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2017 CMU PAX Award Presentation to Canadian Peacemaker Teams (video)

On April 5, 2017 Canadian Mennonite University honoured Canadian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) with the CMU PAX Award for its efforts to realize a world of communities that together embrace the diversity of the human family and live justly and peaceably with all creation. CPT has committed itself to work and relationships that honour and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality; strengthen grassroots initiatives; transform structures of domination and oppression; and embody creative non-violence and liberating love.

The CPT experience has demonstrated that small teams of four to six people trained in the skills of documentation, observation, nonviolent intervention, and various ministries of presence can make a striking difference in explosive situations.

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CMU to present Christian Peacemaker Teams with CMU PAX Award

Peacemaking organization honoured for its dedication to service, leadership, and reconciliation

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is pleased to announce that it will present its CMU PAX Award to Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) next month.

CMU President Dr. Cheryl Pauls will present the award to Sarah Thompson, executive director of CPT, on Wednesday, April 5 at Gather. Give. Celebrate. Spring at CMU, an annual fundraiser in support of the university.

Susan Thompson, Executive Director of Christian Peacekeeper Teams
Sarah Thompson, Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, will be on-hand to receive the 2017 CMU PAX Award on April 5

“The work and witness of Christian Peacemaker Teams bring public attention to the beauty of courage and vulnerability that is vital to peacebuilding,” Pauls says. “The CMU learning community is inspired by the stories of CPT and its executive director, Sarah Thompson.”

The CMU PAX Award was created to honour people and organizations who are dedicated to service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

“Christian Peacemaker Teams is deeply humbled to receive the CMU PAX Award,” Thompson says. “The journey towards peace is a long and challenging path. Yet, we know we are not walking alone on this journey.”

For nearly 30 years, CPT has sought to build partnerships to transform violence and oppression around the world.

Envisioning a world of communities that together embrace the diversity of the human family and live justly and peaceably with all creation, CPT has committed itself to work and relationships that honour and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality; strengthen grassroots initiatives; transform structures of domination and oppression; and embody creative non-violence and liberating love.

CPT was formed in 1986 out of a desire of the historic peace churches to seek new ways of expressing their faith. After the formation of a steering committee, the first staff person began work in 1988.

By 1992, CPT had put together a series of delegations to Haiti, Iraq and the West Bank. The steering committee then set a goal to develop a Christian Peacemaker Corps of 12 full-time persons, with a much larger number of reservists.

By the end of 1998, when the organization reached the goal of a 12-person peacemaker corps, it had set up and staffed violence-reduction projects in Haiti; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, VA; Hebron, West Bank; Bosnia; and Chiapas, Mexico.

Today, CPT has regional groups in Europe; the United Kingdom; Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia); Philippines; Colorado; northern Indiana; and Ontario. CPT has around 30 full- and part-time, stipended peacemakers and nearly 200 part-time volunteers who serve in violence-reduction projects around the world.

The CPT experience has demonstrated that small teams of four to six people trained in the skills of documentation, observation, nonviolent intervention, and various ministries of presence can make a striking difference in explosive situations.

Along the way, more than 30 alumni, faculty, and staff of CMU and its predecessor colleges have worked for CPT. That includes Dr. Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology, who helped found the organization.

“CMU has been a place of nourishment for many CPTers,” Thompson says. “While (the CMU PAX Award) recognizes the peace work of CPT, we hope it also recognizes the deep relationship between CPT and CMU. As we continue to work for holistic peace and justice, with our neighbours across the street and our neighbours around the world, may we continue to challenge, nourish, and hold each other up.”

This is the third year that Canadian Mennonite University has given out the CMU PAX Award.

In 2015, it was awarded to Jean Vanier, who founded L’Arche, an international federation of communities for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. In 2016, the CMU PAX Award was presented to Art DeFehr, a humanitarian and business leader.

Gather. Give. Celebrate. Spring at CMU is an evening of story, song, and food in support of CMU. The event takes place at CMU (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.) from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM.

