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Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Video

Face2Face | An Urban Reserve at Kapyong: Imagining a Future (video)


Recorded November 4, 2015

David Balzer, CMU Assistant Professor of Communications and Media, along with Treaty Commissioner Jamie Wilson co-host a panel exploring questions and possibilities, and inviting the community into conversation.

Context: CMU and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba* are jointly sponsoring an important community conversation involving First Nations peoples and those living within the Tuxedo and Charleswood communities.

Focus: What might the possibility of an Urban Reserve at Kapyong Barracks mean for all of us? Can we name our questions and apprehensions and, in conversation, begin to shape a shared vision for this initiative in this area of our city? What might we imagine and do together to make this work for the benefit of all?

Panel Members:

  • Chief Dennis Meeches, Long Plain First Nation, located southwest of Portage la Prairie, and operating two urban reserves
  • Harry Finnigan, former head of planning at the City of Winnipeg; a leader in community/regional planning and revitalization
  • Andrew Holtman, Tuxedo Community Centre Board of Directors

*The Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba (TRCM) is a neutral body, created through a partnership between the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and Canada with a mandate to strengthen, rebuild, and enhance the Treaty relationship and mutual respect between First Nations and Manitobans as envisaged by the Treaty Parties.

 

 

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Face2Face: On Campus – Community in Conversation Video

Face2Face | When Oil Dependency is not Black and White: Contradictions and Possibilities (video)


Recorded September 25, 2015

Context: From cell phones to polyester clothing; cell phones to wind turbines and automobiles… we are embedded in an oil dependent world. Now what? What meaningful choices do we really have? Come hear the personal stories and involvements of an oil industry consultant, an economist and an activist who share their insights and convictions.

Focus: How do we respond to the complex realities of oil dependency in our lives? What simple or complex steps and innovations should we attend to? What choices lie before governments, industry and before each of us as individuals? What kind of ethical framework can guide and assist us?

Panel Members:

  • Marlene Janzen – Is an engineer and owner of Eclipse Geomatics and Engineering LTD; focused on conceptual development studies, front end engineering and preliminary estimates for remote onshore and arctic offshore oil and gas opportunities.
  • James Magnus-Johnston – Is a CMU Instructor of Political Studies and Economics whose research interests lie in ecological resilience, principally through the application of “steady-state” economic policies and carbon reduction strategies.
  • Michael Tyas – Is the Co-Producer of One River, Many Relations, a 48-minute documentary highlighting both the benefits and the harms associated with the Oil Sands from the experience and insights of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Dene people of the Athabasca Chipewayn First Nation. A three-minute clip of the documentary will be shown this evening, with a complete screening being planned for a later date at CMU.
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Events Lectures News Releases

Discussion exploring the development of Kapyong Barracks continues at CMU

An upcoming event at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) will continue the discussion about what at urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks might look like.

F2FSliderMediaThe community is invited to “An Urban Reserve at Kapyong: Imagining a Future,” CMU’s latest Face2Face discussion, on Wednesday, November 4. The event starts at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Co-presented with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba (TRCM), this event will focus on three main questions:

  • What might the possibility of an urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks mean for all of us?
  • Can we name our questions and apprehensions and, in conversation, begin to shape a shared vision for this initiative in this area of our city?
  • What might we imagine and do together to make this work for the benefit of all?

Participants in the discussion include Chief Dennis Meeches of Long Plain First Nation, which is located southwest of Portage la Prairie and operates two urban reserves; Harry Finnigan, former head of planning at the City of Winnipeg and a leader in community/regional planning and revitalization; and Andrew Holtman, a member of the Tuxedo Community Centre’s board of directors.

David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU, will moderate the event along with Jamie Wilson, Commissioner for the TRCM.

The event is a follow-up to two panel discussions CMU has hosted since March 2014 that explored the opportunities and practical challenges of an urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks.

These events have provided a chance for conversation between people who live in the area and the First Nations who want the land.

The last discussion, held this past March, drew hundreds of people.

