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Grebel Now Spring 2015

Lasting Community

Grebel Now Spring 2015

Grebel uses the word “community” a lot. While the word may seem overused, it is by far the most accurate way to describe the atmosphere and sense of belonging here at this College. From a warm welcome on move-in day, to life-long friendships as alumni, community is the foundation of Grebel.

David DeVries, a graduating physics student, reflected on the relationships he built over five years at Grebel. “I learned that friendships are a balancing act between holding tightly onto old friendships and accepting new ones. I learned that as each new year arrived at Grebel, I benefited from embracing my old friendships in one arm – tightly – and accepting new ones in the other. This balancing act is community.” He encouraged current students to connect on a deep level. “You get to shape what this place is and what ‘community’ will be. It’s up to you now to sculpt and shape it into an even more beautiful place than I’ve found it to be.”

In this issue of Grebel now, you’ll hear from current students and alumni from across the years, echoing this common theme. Grebel is “Community.” It is a value we cherish, and as we move into our sixth decade, it is clear that it will continue to be a central part of the College’s essential makeup.

Jen Konkle, Communication Coordinator & Editor of Grebel Now
Fred W. Martin, Director of Development

Table of Contents

 
 

From the President’s Desk
Extending the Table Strategic Plan 2015-2020

By Susan Schultz HuxmanSusan Schultz Huxman

Greetings Grebel friends,
Pull up a chair around the table—we’ll make room—as you enjoy this second installment of the new Grebel Now.
 
I am delighted to share with you the results of a strategic planning process that began in Summer 2013 and culminated in early March 2015. The Board of Governors has signaled an exciting direction with key deliverables for the College in its next 5 years. 
 
“Extending the Grebel Table” is the theme of our 2015-2020 strategic plan. The plan, conveniently displayed on a placemat, articulates 4 priorities around people, programs, facilities, and constituencies. It also outlines 15 specific initiatives that grow out of Grebel’s core strengths and values. Community building is the “centerpiece” value that connects all these initiatives (See Grebel placemat on page 4.)
 
In the spirit of the round table first articulated by the founding president, J. Winfield Fretz, we are enriching Grebel’s community engagement; we are extending the ways in which the College will “serve church and society”; we are elevating places for people to gather for good food and engaged conversation around theory and practice, faith and learning, and scholarship and creativity. In short, we aspire to extend the Grebel Table to a wide variety of people and share our resources. Adding a few “leaves to the table” will make our community more welcoming and extend the impact of our mission. 
 
Help us “set the table”
We invite you to share your ideas (grebel@uwaterloo.ca) and offer expertise and support. All of our “signature” academic programs at Grebel grow out of our faith tradition: Peace & Conflict Studies, Music, Theology, and Mennonite Studies. And all are supported in this plan. There are also several targeted initiatives around our connections to various constituencies and our recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff. Working groups are forming now. 
 
Community Building is at the Center of our Plan
Our commissioned research in the strategic planning process that involved collecting and analyzing data from constituencies near and far revealed an overriding conclusion: our identity (or brand) is abundantly clear. It is focused around building community, promoting peace, and modeling a life of service. “We own this space,” in a cluttered educational milieu, we were told. “Whatever you do,” the strategy team concluded, “leverage this remarkable relational gift.”
 
Everyone knows that building stable communities, especially on university campuses, is important. But independent research shows some pretty alarming trends. The number of people who feel a sense of belonging has fallen by half from 1976 to today, and this applies to both genders as well as all ages and education levels. 
 
So, here’s the puzzle. How can a generation equipped with smart phones and Facebook and LinkedIn and Meetup have one-third fewer friends than their non-digital world counterparts of the 80’s and 90’s? We are now part of what some scholars are calling “the post-civic generation”—that is the generation that’s grown up without much in the way of a larger more public social life. 
 
Emily White, author of an excellent new book Count Me In, traces this phenomenon and sums it up well: “The going solo world is overrated. What we are losing with all our emphasis on self-reliance over the support of others is enormous…. There’s not a whole lot in our culture urging us to join together in real, in-person ways. We can tweet, but we’re not encouraged to meet.” 
 
Her findings echo the words of Kurt Vonnegut—that edgy and prescient literary voice of 30 years ago “What should young people do with their lives today?” he asks. “Many things, obviously. But the most daring is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” 
 
So what does Grebel do about this? Community is our middle name! We aspire to practice it because it is a core value. It’s in our theology of how to witness “shalom.” It’s in our practice of serving others. It is in our enactment of a total educational experience that is not something that is done for you or to you but WITH you.
 
At Conrad Grebel, “community building” is already central to our mission. As but one example, building community is lived out each week on Wednesday as faculty, staff and students share a common meal around round tables at Community Supper—with homemade bread and lots of comfort food! And by the way, we have an unwritten rule at Grebel—it’s called “fill the table.” When you get your tray of food in our cafeteria, you fill a table before starting a new one. 
 
You might be surprised at how few colleges and universities pay scant attention to this kind of intentional community-building. The risks of promoting and expecting community engagement on campus are many. Personal success, fierce competitiveness, “it’s all about me” thinking, self-reliance, pull yourself up by your bootstraps! These sentiments are all part of a compelling myth of rugged individualism. 
 
As a counter-culture corrective, Grebel is committed to building on its strength: to further grow and innovate academic and student services programs and initiatives that build community. By the end of 2020, we aim to mark a renewed community ethos—inside and outside the classroom—a palpable inclusiveness that is nimble and responsive to our changing context. Indeed, we aspire to transform lives by grooming responsible citizens to engage a beautiful and broken world. 
 
We hope you pull up a seat as we “extend the Grebel table!”
 
 

Extending the Grebel Table

OUR MISSION

Conrad Grebel University College is an Anabaptist-inspired liberal arts college affiliated with the world-class University of Waterloo. Our mission is “to seek wisdom, nurture faith and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.” 

OUR CONTEXT

In the early 1960s, the recently established University of Waterloo offered the Mennonites in Ontario an amazing gift: the invitation to establish a Mennonite liberal arts college alongside three other faith-founded colleges on its new campus. Visionary church and civic leaders from three Ontario conferences—that later came together to form Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC)—worked together to establish a college in 1963. They named the school “Conrad Grebel” after the first Anabaptist of the Radical Reformation from Zurich, Switzerland in 1525, for his articulation that infant baptism be replaced with voluntary baptism of adults.   

Conrad Grebel University College continues to seek and foster links within the broader Mennonite Church. We gift the church with our academic resources and contribute to the scholarly excellence and vibrant student experience at the University of Waterloo. Our distinctive residence draws nearly half its students from Mennonite and other historic peace churches, while our undergraduate and graduate programs attract thousands from the main campus. Grebel is the only Mennonite academic model of its kind in North America.

Grebel’s “signature” programs—Peace & Conflict Studies, Music, Theology, and Mennonite Studies—grow out of our faith tradition. Through our connection to the Faculty of Arts and our support from the wider church, the College is an integral, welcoming community on the larger Waterloo campus. We are strongly committed to “challenging mind & spirit”; to educating the whole person in the spirit of active peacemaking and compassionate service.

OUR VISION

community supperToday we launch our next half-century. We are mindful of the strong reputation Conrad Grebel has cultivated inside and outside the classroom around building community, promoting peace, and modeling a life of service at home and around the world. Our many loyal friends and strong alumni base have spoken eagerly and clearly in our commissioned research as to why they generously support us!

In the next five years we envision “extending the Grebel table.” We do so in the spirit of the round table and our all college Community Suppers first envisioned by founding president, Winfield Fretz. We will focus on community building through innovative and collaborative goals that engage our growing constituencies, elevate our distinctive programs, enhance our facilities and campus presence, and enrich people and positions. These four priorities and more than a dozen initiatives constitute the strategic visioning “placemat” to “set the table” for our next five years.

Grebel Strategic Placemat

Symbol LEgend

DAVID L. HUNSBERGER PHOTO EXHIBIT
Taking Community from the Farm to the World

“Advancing peace requires many hands. It requires shoulders to lean on, and to stand on. It is sustained by the mundane tasks that make daily life possible,” explained Paul Heidebrecht, director of Conrad Grebel University College’s MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement. “Peace becomes possible when we experience genuine community.”

Hunsberger self-portrait

Glimpses of peaceful community experiences are evident in many of David L. Hunsberger’s iconic photos. Focused on Ontario Mennonites in the 1950s and 1960s, his photos speak to more than Mennonites.

Partnering with the Hunsberger family, the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, the Institute of Anabaptist Mennonite Studies, and the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario, have created a photo exhibit featuring a select number of Hunsberger’s photos.

For example, there is a photo of a barn raising, an image of mutual aid that has come to define the essence of community for many, including Canada’s current Governor General (and former University of Waterloo President) David Johnston. There are photos of family and friends sharing food, fellowship, and fun.
It is important to note that these photographs were taken during a time of transition for Mennonites in Ontario; a time when more and more Mennonites pursued their vocational callings in towns and cities. This was also a time when new institutions such as Conrad Grebel University College and the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union were first envisioned. And a time when there was a new awareness of the diversity of the global Mennonite church community.

No doubt this transformed context brought with it many challenges, but it also carried the blessings of a new understanding of just how far the bonds of community could be stretched. It includes a renewed commitment to peace and to sharing the gifts of the Mennonite community with the world.

Almost 5,700 of Hunsberger’s images were donated to the Archives in 2005 and many of these images are available to be viewed online through the archives database. Archivist Laureen Harder-Gissing remarked that “for 40 years, David Hunsberger’s camera was present at special occasions and ordinary days in the lives of Waterloo Region Mennonites. His love of his craft and of his subjects comes through in every frame. His collection continues to be a source of discovery and delight for anyone seeking a window into our shared local history.”

Born in Kitchener, Hunsberger was a self-taught photographer, inspired by photo journalism he learned from books and magazines. His years as a professional photographer coincided with many debates among Mennonites as to what was appropriate for Mennonite dress, and what sort of technology was acceptable in Mennonite homes.

Hunsberger BarnraisingHunsberger’s photos of Old Order Mennonite adults are often taken from a back or side view, respecting beliefs that photographing adults was not generally accepted as it was counter to their teachings regarding vanity and pride. In contrast, for more “progressive” Mennonite groups this was an era of institution building and outreach to the world, and he was often commissioned to record these activities for posterity.

The exhibit at Conrad Grebel is comprised of three parts. In the Mennonite Archives of Ontario Gallery (3rd floor), David Hunsberger’s photographs of transitional moments in Ontario Mennonite life are complimented with commentary from Sam Steiner’s new book, In Search of Promised Lands. In the Milton Good Library (3rd floor), the Archives exhibit continues in the display cases beside the circulation desk and Hunsberger’s book, Barn Raising, is available. In the Grebel Gallery (4th floor), high quality prints of photographs are displayed on themes of peace and community.

The Hunsberger exhibit has been extended and will be on display until August.

