Historical Commission approves internships, research grants


Program details to be announced in fall

Connie Faber, with Historical Commission press release

The Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission approved the development of two new grant programs at its annual meeting June 8-9 in Fresno, Calif. The new programs include an undergraduate internship and providing stipends for research on subjects related to MB women.

“The two grants have been approved in principle, but still need to be fleshed out—dates, applications, detailed criteria, etc.” says Andrew Dyck, Historical Commission executive secretary, in an email interview. “More details will hopefully be announced in fall and will be disseminated widely once they are firmed up.”

Participants in the student internship program will spend a week at each of the four Centers for MB Studies in North America: Fresno, Calif., Hillsboro, Kan., Winnipeg, Man., and Abbotsford, BC. Among other things, the students will become acquainted with the archives and will use social media and other media to communicate their discoveries.

“The inspiration for the student grant came from the City of Winnipeg’s archives, which has an artist-in-residence program,” says Dyck. The funds for this program will come directly from the Historical Commission.

Encouraging research on Mennonite Brethren women was prompted by a donor gift and from the commission’s review of current writing about women and men.

“This Historical Commission began toying with these ideas at our 2011 annual meeting, but it took some homework, research and planning during this past year by several commission members to come to the point we’re now at,” says Dyck.

A new executive secretary will finalize the two grant programs. Dyck recently tendered his resignation due to his appointment as assistant professor of ministry studies at Canadian Mennonite University. MB Biblical Seminary Canada and the MB Church of Manitoba are jointly funding the new position.

Since its formation in 1969, the commission has helped coordinate the collection, preservation and cataloging of Mennonite Brethren conference archival records, in cooperation with a network of MB archival centers.
Recently, the commission has been working to develop digital resource to help make the collections more widely accessible. This includes online versions of MB history books which can soon be accessed at www.mbhistory.org, as well as contributions to the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO). They continue to review manuscripts for possible publications and to produce the quarterly Profiles series distributed to local congregations and online.

USMB and the Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC) elect commission members. Current USMB representatives are Peter Klassen and Valerie Rempel, both of Fresno, Calif., and Don Isaac, Hillsboro, Kan. CCMBC representatives include Abe Dueck, Winnipeg, Man.; Ben Stobbe, Victoria, BC; and Dora Dueck, Winnipeg, Man.

Center representatives are Kevin Enns-Rempel, Fresno; Peggy Goertzen, Hillsboro; Jon Isaak, Winnipeg; and Richard Thiessen, Abbotsford.

For more information on the two grant opportunities, readers are invited to contact Dyck at adyck@mbconf.ca or 604-852-5752. Dyck will continue working with the commission through July.


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