“Conversations have movement, so the November 4 event grew out of the two previous conversations,” Balzer says, adding that he is looking forward to co-moderating the event with Wilson. “There’s a different tone when you’ve got two people sharing the leadership, so to speak, of the evening… That will be really good.”

Formerly a Canadian Forces base, Kapyong Barracks was vacated in 2004. The Department of National Defence declared the 159-acre site, located on Kenaston Boulevard, surplus.

Several First Nations have argued that under a treaty land entitlement process, they are allowed to negotiate for federal property that has been declared surplus.

As a result, they have laid claim to Kapyong. They have fought with the Canadian government in court for the past eight years, with the latest decision coming down this past August in favour of the First Nations.

A September 2015 Winnipeg Free Press article reports that several First Nations chiefs are hopeful a deal to buy Kapyong Barracks can be done within a year.

Although construction on the land is years away, it is looking more likely now than it was this past March at the last Face2Face discussion on this topic that Kapyong will indeed be turned into an urban reserve.

“Last time we met, it was kind of in theory that we might be living together as neighbours,” Balzer says. “Now you can actually imagine it and this is the community coming together and having a conversation about how we might live together. That’s very different in my mind.”

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.

“An Urban Reserve at Kapyong: Imagining a Future” is the second of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2015-16 school year. For details, visit www.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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Events Lectures News Releases

Event focusing on oil dependency kicks off 2015-16 discussion series at CMU

Oil industry consultant, economist, and filmmaker featured on panel

Oil dependency is the focus of Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) first Face2Face discussion of 2015-16.

Face2Face.Sept2015Titled “When Oil Dependency is Not Black and White: Contradictions and Possibilities,” the event happens Friday, September 25 at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Face2Face is a series of conversations with CMU faculty, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

From cell phones to clothing, and from wind turbines to automobiles, we are embedded in an oil dependent world. The September 25 discussion will explore questions such as: How do we respond to the complex realities of oil dependency in our lives? What choices lie before governments, industry, and before each of us as individuals? What kind of ethical framework can guide and assist us?

Moderated by David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media, the event will feature three panelists:

Marlene Janzen – Engineer, owner of Eclipse Geomatics and Engineering LTD; focused on conceptual development studies, front end engineering, and preliminary estimates for remote onshore and arctic offshore oil and gas opportunities.

James Magnus-Johnston – CMU Instructor of Political Studies and Economics; research interests in ecological resilience, principally through the application of “steady-state” economic policies and carbon reduction strategies.

Michael Tyas – Managing editor of One River News; graduated from the University of Manitoba with an honours degree in environmental studies; a professional videographer and video trainer; produced the feature length documentary One River, Many Relations in Fort Chipewyan, AB to tell the stories of people living downstream from oil sands resource extraction.

Balzer says the goal is to have a conversation that draws out some of the complexities surrounding the topic of oil.

“To have someone who’s an oil industry consultant with a deep concern for creation, together with an economist and a documentary filmmaker, feels like it will create a very interesting conversation with some expertise people don’t always have available to them when they’re discussing these issues,” he says.

Magnus-Johnston says he wanted to be a part of the event because he believes everyone is personally responsible when it comes to fossil fuel use.

“Often we want someone to take responsibility for climate change, so we vilify fossil fuel companies or those working in the fossil fuel industry, but when you dig a little deeper, we all are, in fact, contributing to the problem,” Magnus-Johnston says. “So, solutions are not so simple.”

Balzer points out that rather than just being a presentation by the three panelists, the event is meant to be a conversation that includes audience members.

With any luck, the conversation will produce new insights.

“We’re hoping we don’t end up getting caught in a positional debate, but rather that we listen to the panelists, hear what they’re saying, and perhaps look for the creative way forward that may not be present to any of us right now,” Balzer says.

The discussion will be followed at 8:30 PM by an informal reception.

The evening marks the start of CMU’s Fall Festival, a high energy weekend that features opportunities to connect, learn, play, and celebrate with the CMU Community. For more information about Fall Festival, visit www.cmu.ca/fallfest.

“When Oil Dependency is Not Black and White: Contradictions and Possibilities” is the first of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2015-16 school year. For details, visit www.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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Events Lectures News Releases

Discussion at CMU to explore the possibility of an urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks

What would it mean to turn the Kapyong Barracks into an urban reserve?

