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.

Is our religion about fixing America?

By on Sep 20, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

During the 1980s, I worked as a civil legal aid attorney for indigent men and women. Their legal claims concerned debt relief and access to health care, food and housing. More than any other time in my life, during that decade I contributed to the project of fixing America. I did this by making the rule of law available to people who could not afford to hire legal counsel. Toward the midpoint of the ’80s, I began to read Stanley Hauerwas, the Methodist scholar from Texas who wrote about Christian ethics via an Anabaptist perspective. I’ve...

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Escaping tyranny of the past

By on Sep 19, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Afew days ago I found myself at an event called “The Art Between Us.” It was an eclectic gathering of souls: Women shared hard-learned truths in the form of poems or original music. Others, like me, were just there to listen. Though I had planned to scribble down poignant sentiments, I was too consumed with the performances. I sat for two and a half hours, enraptured. I saw women blooming as they told their stories. One woman beautifully articulated her experience of growing up as a child with a stutter. I pictured her: small, with...

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3 things I love about being an Anabaptist

By on Sep 18, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

When you belong somewhere, you are home. That’s why I appreciate not only my Anabaptist heritage, but my current experience as well. I think Anabaptists have a special niche that many other church groups do not experience. This is my perspective, and you are allowed to disagree with me. I’m simply sharing my sentiments and my viewpoint. I’m an Anabaptist, and I’m at home. This is where I belong. Being an Anabaptist is how I live. I recognize that since I grew up Anabaptist, I could be labeled as being partial. I agree with Chantelle...

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Human just like us

By on Sep 15, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“I can understand that Jesus is our example in spiritual things, but for day-to-day living, that just doesn’t make any sense.” My friend raised a good point. After all, Jesus never had to deal with high school peer pressure. He never married or had the responsibility of raising children. He never experienced losing a job or having to look for work. He never had a serious illness. He never lived in a world shaped by the internet, social media or air travel. So how could Jesus possibly be our example for daily living? Because in spite of...

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Learning language is a spiritual discipline

By on Sep 14, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

We were invited by Swiss friends to eat in an exclusive restaurant during our last weekend in Switzerland. As we got settled around the table, my friend asked me: “Are you comfortable with speaking Swiss German, or should we speak English?” There were four of us at the table and I was the only native speaker of English. All the others were native speakers of Swiss German. Even though the others could speak English, we were in Switzerland. Why would I force three others to struggle to accommodate me? Truth be told, the lazy side of me...

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Why would Jesus talk about hell?

By on Sep 13, 2017 in The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

Jesus talked about hell more than all the other Bible authors combined. Hell is mentioned explicitly 23 times in the New Testament, and in 16 of those times, Jesus is the one who utters the words. He pronounces “eternal fire and punishment” as the final destiny of persons who see the hungry and give them nothing to eat or see the sick and don’t care for them (Matt. 25:41-46). He warns that those who give into sin are in danger of “hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:42-48). Normally when all the...

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A reflection on ‘Land Sunday’

By on Sep 12, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Note: The “Season of Creation” is a contemporary liturgical and lectionary movement celebrated during the four Sundays in September prior to St. Francis of Assisi Day (Oct. 4). This ecumenical observance was begun by a Lutheran pastor in Australia in 2000 and has spread worldwide (see the Season of Creation website, a great resource for churches). The season begins on Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, an observance started by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and recently adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. Sept....

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Twisting the cross: white supremacy’s deadly theology

By and on Sep 8, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I’m in Tennessee on a little mountain getaway, trying to write a book. As soon as I got down here and settled in, I heard about a white supremacist rally planned for this past weekend, at one of the Confederate monuments in Knoxville. Of course, I took a writing break. Tennessee, the state I grew up in and love so much, ranks fourth for hate groups, with nearly 40 active ones. (In fact, as troubling as it is, five of the states — Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee — with the most hate groups are in what’s often...

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Stupid and cheerful

By on Sep 7, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

At the Poor People’s Campaign rally in Topeka, Kan., Rev. William Barber told us about a map of the United States. A map that shows what states have the highest rates of poverty, poorest health care access, highest number of racist incidents, highest rates of violence against LGBTQ people and highest rates of voter suppression. I wasn’t surprised to learn that these are all the same states. And I wasn’t surprised to learn that these states also have the highest percentage of “evangelical Christians.” I was surprised to hear Barber...

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Searching for treasure

By on Sep 6, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The kids could hardly wait until it was time. They’d watched us spread out the wood shavings on the lawn. Then they stayed to watch us toss pennies, nickels and dimes into the shavings. Finally, it was time. At the end of the count, the kids swooped down onto the pile of wood shavings. Some of them moved the shavings gingerly. A few picked them up in a clump in their fists; one guy picked them up in clumps and tossed them into the air. They found a few coins here and there, but frustration mounted when they realized there were more than 200...

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