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MCC responds to double hurricanes

In response to Hurricane Eta, MCC staff member James Helmuth, left, and volunteer Edgar Hernandez load vehicles with relief kits that will be delivered to the Q’eqchi’ Mennonite Church in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala. The church will distribute the kits, which contain towels, hygiene and laundry supplies, to people affected by flooding. (MCC photo by Jardely Martínez)

After two hurricanes in two weeks flooded several countries in Central America twice, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is providing emergency food and supplies and making longer-term plans to help with recovery.

Artist ‘aims to empower’ with webinar logo

Dona Park of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., was commissioned to illustrate the logo and banner for the Women Doing Theology webinar series. (Photo courtesy of Dona Park)

Working with the theme of “What we need is here,” young Canadian artist Dona Park of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C. was commissioned to illustrate the logo and banner for the Women Doing Theology webinar series for Mennonite Church U.S.A. 

GAMEO offers knowledge for everyone

John Roth, a professor at Goshen College in Goshen, Ind., is general editor of the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. (Photo courtesy of Goshen College)

Whether you’re looking for historical background for an academic paper, a church anniversary story, or to confirm a detail like “when was the Mennonite World Conference Assembly held in Curitiba, Brazil?” the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online can help you.

‘A public witness to God’s love’

Congregations around the world seek to be compliant with local public health recommendations while meeting to support each other and worship together. Pictured, a worship service in Zimbabwe is socially distanced. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

The 12 Mennonite World Conference (MWC) regional representatives gather online every quarter to reflect on the struggles and joys of the Anabaptist churches in their regions. During its latest gathering, the representatives shared the burdens and creative resilience they see in their churches in response to COVID-19.

Struggles

Pandemic offers new opportunities for students

Online classes have changed the way the master of theological program operates at Conrad Grebel University College. With the rise in enrolment and interest in the program, there may be lasting online opportunities, according to program director Jeremy Bergen. (Photo by Christin Hume/Unsplash)

The pandemic this year has turned the master of theological study (MTS) program’s teaching model on its head.

EMU's Democrats and Republicans collaborate

Adam Peachey (left), co-president of the College Republicans, and Ani Beitzel, a member of the Young Democrats, work a voter registration table in early October outside the dining hall at Eastern Mennonite University. The two clubs joined EMU's Student Government Association to help raise awareness among students, sponsoring four lunchtime events and a virtual evening session. (EMU photo by Jon Styer)

Two clubs at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., did their best to get out the vote this month ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election—and contrary to the fraught and divisive national scene, they did so harmoniously.

Leon's Island

Members of the Kitchekeesik family gather for a final visit to Leon’s Island in late August. (Photo by Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie)

After 20 years of negotiations, planning and construction, the water has gone up behind Manitoba Hydro’s $8.7-billion Keeyask dam about 725 km. north of Winnipeg. The troubled project on the province's largest river now floods 45 square kilometres. 

Postures of trust and openness to transformation

Doug Klassen (left), executive minister of Mennonite Church Canada, stands with members of a Mennonite church in Burkina Faso in a hardware store owned and operated by the church. (Photo courtesy of MC Canada)

Tany Warkentin and her family served as Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in Burkina Faso for six years, until 2011. Warkentin brings that experience to her role as liaison to ministry in Africa for MC Canada.

!Explore nurtures youth who are passionate about the church

Participants in the 2019 !Explore program during the Group Experience in Elkhart. (AMBS photo)

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) leaders of !Explore: A Theological Program for High School Youth are planning for a robust opportunity for teens to deepen their faith, expand their soul and imagine their place in God’s kingdom in the summer of 2021. 

COVID-19 global response fund helps more Global South churches

The Mennonite church in Venezuela celebrates Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

“I have seen entire families in the garbage dumps looking to quench their hunger. I have also watched with sadness as they return the elderly from the hospitals because there are no possibilities to attend them, nor medicines to supply them,” said Erwin Francisco Mirabal González, a Mennonite pastor in Venezuela.

Palestinian advocacy persists amid pandemic, Middle Eastern turmoil 

Bethlehem Bible College, which serves Arab speakers in Palestine-Israel and beyond, was founded in 1979. Its first president, Bishara Awad, worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Bethlehem and spent a year at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in the 1980s.

Carolyne Epp-Fransen, centre, speaks on behalf of the MC Manitoba working group at a September 2018 symposium on international law, hosted by several Winnipeg advocacy groups. To her left is Dean Peachey, a fellow working-group member. Featured speaker Michael Lynk, second from right, was the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gordon Epp-Fransen)

Facing the camera, Chloe Hiebert Bergen, left, and Carolyne Epp-Fransen of the MC Manitoba working group tend a literature table at an April 2018 lecture at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, featuring Anglican Palestinian theologian Naim Ateek. (Photo by Gordon Epp-Fransen)

Jack Sara.

Like other educational institutions around the world, the West Bank’s Bethlehem Bible College has been broadsided by the COVID-19 pandemic. Campus lockdowns, infections among staff, a greater dependence on online instruction—all have been the new reality, in addition to the ongoing political uncertainties in the region.

MWC shifts Assembly 17 to 2022

A band leads worship at Assembly 16 in Harrisburg, Pa., in 2015. (Photo by Jonathan Charles)

In close consultation with the national advisory committee in Indonesia, the host country, the executive committee of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) has decided not to hold Assembly 17 in 2021, as originally announced. Instead, MWC has decided to postpone its next global assembly until July 5-10, 2022. 

Church seeks to boost ‘helping fund’ for people affected by pandemic

Fiona Brown, Leamington United Mennonite Church’s treasurer, and Hugo Tiessen, finance committee chair, have launched an initiative to boost the church’s Oak Street Helps Fund by $50,000 in light of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Linda Tiessen)

Windsor-Essex County in southwestern Ontario has drawn a plethora of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to ongoing outbreaks and high occurrences of infections in specific sectors, the virus is still taking quite a toll in the region, despite the efforts of many.

MCC responding to explosion in Beirut

The city of Beirut, Lebanon, shown here in this panoramic view before the explosion, was damaged extensively Tuesday by an explosion thought to be caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate. (Photo by dasMaddin/iStock)

Mennonite Central Committee is responding to the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, that caused extensive damage throughout the capital city on Aug. 4. 

The blast is believed to have been caused by large quantities of ammonium nitrate, used for fertilizer and explosives, stored unsafely in a warehouse at the city’s port.

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.

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