News in brief

Feeding hope by 2015

A report released by Bread for the World and supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) finds significant progress toward The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) – a 2000 agreement by 189 nations to reduce hunger and poverty by 50 percent by 2015.  “Within Reach: Global Development Goals” points out achievements in health, education, and environmental sustainability. Many developing countries constructed social safety nets, and some former aid recipient nations have become donors. Increasing South-South cooperation and developing countries gaining input in a more transparent aid process are significant trends. Looking past 2015, CFGB’s Paul Hagerman says, “It is critical that Canada, and particularly CIDA, maintain a focus on poverty reduction, and continue prioritizing food security.” —CFGB release
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Evangelism in print
The Lausanne Movement, created to unite evangelicals to collaborate for world evangelization, established its own publishing imprint. In October, The Lausanne Library released Cape Town Commitment Study Edition by Rose Dowsett and Christ our Reconciler, the formal record of The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization: Cape Town 2010, a critical book for church strategists. The Lausanne Movement is seeking a new executive chair, as Doug Birdsall leaves to take on his new role as president of the American Bible Society in March. —lausanne.org

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Ethics go global
EXPOSED, a coalition of Christian organizations standing against corruption (a leading cause of poverty worldwide), launched in London in October. A 12-month campaign to promote practical steps for ethical behaviour in business, government, the church, and society will culminate in a global vigil Oct. 14–20, 2013, with the signing of a global call against corruption to be handed to the G20 gathering in Australia in 2014. EXPOSED partners include the British and Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society, The Salvation Army, Unashamedly Ethical, the World Evangelical Alliance, and Micah Challenge International. —worldea.org

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Ex-cons honoured
Conservative MP and former MB pastor (Sunrise Community Church, Regina) Maurice Vellacott was criticized for awarding 2 Diamond Jubilee Medals to pro-life advocates who’ve served prison time. Linda Gibbons served 9 years and 9 months for praying outside an abortion facility despite a temporary injunction forbidding her from doing so, and Mary Wagner served time for counselling women inside abortion clinics. “You cannot give the Order of Canada to…Henry Morgentaler [jailed in 1975 for performing illegal abortions] and complain about this award,” said Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League. —B.C. Catholic
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Good news for land and sea
The World Evangelical Alliance and the Lausanne Movement hosted a global consultation on creation care and the gospel in Jamaica Oct. 29–Nov. 2. The 60 participants, including theologians, scientists, church leaders, and representatives from international Christian development agencies, from 23 countries released a call to action and resources for “the development of a global movement for caring for creation through local churches.” —worldea.org
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Pray for beleagured Congolese
Eastern Congo experienced new violence at the end of November at the hands of the M23 rebel group. Yvette and Dieudonne, leaders of 9 MB churches in Bukavu, call the global MB family to pray for peace and protection. —ICOMB release
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A Chilliwack, B.C., parent complained to the school board that the glossy Gideon’s brochure his daughter brought home, which doubled as a parent consent form for receipt of a New Testament, was religious marketing. One trustee, Barry Neufeld, responded in support of Bible distribution in schools because it promotes biblical literacy, vital to understanding Western literature and civilization. Neufeld stated he wouldn’t oppose other faiths distributing their sacred texts: “If we aspire to a more tolerant, understanding society, then limiting freedom of speech does not seem to be the answer.”—chilliwacktimes.com
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After storm, MCC relief
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is responding to the devastation Hurricane
Sandy left in Haiti, where 370,000 are still living in tent camps since the 2010 earthquake. Areas received as much as 508 mm of rain, flooding tent camps and killing 54 people. MCC will distribute relief kits, blankets, canned meat, and a 5-week supply of locally purchased food rations to 493 families. Read more online at www.mbherald.com. —MCC release


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