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Canada not accountable for mining injustices

At the site of the Philippines' contested TVI Pacific mine, owned by a Canadian company. (Photo: KAIROS)

Web First | By From a recent newsletter | Nov 23, 2010

KAIROS is deeply disappointed by the defeat of Bill C-300 at its third reading in the House of Commons, according its recent newsletterThe private member’s bill, which would have created new mechanisms to hold Canadian mining, oil and gas companies accountable when they are found to be complicit in human rights and environmental violations abroad, was narrowly defeated by a vote of 140 to 134.

Showalter resigns as missions president

Richard Showalter

Web First | By Staff report | Nov 23, 2010

Richard Showalter has resigned as president of Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM), effective in the fall of 2011. EMM Board Chair Joe Sherer says “Richard has been a strong and visionary leader with a passion to see the gospel go to areas without a Christian witness.”

International greeting of peace at Remembrance Day service

Ying Ying Wang from China and Santiago Gomez of Colombia at the Remembrance Day service. (Photo courtesy Terry Pugh, Clark's Crossing Gazette)

Web First | By By MCC staff | Nov 23, 2010

Two participants in MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program stood before a crowd of 600 people

New teaching resources for Old Colony teachers in Bolivia

Jacob Friesen is one of the first teachers to use a new teaching resource published by MCC Bolivia.

Web First | By By Gladys Terichow | Nov 23, 2010

Students attending one-room village schools in this Mennonite colony 60 kilometres south of Santa Cruz use slates instead of notebooks.

Instruction is in German and the main study materials are a Bible written in Gothic script, Gesangbuch (hymnal) the Fibel (primer or reader) and Catechism (basic church doctrines). Girls usually receive six years of formal education and boys go to school for seven years.

Pope says some condom use 'first step' of morality

Reuters – Pope Benedict XVI waves at the end of the Consistory ceremony in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

Web First | By By NICOLE WINFIELD and FRANCES D'EMILIO | Nov 23, 2010

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has opened the door on the previously taboo subject of condoms as a way to fight HIV, saying male prostitutes who use condoms may be beginning to act responsibly. It's a stunning comment for a pontiff who has blamed condoms for making the AIDS crisis worse.

Literary legend raises funds with book launch

Rudy Wiebe signs copies of Collected Stories/1955-2010 at a Nov. 10 book launch.

Web First | By By Donita Wiebe-Neufeld | Nov 23, 2010

Canadian literary legend, Rudy Wiebe and his wife Tena, have supported the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers since it began in the 1980s. “Refugees have always been of particular concern to me, because in 1930, before I was born, Canada accepted my parents and their five children as refugees from the Soviet Union.” Wiebe said.

Africans accepting of other faiths

Dr. Luis Lugo

Web First | By Karl Juhlke | Nov 19, 2010

A vast majority of Africans are very accepting of people from other faiths, Dr. Luis Lugo of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, told the first forum sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace at Conrad Grebel University College.

Consultation Affirms Role of Sunday School

MPN’S Sunday school curriculum, currently includes tips for teachers and a downloadable Power Point presentation about how to use the curriculum.

Web First | By John Longhurst | Nov 19, 2010

What will Sunday school look like in the future for Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada congregations? That was the question addressed at a consultation organized by Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN) earlier this month.

The consultation, held Nov. 1-3 at Amigo Centre, Sturgis, MI, brought together Christian education leaders and thinkers throughout MC USA and MC Canada.

During the three-day event, participants agreed that Sunday school still has a future—but some changes need to be made.

Longhurst leaves MPN for Canadian Foodgrains Bank

John Longhurst

Web First | By Emily Cain, Communications Officer | Nov 19, 2010

John Longhurst, of Winnipeg, has been appointed director of resources and public engagement with

'Holy mischief in an age of fast faith'

Web First | By By John Longhurst | Nov 17, 2010

Geez! Has it been five years already?

It was 2005 when Aiden Enns launched Geez, a self-described “cheeky” magazine for the “over-churched, out-churched, un-churched and maybe even the un-churchable.”

Back then, Enns’ goal was to counter the rise of the religious right by creating alternative Christian messages, to protest the “unholy alliance between church, state, market and military,” and celebrate the “spiritual dimensions of biking, energy efficiency and canning pickles.”

Looking back, he believes Geez has met those goals.

Help for Indonesia volcano/flood victims

Pak Samuel lost his wife, who was seven months pregnant, his small son and daughter in the flash flooding that crashed through the village of Rado in Papua, Indonesia. He is sitting on the rocks where his home used to stand. (MCC photo by Paulus Hortono)

Web First | By Linda Espenshade, MCC news coordinator | Nov 15, 2010

In Java, Indonesia, palm trees fold like umbrellas under the weight of volcanic ash spewing from Mount Merapi. On the outskirts of this black and white world, more than 380,000 people are waiting to see if anything is left of their homes and their livelihoods when the volcano finally stops erupting.

EMS offers new online communication course

The newest distance learning course offered at Eastern Mennonite Seminary will help students integrate faith perspectives into communication theory while sharpening their skills in this arena.

Web First | By by Laura Lehman Amstutz | Nov 10, 2010

“We are most like God because of our ability to communicate,”

Taiwan leaders do 'wishing tree' for mission renewal

Elder Xiao Hui-Ying of the Zhong-He Mennonite Church in Taipei, sticks a fruit on the wishing tree.

