Loving hymns, aiding refugees

Dec 26, 2017 by and

A new album of hymns has raised around $6,000 for Mennonite Central Committee in one month. The Midnight Hymn Sing is a collection of 10 classic hymns recorded in a blues-rock-folk style. Shannon Koehler of...

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Last shall be first

Feb 13, 2017 by

The slogan “America first” may take various forms in the coming years, but hostility toward Muslim refugees and other immigrants has become an integral part of it. Acting quickly after taking office,...

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2016 in review: What works for denominations now?

Dec 19, 2016 by and

With Christian denominations generally declining in North America, Mennonites are looking for new ways of being the church together. Shrinking or refocusing national offices while building up regional and...

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MCC Christmas message: Pray with us for peace

Dec 15, 2016 by , and

Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace. Exactly 200 years ago, in the...

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‘Our family is here’

Oct 3, 2016 by and

(Feb. 18, 2016) We try to imagine how it will be to travel home from Winnipeg, a 2 ½-hour trip, with a family of four who doesn’t speak our language! We’re a bit apprehensive but hopeful that our hand...

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EMM Kingdom teams partner to help refugee students

Aug 15, 2016 by and

LANCASTER, Pa. — Middle school students from refugee families are expanding their language skills and cultural understanding, thanks to a program with Eastern Mennonite Missions involvement. Leap into...

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From refugee to sponsor: a 40-year journey

Jun 27, 2016 by and

As a 5-year-old resting in her mother’s arms at the bottom of a boat crowded with refugees, Nhung Tran could not have imagined the life she’s living now. A life as a doctor in Canada. A life where she is...

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Syrian refugees depend on MCC food

Jun 6, 2016 by and

With the war in Syria entering its sixth year, it’s easy to get lost in the facts and figures: As many as 470,000 dead; 4.6 million refugees who have fled the country; 6.6 million displaced within it; 13.5...

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Syrian refugee in Canada: ‘I feel it’s my country now’

Mar 7, 2016 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — Though Yhya Al Kurdi doesn’t know much English yet, he enthusiasically says, “Hello, hello, hello!” to visitors to his apartment. It has been a long time since he has had a safe home...

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Faces with stories

Feb 24, 2016 by

I dropped in on our local English training center for newcomers to Canada today. It wasn’t a planned visit, but I was having a conversation at a downtown coffee shop about how the Syrian families we...

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Syrian refugees and the Israelite exodus

Jan 29, 2016 by

An interesting story about some Syrian refugees in Toronto has been making the rounds, discussing how many are beginning to feel hopeless stuck in their hotels waiting to be processed. The article specifically...

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The faith of Syrian Christians

Jan 26, 2016 by

How long, O God? Will you forget me forever? — Psalm 13:1 A few days ago, I arrived in Lebanon from where MCC staff work with a dozen partner groups in Lebanon and Syria. It has been several years since...

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They aren’t all terrorists

Jan 18, 2016 by

In the 15 months leading up to December, the United States “delivered” about 20,000 bombs and missiles in the fight against the Islamic State. At the time, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh said the...

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Real or not?

Dec 7, 2015 by

Last month, Mockingjay: Part 2 concluded the film version of The Hunger Games series, a dystopian story in which children are forced to fight to the death in a televised Survivor-like arena. President Snow...

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Waiting for restoration

Dec 7, 2015 by

Not just a short wintertime season, Advent is always with us. Every day, some manifestation of creation’s groaning (Rom. 8:18-25) appears and causes outrage — or, alternatively, not as much outrage as it...

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Pennsylvania church welcomes Syrian refugee family

Nov 30, 2015 by and

Taking in refugees from Syria wasn’t the initial plan of Forest Hills Mennonite Church in Leola, Pa. “In February, our winter Bible school focused on immigration,” lead pastor Jon Carlson said. “This...

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Confessing the peace of Jesus in a terroristic world

Nov 19, 2015 by

Our world needs communities of witness and healing who confess that the God of the universe is fully revealed in that man on a cross who forgives and reconciles his enemies and who in his resurrection brings...

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Welcoming refugees — what choice do we have?

Nov 18, 2015 by

I don’t intend this article to be long. I don’t think it needs to be long. But it might end up being long. Here’s the thing: In reading through the gospels in the Bible, I notice something about what I...

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EMM worker has lively encounters with Islam

Nov 11, 2015 by and

Teaching at European seminaries in September, David W. Shenk said conversations everywhere were about how to respond to the continent’s refugee crisis. Shenk, a member of Eastern Mennonite Missions’...

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Growing together with refugees

Oct 23, 2015 by

I’ve been paying attention to Germany lately. And not just because my wife happens to be there visiting dear friends of ours who live in Bavaria (my daily act of spiritual discipline this week has been to...

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Paperwork perspectives

Oct 17, 2015 by

I hate paperwork at the best of times. I hate filling out forms, grinding through the interminable bureaucratic labyrinths that seem to be part and parcel of modern life. Sign this waiver. Check that box. File...

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Canadians give couple the wedding they missed in Syria

Oct 16, 2015 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — When Brian Darweesh and Reem Younes got married, they were living as refugees in Lebanon. They left their homes in Syria fleeing violence and a threat on Darweesh’s life. Their wedding had...

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Cyclists’ fundraiser multiplies to $1 million

Oct 12, 2015 by and

A million-dollar fundraiser, and even a rainy day, were reasons to celebrate at the seventh annual Pedaling for Hope Cycla­thon in Abbotsford, B.C. “Because of, not in spite of, the rain, the general...

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Refugees on Greek island inspire European CPT project

Oct 5, 2015 by and

Two years ago, Christian Peacemaker Teams saw a need on a small island in the Aegean Sea. In July, that hunch was confirmed when a refugee crisis on the Greek island of Lesbos dramatically escalated. The...

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Defining the other and the Syrian refugee crisis

Sep 24, 2015 by

Early in the Syrian refugee crisis, I was asked by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada to be part of a delegation meeting with Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Immigration. We indicated that the...

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