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.

What keeps (all of) us safe?

By on May 26, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

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 him. Imagine: Hundreds of black people — most openly carrying firearms — swarm a state capitol, yelling in the faces of police officers who stand as a barrier between the people and the legislative chamber. It does not take a particularly active or prophetic imagination to envision how these scenarios would most likely play out. It does not...

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College dream, answered prayer

By on May 18, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

Jim Bishop and Anna Mast, 1967. — Jim Bishop

Well, Lord, the big day has come and gone. Suddenly, I feel rather alone in the world. School is over; no more homework, tests and essays. Never again am I likely to be together again with all my old friends and teachers. Those great times that we enjoyed as a class are now just precious memories, never to be forgotten. And now, Lord, a big decision — should I go to college? I’ve been asked many times if I’m planning to go and . . . I really can’t say, and I’m afraid too many people are wondering, “What kind of a jerk are you?...

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‘Mom, did you see that?’

By on May 14, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“Look mom, no hands!” I exclaimed as I ran down the face of a rock. I was an adventurous little girl. I wasn’t afraid of getting dirty or heights or trying something a little more on the edge. My mother had been a much more refined little girl. She wore dresses, had tea parties and ­didn’t push the limits. I attribute my casual attitude toward adventure to being an only child and having a father who was also exploratory and daring. Prov. 3:5-6 tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;...

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What the Amish can teach us about surviving apocalyptic times

By and on May 11, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I took a walk the other day, because getting some respite from the narrow confines of my little suburban home is a blessing these days. About half a mile from our house, there’s a ubiquitous slice of strip mall Americana. A Burger King. A neighborhood restaurant. A comic book store. A nail salon and a barber. A small-footprint grocery store. It’s a little worn about the edges, but it usually gets the job done. Like all of America, it feels different these days. Half of the stores are closed, with handmade or printed signs taped to the...

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Peace be with you — even in lockdown

By on May 7, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you” (John 10:19). Last week in a conversation with a couple of colleagues, this scripture came to mind and stayed with me during the Easter weekend. So much has already been said and written about our current reality and the fact that the Easter season felt more like an extension of Lent than an experience of resurrection and new life....

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Want to go back to church (as usual)?

By on May 4, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Central District Conference’s theme for this year is “Spirit, Bless Our Souls with Yearning.” Our yearnings have shifted as we’ve journeyed through this season of COVID-19. Most of us yearn to worship together again, in person, voices united in song. That is my yearning as well. Part of me longs for the familiar. But I have another yearning. I yearn for a church recalibrated, transformed, centered on all that really matters. So, before we go back to church (as usual?), I encourage three contemplative practices. One ancient spiritual...

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12 considerations as you prepare to reopen your church doors

By and on May 1, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As stay-at-home guidelines are eased and church doors and sanctuaries reopen, worship and church ministries will, undoubtedly, look different than before the coronavirus outbreak. And so it should — so that we continue to keep ourselves and our faith communities safe and healthy. But that means pastors and church leaders should prepare for what the “next normal” will be for the congregation and its ministry. The following are some things to consider before inviting congregants back into the pews. — Even if stay-at-home mandates are...

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A time for the vernacular

By on Apr 27, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

My wife cut my hair this weekend. In recent years, I had become accustomed to the pleasures and precisions of professional haircuts. The home hairdo was a bit nerve-wracking for both of us. When your hairdresser says, “Well, there’s always hats. You like wearing hats,” you do not feel the same boost in your confidence and sense of your own handsomeness as when you walk out of a professional barber shop. But it was fine. I looked in the mirror and did feel handsome. And loved and taken care of in a way I don’t get from the barber....

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Coronavirus a test for us all

By on Apr 22, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

In our home for years we laid out a table runner with three simple words, “cleanliness is health.” The words were in German, and the runner was a family heirloom. It came to Canada with my wife’s grandparents in 1923, when they arrived with the first waves of Mennonite immigrants fleeing the Soviet Union after the revolution. In the half decade just before their arrival in Canada, they had endured the collapse of the old tsarist government, the Communist revolution, civil war with as many as five different forces fighting over the...

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Should Anabaptists still rebaptize?

By on Apr 20, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“Anabaptist” literally means to rebaptize. This was a nickname given to a group of radical reformers in the 16th century. A number of denominations have sprung from this movement. Adult believers baptism was seen as the primary exterior sign of separation from the Christendom Empire of that time. Times are different now. Should churches that practice believers baptism — Mennonite, Baptist, Alliance, Pentecostal, etc. — still insist on rebaptism for Christians who come to our churches from pedobaptist — Methodist, Presbyterian,...

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