Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources across the Anabaptist world. To submit a blog post, email editor@mennoworld.org.

Deciphering an 1873 diary

By on May 22, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.” — Hermann Hesse, German-born poet, novelist, and painter It all started with a challenge at a German teachers two-day conference in autumn. On the back of the program was an excerpt of a letter penned in the late 1800s. It was written in the old German script known as Sitterling and which has not been used in Germany for many years. The Hutterites were likely the last people to use it. Most of our sermons are in that...

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Surprise learnings from sharing about our holy books

By on May 20, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As part of an effort among Alberta Mennonites to bridge understanding between Christians and Muslims, Christian-Muslim dialogues have been organized annually since 2013 under the banner “A Common Word Alberta.” These have been taking place in Edmonton, but will soon be organized in Calgary as well. Out of this grew an interest in having more frequent opportunity to get together in small groups to explore each other’s scriptures through common topics. This led to adopting the “Scriptural Reasoning” framework created through Cambridge...

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What does it mean to be Anabaptist today?

By on May 17, 2019 in The World Together | 8 comments

The World Together Blog

I am not one of those people who says, “I’m not religious, I just love Jesus” or “I don’t belong to any denomination, I’m just a Christian.” Rather, I have sometimes said, “Those who are sure of their unique convictions are often more open to genuine dialogue than those who accept all beliefs as equally valid.” The latter really have little to offer to a dialogue and by accepting everything uncritically they thereby dismiss anyone who has strong convictions. We all have traditions, backgrounds, biases and peculiar...

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Reflections from the South Texas Borderland Tour

By on May 16, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Kathy Neufeld Dunn joined others from Western District Conference on a borderlands learning tour May 6-10 sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee Central States and supported by the WDC Immigration Task Force. I left with a lot of black-and-white self-righteous anger and certainty. I return with “a heart strangely warmed,” as John Wesley once wrote, and a whole lot more room for gray in my own categories of who’s right and who’s wrong, of who’s kind and who’s cold-hearted, and of where Jesus might show up. I left assuming that all...

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Doing Justice: Loving neighbors, public officials

By on May 14, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 3 comments

Jeff Walker presents a research report on incarceration in St. Joseph County. — Peter Ringenberg

Mennonites are good at service. That’s how we love our neighbors. We address direct human need: providing shelter, food, education. Sometimes we ask about policies and institutions that impact the needs of our neighbors. When this takes us into the political arena, we usually choose protest or maybe advocacy. When Mennonites speak truth to power, we don’t generally expect to have an impact. We will always be a minority. We choose “faithfulness” over “effectiveness.” We shy away from thinking about the power we wield, and how to...

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Justice on the journey: migration

By on May 8, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

There is a lot of information out there about the varied issues that lead to human mobility. Among them we find climate change that modifies the environment, empires and world powers that produce more wealth while causing poverty in other countries, as well as means of communication that give us access to information, routes and transport that give us knowledge of better living conditions in other places. The 16th century Anabaptists experienced and lived through migration motivated by the persecution that they suffered. In large part their...

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Slam-bam cookies

By on May 6, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

We left Hillsboro, Kan., more than three decades ago, but we still think of it often. Fondly, I might add. Especially while cooking. When Millie and I moved to Fresno, Calif., in 1982, after working for the Mennonite Brethren Publishing House since 1975, I began taking my turn making dinner. One day I found Clara’s recipe in the Hillsboro MB Church cookbook for a pineapple/ham/green pepper casserole. It was very easy and delicious. When Millie got home from work I served it and said I should send Clara a note thanking her for an excellent...

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The affirmation alternative: A religious case for atheist oaths

By on May 1, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

On March 30, Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, spoke at Pepperdine University School of Law’s annual dinner. He reflected broadly on the relationship between faith and judicial duty, drawing from his own experiences and also from past conversations with his former colleague, the late Antonin Scalia. During a brief aside, Justice Thomas questioned the meaning of oaths made by atheists: “As an aside, I think it’s really interesting that people in a profession where we all take an oath, that they would look at...

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Hymnal delights at Glennon Heights

By on Apr 29, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

It is not every day that I am able to nerd out with other hymnal enthusiasts, but that’s exactly what happened throughout the March 30 Faith & Life Forum at Glennon Heights Mennonite Church in Lakewood, Colo. Lovers of church music from all over Mountain States Mennonite Conference gathered with representatives of the planning committee of Voices Together, the new hymnal being developed by MennoMedia. Our guests guided us through an exploration of music under consideration for the hymnal, interspersed with worship, discussions of...

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‘Mennonite’ isn’t the problem

By on Apr 26, 2019 in The World Together | 5 comments

The World Together Blog

I could not disagree more strongly with Ryan Ahl­grim’s suggestion that the name “Mennonite” be thrown on the trash heap of history (Blog, “It’s time to change the Mennonite name”). I believe the fact that “Mennonite” is not well-known is a strong point in its favor. In my experience, folks want me to explain why I am not driving a buggy or wearing a beard with no mustache — and in the process I can explain our the­ology as well. I have never had anyone run away screaming in fear upon learning I am a Mennonite. In fact,...

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