From an Agrarian Jesus to an Urban James

By Alicia Batten
 
Questions of the shift from a rural or agrarian way of life to an urban one have shaped questions of Mennonite identity for the last several decades. The excellent display of David Hunsberger photographs in the Grebel Gallery gives one Mennonite’s approach to this shift. Our New Testament scholar, Alicia Batten, shows us in this article, adapted from two of her prior publications, “The Urban and the Agrarian in the Letter of James,” Journal of Early Christian History 3.2 (2013) 4-20 and “The Urbanization of Jesus Traditions in James,” in Alicia J. Batten and John S. Kloppenborg, eds., James, 1 & 2 Peter and Early Jesus Traditions (LNTS 478; London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2014) 78-96, that reflection on this shift is nothing new for the followers of Jesus. The writer of the letter of James was also concerned with the shift from the rural to the urban. 
 
The Letter of James does not exhort the audience to leave the city, or to set up an alternative community apart from other people. 
 
Rather, the author presses readers to a particular kind of moral life that is informed by a variety of sources, including some of the teachings associated with Jesus. However, these teachings have been reconfigured to suit the particular circumstances of James’ audience. This essay explores this shift from the agrarian to the urban by considering how James “performs” Jesus’ teachings.
 
James was writing to people who live in the metropolis, which philosophers and moralists regularly characterize as a site of corruption and general malaise. In contrast, the motif of the country as a place of simplicity and moral virtue appears here and there throughout the text. Thus, while the recipients of James’ letter remain urbanites, they must remember the realm of the agrarian; they must aspire to the kind of dispositions and practices that were characteristic perhaps, of some of the people to whom Jesus himself spoke.
 
The interest here is why James alters, with considerable freedom, traditions associated with Jesus. It is widely agreed that Jesus taught in a predominantly agrarian context. He spoke of leaven, seeds and farmers, and employed a variety of other agricultural images. He addressed basic concerns such as the need for daily bread, exploitative taxes, and crushing debt, all of which would have been of immediate concern to an impoverished rural audience in Roman Palestine. Jesus appears to have been against money (mammon) as he knew that the introduction of monetization was deadly for peasants who could not keep up with rising taxes, rents and tariffs imposed upon them by the elites. Douglas Oakman discusses Jesus and his dislike of money in the 2012 Fortress Press publication, The Political Aims of Jesus. For people accustomed to subsistence farming or fishing, the introduction of market oriented “cash crops” and more complicated systems of exchange brought about by the triumph of the Romans narrowed their ability to produce food or catch fish for themselves. Awareness of such a dire situation – not outright war – but a context in which many seethed with resentment against the Roman powers and their retainers, enriches our appreciation for the political dimensions of stories referring to such things as labourers, vineyards and fishers, among others, that are attributed to Jesus.
 
James, however, is addressed to urban dwellers. Here, we encounter items such as a “crown” (Jas 1:12), a person wearing gold rings and fine clothing (2:2), courts (2:6), teachers (3:1), prospective merchants or traders (4:13) as well as the clothing, gold and silver of the wealthy (5:2-3). The letter is written in refined Greek, reflecting wordplay, rhetorical sophistication, general literary finesse, and unusual vocabulary. For example, James will use a word such as “sea creature” (Jas 3:7), found nowhere else in the New Testament or in the Septuagint, but paralleled in classical Greek literature.
 
Familiarity with life in the city is also evident in James. The scene of Jas 2:1-13, in which the author berates his audience for showing partiality to the finely dressed rich man by offering him the best seat in the assembly (James 2:2 uses the term synagogue here) versus the shabbily attired pauper, who is ordered to sit on the floor, is comparable to scenarios found in Greek and Roman satire in which clients fawn obsequiously over potential patrons. James argues here that it is actually the poor in the world who are rich in faith and “heirs of the kingdom” (Jas 2:5), a comment which many deem to be a rephrasing of “blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). James, I would argue, adapts Jesus’ teaching to address the situations that arise in an urban setting in which wealthy patrons seek inordinate influence on local associations, and sycophants, craving patronal support, toss to and fro, to serve their patrons’ every need.
 
The letter also sternly criticizes those who manifest envy towards others in Jas 3:13-4:10. Rivalry and jostling, phenomena roundly critiqued by contemporary writers, but so common in noisy and crowded urban contexts, come under attack here. Roman authors, in particular, depict the city as the place where people are jealous, and engage in deception, violence and murder. Juvenal states that if an individual attempts to live honestly in the city, he inevitably will be defeated and become, as he says “a cripple” (Sat. 3). Another satirist, Martial, admits that when away from Rome, he longs for the libraries and theatre, but complains that as soon as he returns to the capital, flatterers press in from all directions. People kiss you like a “he goat,” he groans, including the one-eyed, the blear-eyed and the rascal with the foul mouth (Ep. 12.59). Jesus’ teachings punctuate this section of the letter, including a reference to peacemaking (Jas 3:18 cf. Matt 5:9) and the contrast between friendship with the world and friendship with God (Jas 4:4), is a paraphrase of Luke 16:13, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” I would argue that James has adapted these teachings, in part, to suit a more urban audience. In the case of Jas 4:4, in particular, the critique of mammon will not hold, as the city was a much more monetized environment. A rejection of mammon would not be possible for James’ audience, but the contrast between two poles of friendship, with friendship understood here as a noble philosophical topic, would be more acceptable and comprehensible to people living in town.
 
Likewise, James confronts people who presume that they can plan ahead for travel in order to trade and get gain (Jas 4:13-17). “What is your life?” James asks scornfully, “for you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (Jas 4:14). This passage, I think, is a paraphrase of Matt 6:34 (“do not be anxious about tomorrow”); the two teachings connect on the theme of not planning for “tomorrow” which was widespread in antiquity. Here, James transforms Matthew’s teaching about anxiety for the next day , which may well have resonated with rural peasants concerned about food, drink, and clothing, into a sharp criticism of the arrogance of planning for the morrow without recognizing one’s total dependence upon the deity. Larger philosophical traditions have also influenced James’ critique in this case (see, for example, Seneca, Ep. 101.4-5), as Greeks and Romans were aware of the folly of planning too far in the future. James has used Jesus’ teaching as a kind of resource which he has adapted into a censure of those who were in a position to plan for the future. These were much more likely urbanites than they were peasants or villagers who worried about how they would fill their stomachs from day to day.
 
The above are only a couple of examples, but they serve as an introduction to James’ use of Jesus traditions, which originated in a rural environment but have been modified to suit James’ urban audience. Interestingly, and consistent with Greek and Roman writers who praise the rural life of simplicity, James includes some examples of the noble agrarian. The labourers in Jas 5:4, for example, appear as innocents. They call out and their cries are heard by the Lord of hosts. After his withering assault on the rich in Jas 5:1-6, the author holds up, in contrast, the image of the patient farmer. Job (Jas 5:11), a famous agriculturalist, embodies the ideal of steadfast endurance, a great virtue in James and throughout antiquity generally.
 
The letter of James never refers to the death and the resurrection of Jesus, but Jesus’ teachings appear with an intriguing density within this short text. 
 
James does not cite Jesus explicitly, but “performs” some of his sayings and at a much higher rate than all of the undisputed letters of Paul combined. By “perform,” I mean that whoever wrote the letter (scholars debate the authorship of James) paraphrases various teachings and adapts them to suit a new context without “footnoting” Jesus himself. Such a technique was not strange within the ancient world. The Book of Sirach does it with Proverbs, and a similar practice, known as aemulatio, was a common technique practiced in Greek and Roman educational settings. James joins these other writers as he alters and interprets traditions intended for a given historical and rural setting, in order to render them meaningful and evocative for people facing the challenges that emerge from living in town. 
roman ruins
 

Moving in and Building Relationships Through Community
New in Town

By Danielle Bennett, 2nd year Arts and Business Student,
Digital Communications Assistant, Winter 2015
 
Originating in Canada, MoveIn is a growing global movement in which teams of regular Christians prayerfully move in to densely populated, diverse, and low-income neighbourhoods.These teams aim to instill the presence of God by adhering to the example of Jesus, which is to love your neighbours, serve them, and build genuine relationships.

Team members get together weekly to pray for the well-being of the neighbourhood. Prayer is a core part of the movement and team members fully immerse themselves in the neighbourhood. They choose to eat, sleep and play in the neighbourhood, becoming an integral part of the community.

Ryan Martens (pictured below,) a Grebel student in his final year, became involved with MoveIn in the summer of 2011. This past September, he started his own MoveIn team in Kitchener which is comprised of Grebelites. Ryan said that his time at Grebel has impacted his MoveIn experience in terms of the meaningful connections he has made with people.

Jonathan VonEgmondThere are many other Grebelites currently involved in the MoveIn movement. Through his acquaintance with Ryan, Grebel alumnus Jonathan Van Egmond (BASc ‘13) (pictured right) is currently living with a MoveIn team in Scarborough.

Living in the same place and sharing the same problems creates a sense of togetherness. Jonathan explains that “moving in somewhere is very meaningful to people - it builds trust. You’re moving completely. You are putting your whole life there and really identifying with people.”

Ryan explains that “making an impact on communities through relationships is what MoveIn is all about.”
“It’s about people,” Jonathan adds.

Ryan and his MoveIn team first introduced themselves to their new neighbours by offering freshly baked cinnamon buns, sparking the beginning of new friendships. Similarly, Jonathan introduced himself to his neighbours by offering to tutor their children.

He also offered to help with paperwork and job applications to those who don’t speak English as a first language. It is not uncommon to knock on neighbours’ doors to have a friendly chat or to invite one another over for tea or dinner. “If we see people we recognize, we just say ‘hi’ and strike up a conversation. That in itself might be an unusual thing to do,” says Jonathan.

Ryan describes every relationship among his neighbours as unique, varying between acquaintances and profound connections.

MoveIn neighbourhoods are often characterized by a rich cultural diversity with many new immigrants and the organization’s vision encourages an awareness and appreciation for cultural differences. Jonathan reflects on “the enjoyment and the realization that the world is a much richer place, and that there is so much going on, even right around us. There are people coming from various places, and we can get to know so many different people.” Building relationships and getting to know people are integral values of MoveIn.

In conjunction with his MoveIn experience, Jonathan has found that he is “much more globally aware, with good friends who are affected by events in the news.” He finds himself asking: “What is the most common human experience? What are the needs and desires of most people around the world?” Jonathan acknowledges the reality that struggling for survival and getting through life one day at a time is a major concern for a majority of people on the planet. “Getting a glimpse of that reality every day has really challenged my faith and priorities.”
“MoveIn has impacted me in giving me directed energy,” remarked Ryan. “It is providing a framework to pursue my desire to follow God and strengthen my relationship with him by moving in with a team, practicing hospitality and faith despite challenging circumstances.”

His inspiration is evident as Ryan will be moving to Manila in the fall to “see how God is active there and to help the MoveIn Vision Team start up in the Philippines.”

