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Thousands vaccinated at Indonesian Anabaptists’ Holy Stadium

Mennonite World Conference’s Global Church Sharing Fund helps workers at Holy Stadium in Semarang, Indonesia, offer vaccines amid a COVID-19 infection wave. (MWC photo)

In multireligious Indonesia, many people have never been inside a church. The pandemic is changing that for residents of Semarang (population 1.8 million) and the surrounding area.

No religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines: MC Canada

‘There is nothing in the Bible, in our historic confessions of faith, in our theology or in our ecclesiology that justifies granting a religious exemption from vaccinations against COVID-19,’ Mennonite Church Canada leaders said this week. (Image by ronstik/Pixabay)

Mennonite Church Canada’s executive ministers released a statement earlier this week responding to inquiries from constituents regarding exemption from COVID-19 vaccines.

MC Canada issues National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statement

Previously known as Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 is an opportunity to remember the impacts of Canada’s 140 Indian Residential Schools. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

In advance of Canada’s first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation tomorrow (Sept. 30), Mennonite Church Canada is reminding the nationwide church about Mennonite involvement in Indian Residential Schools, and asking people to take steps toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

MCC releases research findings on historical entanglements with National Socialism

Benjamin Unruh (front row, third from left) stands with refugee representatives in Moelln, Germany, circa 1930. Unruh, a displaced Mennonite from the Soviet Union living in Germany and a committed Nazi, negotiated with the Nazi government on behalf of MCC regarding a debt the relief organization owed. (Mennonite Heritage Archives photo)

Mennonite Central Committee has released the findings of its research on the organization’s historical entanglements with German National Socialism (or Nazism) and its legacy before, during and after the Second World War.

Foodgrains Bank celebrates good harvests in Zimbabwe, Malawi

Farmers in Binga, Zimbabwe, show off a strong cowpea crop from this past harvest season. They will be able to include additional protein in their diets thanks to the cowpeas, or sell the crop for additional income. (Kulima Mbobumi Training Centre photo)

A combination of favourable weather conditions and good farming practices means many farmers have had a fantastic growing season at many of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank project sites in southern Africa.

CMU honours Class of 2021

Canadian Mennonite University celebrated the Class of 2021 last month during an outdoor event at the university. (Photos courtesy of CMU)

After a year of mingling on Zoom and many online classes, the Canadian Mennonite University community gathered in person on Aug. 21 to celebrate the Class of 2021. At an outdoor convocation ceremony on CMU’s grounds, CMU President Dr. Cheryl Pauls conferred 68 undergraduate degrees, 20 master’s degrees and three certificates.

Fire destroys church and five homes in Iquitos, Peru

Adults and children living on Isla Iquitos in Peru survey the damage at the site where their church and five houses burned to the ground the night of Aug. 29. Children stand on the stairs that once led to their space for worship and learning. (Photo by Juan Carlos Moreno)

The night of Aug. 29, a fire raged through a Mennonite church building and five neighbouring wooden houses on Isla Iquitos, Peru, a small island near the main island where the city of Iquitos is located. Neighbours attributed that the fire was likely caused by a candle that the caretaker of the church had left burning.

Global Anabaptist family encouraged to donate to vaccination efforts

Mennonite World Conference is calling on its members to donate to UNICEF’s campaign to provide coronavirus vaccinations around the world. (Photo: UN/Nick Sells)

Tanzania, home to 66, 744 baptized members of Kanisa la Mennonite Tanzania, less than one percent of the population has received vaccination protection against COVID-19. 

Mennonite World Conference is calling on its members around the world to love their neighbours by donating to UNICEF’s campaign to share coronavirus vaccinations around the world.  

Beirut explosion: One year later

With the reconstruction nearly complete, Hafez Sammour stands in his home that the explosion had damaged severely. (Photo courtesy of FDCD)

Samir Menassa remembers when his convenience store used to attract many customers. Located among pubs and restaurants in Beirut, Lebanon, the store was a convenient place for people to purchase a few things they needed as they strolled through the area.

Goshen alumni contribute to Pfizer vaccine efforts

A patient receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot. (Photo by Steven Cornfield/Unsplash)

Two alumni from Indiana’s Goshen College played important roles in the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19. Robert Lerch, Ph.D., head of lab and site management and business operations at pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and Mark Wittrig, senior director of quality assurance at Pfizer, both graduated from the college in 1984.

