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B.C.’s wildfires affect large region

The sun sets in Oliver, B.C., against a hazy sky during the first week in August 2017. Smoke from fires in B.C.’s interior spread throughout the province this summer. (Photo by John Dawson)

Web First | By Amy Dueckman | Aug 15, 2017

Haze lingered over a wide area of British Columbia in early August, a reminder that wildfires in B.C.’s interior were affecting residents several hundred kilometres away. An air quality advisory index was issued in Metro Vancouver on July 31, 2017, and 10 days later was still in effect, the longest ever recorded.

Review: Mennonite-Nazi connection unconvincing

Web First | By Barb Draper | Aug 15, 2017 | 3 comments

Ben Goossen argues that German-speaking Mennonites of the 20th century had a sense of Mennonite nationality and that this concept of Mennonites as a “chosen nation,” a people with a distinctive heritage, culture and ethnicity, was influenced by the racist ideas of the Nazis. He says he began this study in an effort to understand his grandfather, a retired Mennonite minister from Kansas, who was devoted to the church but who also identified himself as a “proud Prussian.”

Committee invites input for Resonate music project

Web First | Aug 11, 2017

The Mennonite Worship and Song Committee in inviting congregations and individuals to give input toward a new hymnal scheduled for release in 2020.

“We want to hear what is giving life to worship across the denomination,” said Bradley Kauffman, project director. “It is essential to hear from these voices – people whose investment will deeply inform our work toward a successful collection.”

A witness for nonviolence from Nigeria

Rev. Daniel U. Mbaya (centre) was the first candidate to successfully complete research in the doctoral program of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey. (Photo by Michel Grandjean)

Web First | Aug 11, 2017 | 1 comment

A doctoral thesis focusing on the nonviolent witness of a peace church in Nigeria was recently completed at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The candidate, Rev. Daniel Y. Mbaya, who is general secretary of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, or EYN), defended his thesis on the witness of nonviolence of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

Obituary: ‘Dan has left us’

Web First | By Donita Wiebe-Neufeld | Aug 02, 2017 | 2 comments

The four short words of this obituary’s title, sent to Mennonite Church Alberta’s area church minister Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, heralded a large impact for the province’s churchgoers, for the Jack family, and for the many friends of Dan and Marguerite Jack.

Jack, the moderator of MC Alberta, died peacefully on July 17 after a medical emergency precipitated by a 15-year struggle with Crohn’s disease.

MC USA acknowledges ‘suffering’ of Jews, Palestinians

Web First | Jul 15, 2017

Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando earlier this month adopted a resolution entitled “Seeking peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution addresses the injustices of military occupation as well as the suffering caused by antisemitism.

The resolution notes that “the suffering of [Palestinians and Jews] has too often been set against the other. We recognize, rather, that the legacy of Jewish suffering is intertwined with the suffering of Palestinians.”

A man worthy of his calling

Darrell W. Fast

Web First | By Ross W. Muir | Jul 15, 2017

Darrell W. Fast, born in Mountain Lake, Minn., passed away at the Leamington (Ont.) Mennonite Home, leaving Loretta Fast, his wife, his children Douglas (Michelle) Fast and Larissa Fast, two grandchildren, and many friends, relatives and former colleagues to mourn his passing.

After graduating from Mennonite Biblical Seminary (now Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary), Elkhart, Ind., in 1966, he began a life of service to the church on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border for the next 40 years.

MWC says farewell to a faithful servant

Glenn Fretz is pictured with the initial planning map and some of the hallway signage he designed for Assembly 16 in Harrisburg, Pa., in 2015. (Photo by Byron Rempel-Burkholder)

Web First | By Karla Braun | Jul 15, 2017

You may not have heard of one of the longest-serving workers for Mennonite World Conference (MWC) who is retiring this year, but many will be familiar with his work.

Glenn Fretz was at the beginning of his career as a designer when Paul Kraybill, a former MWC general secretary, contacted the resident of Waterloo, Ont., to do all the design work related to Assembly 10 in 1978. He designed the publications in multiple languages, created signage that features pictorial symbols to communicate across cultures without using words, and he created the organization’s logo.

Walking together for peace in Colombia

Colombians gather to demand peace in October 2016 after a plebiscite to ratify the peace agreement between the government and the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, was narrowly defeated. MCC partners organized ecumenical services for peace and participated in marches in Bogotá. The group in front holds a sign that says (in Spanish): ‘They kill the walker, but not the path. What are the paths of liberation today?’ (MCC photo by Anna Vogt)

Web First | By Rachel Bergen | Jul 15, 2017

Months after a peace accord was signed between the government and the country’s largest rebel group, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partners in Colombia are walking with people affected by more than 50 years of violence.

Canada 150: Facing the long divide

Image courtesy of www.pixabay.com. CCO Public Domain. 

Web First | By Deborah Froese | Jun 30, 2017 | 1 comment

On July 1, 1867, the concerted efforts of 36 male, ethnic-European politicians came to fruition, and the Dominion of Canada was born. At the time, they celebrated, and for more than a century, Canadians continued to commemorate that day.

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