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CMU professor and student receive awards from Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission

CMU professor and student receive awards from Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission

Earlier this summer, the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Historical Commission awarded CMU professor Dr. Christine Longhurst and CMU student Marnie Klassen a grant and scholarship, respectively.

Longhurst, Assistant Professor of Music and Worship, received an MB Studies Project Grant for the second phase of her research project exploring how worship in Canadian MB churches has changed over the last 40 years, specifically focusing on worship music and the shift from a traditional to a more contemporary style.

This is the second time Longhurst has been presented with this award. She spent last year researching mainly in churches in southern Manitoba. This $1,300 grant will help cover some of the costs when she travels to churches in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia to continue her research.

"[I am] always grateful to receive the support of my denomination for the work I'm doing," Longhurst says. "It's very affirming."

Klassen, who is entering her fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Social Theology major), received a J.B. Toews college scholarship. She says she is grateful to the donors who make the $1,000 fund possible.

"Part of the application process for this scholarship involved narrating why the MB church matters and what its gifts are," she says. "This is an interesting task for me—I grew up in the MB church, but have meandered through a few denominations and am currently a member at a Mennonite [Church Canada] church. That said, my MB upbringing informs my care for community, the church, spirituality, and mission. It was a treat to have a space to narrate this influence and care..."

The MB Historical Commission chose the award recipients when it met in Fresno, California on June 7-8 for its annual general meeting. The Commission works with a network of four Mennonite Brethren archival centers: Center for MB Studies (Hillsboro, Kansas), Mennonite Library & Archives (Fresno, California), Mennonite Historical Society of BC (Abbotsford, BC), and Centre for MB Studies (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

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