Divergent Voices of Canadian Mennonites

Credit: MAID CA MAO 1987-1 201


Phase I

In 1999 the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada approved a series of projects that would address research gaps in the history of Canadian Mennonites. Phase I concluded in 2005. The approved projects have included the following:

The Return of the Kanadier Mennonites Conference
  1. History of Aboriginal-Mennonite Relations (Conference held October 2000)
  2. The Return of the Kanadier Mennonites: A History of Accomplishments and Challenges (Conference held October 2002)
  3. Mennonite Hosts and Refugee Newcomers: 1979 – the Present (Conference to be held 30 September – 1 October 2005)
  4. Mennonite Women in Canada by Marlene Epp (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2008)

The permanent committee that has planned the projects was composed of: Leonard Doell, Marlene Epp, Laureen Harder, Walter Franz, Lucille Marr, Royden Loewen and Ken Reddig. Each project also involves committee representation from Mennonite Central Committee Canada staff persons.

Phase II

The second phase of DVCM began in 2006 and concluded in 2012. The approved projects for DVCM II included:

  1. War and the Conscientious Objector (Conference held October 2006)
  2. Mennonites, Family, and Sexuality in Historical Perspective (Conference held in October 2007)
  3. Mennonites and Money: Wealth and Poverty in the Past and Present (Conference held in October 2008)
  4. Mennonites, Melancholy and Mental Health: A History Conference (Conference held 14-16 October 2010)
  5. Mennonites and Human Rights (Conference held 18-20 October 2012)
Photo of Dirk Whillems from the poster of the Mennonites and Human Rights Conference

These projects were made possible through the generous financial assistance of Mennonite Central Committee Canada. The permanent DVCM committee for Phase II included: Lois Coleman-Neufeld, Leonard Doell, Marlene Epp, Lucille Marr, Royden Loewen (chair), Ken Reddig and Janis Thiessen.

Phase III

The third phase of DVCM began in 2013 and concluded in 2018. The approved projects for DVCM III include:

  1. Mennonite Central Committee in Canada: A History by Esther Epp-Tiessen (Winnipeg: CMU Press, 2013)
  2. MCC in Canada: A 50th Anniversary Conference (Conference held 13-14 December 2013)
  3. Ex-Mennonite / Near Mennonite: Liturgical, Non-denominational, Secular (Conference held 3-4 October 2014)
  4. Mennonites, Land and the Environment (Conference held 28-29 October 2016)
  5. A People of Diversity: Mennonites in Canada since 1970 (A 50th Anniversary Conference held 15-17 November 2018)
MCC in Canada: A 50th Anniversary Conference

The permanent DVCM committee for Phase III includes Royden Loewen, Marlene Epp, Lucille Marr, Leonard Doell, Laureen Harder-Gissing, Pamela Peters Pries, and Ken Reddig.

Phase IV

The fourth phase of DVCM began in 2019 and will go until 2024. So far the approved projects for DVCM IV include: 

  1. MCC at 100 (Conference held 30 September – 2 October 2021)
  2. Indigenous-Mennonite Encounters in Time and Place (Conference held 12-15 May 2022)
  3. Mennonites, Prisons, Law Enforcement, Justice (Conference 2024, in discussion) 

The permanent DVCM committee for Phase IV includes Ben Nobbs-Thiessen (chair), Brian Froese, Lucille Marr, Leonard Doell, Laureen Harder-Gissing, Ruth Plett, Jeremy Wiebe, and Bruce Guenther.