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MCC calls for ‘big tent thinking’

Mary Anne Isaak prepares communion elements during the evening worship session at MCC Canada’s 2016 annual general meeting in late September 2016. (Photo by Rachel Bergen)

Web First | By Rachel Bergen | Nov 01, 2016 | 1 comment

Comparing Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to a big tent, Don Peters, the executive director of MCC Canada, described the organization as “the place where the Anabaptist community works and serves together,” at its annual general meeting in Winnipeg at the end of September 2016.

However, the question on many people’s minds has been, “Can supporters stay under the tent together?” In this metaphorical tent there are many people with different backgrounds, gifts, challenges and perspectives.

Huxman completes role at Grebel

Friends and colleagues of Susan Schultz Huxman paid tribute to her time as president of Conrad Grebel University College. Huxman (second from left) stands with the three board of governors chairs from her presidency: Geraldine Balzer, Susan Toews, and Fred Redekop. (Photo by Aurrey Drake)

Web First | By Fred Martin | Oct 31, 2016

On September 30, 2016, friends and colleagues of Susan Schultz Huxman paid tribute to her time as president of Conrad Grebel University College. She has accepted the presidency of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Va.

The appointment of Schultz Huxman at Conrad Grebel University College in 2011 represented the first time a second-generation family member served as president of a Mennonite college. Harold Schultz, Huxman’s father, served as president at Bethel College in Kansas for 20 years, 1971–1991. 

EVI announces workshop tour

More than 70 of those attending Mennonite Church Manitoba’s annual gathering in March 2016 participated in an interactive workshop presented by the Emerging Voices Initiative. Discussions explored Future Directions Task Force findings. The group will host further discussions about transition into a new church structure in workshops this fall. 

Web First | By Deborah Froese with files from Emerging Voices Initiative | Oct 31, 2016

Emerging Voices Initiative (EVI) is embarking on a fall 2016 workshop tour. This group of concerned young adults hopes to encourage further discussion about the process of transitioning into a new church structure in response to Future Directions Task Force findings. (See ‘We are all responsible for what happens next’ on the decision at Assembly 2016.)

Like a ‘biblical mustard seed’

Web First | By Victor Fast | Oct 29, 2016 | 2 comments

It all started simply enough. In January 1996, Clare Jantzi, worship leader at Valleyview Mennonite Church in London, invited three men from the congregation to sing an introit during four consecutive worship services.

Kuttab calls Mennonites to action for Middle East peace and justice

Jonathan Kuttab

Web First | Oct 19, 2016

On September 28, 2016, Palestinian Christian Jonathan Kuttab spoke to Mennonites gathered for lunch at the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario building in Kitchener, Ont.

Responding to the action Mennonite Church Canada delegates took to approve a resolution concerning Israel and Palestine, Kuttab affirmed the call to support the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement. He sees BDS as a way to “end the occupation and facilitate a just peace with the Palestinian people.” 

Devastation in Haiti: ‘Yesterday, we lost everything’

Sarditren Dete and Antovan Enit, residents of Cité Soleil, one of the poorest parts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, stand where their houses used to be. They were washed away by Hurricane Matthew along with their possessions, livestock and gardens. (MCC photo by Paul Shetler Fast)

Web First | Oct 12, 2016

When rushing water of the River Gris, overflowing with rain from Hurricane Matthew, washed away Sarditren Dete’s and Antovan Enit’s houses and possessions, it destroyed their livelihoods too.

“Yesterday we lost everything: our chickens, our pig and our garden. This is how I eat, this is how I feed my children, this is how I keep them safe at night,” Dete said.

‘It was a very sad day’

Hannah Redekop (Photo by Marian DeCouto)

Web First | By Hannah Redekop | Oct 11, 2016 | 1 comment

On Monday, September 26, 2016, I flew from Canada back to Colombia more excited than usual. After four years of negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia had finally reached a deal, which they would officially ratify that very day.

Peacebuilding with ordinary people

Julianne Funk is pictured in the hills above Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Photo courtesy of Curtis Funk)

Web First | By Henry Neufeld | Oct 04, 2016

Julianne Funk is a peacebuilder. In Bosnia, the northern region of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And at the University of Zurich, where she teaches religion as well as peace and conflict studies. Based in Zurich, she travels to Bosnia regularly.

A graduate of Wheaton (Ill.) College and the Katholieke Univeristat Leuven, Belgium, where she earned a doctorate, she became interested in the Bosnia-Herzegovina situation in the late 1990s while working at a Bosnian refugee resettlement program in Chicago. She was puzzled: How could religion be at the core of their violence?

Ted Giesbrecht wins local law association award

Ted Giesbrecht of the law firm Giesbrecht Griffin Funk & Irvine poses in his Kitchener, Ont., office with the Coulter A. Osborne Award, given by the Waterloo Region Law Association in April to lawyers who practise law ‘with integrity, courtesy and beneficence.’ (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Web First | By Dave Rogalsky | Oct 04, 2016

Ted Giesbrecht of the Kitchener, Ont., law firm Giesbrecht, Griffin, Funk and Irvine has been honoured by the Waterloo Region Law Association with the 2016 Coulter A. Osborne Award, given to lawyers who practise law “with integrity, courtesy and beneficence.”

There have been three time periods in Giesbrecht’s legal work.

In his younger years, he worked primarily in real estate and some criminal law. His work as a defence counsel allowed him to use “alternate dispute resolution,” diverting young offenders from jail into repayment of damages and community service.

‘10 Young Women Changing the World’ award recipients announced

Canadian winners of MEDA’s ‘10 Young Women Changing the World’ award (left to right): Leena Miller Cressman, Carissa Rempel, Salima Jaffer, Ishita Aggarwal (MEDA photos)

Web First | Oct 04, 2016

Over the last two years, the “20 under 35: Young professionals changing the world initiative” instituted by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) recognized 40 young professionals under the age of 35. To reflect the special 2016 MEDA convention theme—“Business as a calling: Women changing the world”—MEDA will recognize 10 exceptional young women who exude a strong commitment to faith values and service and embody an entrepreneurial spirit at the convention in San Antonio Tex., at the end of October 2016.

Among the recipients are four Canadians: