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Worship apprentices provide a resource for the church

Students in the Worship Apprentice Program at Conrad Grebel University College, including Rowan Martin (left) and Eunice Femi-Gege (right), tested their skills by leading worship at St. Agatha (Ont.) Mennonite Church on Nov. 17. (Photo by Fred W. Martin)

Students in the Worship Apprentice Program at Conrad Grebel University College come from a wide range of academic programs and church denominations. Pictured from left to right: Chris Fischer, Professor Kate Steiner, Matthias Mostert, Eunice Femi-Gege, Mykayla Turner and Rowan Martin. (Photo by Margaret Gissing)

When students in Grebel’s Worship Apprentice Program led worship at St. Agatha (Ont.) Mennonite Church in November, Colin Friesen, left, a master of theological studies student, joined them and gave the message. Also pictured, from left to right: Rowan Martin, Matthias Mostert, Yeabsra Agonfer, Eunice Femi-Gege, and Mykayla Turner. (Photo by Fred W. Martin)

Every Tuesday, a diverse team of University of Waterloo students gathers for prayer, small group discussion, song teaching and worship-service planning. These students are part of the Worship Apprentice Program offered by Conrad Grebel University College’s Music Department as a skill-building opportunity within the Church Music and Worship Program. 

Learning to farm with droughts and deluges

Soba Bika Sunchiuri shows some of the vegetables she is growing in a plastic house provided by MCC, which helps her to grow plants in spite of irregular rainfall and deluges caused by climate change. (MCC photo by Luke Reesor-Keller)

With the technical help of Brethren in Community Welfare Society, Hulai Rishidev’s cabbage field is thriving. (Photo courtesy of BICWS/Mahendra Yadav)

Sunita Tamang holds her child, Emma Tamang, 2, in front of her newly built plastic house and the drip irrigation system she will use to grow vegetables in South Lalitpur, Nepal. (MCC photo by Avash Karki)

The weather patterns in Nepal used to be regular about 15 to 20 years ago, says Durga Sunchiuri, who grew up helping his parents farm their land in the mountainous terraces of Nepal’s Terhathum District. Not anymore.

Theology for a climate emergency

David Widdicombe, an Anglican priest, left, and Gordon Zerbe, professor of New Testament at CMU, answer questions. (Photos by Beth Downey-Sawatzky)

David Widdicombe, an Anglican priest, says that the climate crisis demands that Christians turn their primary theological and devotional attentions to three tasks: mitigation of ecological damage, adaptation to climate change, and suffering, which is inevitable.

Singer-songwriter Steve Bell performed at the opening and close of CMU’s climate-change lecture.

Students, scholars and community members alike filled Marpeck Commons at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) on Nov. 13, hoping to lay a firmer hold on one essential subject: Actionable theology for the age of climate change.

Watch: MCEC church helps Montreal’s homeless

People in Montreal experiencing homelessness have access to 30 mattresses at Care Montreal, an outreach program of Hochma church. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Montreal has been hit with unseasonably cold weather this month, and a Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) congregation is doing what it can to help members of the city’s homeless population get by.

Hochma church is the home to Care Montreal, an outreach program that opens its doors to around 30 people every night. The program gives folks food to eat and a place to sleep.

‘We don’t have to stop just because someone says no’

Women talk about concerns facing them in their village, giving a representative from the women's advocacy group information to share with representatives from other villages, in this 2014 photo. Together the representatives decide what issues to take to the mayor. (Photo courtesy of ANADES)

Ana Iris Constante says she used to be nervous just to introduce herself.

She would never have guessed that one day she would be part of a group of women that makes regular trips to the mayor’s office with petitions in hand—a group of women that insist on having a voice. Although they are often met with rejection, they no longer fear it.

Watch: 'Peace be with you' in nine languages

In a new video, folks from Ontario Mennonite Music Camp demonstrate how to say “Peace be with you” in nine languages. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Peace Sunday is coming up on Nov. 10 and Ontario Mennonite Music Camp has created a resource to help churches mark the occasion. 

In the short video below, OMMC campers and staff demonstrate how to say “Peace be with you” in Amharic, French, German, Lao, Mandarin, Spanish and three other languages.

Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos College at 25

The first class at Meserete Kristos College in 1994. (Photo courtesy of MK College Public Relations)

Students and faculty enjoy coffee time at the first campus, 1997. (Photo courtesy of MK College Public Relations)

The Promised Land: Five hectares given as a permanent home for MK College as seen in the fall of 2000. Pictured from left to right: Mulugeta Zewdie, the college’s executive secretary, Mervin Charles and Susan Godshall of Eastern Mennonite Missions, and Linda and Bob Hovde, Mennonite Central Committee Ethiopia representatives. (Photo courtesy of MK College Public Relations)

The MK College campus as viewed from the west in 2019. (Photo by Henok Tamerat)

The MK College campus as viewed from the east in 2019. (Photo by Henok Tamerat)

Current Bishoftu campus as seen from the air. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps, with captions added by John Buckwalter)

The beginning of 2019 marked the silver anniversary of Meserete Kristos College.

Voices Together committee holds final meeting

A stack of 780 songs greeted members of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee when they arrived for their final meeting. (Photos courtesy of MennoMedia)

Committee members pictured from left to right, front row: Tom Harder, Shana Peachey Boshart, Anneli Loepp Thiessen, Katie Graber, Amy Gingerich and Benjamin Bergey; and back row: Adam Tice, Sarah Johnson, Doug Klassen, Cynthia Neufeld Smith, Allan Rudy-Froese, Mike Erb, Bradley Kauffman, Paul Dueck and Darryl Neustaedter Barg.