That’s the key question Canadian Mennonite University’s next Face2Face community discussion will explore. Titled, “On Being Good Neighbours: An Urban Reserve at Kapyong?,” the event takes place on Thursday, March 5 at 7:00 PM in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

face2face_mar5_15Participants in the discussion include Chief Glenn Hudson, Chief of the Peguis First Nation; Jamie Wilson, Commissioner for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba; and Leah Gazan, Faculty/Special Projects Coordinator at University of Winnipeg and President of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.

David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU, will moderate the event, which is being organized with the participation of Steve Heinrichs, Director of Indigenous Relations for Mennonite Church Canada.

Together, the participants will explore opportunities and practical challenges of an urban reserve at Kapyong Barracks.

The discussion will include treaty details, site vision, exploring possibilities, the current stumbling blocks, the concerns that some have raised, and a look at what it might mean to be good neighbours in this place.

Balzer believes this is an important conversation for CMU to host because the Kapyong Barracks are located less than three kilometres away from the university. Nearly everyone at the university drives past the barracks every day.

“It’s a visual reminder of the question, ‘How do we best use this land?’” Balzer says.

He adds that over the past few years, CMU has become increasingly interested in what it means to be good neighbours to Canada’s First Nations community.

“We’re trying to understand how to have a conversation around our history as a country, as a province, and as a city,” Balzer says.

Formerly a Canadian Forces base, Kapyong Barracks was vacated in 2004. The Department of National Defence declared the 159-acre site, located on Kenaston Boulevard, surplus.

The Canadian government and four Manitoba First Nations are currently involved in a dispute regarding control of the land. According to a CBC report from January 2014, the First Nations argue that under a treaty land entitlement process, they are allowed to negotiate for federal property that has been declared surplus.

Gazan says she doesn’t understand why the land isn’t given to the First Nations.

“Nobody questions it when IKEA goes up, nobody questions the strip malls going up, there’s no big community debate when we see new restaurants coming up, so why is this an issue?” she says.

Gazan adds that she is looking forward to delving into the topic on March 5.

“Any time you have people willing to come together to discuss these difficult issues, it’s positive,” she says.

Steve Heinrichs agrees.

“My hope is that we would be able to have a conversation about what some indigenous people are envisioning for that space—a conversation that would demystify and speak into some of the misconceptions about what an urban reserve is,” he says.

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.

“On Being Good Neighbours: An Urban Reserve at Kapyong?” is the last of four Face2Face events CMU is hosting during the 2014-15 school year. For details, please visit www.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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.

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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Video

Face2Face | You Lost Me: The Church and Young Adults (video)

Many young Canadians have stepped away from institutionalized religion, a trend that has been growing for the past 25 years. Is the church not listening or do young adults no longer care? Has the church lost touch with the issues about which young adults are most passionate? How significant is the church’s worship to the participation and involvement of young adults? Do young adults feel any responsibility in keeping the legacy of the church going? What does it mean for the church to be “faithful” in this time and place?
Join us as we investigate young adult perspectives and convictions related to church and faith.

Co-hosted by CMU faculty Irma Fast Dueck and graduate student Peter Epp are, a diverse panel of young adults including Kirsten Hamm-Epp, Danielle Morton, Mike Wiebe, Lukas Thiessen, and Harrison Davey share their personal experiences and impressions about the chruch.

Recorded February 10, 2015 as part of CMU’s Face2Face Community Discussion Series.

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Events Lectures News Releases

CMU Discussion Series Explores Young Adults and the Church

Exploring assumptions goal of third Face2Face event of 2015-14 school year

Many young Canadians have stepped away from institutionalized religion, a trend that has been growing for the past 25 years. An upcoming event at Canadian Mennonite University will explore why.

face2facefeb1015CMU’s Face2Face community discussion series continues on Tuesday, February 10 with “You Lost Me: The Church and Young Adults.” The event takes place in Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.) on CMU’s campus. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. The event starts at 7:00 PM.

