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From West Bengal to New York

Sumana Basumata is the fifth Mennonite World Conference intern to serve for a year in the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office. (MCC photo by Doug Hostetter)

Web First | By By Byron Rempel-Burkholder | Oct 05, 2010

Sumana Basumata dreams of working with an international organization that promotes peace education among children and youth. This year, she is taking a big step toward that goal by serving as the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) intern in the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United Nations Office, New York City.

Hailing from the small town of Alipurduar in India’s West Bengal region, she began her assignment in mid-August, following her orientation with MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP).

Let the barn-raising begin

Conrad Grebel University College president Henry Paetkau presented “Barn Raising,” a Peter Goetz print from the Grebel collection, to David Johnston as a farewell gift on behalf of the uWaterloo University Colleges. Johnston is Canada's new Governor-General. Photo by David Perrin

Web First | By Greg Mercer | Oct 04, 2010

David Johnston began his first day on the job as Governor General by telling Canada about Mennonites, Blackberrys and the students that marked his time back in Waterloo Region.

In a speech in the Senate chambers before an enthusiastic crowd of former prime ministers, Supreme Court judges, cabinet ministers and lieutenant governors, the former University of Waterloo president said he accepted his new duties with joy.

Support grows for sand dams

MCC engineeer Jon Viducich kneels in front of a vegetable garden watered by a sand dam constructed by the Christian Council of Mozambique in Phiri-meque, Tete province, Mozambique. The garden was cultivated using conservation agriculture principles. The final stages of the sand dam were completed in

Web First | By By Tim Shenk | Oct 01, 2010 | 2 comments

In Mozambique, the use of sand dam technology, introduced by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), is spreading across the country, increasing people’s access to water and catching the interest of government officials.

Sand dams help maintain a local water source in hot, dry regions, even during the dry season, which can last from March to November. Without local water, many people have to walk long distances and dig into streambeds to fetch water for their families and livestock.

Publishing/Third Way merge

Ron Rempel, who retires next summer as executive director of MPN after seven years, eliminated a legacy debt of almost $5 million; created a major new Sunday school curriculum, called Gather ‘Round; and brought costs under control through consolidation and downsizing.

Web First | By By John Longhurst | Sep 24, 2010 | 1 comment

Dynamic, innovative, fully-integrated and multi-media—that’s the goal of a new organization to be formed out of an integration of Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN), the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, and Third Way Media, a department of Mennonite Mission Network.

Prayers for peace in Africa

During “21 days of Peace Activism” Africa Youth Ministries in northern Uganda invited 900 churches to pray, sing, march, and debate together for peace.

Web First | By World Council of Churches release | Sep 22, 2010

 “We pray for Africa, especially for Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where violence and suffering are a tragic reality,” was the prayer from Nairobi at an International Day of Prayer for Peace event sponsored by the All-Africa Conference of Churches.

In Jos, Nigeria, prayers for peace included Muslims and Christians praying together in the wake of community and church burnings, looting and killings.

Still Speedy after all these years

Phil Helmuth, executive director of development at EMU, accepts the keys and title to Margaret Martin Gehman's 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Photo by Jim Bishop

Web First | By By Jim Bishop | Sep 20, 2010

At age 88, Margaret Martin Gehman of Harrisonburg has lost a little of her trademark drive, largely because she has parted company with a faithful friend.

Dr. Gehman and her trusty, albeit a bit rusty, mechanical steed, a blue 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, are almost synonymous to many observers. For years she motored the streets of the greater Harrisonburg area even though she preferred walking to as many destinations as possible. She has been a
resident of Park Place at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community since
2005.

Lao Canadian Evangelical Mennonite to dedicate new facility

Chinda Kommala, pastor of the Lao Canadian Evangelical Mennonite, shows members of the Mennonite Men (now Joint Hands) the new worship centre in Toronto toward which the MM donated $40,000. The presentation was made at a “Join Hands” luncheon meeting held at Assembly this summer in Calgary.

Web First | By Dick Benner | Sep 15, 2010 | 1 comment

When Chinda Kommala opens the doors next Sunday, Sept. 26, to a newly-renovated 2,000-square foot worship centre, known as Unit 23 in the 70-unit commercial/professional mall on the corner of Westin and Finch, it will be a celebration of mammoth proportions, but not without struggle.

MCC sending $700,000 to Pakistan

A father and his ill son consult with a Church World Service (CWS) health team worker in Pakistan. Donations to MCC will help support CWS’ Pakistan flood response. (Photo courtesy Chris Herlinger/CWS)

Web First | By By Gladys Terichow | Sep 14, 2010

Following weeks of disruptions, loss and trauma, people in flood-stricken areas of Pakistan are facing enormous challenges as they struggle to rebuild their lives.

“How does a family regain its footing after it loses everything?” asked Donna Fernades and Chris Herlinger, writers for Church World Service (CWS) in a recent report.

Bolivian Mennonites launch addiction/abuse centre

Klaus Rempel represents a seven-member planning committee to develop a 20-bed rehabilitation centre.

Web First | By by Gladys Terichow | Sep 09, 2010

As the criminal investigation continues into allegations of gang rape in some Mennonite colonies in Bolivia, many local congregations see a need to reach out to people dealing with addictions, sexual abuse and violence against women.

A shelter for women opened in April, 2010 and 7.5 hectares of land is being purchased for a rehabilitation centre that will offer addiction treatment programs for men seeking freedom from alcohol and drug addictions. Both facilities are located near Pailon, 60 kilometres east of Santa Cruz.

U.S. churches asked to reach out to Muslims

Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Centre near Gainesville, Fl, has backed down from his plan to burn 200 Qurans on Saturday, Sept. 11, claiming he has worked out a deal with Muslims in New York City to move the proposed mosque to be built near Ground Zero.

Web First | By Open pastoral letter from Mennonite Central Committee U.S. | Sep 09, 2010 | 1 comment

In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, many members of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ congregations reached out to Muslims in their communities to support and encourage them. In the face of ever-increasing anti-Islam sentiment, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. urges congregations to redouble those efforts.

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