“Cords of Distinction” Ceremony 2012

& 2012 Commencement, Commencement, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

The Cords of Distinction award honors the efforts of graduating students who have made outstanding contributions to the university, community or society.

The Blue cord represents strength of conviction that one person can help to create a better institution; also willingness and openness to share thoughts and ideas.

The Gold cord represents love of spirit and yearning towards creating a better university community in which all can take part; gold is also the color of achievement.

This years recipients of the Cords of Distinction are:

-Benjamin Bailey, major in Peacebuilding & Development, and Biblical Studies, from Simsbury, Conn.

-Brendon Derstine, major in History and Social Science, Secondary Education Licensure, from Harleysville, Pa.

-Grace Engle, major in Social Work, from Wauseon, Ohio. (in absencia)

-Brandon Habron, major in Liberal Arts, from Fredricksburg, Va.

-Katie Jantzen, major in Environmental Sustainability, from Plymouth, Nebr.

-Clothilda Johnson, major in Nursing, from Banjul, The Gambia.

-Katie Landis, major in Photography, Digital Media, from Lancaster, Pa.

-Rebekah Maldonado-Nofzger, major in Nursing, from Pettisville, Oh.

-Michelle Ramirez, major in Social Work, from Harrisonburg, Va.

-Andy Richter, major in Business Administration, from Perkasie, Pa.

2012 Seminary Commencement

& 2012 Commencement, Commencement, Faculty/Staff Speakers, Seminary.

Eastern Mennonite Seminary celebrates the 63nd Annual Commencement with an address by Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Garrett, Adjunct professor, United Methodist Studies at EMS, titled, “Lessons from Grandpa, Dad, and other Theologians.”

2012 Nurses’ Pinning

& 2012 Commencement, Commencement, Faculty/Staff Speakers, Student Speakers.

The Spring semester nursing graduates celebrate the completion of their Nursing degrees in this traditional pinning ceremony.  Laura Yoder delivers the “Message to the Graduates.”

2012 Seminary Baccalaureate

& 2012 Commencement, Commencement.

Eastern Mennonite Seminary’s 2012 Baccalaureate service includes reflections on the seminary experience by some of the graduates, as well as a presentation of the Senior Class gift and a prayer of dedication.

Cross-cultural Chapel: Middle East

& Cross-Cultural Groups, Student Speakers, University Chapels.

The returning Spring 2012 Middle East Cross-cultural group shares reflections and adventures from their experiences in the Middle East this semester.

Cross-cultural Chapel: Guatemala & Mexico

& Cross-Cultural Groups, Student Speakers, University Chapels.

The returning Spring 2012 Guatemala Cross-cultural group shares reflections and adventures from their experiences in Guatemala and Mexico this semester.

“#Occupy Empire Closing Reflections” – Jennifer Davis-Sensenig, Phil Kniss

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

In this Closing Worship Service of the #Occupy Empire Conference, members of the Listening Committee offer their reflections of what they heard during conference sessions and through informal conversations with conference participants.

Jennifer Davis Sensenig
serves as the lead pastor of Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Phil Kniss serves as lead pastor of Park View Mennonite Church, also in Harrisonburg.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session V: “Anabaptist Witness in the Empire II” – Matthew Krabill, David Stutzman, Josh Brockway, Nathan Hershberger

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Session V is a series of three Lectures (Note: David Stutzman’s presence in the first lecture is via Skype)

Matthew Krabill and David Stutzman present on “Empire: The Mission Frontier of the Church.”  Matthew Krabill currently lives in Pasadena, CA, and is a doctoral candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary where enjoys studying immigration, global Christianity and Anabaptist theology.  David Stutzman works and lives in Los Angeles and is finishing up his MA in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and his wife, Rebekka, serve in youth ministry at Maranatha Christian Fellowship, Northridge, CA.  Along with their newborn son, Immanuel, they hope to return to Europe one day (where Rebekka is from) to promote church renewal and mission. Matthew and David are both graduates of Eastern Mennonite University.

