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 rstella@mennoworld.org.

Why are so few U.S. churches named after John the Baptist?

By on Dec 9, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

According to our local phone directory, there are numerous churches with names of spiritual greats, Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Saints Michael, Andrew, James and Stephen; and the Saints Peter, Paul and Mary. But why so few named after St. John the Baptist? The only one I know in our area is a Catholic parish in Front Royal. Then there is the well known shrine to him in Jerusalem, an elaborate Franciscan Church of John the Baptist built at the supposed site of his birth. Assuming that a congregation’s name is meant to express...

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What Mary doesn’t tell you

By on Dec 8, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

Wheel of Power and Control

“Mary!” Ben yelled. “Get downstairs and check your soup! It’s boiling over! How dumb can you be? Don’t you know that you just don’t walk off when you’re cooking? Hurry!” “I’m coming,” Mary called back. Quickly she scooped little Jerry from the changing table and grabbed his pants. She hurried down the stairs and flinched as she came around the corner. Her husband had risen from his seat at the head of the table and was standing at the bottom of the stairs. His face was red and his eyes narrowed. “You crazy woman! What...

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Paul’s letter to veterans

By on Dec 7, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

In Philippians 2:1-13, Paul exhorts the Christians of Philippi to be of one mind and one love. “Be uniform,” we might paraphrase. This kind of language would appeal to Christians in this place because many of them were either veterans themselves or children of military veterans. The town of Philippi is where Julius Caesar’s assassins, Marcus Junius (“you too?”) Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus fled before being caught by Caesar’s avengers, Mark Antony and Octavian. In 42 BC, the Battle of Philippi raged between a number of Roman...

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Resisting the age of Trump with the love of Jesus

By on Dec 6, 2016 in The World Together | 5 comments

The World Together Blog

Denial is giving way to harsh reality. This is really happening. Donald Trump is going to be the president of the United States for the next four years. A Trump presidency threatens the safety and well-being of women, religious and ethnic minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community and the poor. With its belligerent denial of climate change, the Trump regime represents a potentially catastrophic threat to the future of all life. Thanks to the increasing militarization and surveillance of our society under presidents Bush and Obama, this new...

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How to celebrate Advent like Mary

By on Dec 5, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

To celebrate Jesus’ coming, Mary did not light Advent candles or put up a Christmas tree. Not that there’s anything wrong with these things. At church, we’re counting the four weeks before Christmas by lighting a candle on the Advent wreath each Sunday. We already have a brightly lit Christmas tree at the front of the church in keeping with our worship theme: Christ is our light! Yet as I think back to that first Christmas, I’m also struck by the way Mary celebrated the coming of Jesus. After the angel left her with the wonderful and...

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Whom can you reach?

By on Dec 2, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Being short can be pretty tough. I have been short most of my life, resulting in my constantly having to pull out a stool or stand on a chair in order to reach the highest shelf. It got even worse when I moved into L’Arche Cape Breton and someone had the brilliant idea of having a “pot rack” much higher than my grasp could reach. Thankfully, one of our assistants is 6 ft 5 in, so I got him to help me out on numerous occasions. Who are the people who have blessed you? Whom, in turn, can you bless? Who are the people in your life...

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Firm foundations for relational health

By on Nov 30, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

We have done a disservice to our children in terms of relational health. We have, in a myriad of ways, taught them not how to handle conflict or to reconcile relationships, but to avoid conflict and deny its existence. On the playground, when conflict arises, we often tell them, “Then if you can’t play nicely with Johnny on the monkey bars, go find a different game to play.” Sure, it avoids the conflict with Johnny, but that is precisely the problem. Not only does it avoid the conflict, it teaches them to avoid dealing with...

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Waiting for God to act

By on Nov 29, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Advent is for waiting. As we tell the story of redemption through the church calendar we begin our telling of the sacred story, not with doing, not with celebrating, but with waiting — waiting for God to act. Yet most of us — children of a high-tech, high-speed, instantaneous age — are not very good at waiting. It feels too much like doing nothing, and we are the driven ones who take pride in being busy. Waiting is not really our thing. Or worse yet, waiting feels too much like lamenting, which is closer to the truth. With the loss of a...

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MCC Christmas statement: 5 reasons to give

By and on Nov 28, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

WINNIPEG, Man. — What better gifts can you give this Christmas than goats, peacebuilding knowledge, seeds, school supplies or a well of clean drinking water? Through Mennonite Central Committee’s Christmas Giving program, you can give gifts like these to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people in the name of your friend or family member. When you give, MCC shares the financial gift with its partners at home and abroad, who are working with people in their communities to meet basic needs. Just in case you need a bit more...

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Vocation and occupation: How to respond to God’s call on your life

By on Nov 23, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve read an article about how to find your vocation, I’d be rich. And yet I wonder if they are missing a key point, which makes me want to contribute my two cents to the conversation. I promise to make this short. Almost every article includes the quote from Frederick Buechner, which goes, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I’ve seen many expansions on this theme with a Venn diagram that shows a small dot at the intersection of your...

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