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.

Extending the good news to those who are excluded

By on Nov 18, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

“He has sent me to proclaim good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted” (Isaiah 61:1). On a recent Mennonite Central Committee learning tour, we heard overwhelming stories of abuse from the women we met at KOSHISH in Kathmandu, Nepal. Bound in chains. Hidden away. Abandoned. These women were abandoned because of their mental disabilities. KOSHISH director Matrika Devkota told his own story of mental challenge and hardship. He had a breakdown in his 20s and was eventually able to regain his health through the intervention of...

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Observations about women’s roles

By on Nov 15, 2019 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I can’t even count the number of times I have started and stopped writing about issues related to women. The subject of a woman’s role in the church and community is a minefield, and I don’t feel like getting blown to pieces with the criticism that is bound to come regardless of what I might say on the matter. Even more than the inevitable criticism, the fact that I do not fully understand God’s plan for women keeps me from writing. I have puzzled long and hard over many passages of Scripture, read different interpretations of them,...

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Transnational Mennonite Studies Conference on Anthropology

By on Nov 13, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“My personal experience after almost 50 years of researching and writing about Mennonites is that Mennonites have been active participants in the world and as such they have contributed to change and not just been victims of change.” This comment by James Urry of Wellington, New Zealand, in his keynote address on Oct. 25 may well summarize the theme of the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies conference, “Mennonites and Anthropology: Ethnography, Religion and Global Entanglements.” The Oct. 25-26 event was sponsored by...

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Why I am a member of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

By on Nov 11, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I was looking for a home — a family. An inner longing was pushing me to search for a church where there would be truth and warmth. Sometimes in my mind I thought I had found it, but that inner longing told me — No, this isn’t what you need. I met many good people along the way, picked up little pieces of truth that I hadn’t known before, but always the emptiness within remained unsatisfied. Sometimes I visited a church once, sometimes I stayed for a year or two, but each experience ended in disappointment. I reached the end of...

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A faith community steps into its power

By on Nov 4, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

Gilbert Washington, left, asks South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to take specific steps toward gun violence reduction and law enforcement reform. — Adam Raschka

In early October, Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., and a Democratic presidential hopeful, took the stage at a Peacemaker Summit organized by the St. Joseph County chapter of Faith in Indiana. The church was packed with nearly 600 people. We were black, brown, white, Pentecostal, Catholic, Jewish. Toward the end of the program, Rev. Gilbert Washington asked the mayor to commit to three substantive initiatives. We didn’t get to this point overnight. Faith in Indiana held our first town hall in South Bend a little more than a year...

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Why do most Christians reject pacifism?

By on Oct 30, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

There are at least two major sets of reasons why most Christians reject pacifism: biblical arguments and general objections. And there are answers to all of them. Biblical arguments Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). Many Christians claim that in this statement Jesus endorses violent use of the sword. But Jesus is using metaphorical language to warn that following him will invite deadly persecution. The context supports this interpretation. Just before and after verse 34, Jesus warns his followers they...

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Darkness isn’t evil: editing hymn texts

By , and on Oct 28, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The words we sing in worship carry tremendous power to form our theological imaginations. The poetry we sing can become ingrained in our memories in ways that sermons and readings cannot. Songs learned in childhood remain with us throughout our lives. What language do we hope will form the generations that will grow up using Voices Together, the hymnal coming in 2020 from MennoMedia? We strive to balance the needs of today’s church with the repository of congregational song handed down for hundreds of years. Every hymnal committee wrestles...

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On division and negativity

By on Oct 24, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Like many Canadians, I had an eye on the national election the night of Oct. 21. Election results and commentary provided the background noise throughout the evening, as I had dinner with my son, as I went to the gym, as I watched a bit of soccer and talked with my wife, and as my head eventually hit the pillow. To the surprise of probably no one, the end result of a nasty campaign characterized by polarizing rhetoric, majoring on minors and minoring on majors, name calling, fearmongering, avoiding issues, peddling partial truths or simply...

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Create peace

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

The World Together Blog

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 into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than 12 legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” Doesn’t that seem like a pretty long speech for Jesus to give as he’s...

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Real shepherd experience

By on Oct 21, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

Facebook told me the estate sale would have primitives. Several days later, Facebook added “cinnamon rolls.” I would be there. I don’t need any more stuff, primitive or not. I definitely don’t need another cinnamon roll in my body. There are enough rolls as it is. But I was there. Walking among someone else’s old things, eating my roll, drinking my sweet tea. Nothing grabbed me and insisted on going home with me, and that felt fine. And then, on the wall, a painting. One artist’s idea of what Jesus might have looked like. One arm...

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