New book explores God’s kingdom

Mennonite World Conference general secretary César García is the author of the new book, ‘What is God’s Kingdom and What Does Citizenship Look Like?’ (Supplied photos)

What is God’s kingdom, and what does citizenship look like?

Mennonite World Conference general secretary César García explores these questions in a book published this past February. The book is part of The Jesus Way: Small Books of Radical Faith, a series from Herald Press.

MDS in Shenandoah Valley celebrates creativity of volunteers during pandemic

MDS executive director Kevin King thanks volunteers from the Shenandoah Valley MDS Unit at an outdoor picnic. (Photo by Phil Helmuth)

Dozens of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers in Harrisonburg, Virginia gathered for a picnic in May to celebrate the creative ways they had responded to community needs during the pandemic.

Watch: MCI students express hope through dance

Students at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, Man. dance on top of their school in a new video. (YouTube/Screenshot)

Set aside those tired clichés about Mennonites and dancing, and enjoy an inspired performance by the dance class at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, Man.

To mark the end of the school year, the class released a video of one of its pieces. Set to the song “Lovely” by Billie Eilish and Khalid, the theme of the piece is languishing.

One piece at a time

Anju Shaw, 41, is a client of MCC partner Barrackpore Avenue Women's Cultural & Social Welfare Society. (Photos courtesy of Barrackpore Avenue)

Susmita Badiya, right, fills out her abuse report with the help of a counsellor from MCC partner Barrackpore Avenue Women's Cultural & Social Welfare Society.

There was no peace in Anju Shaw’s life.

For 20 years, she endured constant abuse and neglect at the hands of her husband and then her husband’s parents. She had no support, no one to speak for her or listen to her. She didn’t think the police would care about her—if they believed her at all. The ideas of peace, safety or stability were as far from her as the sky itself.

God works in digital ways

The Executive Committee of Mennonite World Conference, pictured here in November 2020, met online last month.

“The growth of digital platforms has increased the awareness of what our [Mennonite World Conference] family is doing during the pandemic,” said Carlos Martínez García, Executive Committee member for Latin America and the Caribbean at the triannual Executive Committee meeting in April. “I realize a greater awareness that we are a global community.”

MC Canada and CPT send team to Unist’ot’en

Team members, from left to right: (Back row) Josiah Neufeld, Steve Heinrichs and Allegra Friesen Epp; (front row) Emily Green and Rachelle Friesen. (MC Canada photo)

Mennonite Church Canada, together with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has responded to an invitation to accompany Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territory. This past Friday, May 28, a group comprised of CPTers and members of MC Canada arrived at the camp in northern B.C.

The team members are:

Exploring ‘Germinating Conversations’

Marta Bunnett Wiebe is the editor of ‘Germinating Conversations: Stories from a Sustained Rural-Urban Dialogue on Food, Faith, Farming and Land.’ (Photo courtesy of MC Canada)

In 2012, A Rocha Manitoba, Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University hosted two events with the purpose of bringing together Manitoba farmers and urban eaters to listen to each other’s perspectives on food and faith.

Investigation reveals misconduct by influential Mennonite leader

Frank H. Epp (Photo by David L. Hunsberger, Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

Two Mennonite organizations have reported findings of inappropriate sexual behaviour by influential leader Frank H. Epp.

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC) announced on May 27 that they cooperated on an investigation conducted by an independent team, based on a disclosure that was decades old and was recently brought forward again.

Witness workers embrace Indigenous names, identities

Lakan Sumulong (Dann Pantoja) and (Joji Pantoja) have served as Witness workers in the Philippines since 2006. (Photo courtesy of Lakan Sumulong and Lakambini Mapayapa)

Dann and Joji Pantoja, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in the Philippines, are embracing their Indigenous names and identities. In a statement published on their website Waves.ca in March, the Pantojas explained the colonial history their birth names represent and why their Indigenous names are significant to them.

Called to care, equipped to serve

YAMEN participant Dr. Ela Castro, left, worked as a doctor at Casa del Migrante in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Casa del Migrante photo by Samuel Gaitan)

Dr. Ela Castro and her mother, Domicila Castro, prepare to distribute medication in December 2020. (Photo courtesy of Adalina Castro)

Dr. Ela Castro always knew she wanted to spend her life serving those in need. By all outward appearances, this is what she was doing.

She’d studied for years to earn her medical degree. She was working at a health-care clinic. She was helping people—but something was missing. She felt her heart calling her to serve, not just to work for a steady paycheque.

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