 

 

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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2016 CMU PAX Award Presentation to Mr. Arthur DeFehr (video)

On April 7, 2016 Canadian Mennonite University honoured Mr. Arthur DeFehr with the CMU PAX Award for a life of service, leadership and reconciliation. Alongside a remarkable career as CEO of Palliser Furniture, DeFehr has brought a formidable depth of imagination and commitment to many of the world’s most complex humanitarian concerns. The phrase, “International Affairs his True Calling,” (the title of a recent Winnipeg Free Press article) signifies the global import of DeFehr’s ongoing initiatives.

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Canadian Mennonite University to present Art DeFehr with CMU PAX Award

Furniture magnate honoured for leading exemplary life of service, leadership, and reconciliation

Canadian Mennonite University will present its CMU PAX Award to renowned Winnipeg businessman Art DeFehr.

In addition to his work as CEO of Palliser Furniture, a business active in the residential furniture market, DeFehr’s interest in international affairs has led him to make significant contributions abroad over the past 45 years.

CMU President Dr. Cheryl Pauls will present the award to DeFehr on Thursday, April 7 at A Fresh Look at CMU: A Spring Evening Fundraiser in support of Canadian Mennonite University.

2016-03-11 - CMU presents DeFehr with PAX Award [02]“Art DeFehr has brought a formidable depth of imagination and commitment to many of the world’s most complex humanitarian concerns,” Pauls says. “We honour him for the range of peoples and organizations that he has brought to together to make good change possible.”

The CMU PAX Award was created to respect people who lead exemplary and exceptional lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

DeFehr says he is humbled and honoured to receive the award.

“The Mennonite community has had many examples of individuals and groups who have contributed to peace and a better world, and it is very special to be considered among them,” DeFehr says.

Born in Winnipeg to immigrant parents, DeFehr studied commerce at the University of Manitoba. After graduation, he moved to the United States and earned a BA in Economics from Goshen College in Indiana and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

His years studying in the US included involvement with the civil rights movement, and as a pacifist, concern about the Vietnam War influenced DeFehr’s views and his career.

After graduating from Harvard in 1967, DeFehr joined his family’s furniture business and remains involved to this day.

Since 1984, DeFehr has worked as CEO. Palliser Furniture is primarily a producer and marketer of upholstered furniture with production facilities in Canada and Mexico, marketing throughout North America.

DeFehr’s success as CEO of Palliser has allowed him to focus on his passion for international affairs. His extensive travel has brought him to more than 125 countries.

In the 1970s, DeFehr worked with Mennonite Central Committee to lead a massive agricultural redevelopment project in Bangladesh after its civil war. From 1981-82, he worked in Somalia as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

DeFehr also started a university in Lithuania in the dying days of the former Soviet Union, and he helped organize, host, and fund a conflict resolution conference in Myanmar in 2013.

Closer to home, DeFehr has headed refugee programs in Canada and helped spearhead Manitoba’s immigration program, which has brought thousands of immigrants to the province since the late 1990s.

DeFehr has been active with Habitat for Humanity since its inception, and he was the founding chairperson of the board of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

He also played an active role in the formation of CMU and continues to make a significant contribution to the university’s development.

“CMU provides a source of leadership in both action and thought,” DeFehr says. “CMU also demonstrates to the rest of Canada and the other churches that the Mennonite community is serious about its theology, and interested in being and remaining relevant in our changing world.”

DeFehr’s business acumen and humanitarian efforts have earned him a number of awards: He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Manitoba, and was named to the Manitoba Business Hall of Fame in 2015.

Last year, DeFehr and his wife, Leona, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have two adopted daughters and four grandchildren.

A Fresh Look at CMU: A Spring Evening in Support of Canadian Mennonite University is an event of story, song, and food in support of CMU. All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP by Sunday, March 20 by emailing jfriesen@cmu.ca or phoning 204.594.0517.

The event takes place at CMU (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.) from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM.

