What keeps (all of) us safe?

May 26, 2020 by

Imagine: A black man and his son grab guns, hop in their car and chase down a white jogger. The young black man gets out of the car, confronts the unarmed jogger and, after a brief altercation, shoots...

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Create peace

Oct 22, 2019 by

In Matthew’s story of Jesus’ arrest, the most relevant part for “creating peace” is obviously when one of the disciples pulls out his sword and starts swinging. Then Jesus says: “Put your sword back...

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Stupid and cheerful

Sep 7, 2017 by

At the Poor People’s Campaign rally in Topeka, Kan., Rev. William Barber told us about a map of the United States. A map that shows what states have the highest rates of poverty, poorest health care access,...

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Did the Future Church Summit silence conservatives? No

Jul 25, 2017 by

As I try to process my experience at the Mennonite Church USA Future Church Summit in Orlando, Fla. — and especially as I think about the events of the delegate session — scenes from my son’s teen years...

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The future (Mennonite) church

Jun 28, 2017 by

I’ve been told to come to the Mennonite Church USA Future Church Summit with a smile, ready to make new friends. And I will. I basically smile all the time anyway; that’s just how my face looks. Honestly,...

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The Gospel in translation

May 12, 2016 by

People are drawn to the story of God’s mighty acts, the story of Jesus, not simply for the story itself, but because they hear that story in their own native languages. If the apostles had been speaking...

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Reciprocal conversion

Apr 12, 2016 by

Acts 9:1-20 When we hear this story, we usually focus on Saul: doubter turned believer; persecutor turned supporter; villain turned hero. I imagine this can be an inspiring focus for those who have come to...

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Temptations of ego and fear

Feb 18, 2016 by

“Turn these stones to bread.” “Worship me to gain power over the kingdoms of this world.” “Fall from the pinnacle so we can all watch the angels swoop in and rescue you.” These are the temptations...

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Creation care and incarnation

Dec 30, 2015 by

Emmanuel. God with us. Really. In the flesh. The incarnation means that in the most real and concrete way, God is connected to the physical reality of this planet. God has inhabited a human body with skin,...

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Reflection for All Saints Day

Oct 30, 2015 by

The Lectionary readings for All Saints Day and All Souls day include lovely words and images of God’s care for us and the divine promise of eternal life: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not...

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Murkiness, comfort and hope

Sep 30, 2015 by

This is the first resurrection story in the Bible. Amidst all the miracles of the Hebrew scriptures — creation and the flood and the plagues and the red sea parting and the water in the wilderness — here...

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Jesus as “the Way”

Aug 14, 2015 by

One of the most popular and — at least for some of us —uncomfortable “I am” sayings is from John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Many...

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Reflections on my teenage faith

Jul 14, 2015 by

“Wow! I sure was fed some crap theology when I was a teenager.” I came to this realization while going through an old chest full of letters, notebooks and other papers from my high school years. (I won’t...

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The road to Emmaus/The road to convention

Jun 30, 2015 by

Our biennial national Mennonite Church USA convention begins today in Kansas City, Mo., and there are two resolutions coming before the delegates that highlight disagreements about how our denomination should...

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Holy Week is hard

Apr 2, 2015 by

I love involving children in our Palm Sunday worship — letting them parade around and wave palms while the adults sing our Hosannahs. And I really love to celebrate Easter with children — with baskets and...

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Avoiding a pro-suffering theology

Mar 6, 2015 by

Lent was a fairly new concept for me when I was in college, and one year I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice — chocolate. I still remember standing in the ice cream parlor, looking at the luscious...

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Preparing to enter Lent — thoughts on Ash Wednesday

Feb 18, 2015 by

Three years ago I developed a creative arts Lenten retreat based on the Revised Common Lectionary passage. And guess what? The Lectionary has cycled back around to those same passages this year. The following...

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Listening for the God that doesn’t meet expectations

Jan 23, 2015 by

This is an excerpt of the sermon Harader preached on 1 Samuel 3 on Jan. 18. Read the sermon in its entirety here. The very first sentence of this story tells us that “the boy Samuel was ministering to the...

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Following — blogs and Jesus

Aug 25, 2014 by

The other day as I was clicking around online, I came across a blog written by a fellow Mennonite pastor. I liked what she had to say in her most recent entry, so clicked on the little button near the top of...

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Let’s talk about the Third Way

Jun 6, 2014 by

If you have been reading recent statements by Mennonite Church USA leaders, or even engaging in more private conversations about the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Mennonite church, you have heard the term...

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