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Global Anabaptist family celebrates the Holy Spirit

Kenyan children perform a poem, with song and dance at Renewal 2027 at Kisumu, Kenya. The Mennonite World Conference event focused on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. (Photo by Len Rempel)

At Renewal 2027 at Kisumu, Kenya, Oscar Suárez addresses the assembly in Spanish, with the help of translator Riki Neufeld. (Photo by Len Rempel)

Members of the global Anabaptist family gathered for songs, testimonies and biblical reflection as they celebrated the Holy Spirit at Mennonite World Conference’s Renewal 2027. (Photo by Len Rempel)

Eighteen Masai women from a Mennonite fellowship slept the night on the grounds to attend the event and perform a traditional dance. (Photo by Len Rempel)

As a local band played “You are the most high God,” international guests from the global Anabaptist family swayed and sang at this year’s Renewal 2027, “The Holy Spirit transforming us.” They met at Nyamasaria Primary School’s auditorium in Kisumu, Kenya, and headquarters of Kenya Mennonite Church (KMC).

A-ha moments in the Holy Land

MCC Canada board member David Chow grew up believing that the current state of Israel is a continuation of the biblical people of Israel, and that building up the state of Israel is a sign that Jesus is returning. Chow visited the West Bank with other members of MCC’s board in September and October of 2016. The learning tour shifted his perspective on the region and what the kingdom of God looks like. (MCC photo)

Daoud Nassar is a farmer living in the West Bank who is committed to nonviolence. Nassar lives at the Tent of Nations, a farm and educational centre near Bethlehem, where his family has lived for more than 100 years. The farm is surrounded by five Israeli settlements collectively called Gush Etzion. In 1991, the Israeli government declared the Nassar’s farm to be state land, and there were plans to expand the settlements onto the Nassars’ property. The family hired a lawyer and took the case to court. It is still unresolved. The family opened the Tent of Nations on their land in 2000, hosting international guests to work on their farm and to learn more about their life in Palestine. (MCC photo)

David Chow recalls sitting in Sunday school as a child and learning about what the nation of Israel meant for Christians in a traditional Christian Missionary Alliance congregation in Calgary, Alberta. 

Chow grew up believing that the current state of Israel is a continuation of the biblical people of Israel, and that building up the state of Israel is a sign that Jesus is returning.

Willard Metzger to complete term with MC Canada

Willard Metzger has served as executive director of Mennonite Church Canada since 2010. He will be completing his service at the end of 2018. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

After careful consideration and prayer during meetings in Toronto on May 5 and 6, the Joint Council of Mennonite Church Canada discerned with executive director Willard Metzger that it was the time to seek new leadership for the nationwide church. The Joint Council has appointed a search committee, chaired by Geraldine Balzer, to determine leadership needs and to find Metzger’s successor.

Nepal church celebrates growth

Pastor Bhagan Chaunde reads Scripture at the Surunga Church inauguration service before the ribbon cutting. (Photo by Henk Stenvers)

At the inauguration service, the youth group of Surunga BIC Church led the worshippers in singing and praising God. (Photo by Henk Stenvers)

In 2000, the Brethren in Christ (BIC) church board of Nepal sent Bhagan Chaunde to Surunga, Jhapa, Nepal, to plant churches. The passionate evangelist shared the gospel and planted a church. Starting with one new believer, Surunga Church has grown to 120 baptized members and has planted three daughter congregations with 40–50 baptized members each. 

New Centre for Resilience open for business at CMU

The ceremonial ribbon cutting at the April 13, 2018, grand opening of the Centre for Resilience at CMU. From left to right: Heather Stephanson, Manitoba’s minister of justice and attorney general; Cheryl Pauls, CMU’s president; Ian Wishart, Manitoba’s education and training minister; Doug Eyonlfson, MP for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley; and James Magnus-Johnston, director of the Centre for Resilience. (Canadian Mennonite University photo)

Faculty, students and staff celebrated the grand opening of the $1.7-million Centre for Resilience (CFR)—a co-working lab that will incubate and nurture social enterprises—on April 13, 2018. 

AMBS and Grebel to offer sequential degree for pastoral formation

Allan Rudy-Froese, AMBS Associate Professor of Christian Proclamation, leads an orientation session for incoming students in the Chapel of the Sermon on the Mount in August 2017. (AMBS photo)

In North American Mennonite theological education, a regional focus is emerging, as students prefer to access seminary education closer to home. Uprooting families and finding employment for a spouse in another country have become increasingly difficult. 

Displaced Somalis receive school kits, comforters

Fatumo, left, and Sahro, right, (last names are not used for security reasons) are just a few of the children who received MCC school kits at a distribution in Kismayo, Somalia. Lutheran World Federation, an MCC partner, provided the school kits to displaced and refugee children who are returning home to Somalia. (Photo courtesy of Lutheran World Federation)

Students at Wamo Primary School in Kismayo, Somolia, show school supplies they received as part of MCC school kits distributed by Lutheran World Federation. The students are returning home to Somalia with their families as the Daadab camp in Kenya is being closed. (Photo courtesy of Lutheran World Federation)

Many Somali refugee families returning home after years in refugee camps lack basic items, like blankets and school supplies.

In the summer of 2017, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) shipped 10,120 school kits and 2,930 comforters to Somalia, which were distributed by Lutheran World Federation (LWF), an MCC partner, at five schools in Kismayo, the capital of Jubaland State.

Mennonites join in Kinder Morgan pipeline protest

Steve Heinrichs, Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations coordinator, is pictured while being arrested on criminal and civil charges for contempt of the order and injunction by the B.C. Supreme Court during a protest of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline by religious leaders in Burnaby, B.C., on April 20, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Osborne)

Three Mennonites were among the faith leaders who blockaded the entrance to Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C. for several hours on April 20, protesting the planned expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline system.

A tale of two hills outside Lalibela

Berzegin Yimam stands in front of the protected hill outside of Lalibela, Ethiopia. She is a member of the local committee responsible for protecting the hillside. Since restoring the hillside, the community has seen many benefits, including more reliable water springs and new plants that can be used to make organic pesticide. (Photo by Stefan Epp-Koop)

Two hills, sitting side by side in a valley outside of Lalibela, Ethiopia, have a story to tell.

One hill is brown, its vegetation stripped away by livestock and deforestation. Deep gullies are carved through the hillside, where the unprotected soil was washed away by the rain. Trees have disappeared, cut down for firewood.

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