Last shall be first

Feb 13, 2017 by

The slogan “America first” may take various forms in the coming years, but hostility toward Muslim refugees and other immigrants has become an integral part of it. Acting quickly after taking office,...

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Reformation at 500

Jan 30, 2017 by

Mennonites have claimed to be a “third-way” movement, neither Catholic nor Protestant. Yet we descend from the Protestant Reformation. Anabaptism emerged from the religious and political protest Martin...

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Balancing act

Jan 16, 2017 by

Staking out a middle ground in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict virtually guarantees a barrage of hostility. Angry words flew last month between staunch allies Israel and the United States over a United...

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Redeem the time

Jan 2, 2017 by

Tacking up a new calendar, do we hope or fear? The days set before us may hold joy and sorrow, happiness and disappointment. A year from now, we’ll mark another entry in the annals of the unchangeable...

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Lessons from legacies

Dec 19, 2016 by

Remembering famous people who have died marks a rite of passage from one year to the next. At MWR we follow this tradition too, believing obituaries are among the most important news. This year’s list of...

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2016 in review: What works for denominations now?

Dec 19, 2016 by and

With Christian denominations generally declining in North America, Mennonites are looking for new ways of being the church together. Shrinking or refocusing national offices while building up regional and...

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The vital (too) few

Dec 5, 2016 by

The 80/20 rule predicts that, in many events, 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. It’s called the “law of the vital few.” Human behavior confirms this principle when 20 percent...

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Worthy of our roles?

Nov 21, 2016 by

Conceding the presidency to Donald Trump on Nov. 9, Hillary Clinton quoted the Apostle Paul: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”...

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Board approves discussion of MC USA’s future

Nov 14, 2016 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — As funds and membership shrink, Mennonite Church USA seeks the wisdom of a crowd. Leaders are planning a “large-group process” for the biennial convention in Orlando, Fla., next...

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The Emmaus scenario

Nov 7, 2016 by

When two travelers failed to recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus, Jesus put their blurred vision to good use. As recorded in Luke 24, he kept his identity to himself as he taught Cleopas and a companion...

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Rape culture exposed

Oct 24, 2016 by

What good could come from a sexual predator running for president of the United States? Just this: Donald Trump’s obscene bragging about sexually assaulting women has raised awareness of a problem often met...

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After first ‘peer review,’ Mennonite Church USA leaders question its value

Oct 19, 2016 by and

HESSTON, Kan. — The licensing of an Ohio pastor who is gay has gone through Mennonite Church USA’s first “peer review.” Whether others will be done is an open question. More than 60 members of the...

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Outside the perfection

Oct 10, 2016 by

Presidential elections test the conscience of two-kingdom Christians. We belong to God’s kingdom but live in the world’s. Every worldly state operates “outside the perfection of Christ,” as the...

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Not endless after all

Sep 26, 2016 by

“War-torn” preceded “Colombia” in media reports for so long it seemed the three words would always cling together. For more than 50 years Colombia endured the longest war in the Americas. Fighting...

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Youth keep school-kit tradition going strong

Sep 20, 2016 by and

McPHERSON, Kan. — Berg­thal Mennonite Church has passed into history, but its spirit of service lives. Two of its youngest former members have taken the lead in keeping the legacy going. They’ve revived...

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Impossible dream?

Sep 12, 2016 by

Are Mennonites trying to do the impossible? Maybe, but we shouldn’t give up. We are just beginning to test new ways to live with disagreement on sexuality and to build unity. A couple of positive new...

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Generous orthodoxy

Aug 29, 2016 by

On his Aug. 11 podcast, journalist Malcolm Gladwell used the concept of “generous orthodoxy” to frame the story of Chester Wenger. It’s a positive approach to faith that is gaining ground among...

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Parallel universes

Aug 15, 2016 by

Two parallel Mennonite universes passed in close proximity July 29. Thirty miles apart in south-central Kansas, two groups of Mennonites gathered. They were similar enough to focus on a common goal but...

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Anabaptist Renewal Circles seeks to spark a revival

Aug 10, 2016 by and

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. — As the North American church declines, people still love Jesus somehow. But Jesus’ followers? Not so well-loved. “They think we stick with our own,” said Hugh Halter, the...

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First for divestment

Aug 1, 2016 by

The resolution on Israel-Palestine that Mennonite Church Canada delegates passed July 9 stands in sharp contrast to Mennonite Church USA’s failure to approve a similar statement a year ago. The U.S....

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