.”

“Seeing nature through eyes of radical amazement may be exactly what our world needs today,” Rogalsky says. “It is also precisely the natural posture of the religious person… Science has the power to explain. Religion has the power to inspire. Inspiration has the power to galvanize people to action. The presentations (on November 2) will attempt to bring all of that together.”

He adds that for each of the scientists who will present, scientific inquiry is an act of worship that helps them connect to God. Some people think about science as being a dry, boring process, when in fact, it’s the exact opposite: Scientific inquiry is a creative act that reveals how interconnected everything in the natural world is.

“Scientists are uniquely positioned to reveal (the) beauty (in our world),” Rogalsky says. “I want people to be inspired by the beauty we can’t always see, but that we can investigate.”

Started in 2013, Face2Face is a series of conversations organized by CMU, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

“Why Beauty Matters” is the second of four Face2Face events CMU is scheduled to host during the 2016-17 school year. For details, visit cmu.ca/face2face.

About CMU

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Video

Face2Face | Journey to Renewed Covenants​ (video)

The ​Manitoba Screening of ‘Reserve 107: Reconciliation on the Prairies’ with Director Brad Leitch took place on September 23, 2016 and was followed by audience conversation with film participants.

Panelists:

  • Barb and Wilmer Froese of Laird, SK
  • Ray Funk of Prince Albert, SK
  • Chief George Kingfisher, hereditary chief of the Young Chippewayan First Nation
  • Brad Leitch

Indigenous rights and title to the land remain a taboo topic for many across Canada, but in the small town of Laird, SK, an old injustice is providing new opportunities for dialogue, friendship and a fierce determination to right the wrongs of the past. In 2006, 130 years after the signing of Treaty 6, Mennonites, Lutherans, and the Young Chippewayan First Nation gathered on the sacred hill of Stoney Knoll / Opwashemoe Chakatinaw located in Laird where, with goodwill and shared goals, they signed a memorandum of understanding. ‘Reserve 107’ captures the spirit of these renewed relationships.

At the closing ceremony of Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival the jury stated “’Reserve 107′ spoke exceptionally well to our generation. We have grown up learning about indigenous affairs and the value of righting the foundation of our friendship. Through 32 minutes we are shown two groups of people speaking at solutions and actually acting on them together, capturing the raw passion for structural change in a respectful and educated manner is one of the many reasons as to why this film has earned honourable mention for the Nigel Moore Award.”

Explore the meaning, relevance, and power Treaties signed over 100 years ago still have today. Consider more deeply, in a time of ‘truth and reconciliation’, how opportunities for renewed understanding, humility and respect might lead us to new covenants and mutual healing.

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CMU celebrates start of school year with Fall Festival and opening program

For Eric Wiebe, attending Canadian Mennonite University’s annual Fall Festival event this past weekend was like coming home.

Wiebe, a retired high school physics teacher who lives in Kamloops, BC, graduated from Canadian Mennonite Bible College, one of CMU’s predecessor institutions, in 1966. He wanted to be at Fall Festival because members from his graduating class were gathering for their 50-year reunion.

“I haven’t seen many of them in the interim, so it was interesting to see what they’ve done with their lives,” Wiebe said, adding that attending Fall Festival was a reminder of “how significant CMU is.”

Wiebe was one of more than 1,000 people who gathered at Fall Festival Sept. 23-24.

FallFest2016Celebrated at the end of each September, Fall Festival features opportunities for students, alumni, friends, donors, and community members to connect, learn, play, and celebrate the CMU community.

In addition to class reunions, the weekend included community meals, a farmers market, a folk music festival, a bicycle race, a CMU basketball game, and a Face2Face community discussion featuring Reserve 107: Reconciliation on the Prairies, a 30-minute documentary by alumnus Brad Leitch that explores Indigenous-settler relations in the small town of Laird, SK.

Fall Festival concluded with CMU’s annual opening program, a time of worship to celebrate the start of a new school year.

CMU President Dr. Cheryl Pauls delivered a message based on CMU’s chapel theme for 2016-17, If We Walk in the Light (1 John 1:5-7).

“We seek to witness to the truth that God is light,” Pauls said. “My prayer is that the light of Christ will emanate through all who are touched by this learning community in some way—students, staff, faculty, board, council, alumni, friends, guests of all sorts, and many others.”