Web First | By From reports by Sheldon Sawatzky | Nov 09, 2010

At their annual assembly held in Taipei Oct. 31-Nov. 3, pastors and delegates from Taiwan’s 21 Mennonite churches

Shortage of volunteers ends MCC relief sale in Winnipeg after 16 years

Web First | By Gladys Terichow | Nov 08, 2010

Faced with a shortage of volunteers willing to fill leadership positions, the committee that organizes the popular and successful Winnipeg MCC Festival and Relief Sale has dissolved.

Each year in June, the sale brought together about 3,000 people and contributed close to $100,000 for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) programs.

Warkentin named executive director of MC Manitoba

Ken Warkentin

Web First | By MC Manitoba news release | Nov 08, 2010

Ken Warkentin, pastor of the Niverville Community Fellowship, has been named the new executive director

Anabaptists inspired by Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization

Yemiru Tilahun (far right), of Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos Church, with two leaders of Ethiopian evangelicals, the Emmanuel United Church of Ethiopia, Samson Mariam (left), Emmanuel vice-president and Bezalem Fisseha (centre), president, who were mentored by Meserete Kristos leaders.

Web First | By Byron Rempel-Burkholder | Nov 02, 2010

At least 30 mission and church leaders represented Anabaptist-related communities at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization here, October 17 to 24. The gathering, which attracted 4,000 mission leaders, pastors, and academics from 198 countries, grew out of the “Lausanne Movement” that followed the first congress in Switzerland, in1974.

According to Richard Showalter, chair of Mennonite World Conference’s Mission Commission, organizers billed the event as possibly the “most representative event in church history,” and the “first event of its kind in the digital age.”

MSCU top 50 'best employers'

Web First | By News release | Oct 28, 2010

Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) has been named among the Top 50 Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada for the second consecutive year, moving to 19th from our debut at 47th last year. The 2011 list will be published in the Nov. 8, 2010 issue of Maclean’s magazine, available on newsstands Oct. 28th.

Conrad Grebel University College Establishes Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace

Nathan Funk, associate professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, is the centre's lead researcher.

Web First | By Susan Fish | Oct 26, 2010

Conrad Grebel University College has just established The Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace (CSRP) to "advance knowledge and awareness of religious contributions to peace, and to enhance the capacity of religious communities to engage contemporary conflict issues and practice the peaceful values they profess.”

Autumn church cleanup turns tragic

Leonard Gerbrandt

Web First | By MAX Canada | Oct 26, 2010

Assisting with autumn cleanup and yard maintenance at one's church is a common activity for many MAX members. On Oct. 16, this annual activity turned tragic for Leonard Gerbrandt, 69, a long term, faithful member of  the Ottawa Mennonite Church, Ottawa, Ontario. Leonard fell from a  ladder while trimming a tree during the congregation's fall cleanup day, suffering a serious head injury from which he never regained consciousness.

Central American women theologians consider role of women

Followup included preparation of a study book, the initiation of a world day of prayer for Latin American Anabaptist women, and the declaration of a decade to work to change situations of family violence and the devaluing of leadership of women in the churches.

Web First | By Byron Rempel-Burkholder from reports by Sandra Campos and Olga Piedrasanta | Oct 26, 2010

A sense of solidarity and fellowship took a leap forward September 6 to 8, at the third

Sara Wenger Shenk inaugurated as seminary president

Wenger-Shenk invites the congregation to declare with her, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” --Photo by J. Tyler Klassen

Web First | By Mary E. Klassen | Oct 25, 2010

 “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb,”

Peace is more than protest, says Buhler

Jake Buhler shares a message of peace on a highway billboard near Osler, Saskatchewan. Photo by Rod Andrews, Saskatchewan Valley News

Web First | By by Karin Fehderau | Oct 25, 2010

Jake Buhler is a man with a different pair of glasses. They reflect a steely determination to pursue peace and help others do the same.

 “Peace is the lens through which we see everything,” he says.

With that lens, he notices things that others may not. It colors his whole worldview. And it helps him see the world with different eyes.

By nature a quiet man, Buhler looks for opportunities at every turn and on every level to live out his convictions as a peace activist.

Public Safety minister's refugee parents came to Canada just before doors shut

Vic Toews

Web First | By Bruce Cheadle | Oct 22, 2010 | 1 comment

There's a global recession and Canada's economy is not immune.

Shiploads of strange, foreign refugees — economic migrants and oppressed minorities — have been landing on our shores, fleeing civil war, economic upheaval and famine.

No one is certain how they can be assimilated and there are concerns about criminals, subversives and agitators in their midst.

Canadians feeling ‘blindsided’ in MPN/Third Way media merger

Ron Rempel (left) converses with Sheri Hartzler, Third Way Media, Joan Pries, one of three Canadian board members of MPN and Phil Bontrager, chair of MPN's board. --photo by Dick Benner

Web First | By Dick Benner, editor/publisher | Oct 22, 2010 | 1 comment

Coming down off the mountaintop of excitement about a proposed merger

Meat canning 'won't work'

MCC canners are (left to right) Aaron Ressler, Jeffrey Durksen, Ryun Lawrence and George Wieler, Jr. -MCC photo by Brenda Burkholder

Web First | By By Ed Nyce | Oct 20, 2010

In 1997, when Martin Rahn heard that volunteers in an Ontario town were making plans to host a portable meat canner, his first thought was: “I need to stop this.”

Rahn, a food processing specialist for Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), was sure it would never work. Well-meaning volunteers packing meat with insufficient knowledge of detailed governmental safety laws – this was bad news.