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'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.

Hong Kong Mennonites seek the peace of the city

Hong Kong, pictured in more peaceful times. Protests have brought millions of citizens into Hong Kong’s streets since early June, when a bill was introduced that would allow Hong Kong residents to be sent to mainland China for trial. (Image by Free-Photos/Pixabay)

As protests bring millions of citizens into Hong Kong’s streets, the city’s tiny Mennonite population is praying peaceful tactics will prevail.

Demonstrations began in early June, when a bill was introduced that would allow Hong Kong residents to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Boshart next AMBS president despite expressed concerns

David W. Boshart, pictured with his wife, Shana Peachey Boshart, has been appointed the next president of AMBS. (AMBS photo by Melissa Troyer)

David W. Boshart, Ph.D., of Wellman, Iowa, has been appointed the next president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind., effective Jan. 1, 2020, following a period of “extended discernment” that included “outreach to and listening sessions with the AMBS community,” according to board chair Bruce Baergen of Edmonton. 

Hurricane Dorian: MDS is “ready to respond”

MDS Canada is “ready to respond” when Hurricane Dorian is over, says Ross Penner, the organization’s executive director. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/MennoniteDisasterService)

As Americans follow updates about Hurricane Dorian, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada is keeping an eye on the storm, too.

The organization, which rebuilds and repairs homes destroyed or damaged by natural disasters in the U.S. and Canada, is “ready to respond” when the storm is over says Ross Penner, executive director of MDS Canada.

A global conversation through books

Korean translations of Mennonite books are a boon to seminarians and lay leaders in Anabaptist house churches, but they also appeal to other Christians in Korea. (Image by Free-Photos/Pixabay)

“Although each congregation has its own history and social and cultural background, it is common to experience the same sorts of conflicts, troubles and situations,” says Ellul Yongha Bae, a Mennonite church leader and publisher in South Korea.

Watch: "The Story of MCC Thrift"

The women who opened the first MCC Thrift Shop in 1972 are portrayed in a new video. (Photo by Paul Plett)

The story of Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) thrift shops is given a unique retelling in a new video.

Filmed in one camera shot, the video starts with the creation of the first thrift shop in Altona, Man. in 1972 and traces its growth into a North American-wide network of more than 100 shops that bring in millions of dollars annually to support MCC’s work.

Watch: MC USA leader sings Nirvana

Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, sings “Come As You Are” at the 2019 MC USA Convention in Kansas City last month. (Photo courtesy of MC USA)

Imagine Doug Klassen, executive minister of Mennonite Church Canada, singing a song by an acclaimed ‘90s grunge band at MC Canada’s next nationwide gathering.

It may sound far-fetched, but our counterparts in the United States have a sense of what that would be like.

Nisbet reflects on 33 years of camping ministry

Campbell Nisbet (right) with his wife, Chris (second from right), and their four children. (Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/HiddenAcresCamp)

After 33 years as the executive director of Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp, Campbell Nisbet is grateful for all the growth he has witnessed. Whether it is the trees he planted on the camp property or the spiritual maturing of young adult leaders he mentored, Nisbet sees it all as signs of God’s blessing. And he is deeply grateful.

Watch: Inside the Vine and Table

The Vine and Table is located in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood. (Photo courtesy of Terri Lynn Friesen)

The coordinators of the Vine and Table, an intentional Christian community house in Saskatoon, are inviting you inside.

In a video they posted on YouTube last week, Thomas and Terri Lynn Friesen introduce what the Vine and Table is all about. Later, some of their current and former housemates share about their experiences living in the community.

Swiss forgive, don’t forget

Christoph Neuhaus, left, Bern canton’s state councillor and director of church affairs, and Lukas Amstutz, the Swiss Mennonite Conference co-president, plant a linden tree as a symbol of reconciliation on April 20 at Église évangélique mennonite Tavannes. (Photo by Raphaël Burkhalter)

It took about 490 years for government officials in Bern, Switzerland, to ask for forgiveness for persecution of Anabaptists in the region. It took less than two to get a response from Swiss Mennonites.

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