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.

Americans, this is who you are

By on Jul 20, 2018 in The World Together | 6 comments

The World Together Blog

My American friends have been apologizing for how their president is behaving on the international stage — castigating Canada, undermining NATO, praising dictators, starting trade wars. “This is not who we really are!” they exclaim. To a certain extent, they are right. The U.S. has shown itself to be, time and time again, a generous and giving nation. It is the largest provider of food aid, for example, and is among the first to respond after humanitarian disasters. On the other hand, they are wrong. Those of us who are not Americans...

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Our hypocrisy on ‘social action’

By on Jul 19, 2018 in The World Together | 4 comments

The World Together Blog

Mennonite Central Committee and other relief and service organizations are often criticized for being too focused on physically bettering people’s lives and not enough on evangelizing them. Some of the questions raised are: What good is it to educate people and to improve their health and their means of livelihood if we don’t help them with their eternal spiritual needs? And while we should of course offer emergency relief to people who are hungry and homeless, shouldn’t our primary mission be to change people’s hearts...

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Spirituality is imperfect

By on Jul 18, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Last week at our Mustard Seed House community meeting, we made lavender wands. We had perfect examples to follow, many of them beautiful images from Pinterest and DIY websites. We had good instructions with perfect-looking diagrams that made it look so easy, but none of us made perfect wands as the examples we followed. As I reflected back over our experience, I realized that the imperfections in our wands did not matter. It was not how beautiful the end result looked that we cared about; it was the delightful process we engaged in and the...

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Open letter to Jeff Bezos: Amazon or Anabaptist?

By on Jul 17, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Dear Mr. Bezos, The opposition of Amazon (hereafter referred to as “your company”) to a tax law to help the homeless in Seattle was the last straw. Let me explain. After your company stopped construction on a new office building in protest over a previous law, you felt the watered-down version of the tax bill the city council passed in May was still too much. So you continued to pressure the council until it buried compassion at the feet of the god of capitalism to rescind even this edict in June. Therefore, I have decided that I can no...

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Enduring the cross, despising the shame

By on Jul 16, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

If I were to try to convince someone to become a Christian, shame is not a quality I would advertise. I would probably talk about the wonderful sense of being set free from guilt, the comforting presence of a communicating God, and the indescribable joy of Spirit-infused life. Not shame. Certain verses have come alive to me in the past five years, as I gain a sort of experiential knowledge that replaces what was merely intellectual knowledge before. Recently, reading this verse brought that familiar twinge of oh, I think I’ve experienced...

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Faith the size of a wheat seed

By on Jul 12, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). I love that verse. Such a good reminder to stop, chill out, and allow God to move. And I believe that he can and does move, I say devotedly as the sun shines. But then the clouds move in and the thunder rolls and I’m frantically trying to solve the problem. Wheat is a pretty big crop for our family, and this year, we watched our fields carefully. January: bitter cold with no moisture. February; unusually warm — no moisture. March: I don’t remember. April: more cold with snow. May: rain...

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Loving our neighbors without fear

By on Jul 11, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I saw two movies recently. The second was First Reformed. The pastor of a small Christian Reformed church somewhere in New York struggles with a tension between hope and darkness in his own life and runs into a “soul-shaking encounter” with an environmental activist so filled with despair about what is happening on our planet that he wants to abort their baby; his young wife is pregnant and she has brought the pastor into their troubling situation. In its past, this church was part of the underground railway, the relay of desperate...

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Finding our better angels in divided times

By , and on Jul 10, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Who hasn’t known relationships torn apart over divisive politics? Churches, families and businesses all know the tension that can accompany political discussions, especially in recent years. Is it possible to bring together Republicans and Democrats to listen to each other and break down divisive stereotypes? Is it possible to clearly disagree without dismissing the other as stupid, uninformed, callous or even evil? Better Angels, a national nonprofit organization formed in 2016, is doing just that. The name of the organization is a...

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A Lancaster historian seeks Mennonite hair art

By on Jul 9, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

“Hair Picture,” in Decorated and Plain: A Mennonite and Amish Sampler

It’s a well-known story. It was July 25, 1896, and there had been a party at the home of John Musser in Witmer, Pa., and many young Mennonites had gathered to socialize, perhaps discussing the quarterly mission meeting that had been held a few days earlier, perhaps not. Some time before midnight the party broke up, and everybody went their separate ways. (This telling of the story is based on the account in John L. Ruth, The Earth is the Lord’s: A Narrative History of Lancaster Mennonite Conference, Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2001,...

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To judge or not to judge?

By on Jul 5, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As a child, I rarely heard cursing. Thus, I often didn’t recognize inappropriate language when I did hear it. My friend and I could watch the same movie — she would hear curse words every other minute, and I wouldn’t hear a single one. So when I became a grocery store cashier — one of my first jobs in a secular environment — my coworkers would frequently insert “sorry” in the conversation even though I wasn’t sure why. After asking why they were apologizing several times, I figured out that it was usually about their...

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