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More than a Roof, a B.C. supportive housing society founded by Mennonite Central Committee, won the 2012 Canadian Green Building Award for its Karis Place project. Karis Place, a partnership between More than a Roof Housing Society, B.C. Housing, and the City of Vancouver, provides supportive rental housing as part of the Provincial Homelessness Initiative —sabmagazine.com

June 13, The Word Guild honoured Jean Vanier with the 2012 Leslie K. Tarr Award for Career Achievement for his contribution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada. With more than 30 books, the 83-year-old theologian is best known for founding L’Arche (an international organization of faith-based communities for individuals with developmental disabilities). Previous recipients of the Leslie K Tarr Award include Jean Little, Rudy Wiebe, Janette Oke, and J.I. Packer. —thewordguild.com

Cocobolo trees, found in indigenous Wounaan lands in Panama, produce highly valued rosewood. Outside loggers began cutting down these trees in 2010; conflict with local indigenous people came to a crisis Mar. 30, 2012, when a Wounaan leader confronted a bulldozer driver and both were killed. MB leaders in the community are working with an MCC partner human rights lawyer from Colombia to develop a nonviolent strategy for conflict transformation. —MCC/MB Mission releases. See full story at www.mbherald.com.

Find out more about the situation at advocacy website injusticeinpanama.wordpress.com

Pope Benedict XVI bestowed papal honours on two Canadian pioneers of interfaith dialogue. Jesuit priest, theologian and author Irénée Beaubien was awarded a pontifical medal for fostering understanding between Catholics and other faith groups. The Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr was granted to Victor Goldbloom for promoting dialogue between Christians and Jews. Goldbloom is among a handful of Canadians and the first non-Christian in the history of the Archdiocese of Montreal and Quebec to have the papal honour conferred on him. —Canadian Centre for Ecumenism

Fuller Theological Seminary president since 1993, Richard J. Mouw will retire June 2013. Mouw joined the Pacedena, Cal., faculty as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics in 1985, bringing 17 years of teaching experience. During Mouw’s tenure, Fuller expanded its network across seven states, launched an online degree program, and established a Korean-language Doctor of Ministry program. Called “the most influential evangelical voice in America,” Mouw is respected for his active commitment to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue.—Fuller release


The Mennonite Church of Congo and its sister church, the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Congo, are preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Mennonite communities in Congo July 16–26, 2012. MB missionaries Aaron and Ernestina Janzen also began work with Congo Inland Mission in 2012. —aimmintl.org

MAX Enterprise called Tim Wagler as executive director of MAX Mutual Aid Ministries, North America, to guide the program throughout Canada and the U.S., and serve as president and CEO of MAX Canada Share Fund, Inc. and MAX Share Fund, Inc. Vice president of sales Dale Bauman will become president and CEO of MAX Canada Insurance Company and Mutual Aid Insurance Brokers Company (MAIBC). MAX Canada Insurance is a faith-based regulated company offering personal and commercial lines of insurance in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. MAIBC is an Ontario brokerage providing auto, commercial, and other products. —MAX Canada release

Mennonite Disaster Service ended its 7-year recovery work in New Orleans with a gathering May 16. Pastor Charles Duplessis thanked MDS for his home (currently doubling as the congregation’s meeting place), and pastor Donald Boutté said, “Mennonites have reminded us to re-establish the city around peace, justice, and reconciliation.” The $8-million response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita was MDS’s longest continuous effort in its 62-year history. More than 17,000 volunteers worked 126,400 days, completing 194 cleanup sites, 739 minor repairs, 183 major repairs, and 549 rebuilds.—MDS release


After engaging in the debate over the Ontario government’s proposal that schools be required to host gay-straight alliances, Don Hutchison of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada blogged about the accusation “homophobic,” a term used “to generate fear and to bully those it is directed against into silence.” The vast majority of evangelicals do not have a “fear or irrational aversion to gays and lesbians” (Oxford definition); “we do however, at times, find ourselves in disagreement with the public policy position expressed by activists from the gay community; as they at times disagree with ours.” Hutchison compares the mistreatment gays and lesbians have received to that of blacks in the 1950s, but “the solution of that day was not found in calling ‘racists’ names, but in engaging in a pursuit of justice.” Hutchison’s blog was a featured link on the National Post’s website.—evangelicalfellowship.ca

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