Category: events (Page 1 of 2)

God’s salvation at Portage and Main

I’m uncomfortable with salvation. Not because it’s a bad concept. I’m uncomfortable because it’s at the root of Christian faith, but I don’t know how to talk about it. Salvation feels abstract and distant a lot of the time. I can say that it has something to do with sin, and something to do with Jesus, but then I get stuck. 

Photo: The presentation of Jesus in the Temple, by Lawrence OP

Photo: The presentation of Jesus in the Temple, by Lawrence OP

I learned early during my time at CMU that you need to define your terms before having a conversation. This is why I have such a hard time talking about salvation: I don’t know how to define or explain it.

Is God’s salvation in the birth of Christ?

In Jesus’ death?

Is it in the continual saving works of God?

As I muse over these questions, I’ve settled into the idea that salvation is acknowledging the presence and work of God in the world. A lot of my discomfort with salvation is when it’s simply equated with accepting Jesus into your heart and going to heaven when you die. There is more going on than that. When Simeon sees salvation in the temple (Luke 2), there is something tangible and active. 

Seeing salvation acknowledges the presence of God in the world and trusts that God’s work of redemption is in progress. Simeon’s song looks at God’s mission of salvation for the whole world. Through healing of body, soul, and relationship, God invites us to see salvation in the midst of the broken world.

A few weeks ago, I was at the protest in support of Standing Rock in downtown Winnipeg. A group of students biked there together, meeting professors and others there. We began by standing alongside the road, calling, “Water is life!” Eventually the intersection was closed off, and we walked into the middle of the road at rush hour. The intersection was dark, the sounds of the street were distant, and there was a sense of communal adrenaline. It was here that I prayed for God’s salvation.

CMU students at Portage and Main

CMU students at Portage and Main

Although this was a hopeful event, I was struck by the brokenness of the world. Despite the energy and passion, when I was standing in the dead intersection, it felt hopeless. Any effort that we tried would be shut down, and the powers of the world were winning.

Here I prayed that Jesus would come and set things right, mending the effects of sin on our tired bodies and aching souls. I prayed for light and peace and hope. Wondering what would happen next, I realized that I was standing at the corner because I have seen God’s salvation.

I believe that God has, and continues to, redeem and heal the world. If we believe that, we must join in with God and show that we have seen God’s salvation in Christ. As the people of God, we are to join in God’s mission of redeeming the world, whether that’s in the middle of an intersection, at the lunch table, or in the classroom.

Photo: Bjorklund Jakob

Photo: Bjorklund Jakob

This moment, standing in the middle of Portage and Main, has become my image for Advent this year.

Waiting expectantly for something to change.

Waiting for the birth of the one who is light.

Waiting for the end of suffering and injustice.

Waiting for the in-breaking of love.

But while I wait, I remember that Christ is alive,

Our salvation is here,

The light has come.

We wait expectantly for Jesus, who invites us to see the world in a new way. At the same time, we remember God’s faithfulness and proclaim God’s mercy, for we have seen the salvation of God!

Laura

Christmas at CMU

"Grandpa Dietrich" (

“Grandpa Dietrich” (Associate Professor of Music) animates Christmas stories during Christmas at CMU

I have always loved Christmas. There is something mysterious and magical that comes along with it. The radio stations start playing O Holy Night and Christmas movies such as Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life are playing. Some of my favourite Christmas memories include cherishing a warm drink by the fire with a good friend, driving around on a sunny day as fluffy white snow falls from the sky, and of course family dinners that are always a tiny bit awkward.

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Father Christmas visits CMU

Coming to CMU and leaving my hometown in Ontario, I was nervous that I would lose many of the traditions that brought me so such joy during the Christmas season. However, as we neared Christmas there were many decorations surrounding our north campus (otherwise known as “the castle”). Overnight, everything had become festive: the beauty was overwhelming and it felt as though the castle had been transformed into Santa’s home. It doesn’t get much more magical than that, folks! The joyful and welcoming atmosphere that I had missed so much from home was sparked once again and my excitement could not be contained.

My friends informed me about Christmas at CMU, an event where friends and family gather to spend time in community, enjoying cookies and apple cider while listening to AMAZING musical compositions. I couldn’t wait to listen to the beautiful voices and instruments that the CMU choir, guitar ensemble, and many others were going to perform.

On the day of Christmas at CMU, the sun was shining and I knew it was going to be a great day. As my friends and I walked into the building, we were filled with Christmas cheer and felt a wave of relief from school stress and assignments. In this moment, the only thing I needed to worry about was getting my apple cider and enjoying some beautiful music.

Since my first Christmas at CMU, it has become an annual tradition and continues to be a great memory. It is something that I look forward to every year as a magical, joyful, and welcoming experience.

Emilie

Christmas at CMU is this Saturday at 2:00 and 7:00 PM. Join us!

Imagine Yourself on Campus: why visit?

When I was in the process of trying to decide where I wanted to go to university, a huge part of my decision was going and visiting the schools that I was considering. Being able to see a university gave me a sense of what it was like to be a student there. When I came to visit CMU, I knew that I could picture myself here.

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Four good reasons to come visit campus:

  1. Picture yourself there: It is really important to be a student in a place where you feel comfortable and where you can picture yourself, whether you are a commuter or living on campus. At CMU, campus visit days give you the opportunity to eat in the cafeteria, see a dorm room, and hang out in Marpeck Commons. These are the main places where students spend their time, and it’s a great opportunity to see if you can picture yourself there too.
  1. Learn about programs: When I was in the process of applying for universities and thinking about what I wanted to study, I only really knew about the programs that I had friends in or heard stories about. Coming to campus can give you an introduction to the wide range of courses that are offered and the different degrees, majors, and concentrations available at CMU.
  1. Meet professors and students: Going to visit a university means getting to see more than the building and hearing about the programs; it’s also an opportunity to interact with people you could potentially be spending a lot of time with. I always love hearing about the things my professors and fellow students care about. Coming to campus can be a chance to hear students talk about what they love to study. You’ll realize that the professors love what they teach and care about their students.
  1. Ask questions and get answers: When I feel overwhelmed by decisions or a lot of new information, I often don’t know where to begin asking questions because there are so many. What kinds of dorm rooms are there? What kind of food is in the cafeteria? What is an interdisciplinary degree? Do you have to be Mennonite? Why would I choose a small university? A campus visit day is an opportunity for you to be guided through the campus and have the space to ask questions, hear others’ questions, and get answers right away.

Even though there is a lot to take in, seeing the campus and meeting people is a good place to start thinking about university. Our next campus visit days are Friday, November 4 and 25. We have an open house on October 21. You can find more details here.

Laura

10-13-2015 Campus Visit Day

How a campus visit day changed my life

Choosing to go to university is one very big decision. Choosing which university is another. I like to tell people that I chose CMU because of the Great Hall and I’ve always wanted to go to Hogwarts. There is some truth to that, but the real story is a little less easy to explain in a single sentence.

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MWW comeuppance

Another opening, another show

CMU’s Music department is one of its strongest faculties, and even if you’re not in it, you can tell. Music permeates CMU culture. The university’s choirs, which are open to students of all programs, are always full. The weekly recitals given by students taking independent applied music studies, say in voice or piano or saxophone, are always well attended by students of every bent. We sing in Chapel, we sing at Wednesday Night Worship, our student body comprises dozens of independent little bands and singer-songwriter acts that play regular gigs both locally and inter-provincially.

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