Number 19

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MCI enrolment up

GRETNA, MAN.—At the start of September, Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) eagerly welcomed 142 students for the 2013-14 school year, representing an 8 percent increase from the previous school year and the highest enrolment in three years. In its second year, the combined Grade 7/8 class increased by more than 50 percent, from 13 to 20 students.

Grebel builds on 50 Years of people, programs

A joyful greeting from Grebel’s upper-year students welcomes new students into the residence on ‘Move-in Day.’

Each year at Grebel’s commencement service, students, faculty and staff participate in an ‘Act of Community’ to symbolize the beginning of a new year together. This year, in honour of Grebel’s 50th anniversary, students pieced together a glass mosaic in the shape of the chapel’s stained-glass windows. This mosaic was glued onto a wooden box made from fallen Grebel trees, and the box will contain letters from the students in the form of a time capsule.

This school year marks Conrad Grebel University College’s 50th anniversary! As Grebel welcomed new students from coast to coast into residence and resumed teaching a variety of liberal arts courses at the University of Waterloo, the college community reflected on what has sustained it in its first 50 years and what could be done to ensure another strong 50 years.

New school year off to a resounding start at CMU

Preliminary fall enrolment numbers show a 2.5 percent increase in students registered for classes at Canadian Mennonite University’s Shaftesbury campus and in its Outtatown program, compared to last year. Overall, 621 students have registered, with graduate program registrations increasing significantly by 15 percent.

Increased enrollment, new courses, new program initiatives, and a massive building project come together to bring a palpable excitement in the halls, classrooms and offices of Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg.

Welcome to AlgaeTown

Aaron Kauffman, a senior at Goshen College, left, and Stan Grove, professor emeritus of biology at the college, remove a polypropylene mat that is used to harvest algae grown in the photo-bioreactor.

Freshly harvested algae sits on a cleaning table awaiting the drying process.

Dried algae that was grown by the AlgaeTown team. The dried algae contains oils and other materials that can be extracted for biofuels, pharmaceuticals and even food products.

The glowing green tanks on the second floor of the Goshen College Science Hall look like something from a sci-fi movie.

Black Creek joins MC Canada . . . again

Pastor Gordon Carter of United Mennonite Church, Black Creek, B.C., is flanked by Garry Janzen, executive minister of Mennonite Church B.C., left, and Willard Metzger, executive director of MC Canada, during a July 7 service that involved the congregation rejoining the national church.

When United Mennonite Church of Black Creek joined the Mennonite Church Canada family at a worship service on July 7, it was more than a welcome. It was a welcome back.

Mending the sacred hoop

Kitchener’ Nish Singers—from left to right: Bonnie Misquatis, Marylin Sutherland and Heather Mujoury—drummed and sang at ‘Healing the sacred hoop,’ a two-day Mennonite Central Committee Ontario event in mid-September that focused on Indian Residential Schools run by Mennonites.

Andrew Wesley, left, a residential school survivor, and Merle Nisly, a worker at the Mennonite-run Poplar Hill Development School in northwestern Ontario, embrace at ‘Healing the sacred hoop,’ a two-day Mennonite Central Committee Ontario event in mid-September that focused on Indian Residential Schools run by Mennonites.

The “sacred hoop” is the circle of nations. While it originally referred to indigenous nations in North America, the hoop has been broadened to include settler nations with whom the indigenous people groups now share the land.

‘The hands and feet of Jesus in a broken world’

Elizabeth Wiens tries out her new hula hoop that she got at the children’s auction at the MCC Festival. The auction allowed kids and their parents to bid on kid-friendly items and brought in $1,876.

Jennifer Forbes is the first female auctioneer in the history of the MCC Festival. She is pictured auctioning the loaf of bread, which sold for a cumulative total of $172,250 from a number of bidders. Volunteer Tim Kroeker holds the bread.

It was a fun-filled, exciting weekend at the annual Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Festival for World Relief held at the Abbotsford Tradex on Sept. 6 and 7. The annual event raised more than a half-million dollars to support MCC’s relief, development and peace work in more than 60 countries around the world.

In conversation with an atheist

Former Mennonite Norm Goertzen stands beside Donna Harris, president of the Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba, at the organization’s booth at the recent Morden Corn and Apple Festival.

Norm Goertzen recalls falling silent for 20 seconds, his coffee cooling. His atheist friend, whom he had been trying to convert for some time, waited. It would be a critical moment in an ongoing conversation between the two thoughtful 18-year-olds.

At the end of the pause, Goertzen said, “You know, you’re right. I think I was wrong.”

Attunement

Troy Watson

I was sitting in a room by myself when it occurred to me there were hundreds, probably thousands, of radio signals streaming all around me. In all likelihood, one of my favourite tunes, along with countless other songs, commercials and news updates were all playing right now, in the very room I was sitting in, but I just couldn’t hear them.

Wearing our faith

I’m not usually one to proclaim my loyalties through what I wear. I don’t own a sports jersey, and I don’t wear a cross, although I’m not judging those who do. So the ribbons currently on my wrist are unusual. They catch my eye at different times during the day, while spreading butter on my morning toast or while driving in the car.

For discussion

1. Have you ever had an experience where you felt unjustly treated and there didn’t seem to be a way to make it right? How did you respond to those feelings of injustice? What happens in the long-term to individuals who struggle with ongoing injustice? How important is it to have past hurts recognized and validated?

Clawing our way out of the morass together

This ‘freedom’ graffiti carries significance and irony for South Africans. It is emblazoned on a bridge connecting Soweto to the informal settlement of Kliptown, an area of extreme poverty.

Elmer Courchene is an Anishinabe elder who carries himself with dignity but offers carefully chosen words that reflect the uncertainty within: ‘I’m 77 years old and, without a word of a lie, I’m still trying to find love.’

Mpho Putu, left, grew up in the midst of apartheid and took part in the 1976 Soweto Uprising as a 13-year-old student. A member of the steering committee of the Anabaptist Network in South Africa (ANiSA) since its inception, Putu sees hope and guidance in Anabaptism for the country as it recovers from apartheid’s ravages. He is pictured with Cobus van Wyngaard, an ANiSA steering committee member.

Even after the fall of apartheid, extreme poverty continues. The informal settlement of Kliptown, South Africa, is predominantly comprised of people living in shacks.

Deborah Froese

Elmer Courchene introduced himself as an Anishinabe elder whose home is Turtle Island. He carried himself with dignity, but his carefully chosen words reflected the uncertainty within: “I’m 77 years old and, without a word of a lie, I’m still trying to find love.”

Independent or inter-dependent?

Robert J. (Jack) Suderman flinches every time I, or anyone representing Canadian Mennonite, uses the word “independent” to describe who we are as a publication. The characterization apparently grates on his pastoral instincts to think, even for a passing moment, that we are not an integral part of the “body of Christ” as it is expressed in the institution of Mennonite Church Canada.

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