Jonathan concludes, “There’s obviously huge needs in the world, and as Jesus followers, we’re trying to come to terms with those, and help make things right. Its just amazing how different things look from up close.”
 
MoveIn group

Back (l-r): Jacob Winter, Andy Wenger, Kristen Bonney, Ryan Martens

Front (l-r): David Vanderwindt, Jonna Gladwell, Stephanie Bauman, Bekah Dejong

Because of their involvement in the MoveIn movement this year, David and Bekah received the Mennonite Foundation Spirit of Generosity Award, chosen because of the way in which they expressed their generosity. 

 
 
 

Grebel Renews Presidential Term

The Conrad Grebel University College Board of Governors is pleased to announce the four year extension of the term of President to Susan Schultz Huxman, commencing July 1, 2015. 
 
President Huxman started her term in July 2011, in the middle of a $9 million building project. This successful project opened last June with over $6.3 million in donations. During her first four years, there were significant faculty retirements, replacements and expansions that in total brought 10 new faculty members to Grebel. Her first term also included the plans for, and the opening of the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Center for Peace Advancement (CPA) and the celebration of the College’s 50th anniversary.
 
Fred Redekop with Susan Schultz Huxman“It is important to have a solid academic providing leadership at Grebel at this time in our history as we continue to develop existing and new programs reflective of current Anabaptist thought and establish interdisciplinary research through the CPA,” said Geraldine Balzer, a board member who works on the faculty at the University of Saskatchewan.
 
Fred Redekop, pastor at Floradale Mennonite Church and the current Board chair noted that “we recently passed our five year Strategic Plan, ‘Extending the Grebel Table,’ and Susan is well positioned to lead the College on this ambitious undertaking.” 
 
“It has been an absolute delight to serve as President of Conrad Grebel from 2011-2014. What a calling! What great people. What a vibrant College!” responded Huxman. 
 
“As a student leader, I find that Susan is very encouraging of our ideas, ensuring the student voice is seriously considered when planning the future direction of the College,” said Student Council President, Kenny Hildebrand (BA ‘15). 
 
Recently adopted, the strategic plan outlines many priorities that connect to external audiences. “I’m looking forward to a second term, where we can realize these priorities, and extend the ‘Grebel Table’ to our growing constituencies,” said Huxman.
 

Multi-faith Community

The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging began in 2005 through the vision and philanthropic spirit of Dr. Ron Schlegel. The Schlegel family has been involved in providing long-term care for seniors since the 1950s. Beginning with five research areas—that number has now grown to more than ten—the purpose of the RIA is to improve the quality of life for older adults through practice-relevant research.
 
One of the research areas, Spirituality and Aging, has been housed at Conrad Grebel University College since 2007. Led by Marianne Mellinger, the Spirituality and Aging program has a two-fold purpose: pursuing research to enhance the well-being of older adults, and providing educational resources to students and the wider community through university classes, public lectures, and workshops.
 
Marianne MellingerA recent project of the Spirituality and Aging program has been an educational resource entitled Multi-Faith Practices: Guidelines for Caregivers. Recognizing that our communities are increasingly multi-cultural and multi-faith, Mellinger, assisted by UW graduate student Laura Morlock (BA ‘08, MTS ‘12), developed a practical, user-friendly guide to six of the major world religions. Intended primarily for use in Continuing Care facilities, the guide includes a brief description of the religion and its core beliefs, as well as a summary of the Holy Days, holidays, and ritual observances. Wishing a Muslim resident ‘Ramadan Kareem’ during Ramadan, or knowing that certain birthdays are important to Buddhists, honours and respects the various traditions that make up our communities. 
 
Beyond a general introduction to each religion, the core of the manual discusses caring practices during late life or illness, a list of sacred texts, scriptures and prayers that can be used when someone is dying, as well as end-of-life rituals and practices. It can be helpful to know that in the Buddhist tradition, as death nears, family members may stand several feet away from the person, and they may appear unemotional so as not to interrupt the concentration of meditation, while in the Jewish tradition family members may gather and recite the Shema as the person is dying. Hindu residents may wish to have various religious statues nearby, Sikhs may gather to sing hymns. Often the word “Waheguru” which means “Wondrous Enlightener” is recited three times at the time of death. Knowing the practices of different religions provides a way for team members to offer respect and hospitality as Continuing Care facilities seek to create a community that is welcoming of an increasingly diverse population. The booklet is available on the RIA website at www.the-ria.ca. 

Grebel Quilt: Pieces of Community

We want to debunk any stereotypes you have about rigid, serious accountants and quiet, lonely librarians! Our Grebel staff have uncovered a deep creativity that balances their love of numbers and books with a love of quilting and community involvement. Sara Cressman, Director of Finance at Grebel, Accounting Assistant Rosella Leis (who retired in February) and Library Clerk, Mandy Macfie, along with student Emma Bartel, spent this past winter wrapped up in a massive Grebel quilt project. 
 
Ally Siebert“There are lots of quilters and quilt lovers at Grebel. Every now and then, we bring our projects in for a show and tell,” explained Sara. Over the last few years, she has been contemplating the idea of doing a project with fellow Grebel quilters. “This fall, Rosella and I realized that there was enough interest to do it! During our planning meetings with Mandy and Emma we decided to invite as many people to participate as we could, intending this as a community undertaking.”
 
When the project began, many Grebelites spent their lunch and evening hours cutting strips of fabric in the atrium. This prominent work location attracted many questions and resulted in a lot of help from people passing by.
 
Over several evenings, people learned how to piece the quilt blocks. Some people only sewed at Grebel and others took several blocks home to sew over the Christmas holidays. A mixture of expert and novice helpers - staff, faculty, and students banded together to turn the 1287 pieces of material into 99 quilt blocks in a beautiful, flowing design of blues and whites.
 
The most time-intensive step of stitching the quilt turned out to be the most rewarding. With the quilt set up in the library entryway for five weeks, it was a visible and inviting activity for all who entered. As each stitch progressed, invisible threads of the Grebel community were also woven into the project. There is an element about working side-by-side with fellow students, co-workers, and community members, attention focused on the task at hand, that leaves space to visit, share, and listen.
 
With the goal of donating the quilt to the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale to support the work of Mennonite Central Committee, Sara was delighted to have so many people participate in the project. “We had more than 70 members of the living, studying, working, and visiting communities adding their effort to the project. Employees, peace centre participants, grad students, undergrad students, residence students, sessionals, board members, and visitors all contributed to making our quilt. This activity helped people who wouldn’t normally cross paths with each other to interact in a meaningful way.”
 
Quilters
 

Goodbye Rosella

Many students and alumni will remember Rosella Leis as the ever-smiling, welcoming face in the Grebel accounting office. As a pillar of stability for over 15 years, she worked with 5 different accountants during that time. Rosella was also part of Grebel’s Finishing and Decorating Committee for two building projects and has made a lasting impact on the look of the College.

Rosella Leis and Sara CressmanWith her interest in quilting and crafts, quilting was naturally the theme of Rosella’s retirement celebration. “Over our lives, you could say that we all create our own patchwork tapestry or quilt from the experiences we have had, the people around us, the places we have visited, and what we choose to share with others. No two life quilts are quite the same,” explained Director of Finance, Sara Cressman. “I think quilting is a metaphor that works well for so many things: life, relationships, and time spent with colleagues. On Grebel’s quilt there is a patch for Rosella. Grebel is its own small community and Rosella has at some point or another interacted with everyone, so you all know how sweet, thoughtful, caring, and committed she is.” 
 
We already miss seeing Rosella and hearing her words of affirmation on a daily basis. Rosella will spend her new-found freedom travelling with her husband Jim and is looking forward to her new role as a Grandma, starting this July. 
 
Rosella, thank you for your hard work, dedication, and all the extra things you have done at Grebel! 
 

Alumni Perspective: The Community Retreat

By Martin Edmonds (BMATH ‘87)
 
The word that I associate most with Conrad Grebel College is “community.” Sure, there is academic excellence, music, worship, and great food. However, it is community that best captures the essence of my Grebel experience. From a nurturing residence to student households, we discovered the joys and challenges of community. Bonds formed, community models were explored, and interpersonal skills were learned. 
 
During our last years at Grebel, community became the primary topic of conversation. We asked ourselves, how we would sustain community as we continued our lives beyond university. We met often to discus various forms and elements of community. After Grebel, some spent time at existing intentional communities. Others formed communities or established bonds and traditions that have lasted a lifetime.
 
As Grebel alumni, we continued to gather for retreats. The first retreats had a structured agenda with organized topics. We shared our experiences and explored practical approaches for community building. 
We have been holding the Community Retreats since 1984. In 1993 we began having the retreats at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp each year in the early autumn. 
 
As we grew older and children entered the picture, the retreats evolved away from an earnest exercise of studying and planning for community. Instead, we recognized the retreats were community. The retreat became an informal time with no set agenda or expectations. Favourite activities are hikes, canoeing, games, saunas, crafts, and campfires. When we let go of the structured sessions, the learning and valuable sharing did not end. Instead, the beautiful and relaxed setting has continued to foster important conversations that happen naturally as we reflect on our common life experiences.
 
Another wonderful transformation to the Community Retreats over the past 30 years has been a shift from only young adults to a wide range of ages. I especially delight in all the children that are now part of the tradition. 
My children and those of many others have come to the retreat every year of their lives. It is the highlight of their year, reconnecting with friends where they can run free, play games, build bench forts, and stay up late for sauna and campfire.
 
The retreat continues to evolve. Some people drift away and others are invited. Now more than half the adults that attend the retreat have never been to Grebel. Through this retreat, they too benefit from the seeds that Grebel planted in us.
 
retreat
I am very grateful to Conrad Grebel College for inspiring this community and to all the dear friends that have participated in the Community Retreats. 
 
Martin Edmonds studied Mathematics while attending Conrad Grebel from 1981 to 1986. He met his wife, Janet McPharlin (‘BA ‘85) at Grebel and they have two children. They co-own a house with Nancy Dykstra (‘BES ‘84) who they also met at Grebel.

Community Bridge Building

By Paul Heidebrecht, Director of the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement
 
Paul HeidebrechtAs highlighted by our recent strategic planning process, Conrad Grebel University College is recognized to be a place that values and builds community. Perhaps it is not surprising then that “community engagement” is one of the three priority areas for our MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement. 
 
One community that is front and centre for my colleague Michelle Jackett and me are the two dozen people who make their home in the Centre for Peace Advancement on the fourth floor of Grebel’s new addition. This group includes Grebel staff and faculty, graduate students, leaders of the emerging initiatives in the Epp Peace Incubator, and staff with established organizations such as Project Ploughshares, the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, and Tamarack: An Institute for Community Engagement.
 
