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Breaking News: Flu Outbreak: Resources for Churches at the ready


April 27, 2009
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. - Many wondered why Mennonite Church Canada would invest in pandemic preparedness materials, says Janet Plenert, Executive Secretary of MC Canada Witness.

But there's little doubt today: web site hits more than tripled overnight for, a web site developed by Mennonite Church Canada with support from Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS). The spike coincided with media reports that cases of the Mexico City flu had shown up in Canada.

At the time of writing, the outbreak was still not classified as a pandemic. But Plenert urges congregations wanting to demonstrate missional-mindedness to study the web site and use the tools there to prepare; this event may not be a pandemic, but experts continue to warn that the question is not if, but when.

To help further, MC Canada's Communications Dept. has set up a Twitter account. Users can follow flu and pandemic news trackers via the account name "ChurchFlu". Twitter, the internet social networking phenomenon, is a handy tool to aggregate fast breaking news - in this case news about infectious health issues.

Mennonite Publishing Network, in partnership with MC Canada and MDS, is also developing a series of pandemic print resources, including a study guide and a children's book. These will be available at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly, June 4-7, in Saskatoon.