Josh Brockway presents on, “Tactical Asceticism: Transformation in the Fissures of Empire.” Josh is the Director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren, located in Elgin, Illinois.  Josh is also a doctoral candidate in Church History at the Catholic University of America.  His research focuses on the ascetic movements of the 5th and 6th centuries.  He is the current Book Review Editor and Blog Editor for Brethren Life and Thought.

Nathan Hershberger presents on “Power, Authority, and Renewal: The Concern Movement, Paul Peachey, and the Fragmented Institutionalization of Mennonite Life.” Nathan is a senior History and Philosophy/Theology major at Eastern Mennonite University.  He was born in Managua, Nicaragua and grew up in Harrisonburg, Va.  He is married to Kaitlin Heatwole.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session IV: “Anabaptist Witness in the Empire I” – Janna Hunter-Bowman, Mark Thiessen Nation

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Janna Hunter-Bowman offers a lecture, “Embodied Discourse as Truth Claims and Behavior Change: A Constructive Alternative to Human Rights,”  followed by a response by Mark Thiessen Nation.  Janna Hunter-Bowman is pursuing a Ph.D. in peace studies and theology from the University of Notre Dame.  She earned an M.A. degree in peace studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary while teaching as an adjunct peace studies professor at Goshen College, her alma mater.  As a senior program officer for Justapaz, a Mennonite NGO in Bogota, Colombia, Janna developed and directed a national program monitoring political violence and peacebuilding.  She also led and translated for fact-finding missions, authored in-depth investigative reports on the effects fo U.S. plicy and published numerous book chapters and popular journal articles.  She served overseas through Mennonite Central Committee.  Janna also led policy advocacy efforts for Witness for Peace.  Her research interests–including rights talk, embodied ethics, and peacebuilding–are informed by her experience.

Mark Thiessen Nation is professor of  theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.  Prior to coming to EMS, Mark was the director of the London Mennonite Centre and previously led an ecumenical peace and justice organization in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  One of the world-s leading scholars and interpreters of John Howard Yoder, Mark is also completing work on a forthcoming book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, contesting the common assertion that Bonhoeffer was involved in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Mark holds a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session III: “Alternatives to Empire” – Paulette Moore, Bethany Tobin, JR Rozko

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Session II is a series of three Lectures:

Paulette Moore and friends from the local “Occupy” movement present on “Occupy Harrisonburg and the Local Church.”  Paulette is a filmmaker, educator, journalist, and activist.  Through her work with established and emerging media she explores how art, power, conflict, and justice inspire, inform, and transform.  Moore is Associate Professor of the Practice of Media Arts and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.  She holds an MA in trauma healing from EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and is pursuing a PHD in Media and Communication through European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland.  Moore is a founding member of Occupy Harrisonburg and runs the group’s social media.

Bethany Tobin presents on, “Art in a Trinitarian World: Kenosis and Generativity.” Bethany is a visual artist who grew up in Thailand where her family helped plant a church.  She received a BFA in painting and drawing from James Madison University in 2006 and an MTS in theology and art from Duke Divinity School in 2009.  Her work revels in text and Asian patterns as it seeks to explore Christian symbols that are Asian.  Pervading her work is the sense that the universe is charged with the generous pleasure of God.  Bethany and her husband Stephen Horst and daughter Anjali live in Harrisonburg, where they are still learning how to live missionally.

JR Rozko presents on “The Role of Seminaries in Subverting Empire: Toward a Missional Vision of Theological Formation.” JR and his family are part of Life on teh Vine, a (covertly Anabaptist!) church community in the NW suburbs of Chicago.  JR is part of a DMiss cohort focused on Anabaptist Perspectives in Missional Ecclesiology through Fuller Theological Seminary, and serves as the Director of Operations and Advancement for the Missio Alliance, a new initiative of and for theological practitioners.  JR blogs at lifeasmission.com and contributes to resources and initiatives relevant to theological education through thefutureoftheologicaleducation.com

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”