Historical Commission awards grants

Two project grants, two publication grants and scholarship distributed

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Members of the MB Historical Commission at the hybrid meeting on June 23–24, 2023. Top row (l to r): Richard Thiessen (Abbotsford), Kevin Enns-Rempel (Fresno), Karla Braun (Winnipeg), Jon Isaak (Winnipeg, executive secretary), and Chris Koop (St. Catharines, vice-chairperson); middle row: Don Isaac (Hillsboro, chairperson), Valerie Rempel (Fresno, recording secretary), and Peggy Goertzen (Hillsboro); and bottom row: Hannah Keeney (Fresno) and Benny Leung (Calgary).

The MB Historical Commission awarded two research grants and two publication grants and heard updates from the four archives in the Historical Commission network at its annual meeting June 23-24 in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

An Alfred Neufeld $2,000 global church history grant was awarded to Stephen Kapinde, a professor at Pwani University in Kifili, Kenya. His project explores the key actors and stakeholders in the Kenyan Mennonite peacebuilding story. The project title is “Mission as Transformation: A Theo-Historical Reflection of the Mennonite Development and Peacebuilding Mission in Kenya, 1960-2010.”

An MB studies $2,500 project grant went to Jeremy Rich, a professor at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His project probes the impacts of agricultural development initiated by Mennonite missionaries in the 20th century. The project title is “Congolese Perspectives on Mennonite Brethren Missionary Development, 1960-1990.”

The first publication grant—a $2,000 MB studies grant—went to Canadian Mennonite University Press to help with the production costs of a forthcoming publication. The CMU Press book features a collection of academic essays by field-defining author, Hildi Froese Tiessen, professor emerita, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario. The title is “On Mennonite/s Writing: Selected Essays by Hildi Froese Tiessen,” edited by Robert Zacharias.

The second publication grant—a $2,000 Katie Funk Wiebe women’s studies grant—also went to CMU Press to help with the production costs of another forthcoming publication. This CMU Press book features a collection of poetry from award-winning Mennonite poet, Sarah Klassen. The title is “Sarah Klassen: New and Selected Poems,” edited by Nathan Dueck.

The Commission also awarded a $750 J.B. Toews college scholarship to Olivia Chittick of Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C.

The Commission invites manuscript proposals or project grant applications for 2024 and are specifically interested in projects that mark the upcoming 500th anniversary of the start of the Anabaptist movement in 1525.

Since its formation in 1969, the Commission has helped coordinate the collection, preservation, and interpretation of MB archival records (congregational meeting minutes, conference proceedings, personal papers, periodicals, publications, and photographs) that form and inform MB theology and history.

The Commission works with a network of four archival centers: Center for MB Studies, Hillsboro, Kansas; Mennonite Library & Archives, Fresno, California; Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, Abbotsford, B.C.; and Centre for MB Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

For more information, visit www.mbhistory.org.

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