News briefs

Pray and donate

World Vision is calling for a Canada-wide prayer vigil from 12:00 to 12:15 pm on Friday for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Many Canadian Christian aid agencies are raising funds for relief in that country, including: World Vision, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, Power to Change's Global Aid Network, the Salvation Army, the United Church of Canada and Mennonite Central Committee.

Authors donate hot half million

Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul is a new book containing short pieces from 30 Canadian Christian authors. The authors, all members of The Word Guild, come from six provinces and more than 20 denominations, and have donated money to enable the publisher, That's Life! Communications, to print an additional 30,000 copies of the book with a retail value of $500,000. The extra copies will be given to World Vision, which will in turn give them to the women who attend FaithLife Financial's Girls Night Out events across Canada. These 80 events offer an evening of fun and inspirational speakers while promoting World Vision's work with the millions of children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic around the world.

Pope appoints two bishops from Saskatoon

Bryan Bayda was appointed Catholic Ukrainian Eparchal Bishop of Saskatoon May 2. He replaces Michael Wiwchar, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. Bayda was born in Saskatoon in 1961, trained in Ontario and Manitoba and was ordained as a priest in 1987. The diocese includes 18,000 Catholics in 87 parishes, served by 21 priests, three deacons and more than 20 religious brothers and sisters. Murray Chatlain was appointed Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith May 10. He replaces Denis Croteau, who has also reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. Chatlain was born in Saskatoon in 1963 and ordained to the priesthood in 1987. The Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith includes 20,110 Catholics in 40 parishes, served by eight priests, three deacons, 15 religious brothers and sisters and 16 pastoral workers.

But does he have the gift of speaking in Newfie?

Tyndale University College in Toronto has appointed Bradley Noel director of Pentecostal studies, effective August 1. He will oversee a joint program established in 2007 by Tyndale and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland and Labrador to train ministers and church leaders. Besides academic work in Toronto, the four-year program includes up to one year of on the ground training in churches in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The long list would make a good book

The Word Guild has announced its short list of 96 nominees in 27 categories for the 2008 Canadian Christian Writing Awards. The short list nominees were selected from 225 entries. The nominees include 57 books and 39 shorter pieces. The winners will be announced June 11 at a gala at World Vision Canada's headquarters in Mississauga, Ont.

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This has to be a joke

Geez magazine, an independent satirical magazine produced by Aiden Enns and edited by Will Braun in Winnipeg, has won the 2008 General Excellence Award for Magazines, given out at the Canadian Church Press annual meeting in Cambridge, Ontario, May 1 - 3. The Catholic Register won the General Excellence Award for National Newspapers, and BC Christian News won the General Excellence Award for Regional Newspapers. BC Christian News also won three other awards: first place for News Story in a Newspaper (David F. Dawes's "Giving Voice to Darfur's Young"), third place for Biographical Profile in a Newspaper (John Cody's "The Tragedy -- and Triumph -- of Judee Still") and first place for Original Artwork in a Newspaper (Fred Peter's "The Light Shines in the Darkness").

Kairos fueling controversy

Kairos, a Christian social justice organization supported by several large and small Canadian denominations, is urging the Canadian government not to pass Bill C-33, which would require all gasoline to contain 5% biofuel content by 2010. Biofuels -- principally ethanol derived from crops such as corn -- were at one time considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels such as oil. However, critics now say that diverting food to fuel is driving up food costs and creating food shortages. They also say it takes almost as much energy to produce biofuels as the biofuels provide and the production of biofuels is leading to deforestation.

Innovative bridging ministries benefit from a good Foundation

The Bridgeway Foundation has awarded the 2008 R.L. Petersen Awards for Non-Profit Innovation to three Canadian-based development agencies. The Ratanak Foundation, based in Vancouver, received $20,000 for its work providing safe houses for young girls rescued from enforced prostitution in Cambodia and teaching them life and working skills. CBM Canada, based in Stouffville, Ontario, was awarded $5,000 for a project to link Kumi Hospital in Uganda via internet to resources and medical staff at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. International China Concern, based in Vancouver, was awarded $5,000 for a community outreach pilot project in Changsha, Hunan province, China, which will provide services and training to permit disabled children to remain in the care of their own families.

Salmon also need to be saved

A Rocha, an international Christian nature conservation organization, is sponsoring an event May 19 that will include a birdwatching walk in the morning in British Columbia's Little Campbell River Valley, followed by a talk by Paul Kariya of the Pacific Salmon Foundation on 'Can we have our salmon and eat them too -- what is the state of B.C. salmon?'

Life can be fun too

The Right to Life organization in Abbotsford, BC is hosting a unique fundraising dinner theatre event May 23 at Abbotsford Christian Assembly. The evening will include performances by Ron Reed of Pacific Theatre, the Bust A Gut Improv group and singer Maria Bamford.

May 15/2008

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