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Henna, Coffee for Peace, cookies engage students


CMU student Katie Bashak was the first student to receive a henna from Mennonite Church Canada graphic designer, Megan Kamei.

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February 8, 2012
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Students at Canadian Mennonite University came out in strong numbers to sample Coffee for Peace, henna body art, and cookies on Feb. 7 – all supplied by Mennonite Church Canada.

The glass door that separates the CMU campus from the offices of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church Manitoba is nonetheless perceived as a barrier, students said. “We’re never sure if we are welcome there,” was a repeated refrain.

Most students were unaware that Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre offered students help as compliment to CMU’s extensive library resources. “I’ve been looking all over the city for this DVD!” exclaimed student Jami Reimer when she found the movie Mother Teresa at the resource table. The title can no longer be found in video rental stores.

Students also perused information on numerous international service opportunities available to them. Gordon Janzen oversees Mennonite Church Canada’s work in Asia and the Middle East, said, “We began a number of conversations with students at or near graduation, talked about their interests and gifts, and how these might fit with invitations we receive from international partners,” he said.

The Open House is an annual event, but in the past, invitations to visit the church offices did not attract strong student turnout – so staff went to the student side of the campus this year. Approximately 150 students engaged with the event in some way. Staff has challenged themselves to figure out how to reach more students on Mennonite school campuses across Canada.