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Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival Features Many Voices

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and FestivalWATERLOO, ON – The Conrad Grebel University College community is looking forward to hosting a diverse group of academics, practitioners, artists, and church workers at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival, June 9-12, 2016. Involving at least 130 people from more than 18 countries, over 80 proposals for workshops, panels, papers, and art exhibits have been accepted.

Registration for the conference is available online.

Opening plenary addresses will be offered by Fernando Enns, Director of the Institute for Peace Church Theology at Hamburg University; Paulus Widjaja, Director of the Duta Wacana Christianity University's Centre for the Study and Promotion of Peace; and Lisa Schirch, Director of Human Security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

The conference will explore a rich diversity of peace-related topics, covering areas such as inclusion and exclusion in the Mennonite church, development and livelihoods, history and theology, reflective practise, and case studies from India to Indonesia, Colombia to Canada, and from Laos to South Africa. Some titles to note include: “Mennonites and the Wages of Whiteness”; “Responding with both Humility and Boldness to the Ecological Crisis”; “Travel for Transformation: Alternative Tourism in Israel/Palestine and the Call to Christian Peacemaking”; “People of the Land: Mennonites and the Doctrine of Discovery”; and “Mennonite Peace Theology and Violence Against Women.”

The conference and festival includes special evening events. Thursday’s public concert “Voices for Peace” features choirs, gamelan, and an original composition titled “Earth Peace” by Carol Ann Weaver, Professor Emerita of Music. Friday’s banquet features guest speaker, Leah Gazan, a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation who teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg. She is a well-known speaker who actively engages the broader public to stand in solidarity with indigenous communities. Saturday brings the public premiere of “Yellow Bellies: An Alternative History of WWII,” a play by Theatre of the Beat on the theme of conscientious objection.

The conference will provide an opportunity for Anabaptist-Mennonites from a variety of different cultural backgrounds and geographical settings to have discussion and debate, and build fellowship and community.  The conference will close with a Sunday morning worship service and final plenary.

Founded in 1963 by Ontario Mennonites, Conrad Grebel University College is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the University of Waterloo. The College’s mission is “to seek wisdom, nurture faith and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.” Conrad Grebel’s core values include inspired teaching, scholarly excellence, compassionate service, community building, active peacemaking and global engagement. These are expressed through the academic and student life programs. Conrad Grebel is home to the oldest peace studies program in Canada.

Funding for the event comes from numerous sources, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union. See the website for a full listing. Questions about the registration process and other inquiries can be directed to:


Mary Lou Klassen
Conference Coordinator
gmpgrebel@uwaterloo.ca
+1-519-885-0220 x24266
https://uwaterloo.ca/grebel/gmpc

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