In addition to creating opportunities for learning and collaboration between our participants, we also seek to build bridges with communities beyond Grebel. At the local level, this includes students, staff, and faculty “across the creek” at the University of Waterloo, and people who live “across the street” in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. At a national level, this includes the diverse range of organizations and networks involved in advancing peace. And at a global level, this includes a particular focus on peacebuilders from churches in the Mennonite World Conference family.
 
As suggested by the image of bridge-building, the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement understands community engagement to be a two-way street. Indeed, we define community engagement as bringing our participants together with individuals and groups from beyond Grebel to enhance the potential for mutual learning and shared action. 
 
I think this is a crucial point. We actively pursue opportunities for engagement not only because we think our participants have something to offer to church and society, but because we are convinced that their efforts to advance peace should be shaped by the questions, the needs, and the wisdom of the communities we seek to serve. 

A Community of Cookies

By Emily Hunsberger, English & History student
 
Every Grebelite has their own favourite Grebel cookie. The kind of cookie that most resonates with you tells you something about yourself. Those who like the triple chocolate chip ones are people who just overflow with hospitality and generosity. When they laugh, chocolate rains from the sky. Some like the chocolate chip cookies with the gooey centres. These people have a reserved, traditional way of life; private people who don’t kiss and tell - they keep their kisses, like the chewy centre of a cookie, close to their heart. There are also the 
cookie
Wow!Butter-I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies. The first day they are crunchy but by the second day they are soft and tender. The people who like these are shy - they take a bit of time to reveal their lovely softness, but when they do they’re the best soy butter friends you’ll ever have. Then there are the cookie-oat bar people who are just completely off the wall. 
 
While I’ve been at Grebel, I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of different cookies through various outlets, including as vice-president of student council this year. I have done it for the cookies - all of the crazy cookies with their different kinds of chips and levels of softness and surprisingly high calorie-counts. I love all the cookies here at my second home: staff cookies, student cookies, and the wider Grebel community of cookies.
 

Peace Speeches

We are very proud of our C. Henry Smith Oratorical Competition participants! They each gave a unique and thought-provoking speech. Rebekah DeJong’s topic was “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Jono Cullar spoke on “Peace Through Business.” Kenny Hildebrand spoke on “Christianity and Accessibility” and Jonathan Smith talked about “Planes and Peace.” As winner of this competition, Kenny will move on to the second round of the competition between Mennonite and Brethren in Christ universities and colleges across Canada and the United States.
 
“The presence of God remained hidden from man behind a thick veil during the history of Israel,” explained Kenny in his speech. “Though today we celebrate accessibility to the presence of God because of Christ’s death and resurrection, contemporary churches still possess many ‘veils’ that block people with disabilities from fully participating in Christian community. My hope, through this speech, is to help others consider how our places of worship impact those who participate in our faith communities.” Listen to his whole speech.
 
2015 Peace Speech winners

Musical

In an amazing feat of organization and musical commitment, over 70 Grebelites spent three months creating an all student rendition of Fiddler on the Roof. Spearheaded by Rachel Pauls and Sarah Brnjas, the cast, crew, and orchestra shared a tale of family, love, human struggle, and faith. To mount this production amidst the already busy schedule of a student is a testament to the passion and dedication of all involved. Well done!

2015 Grebel musical cast

Helping Hands

By Nathan Henderson, 
International Development student
 
In true Grebel tradition, 16 of our students spent their reading week serving with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) in Far Rockaway, New York. 
 
As the songstress Alicia Keys sings, “New York, concrete jungles where dreams are made of. These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you.” As we rolled into NYC in our van, we immediately turned on that song, and watched above as we careened past old, broken buildings and flickering signs, shiny, sky-high skyscrapers, and people young and old. We had finally arrived! Time to see what dreams were made of.
 
2015 MDS Service trip
Mind you, it was not an easy time getting there. We drove through some of the worst weather we had ever seen, with high winds and crazy amounts of snow. Our first plan was to power through to get to New York during the first day, but unfortunately the blizzard had other plans. We were forced to bunk up for the night in Scranton, Pennsylvania and made our way into the city the day after. But in a way, this little predicament set the tone for the week. Not in a bad way, to be sure. Throughout the week, we faced bitter cold, frozen pipes, and many changes to plans, but we never stopped enjoying ourselves, enjoying our work, and enjoying the experience that was Far Rockaway, New York.
 
After touring NYC for the day, we went to the ocean-side neighbourhood of Far Rockaway where we spent our week. Once a popular resort area, Far Rockaway has descended into relative poverty, further exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy which came through more than two years ago. We settled into our site and met our wonderful long-term MDS volunteers, including leader J. Loren, fellow Canadian John, and others. 
 
Grebel students working at the MDS siteThroughout the week we worked on many construction projects, often relying on portable heaters and strange heating pipes to keep warm. Our leaders were constantly impressed by our good attitude; few expected us university students to be so flexible and positive. By the end of the week, we had put in floors, put up drywall, made closets, and mudded like it was our day job. Which, for a week, it was. And all this is said without mentioning the bonding that we had as a group. One of the most wonderful things about these trips is that people are brought together from across social strata and different years and backgrounds to make something wonderful happen together. We all had a blast, and made new friends. We laughed, we cried, we froze our butts off. Thanks Far Rockaway, for a reading week to remember.
 

Sharing Space in the Community 

By Will Turman, Knowledge Integration student
 
Over reading week, a group of us Grebel students did not entirely turn our brains off. We chose to challenge ourselves and change the way we understand issues surrounding homelessness in Kitchener by going on a service/learning trip at home. I think that the most valuable part of the trip came from simply sharing the space in shelters and community kitchens because as students we rarely interact with that community of people. 
 
2015 Ray of Hope student volunteersAt a soup kitchen we volunteered at I was nervous to go and sit with everyone. After I went out and struck up some conversations I realized I was nervous for nothing because all the people I spoke with were just people. Reflecting back on it I feel that the reason for the nervousness was because our society puts poverty on a pedestal. It gets overly hyped that we should “feed the poor,” but the reality is that they are people no different from you or I. Instead we should aspire to “help out James” or “lend Kim a hand.” The trip was not a comfortable one, but now I know that I will feel more comfortable volunteering my time to help those in need.
 

Grebel graduating class of 2015

2015 Convocation: ​Exceptional is what it takes

“Convocation is a time to celebrate!” With this announcement, President Susan Schultz Huxman welcomed a record number of guests sharing the day with 165 graduating students.
 
“We are committed to challenging mind and spirit while we celebrate the core value of community building inside and outside the classroom,” she continued. “Grebel prepares our students to open their eyes wide, to see in new ways that extend and enrich their educational experience.”
 
The 2015 Conrad Grebel convocation ceremony shifted to a larger venue this year to accommodate all the friends and family members of our graduating students. This ceremony celebrates the achievements of all students who have lived at, associated with, or studied at Conrad Grebel. In addition, degrees are conferred conjointly on the Master of Theological Studies students with the University of Waterloo. 
 
Cheryl PaulsGrebel was delighted to welcome Canadian Mennonite University’s president, Cheryl Pauls, as the keynote speaker. Reflecting on being “somewhere in the middle,” Cheryl addressed the fact that we are always in between places. Convocation is “a marker standing for what’s gone on before and speaking into what goes on ahead.” 
 
“We’re always somewhere in the middle....somewhere between joy and sorrow, learning to love more deeply and release more generously, searching for clear paths amidst a world that at once needs more of this and a whole lot less of that.”
 
“To be somewhere in the middle is not akin to being at the centre of it all. Instead, it’s to have an ear and a heart perched in the jagged margins and to walk on with hope and humility when God troubled the waters – sometimes with grace, other times with awkward, paltry steps.”
 
“This middle place,” continued Cheryl, “is where Conrad Grebel is entrusted to seek wisdom, nurture faith, and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society. And this mission is embedded in the muscle of your habits, your gait, your friendships, and your desires.”
 
As a musician, Cheryl chose to play a fugue to illustrate her address. “Music consists firstly in the practice of gestures of grace – embrace and release, expansion and closure, beginning and ending – and secondly of living into the middle as form takes on expression,” she said.
 
“Our time at Grebel has been instrumental in shaping our experience at university,” said Jono Cullar in his undergraduate valedictorian speech. “We have all learned many things: how to work hard and study for what seems like days on end, to be vulnerable with others about our insecurities or struggles, to take risks and expand our comfort zones by trying new things and somehow we have learned how to grow together.”
 
“We are planners, engineers, business people, knowledge integrators, musicians, and peacemakers just to name a few, but we have been shaped by so much more. Grebel and Waterloo has been a place of diversity. A place where we have asked questions and had many opportunities to become involved in clubs and leadership roles. It is a place where we have grown and developed as young adults, shaped by those around us.”
 
Jono CullarJono encouraged his fellow graduating students to “go out into your communities that you will continue to build: dream big, create peace, and follow your passions. It is in our hands to positively influence those around us and the world of which we are a part. No matter what degree is printed at the top of our diploma, we have all developed skills and abilities that can be applied to create happiness and love.”
 
As a representative of the graduate classes in Peace and Conflict Studies and Theological Studies, TS student Alvis Pettker reflected on his experience at Conrad Grebel, pronouncing it as exceptional. “I would use this word to describe the kind of people Conrad Grebel’s graduate programs bring together,” he explained. “Conrad Grebel, with its exceptional faculty and 
Alvis Pettker
staff, has called us together from all over the world for the purpose of forming us into exceptional people, into permanently incongruous and 
incompatible people who live in the world as it is, but with the strength of mind and conviction to see the world and people for what they could be and to always, ceaselessly strive for what is good, and just, and right.”
 
“If there is one irrevocable truth,” Alvis continued, “every conversation, every discussion, every disagreement, every meal we have shared together, every time we have laughed together and cried together has made abundantly clear it is that this graduating class is filled with nothing but exceptional people. I implore you, I entreat you, and I challenge you to continue to be the salt of the earth. To never settle for being excellent, when being exceptional is what it takes to truly change the world.”

Following her Dreams

 
Diana Merino
Diana Merino (BSc ‘09) is a familiar face to many. When she arrived at Grebel in 2005, she was looking to live life to its maximum potential. She sang in the Chapel Choir and in numerous coffee house shows, participated in student-run Bible study groups, performed in Footloose, and was an Orientation Leader. She didn’t talk much about her past, looking more towards the future and her goal of becoming involved in the medical field. “Grebel was a place for me to connect with others,” explained Diana, “and to forge life-long friendships with inspiring people who, in their own unique ways, try to make the world a better place.
 
After graduating, Diana went on to get her Master’s in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph.
 
In a recent visit to Grebel to speak at Community Supper, Diana shared her story, including favourite Grebel moments, her educational pursuits, and ups and downs in her life.
 
A pivotal moment in Diana’s life occurred when, as part of a news story, Peter Mansbridge told the world on CBC’s “The National” that Diana was a two-time survivor of childhood cancer. After trying not to bring up this information for a long time, Diana found herself free to finally talk about her past experiences and to use her intimate knowledge of the subject to fuel her interest in pediatric cancer and survivorship research. 
 