Face2Face is a series of conversations with CMU faculty, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, and Peter Epp, a student in CMU’s Graduate School of Theology and Ministry, will co-host the discussion.

The diverse panel of young adults contributing to the conversation includes Kirsten Hamm-Epp and Lukas Thiessen, who are alumni of CMU, as well as Danielle Morton and Mike Wiebe, who are currently students at the university.

Dueck was inspired to create the event after encountering an increasing number of students who are Christians, but who either don’t belong to a church or are not baptized.

“They’re very committed Christians, interested in social justice, prayer, and everything, but they’re nominally involved in church,” Dueck says.

Epp’s interest in the topic stems in part from his experience teaching Mennonite Studies at the high school level. He witnessed his students getting passionate about the topic as they learned more about it.

At the same time, they didn’t argue with Epp when he suggested that statistically speaking, it’s very likely they would leave the church as young adults.

“I think that contrast with students can get really interesting,” says Epp, adding that his interest in the topic also comes from having close relationships with a handful of friends who have left the church as young adults.

Questions the panelists will explore include: Is the church not listening, or do young adults no longer care? Has the church lost touch with the issues about which young adults are most passionate? How significant is the church’s worship to the participation and involvement of young adults? Do young adults feel any responsibility in keeping the legacy of the church going? What does it mean for the church to be “faithful” in this time and place?

The goal of the event is to explore the assumptions young people have about the church, as well as the assumptions people in the church have about young people.

“I’m just hoping to wade into the complexity of the questions and dispel some of the stereotypes we have around this issue,” Dueck says.

Epp agrees.

“My hope is that people in the church would walk away with a deeper understanding of the complexity of the situation, so that they can better address it,” he says. “On the flipside of that, I hope young adults might be able to step back and consider their own engagement with the church in potentially new ways.”

“You Lost Me: The Church and Young Adults” is the third of four Face2Face events CMU is hosting during the 2014-15 school year. For details, please visit www.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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.

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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Events News Releases

Discussion event puts restorative justice under the microscope

Community invited to ‘grapple with some challenging and necessary conversations’

A Winnipeg police officer, an advocate for victims, and a restorative justice specialist from South Korea are the special guests at an upcoming Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) event focusing on restorative justice.

IMG_1414508826575
Clock-wise from top left: Bob Chrismas, Jae-Young Lee, and Lisa Phommarath

Bob Chrismas, Lisa Phommarath, and Jae-Young Lee are the panel members at CMU’s second Face2Face discussion of 2014-15. Titled, “Restorative Justice: Soft on Crime or Building Community Security?” the event takes place on Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 PM in CMU’s Great Hall (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.).

Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Face2Face is a series of conversations with CMU faculty and special guests designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU and one of the event’s organizers, says CMU wanted to host a conversation about restorative justice because educating for peace and justice is one of the university’s institutional commitments.

Recent political decisions around tough-on-crime policy were also on the organizers’ minds.

“There’s a seeming move to incarceration as an answer for how we make things right in the community when a wrong is committed,” Balzer says. “This event will put restorative justice under the microscope and ask: What does it have to say to us?”

face2faceThe November 13 event will explore questions such as: What roles do incarceration, punishment, and restorative justice play in building security? Is restorative justice effective in ensuring accountability for wrongdoing or violence? Are punishment and incarceration helping us to build more secure communities? How does our cultural context—whether Winnipeg or Korea—impact how we imagine responses to crime and wrongdoing? And, how does civil society connect with these concerns?

Lee, who is from Seoul, South Korea, works as a restorative justice specialist in schools, police stations, and regional conferences; Chrismas is a 25-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service who, in addition to his work as a staff sergeant, is currently working on a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies; and Phommarath is a victim of violent crime who has worked for several years with an inmate visitation program, as well as with Voices of Resilience, a support group for victims.

“I can’t wait to hear all three of these people present, because they are taking their ideas about restorative justice and putting them into action,” Balzer says. “They want to help bring people together in very broken places in the world.”

Wendy Kroeker, Instructor in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies at CMU, will also serve as a contributor in this conversation, offering key definitions and frameworks.