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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Jean Vanier’s Response to the CMU PAX Award (video)

YouTube Preview ImageIn honour of those from whose convictions and faithfulness we have much to learn, CMU has initiated the PAX Award. This award is a new extension of CMU’s Community Service Award which has been given over the past 5 years and is linked, interestingly, to a Peace Award that Concord College (one of CMU’s founding colleges) presented only once, in 1993, to Jimmy Carter for his work with Habitat for Humanity.

The inaugural CMU PAX Award honours – as is core to CMU’s mission – lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society. In Jean Vanier’s life and work we see a model of invitational community; a living out of generous hospitality and; radical dialogue along with a commitment to embrace peace-justice and to learn through thinking and doing – each of these emblematic of CMU’s core commitments. At the heart of Vanier’s vision to share and live alongside persons with developmental disabilities, lies a deep longing that we all share for friendship. In reflecting on his initiative in the early 1960’s to live with two men with intellectual disabilities Vanier commented “They were not very interested in my knowledge or my ability to do things, but rather they needed my heart and my being.” As Vanier says, L’Arche is really a school for love and an adventure in learning to welcome and learn from those who are different, to become more fully human as God intended. Indeed, Vanier’s life, his writing, theological reflection and early initiative to live together with two men – have led to 147 L’Arche Communities born worldwide over the past 50 years – including those in Winnipeg. His vision and life’s work are worthy of our recognition and gratitude.

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Canadian Mennonite University to present Jean Vanier with inaugural CMU PAX Award

L’Arche founder honoured for leading exemplary life of service, leadership, and reconciliation

Canadian Mennonite University will present its inaugural CMU PAX Award to Jean Vanier.
Vanier is founder of L’Arche, an international federation of communities for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. CMU President Cheryl Pauls will present the award at CMU’s 2015 Celebration Banquet on Wednesday, April 8.

“Jean Vanier turned a minimalist sense of caregiving and turned it into a movement that recognizes and appreciates the gifts of people with developmental disabilities,” Pauls says.

The CMU PAX Award was created to honour people who lead exemplary lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

Born Canadian in Geneva, Switzerland, Vanier’s father had a diplomatic career that took the family to France and England, where Vanier spent his childhood. After serving in the British and Canadian navies, Vanier earned a PhD in philosophy.

He left academia in the 1960s and established the first L’Arche community in France after befriending two men with intellectual disabilities and inviting them to live with him in a small house he purchased.

Vanier had become distressed by the institutionalization, isolation, and loneliness of people with intellectual disabilities, and envisioned a place where they could live alongside those who come to assist them, and share life and daytime activities together in family-like settings.

“Essentially, they wanted a friend,” Vanier later recalled. “They were not very interested in my knowledge or my ability to do things, but rather they needed my heart and my being.”

Vanier called the house “L’Arche,” a French word for “the ark” in the biblical story of Noah and the flood. Within a couple of years, other homes were born. Today, L’Arche has more than 5,000 members in 147 communities on five continents.

Earlier this month, Vanier was awarded the 2015 Templeton Prize. Valued at $1.7 million USD, the Prize honours a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.

The group of 44 previous recipients include Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and the Dalai Lama.
Pauls points out that in addition to starting the L’Arche movement, Vanier is a beautiful writer with a strong understanding of theology.

“Out of the experience of living in a L’Arche community, he’s done incredible writing and helped society as a whole gain a new depth of care and understanding of people with developmental disabilities,” Pauls says.

Vanier now lives in the original L’Arche community in France. For reasons of age, he no longer travels. He is producing a short video to share with the community gathered for the event on April 8.

CMU will make a donation to L’Arche Winnipeg in honour of this award.

The 2015 Celebration Banquet is an event of story and song in support of CMU. Those interested in attending can RSVP by emailing jfriesen@cmu.ca or calling 204-487-3300.

The event takes place at Victoria Inn (1808 Wellington Ave.). Doors open at 6:00 PM and dinner will be served at 6:30 PM.

…………………………………………………

April 10, 2015 – update
Jean Vanier’s message in response to the CMU PAX Award

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 about 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