Newbriefs

Delegates to the USMB biennial convention, July 27–28 in Omaha, Neb., unanimously passed a historic $1 million budget that increases the national conference’s investment in church planting, national staff, and promotion and marketing. Delegates also approved a proportional funding model for USMB ministries. Retiring president of Fresno (Cal.) Pacific University,

D. Merrill Ewert literally passed the baton to incoming president Pete Menjares during the Saturday morning report. —Christian Leader

See full report on USMB convention here

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Mennonite World Conference invites congregations in the global Anabaptist communion to observe Peace Sunday Sept. 23, 2012, (nearest the UN’s International Day of Peace). This year’s worship resources were prepared by Jenny Neme of Colombia, a member of the MWC peace commission and Iglesia Menonita de Colombia, and director of Justapaz. Available in English, Spanish, and French at mwc-cmm.org, resources include Scripture reflections, the experience of Colombian Mennonites, a litany for peace, and suggested actions. —MWC release

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The Evangelical Mennonite Conference celebrates 200 years in 2012. The denomination, begun in Ukraine in 1812 as the Kleine Gemeinde, moved to North America in 1874–75, and settled on the name Evangelical Mennonite Conference in 1959. Currently, the EMC has 7,200 members in 62 churches in 9 regions across 5 provinces in Canada, and an active mission program in two dozen countries. —EMC release

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Taking over from Peter Rempel, Ron Janzen became executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba (MCCM) Sept. 4, 2012. In addition to serving on MCC Canada and Ten Thousand Villages Canada boards, the former vice president at South Eastman Health has demonstrated leadership as finance manager at Steinbach Credit Union and secretary treasurer at Garden Valley school division. —mcccanada.ca

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The centennial celebration of Communauté Mennonite au Congo (Mennonite Community in Congo) was held July 16-22 in Tshikapa, DR Congo. Today, although some of the mission station buildings have crumbled into disrepair, the church has grown to include 110,000 members, 798 congregations, 95 schools, and 7 hospitals. Approximately 400 participants gathered for the event’s final worship service, July 22. MB involvement in Congo didn’t officially begin until 1922. —Lynda Hollinger Janzen, Mennonite Mission Network

See full report here.

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July 19, the EFC issued an open letter to the federal ministers of justice and health noting the need to address the Dec. 22, 2010, Supreme Court decision that struck down many critical provisions of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. “Quebec argued that such regulation was a health matter, and therefore provincial jurisdiction,” EFC general legal counsel Don Hutchinson explains. “A virtual open season now exists in regard to certain aspects of human-animal genome experimentation and embryo  importing, exporting, research, and destruction.” In its report, Recovering what was Lost: Recapturing the Integrity of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, the EFC recommends the federal government re-establish a national standard for what chief justice McLachlin referred to as “the pressing moral concerns raised by the techniques of assisted reproduction.” —evangelicalfellowship.ca

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Canadian Foodgrains Bank appointed Barbara MacDonald as senior policy advisor. MacDonald’s experience includes research in South America, and service as director of performance measurement and research with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Geneva, senior nutritional advisor for Canadian International Development Agency, and food and nutrition advisor with the International Development Research Centre. Replacing Stuart Clark, MacDonald will lead food aid and social protection work, while exploring ways to better integrate nutrition into the Foodgrains Bank’s activities. —foodgrainsbank.ca

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