Spiritual but not religious

Mar 22, 2017 by

I am usually quite suspicious of oft-repeated expression, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Actually, “suspicious” might be putting it rather mildly. I have something bordering on a pathological...

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Save the pigs and all of us

Mar 10, 2017 by

Some churches have the best locations. When I lived on the west coast I would gaze longingly at the sight of little churches with ocean views or in the heart of leafy green neighborhoods with fruit stands and...

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Not who we are

Feb 1, 2017 by

The shooting at a Quebec City mosque that killed six people has been on many of our minds over the past few days. There has been the predictable outpouring of support and outrage on social media. There have...

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Seeing the small things

Jan 26, 2017 by

We live in excitable and noisy times. Our heads are daily filled with big ideas, big objections, big reactions, big fears… I’ve been trying to pay attention to smaller things. I spent Inauguration Day...

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Who’s winning at church?

Dec 12, 2016 by

Over the past few weeks, a number of people have inquired about my thoughts on a recent study conducted by Canadian scholar David Haskell which draws a strong connection between theological conservatism and...

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Get across the table

Nov 11, 2016 by

It was fascinating to watch the three-minute video clip where U.S. President Barack Obama and president-elect Donald Trump met the media after spending an hour together Nov. 10 at the White House. It wasn’t...

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In praise of regress

Nov 2, 2016 by

I have been known, on exceedingly rare occasions, to exasperate my children (and my wife… and, um, other people…) with my insistence that language be used with as much precision and accuracy as possible....

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Impositions and invitations

Oct 14, 2016 by

“Hey, pastor, what do you have to say about this graffiti? What do you think it means?” The question came from the teenage son of our German friends as we were walking around the old town of Rethymnon on a...

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Telling the truth in a world of lies

Sep 28, 2016 by

There was a headline yesterday, the day after the big U.S. presidential debate, that made me despair of being a human being in the 21st century. I guess to be precise, it was a tagline underneath a headline,...

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Under the sky

Jul 20, 2016 by

I spent 13 or so hours this past week driving under the summer prairie sky. Saskatoon was the location of our Mennonite national church’s biennial gathering, which I combined with a visit with my brother...

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When love is needed most

Jul 5, 2016 by

I was talking recently with a friend about the upcoming Mennonite Church Canada Assembly in Saskatoon that I plan to attend. Like many denominations, ours is wrestling with some familiar trends (aging,...

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The pope has a point about marriage

Jun 20, 2016 by

Pope Francis got himself in trouble recently for suggesting that the “great majority” of Catholic marriages being celebrated today are “invalid” because couples do not fully appreciate that they are...

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What does church mean to us?

May 19, 2016 by

I spent a good chunk of one recent morning in an online discussion about the future of Mennonite Church Canada with a handful of other young-ish pastors from across the nation. It was interesting to be...

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A good Christian

May 2, 2016 by

Most of us who fall into the “Christian” category of humanity walk around with at least some conception of a “good Christian” in our heads. It might not be a very good conception. It might not be very...

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Why do we eat soup during Lent?

Mar 22, 2016 by

Why do we eat soup during Lent? The question from a church member caught me a bit off guard as I was scrambling to get a few things together for a soup and bread Lenten lunch that our church was hosting last...

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Faces with stories

Feb 24, 2016 by

I dropped in on our local English training center for newcomers to Canada today. It wasn’t a planned visit, but I was having a conversation at a downtown coffee shop about how the Syrian families we...

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Losing and finding what matters most

Jan 19, 2016 by

Last summer, on a sticky, oppressively hot Wednesday afternoon in New York City, I lost my fourteen year-old son. My son isn’t easy to lose — he’s 6’5 and nearly 200 pounds — so this will probably...

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Frightening light

Dec 24, 2015 by

The “rising sun” came unexpectedly and unobtrusively upon those living in darkness. It was a very small light in a very ordinary place. A baby. Of all things. A baby boy. Which didn’t seem very...

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Growing together with refugees

Oct 23, 2015 by

I’ve been paying attention to Germany lately. And not just because my wife happens to be there visiting dear friends of ours who live in Bavaria (my daily act of spiritual discipline this week has been to...

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Paperwork perspectives

Oct 17, 2015 by

I hate paperwork at the best of times. I hate filling out forms, grinding through the interminable bureaucratic labyrinths that seem to be part and parcel of modern life. Sign this waiver. Check that box. File...

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