Diana is now finalizing a PhD degree in Cancer Genomics at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medical Biophysics and the Genetics and Genome Biology Program at the Hospital for Sick Children. Her research encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric brain tumour patients and the surveillance and personalized care of survivors of childhood cancer. Her goals include improving the care and well-being of childhood cancer survivors through the development of programs that aim at integrating research into clinical practice and implementing tailored clinical care addressing the unique health risks of childhood cancer survivors, leading to prevention and early detection of late-term effects.
 
During her Grebel visit, Diana described how in 2013, on the day she was interviewed for The National for the second time, she was given her third cancer diagnosis – a sarcoma, or soft tissue tumour, in her back. Diana is currently in remission and will soon graduate with her doctorate. In her free time, she enjoys meeting friends over food, traveling, and playing golf and beach volleyball. 
 
“Don’t be afraid to not know what will happen next,” advised Diana, speaking from her life experiences. “As human beings, we like being in control and knowing how everything will unfold, but it’s okay not to know. It is uncomfortable, yet refreshing to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that God’s will is perfect and that everything will fall into place. God is good all the time!”

MPACS to MEDA

David Eagle​New Master of Peace and Conflict Studies graduate, David Eagle (MPACS ‘15) is a senior project manager with Mennonite Economic Development Association. David is responsible for developing and managing projects and partnerships with rural agriculture and value chain finance. He manages and provides business planning for a new MEDA project, enhancing export-linked economic growth in Ghana using high performance tree crops. Most recently, David led the MEDA Health project that aims to reduce Vitamin A deficiency in Northern Tanzania through the fortification of unrefined sunflower oil with Vitamin A. David has also worked as a consultant on MEDA’s agriculture project that is facilitating new market-based supply chains for certified cassava seed systems in Tanzania.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Johnny WidemanThe Alumni Committee of Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to announce the selection of John Wideman (BA ‘09) as the 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
 
The Distinguished Alumni Service Award recognizes alumni who have made a significant and unique contribution to the church, community, nation, or world. Johnny is an outstanding example of a visionary alumnus who reflects Grebel’s mission through demonstrated creativity, active peace-making, Anabaptist values, generosity, and community building. Johnny continues to create art that serves as a meaningful resource to both church and society. Read more about Johnny in the Fall 2015 issue of Grebel Now.
 

Food aid bagsReflections on a Sandal

By Rachel Reist
 
Last month, I was watching the news and there was a story about a car bomb that had rocked a city. The looping footage behind the anchor showed a pair of plastic sandals, the kind that seem to be worn by everyone in developing countries, laying in a street filled with rubble. This image of the sandals humanized the story for me. Having lived in communities where everyone I knew wore those exact same shoes every single day, they had become a symbol of the broader culture and economic context of my friends. This image changed how I saw, felt, and thought about the news story. The sandals laying in the wreckage could have been the same sandals that I had worn, my friends had worn, or someone’s father, mother, brother, or aunt had worn. Those sandals were real to me, not just shoes lying on a street in a faraway place. 
 
In Peace and Conflict Studies, we talk about things like justice, development, and peace. As a PACS student, I had done a lot of research on food aid, such as that provided by the World Food Program (WFP) and how these programs were a good part of development. After graduating, I travelled to El Salvador and lived in a small island community for two months where they received this very form of WFP aid. Climate change had greatly impacted the ecosystems on the island, which made fishing more difficult. The civil war had left the country damaged and fragile, and the weak economy had left many poor. 
 
And so it was that Marta and Juan, and all the other families in the small community, had no choice but to rely on bags of food coming from other countries to feed their family. 
 
It was one thing sit in the library for hours and read reports that rattled off statistics and figures about the poverty that communities around the world were facing. It was another thing to be sitting at the table with Marta and Juan and their two children, and eat beans and rice with them. When you share a meal like this you develop a different kind of relationship. These deeper relationships are key to expanding our global community. Yes, food aid programs are an important part of taking care of each other in our broader global community. But sharing that food with others and taking the time to understand how members of our global community experience this aid – that is important in a different way. 
 
Eating beans and rice that came from the WFP bags sitting in the corner is very different than reading reports about how many people are hungry and how many people received one of these bags of food. 
 
Wearing cheap plastic sandals and walking for hours to collect water is very different than seeing pictures on the news or in books of people wearing cheap clothing and sandals in some faraway place. 
 
When you actively and intentionally go out and expand your understanding of what a global community means, it changes you. It changes how you buy things, speak, commute, smile, laugh, cry, teach, lead and most importantly, how you engage with your local community. 
 

The Dean’s Pick Essay Contest

The Dean’s Pick is an essay contest open to all Grebel students. The winners are chosen by Dean Trevor Bechtel, who also writes the introductions to the papers and edits them for Grebel Now. These papers showcase the student work that happens at Grebel across the University’s many disciplines. 
 
The Dean’s Picks for this term are two papers which address the very contemporary topics of video games and creation care, analyzing ideas using tools available to university students. Adam Benniger approaches the problem of the human in environmental stewardship and argues that a human perspective can be useful in approaching the care of creation. He employs a variety of philosophical approaches to ethics in his analysis. In the other paper, utilizing musicological approaches, most notably including insights gleaned from Dr. Laura Gray’s music and landscape course, Marina Gallagher looks at the music in the video game Final Fantasy. She deftly combines a variety of “serious” tools to help us understand the world of the video game. The papers also appear in full online.

The Struggle Between Anthropocentrism & Environmental Stewardship
Ego and the Environment 

By Adam Benninger


Adam BenningerWhen referring to “the environment,” often it is easy for one to envision some entity beyond the self, separate and distinct. Anthropocentrism is a force which, unless harnessed and directed in favour of environmental ethics, works against any form of sustainability. The idea of human self-interest leading to collective good is by no means a new one, but is rarely applied to environmental ethics. When it comes to the environment, ethicists often seem to operate on the same false dichotomy: anything concerned with human-centred values is fundamentally incompatible with environmental care. In many cases this is true, such as the tragedy of the commons. In the tragedy of the commons, it is such anthropocentric ethical egoism which leads to individual gain (economic or otherwise) by exploiting resources which create distributed loss across all others. However, given the correct situational framework within which to operate, the opposite may also be true. This is a phenomenon known as the “invisible hand.” Most often the invisible hand is applied in an economic sense, in order to describe the balance between cost, supply and demand and investment of assets in various industries as they gain or lose value in a free market. This generalization of the notion of the invisible hand seems to imply that by the same principles of human-centred values and self-interest which lead to self-sustaining and growing economic systems, one may devise a system in which rational sovereign agents may make choices in their own self-interest which lead to other external positive benefits.

The inclusion of externality costs and provision of easy alternatives are all that are required to shift the same self-serving anthropocentric action from environmentally destructive to preservative. 

In environmental ethics, it is increasingly the role of the ethicist to no longer propose amendments or alternatives to classical ethical theories, but rather to envision the engineered circumstances which are most likely to yield results which are compatible with environmentalist’s goals. No longer should anthropocentrism be considered in opposition to environmental ethics, but rather as an instrumental cog in its machinery.
 
 
Adam Benninger is a second year student in Knowledge Integration at University of Waterloo and a Conrad Grebel resident. Adam is interested in ethics and the environment, particularly in terms of the far-reaching implications of the human bias in complex systems such as environmental ethics. In his free time, Adam enjoys making & drinking excellent coffee, acting in & directing theatrical performances, and playing piano in the Grebel-based folk-rock band Anabaptist Bestiary Project.
 

An Examination of Music, Landscape, and Classical Etymology
in Final Fantasy
XII
Exploring Ivalice through Music

By Marina Gallagher
 
Marina GallagherMusic in video games forges such a strong connection between players and fictional worlds that gamers are willing to purchase official soundtracks and visit concerts dedicated solely to game music, such as Video Games Live and Distant Worlds: The Music of Final Fantasy. Throughout video game history, the role of music in games has grown to such an extent that soundtracks written for symphony orchestra (rather than a single keyboard) are seamlessly integrated with characters and on-screen graphics. 
 
Karen Collins notes in Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design that music “plays a significant role in the immersive quality of a game” and that, if the music is interrupted or absent, gamers do not feel as physically present within the game world. Although she also mentions the contention amongst scholars regarding immersion in video games, it would seem that video game music plays a key role in making various areas come alive for gamers. Collins suggests that “symbols and leitmotifs are often used to assist the player in identifying...environments,” though orchestration can also assist in creating a sense of a particular place, such as the serene countryside. This paper seeks to examine the connection between the soundtrack of role-playing game Final Fantasy XII and in-game landscapes to identify the ways in which the score suggests divergent landscapes by drawing on earlier techniques in classical and film music traditions. 
 
Video game players’ opinions on and connections to landscape are influenced by music through what Collins describes as “mood induction,” which is the “communication of emotional meaning” to players through elements such as tempo and, this author would argue, density of musical texture, instrumentation, melody and harmony as well. A player in Final Fantasy XII, for instance, will understandably feel different emotions when traversing the bright, sunny landscape of the Dalmasca Estersand and navigating the dense sandstorms of the Dalmasca Westersand. 
 
That is not to say that landscape associations are included in all video game soundtracks. As Collins states, the genre to which a video game belongs – whether one-person shooter, role- playing (RPG), puzzle, etc. – has a significant impact on the music. Unfortunately, the study of video game scores is still a developing field, so the scoring conventions of the various video game genres have not yet been thoroughly examined. There is a significant difference, however, between the extensive landscape references of the world of Avalice in Final Fantasy XII discussed below and the score for the crime-solving game The Testament of Sherlock Holmes (Atlus, 2012.) Whereas the former includes separate tracks for nearly all of its areas, the latter features generic pieces to establish mood (e.g. searching for clues, Holmes is in danger) which are identical across such diverse landscapes as Holmes’ flat, a morgue in Whitechapel, and a judge’s home in London. 
 
Some games, such as Super Mario Bros., adapt or vary music based on player’s actions within the game, which Jesper Kaae describes as “the ability of the music to react to the game-play.” In Final Fantasy X (SquareSoft, 2002,) for instance, as soon as the player encounters a monster, the image on the screen shatters and the characters assume battle positions. Likewise, the music instantly shifts from a landscape-based theme (such as the laid-back music for Besaid Island) to the faster-paced battle theme. 
 
On the contrary, Final Fantasy XII’s gameplay is heavily dominated by what Wood terms “ambient pieces,” tracks which establish “a general emotional response or sense of place” for the player as long as he or she remains in a particular area. There are only a few moments in which different tracks overlap or respond to what the player is doing in real time, most notably the short theme which plays whenever a character reaches a new level. The player is clearly aware of a transition into a new area in Final Fantasy XII not only because the screen turns black momentarily, but also because the theme of the old area fades out and music of the new area fades in. The screen remains black for a few seconds after the new theme appears; therefore, the player has an opportunity to develop landscape associations prior to seeing the actual landscape of any area. In this game, variability of music is not used to reflect player’s actions in real time, but then again, the landscapes of the various areas do not change appreciably or at all throughout the game (e.g. it is always daytime in outdoor areas such as the Cerobi Steppe.) 
 
