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Swiss forgive, don’t forget

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Christoph Neuhaus, left, Bern canton’s state councillor and director of church affairs, and Lukas Amstutz, the Swiss Mennonite Conference co-president, plant a linden tree as a symbol of reconciliation on April 20 at Église évangélique mennonite Tavannes. (Photo by Raphaël Burkhalter)

It took about 490 years for government officials in Bern, Switzerland, to ask for forgiveness for persecution of Anabaptists in the region. It took less than two to get a response from Swiss Mennonites.

Watch: Mailboxes and church membership

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Kyle Penner explores his church's approach to membership requirements for volunteer involvement during a presentation at Canadian Mennonite University this past May. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

What do you do when (1) your church has a rule that people need to be members in order to volunteer in leadership positions, (2) you have an increasing number of people attending your church, (3) these new people aren’t interested in becoming members, but (4) they are still committed to the church and want to get involved?

Mennonite and Reformed representatives seek a common witness

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From left: John D. Roth, César García, Thomas Yoder Neufeld and Reformed Pastor Peter Detwiller cross the Limmat River in Zurich to visit Reformed and Anabaptist sites. (Photo by J. Nelson Kraybill)

“Reformed and Anabaptist are branches from the same tree,” said Hanspeter Jecker, a Mennonite theologian from Switzerland. “Anabaptist convictions that once were controversial—such as the voluntary nature of church membership and rejection of capital punishment—are now accepted by many Christian groups.

Symposium explores how to preserve Anabaptist history

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Francois Tshidimu of the Democratic Republic of Congo addresses the Anabaptist history symposium while Anicka Fast of Canada translates. (Photo by Laura Miller)

Bock Ki Kim of South Korea (left), Abe Dueck of Canada and Pamela Sari of Indonesia share ideas for the group statement regarding the preservation of Anabaptist history. (Photo by Laura Miller)

More than 30 people from 12 countries gathered at Goshen College on June 17-19 to talk about gathering and preserving the sources that are crucial to the history of the global Anabaptist-Mennonite church.

Spirituality and aging seminar nurtures courage and resilience

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Participants in the Spirituality and Aging retreat at Conrad Grebel University College choose a pearl at the end of the event, to represent spiritual resources that bring courage and resilience on the journey of aging. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

“Old age is not for sissies,” quipped Celia McBride, one of six presenters at the annual Aging and Spirituality Seminar sponsored by the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and hosted by Conrad Grebel University College on June 13-14.

Watch: Conrad Grebel’s viral video

The University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)

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Over the last two years, Conrad Grebel University College’s YouTube channel has become a go-to source for quality gamelan videos. 

This moderate internet fame is spurred on by one performance in particular—a piece called "Hujan Mas" performed by the University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan at their end-of-term concert in March 2017.

Watch it now:

MCC Saskatchewan hosts successful relief sale and auction

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A shopper admires the wares of Irene Harms at the artisan market, new to this year’s MCC Saskatchewan Relief Sale and Auction. (Photos by Donna Schulz)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Saskatchewan hosted its 49th annual relief sale and auction at Saskatoon’s Prairieland Park on June 7 and 8. An estimated 750 people took in a supper and concert with Saskatoon bluegrass band, Corner Grass on June 7, while about 2,500 people attended the sale the following day.

The first signs of promise

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Francesco Zuba, coordinator of the Association for Assistance to Orphan Children, stands in front of the damaged preschool in the Munhava neighbourhood of Beira, Mozambique. (Photo by Paul Shetler Fast)

Two broken chalkboards thrown by the 190-kilometre-per-hour winds of Cyclone Idai bake in the sun on what remains of the crumpled tin roof of one neighbourhood’s only preschool.

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