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Paul Simon's long meandering spiritual journey

Paul Simon: 'Always a spiritual dimension to his work.'

In a career that has spanned half a century, American musician Paul Simon says there's always been a spiritual dimension to his work. But the overt religious references in his most recent album, "So Beautiful or So What," surprised even him. There are songs about God, angels, creation, pilgrimage, prayer and the afterlife, reports Religion News Service.



Christian roots of African movement recalled at centennial celebrations

South African President Jacob Zuma: "But our roots are Christian and they will shine through whatever our present problems."

The Christian roots of the African National Congress (ANC) were cited during weekend celebrations in South Africa marking the centennial of Africa's best known liberation and political movement. More than a dozen African heads of state and representatives from around the world attended to honor the movement that eventually overcame the apartheid system of racial segregation.  

God's new beginning

Linda Matties

 One of the most famous announcements the world has ever heard is stated in this way: “For unto us is born this day ... a Savior.”  It is no accident that the fulcrum of human history rests on a birth narrative.  Given the limitations of human language, we struggle to find the vocabulary for momentous events.  What better metaphor than a birth story! 

Irony and challenge in Durban

Willard Metzger (2nd row, right) marches through the streets of Durban in support of climate justice with other people of faith. – photo by Kaitlin Bardswich

For Mennonite Church Canada Executive Director Willard Metzger, the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa was an eye-opening experience that began with a twist of  irony.

On the eve of the event, Durban was in the midst of a dramatic and destructive increase in rainfall – after a spring of exceeding dryness.

Another tree planting in Luther Garden signals unity

The 'Mennonite tree' is among the 150 maples, ashes, lindens and hawthorns in the garden as a symbol of worldwide unity. (Photo credit: Frieder Boller)

On a cold, blustery day in the German town of Wittenberg, Bishop Yuri Novgorodov of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kazakhstan patted down the dark soil at the base of a freshly-planted linden tree. Not more than a hundred yards away, the tower of the Castle Church soared into the bright winter sky.



'Waging Peace' has Canadian connections

The story of Muslim and Christian women working together on a quilt at Floradale Mennonite Church (Ont.) is one of several inspiring but obscure stories revealed in Waging Peace Muslim and Christian Alternatives. The quilt eventually found its way to Palestinian refugees.

A new one-hour documentary produced by MennoMedia’s film department, Third Way media, explores threads of peacemaking in the Christian and Muslim faiths through the centuries and shows how Muslims and Christians today are working for peace.

Government won't resolve First Nations housing crisis

Due to the shortage of houses in the Attawapiskat First Nation community, shacks like this are being used as homes. --MCC photo by Lyndsay Mollins Koene

While recent media attention has focused on the shortage of houses and lack of water and sewage systems in the Attawapiskat First Nation community in northern Ontario,  many other First Nations communities are experiencing similar problems, says a spokesperson for MCC Canada. 



Will 'Arab Spring' turn into 'Arab Winter'?

David Victor R. Youssef from the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services in Egypt

Churches in Egypt are praying and helping migrants, who flee home due to political turmoil, violence and uncertain future. There is a great need to develop stable democratic societies if the “Arab spring” is to bear fruits. Or else it might turn into an “Arab winter” with religious minorities at the risk of persecution.

Cultural and religious beliefs obstacles to gay rights, says Hillary Clinton

Clinton commits $3 million to seed Global Equality Fund.

The world needs to act more proactively to promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, said United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a keynote address delivered at the European headquarters of the United Nations. 



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