Representations of and connections to various landscapes have been pervasive in orchestral and chamber music for several hundred years, as evidenced by such popular pieces as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concerti and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 6 (Pastoral) as well as less well-known pieces, such as Ravel’s score for the ballet Daphnis et Chloé, which owes much to the Greek pastoral tradition. It would stand to reason, therefore, that after the debut of the symphony orchestra on video game soundtracks in 2000, video game composers have had access to a larger range of timbres and greater orchestration possibilities in order to bring landscapes to life for players. 
 

The Conrad Grebel Review: Fostering Community & Conversation

By Stephen Jones
One way that Conrad Grebel University College fosters community is through its academic publication, The Conrad Grebel Review (CGR). Reaching out to a global community of scholars, CGR is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal of Christian inquiry devoted to thoughtful, sustained discussion of spirituality, theology, and culture from a broadly-based Mennonite perspective. 
 
Peer-reviewing―the process of subjecting submissions to rigorous critical review prior to publication―assures CGR’s integrity and effectiveness. Reviewers assess whether a submission advances discussion and makes a significant contribution to knowledge. The “double-blind” process means they and the authors do not know each other’s identity.
 
From its founding in 1983, CGR has presented work by contributors from many disciplines as well as work by College faculty. A 1992 article by Stephen F. Dintaman on “The Spiritual Poverty of the Anabaptist Vision” found a ready audience and is still cited extensively. Since then, CGR has opened up new conversations on Mennonite literature, and has regularly presented groundbreaking inter-disciplinary research, such as Ernst Hamm’s exploration of “Science and Mennonites in the Dutch Enlightenment.” 
 
CGR’s recent issues on effective college and university-level teaching―blending analysis, experience, and practical recommendations―have focused so far on teaching in three distinct areas: Bible, history, and peace studies. An issue on teaching ethics is in the planning stages. The journal’s Winter 2015 issue features the latest Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies, while the Spring 2015 issue will focus on the recent Sound in the Land conference/festival.
 
Like all academic journals birthed in the print era and seeking to thrive in the electronic age, CGR continues to adapt and adjust. The journal is indexed in the full text ATLA Serials Religion Database, a premier electronic resource that registered more than 9,000 PDF downloads of CGR articles in the first year. As well, the re-launch of CGR’s own website means articles from 1998 onwards can be viewed on the past issues page and the current issue will always be available in full text.
Going forward, CGR editors and staff are seeking to expand the journal’s role in building up the community of scholars―and extending conversations among academics and other readers around the world. 
CGR AT A GLANCE 
 
  • Published: 3 times a year (Winter, Spring, Fall) 
  • Editors:  Walter Klaassen, founding editor (1983-87); Rodney J. Sawatsky (1988-90); C. Arnold Snyder (1990-97, 2003-09); Marlene Epp (1998-2003); Jeremy M. Bergen (2010-). Hildi Froese Tiessen, Literary Editor (1997-2012) 
  • Consulting Editors: Members of 14 academic institutions
  • Editorial Council: Grebel faculty members 
  • Staff: Stephen A. Jones (Managing Editor,
    Copy Editor), Arthur P. Boers (Book Review Editor), Carol Lichti (Circulation)
 
 

Mennonite/s Writing

Rob Zacharias with Patrick FriesenOver the 2014-15 academic year, Grebel was pleased to present “Mennonite/s Writing,” a seven session reading series showcasing new work by some of the most prominent authors in the field: Rudy Wiebe, Jeff Gundy, Miriam Toews, Patrick Friesen, Di Brandt, David Bergen, and Carrie Snyder. The authors offered a combined reading/commentary meant to take the audience on a journey tracing how the writer’s Mennonite heritage contributed to shaping his or her literary sensibility. This series was spearheaded by Robert Zacharias, a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Waterloo’s Department of English Language and Literature. Robert’s primary research interests are in Canadian literature, ethnicity, migration and transnationalism, as well as in Mennonites studies.
 

You Can “Leave a Legacy” to Grebel

Leaving a bequest in your will is an easy way to support Grebel. Many donors have made a ‘legacy gift’ to the college. “These donations are very significant to us and we treat them differently,” says Fred Martin, Director of Development. “Our practice is to use estate gifts for long lasting purposes like building projects or endowments.” 
 
Bloom SculptureEndowments are invested donations where the annual earnings are used each year and the principle is kept in place. A gift of $100,000, for example, will generate 4% in annual earnings which means $4,000 is available for a student scholarship award or program revenue on a permanent basis! 
 
At the end of this past fiscal year, Grebel’s endowment portfolio eclipsed the $6 million mark. Roughly half of this amount is used for scholarship awards for students and the other half is used to fund programs, like the Archives (Bowman Endowment) or pastoral leadership development (Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment). 
Earlier this month, alumni from the 1960s to mid ‘80s received a mailing with details on how endowments make a difference to Grebel. May has been designated as “Leave a Legacy” month by the Canadian Association of Gift Planners as a way to encourage supporters to include charities in their estate plans. leavealegacy.ca
 
Grebel enjoys loyal support from our donors and alumni. Legacy gifts are wonderful ways to make an enduring impact on the life of the College for years to come. If you want more information about planned gifts, or want to discuss a particular program endowment or establish a scholarship award with a planned gift please contact Fred Martin at 519-885-0220 x24381 or fwmartin@uwaterloo.ca. 
 

AGM planned for October 3

Grebel supporters are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting on Saturday, October 3. Our Director of Finance, Sara Cressman, will have full audited statements. Early indications are that the ink will be ‘black’ for the 18th straight year. There will be a short update from our Board on the strategic plan and other year-end reports. Donors in the President’s Circle will receive a printed annual report in the mail. The same information is available.

Grebel Fund Hits Annual Goal

Thanks to over 400 supporters of the annual Grebel Fund, we exceeded our goal of $327,000 with over $340,000 in donations received by April 30, 2015, our fiscal year end. Next year’s target is $357,000! Watch for a mailing in the fall. These donations are used to fund unique aspects of our program that are not adequately supported by tuition or residence revenue. Increasingly we are using operating dollars for student support for scholarship awards and matching congregational student aid for residence students. Thanks to everyone who contributed! 
 
 

KW RotariansRotary’s Commitment to Peace

ChichiChinenye Chukwuma-Nwuba completed her undergraduate degree in politics and international relations in Nigeria and is one of several international students currently enrolled in the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program at Conrad Grebel. Growing up in Nigeria during times of relative peace and then violence, Chinenye brings her own perspective and experience to the program to gain a deeper understanding of what conflict is and how it develops. 
 
“For a while everything was okay, and then sometime in 2000 our lives turned upside down and there were religious riots. We lost a couple of friends, relatives and lost some of our belongings. When you witness this sort of thing, it stays with you… I think that’s what pushed me to want to understand people more and want to understand the dynamics of conflict: how people change, why people change.”
 
Chinenye is the 2015-16 recipient of the Rotary MPACS Scholarship. In May, she will begin her MPACS internship with Community Justice Initiatives, an organization providing restorative justice practices and programs for the community.
 
YelenaYelena Gyulkhandanyan is a recent graduate of the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies at Grebel. Yelena, who spent her childhood in Armenia, has a strong passion for civil society engagement and activism and is pursuing skills in mediation and dispute resolution through her enrollment in the Certificate in Conflict Management and Mediation. She has been engaged in the work of organizations such as Amnesty International, World University Service of Canada, Frontier College, and Justice for Children and Youth. During her studies, internship opportunities engaged her in the work of Search for Common Ground, Washington, DC, Policy Forum Armenia, Washington, DC, and Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India. Currently Yelena is working for Project Ploughshares. 
 
David Alton is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph, with a BA in Environmental Governance and Philosophy. David was drawn to Grebel’s Conflict Management certificate program because he sees conflict as a central force of human existence. However, his interest in conflict is less about seeking justice or resolving harm and more towards creating resolution and common ground for action. David seeks to use the skills gained through the Certificate in Conflict Management to assist his pursuit of work and ongoing academic training in the management of environmental disputes and community decision making. Currently David works locally with various community organizations such as Ray of Hope, Sustainable Waterloo Region and The Working Centre, while taking workshops in the Conflict Management Certificate Program.
 

Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference

June 9-12, 2016, this conference and festival will bring together academics, practitioners, artists, and church workers from around the world, to dialogue and reflect on Mennonite peacebuilding accomplishments, failures, challenges, and opportunities in varied international settings, past and present. Its purpose is: to explore traditions and contemporary expressions of Anabaptist/Mennonite peace beliefs and practices; to bring together academics and practitioners to learn from each other; to give expression to peacebuilding ideals through the arts; and to assess and re-envision Mennonite peacebuilding practice. 

New Faculty

A highlight of this past winter term was the time spent on two faculty searches - one in Peace and Conflict Studies, and the other in Music with a global music focus. The Conrad Grebel University College Board of Governors is pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer Ball as Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies and the hiring of Maisie Sum as Assistant Professor of Music, both in tenure track positions commencing July 1, 2015.
 
“Recently, the Board of Governors passed a new 5-year plan called Extending the Table,” explained Board Chair, Fred Redekop. “These two scholars will help the College in fulfilling our vision. The appointments that Sum and Ball have accepted are new positions for the College, so it is also exciting to see Grebel extend itself to new areas of study and ministry.”
 
Jennifer BallJennifer comes to Grebel most recently from a position at the University of Guelph where she received a PhD in Rural Studies. She is also a graduate of the University of Waterloo in Social Development Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. 
 
“After over 20 years of affiliation with Grebel - as a student, an alumna, a sessional instructor, and Certificate workshop facilitator - I am thrilled to now join the PACS faculty” said Jennifer. “This is an incredibly dynamic community to be a part of and I look forward to becoming even more involved and to contributing more significantly to bridging the intersection of peace and conflict with other disciplines at the university and sectors in society at large.”
 
Jennifer comes with significant experience in the field with research in Africa. She has also worked in rural Ontario dealing with conflict related natural resource management, such as land use, water quality, and wind turbine installations.
 
“I am delighted that Jennifer will be joining the PACS faculty,” said Lowell Ewert who directs the PACS program. “She grew up in Zambia, intuitively understands cross-cultural differences, has walked with Africans in their villages, and has seen first-hand the issues with which they struggle. This international experience, combined with her work in rural Ontario, will help students better understand the connection between local and global issues.”
 
President Susan Schultz Huxman noted that this is not a replacement, rather a new faculty position created due to the growth of the PACS program with the addition of a graduate degree in 2012. “Jennifer brings superb teaching experience and strong connections to peace activities in Waterloo Region and around the globe—just what we need to further grow and support the College’s well-recognized and respected peace studies program.”
In the last 10 years, PACS course enrolment has grown from 705 to 1244. The addition of a Master in PACS with 2 cohorts of 15 students each, has created demand for teaching 7 graduate classes and faculty supervision for internships ranging from 5 to 15 each year.
 
