News briefs

Some 1,600 people have died and 14 million have been affected by severe flooding in northern Pakistan. About 2 million are homeless. In partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), MCC is contributing $20,000 toward the distribution of food kits to 11,000 households. —MCC release with files from foodgrainsbank.ca

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The third Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism takes place in South Africa Oct. 16–25. Held in collaboration with the World Evangelical Alliance, Cape Town 2010 will bring together 4,000 leaders from more than 200 countries to confront critical issues – e.g. world faiths, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and persecution – as they relate to the future of the church. Christians leaders worldwide can participate through internet downloads and forums. —lausanne.org

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Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) opened a 1,200 square foot science lab Sept. 3, allowing CMU to offer advanced-level chemistry, physics, genetics, and biology courses. Manitoba premier Greg Selinger and MP Steven Fletcher attended the opening. Funded by the federal Knowledge Infrastructure Program, provincial grants, and private donations, the lab will serve the increasing number of students “coming to CMU looking to build an academic base in the sciences for such professional fields as nursing, agriculture, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, and education,” says CMU president Gerald Gerbrandt. —CMU release

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To help Anabaptist churches teach and reflect on peace the Sunday prior to Remembrance Day, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) offers a free online Peace Sunday Packet. The 2010 resource, prepared by MCC staff in Quebec, includes suggested Scripture readings, prayers, and children’s stories, and a downloadable three-minute video called “I remember.” —canada.mcc.org/peacesunday

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Linfen, China is the most polluted city on earth. According to thedailygreen.com, laundry on the line turns black before it dries. Spending one day in Linfen is equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes. Three million people are affected by  Linfen’s pollution, caused by automobile and industrial emissions. —huffingtonpost.com

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The Canadian Network of Ministry to Muslims is holding a national conference on Loving Muslims Together in Calgary Nov. 11−13. Plenary speaker Carl Medearis co-wrote Tea with Hezbollah with bestselling author Ted Dekker. —www.cnmm.ca

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Canada ranked third in a global “generosity” survey, which found being happy to be a greater impulse for giving than being rich. The World Giving Index 2010 from Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) surveyed people in 153 countries covering 95 percent of the world’s population. Canadians were on par with the Irish, surpassed only by Australians and New Zealanders. North Americans were the most willing to help strangers. Developing countries in the top 16 included Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Turkmenistan, and Guyana. —www.montrealgazette.com

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In 2011, Dutch Mennonites will commemorate several historic events: 450th anniversary of Menno Simons’ death, 275th anniversary of the Mennonite Seminary in Amsterdam, 200th anniversary of the unification of Dutch Mennonite conferences into the Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit, and 100 years since the first academically trained female pastor began her ministry. Special gatherings in Amsterdam, Elspeet, and in Friesland have been planned, which include bicycle and hiking tours, stage plays and exhibitions. —Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit

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The Mennonite World Conference (MWC) plans to hold the next world assembly in the United States in 2015, stating that, while “the majority of Mennonites and Brethren In Christ live in the Southern Hemisphere,” and “while it is financially possible for many persons from the North to travel South,” they believe it is essential that churches in the North have the opportunity to welcome the global family into their homes and fellowships. The MWC will likely meet in Indonesia in 2021 and in Europe in 2027. —mwc-cmm.org

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In August, leading Mennonite theologian A. James Reimer died at 68. As professor of theology at Conrad Grebel University College and Toronto School of Theology, and a founder of the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, Reimer sought to define Mennonite theology within the broader Christian tradition and engage in dialogue with Communist and Muslim scholars.

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The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is hosting the Hinge: National Church and Mission conference – a dialogue about the changing landscape of Canadian Evangelicalism − in Toronto Nov. 16−18. Keynote speakers and small group discussions will address “what is God’s best” in the past and “what do we take with us as we move into the future?” —evangelicalfellowship.ca

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