Committee members Tom Harder and Mike Erb provide accompaniment for the singing.

Benjamin Bergy, Katie Graber, Anneli Loepp Thiessen and Cynthia Neufeld Smith test out different versions of a piano accompaniment for a song.

Sarah Johnson and Doug Klassen discuss the visual art that will be part of Voices Together.

A stack of paper containing 780 songs and a binder of 320 worship resources greeted each member of the Voices Together committee when they arrived for their 10th and final committee meeting in early October.

Watch: A haunting at Westgate?

The 2018-19 Westgate Concert Choir inside the Ralph Connor House. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

The 2018-19 Westgate Mennonite Collegiate Concert Choir has something to help get you into a playful Halloween spirit.

Last June, the choir filmed a video for its rendition of “Hall of Snarky Ghosts,” a song written and arranged by Westgate alumnus Dan Wiebe. The school uploaded the video to YouTube last month.

'Coming out' as a church

Charleswood Mennonite Church commemorated its newly created affirmation statement with a special worship service. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Cupcakes of all colours of the rainbow were part of Charleswood Mennonite’s ‘coming out’ service. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

On Sept. 22, Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg celebrated “coming out” as a church that welcomes and affirms people of every gender and sexual orientation into its community with special worship service celebrating its newly created affirmation statement. 

The purpose and joy of congregational singing

Worshippers sing at Mennonite Church Canada's Assembly 2016 in Saskatoon. "We sing... because it is a unique corporate experience," music professor Curtis Funk says. (MC Canada file photo by Matt Veith)

“I turned the key and the stillness of the morning was shattered by the uneven rumbling of the engine. Everything was ready for the day’s work. In a few minutes, the pickup would drive onto the farmyard and empty its load of Mexican labourers. But for now I was alone. I eased the clutch out and the tractor lurched forward, pulling the portable packing shed behind it into the orchard.

Watch: MCC is 100

Mennonite Central Committee has helped people around the world since 1920. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Mennonite Central Committee is gearing up to celebrate its centennial next year, and the relief organization has started producing a number of articles and videos to mark the occasion.

You can watch one of those videos—a three-minute-long piece that covers MCC’s history from 1920 until the present day—below.

U.S. Anabaptist groups send joint letter to National Commission on Military, National and Public Service

A Civilian Public Service worker serves patients at New Jersey State Hospital in Marlboro, circa 1945. (Mennonite Central Committee photo via CivilianPublicService.org)

Thirteen Anabaptist church groups in the United States have sent a joint letter to an independent U.S. federal agency making a strong statement of conscientious objection to war and military service, expressing gratitude for religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. and urging the freedom not to participate in the military.

MWC Commissions strengthen bonds of communion

Antonio Gonzalez, a member of the Faith and Life Commission from Spain, and Adriana Belinda Rodriguez, a member of the Peace Commission from Honduras, chat during the MWC commission meetings in the Netherlands earlier this year. (Photo by Vikal Rao)

Approximately 40 leaders and members of the four Mennonite World Conference (MWC) commissions met together in the Netherlands for three days in late June for a time of face-to-face discussion, reflection, worship and strategic planning to advance the mission of MWC.

Camp Squeah paddle-a-thon fundraiser reaches million-dollar mark

Participants in Camp Squeah’s 2019 paddle-a-thon enjoy pleasant weather on the water, raising funds for the camp’s summer bursary program. (Photo courtesy of Camp Squeah)

Rowers and paddlers in Camp Squeah’s annual paddle-a-thon reached their goal, raising over $51,000 on Sept. 21 and bringing the total over the past 21 years to just over $1 million. 

Watch: Manitoba Mennonites join climate strike

Thousands gathered at the Manitoba legislative building last Friday to join the global climate strike. Moses Falco, pastor at Sterling Mennonite Fellowship, made a video about the event. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

More than 10,000 people in Winnipeg joined the global climate strike last Friday, Sept. 27, including a strong showing of Manitoba Mennonites.

In the video below, Moses Falco—pastor at Sterling Mennonite Fellowship—shares footage from the Winnipeg strike, as well as a multi-faith prayer event that preceded it.

A planet-friendly move to university residence

Andre Wiederkehr with his bicycle and homemade trailer. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)

This September, Andre Wiederkehr moved into the Conrad Grebel University College residence at the University of Waterloo in a unique way—he biked.

The second-year science student cycled the 90 km. from his home near Mildmay, Ont. to Grebel in Waterloo, a trip that took him nearly eight hours. He transported everything that he would need to live at Grebel in a homemade bike trailer.

CPT creates Turtle Island Solidarity Network

Indigenous land defenders and allies march at Standing Rock Indian Reservation that straddles the border of North and South Dakota during a protest in 2016. (CPT file photo by Kathy Moorhead Thiessen)

In the wake of the closure of the full-time Indigenous People’s Solidarity Team due to necessary budget cuts at Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), the new Turtle Island Solidarity Network comprised of reservists who are engaged in Indigenous solidarity and decolonization has been created.

Turtle Island is the Indigenous name for North America. 

Congo literacy program in demand

Yamba Katembue Patrice, Godelieve Tshikaya and Hélène José Mbombo study in Kinshasa during a train-the-trainers workshop. (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission photo by Nancy Myers)

A campaign by Mennonites in the Democratic Republic of Congo to use literacy education as a tool for evangelization is bringing hope to educators and learners alike—and unearthing tales of suffering and repression.

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