Trevor Bechtel, Dean of the College said, “Jennifer brings a unique diversity of experience that is most impressive. She has worked in government, business and education in local, regional, and international settings. In addition, her disciplinary breadth, including strengths in rural planning and peace and conflict studies will make her a valued member of Grebel’s faculty.”
 
Maisie SumMaisie Sum began at Grebel two years ago in a two-year contract and has been a vibrant addition to Grebel’s community during this time. She has connected with Grebel’s academic and residence students, with the Music Department and the College community in general, and has made significant connections to the University of Waterloo. The Grebel Gamelan, under her direction, has become a cause for much excitement. She has shared it through concerts and workshops at high schools in Waterloo Region including Rockway Mennonite School, to Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, and to Rockway Mennonite Church where she attends. This winter, Maisie taught, with Reina Neufeldt, a course on Music and Peace. 
 
“Professor Sum has been a game changer for us in developing global music at Grebel/UWaterloo and in the church,” explained President Huxman. “She has also been a bridge builder for us in reaching new constituencies in the academy, the community, and in our schools around active peacemaking, global engagement and music-making, especially through the participatory gamelan ensemble.”
 
“Sum brings with her unique research gifts having won the Jaap Kunst prize for 2014,” noted Dean Bechtel. “She has created an impressive record of community engagement through Grebel’s first Music Symposium, her stewardship of the noon hour concert series, and connection to Mennonite churches–including a planned trip to bring the Grebel Gamelan to Mennonite World Conference. She is a valued colleague at Grebel and we are most happy to give her this position on our team.”

Music News

Tim Corlis

Over the weekend of March 13-15, two prominent choral groups premiered works by Conrad Grebel faculty member Timothy Corlis. Elektra Women’s Choir in Vancouver, directed by Morna Edmundson, premiered and recorded a suite of 4 choral pieces entitled Heart Songs of the White Wampum. These are musical settings of poems written by the celebrated Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson. This commission was supported by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Acclaimed percussionist Beverly Johnston was the soloist for this commission. Also that weekend, Noel Edison and the Elora Festival Singers premiered a new work entitled Immortality, with text by poet Sri Chinmoy. This new work was premiered in New York City as part of a three choir concert, entitled A Cappella Next at Carnegie Hall. The choir performed this new work along with Corlis’ Gloria as part of Manhattan’s Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church’s concert series. In addition, on April 19, Mennonite Central Committee with Faith and Life Choirs and Buffalo Gals Drumming Group performed a commissioned piece for MCC’s 50th anniversary, and on April 26, Swift Current Oratorio Choir performed Tim’s Miss Pax, a 35 minute work for orchestra and choir.
 
Peace Concert

Mark Vuorinen

In addition to his role as Assistant Professor of Music at Grebel, Mark is Conductor of the Grand Philharmonic Choir in Kitchener. In February, the choir held a concert titled Grant us Peace. The chosen music transmitted a message of hope for greater understanding and compassion in our communities and throughout the world. They paired with a number of schools across Waterloo Region and engaged 1200 students in an art project. The Hands of Peace project asked students to think about what peace means in their own communities and lives. 
 
Maisie Sum

Maisie Sum

Assistant Professor of Music, Maisie Sum, was the recipient of the 2014 Jaap Kuntz Prize, one of the highest honours in ethnomusicology. The prize recognizes the most significant article in ethnomusicology written by a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology and published within the previous year. Her article was “Music for the Unseen: Interaction between Two Realms during a Gnawa Lila” published in African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music 9.3: 151–182. 2013.
 

Carol Ann Weaver 

There was a substantial spread about Sound in the Land 2014 – Music and the Environment, in the Canadian Music Centre’s Winter 2015 Notations publication. This event was coordinated by Professor Emerita, Carol Ann Weaver.
 
Trio Prize Winners

Trio Prize Winner

Music Professor Mark Vuorinen worked with the Wilfrid Laurier University Music Department and initiated a “Trio Prize” composition contest. Open to students enrolled in music at Grebel or Laurier, as well as recent graduates, the composers were asked to set a poem to music. The prize was $500 with a guarantee of a public performance of an original musical setting of a suite of sonnets from the forthcoming collection Trio by Sarah Tolmie. The winner would then be commissioned to complete a series of settings of 7-10 poems for a premiere in the fall of 2015.
 
Recent Grebel grad Erica de la Cruz (BA ‘13) was awarded this prize for her setting of “Together, Losing, Finding.” The first performance was given on Thursday April 9 at the book’s launch with Erica accompanying Grebel music student, Emily Spina, mezzo soprano.
 

Trichy Sankaran

Laura Gray

In addition to her role as Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Department, Laura Gray (with the rest of the Music Department) organized a Music Symposium for high school and UWaterloo students. Dr. Joshua D. Pilzer and Dr. Trichy Sankaran (right) gave special lectures and performances over three days.
 

Ken Hull

One of Associate Music Professor Ken Hull’s community commitments is as the conductor of Spiritus Ensemble. The 6 year old group is a vocal and instrumental ensemble based in Kitchener-Waterloo, dedicated to the performance of great religious music, especially the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach.
 

Faculty Activities

Grebel faculty have been active in the community, speaking at churches, facilitating workshops, and attending and presenting at conferences. Listed below are some of our recent faculty publications. Complete faculty activities are available.
 
Batten, Alicia. “The Letter of Jude and Graeco-Roman Invective” HTS Teologiese/Theological Studies 70 (2014) 9 pages. 
 
Bergen, Jeremy. “The Holy Spirit and Lived Communion from the Perspective of International Bilateral Dialogues,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 49 (2014): 193-217.
 
Bergen, Jeremy. “Die reuige Kirche in der Geschichte. Theologische Reflexionen [The Penitential Church in History: Theological Reflections],” trans. Wolfgang Neumann, Ökumenische Rundschau 63, no. 2 (2014): 166-181. 
 
Neufeldt, Reina C. Doing good better: expanding the ethics of peacebuilding. International Peacekeeping 21(4) (2014): 427-442.
 
Suderman, Derek. “‘Is it Lawful?’ Interpretation and Discernment in Light of Sabbath Controversies.” In Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology (Spring 2015): 79-88.
 
Heidebrecht, Paul with Jennifer Wiebe, “Keeping the Faith? Tracing the Struggle to Amplify the Peace Witness of Canadian Churches,” The Ecumenist: A Journal of Theology, Culture, and Society 52/1 (Winter 2015): 1-8.
 
Grebel profsWhile on sabbatical in the winter term, Professor Marlene Epp has been traveling and working on numerous research projects. In her travels, she attended the 7th Mennonite/s Writing conference in Fresno, California, where she met up with Grebel students, alumni, and retired professors Hildi Froese Tiessen and Carol Ann Weaver (right). The conference included readings, scholarly paper presentations, panels, writing workshops, performances, story-telling, book-signings, excursions, open microphone, conversations, and feasting.
 
President Susan Schultz Huxman was invited to speak at Bluffton University on the topic of Christian liberal arts education. This type of education matters because “its counterculture mandate serves a noble purpose; connections are the heart and soul of its academic mission; and the community transforms lives by grooming responsible citizens to engage our very beautiful but broken world.”

Anabaptist Learning Workshop

Many individuals within Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) feel called to ministry or greater learning, but conventional academic programs are not accessible for all people. Conrad Grebel is partnering with MCEC to offer the Anabaptist Learning Workshop: A Church and Ministry Certificate Program, beginning in Fall 2015.
This program is open to all, and the courses will be made up of informal, experiential styles of learning with a certificate option for those who wish to pursue it. The courses will take a collaborative approach and will be held in a variety of geographical settings - both inside and outside the classroom. A regular rotation of courses on a variety of topics related to Anabaptist faith and contemporary life will be offered.
 
This year’s Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment for Leadership Training Fundraising Banquet on June 11, 2015 will support this new program. Ralph Lebold was the third president of Conrad Grebel. “Eileen and I support this new venture,” stated Ralph, “as a logical extension of the original vision for the Lebold Endowment, namely, equipping leaders to serve in our MCEC congregations.”

The Gift of Ethics

Trevor BechtelStructured on the Beatitudes, Trevor Bechtel’s newly published book, The Gift of Ethics, is a short, readable introduction to the major ideas in Christian ethics. Described by Margaret Adam as a way to draw “newcomers to the field of Christian ethics into an understanding of Christian identity and practice, through personal, scriptural, and cinematic stories,” Bechtel’s book provokes thought and reflection. Dr. Bechtel is the Dean of Conrad Grebel University and the College community celebrated his book with a launch on Monday, February 2.

Reimer Book Launch

Paul Doerksen and Margaret Loewen ReimerConrad Grebel University College was privileged to host a book launch for Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology: Law, Order, and Civil Society, a collection of A. James Reimer’s essays. According to Jeremy Bergen, Professor of Theology at Conrad Grebel, “Jim shaped the contemporary theological landscape, especially for Mennonites, as a teacher and as a researcher and writer.” Reimer’s thesis for this theologically derived politics focuses on the necessity to take seriously the biblical-Trinitarian foundations for all Christian social ethics, but also on the importance of astute and faithful engagement by Christians in public institutional life, including the political realm. 
 
At the book launch, the crowd heard from Paul G. Doerksen (MTS ‘99), Rev. Darrel Winger, and Paul Heidebrecht – Director of the MSCU Center for Peace Advancement at Grebel. This collection was edited by Paul G. Doerksen with a forward by P. Travis Kroeker. 
 
Reimer (1942-2010) was professor of religious studies and Christian theology at Conrad Grebel University College and at the Toronto School of Theology, and was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2008. Paul G. Doerksen is Associate Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.

In Search of Promised Lands

Sam SteinerIn Search of Promised Lands: A Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario by Samuel J. Steiner describes the emergence and evolution of today’s 30-plus streams of Ontarians who identify themselves as Mennonite or Amish, tracing their history from arrival in Canada up to the last decade. “This book looks at ‘Assimilated Mennonite,’ conservative Mennonite, and Old Order paths,” Steiner summarized. “Twenty-first-century Ontario Mennonites are following the same paths as they seek the promised lands of faith and helping shape a better society in a post-Christian world.” Steiner was librarian and archivist at Conrad Grebel from 1974 to 2008 and director of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario. ~ Herald Press release

Photo Archive

The bustle of Kitchener on market day, a soup canteen in Second World War England, and family life on the farm. These are just a few of the photographs found in the new Mennonite Archival Image Database (MAID), giving the public access to photographs of Mennonite life in Waterloo Region, Canada and around the world. Seven Canadian Mennonite archives contributed 80,000 archival descriptions to the new site at archives.mhsc.ca. Over 10,000 of these records are already accompanied by scanned images. 
The project was customized for MAID by Peaceworks Technology Solutions’ Jason Hildebrand (BMATH ‘01). “As a UWaterloo history grad myself, I enjoyed working with Jason to bring technology and heritage together” says Harder-Gissing.
 
