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Remembering the 1990 MWC assembly in Winnipeg

More than 20,000 Mennonites flocked to Winnipeg Stadium for the closing service of the 1990 Mennonite World Conference Assembly. (All photos courtesy of Mennonite Church USA Archives)

On this day 30 years ago, Manitoba Mennonites were playing host to a global assembly of Anabaptists.

The 12th Mennonite World Conference Assembly took place in Winnipeg, Man. from July 24-29, 1990. The once-every-six-years event drew more than 12,000 registrants, including 1,600 from nearly 70 countries outside of North America. The theme was, “Witnessing to Christ in today’s world.”

EU grant helps MCC support peacebuilding projects in Middle East

A presenter with Peace Organization, a Syrian non-profit organization, stands during a peace dialogue in Damascus, Syria. (Their name is withheld for security reasons.) At these sessions, held last fall, youth discussed the definition of peace, the role of young people in building peace, and how to start a peace initiative. (Photo courtesy of Peace Organization)

Representatives from 17 Middle Eastern non-profit organizations participated in an August 2019 conference in Broumana, Lebanon, hosted by MCC and its partner organization, Development for People and Nature Association. The conference kicked off a European Union-funded initiative intended to empower the organizations to promote peace. (MCC photo by Garry Mayhew)

With a 994,000-euro grant (C$1.5 million) from the European Union, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is empowering organizations to implement peacebuilding projects across four Middle Eastern countries.

MWC holds online prayer hour on Pentecost

A screen grab of the Mennonite World Conference’s online prayer hour Pentecost service.

“There is lockdown and physical distancing, but even so, we can meet in prayer,” said Hanna Soren, a member of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Deacons Commission, who offered a prayer at the close of the organization’s first online prayer meeting on May 31. “From different countries, we can come together and pray together in this way.

MC Eastern Canada terminates retired pastor’s ministerial credentials

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated Waterloo resident Wilmer Martin’s ministerial credentials, citing ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. (Facebook photo)

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated a retired pastor’s ministerial credential after investigating him for ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. The regional church made the announcement about Wilmer Martin, 75, of Waterloo, Ont., on June 16.

Still friends after all these years

The 2018-19 Manitoba-Germany Exchange students from Manitoba head off to Germany for three months of living in their exchange partners’ homes. (Photos courtesy of Westgate Mennonite Collegiate)

For the first time in the Manitoba-Germany Exchange’s 40 years of existence, Canadian students will not be able to reunite with their exchange partners in Germany this spring, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Embodying God’s mission with authenticity

The team planning the 2020 Mennonite Church Canada study conference is, clockwise from top left: Gerald Gerbrandt; Kim Penner (right, pictured with her partner); Doug Klassen; Ryan Siemens; and Marilyn Rudy-Froese. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Church Canada)

“Table talk: Does the church still have legs,” the 2020 Mennonite Church Canada study conference, is a virtual event happening on Oct. 24. Plenary speakers from MC Canada-affiliated schools will share on themes of ecclesiology, worship and mission.

Providing a place to call home

This building in Markham, Ont., will provide 32 much-needed affordable housing units thanks to the efforts of volunteers with MICAH, who persevered with the construction through the pandemic. MICAH is supported by 13 area churches, including three Mennonite congregations. (Photo by Mike Clare)

Affordable housing “changes lives.” It is a “human right that enables individuals and families to flourish.”

These convictions motivated Anne Nicholson and other members of the Markham Inter-church Committee for Affordable Housing (MICAH) to persevere with a recent building project despite the “unique challenges” presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Regional churches of Mennonite Church Canada call for prayer

(Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter/Pixabay)

As rallies and protests continue across the United States and Canada in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the five regional churches of Mennonite Church Canada released a statement yesterday asking congregations to set a specific time of prayer this coming Sunday, June 7.

Remembering Helen Martens

Helen Martens, the first music professor at Conrad Grebel University College, plays the piano and leads a Grebel choir in 1969. (Photo by David L. Hunsberger / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

Helen Martens, Conrad Grebel University College’s first music faculty member, passed away on April 9 at the age of 92, surrounded by family in Winnipeg. She last visited Grebel in 2013 during the college’s 50th anniversary.

