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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.

Longhurst: Faith begets giving

By on Jun 19, 2017 in Columns, Latest Issue, Longhurst: North of the 49th | 0 comments

John Longhurst

A new survey is out about Canadians and religion, and it reveals some interesting things. The survey by Canadian pollster Angus Reid found that 21 percent of Canadians identify as religiously committed; 30 percent are privately faithful; and 31 percent are spiritually uncertain. Only 19 percent consider themselves nonbelievers. The survey also found that 67 percent of Canadians believe God or a higher power exists; 60 percent believe in life after death; 53 percent believe God is active in the world; 57 percent believe there is a heaven; 41...

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Kennel-Shank: People over profits

By on Jun 19, 2017 in Columns, Kennel-Shank: Living Simply, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Celeste Kennel-Shank

The other day I was talking to a colleague who, like me, admires the 20th-century Christian radical Dorothy Day and life in intentional community, but isn’t starry-eyed about either. The conversation found its way to the discipline of voluntary poverty, which can be practiced in a number of ways but often involves earning and owning less than might be possible for a person. It pushes back at our get-everything-you-can-whatever-the-cost culture. But my colleague pointed out it begins with the idea of choice. It’s different from just being...

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Program restores sex offenders

By and on Jun 19, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

A sex offender who was part of an MCC-supported Circle of Support and Accountability wishes to remain anonymous so that he can reintegrate into society without the stigma of his crime. — Shane Yuhas/MCC

The Canadian government will provide nearly $7.5 million over five years to a Mennonite-supported program that helps convicted sex offenders reintegrate into the community. Circles of Support and Accountability is a national restorative justice organization for women and men who have committed serious sexual offenses. CoSA allows the community to play a direct role in the restoration, reintegration and risk management of people who are often regarded with fear and anger. CoSA emerged from a 1994 experiment in which a group of Mennonites in...

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Book review: ‘Unexpected Invitations’

By on Jun 19, 2017 in Book Review, Columns, Latest Issue | 0 comments

'Unexpected Invitations'

In Unexpected Invitations, Angela and Erwin Rempel tell of serving together in Mennonite ministries for four decades. From Brazil to Botswa­na and Pennsylvania to Kansas, they heeded God’s calls with a spiritual ease born of trust, akin to the farmer in Mark 4 who sowed the seed and rested while God produced a crop. The farmer then harvested the produce with his sickle. Their discernment of life’s invitations shows they knew when to rest and when to act. Angela writes: “We didn’t set out with clearly defined goals. We simply sought to...

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Bluffton University president announces retirement plans

By on Jun 19, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

James Harder

BLUFFTON, Ohio — Bluffton University President James M. Harder will retire June 30, 2018, after serving 12 years. Kent Yoder, chair of the university’s board of trustees, announced Harder’s plans at the board’s June meeting. “President Harder is a servant leader who faithfully continues to carry Bluffton University into the 21st century during a time of significant change in higher education,” Yoder said. “His steady leadership has positioned the university to move forward with new academic programs, global relationships, major...

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Agri-Urban, a link of farm and town, comes to an end

By and on Jun 12, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Agri-Urban board president Alan Entz with Agri-Urban branded cattle on his Newton, Kan., farm in 2012. — Vada Snider/MC USA

Branding isn’t as hot a topic as it used to be for Western District Conference. Decades of burning a stylized “AU” on young cattle in the spring came to a close last year when the last batch of Agri-Urban livestock was fattened up and sold, with profits going to WDC and other ministries. The Agri-Urban board decided in March to close the program, which connected city and rural communities by collecting donations from urban individuals to buy livestock, which farmers would feed for later sale. Elbert Koontz, then conference minister,...

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Guatemalan seminary leader knows Jesus heals

By and on Jun 12, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Elena and Willi Hugo Perez take part in a meeting of the North American SEMILLA Supporting Board at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., June 5-6. — Rich Preheim for MWR

ELKHART, Ind. — Willi Hugo Perez was 10 years old when he lost his father. During Guate­mala’s 36-year civil war, Marco Tulio Perez was accused of being a communist, tortured in front of his family and then killed by government soldiers in 1975. That turned Willi Hugo, a Catholic, into an angry youth with a shattered faith. Forty-two years later, Perez is the head of SEMILLA, the Latin American Mennonite seminary based in Guatemala City, committed to spreading Christ’s message of peace, love and reconciliation throughout a region still...

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Spike in Colombian violence underlines ongoing need for peacebuilding, prayer

By and on Jun 12, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Members of a Colombian Mennonite Brethren Conference visit a rural community in the San Juan region shortly after the community experienced significant flooding. The community is stuck in the middle of violence between the Gaitanista Self Defence Forces of Colombia, a paramilitary group that occupies the area, and a guerrilla group vying for power. — Brendah Ndagire/MCC

Partners of Mennonite Central Committee in Colombia continue to walk with people affected by more than 50 years of violence as new armed conflict emerges even after a peace accord. Violence among armed groups is escalating as FARC-EP guerrillas demobilize, threatening Mennonite Brethren churches in the Chocó region. The country’s largest rebel group, FARC-EP — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — signed a peace accord with the government last year. But “there is still a long journey toward peace,” said Amy Eanes, an advocacy...

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Watson: Deeper than charity

By on Jun 5, 2017 in Columns, Latest Issue, Watson: Gathering the Stones | 2 comments

Hillary Watson

Reparations is a chilling word to most white people. An aggressive, accusatory word that will have many people skipping over this column before they finish the first paragraph. I invite you to stay with me. As a white person, I’ve struggled with the idea of reparations, but there is one way it makes sense to me. Two stories explain why. The first is about a predominately black neighborhood in a city that, in the last seven years or so, has seen young liberal white people move in — first the social service agencies; then good-hearted...

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Ignoring evidence

By on Jun 5, 2017 in Latest Issue, Letters | 5 comments

How tiresome to see that some still claim science doesn’t support the theory of evolution (Letters & Comments, May 22). There are millions of pieces of evidence for evolution in museums and libraries around the world: fossils and their geological settings, photographs, measurements, compilations, analysis and exposition. Why turn a blind eye to all that? Bruce Fast Boulder, Colo.

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