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Names familiar to Mennonite Brethren were among the recipients of The Word Guild’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards: former MB Herald columnist Elmer John Thiessen of Waterloo, Ont., in 3 categories for The Ethics of Evangelism: A Philosophical Defense of Proselytizing and Persuasion, Canadian Mennonite University professor Sally Ito for her poetry collection Alert to Glory, Artisan Vancouver church planting apprentice Lance Odegard for his poem “Ark,” and freelance writer Jack Dueck of Waterloo, Ont., for his self-published script “Mysteries of Grace & Judgement.” —

October Baby, an independent film that sparked national debate with its compelling message about the sanctity of life, debuts Sept. 11 on DVD with more than 2 hours of bonus features. The Movie Reporter called it “a powerful parable about healing [that] doesn’t preach.” A production of Jon and Andrew Erwin and American Family Studios with Provident Films, October Baby stars Smallville’s John Schneider and Jasmine Guy of A Different World.—

Newly established producer and distributor of faith-based and family films, EchoLight Studios announced 6 films for release in 2012: 25 Hill, I am…Gabriel, Undaunted, 3 Day Test, 1 Message, and Heaven’s Rain. They are currently filming a feature with the working title Redemption. EchoLight is seeking new films to distribute worldwide and film concepts to develop.

Several pastors recently completed translation of the ICOMB (International Community of Mennonite Brethren) confession study manual, Knowing and Living Your Faith, into Japanese. Launched at a pastors’ conference, the book sparked vigorous discussion. Plans are now underway to hold regional study sessions. The Japanese translation joins volumes in Telegu, Spanish, French, and German. A completed Portuguese translation awaits publication; a Lithuanian version is available on the web; and Russian, Thai, Lingala, and Kikongo translations are in process. —ICOMB release

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