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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.

MCC’s children magazine a treasure in Bolivian home

The Neufeld children in Swift Current colony in Boliva reading Das Blatt für Kinder und Jugend, a magazine for children and youth. --MCC photo by Silas Crews

Web First | By by Gladys Terichow | Oct 14, 2010

Eleven-year old Franz Neufeld tries to hold back his tears as he talks about a Bible story that his mother reads to him and his siblings.

It is the story of Joseph, who is favoured by his father, sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers and reunited with his father, brothers and their families when the brothers came to Egypt to buy grain.

“Joseph must have been very lonely,” said Franz, the eldest of seven children living with their parents Sara and Heinrich Neufeld in this Mennonite colony 50 kilometres south of Santa Cruz.

More prisons won’t improve public safety: MCC

Web First | By Gladys Terichow, writer | Oct 14, 2010 | 1 comment

 Spending billions on more prisons in Canada won’t create safer communities, says a spokesperson for Mennonite Central Committee.

To remember is to work for peace

Event is an invitation to harness our creativity to challenge the necessity of war.

Web First | By Angelika Dawson | Oct 14, 2010

“To Remember is to Work for Peace” is the theme for the annual Fraser Valley Arts and Peace Festival, which runs at various locations in Langley and Abbotsford from Nov. 7-13th. Its mission is to provide opportunities to celebrate, reflect and be a public witness for creativity, love of neighbour and nonviolent peacemaking.

War Resisters bill defeated

Web First | By Bits and Peaces | Oct 08, 2010

A private member's bill, which would have allowed U.S. conscientious objectors to the Iraq War to remain in Canada, was defeated on second reading in the House of Commons on Sept. 29.  In the final tally, 143 voted against the bill and 136 in favour. 

Peace buses roll through Saskatoon

Stephanie Epp poses in front of a “peace bus.”

Web First | By Deborah Froese | Oct 07, 2010

A grassroots response to Mennonite Church Canada’s Peace in the Public Square initiative is rolling through the streets of Saskatoon. 

Former MWC Executive dies in auto accident

Matiku Thomas Nyitambe during the MWC Executive Committee meetings, July 2009, in Asunción, Paraguay. (Photo by Merle Good)

Web First | By Byron Rempel-Burkholder | Oct 06, 2010

Matiku Thomas Nyitambe, a prominent leader in the Kanisa la Mennonite Tanzania (KMT), was killed in an automobile accident October 3, while driving from his native home of Kirongwe, Tanzania, near the Kenyan border. His wife Penina sustained relatively minor injuries and was released from hospital the next day.

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.

Goshen Bible prof Shenk dead at 91

Stanley C. Shenk

Web First | By Goshen College news release | Sep 09, 2010

Goshen College Professor Emeritus of Bible Stanley C. Shenk passed away on Thursday, Sept. 2 at the Greencroft Healthcare Center in Goshen. Shenk, 91, taught Bible at the college from 1965 to 1985.

War Resisters now 'criminally inadmissable' in Canada

Web First | By By Esther Epp-Tiessen | Sep 09, 2010

OTTAWA--Over the summer months, there have been several new developments for war resisters seeking permanent residency in Canada.

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