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From West Bengal to New York

Sumana Basumata is the fifth Mennonite World Conference intern to serve for a year in the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office. (MCC photo by Doug Hostetter)

Sumana Basumata dreams of working with an international organization that promotes peace education among children and youth. This year, she is taking a big step toward that goal by serving as the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) intern in the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United Nations Office, New York City.

Let the barn-raising begin

Conrad Grebel University College president Henry Paetkau presented “Barn Raising,” a Peter Goetz print from the Grebel collection, to David Johnston as a farewell gift on behalf of the uWaterloo University Colleges. Johnston is Canada's new Governor-General. Photo by David Perrin

David Johnston began his first day on the job as Governor General by telling Canada about Mennonites, Blackberrys and the students that marked his time back in Waterloo Region.

Support grows for sand dams

MCC engineeer Jon Viducich kneels in front of a vegetable garden watered by a sand dam constructed by the Christian Council of Mozambique in Phiri-meque, Tete province, Mozambique. The garden was cultivated using conservation agriculture principles. The final stages of the sand dam were completed in

In Mozambique, the use of sand dam technology, introduced by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), is spreading across the country, increasing people’s access to water and catching the interest of government officials.

Rabbi warns of 'new intifada'

A Palestinian man works at a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yakir, south of the Palestinians town of Nablus.

Hours after a freeze on West Bank Israeli settlement construction expired, bulldozers moved into an area close to Revava, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, with many residents mindful of an earlier reminder that settler activity can be volatile.

Muslims call for religion in school

Bulgarian clergymen and Orthodox believers marched on Sept. 24 to voice their support for the introduction of a mandatory religion course in schools, submitting a petition to that end in Parliament and to the Government.--Photo by Georgi Kozhouharov

The head of Bulgaria's Muslim community has announced his backing for a campaign by the country's Orthodox Church to make religious education compulsory in schools. 

The church held a mass march in Bulgaria's capital of Sofia on Sept. 24 in support of its aim as protestors shouted against "60 years of atheism", introduced during the communist era.

UN summit gets mixed grades

Robert J. (Jack) Suderman, recently retired general secretary for Mennonite Church Canada, urged world religious leaders to "stop teaching and justifying violence" in our faith communities, as part of a World Religious Summit this past June. His appeal got into the language of the 8 goals.

Political leaders at the summit acknowledged that progress towards achieving the eight MDGs by 2015 is not where it should be

Publishing/Third Way merge

Ron Rempel, who retires next summer as executive director of MPN after seven years, eliminated a legacy debt of almost $5 million; created a major new Sunday school curriculum, called Gather ‘Round; and brought costs under control through consolidation and downsizing.

Dynamic, innovative, fully-integrated and multi-media—that’s the goal of a new organization to be formed out of an integration of Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN), the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, and Third Way Media, a department of Mennonite Mission Network.

Prayers for peace in Africa

During “21 days of Peace Activism” Africa Youth Ministries in northern Uganda invited 900 churches to pray, sing, march, and debate together for peace.

 “We pray for Africa, especially for Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where violence and suffering are a tragic reality,” was the prayer from Nairobi at an International Day of Prayer for Peace event sponsored by the All-Africa Conference of Churches.

Indonesian church leaders call attack on Christians 'barbaric'

Police officers stand guard as Pondok Timur Indah Christians worship in a field in Bekasi. --AP photo in the Jakarta Globe

Leaders of the Protestant Christian Batak Church, a Lutheran church in Indonesia, have condemned the beatings and stabbings of its pastor and church members in Bekasi, outside the capital Jakarta in West Java, on Sept. 12.

Lao Canadian Evangelical Mennonite to dedicate new facility

Chinda Kommala, pastor of the Lao Canadian Evangelical Mennonite, shows members of the Mennonite Men (now Joint Hands) the new worship centre in Toronto toward which the MM donated $40,000. The presentation was made at a “Join Hands” luncheon meeting held at Assembly this summer in Calgary.

When Chinda Kommala opens the doors next Sunday, Sept. 26, to a newly-renovated 2,000-square foot worship centre, known as Unit 23 in the 70-unit commercial/professional mall on the corner of Westin and Finch, it will be a celebration of mammoth proportions, but not without struggle.

MCC sending $700,000 to Pakistan

A father and his ill son consult with a Church World Service (CWS) health team worker in Pakistan. Donations to MCC will help support CWS’ Pakistan flood response. (Photo courtesy Chris Herlinger/CWS)

Following weeks of disruptions, loss and trauma, people in flood-stricken areas of Pakistan are facing enormous challenges as they struggle to rebuild their lives.

“How does a family regain its footing after it loses everything?” asked Donna Fernades and Chris Herlinger, writers for Church World Service (CWS) in a recent report.

India asking for Christian support after riot

17 people are reported killed and more than 150 injured in yesterday’s mass riots in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the north of the country.

Churches in India are asking for support after Christian institutions became the target of violent protests linked to the reported desecration of a copy of the Quran in the United States. 

At least 16 people were killed and more than 60 injured in clashes on September 13 with security personnel in India-ruled Kashmir.

U.S. churches asked to reach out to Muslims

Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Centre near Gainesville, Fl, has backed down from his plan to burn 200 Qurans on Saturday, Sept. 11, claiming he has worked out a deal with Muslims in New York City to move the proposed mosque to be built near Ground Zero.

In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, many members of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ congregations reached out to Muslims in their communities to support and encourage them. In the face of ever-increasing anti-Islam sentiment, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. urges congregations to redouble those efforts.

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