[we are] pleased to offer this award to Josie, as her life and work at Jubilee Partners reflects so closely, the Christian values of peace, justice, discipleship and community that are at the core of Grebel's mission and purpose.
Josie Winterfeld is the 2003 recipient of Conrad Grebel University College's Distinguished Alumnus Service Award, presented at the college's 23rd annual convocation ceremony on Sunday, April 13. Winterfeld, who was introduced by Alumni Representative on the Board of Governors Marcus Shantz, graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BA in 1983. For almost 15 years, Josie and her family have lived in a community at Jubilee Partners in Georgia, United States.
The Jubilee Partners community is an outgrowth of Koinonia Farms, and has always been on the cutting edge of peace and justice issues, while rooting itself firmly in a biblical vision of discipleship. Long term community members live and work together, sharing meals, a common vision, and economic resources. Since 1979 Jubilee has focused efforts on refugees and victims of war. Over 2,500 refugees from more than twenty countries have found a warm welcome at Jubilee.
As a student at Conrad Grebel, Josie became committed to issues of peace and justice and to the ideal of living in community. She was also actively involved in student leadership and served as a residence Don in her second year. Her gentle manner and warm smile was welcoming to a wide variety of friends, both old and new. Responding to the award presentation, Josie recalled the inspiration she received in her courses in Peace and Conflict Studies and Music, her activity in the peace society and chapel choir and the sense of community she experienced between the students and professors at Grebel. She recalled the influence of professors such as Kenneth Hull and Leonard Enns and remembered having been deeply challenged by fellow students in thinking about issues of faith and how to live "justly" in this world. To this day Josie maintains and values her friendships with many of these Grebelites.
Josie's work at Jubilee Partners includes a variety of involvements related to community leadership, refugee advocacy and resettlement. Over the years she has worked with volunteer coordination, directing the English as a Second Language program, overseeing visiting church and college groups, and coordinating a Central American exchange program. She has also provided leadership for Jubilee by helping to address the pastoral needs of the community and serving as community coordinator.
Josie accepted the award on behalf of Jubilee, saying it was not an individual accomplishment, but one she shared with her community. She applauded Grebel for not only encouraging service and accountability, but recognizing it as well. President Henry Paetkau noted that he was "pleased to offer this award to Josie, as her life and work at Jubilee Partners reflects so closely, the Christian values of peace, justice, discipleship and community that are at the core of Grebel's mission and purpose."