We are still willing

Mar 31, 2017 by

I remember Michael J. Sharp (MJ) as a rambunctious junior high kid from the time we overlapped life at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center and Scottdale in Western Pennsylvania. I’ve been aware of his work...

[read more]

Nationalism, civil religion and greed-based economics

Mar 30, 2017 by

Among the ways the last book of our Bible is truly revelatory is in its portrayal of violence and harm as perpetrated by evil systems rather than simply by individual evildoers. It does so through a collage of...

[read more]

A life in pursuit of peace

Mar 29, 2017 by and

Helping people lay down weapons was a thread running through much of Michael J. Sharp’s life. From work with U.S. military personnel in Germany seeking conscientious objection discharges to developing trust...

[read more]

No more palms, please

Mar 29, 2017 by

Most Christians never question where the palms on Palm Sunday come from. It never occurred to me, until my first year pastoring, that someone had to get the palms (and order them well in advance). But as we...

[read more]

Bodies found in Congo; U.N. worker dead

Mar 28, 2017 by and

Michael J. Sharp, a Mennonite worker with the United Nations kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was found dead March 27. Multiple media outlets reported Congo communications minister Lambert Mende...

[read more]

‘From death to life’

Mar 27, 2017 by

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. — Col. 3:15 On Easter morning in April 1528 in Augsburg, Germany, almost 100 Anabaptists were rounded up by...

[read more]

Kennel-Shank: Staying awake in Gethsemane

Mar 27, 2017 by

The cemeteries where members of my extended families are buried are truly places of repose, surrounded by the fertile fields of Lancaster County, Pa. When I visit their graves, I sense that they are at rest,...

[read more]

Plain groups: work-family bond resists worldly ways

Mar 27, 2017 by and

HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. — Today’s North American economy presents daunting challenges for building the ideal faith community, according to David Martin of Cheyenne, Wyo. “Why does there seem to be among...

[read more]

Kriss: Pastoring in polarities

Mar 27, 2017 by

Many who preach regularly are finding it a tough navigation in the pulpit in the United States. Our highly politicized environment means it’s difficult to find ways to speak that are both relevant and...

[read more]

Christ-centered values

Mar 27, 2017 by

I agree with letter writers published in the March 13 MWR who were concerned about reading the Bible in our quest for ethical and moral values. I especially depend on Jesus to focus these values. I have been...

[read more]

Kraybill: Where truth confronted power

Mar 27, 2017 by

Today multiple versions of “truth” compete for attention in politics and media. We ask the same question Pontius Pilate famously put to Jesus: What is truth? (John 18:38). Truth already had been...

[read more]

Warring impulses

Mar 27, 2017 by

War in an age of terrorism reveals the limited effectiveness of armed force. Yet the belief that higher military spending buys more national security remains strong. President Trump’s proposal to add $54...

[read more]

Dream for the church

Mar 27, 2017 by

I have a dream of seeing the church embodying the love of Christ in all its relationships, being hospitable, compassionate and having friendships with all, regardless of their sexual orientation or level of...

[read more]

Our wilderness path

Mar 27, 2017 by

The story of Jesus’ 40-day trial in the wilderness is so familiar to us that we can easily read through the account: “He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished”...

[read more]

Longhurst: Liberals who thrive

Mar 27, 2017 by

Last fall, researchers from two Ontario universities set out to discover why mainline churches in Canada are dying. Of the 22 Anglican, United, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches they surveyed, all in Ontario,...

[read more]

Bible: Songs of miraculous love

Mar 27, 2017 by

Of all the musical settings of Psalm 23 that I enjoy, the tune and text that resonate most deeply for me is “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” (No. 589 in Hymnal: A Worship Book). The text, set to an early...

[read more]

Opinion: Scripture overrules experience

Mar 27, 2017 by

Many in our church are sure we should fully include those in same-sex marriages, blessing their covenants and credentialing their pastoral gifts. I would like to join them. Life is simpler when we move with...

[read more]

Workers seek to improve interfaith engagement

Mar 27, 2017 by and

AKRON, Pa. — As religious hostility, Islamophobia and anti-Semitic acts surge, a group of interfaith, peacemaking and mission workers from six Anabaptist agencies met to explore ways to improve interfaith...

[read more]

The Bible’s place

Mar 27, 2017 by

In letters to the editor, I notice that no matter which side of an issue one takes, there seems to be an agreement that the final arbiter is the Bible. We think that if we would simply read the Bible...

[read more]

Book review: ‘Wholly, Holey, Holy’

Mar 27, 2017 by

In his self-published memoir, Melvin D. Schmidt reflects on his life and nearly 50 years as a Mennonite pastor. It is a page-turner, wonderfully written with hundreds of anecdotes, picturesque language (beware...

[read more]