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COMMENTARY: Faith communities on the front line of refugee aid

Syrian children participate in a World Vision remedial education program in Jordan. They are tutored in subjects like math, Arabic and English to help the catch up on the school they’ve missed fleeing the violence. (RNS photo courtesy World Vision)

Dominating the news on World Refugee Day (observed on June 20, 2014), the annual commemoration of displaced peoples were photos and videos of people fleeing Syria and Iraq.

Where the Red and Assiniboine converge

Native Assembly is a biennial event co-hosted by Mennonite Church Canada and the Mennonite Church Manitoba Partnership Circle. Planners for the 2014 Winnipeg event include, from left to right: Norman Meade, Neill von Gunten, Jeff Friesen, Terry Zimmerly, Melanie Kampen, Sam Bergen, Edith von Gunten, Steve Heinrichs, Pat Palson, Dorothy Fontaine, and Ingrid Miller. (Credit: MC Canada)

For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island regularly gathered where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet in Winnipeg. From July 28-31, North Americans from all cultures, ethnicities and age groups are invited to the campus of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg for Native Assembly 2014.

Who should Mennonites cheer for in soccer’s World Cup?

The Netherlands team star striker Robin Van Persie (#9), who scored two goals in the opening game on June 13. (Provided by author)

Bill Schroeder

The Netherlands! At least ethnic Russian Mennonites should, those whose ancestors came to Canada primarily in the 1870s, 1920s, or 1950s and still form a good portion of the Canadian Mennonite population.

Project explores connection between language education and peacemaking

Cheryl Woelk coordinates the Language for Peace website project.

Words are powerful, which is why the Language for Peace project aims to explore how Anabaptist and other philosophies of peacemaking are incorporated into various language courses – Spanish, German, Korean, French, English, etc. – in North America and around the world.

Mennonite World Conference Assembly to meet July 21-26, 2015

Each day of the PA 2015 will begin and end with singing—by the thousands of attendees, as well as by international choirs. (Credit: Merle Good)

Opportunities for visiting will fill the days—from small discussion groups each morning, to mealtimes, to relaxing in the Global Church Village in the afternoons. (Credit: Merle Good)

Storytelling and meditations will be shared by speakers from all of the continents. (Credit: Merle Good)

Mennonites, Mennonite Brethren, and Brethren in Christ of North America have invited sisters and brothers from around the world to come to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in a little more than a year from now—July 21-26, 2015.

Tired of the violence

MCC Nigeria peace coordinator Mugu Zakka Bako speaks at a meeting for Emergency Preparedness Response Teams in Barkin Ladi, Nigeria. Bako and response-team volunteers were at the scene of the recent bombing in Jos, ready to address signs of violence. (MCC photo by Dave Klassen)

When Mugu Zakka Bako arrived at the scene of twin bomb blasts on May 20 at a busy market in the city of Jos, Nigeria, he saw more than the destruction and injured people.

LED Talks aim to inspire and challenge

Jessica Reesor Rempel was one of six LED talk speakers at the MCEC Annual Gathering.

You have heard about TED Talks—experts give informative, inspirational talks that are viewed and shared online. What about LED Talks?

For its annual gathering, held April 25-26, 2014, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) introduced a new format for conference speakers—LED Talks. The acronym stands for Lead, Equip, Disciple.

MEDA supporters to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

MEDA president Allan Sauder models his mountain climbing gear at a staff celebration lunch for the upcoming Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb. (Credit: MEDA)

MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) supporters have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this summer to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, along with president Allan Sauder. The trek will aid MEDA's work in creating business solutions to poverty around the world.

Church of the Brethren rallies to support kidnapped Nigerian girls

Rebecca Dali shows photos of violence in Nigeria. She leads the Center for Caring, Empowerment and Peace Initiatives, which collects stories of survivors and pictures following attacks. (Stan Noffsinger/Church of the Brethren)

Stevens Hill Community Church in Elizabethtown, Pa., included concern for the kidnapped girls in the congregation’s Mother’s Day worship May 11. (Credit: Stevens Hill Community Church)

As the Church of the Breth­ren in Nigeria entered the second month of a crisis involving hundreds of kidnapped girls, the U.S. Church of the Brethren continues to support its sister denomination with prayer, fasting and financial assistance for refugees fleeing violence.

Bible survey: Many Americans scramble their Scripture

The Bible encourages the “repression of women,” and it’s silent on such fraught topics as war or slavery.

As least, that’s what about one in five U.S. adults believe. But they’re wrong.

The American Bible Society’s annual “State of the Bible” survey reveals “the people of the book are not people of this book,” said Geof Morin, chief communication officer for the society.

New exhibit features Brunk revivals

One of the original trailer trucks houses the new exhibit on the evangelistic campaigns of the Brunk family. The legend on the side reads: The Whole Gospel for the Whole World. (Credit: Joan Daggett/VBMHC)

The Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will hold a celebration and service of dedication for the Brunk Revivals exhibit on Saturday, May 24, 2014, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Canadian Mennonites help Greek Catholics in Ukraine restore church

The former Mennonite church building in the village of Snegurovka, Ukraine, is now being renovated for the use of a Greek Catholic congregation. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

With the help of Canadian Mennonites, a Greek Catholic congregation is now meeting in a former Mennonite church in Ukraine. (Mennonite World Conference photo)

In Ukraine a former Mennonite church building is being restored and transformed – with the help of Canadian Mennonites – into a Greek Catholic church.

This development, according to observers, is an example of Mennonite-Catholic collaboration in the spirit of other exchanges over the past decade or so.

Naomi’s colouring recital

When Naomi Martin was three years old, she declared, “Mommy, I’m going to have a colouring recital.” Her mother, Sarah Martin, asked her what a colouring recital was, and Naomi’s response was simple, “A colouring recital is where everyone can come and see how good I can colour.” Her mother dismissed the idea as cute, but over the next several months, Naomi and her five-year-old sister Abigail h


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