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients (l-r):  Adrienne Wiebe, Peter Guenther, Ron Toews, and Brad Leith

The opening program included the presentation of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards, which annually recognizes alumni who, through their lives, embody CMU’s values and mission of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

Pauls presented the awards to Peter Guenther, who served as the head of numerous correctional institutions during a 39-year career; Adrienne Wiebe, an international development worker; Ron Toews, a pastor and professor committed to leadership development in the Mennonite Brethren Church; and Brad Leitch, a filmmaker and peacebuilder.

At its best, CMU’s impact is evidenced in the life stories of alumni, said Vice President External Terry Schellenberg.

“While we would never claim full credit for who our alumni become or the good they contribute, we know that CMU does open imagination and passion and skill, and that this university lays foundations for faithfulness,” Schellenberg said.

Later in the program, Dr. Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology, and Dr. Paul Dyck, Professor of English, presented a Festschrift honouring Dr. Gerald Gerbrandt, who served as CMU’s first sole President from 2003 to 2012.

Titled A University of the Church for the World: Essays in Honour of Gerald Gerbrandt, the Festschrift—a German word for a collection of writing that is meant to honour a scholar—is a series of essays that reflect on the work being done at CMU.

IMG_0363
President Emeritus Gerald Gerbrandt comments on A University of the Church for the World: Essays in Honour of Gerald Gerbrandt, the Festschrift—a gift from CMU faculty to honour Gerbrandt’s impact on CMU during his administration.

The book takes its name from a phrase Gerbrandt coined to describe CMU. Huebner noted that as president, Gerbrandt shaped CMU’s vision and mission, gave leadership in molding its faculty, and created a climate of open, free exchange of ideas and respect for difference.

“The essays in this book are all written out of a deep appreciation for this culture of open discussion, of open debate, guided by a commitment to the Christian faith,” Huebner said. “In a small way, it is an example of what a university of the church for the world might look like.”

Gerbrandt expressed his thanks for the book, particularly to the authors who took time to write essays for it.

“I really do look forward to reading each one of your reflections and seeing what I can learn from them,” Gerbrandt said, adding later: “I do trust that… the various contributions in it serve to help CMU and perhaps other universities to become more effective to serve the world and the church.”

Ultimately, opening program—and Fall Festival as a whole—was about gratitude; gratitude not only for the contribution of alumni and a former President, but gratitude for the community that supports CMU.

“CMU’s present and its future is nowhere if it’s not held within a network of friends and alumni, parents and grandparents, (and) congregations who undergird the possibilities of this university,” Schellenberg said.

About CMU

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

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CMU Discussion Series Kicks Off with Screening of Award-Winning Documentary

Directed By Alumnus Brad Leitch, ‘Reserve 107’ Explores Indigenous-Settler Reconciliation

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) will host the Manitoba premiere of the new documentary short Reserve 107: Reconciliation on the Prairies during its first Face2Face community discussion event of the 2016-17 school year.

Face2Face_Sept2016The documentary explores Indigenous rights and title to the land in the small town of Laird, SK, where an old injustice is providing new opportunities for dialogue, friendship, and a fierce determination to right the wrongs of the past.

The public is invited to watch the 32-minute documentary on Friday, September 23 at 7:30 PM. The screening takes place in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). A Q and A with Brad Leitch, director of the film and a CMU alumnus, will precede the screening, and a panel discussion featuring people from the film will follow. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

“We are excited to screen Reserve 107 and host a discussion about the important themes of Indigenous rights, claims to land, and reconciliation that it explores,” says David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU, who will moderate the discussion.

In Laird, Mennonites and Lutherans discovered that the land they live on is in fact the former reserve of the Young Chippewayan First Nation.

In 2006, Mennonites, Lutherans, and the Young Chippewayan First Nation gathered on the sacred hill of Stoney Knoll/Opwashemoe Chakatinaw. With goodwill and shared goals, they signed a memorandum of understanding, committing themselves to finding justice for the Young Chippewayan First Nation.

“Our film picks up the story a decade later to see what’s happened and how the communities are doing,” Leitch says. “I’m very interested in seeing what peacebuilding looks like in a practical sense, and film is a great tool for showing that.”

The discussion following the film will feature a handful of people who appear in the documentary, including Barb and Wilmer Froese, who run a family farm in Laird; Ray Funk of Prince Albert, SK, who is a board member with Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan, which helped fund the film; and Chief George Kingfisher, hereditary chief of the Young Chippewayan First Nation.

The audience will be invited to participate in the conversation.

