An urgent case for some ‘hilarious’ giving

Aug 30, 2017 by

All of us are shocked by the terrible effects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston and surrounding areas. And this represents only a fraction of the ongoing suffering experienced by millions in northern Africa and...

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Mennonite editor charged with sedition

Aug 14, 2017 by

In the middle of World War I, on June 15, 1917, the highly controversial Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Act provided for a penalty of up to 20...

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Mennonite girls from everywhere can cook

Jul 14, 2017 by

I am disappointed that your cookbook includes recipes for things like tacos. To me, that’s not Mennonite food. — anonymous comment on Mennonite Girls Can Cook Herald Press recently published a...

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Our ‘I come to the garden alone’ theology

Jun 15, 2017 by

The past century has seen a rise in popular gospel songs like “In the Garden,” sometimes known by its first line, “I Come to the Garden Alone.” Written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles, it...

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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...

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Supporting life during Lent

Mar 6, 2017 by

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? — 1 John 3:17 (NLT) I’ve always found it hard to...

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Holy Scripture in four-part harmony

Feb 10, 2017 by

The lectionary texts for Jan. 29 again reminded me of the amazing diversity we find in the authoritative writings that make up the Bible. The Psalm 15 lesson, for a start, shows us that we earn God’s...

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American civil religion on steroids

Jan 30, 2017 by

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal...

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Oh, how we love your precepts!

Jan 9, 2017 by

Fewer young adults are active in church than ever, we’re told, but they tend to be drawn more to congregations with strongly held beliefs than those with less well-defined faith positions. The Christian...

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Why are so few U.S. churches named after John the Baptist?

Dec 9, 2016 by

According to our local phone directory, there are numerous churches with names of spiritual greats, Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Saints Michael, Andrew, James and Stephen; and the Saints Peter, Paul...

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Last-minute exam for Christians who vote

Nov 8, 2016 by

Between 1890 and 1960, many states in the South imposed a literacy test for would-be voters, effectively denying most African Americans the right to cast a ballot. This was anything but a good idea, but...

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Shame isn’t always a bad thing

Sep 27, 2016 by

My parents were pretty effective in correcting their nine children by using frequent verbal reprimands, even the occasional “Shem dich!” (Pennsylvania German equivalent of “Shame on you”). They mostly...

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How much cash, real estate and paid staff does it take to produce a follower of Jesus?

Aug 29, 2016 by

“No one can truly know Christ unless they follow him daily in life.” — early Anabaptist Hans Denck Most of us Mennonites operate from the conviction that we should do everything possible to...

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Love and respect — even when the Trumperor has no clothes

Aug 4, 2016 by

Vice-president Joe Biden recently said of candidate Donald Trump, “This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class. Not a clue… He has no clue about what makes America great. Actually, he...

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What kind of ark should we build?

Jul 7, 2016 by

“God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence.” — Genesis 6:11 NLT According to the Biblical account in Genesis, it took Noah 120 years to build the original ark, one...

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To exit or remain? The July 4, 1776, question

Jul 4, 2016 by

In 1776 my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Christian Yoder, Jr., moved his family by team and wagon from Berks County, Pa., to the far western frontier of the state. A man now in his early 50s, he...

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How a fixation on Psalm 23 may hinder us

Apr 21, 2016 by

Like almost everyone else in the whole world, I love the Shepherd’s Psalm. It well deserves its place as our most favorite passage in the entire Bible. Even unbelievers are familiar with Psalm 23....

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Unity — humanly defined or heaven-inspired?

Mar 3, 2016 by

I read with great interest Richard Showalter’s “The Unity Jesus Meant” in the Feb. 15, 2016 issue of the Mennonite World Review. He writes: Though organizational union on a broad scale may...

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Loving God with all our possessions

Feb 16, 2016 by

One of our lectionary texts Sunday (on Valentine’s Day, no less) was the Deuteronomy passage on the giving of firstfruit offerings and of tithes. In our study at house church, we found in it a sharp...

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Celebrating the dream of reconciliation

Jan 15, 2016 by

“He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance… Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human...

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