50+ Years of Service: A Look Back at CommonWord and How It Got Here

2024, 11 pp
2024 marks a significant milestone in CommonWord’s history – it was 50 years ago, in 1974, that the Conference of Mennonites in Canada (CMC) hired its first Resource Centre staff person. The resourcing and publication history of the conference predates this, but the vision for a Centre took form at this time. The bookstore portion of its history also predates 1974 as the predecessor colleges had textbook services for their students but in the earliest years, it mainly served as a function of the colleges.

With this essay, we recognize 50+ years of service!

Dan Dyck, Mennonite Church Canada staff writer, took up the invitation to write what we discovered to be a complex and fascinating history. The intersections between college and church resourcing are many, just as Canadian Mennonite Bible College and CMC were once closely embedded. It seems natural, given the history, that CommonWord would eventually emerge as a joint effort of church and university.

Many people were interviewed as Dan and Arlyn worked at piecing this puzzle together. Even though not all questions were answered, we're grateful that this short history of an important church and university service has been gathered. Special mention goes to Dave Bergen whose earlier research helped shape the project; Gerald Gerbrandt who was engaged throughout the process; to Harry Huebner who helped connect us with Marg Franz, an important long-time staff person; and to Conrad Stoesz who assisted us in the Archives.
CollectionMC Canada Formation

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