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.

We need help discerning what are disputable matters

By on Nov 21, 2014 in The World Together | 1 comment

We need help discerning what are disputable matters

My church, Mennonite Church USA, like many denominations, is in a state of crisis over an issue I never thought would become a subject of dispute in my lifetime, the question of whether congregations can accept members in faithful same sex relationships. As a pastor and counselor, I’ve met with many members who have lived for years with the pain of being gay or lesbian in a church in which their gender orientation is seen as unacceptable and wrong. In the past, this 3-4 percent of our members has largely suffered their isolation in...

read more

Choosing joy

By on Nov 20, 2014 in The World Together | 1 comment

Choosing joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. — James 1:2 In the wake of my father’s death, I found myself doing something strange. I identified anything good that had come of his death, and clung to it. I know this sounds crazy — to search for goodness in something terrible; but there was so much terrible in my life, that I needed something — anything — to ease it all. I was blessed to have been able to see so many people I love gathered at my home and at the memorial services. I was...

read more

What’s happening in the emergent church conversation?

By on Nov 19, 2014 in The World Together | 5 comments

What’s happening in the emergent church conversation?

I was asked recently for my view of what’s happening in the emergent/emergence conversation in North America. Here’s a very short overview, from my perspective. The conversation continues to grow, not by creating a new slice of the pie, but by seasoning nearly all sectors of the pie. Even where the word “emergent” is not used, ideas from emergence leaders are being considered and adopted, leading to new experimentation and openness. Influence in the Roman Catholic world is still relatively small, but growing numbers of...

read more

Protecting ourselves, mistreating others and smudging

By on Nov 18, 2014 in The World Together | 1 comment

Protecting ourselves, mistreating others and smudging

We do a lot of driving in our family. Driving to volleyball, guitar, swim club, band rehearsal, grandma and grandpa’s, and on and on it goes. Many days it is in the car that some of the best, most important, and sometimes only conversations with our kids happen. Today my daughter and I were off to the doctor’s office for a routine visit and the talk turned to the trials and tribulations of teenage life. We talked about cyberbullying, peer pressure, romantic dramas, sports, classroom dynamics, terrible teachers and a whole host of other...

read more

An open letter to the Mennonite family

By , on Nov 14, 2014 in Letters, The World Together | 59 comments

We are Richard and Jewel (Wenger) Showalter. As church planters, missionaries, educators, mission administrators, parents and now grandparents, we have walked as part of the Mennonite family throughout our lives. We love the Mennonite church and the broader body of Jesus Christ. Our lifelong passion has been to reach out to those who do not yet know Jesus. During the past 30 years, we have been privileged to do this in friendship with churches both in North America and around the world. Now in North America the church is engaged in a...

read more

Religiously ‘easy’

By on Nov 13, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Religiously ‘easy’

Some passages are almost impossible to imagine preaching a sermon on: People of God, you are like a donkey in heat, like a dog that goes around humping table legs (Jer. 2:24).  Kudos to Jeremiah for courage — I can’t imagine that message went over well. Be that as it may, the charge is a compelling one: many of us are religiously “easy.” With nothing offered to us, nothing given, nothing proven, nothing promised, we essentially drop pants and give ourselves to the first god passing by. (Forgive the crudeness, but the shock...

read more

Brittany Maynard didn’t commit suicide

By on Nov 12, 2014 in The World Together | 3 comments

Brittany Maynard didn’t commit suicide

The past few week or so has been filled with news that terminally ill 29-year-old, Brittany Maynard, ended her life with medication prescribed by her physician. She did so under legal physician-assisted suicide provisions in the state of Oregon. Had Maynard not taken the medication, she would not have lived much longer, and the final moments of her life would likely have been painfully debilitating, as her brain cancer took over. In the weeks leading up to her death, Maynard succeeded in not only completing her “bucket list” but also in...

read more

Loving, not thanking, veterans

By , on Nov 11, 2014 in The World Together | 3 comments

Loving, not thanking, veterans

Veterans Day, established to celebrate those who served in the armed forces, has a more festive atmosphere than Memorial Day, which remembers those who died while serving in the armed forces. Veterans Day is a collective “thank you” that takes on forms like closing the Post Office, parades and other symbolic gestures of gratitude. But for many veterans, “thanks for your service” is not a welcome greeting. Veterans who engaged in the horrors of combat, or witnessed such horrors, can carry the physical, emotional and spiritual wounds...

read more

An open letter to my beloved Mennonite Church

By on Nov 10, 2014 in Latest Issue, Letters, The World Together | 11 comments

I am profoundly reluctant to write this letter because I know there are those it will wound deeply. But I have also come to the conviction that I can no longer hide the light the Lord has lit within me, under a bushel. I want to share with you what the Lord has been telling me and my dear life companion, Sara Jane Wenger. First, a defense of my ministry — if you will allow me to paraphrase the words of the Apostle Paul from Phil. 3:4. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: Baptized into a...

read more

Can a pacifist wear a poppy?

By on Nov 10, 2014 in The World Together | 1 comment

Can a pacifist wear a poppy?

The answer is yes — I’m a pacifist, and I wear one. A few others I know do, too. But many people who oppose war have ambivalent feelings about poppies. I think they’re afraid wearing one will suggest they are, tacitly or otherwise, supporting war and militarism. Some compromise by wearing red buttons that say “To remember is to work for peace.” Every year the Mennonite Central Committee distributes thousands of them. It’s a good message. If you aren’t comfortable wearing a poppy, that’s a good...

read more