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Mennonite World Conference begins conversation with 7th Day Adventists

Participants in the SDA-MWC conversations (left to right): William Johnsson (SDA co-chair); Tom Yoder Neufeld (MWC), Robert (Jack) Suderman (MWC); Danisa Ndlovu (MWC); Henk Stevers (MWC); Valerie Rempel (MWC); Teresa Reeve (SDA); Patricia Urueña (MWC); and John Graz (SDA). Missing are: Denis Fortin (SDA); Bert Beach (SDA); Gary Councell (SDA).

Representatives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Mennonite World Conference held the first of several theological conversations June 28 to July 1, 2011 at the world headquarters of the 17 million-member Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Two religious giants die within one week

Gordon Kaufman was a conscientious objector during World War II.

John Stott was known as "Uncle John" to many in the evangelical circles he traveled.

Two religious giants died within one week of each other recently.  One was liberal theologian and mentor Gordon Kaufman, 86, a Mennonite who rose through the academic ranks at Harvard Divinity School and who died of multiple myeloma July 22 at his home in Cambridge Mass., the other John Stott, 90, who died July 27 in England and credited with shaping 20th

MDS demolishes, not builds home

An MDS work crew cleaned up a house fire site in Grey Highlands. Former MDS volunteer Les Sheffer (from left), homeowner Stan Baldwin, Mailhoit Trucking driver Chris Beudette, Stayner BIC member and heaving equipment operator Al Avery all helped MDS director Rick Savage with the project.

If watching your house burn to the ground wasn’t hard enough, Carol and Stan Baldwin of Grey Highlands, ON, had to stand and watch a second time while a group of volunteers razed what remained.

$2.3 million for East Africa drought

Ahada Kusoco Hassan, 23, cooks breakfast for her family in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. (ACT Alliance Photo/Paul Jeffrey)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has surpassed its initial target of raising $1 million for the East Africa drought and is now expanding its response to the continuing crisis in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

“We are both elated and humbled by people’s willingness to entrust MCC with their contribution,” said Willie Reimer who directs MCC’s food and disaster program.

Families with Small Children Can Respond to Hunger in East Africa

A simple meal, some change and a jar can make a difference.

When a disaster like the food crisis in east Africa hits the news, how can families with young children respond?

That’s the question we asked ourselves when our children were small. We wanted to respond meaningfully to food needs around the world. But little kids don’t have much money to give. And what does famine, or not having enough to eat, mean to a North American child, anyway?

Norwegian church leader calls for prevention of violence

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches in August 2009, and took up his new post in January 2010. At the time of his election, Tveit was the general secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations (2002-09).

Different faiths around the globe need to do more to promote human solidarity, said Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in the aftermath of the bomb attack and mass killings in his native Norway. 



$7.8 million now committed to East Africa drought

Canadian Foodgrains Bank partners with 15 church agencies, among them Mennonite Central Committee. --Photo by Christian Reformed World Relief Committee Canada

Two new projects supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank member agencies, Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC) and Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), have been added to the Foodgrains Bank response to the food crisis in East Africa.

MCC asks $1 million for East Africa relief

Drought has plunged East Africa into the worst food security crisis Africa has faced in 20 years. More than 11.5 million people are currently in need of food aid in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

An immediate and extended response to the current drought and food crisis in East Africa is essential for limiting the vulnerability of millions looking for enough food to survive, said Bruce Campbell-Janz, director of Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) Africa Department.



Church of England considers News Corp. divestment

Rupert Murdoch was summoned by the British Parliament committee investigating his hacking scandal to give evidence next Tuesday, July 19, but it is not yet clear whether he will turn up. --Huffington Post

Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) said it will consider selling its 3.8 million-pound (US$6 million) investment in News Corp. unless the media organization conducts a full and open inquiry into a phone hacking scandal.



Sudanese clergy seek to give aid in South Kordofan

Sudan's enormous humanitarian needs follow many years of inequitable development, marginalisation and internal conflicts that have displaced over 6 million Sudanese, including 2 million in Darfur and 2 million in the South, and left many destitute.

The government must allow humanitarian access to civilians who have been displaced by the fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state, Sudanese clergy said, amid reports of continued bombardment in the Nuba Mountains.



Anthem reversal revives Goshen College debate

Jesus Radicals and others replace the American and U.N. flags on the campus of Goshen College with the Agnus Dei and Earth flags. This was a protest against the college's decision to play the national anthem a year ago.

Praise, support, indifference, disbelief, outrage — and lots of media attention. Responses to a Goshen  College decision not to play the national anthem covered a wide range of perspectives.

'War through women's eyes'

Leymah Gbowee, executive director of Women Peace and Security Network-Africa, and Abigail Disney, the producer of documentaries on women peacebuilders, including one featuring Gbowee in Liberia, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” --Photo by Lindsey Kolb/EMU

Filmmaker Abigail Disney says she learned “to look at war through women’s eyes,” as a result of visiting Liberia in 2006 and meeting Leymah Gbowee, who now holds a masters in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU).



Gbowee was one of the leaders of a women’s movement that was instrumental in ending Liberia’s 14-year-long civil war in 2003.

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