“I have seen entire families in the garbage dumps looking to quench their hunger. I have also watched with sadness as they return the elderly from the hospitals because there are no possibilities to attend them, nor medicines to supply them,” said Erwin Francisco Mirabal González, a Mennonite pastor in Venezuela.
Bethlehem Bible College, which serves Arab speakers in Palestine-Israel and beyond, was founded in 1979. Its first president, Bishara Awad, worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Bethlehem and spent a year at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in the 1980s.
Carolyne Epp-Fransen, centre, speaks on behalf of the MC Manitoba working group at a September 2018 symposium on international law, hosted by several Winnipeg advocacy groups. To her left is Dean Peachey, a fellow working-group member. Featured speaker Michael Lynk, second from right, was the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gordon Epp-Fransen)
Facing the camera, Chloe Hiebert Bergen, left, and Carolyne Epp-Fransen of the MC Manitoba working group tend a literature table at an April 2018 lecture at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, featuring Anglican Palestinian theologian Naim Ateek. (Photo by Gordon Epp-Fransen)
Like other educational institutions around the world, the West Bank’s Bethlehem Bible College has been broadsided by the COVID-19 pandemic. Campus lockdowns, infections among staff, a greater dependence on online instruction—all have been the new reality, in addition to the ongoing political uncertainties in the region.
This past March, we published a story about Lynell Bergen’s sabbatical at Meserete Kristos College in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. Bergen, who is the lead pastor at Hope Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, spent her sabbatical teaching at the college.
In close consultation with the national advisory committee in Indonesia, the host country, the executive committee of Mennonite World Conference (MWC) has decided not to hold Assembly 17 in 2021, as originally announced. Instead, MWC has decided to postpone its next global assembly until July 5-10, 2022.
The Mennonite World Conference (MWC) COVID-19 inter-agency task force has approved 21 relief proposals.
Windsor-Essex County in southwestern Ontario has drawn a plethora of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to ongoing outbreaks and high occurrences of infections in specific sectors, the virus is still taking quite a toll in the region, despite the efforts of many.
Mennonite Central Committee is responding to the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, that caused extensive damage throughout the capital city on Aug. 4.
The blast is believed to have been caused by large quantities of ammonium nitrate, used for fertilizer and explosives, stored unsafely in a warehouse at the city’s port.
Registration is now open for Mennonite Church Canada’s upcoming virtual study conference.
The conference, titled “Table talk: Does the church still have legs?”, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The registration link is mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020.
On this day 30 years ago, Manitoba Mennonites were playing host to a global assembly of Anabaptists.
The 12th Mennonite World Conference Assembly took place in Winnipeg, Man. from July 24-29, 1990. The once-every-six-years event drew more than 12,000 registrants, including 1,600 from nearly 70 countries outside of North America. The theme was, “Witnessing to Christ in today’s world.”
A presenter with Peace Organization, a Syrian non-profit organization, stands during a peace dialogue in Damascus, Syria. (Their name is withheld for security reasons.) At these sessions, held last fall, youth discussed the definition of peace, the role of young people in building peace, and how to start a peace initiative. (Photo courtesy of Peace Organization)
Representatives from 17 Middle Eastern non-profit organizations participated in an August 2019 conference in Broumana, Lebanon, hosted by MCC and its partner organization, Development for People and Nature Association. The conference kicked off a European Union-funded initiative intended to empower the organizations to promote peace. (MCC photo by Garry Mayhew)
With a 994,000-euro grant (C$1.5 million) from the European Union, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is empowering organizations to implement peacebuilding projects across four Middle Eastern countries.
“There is lockdown and physical distancing, but even so, we can meet in prayer,” said Hanna Soren, a member of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Deacons Commission, who offered a prayer at the close of the organization’s first online prayer meeting on May 31. “From different countries, we can come together and pray together in this way.
Lowell Ewert, associate professor of peace and conflict studies (PACS) at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo, has been honoured with one of the four UWaterloo 2020 Distinguished Teacher Awards.
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated a retired pastor’s ministerial credential after investigating him for ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. The regional church made the announcement about Wilmer Martin, 75, of Waterloo, Ont., on June 16.
For the first time in the Manitoba-Germany Exchange’s 40 years of existence, Canadian students will not be able to reunite with their exchange partners in Germany this spring, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Table talk: Does the church still have legs,” the 2020 Mennonite Church Canada study conference, is a virtual event happening on Oct. 24. Plenary speakers from MC Canada-affiliated schools will share on themes of ecclesiology, worship and mission.
Mennonite Church Canada is donating $50,000 to the Global Sharing Fund operated by Mennonite World (MWC) to help MWC-member churches struggling because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Affordable housing “changes lives.” It is a “human right that enables individuals and families to flourish.”
These convictions motivated Anne Nicholson and other members of the Markham Inter-church Committee for Affordable Housing (MICAH) to persevere with a recent building project despite the “unique challenges” presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As rallies and protests continue across the United States and Canada in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the five regional churches of Mennonite Church Canada released a statement yesterday asking congregations to set a specific time of prayer this coming Sunday, June 7.
Helen Martens, Conrad Grebel University College’s first music faculty member, passed away on April 9 at the age of 92, surrounded by family in Winnipeg. She last visited Grebel in 2013 during the college’s 50th anniversary.
Serge Gravel describes meeting with other French Anabaptists online like getting a dose of Vitamin C fortified with Vitamin D and zinc, in order to gain spiritual victory and encouragement, enthusing about how good it was to see the radiant faces and shining eyes of everyone.
With stay-at-home orders being lifted across much of the U.S. and Canada, churches are thinking about what it will look like to open their doors again. Yet because the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, it is up to churches to consider how to do so safely.
One of the most potent ways we cope with hardship is by singing and praying together. Amid the loss of in-person gathering, congregations have shown a tremendous amount of creativity, whether worshiping via video conference platforms such as Zoom, livestreaming a service, or pre-recording the service.
Looking for a movie to watch? Sue Sorensen has some suggestions for you.
Sorensen, an English professor at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, is featured in a series of five short videos CMU posted to its YouTube channel earlier this month.
Each video features a film that Sorensen recommends watching, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tha Thi Ke stands in her family’s first cornfield in Vietnam’s Phu Tho Province. In 2001, MCC encouraged farmers to grow winter corn crops and find other ways to supplement income from their rice yields, helping them remain on their land rather than being forced to migrate. (MCC photo by Jack Leonard)
Mushiya Christine, Kayaya Lulula and Veronigue Lumba Misenga took part in a support group for older refugees in 2017, run by MCC partner Refugee Social Services in Durban, South Africa. These elders can feel isolated and stressed, but home visits and support groups help them feel connected. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has scaled up its work to respond to the global crisis, increasing projects related to water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), local health initiatives and food relief.