2016-17 Events

For our upcoming 2016-17 academic school year, ACRS program planning committee anticipates another year of programs that will continue to stimulate and inform. Our goal is to present:

  • A series of stories on pivotal experiences which altered directions or generated significant change in the Mennonite Church.
  • Each story is told from the perspective of an individual whose vision and creativity provide a context for reflection.

When and where

ACRS breakfast regular gatherings occur the second Monday of each month from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. in the West Dining Room, Northlawn, EMU. Below are the upcoming dates for the 2016-17 academic year:

These are the fall and spring dates. Mark your calendars.

Mar 13, 2017

Speaker, Marcus Yoder, Ph.D., Executive Director, Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, Berlin, Ohio

Apr 10, 2017

Speakers, Elaine and Nathan Zook Barge, CUBA – after Fidel Alejandro Castro and Barack Hussein Obama?”

May 8, 2017

Annual Meeting Breakfast. More information & details to come later.

2016-2017 Breakfast Speakers You May Have Missed

You can always request a CD of a program you missed for $5 through Terry Burkhalter, click here –

Feb 13, 2017

Speaker, Shirley Showwalter with the title: Title: “Three Months by Lake Wobegon: Studying about and Experiencing Jubilee” Shirley H. Showalter, was a resident scholar at the Collegeville Institute last semester. Her project was “Jubilación: Vocation in the Third Act of Life.” She will describe the four surprises she encountered there. Shirley is the author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World (memoir) “One of the Best Spiritual Books of 2013”

Jan 9, 2017

Speaker, Dr. Mary Sprunger: Mary will reflect on the book (2016) she along with Mark Jantzen (Author, Editor) & John D. Thiesen (Editor) co-edited: European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity Over Five Centuries: Contributors, Detractors, and Adapters

Dr. Mary Sprunger, Professor of History at EMU, and co-editor of this collection of papers from a conference she helped to organize at Bethel College, will join ACRS on January 9. She will talk about the chapter she contributed, “A Mennonite Capitalist Ethic in the Dutch Golden Age: Weber Revisited,” and mention other highlights of the volume, which includes new material on Mennonites in Russia, Prussia and Nazi-occupied East Europe.

A reminder that copies of the book are available at cost ($20). Contact Mary Sprunger at or 540-236-8691.

Dec 12, 2016

Speaker, Jayne Docherty, Program Director, CJP – Center for Justice & Peacebuilding.
Theme: “Sixteen Years in the Valley: The Adventures of an OTM at EMU"* (*Other Than Mennonite)

What happens when the Catholic daughter of a career military officer is hired by a Mennonite university to fill the faculty position vacated by the revered founder of their peacebuilding program? Then, a month after she arrives, Al Qaeda attacks the United States setting the country on a course of permanent warfare. Professor Docherty, now the Academic Programs Director at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, will reflect on her sixteen years of cross-cultural encounter at EMU. How has she changed? How has the university changed? How has the world changed? And, what can we learn from her experiences as EMU embraces its second century as a Mennonite institution of higher education?

Nov 14, 2016

Speakers, Mark and Mary Hurst. Mark spoke on the theme: “Anabaptism And Politics In Australia”.

Since 1990, Mark and Mary have served as resource people and pastors in Australia with the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand. They seek to build Anabaptist networks, provide services to members of the association and others interested in Anabaptism, conduct workshops on conflict transformation, and provide Anabaptist resources.

Oct 10, 2016

Speaker, Dr. Frances Flannery on the topic ‘Apocalyptic Terrorism’ based on her recent book, Understanding Apocalyptic Terrorism: Countering the Radical Mindset.

Her recent publications include Understanding Apocalyptic Terrorism: Countering the Radical Mindset (Routledge, 2016) and a co-edited volume with Rodney Werline, The Bible In Political Debate: What Does It Really Say? (Bloomsbury, 2016).

Dr. Flannery, director, Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Terrorism and Peace (CISTP)Professor of Religion, Dept. of Philosophy and Religion James Madison University.

Sept 12, 2016

Speaker, Dr. Verne Schirch on the topic: European origins of a progressive Mennonite family, our ancestors who immigrated after 1850. Stories of Schürch, Stähli, Rich, Shelly, Gut and Brun families in Europe: How our ancestors became progressive Mennonites. Verne Schirch is a retired professor of biochemistry who spent 15 years at Bluffton University and 26 years at the Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University. Moved to Harrisonburg with his wife Carol in 2004.