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To listen to the church’s concerns, explore opportunities for disaster response, and express the global church’s solidarity with the Japanese people, a Mennonite World Conference (MWC) delegation met with Japan Mennonite Fellowship (JMF) representatives, May 21–30. JMF’s newly formed East Japan Great Disaster Relief Assistance Committee has already collected $55,000 from member churches, and JMF sent more than 60 short-term volunteers to deliver medicine, clear debris, and care for elderly victims. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) pledged a portion of the $954,000 collected for Japan relief to the Anabaptist churches’ coordination efforts. JMF hopes to collaborate with MWC Peace Commission to address nuclear energy concerns.—MWC release

This spring’s 525 U.S. tornado fatalities mark the highest death toll from tornados on record. With much of the cleanup completed, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) anticipates rebuilding projects to continue in Pulaksi, Va., for 6 months, in Tushka, Okla., for a year, in Joplin, Mo., for a year, and in Birmingham, Ala., for 2–3 years. Due to post-Katrina donation realities, MDS has decided to reduce salaries, lower travel reimbursements for volunteers, and terminate one administrative position.—MDS release

A 5-year collaboration between World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), World Council of Churches (WCC), and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID), who together represent 90 percent of Christians around the globe, resulted in a historic document: Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct. Available at worldevangelicals.org, this historic document on the ethics of Christian mission, in response to criticisms from faith communities, affirms Jesus as the example for witness, and love, integrity, compassion, humility, respect, advocacy, and prayer as integral to mission.—WEA release

After years of neglect due to conflict, irrigation tunnels bringing water from the mountains to Laghman province in Afghanistan have silted up. Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Presbyterian World Service and Development, and Church World Service have a 3-year, $1.4 million program to help more than 19,000 people in Laghman recover from drought, conflict, and natural disaster, including repairing the tunnels.—foodgrainsbank.ca

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