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.

Sunday morning, March 22, 2020

By and on Apr 6, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The worship team at Weaverland Anabaptist Community Church in New Holland, Pa., leads livestreamed worship March 22. — Dale D. Gehman

7:20 a.m. — I drove from Lancaster City, Pa., where I live, on 222 North toward Reading. My assignment: photograph the 8 a.m. service at Weaverland Anabaptist Community Church to get an example of worship in an empty sanctuary for a congregation staying home due to COVID-19. The four-lane, limited-access highway had a little traffic. On a normal Sunday, in another hour it would be busy. I thought about the thousands of worshipers who would not be going out to the many churches in Lancaster County. And I wondered if the Old Order people...

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Rocks that talk, angels who uplift

By on Apr 1, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As a farm girl, one of the spring tasks was picking up rocks from our Minnesota acreage. Before we planted soybeans and corn, the black loam needed to be cleared of rocks. It seemed that the winter snows and then spring thaws had yielded a crop of stones, some easily picked up. And then there were the occasional larger ones that required two hands — or a dad. In any case, the rocks were moved away. The story from Matthew 28 is slightly different from the other three Gospel accounts. It was only two women (Mary Magdalene and the “other”...

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Mennonites helped turn Paraguay into a mega beef producer — indigenous people may pay the price

By on Mar 30, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

Heavy machinery lays the foundation for the new bi-oceanic highway through the Paraguayan Chaco in June. — Joel E. Correia

The “new Panama Canal” — that’s how some are hailing a highway now under construction in South America that spans the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Bi-Oceanic Corridor cuts through the Paraguayan Chaco, Latin America’s second-largest forest after the Amazon — and, these days, a hub of cattle ranching and soybean farming. The Chaco — once a flat, scrubby and supposedly inhospitable forest — was transformed into a fertile agricultural region by Mennonite settlers who came to Paraguay in the early 1900s. By 2017...

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Blizzard Syndrome and the current social distancing

By on Mar 25, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The morning of March 17 our daughter Emily said we should make Prune Loaf. I said, “Yes. We should.” We have a malady known as Blizzard Syndrome, and Blizzard Syndrome calls for Prune Loaf. Back in 1975, we lived in Minnesota in an older house that didn’t have any running water or indoor plumbing. The water came from a pump about a hundred feet from the house. We had an outhouse and also strategic buckets indoors when the weather was nasty. That January a blizzard blew in. Even for Minnesota, it was extreme — a storm for the history...

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A pandemic, as I knew it

By on Mar 23, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Mennonite workers witnessed the ravages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in southern Africa during the 1980s and ’90s. Nearly a third of adults of reproductive age became HIV-positive, leaving an entire society staggering under the weight of grief and loss. In the course of that experience, we wondered how we had missed preparation for dealing with suffering — and helplessness — on such a vast scale. Here are some reflections on those ghastly experiences: — Pandemic blankets a community with a sense of helplessness and despondency. As the...

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Cultivating peace of mind

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

The World Together Blog

When I arrived at my church office the morning of March 18, I began my day as I always do, with silence. I spend anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes with my eyes closed, resting in the presence of God. But this morning was more difficult than usual. I kept thinking about the coronavirus, how long it might last, and what impacts it will have on people in our congregation as well as on our entire society and world. In other words, instead of cultivating peace of mind, I was fixated on worry. That’s certainly understandable. Despite Jesus teaching...

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What I would do if I had a camel

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

The World Together Blog

We don’t have a camel. Our farm has at least one of many different critters, but we don’t have a camel. Ah, but if we did . . . If we had a camel, I would invite children to come see, smell and hear this unusual creature. If the camel wouldn’t talk to us, we’d play camel sounds from the internet. We would talk about how far they can go on a gallon of water and how much water they can drink at one time. And sure enough, we’d talk about Rebekah — that amazing young woman in the Bible story who impressed a man traveling with camels...

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Coronavirus is a physical and spiritual threat

By and on Mar 16, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The Christian faith is not just a personal commitment, it is also a communal experience. From the very beginning, Christians have gathered to share the Word of God and break bread in confined spaces. They drank from the same cup and shared a holy kiss. They also cared for the poor and the sick. All of these Christian practices are now seen as ways that the coronavirus can spread through populations. That is why the coronavirus is so threatening, not only physically but also spiritually. In a pre-scientific age, we might carry on and ask God to...

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Ruebens and pacifism

By on Mar 9, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

On a Wednesday night quest to find a rueben sandwich for my wife (Rainbow Mennonite Church Pastor Ruth Harder), I stopped by Browne’s Irish Marketplace in Kansas City. It was late, and the place was practically empty. As the guy behind the deli was making my sandwiches, he was talking to the only other person there about where they went to high school. The other guy looks at me and asks where I went to high school. I shrugged and told him I was from central Kansas and he’s never heard of it, but he asked where, so I told him I went to...

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Being raised Amish-Mennonite, and what it taught me

By on Mar 4, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

The Amish-Mennonite way of life is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Amish and Mennonite denominations have huge variations among their congregations. Even geographical area can make a difference. Also, each person has their own perception of their culture that depends on their exposure and life experiences. I was born into something of a blend of Amish and Mennonite culture — an Amish way of thinking combined with modern technology and higher education. Even though I know the Amish-Mennonite way of life inside and out,...

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