Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog 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.

You lost me: Young adults and the church

By on Mar 5, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

You lost me: Young adults and the church

Earlier this month, I was one of many who gathered in the new Marpeck Commons building at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Man., to hear from a panel of “young adults” on their age group and the church. Judging by the size of the audience (they had to go get extra chairs), and an article on a similar topic in the Feb. 16 issue of Canadian Mennonite, this is an issue that many churches are currently profoundly concerned and anxious about. We were informed that in Canada, only about one out of three young adults who attended church...

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Laundry, lent and suffering

By on Mar 4, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Laundry, lent and suffering

It’s not the cold, snow and wind that get to me. Not our house’s perpetually crunchy, dirty floors. Not even the smell of the litter box and the cat food scattered near and far. No, in winter, it’s the laundry that gets to me most, causing my spirit to despair. It’s the three baskets of unfolded clean laundry and two more of dirty all waiting for my attention while the washer and dryer sit, still full. It’s piles folded for six people spread across the dining room table — stacks of pajamas, pants and shirts that refuse to stay...

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Do Christian pacifists have a solution for stopping ISIS?

By on Mar 3, 2015 in The World Together | 6 comments

Do Christian pacifists have a solution for stopping ISIS?

A couple of folks I really respect — Kate Gould of Friends Committee on National Legislation (a.k.a., the Quaker Lobby), and Jim Wallis of Sojourners — were recently on The O’Reilly Factor. I normally don’t watch the show. But when I heard that Kate and Jim were going to be talking, I tuned in. I knew almost immediately this wasn’t going to be good. It’s O’Reilly’s program, so he gets to frame the question. Here’s what he asks: Do Christian pacifists have a solution for stopping ISIS? It’s the wrong question....

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After the rooster

By on Mar 2, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

After the rooster

I’ve had a lot of chances to talk to Peter lately. He shows up in my life under various names. As Samantha, who abandoned her children a lifetime ago in favor of drugs. As Connor, who sits in a prison cell, his marriage and vocation both permanently shattered by the choice of a single day. It’s a horrible feeling, knowing you’ve done the one thing you’ll never be able to take back. In your wildest nightmares, you never dreamed you’d end up here. Lying sleepless at night looking over your past in excruciating detail, you still can’t...

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Give up complaining for lent

By on Feb 27, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Give up complaining for lent

“You better stop whinin’, pinin’,” sang Dolly Parton on her album Better Get to Livin’. If you’re “overweight, underpaid or under appreciated,” you’ll get no sympathy from her. Her advice: Stop complaining and “better get to livin’. Get your “dreams in line and then just shine, design, refine ’til they come true.” Reverend Will Bowen could say “Amen” to that, albeit without the country twang. In 2006 the Kansas City pastor challenged his congregation not to complain for 21 consecutive days — the time,...

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Who defines the common good?

By on Feb 26, 2015 in The World Together | 5 comments

Who defines the common good?

Who determines what is in the “common good” and “national interest”? These terms are themselves so flexible as to be rendered nearly useless. Depending on the definer and their perspective these terms can be dropped into any camp to support particular partisan visions and to demonize enemies, outliers or appeasers. Take for instance the myriad drums which beat for new war across 2,000 miles from Kiev to Mosul and Tehran. Defenders of the National Interest suggest ISIS must be destroyed, Tehran’s nuclear ambitions must...

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Rethinking the mission trip

By on Feb 25, 2015 in The World Together | 4 comments

Rethinking the mission trip

During the recent 40th anniversary special of Saturday Night Live, they did some looking back. Some of my favorite sketches featured Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers. The sketch was so good that eventually a movie was made. It was a tale of redemption for Jake and his brother Elwood, who go on “a mission from God” to the Catholic orphanage in which they grew up. I might be stretching history a bit, but I do find it interesting that the movie came out in 1980, about the same time that short-term mission trips started to become...

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Why I love being a black girl

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

Why I love being a black girl

I have led a number of conversations on white privilege. The conversations have a tendency to all go the same direction. We as facilitators often use the negative experiences of people of color to establish a foundation for observing white privilege in action. We start with experiences today and hope to connect them to a larger historical context. I am not offering a critique (today). I am acknowledging this because I was blown away when a young white person in a workshop on white privilege said: “I’m kinda glad I’m white....

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God’s devouring fire

By on Feb 23, 2015 in The World Together | 7 comments

God’s devouring fire

Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him. — Psalm 50:3 When God comes near, there’s a devouring flame — a fire that burns away all the stuff in our lives that gets in the way of God’s love. When God’s love gets ahold of our lives, God’s fire begins to burn away all the stuff that blocks the flow of divine love in our lives. This blockage is what we call sin — the stuff in us and in our world that blocks the movement of God’s love, the circulation of God within...

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Church splits will never resolve the traditionalist, progressive divide

By on Feb 20, 2015 in The World Together | 2 comments

Church splits will never resolve the traditionalist, progressive divide

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit . . . until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God . . . ” — Paul (from Ephesians 4) Mennonite Church USA’s Virginia Mennonite Conference held a delegate session held Feb. 7 in Waynesboro, Va., where sociologist and pastor Conrad Kanagy raised sobering questions about whether the Mennonite church will be able to reconcile its differences and stay together. Kanagy conducted a recent...

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