Balzer notes that in each year of its existence, CMU’s Face2Face discussion series has included an event relating to Indigenous-settler issues in an effort to promote reconciliation and being good neighbours.

Reserve 107 picks up on an element of the story that our discussion events at CMU haven’t addressed before,” Balzer says. “The people participating in the panel are on the ground level of what is happening in Laird, so it will give people who come to the event an intimate look at how people negotiate treaty relationships in their lives.”

Reserve 107 Kingfisher and Funk
A scene from the film Reserve 107 shows Chief George Kingfisher and Ray Funk discuss themes of Indigenous rights, claims to land, and reconciliation.

Described in reviews as “beautifully photographed,” “wonderfully accessible,” and “a valuable resource,” Reserve 107 was an official selection at this year’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, BC, as well as the Speechless Film Festival in Mankato, MN, where it was given an award of merit. To watch a trailer and learn more about the film, visit reserve107thefilm.com.

Started in 2013, Face2Face is a series of conversations organized by CMU, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

“Journey to Renewed Covenants” is the first of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2016-17 school year. For details, visit cmu.ca/face2face.

About CMU

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

Categories
Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Uncategorized Video

Face2Face | Cohabitation: The Question of Living Together Before Marriage (video)

Context
Increasingly, our faith communities, pastoral leaders and families are encountering the broad, cultural reality of cohabitation. Bringing deeply held theological convictions into conversation with practices outside of these persuasions can be challenging. Dialogue and conversation are vital.

Focus
What clarity might we gain on the Biblical, theological, sociological / cultural, and relational dynamics that underlie the reality of cohabitation? What makes this practice challenging to openly discuss within our church communities, as families and with young adults we know and love? How can we best resource and learn from one another?

Panel Members

Recorded February 2, 2016

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Discussion series to explore cohabitation

‘How do we minister to couples who are part of our churches and living together?’ prof asks

Cohabitation is increasingly a reality in Canadian society. How ought the church respond? That’s the question behind an upcoming event at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU).

The community is invited to “Cohabitation: The Question of Living Together Before Marriage,” CMU’s latest Face2Face discussion, on Tuesday, February 9. The event starts at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Cohabitation is a difficult topic that many people are hesitant to address, which makes it ideal for the Face2Face series, says David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU, who will moderate the discussion.

He adds that a discussion about cohabitation is inevitably a discussion about what commitment and marriage mean in 2016.

“We’re really unpacking the question of what a marriage covenant looks like in society today,” Balzer says.

This event will focus on three main questions:

  • What clarity might we gain on the biblical, theological, sociological/cultural, and relational dynamics that underlie the reality of cohabitation?
  • What makes this practice challenging to openly discuss within our church communities, as families and with young adults we know and love?
  • How can we best resource and learn from one another?

Face2Face_Feb2016Participants in the discussion include Dr. Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology; John Neufeld, lead pastor at The Meeting Place; and Rebecca Steiner and Paul Peters, two CMU staff members who will represent the diverse voices of young adults.

Dueck, who has researched cohabitation and presented on the topic to church leaders throughout Canada and the United States, says the reality today is that the way to marriage for many young people is to live together first.

“There is huge pressure for our young adults to live together before they get married – even sometimes from parents,” Dueck says.

She hopes the conversation on February 9 goes deeper than exploring whether cohabitation is right or wrong.

“The question is, how do we minister to couples who are part of our churches and living together?” Dueck says. “What does living together do to our theology of marriage? How do we talk positively about marriage amongst people who have seen their parents get divorced? How do we keep valuing it and keep putting it forward as an option amongst people who are living together?”

Steiner believes it is important for the church to be talking about cohabitation.

“It’s one of those awkward topics we don’t know how to address in the church,” she says. “Sometimes it feels good to engage those topics that are tricky or taboo. It can be difficult or challenging, but I’m excited for the conversation that will happen at the event.”

Balzer says that when he and his fellow organizers discussed the event recently, no one in the room could think of a time when they heard cohabitation being discussed in a public way in their respective church communities.

“There’s a sense with this event that we’re trying to open the conversation,” Balzer says. “If we accomplish simply starting a conversation, then we’ve hopefully made a contribution.”

Started in 2013, Face2Face is a series of conversations organized by CMU, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

“Cohabitation: The Question of Living Together Before Marriage” is the third of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2015-16 school year.

For details, visit cmu.ca/face2face.

About CMU

A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over 800 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit www.cmu.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
kkilbrei@cmu.ca; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2