After the panelists present, people in attendance are invited to join in the discussion by asking questions and sharing their own reflections.

“Our hope for this event is to create an open and authentic space for community members and invited presenters to grapple with some challenging and necessary conversations,” Balzer says.

“Restorative Justice: Soft on Crime or Building Community Security?” is the second of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2014-15 school year. For details, please visit www.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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.

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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Events News Releases

CMU Community Celebrates at Fall Festival 2014

Reunions, Concerts, and Discussion Highlight of Annual Community-Building Event

When Brent Durksen and his wife, Kari Enns Durksen, found out that their graduating class would reunite at Canadian Mennonite University’s Fall Festival, they made plans to attend.

Brent Durksen and Kari Enns Durksen flew in from Calgary to reconnect with their Class of 2004 peers and the rest of the CMU community at Fall Festival.
Brent Durksen and Kari Enns Durksen flew in from Calgary to reconnect with their Class of 2004 peers and the rest of the CMU community at Fall Festival.

The couple travelled from their home in Calgary to participate in their 10-year Class of 2004 reunion and visit friends, professors, and staff from the CMU community.

“It was a good opportunity to indulge in some nostalgia, stay connected to CMU, see the work being done on the new library, and visit our friends,” Durksen said. “We still have a lot of good friends from CMU that we’re connected with.”

Brent and Kari were two of the more than 500 people who came to CMU this past weekend, Sept. 27-28, for Fall Festival.

Celebrated annually, Fall Festival features opportunities for students, alumni, friends, donors, and community members to connect, learn, play, and celebrate with the CMU community.

In addition to class reunions, the weekend included a bicycle race, folk music festival, a farmers market with more than 25 vendors, and CMU Blazers basketball games.

The weekend opened on Friday, Sept. 26 with a Face2Face community discussion exploring shifting cultural sentiments and the complexity of end-of-life issues, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide.

Titled, “A Time to Die: Cultural and Faith Perspectives in the Face of Death,” the event featured Justin Neufeld, Lecturer in Philosophy at CMU; Dr. Cornelius Woelk, Medical Director of Palliative Care at Southern Health-Santé Sud, and the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia.

Activities on Saturday, Sept. 27 culminated in CMU’s annual opening program, a time of worship to celebrate the start of a new school year.

Dr. Gordon Zerbe, who was appointed Vice President Academic this past June, delivered a message, titled “Citizenship and CMU.

President Academic Gordon Zerbe delivered the message at CMU’s opening program on Sept. 27, which capped off an exciting weekend of events at the university.
President Academic Gordon Zerbe delivered the message at CMU’s opening program on Sept. 27, which capped off an exciting weekend of events at the university.

Drawing from Jeremiah, Matthew and Philippians, Zerbe spoke of the ways being a Christian is itself a kind of citizenship, and how the mission of Christian citizenship—and of CMU—is multidimensional.

“Christian citizenship practice… is about being on the move, along the ‘way,’ never quite knowing what is one’s true and only home, just as Jesus had nowhere to lay his head,” Zerbe said.

“Similarly, the practice of CMU as a Christian university in its multiple dimensions and multiple subjectives, will always be on the move—crossing boundaries, and not building walls. Resisting barriers, it will instead be building bridges.”

The opening program also included the presentation of the 2014 Blazer Distinguished Alumni Awards, which annually recognize alumni who, through their lives, embody CMU’s values and mission of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

Kathy Bergen (from left), Lorlie Barkman, John Neufeld, and Odette Mukole received the 2014 Blazer Distinguished Alumni Awards, which annually recognize alumni who, through their lives, embody CMU’s values and mission of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.
Kathy Bergen (from left), Lorlie Barkman, John Neufeld, and Odette Mukole received the 2014 Blazer Distinguished Alumni Awards, which annually recognize alumni who, through their lives, embody CMU’s values and mission of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

President Cheryl Pauls presented the awards to Kathy Bergen, who has spent more than 30 years working for justice in Israel-Palestine; Lorlie Barkman, a pastor-turned-TV producer; John Neufeld, the executive director of an organization that serves low-income people in need or support; and Odette Mukole, a Congolese immigrant who helps newcomers to Canada adjust to life in a new country.

