Menno Office — A Welcoming Space for U of M Students
Winnipeg, Mb – After two years of online learning during the COVID pandemic, Andrew Enns is finally experiencing in-person learning on the University of Manitoba campus.
Enns, a third-year student in the agriculture program, is now making new friends and reconnecting with former friends and acquaintances at Menno Office.
Menno Office, a U of M campus ministry supported by Inter-Mennonite Chaplaincy Association (IMCA), is a place where students find peer support, guidance and pastoral care in a welcoming Christian atmosphere.
“What I really like is the community life, it is a community I feel part of,” Enns said at IMCA’s annual meeting November 23.
Pre-COVID, Menno Office and other campus ministries operated out of a space on the lower level of the University Centre. During the pandemic restrictions, Chaplain Mark von Kampen connected with Enns and other students virtually through the E-Menno Office and other online platforms. One of the structured activities that continued during the health restrictions was “Menno Talk”, a weekly faith-based discussion addressing everyday topics of interests and concerns to the students.
When in-person classes resumed in the spring of 2022, Menno Office and other campus ministries set up their offices on the fifth floor of the University Centre. Menno Office is in room 524, a room that has a large window and is more spacious than the room previously assigned to Menno Office on the lower level of the University Centre.
“I love the space—it is a very open space, a welcoming space, said Enns.
In his report at the AGM meeting von Kampen said Menno Office draws local students as well as those from as far as Asia, Africa and Latin America.
“It is with great joy and gratitude that we are once again gathering in person,” said von Kampen. “As was the case before the restrictions, much of what takes place in the office is unstructured. Even during the unstructured times, faith-based conversations or singing happen spontaneously in the office.”
IMCA is supported by Menno Office alumni, individuals, church congregations and three Mennonite church conferences—EMMC, EMC and Mennonite Church Manitoba.
Mark your calendars for a Valentine theme fund-raising coffee house that will take place in the Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship Church, 150 Bayridge Avenue in Winnipeg, February 4, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Highlights include musical groups and a Charcuterie hosted by Doris Penner’s catering services from Landmark, MB.
To learn more about Menno Office please visit our website mennooffice.ca.
This article was originally published in The Recorder Vol 59 No 6