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These stories appeared in the latest issue of MWR. Stories can be found sorted by issue here. To see more subscribe online or to the print edition here.

Songs by accused composer removed from hymnal

By and on Jul 6, 2020 in Featured, Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Voices Together

Planners of a new Mennonite hymnal are dropping seven songs from the book just months before publication after learning of sexual misconduct allegations concerning a composer. MennoMedia, the hymnal’s publisher, announced June 23 that songs by David Haas, a Catholic composer, recording artist, author and conference presenter, are being removed from Voices Together. The Mennonite Worship and Song Committee made the decision after learning about accusations announced in late May by Into Account, an Anabaptist organization that advocates for...

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Handwashing stations promote health in crowded slum

By and on Jul 6, 2020 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Joseph Mwaura, a community health promoter for Mennonite Central Committee’s partner Centre for Peace and Nationhood, uses a megaphone to inform people living in Mathare settlement of Nairobi, Kenya, about signs and symptoms of the coronavirus. He also tells listeners how to prevent the virus from spreading by washing hands and wearing a mask. — Christabel Awuor/CPN

NAIROBI, Kenya — Mathare settlement isn’t an easy place to stay clean and healthy on an ordinary day, so preventing COVID-19 from infecting people in a crowded slum of Nairobi is a challenge. Most of the 500,000 people who have taken up residence in Mathare are living there because they can’t afford to live elsewhere. They make, on average, less than $1 per day by doing manual labor or domestic chores in other neighborhoods. Public water and sewer services are nonexistent in most of Mathare, so people either pay private vendors for water...

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Tractor whisperer

By and on Jul 6, 2020 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Jerry Toews prepares antique tractors for sale at the 2018 Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale. — Sandra J. Milburn/The Hutchinson News

Each year, relief sales raise more than $4.5 million for Mennonite Central Committee’s work around the world. They are made possible by the work of hundreds of volunteers. Some, like Jerry Toews of Goessel, Kan., end up donating not just a few hours but days or weeks of time a year to make these efforts a success. Toews’ childhood love for tinkering grew into a passion that generates tens of thousands of dollars each year for MCC. For nearly 25 years, the 76-year-old has been refurbishing donated vehicles for auction at the Kansas...

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Paraguayan shaped global Anabaptist theology

By and on Jul 6, 2020 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Alfred Neufeld of Paraguay shaped Anabaptism globally through many roles with Mennonite World Conference. — Mennonite World Conference

Alfred Neufeld of Paraguay, a prolific author, theologian, historian and teacher who shaped Anabaptist theology globally, died June 24 in Münster, Germany, after treatment for liver cancer and kidney problems. He was 64. Neufeld served on the General Council of Mennonite World Conference and then chaired its Faith and Life Commission from 2008 to 2018. He represented MWC in several ecumenical dialogues and played a major role in bringing together Mennonite churches in Paraguay to plan the MWC assembly in 2009. He served as co-chair of the...

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MEA investments prioritize climate change

By on Jul 6, 2020 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Mennonite Education Agency has revised its investment strategy, adopting five stewardship commitments targeting climate change. The MEA Investment Fund manages more than $150 million in endowment assets of 19 institutions, including schools, colleges, congregations, conferences and other programs. “The sobering findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change served as a significant motivator,” said Aaron Ziulkowski, chair of the environmental, social and governance subcommittee that crafted the statement. “Further, the...

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Why we should reconsider Augustine

By on Jul 2, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 5 comments

Why we should reconsider Augustine

I love St. Augustine of Hippo. That might not seem like a big deal, but since at least the time of John H. Yoder, Augustine has been on the outs with the Anabaptist world, seen as the author of all that was wrong with Christendom. But I’m convinced that if we disregard Augustine we’re missing out on some of the richest theology and wisest spiritual guidance the church has to offer. There’s a reason most of the church for most of history has considered Augustine such a towering figure. Even Menno ­Simons quoted him. Anabaptists have...

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Kennel-Shank: Once more, gratefully

By on Jun 29, 2020 in Columns, Kennel-Shank: Living Simply, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Celeste Kennel-Shank

Time has been slippery lately. These days, weeks and months of the pandemic slide together, though punctuated with dramatic moments: the loss of jobs, the deaths of loved ones, the deaths that hospital workers have witnessed. This pandemic has revealed truths about our society ever more starkly: the devaluing of black lives, the exploitation built into our economy and the threat of climate change. Racial and economic disparities place some at much greater risk of harm. And in the areas where some of us live, pollution has been taking a silent...

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For a week, the Block Bunnies ruled

By on Jun 29, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

There was no escaping the wailing sirens, thumping helicopters, growling military trucks, stinging smoke and, every now and then, the hollow pop of a pistol. For a week in Minneapolis, it went on and on. And through it all, the “Block Bunnies” stood vigil. Twenty-seven neighbors, previously unknown to one another but now organized and in tight communication, wearing yellow shirts and walking around our blocks in two-hour shifts, stood ready to call the alarm bringing all of us to the rescue. We were ready. Our garden hoses were linked and...

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African American group urges denomination to address racial injustice

By on Jun 29, 2020 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

The African American Mennonite Association called upon fellow Mennonite Church USA congregations, which are predominately white, to be involved in healing and reconciliation amid the protests that erupted since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. AAMA advocates and works to equip African Americans and African American integrated congregations within the denomination. In a statement released June 3, AAMA identified other recent racial confrontations that have caused great pain or ended in death, including the...

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MC USA launches racial justice fund

By on Jun 29, 2020 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

In the midst of social unrest in the United States, Mennonite Church USA has launched a Justice Fund for individuals and congregations to support MC USA churches involved in dismantling racism, addressing police brutality, reimagining policing or combating poverty. “Many congregations are already working in these areas but have limited budgets,” said Glen Guyton, executive director of MC USA. “The Justice Fund allows us to come together and support this important ongoing work through the practice of mutual aid.” The Justice Fund will...

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