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John H. Redekop and Ed Janzen, co-presidents of the Mennonite society, expressed excitement for this historic day. Redekop noted that Mennonites were once persecuted and beaten for their nonviolent resistance to war, but that they have made their way up in the world since then to be unsung heroes. He said the creation of a centre for Mennonite studies "was a hope and a dream" for him. Seeing it come to life is "more than [he] could have hoped for'Wayne Bremner, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee B.C., shared that "every day [he sees] the work of the Mennonite community through MCC," but usually their work goes unseen. Bremner said he welcomes the day that the Mennonite community can be recognized for its work.
Canadian Mennonite August 17, 2009 27 Centre for Mennonite studies established Historic agreement between university, Mennonite society Story and Photo by R achel Bergen special to Canadian Mennonite ABBotsForD, B.C. Signing the agreement to establish a centre for Mennonite studies at the University of the Fraser Valley are Ed Janzen, left, and John H. Redekop, T he University of the Fraser Valley and the Mennonite community made incredible strides on June 24 when the a major and a chair in Mennonite right, of the Mennonite Faith and Learning studies. Representatives from different Society, and university president Skip Bassford. university and the Mennonite Faith and Mennonite organizations spoke Learning Society announced their partner- of their optimism about the centre. is “more than [he] could have hoped for.” ship to establish a centre for Mennonite Erna Friesen, founding president of Wayne Bremner, executive director studies. The signing took place in an out- the Pacific Centre for Discipleship, com- of Mennonite Central Committee B.C., door ceremony on the university campus. mended the university for being “cognizant shared that “every day [he sees] the work The university will first offer a certificate of the components of the community,” in- of the Mennonite community through in Mennonite studies that can be com- cluding aboriginals and Indo-Canadians, MCC,” but usually their work goes unseen. pleted in a semester. Eventually, it hopes as well as Mennonites, who make up as Bremner said he welcomes the day that the to add more classes and opportunities for much as 25 percent of the community. Mennonite community can be recognized growth. “This will create a foundation on John H. Redekop and Ed Janzen, co-pres- for its work. which to develop more elaborate certificates idents of the Mennonite society, expressed Harry Heidebrecht of the Mennonite and minors,” said Eric Davis, the university’s excitement for this historic day. Redekop Historical Society quoted Proverbs 78:3- acting vice-president and provost. noted that Mennonites were once perse- 4: “What we have heard and known, we Davis went on to say that the classes of-
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