The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada Oct. 7 in support of the Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony in their appeal against the government of Alberta regarding enforced photo identification. The case provided opportunity to address “the right of a religious group to determine and live by their understanding of their sacred texts,” said EFC general legal counsel Don Hutchinson.
Bus Stop Bible Studies is an evangelical, non-denominational organization that places custom-designed advertising on public transportation. Churches or individuals can purchase standard or double-wide panels containing Bible verses and church information for buses, streetcars, and Toronto’s subway.
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) ratified Canadian Mennonite University’s membership at their annual meeting in Ottawa, Oct. 22. The AUCC represents 93 Canadian public and private universities and university-degree level colleges. AUCC membership will make transferring credits to other universities and colleges easier for CMU students, and will make faculty eligible for additional research grants.
The U.S. Conference of MB Churches has more than doubled its membership in the last 25 years. Increasing from 16,942 members in 1983 to 35,496 in 2008, the conference’s growth is in large part due to “adoption” of ethnic congregations, especially Slavic churches of Ukrainian immigrants. Thirty-five Slavic and 35 Hispanic congregations, 9 Ethiopian, and 7 Korean congregations have joined since the early 1990s.
—Mennonite Weekly Review
Evangelicals from more than 100 nations gathered in Pattaya, Thailand, Oct. 25, for the opening of the general assembly of the World Evangelical Alliance, an event that takes place every 6 years. International director Geoff Tunnicliffe urged delegates toward faithfulness to Scripture as the way to refresh their vision for integral mission. For the first time, one day of the 5-day gathering was committed entirely to prayer and fasting.
Marv Frey, chief executive officer of Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) Canada from 2002–2007, died in his home Oct. 19 after a struggle with aggressive brain cancer. Frey “leaves a legacy of integrity, humility, and compassion,” said Bev Hiebert, director of sales at TTV. He had a long history with Anabaptist service organizations, having served as program director for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, executive director of MCC Canada, coordinator of MCC Canada Overseas Service, and service worker terms in Jamaica, Swaziland, Somalia, and Lesotho.
The government of Orissa state in India has appointed a one-man panel to investigate the violence in Orissa, which has thus far been downplayed and under-reported by government officials. The region has experienced more than two months of violence as Hindus retaliate against Maoist attacks by blaming and targeting Christians. A report by the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist reported more than 500 killed. John Dayal of the National Integration Council reports 200 Christian villages, and 127 church and prayer halls destroyed or burned, and says tens of thousands of refugees are hiding in forests.
—Compass Direct News
Despite a downturn in the economy, investors are not turning away from issues of the environment, reports Michael Jantzi, founder and president of Jantzi Research. The firm evaluates and monitors the ESG (environment, social, and governance parameters) of investments. Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice president of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., confirms that sustainable investing is a growing concern. “Part of [building for the long term] is having best practices and corporate governance but it’s also human capital development,” says Lovett-Reid.
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) was one of three finalists in their category for the 2008 Ontario Innovation Excellence Awards held Oct. 29. The awards “celebrate the imaginative spirit of Ontario’s leaders” with innovations that influence the market or change a thought process in every field of business and organizational leadership in the categories of finance, intellectual design, strategic positioning, sustainable development, government and non-government organizations.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) will discontinue shipping used clothing overseas in 2009. A review of the material resource program found that school kits, health kits, relief kits, blankets, and canned meat are among the most highly valued items that MCC ships abroad. The review recommends MCC continue shipping highly valued items to people in crisis situations, such as wars and natural disasters, but discontinue some items because of higher shipping costs, environmental concerns, and the possibility of purchasing items closer to their destination. MCC’s material resource program ships hundreds of tons of basic supplies, such as blankets and canned meat, to people in need around the world every year.