During a short speech, Abram Bergen, Director of Church and Alumni Relations, noted how far CMU has come in the 14 years since becoming a university. A residence has been built, a new science lab has been completed, and the new library, learning commons, and bridge will open on November 29.

Meanwhile, 1,000 students have graduated from CMU and 1,200 have completed its Outtatown Discipleship School.

“These graduates are impacting their workplaces, their communities, and their families,” Bergen said.

For Paul Dueck, a graduate of Canadian Mennonite Bible College, one of CMU’s predecessor institutions, the chance to reconnect with faculty is what drew him to Fall Festival. An avid musician, Dueck was impressed by the music performed at opening program.

CMU’s Class of 2004 reunited for its 10-year reunion at Fall Festival on Sept. 27.
CMU’s Class of 2004 reunited for its 10-year reunion at Fall Festival on Sept. 27.

“To hear the choir sing with this quality this early in the year is incredible,” Dueck said.

Daniel Friesen, a fourth-year Music student who participated in the MennoCross bike race and sung in the choir, was happy he attended Fall Festival.

“It’s cool to see the wider community of CMU supporters that you don’t necessarily think of when you’re a student,” Friesen said. “It’s cool to think you’re part of a larger group than just the student body.”

Vice President External Terry Schellenberg said Fall Festival is a marquee event on CMU’s calendar because it is a great community builder.

“Once again we brought together cyclocross racers—old and young—hundreds of community members for our Farmers Market, and a packed house for an important Face2Face community conversation,” Schellenberg said.

“We celebrated the impact of four of our alumni who have made an incredible difference in church and society, and we opened another school year with great energy. It was a wonderful weekend of fun and celebration.”

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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.

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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Events News Releases

Event focusing on end-of-life issues kicks off 2014-15 discussion series at CMU

Physician and politician join philosophy lecturer on panel

WINNIPEG – End-of-life issues are the focus at Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) first Face2Face discussion of 2014-15.

Dr. Cornelius Woelk, the Medical Director of Palliative Care at Southern Health-Santé Sud, and the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia will join Justin Neufeld, Lecturer in Philosophy at CMU, at the discussion, titled, “A Time to Die: Cultural and Faith Perspectives in the Face of Death.”

The event happens Friday, September 26 at 7:00 PM in CMU’s Great Hall (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Face2Face is a series of conversations with CMU faculty, designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.

Fletcher has initiated two private members’ bills in the House Commons to prod MPs into a national debate on the right to die. Woelk, Fletcher, and Neufeld will present a conversation exploring shifting cultural sentiments and the complexity of end-of-life issues, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide.

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Fletcher recently said that physician-assisted suicide will be a reality in Canada, the Winnipeg Free Press reported (link). He called it, “inevitable.”

“The momentum is unstoppable,” Fletcher said. “The only question is how long will it take?”

The discussion at CMU will ask: “In a world that increasingly offers up promises of personal autonomy and control, how do we face our mortality?”

Neufeld says asking that question is interesting because one does not arrive at the answer using a mathematical or scientific formula. Rather, it is a question that involves a discussion about meaning and purpose.

He hopes to get attendees thinking theologically about death.

“Any time you talk about the sanctity of life you are in theological territory, whether you want to be or not,” Neufeld says.

He adds that he is looking forward to the discussion because of the diverse background and experience each presenter brings.

“These topics are what the heart of democracy is about,” Neufeld says. “Democracy at its best should be the bringing together of these ideas to discern what the good life is.”

“A Time to Die: Cultural and Faith Perspectives in the Face of Death” is the first of four Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2014-15 school year. For details, please visit www.cmu.ca/face2face.

The discussion will be followed at 8:30 PM by a President’s Reception, during which attendees can connect with one another and chat with the presenters.

The evening marks the start of CMU’s Fall Festival, a high energy weekend that features opportunities to connect, learn, play, and celebrate with the CMU Community. For more information about the weekend, visit www.cmu.ca/fallfest.

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, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry. CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and its Menno Simons College and programs.

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