French Anabaptists gather online to worship, celebrate

Michel Monette, catalyzer minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, back row centre, is pictured with the Centre Bethésda Mennonite de Quebec, a French-speaking church plant. (Photo by Charles Tebena)

Serge Gravel describes meeting with other French Anabaptists online like getting a dose of Vitamin C fortified with Vitamin D and zinc, in order to gain spiritual victory and encouragement, enthusing about how good it was to see the radiant faces and shining eyes of everyone.

MennoMedia: Do not sing together if you are gathering physically for worship

(Image by 微博/微信:愚木混株/Pixabay)

With stay-at-home orders being lifted across much of the U.S. and Canada, churches are thinking about what it will look like to open their doors again. Yet because the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, it is up to churches to consider how to do so safely. 

Watch: Quarantine viewing ideas

"Everyone has their own needs, their own ways of engaging with film..." (Image by Jan Vašek/Pixabay)

Looking for a movie to watch? Sue Sorensen has some suggestions for you.

Sorensen, an English professor at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, is featured in a series of five short videos CMU posted to its YouTube channel earlier this month. 

Each video features a film that Sorensen recommends watching, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MCC announces program cuts, changes due to COVID-19

Tha Thi Ke stands in her family’s first cornfield in Vietnam’s Phu Tho Province. In 2001, MCC encouraged farmers to grow winter corn crops and find other ways to supplement income from their rice yields, helping them remain on their land rather than being forced to migrate. (MCC photo by Jack Leonard)

Mushiya Christine, Kayaya Lulula and Veronigue Lumba Misenga took part in a support group for older refugees in 2017, run by MCC partner Refugee Social Services in Durban, South Africa. These elders can feel isolated and stressed, but home visits and support groups help them feel connected. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has scaled up its work to respond to the global crisis, increasing projects related to water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), local health initiatives and food relief.

Offline life during COVID-19

Many offline Mennonites are staying connected by phone. (Image by Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay)

When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit, life went online. From school classes to fitness workouts to worship services, everything started streaming on the web. But what happens if you don’t have internet access? How are those Mennonites staying connected with their churches?

Three churches withdraw from MC Eastern Canada

Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church, pictured last month. (Photo courtesy of Instagram.com/kingsfieldzmc)

Earlier this spring, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada released the following statement: “We announce with great sadness Kingsfield-Clinton and Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church, Living Water Christian Fellowship and Maple View Mennonite Church have left the MC Eastern Canada family.

MC Canada study conference goes virtual

‘Our separation as churches at this time is difficult, but it also presents an opportunity to take a step back and think critically about what it means to be the church,’ says Kim Penner, who sits on the planning committee for Mennonite Church Canada's upcoming study conference. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Mennonite Church Canada is moving ahead with its first study conference in October 2020.

Titled “Table Talk: Does the Church Still Have Legs?”, the conference will examine what it means to be the church and the role of worship. It will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, through Zoom, a virtual-meeting platform. 

Chaplain-turned-pianist brightens personal-care home

(Image by StockSnap/Pixabay)

WINNIPEG—According to Dr. Bill Thomas, an expert in aging, the three greatest “plagues” facing residents of nursing homes are loneliness, boredom and helplessness—all things unfortunately exacerbated by the current plague of COVID-19.

At Donwood Manor, a personal-care home in Winnipeg, that’s where chaplain Lisa Enns, a member of Charleswood Mennonite Church, comes in.

COVID-19 impact on world hunger cause for high concern

In Lebanon, where Foodgrains Bank member World Renew is working with Syrian refugees, personal protective equipment and hygiene kits were distributed to local church partners so they can stay safe as they distribute food to families in need. (Photo by MERATH Lebanon)

The number of people facing crisis levels of hunger in the world could double due to COVID-19, the World Food Programme (WFP) warns.

Watch: Illustrating social action

Maya Morton Ninomiya, a student at Conrad Grebel University College, created an illustrated reflection on how the school was socially and politically active during the winter 2020 term. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

When a Conrad Grebel University College student was asked to reflect on how the Waterloo, Ont. school was socially and politically active during the winter 2020 term, she went straight to the drawing board—literally.

Created for Grebel’s virtual term-end banquet last month, Maya Morton Ninomiya put together a three-minute video using original artwork to illustrate her reflection.

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