Archive visitors

Eyes to See

Robert Johnston and Trevor BechtelDr. Robert Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, was Grebel’s 2015 Rod and Lorna Sawatsky Visiting Scholar. His public lecture focused on ‘If you have Eyes to See...’: God’s ‘Presence’ at the Movies. He presented his thoughtful perspective numerous times during the week he visited, especially captivating students at Community Supper with his analysis of the movie Noah.

People

Ken Driedger (MTS ‘14) was installed as interim supply pastor of Wideman Mennonite Church, Markham, ON on April 12. 
 
Dan Root (BES ‘14) and Laura Dyck (BES ‘13) continue to make music together with their band Quiet in the Land. They played at the MEDA banquet in March and will soon record a full-length follow-up to their current CD, Songs to Set These Hills on Fire. They hope to perform in the Kitchener area throughout the summer. quietintheland.bandcamp.com 
 
Rebecca Janzen (BA ‘07) received a PhD from the University of Toronto in 2013. Since then, she has been Assistant Professor of Spanish at Bluffton University. She is celebrating the publication of her first book, The National Body in Mexican Literature: Collective Challenges to Biopolitical Control. Rebecca also looks forward to giving the C. Henry Smith Peace Lectures at Bluffton University and Goshen College in the upcoming academic year. 
 
Life has been busy for Isaac (BMATH ‘99)and Maria (BA ‘02) Andrusiak Morland. They welcomed their 4th child, Elena Lucrezia Marianna on October 21 2012, born at home. She joins Ilya, Nikai, and Katya in a full house! Isaac continues his dedicated work at UW in the Computer Science Computing Facility. Maria has expanded her doula business to a full service Birth, Breastfeeding and Babies support venture called The Birthing Space. Feel free to contact Maria and Isaac “and join us at our messy, bustling house with the open door policy.” andrusiakmorland@gmail.com thebirthingspace.ca
 
After 28 years of life in the USA, Voluntary Service in Mississippi, studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, serving as a pastor in Hesston, Kansas and Bluffton, Ohio, Louise Wideman (BA ‘85) moved to back to Ontario in September to begin serving as lead pastor at Vineland United Mennonite Church. She is grateful to live in close proximity of Canadian family and friends again.
 
Some Grebel grads have been ordained recently: 
Ben Cassels, (MTS ‘14) ordained Mar. 1/15, Waterloo North Mennonite Church
Tanya Dyck-Steinmann, (BA ‘95, MTS ‘02) ordained Apr. 12/15, East Zorra Mennonite Church
Steve Brnjas, (MTS ‘11) ordained Feb. 8/15, Zion Mennonite Church
Sean East, (MTS ‘14) ordained Sept. 28/14, West Hills Mennonite Church
Kara Carter (BA ‘08) ordained Apr. 12/15, Wellesley Mennonite Church
Sarah Freeman (BA ‘04, MTS ‘08) ordained Apr. 26/15, Elmira Mennonite Church
 
Alex Driedger (BES ‘13) was recently featured in the KW Record, as the lead author on a comprehensive assessment of the plastics problem in the Great Lakes. Alex is a MSc student in the Ecohydrology Research Group at the University of Waterloo. 
 
Gordon Campbell (BA ‘67) gave the opening address to King Richard III’s reinterment in Leicester, UK on March 26. The Guardian wrote, “The opening address was not by a priest but by a historian, Prof Gordon Campbell, whose academic distinction and butterscotch voice have won him the title of public orator of the University of Leicester. ‘Now we must return his bones to the earth,’ he said. ‘We have assembled today in a spirit of reconciliation, not to argue whether Richard was a good king, or even a good man.’” Last year, Gord spoke at Grebel’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Service. Hear him at youtube.com/ConradGrebelUC
 
Ben Scott (MASC ‘14) was named a CTV Kitchener Local Hero this year. As a young Waterloo engineering student, he travelled to Myanmar to help design a major complex for a school and orphanage. As a Grebel Alumnus and former don, Ben is certainly living out Grebel values as he works to “design a world of hope for those in need.”
 
Jill Trenholm (BA ‘06) completed her PhD thesis in International Health at Uppsala University in Sweden on the topic of war rape in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The thesis is titled “Women Survivors, Lost Children and Traumatized Masculinities.” She credits her years at Grebel doing a PACS diploma for shaping her choice of thesis topic.
 
Richard Krause (BMATH ‘74) - Diane Krause (BA ‘74) called to tell of us Richard’s passing on Oct 29, 2014 from pancreatic cancer. He was still employed at Federated Cooperatives as Director of Energy Systems. He was a Math grad from UW and lived at Grebel starting in 1970. He met his wife Diane Orr who was admitted to Grebel in September of 1971 by Dr Fretz who ‘had a bed available.”
 
Louise Miller passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at the age of 86, surrounded by family. She is survived by husband and retired Grebel Professor John Miller who lovingly cared for her throughout her ordeals with Parkinson’s and cancer. 
 
Dorothy Isaac (BA ‘86) has returned to Grebel, replacing Rosella Leis as Accounting Assistant. A Grebel alum and now a Grebel parent, Dorothy has strong experience and training in bookkeeping. Among her other past experiences, Dorothy once worked for The Network for Conflict Resolution which was housed at Grebel in the 90’s, she has been an active member of Hamilton Mennonite Church and she served several years on the Board of MCC Ontario. 
 
Grebel celebrated milestone years of service anniversaries this spring. Director of Operations, Paul Penner notes how fortunate Grebel is to have such dedicated and long-serving staff and faculty. Pam Bartel has worked in student services for 5 years, Claudia Van Decker, Marianne Mellinger, and Pam Renaud have been on staff for 10 years, Marlene Epp marks 15 years as faculty, Carol Lichti has been at Grebel for 20 years, and Cheri Otterbein (above) has worked in the kitchen as Food Services Manager for 25 years. Congratulations!
 
Mary Brubaker-Zehr (BA ‘85) has been recommended by the Board of Governors to serve another 4-year term at Conrad Grebel in her role as Director of Student Services. Mary was commended on many fronts, including a gift of leadership that allows for both relating to students well and overseeing and managing student life and for her unflagging passion and devotion to her work that is contagious. 
 
Amanda Kind (BA ‘06) is the Artistic Director for KW Glee. This youth pop choir took home multiple awards including the honour of Grand Champions at Show Choir Nationals this April.
 
Meaghan McCracken (BA ‘14) has spent the last year volunteering in a music librarianship role with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. In a recent UWaterloo article, Meaghan said that “volunteering with the symphony has made me feel more confident in having some sort of path and plan, and it’s really solidified what I enjoy and now I know that this is something I want to be a part of. This role has been a great solution for helping me navigate the next steps after graduating.” 
 
Kathryn Ladano (BA ’99) completed a Master’s degree in bass clarinet performance at the University of Calgary and is currently working on her PhD at York University. She has released a solo CD (with a duo CD on the way) and continues to perform regularly as a freelance musician on bass clarinet. She is also teaching two improvisation courses at Laurier and was recently appointed Artistic Director of new music presenter/producer, NUMUS.
 
Katie Honek (BA ‘12) is currently working at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto as an Apprentice Stage Manager. This past summer she held a similar position with the Stratford Festival. Katie has settled in Toronto and is enjoying all the big city has to offer, at least as much as her busy work schedule allows. Jane Honek (BA ‘14), Katie’s sister, is also in Toronto, working as the Assistant Stage Manager for U of T’s production of the HMS Pinafore. Interestingly the show is conducted by Sandra (Boldt) Horst, a Greblite from the mid-80’s. Paul Penner (BA ‘83) met up with Katie at one of her shows. 
 
Mary Catherine McNinch-Pazzano (BA ‘10) joined with Mike Grace to give a jazz Noon Hour Concert at Grebel this winter. Mary-Catherine has been described as a rising star of the Canadian music scene and she loves exploring the endless repertoire of the Great American Songbook, and making the sublime lyrics her own with a nostalgic, yet modern, flair. A firm believer in spreading the “jazz gospel,” Mary-Catherine uses her qualifications as an Ontario Certified Teacher to teach children and adults out of her private voice studio. She also teaches jazz workshops and school jazz programs in local high schools.

Reunions

We love it when you come visit us at Grebel, but several times a year we organize local alumni reunions in various cities. This winter we stopped in Leamington, Ottawa, and participated in an “Across the Creek” event - a Raptors game in Toronto. It was wonderful visiting with all who came out! If you want to organize an alumni event in your city, let us know!

Leamington Grebel Gathering

Ottawa Grebel Gathering
Grebel Alumni Toronto Raptors game
 
Blue Jays logoJoin us for an “Across the Creek” Blue Jays game 
on July 19, 2015 at 1pm!
contact Alison at aenns@uwaterloo.ca 
519-885-0220 x24217

70s era talent show

‘70s Era Reunion

Do you remember senior residents Vic and Marilyn Winter? Do you know who “Radar” is? Do you remember when Len Enns started teaching at Grebel? Even if you don’t remember the details about the ‘70s at Grebel, plan to come back!
Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm
John E. Toews Atrium at Conrad Grebel University College
Hot hor d’oeuvres, beverages, and cash bar 
Entertainment by the Rouge River Connection:
a fine folk band including alumni Cate Falconer (‘83), 
Andrew Reesor-McDowell (‘76), Steve McDowell (‘82) and others. 
Register online or contact Alison 
at aenns@uwaterloo.ca 519-885-0220 x24217
$25 registration
Check out the UW Reunion website for other reunions and activities on campus. 
 
Grebel Quilt
 
 

Grebel Now is published two times a year by Conrad Grebel University College. 

Send all comments, submissions & ideas to: grebel@uwaterloo.ca 
 
EditorJennifer Konkle
DesignerJennifer Konkle
AdvisorFred W. Martin
ContributorsSusan Schultz Huxman, Fred W. Martin, Alicia Batten, Jennifer Konkle, Trevor Bechtel, Danielle Bennett, Martin Edmonds, Paul Heidebrecht, Emily Hunsberger, Rachel Reist, Nathan Henderson, Will Turman, 
Marianne Mellinger, Adam Benninger, Marina Gallagher, Stephen Jones, Mimi Hollinger-Janzen, Alison Enns
PhotographyJennifer Konkle, Fred W. Martin, Danielle Bennett, Pepo Segura, Gerald King, Rosella Leis, Nick V., Andy M. Kin, Jonathan Bielaski
 
Copyright © 2015 Conrad Grebel University College. All rights reserved. Permission should be received before reprinting excerpts longer than 200 words. Available online. Printed in Canada.
 
Moving? Send your new address to Alison Enns
Conrad Grebel University College 
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6
519-885-0220 x24217