Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources including Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, Conservative Mennonite, Quaker and other Anabaptist-influenced thinkers. To submit a blog, email kyoder@mennoworld.org.

A temple called “unity”

By on Jul 28, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

A temple called “unity”

Walter Brueggeman describes the moment when David offers to build God a house as the balance point of David’s “glad yielding and manipulative utility” (2 Sam. 7:1). I love that line because, of course, we all walk the line of “glad yielding and manipulative utility.” We expect God to act. We expect God to be with us. But at the end of the day we prefer structures that will convince us that God is here. We prefer something solid. Temples let us believe that we have the ability to procure God. They lead us to believe we can make God...

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A foretaste of heaven in Harrisburg

By on Jul 27, 2015 in The World Together | 1 comment

A foretaste of heaven in Harrisburg

Some 7,500 Mennonite and members of related Anabaptist groups met for the global assembly of Mennonite World Conference at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg, Pa., July 21-26. As a participant in the last two days of the weeklong celebration, I felt transported into a new world that felt a lot like heaven. As in heaven, members in the Jesus movement are a part of a global community. Your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God....

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A gift of peace from the persecuted

By on Jul 24, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

A gift of peace from the persecuted

Mennonite World Conference’s Global Youth Summit 2015 discussed gifts and calling July 17-19. One participant shared his church’s story of giving gifts of peace in response to persecution that affected more than 50,000 Christians in his village. Amit Andrew Roul is a young leader in a rural Brethren in Christ church in the Kandhamal district of Orissa, India. Growing up as a Christian minority, he understands that his family of faith is under constant threat of persecution. One such incident occurred in August 2008. “My church...

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Lord I want to be in that number

By on Jul 23, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Lord I want to be in that number

Doubtless you have heard the song, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” We did a rousing version of it today at Mennonite World Conference assembly, instruments wailing and over 7,000 voices singing along. The chorus yearns, “Lord I want to be in the number . . . ” And I do, I do want to be in that number. My strategy is simple — I will point to the saints singing and praying at Mennonite World Conference and say, “I’m with them.” People are friendly and eager to engage; so, I asked a number of people...

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Tenderly inviting all to God’s banquet

By on Jul 22, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Tenderly inviting all to God’s banquet

For long decades now I’ve dreamed of a setting in which we could learn how — offering each other the tenderness for which every human so longs — to pull out chairs for every single one of us who wish to do so to sit at Christ’s banquet table. I’ve dreamed of Jesus our host and we as his body, with the courtesy such a momentous moment so deserves, together pulling out each other’s chairs and helping each one of us be seated. In my circle of innermost loved ones, including family and dear friends, are those who, as soon as same-sex...

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On the road to Mennonite World Conference

By on Jul 21, 2015 in The World Together | 1 comment

On the road to Mennonite World Conference

Leading up to and following Mennonite World Conference’s assembly in Harrisburg, Pa., Anabaptists are taking part in Assembly Scattered learning tours and events around the country. One tour led by Wilmer Martin and John Ruth began July 14 in New York City and headed south, finishing in Harrisburg for the assembly July 21. Our tour group arrived in New York City July 14 for our pre-Mennonite World Conference tour: “Windows to the Past, Bridges to the Future: Mennonites in America,” with TourMagination. We have a very interesting...

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Agitating and peacemaking

By on Jul 20, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Agitating and peacemaking

Activist Bree Newsome (along with doing good co-conspirator, Jimmy James Tyson) made an unannounced appearance on July 11 at the Wild Goose Festival, held annually in Hot Springs, N.C. I was honored to be able to hear Newsome speak, and to meet both her and Tyson at a press interview after her appearance. In the initial talk that lasted for about 50 minutes, Newsome and Tyson covered the background and motivation behind their act of civil disobedience, revealing that it was a well-thought-out and coordinated action. There was a team that...

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What’s the point of the church?

By on Jul 17, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

What’s the point of the church?

At our block party this week, a new friend and I were laughing about how coming out as a Jesus follower might be one of the weirder things to do these days. In her spiritual awakening, she was realizing that it might be more “normal” for her to choose from a variety of self-centered or even self-destructive hobbies than to become part of the church. Our culture is selling a very privatized and individualistic religion these days. It might be OK to like Jesus privately — after all, he was a good teacher and philosopher, and you’re...

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Another version of a shooting

By on Jul 16, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Another version of a shooting

Yesterday I woke up to the news of another shooting. According to the reporter, a deranged man had stabbed his mother and then was shot and killed by the police. Since these stories have become commonplace, I quickly forgot and hurried to the office for a meeting. By the time the meeting was finished there was an urgent message. “Glenn, did you listen to the news this morning? It was Paul Castaway; he was the man who was shot.” Officially the victim’s name had still not been confirmed, but unofficially his friends had confirmed...

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Confession, polity and ordination

By on Jul 15, 2015 in The World Together | 17 comments

Confession, polity and ordination

In “Confessing Without Forcing,” Rich Preheim provides some historical background to the current situation in Mennonite Church USA. The 1995 Confession of Faith was already a fact when I joined the Mennonites during the merger process in the late 1990s. At that time I didn’t know GC from MC from MCC. I’ve since learned about the differences. But until reading Preheim’s column, I still hadn’t known that GCs lacked a common confession until agreeing to merge with MCs. This helps to explain why former GCs have misgivings...

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