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UMEI launches renewal campaign

Pictured with UMEI’s Project Renew sign are, from left to right: principal Sonya Bedal, board chair Steve Enns and board secretary Carolyn Warkentin. (Photo by Megan Snippe)

The sanctuary of North Leamington United Mennonite Church was packed on March 9 as supporters of UMEI Christian High School gathered for a special meeting.

The UMEI board had been facing difficult numbers for several years, and it was time to face the question: “When is it time to say that it’s no longer sustainable to keep the school open?”

Indigenous relations work revamped and reduced

In this 2018 photo, Lorne Brandt (right), then chair of Mennonite Church B.C.’s Service, Peace and Justice Committee, presents Steve Heinrichs with a vest and moccasins made by Cree craftspeople. The governing body of Mennonite Church Canada has ended the full-time Indigenous-Settler Relations position that Heinrichs held for the last decade. (Photo by Henry Krause/Canadian Mennonite files)

The governing body of Mennonite Church Canada has decided to end the full-time Indigenous-Settler Relations (ISR) position held by Steve Heinrichs and replace it with a new half-time position.

Heinrichs’s 10-plus notable years with MC Canada are over.

Music comes alive through synesthesia, art

CMU student Anna Schwartz, left, stands with visual artist and piano instructor Shirley Elias in front of one of the artworks that make up ‘Spectrum – The Colour of Music; Precision and Impression.’ (CMU photo)

Imagine if you could see sound. When Anna Schwartz listens to music, she not only hears the different instruments, keys and dynamics—she sees them. That’s because she has synesthesia, a neurological condition in which information entering a person’s brain stimulates multiple senses at once.

The land speaks

Elaine Enns and David Neufeld examine a bison rubbing stone at the Coalmine Ravine region in September 2021. (Photo courtesy of Randy Klassen)

“We hope that people, landowners especially, will talk about what’s on their land, who occupied the land and who occupies it now,” says Harry Lafond, a Muskeg Lake Cree First Nation elder. “The land holds everyone’s history and everyone’s story. We, all of us, need to be responsible custodians of the story. We need to talk about these issues.

MCC partners in India support migrant workers

Santosh Birhor works on his kitchen garden tomato plants. Through the support of CASA, an MCC partner, he has been able to drastically increase his yields and plant more diverse crops. (Photo courtesy of CASA)

When thinking about migration, it is easy to focus just on resettling refugees fleeing conflict or disaster. But the work Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) does with migrants isn’t just about resettling those on the move. Hundreds of millions of people are migrant workers, seeking higher-paying jobs far away from their families and homes.

MCC partners in Ukraine work to meet physical and spiritual needs

MCC staff member Anna, centre, with her family and members of the local Evangelical Baptist church in western Ukraine that has converted their building into a refugee shelter with support from MCC for those fleeing the conflict. (Photo courtesy of MCC)

​​Children recover and rest on the mattresses and blankets assembled by an Evangelical Baptist church in the Lviv area for refugees fleeing the conflict. The work of this church has been supported by MCC. (Photo courtesy of MCC)

In the silence that lived between the deadly warnings of air raid sirens, the sound of a small choir, singing a song of praise, echoed out of a church sanctuary in western Ukraine. Just the night before, Anna, administrative coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ukraine, had absent-mindedly hummed a few bars of the song during an evening tea break at the church.

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