Newsbriefs

Statistics Canada reports that by 2031, 25–28% of the population could be foreign-born, about 55% from Asia. Additionally, 29–32% of the population could be visible minorities by 2031, with some 47% of second-generation Canadians belonging to a visible minority. The study also predicts Christians will decrease from 75% to 65% of the population, while those who practice no religion will rise from 17% to 21%.—Statistics Canada

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Responding to concern about the cost of national events for new and rural churches, the Canadian conference announced a program to assist smaller churches. A pastor plus one leader may register free for Gathering or study conference events if they contribute to the conference ministry support fund, have a membership of less than 75, have CRA-reported income of less than $200,000, and are not receiving other funding from the conference.—Canadian Conference of MB Churches

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Hot Pursuit 2010 will see a team of 5 cyclists (CMU faculty and alumni) race from Vancouver to Winnipeg to raise money for international student financial assistance and international practica. Beginning July 17, Team CMU will race around the clock, attempting to cover 2,400 kilometers in 3 1/2 days, in pursuit of ultramarathon cyclist Arvid Loewen. Loewen is racing for the Mully Children’s Foundation.—Canadian Mennonite University

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Mennonite World Conference’s General Council Mission Commission began to plan its work in February. The commission’s members represent each continental region, aiming to “stimulate global, continental, regional, and local partnerships in outreach among Anabaptist-related church and mission groups everywhere,” says commission chair Richard Showalter.—MWC

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Mennonite Central Committee will mark its 90th anniversary with an academic conference, called A Table of Sharing, examining Mennonite identity and MCC, and how the two have shaped one another. The event will be held June 13–14 in Akron, Pa.—MCC

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In 2010, for the first time in 14 years, the Winnipeg Mennonite Central Committee relief sale will not be held. Organizers say that although sales continue to climb, volunteer numbers have steadily declined. The planning committee decided to take a year off to look for more sustainable ways to recruit volunteers and support the work of MCC. The annual MCC relief sales in Morris and Brandon, Man., are not affected.—Canadian Mennonite

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Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan is inviting dialogue with former residents of Timber Bay children’s home, and with residents of the communities of Lac La Ronge, Timber Bay, and Montreal Lake, Sask. “We have become aware of pain that some former residents have felt, and because of our association with the home, we would welcome the opportunity for dialogue,” reads a letter from MCC Saskatchewan and MCC Alberta. MCC supported the home with service workers from 1974–1989, while it was administered by the Brethren in Christ church.—MCC Saskatchewan

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Unless action is stepped up to properly collect and recycle materials, many developing countries face the spectre of hazardous e-waste mountains with serious consequences for the environment and public health, according to UN experts in a landmark report released by the United Nations Environment Programme. China produces 2.3 million tonnes of e-waste domestically, second only to the United States, and is a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries. Most e-waste is improperly handled, releasing toxins but yielding very low metal recovery rates.—UNEP

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University of Toronto sociology professor Scott Schieman examined Americans’ beliefs about God’s involvement and influence in everyday life. His study, published in Sociology of Religion, found that most people believe that God is highly influential in the events and outcomes of their lives – 82 percent say they depend on God for help and guidance in making decisions.—University of Toronto release

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École de théologie évangélique de Montréal (ETEM), enjoyed a higher number of students in their winter semester (58) than fall (42) for the 2009/2010 school year, contrary to the usual trend, reports academic dean Jean Biéri. Also at ETEM, the consolidation of ETEM’s and Institute Biblique VIE’s library, begun in May 2009, has provided an online catalogue of 8,000 titles. Many of these French evangelical works have never been previously indexed in the library of congress or Dewey decimal system.—ETEM newsletter

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Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has two new resources in its ACTIVATE series for youth and young adults seeking to live out their faith in challenging ways. The booklets Not so Ancient: Human trafficking and modern slavery and How Merciful? Euthanasia and assisted suicide include statistics, case studies, testimonies, and explain the scriptural foundation for principles discussed, as well as action plans.—EFC

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