Kennel-Shank: Once more, gratefully

Jun 29, 2020 by

Time has been slippery lately. These days, weeks and months of the pandemic slide together, though punctuated with dramatic moments: the loss of jobs, the deaths of loved ones, the deaths that hospital workers...

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Book review: Collateral Damage

Jun 29, 2020 by

Here is a dilemma for a church group. Do you post a “Gun-Free Zone” sign on the entrance knowing it could either make your church more safe or less safe? In the first instance, the absence of weapons...

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Bible: Wisdom proves her worth

Jun 29, 2020 by

Our July lessons highlight Woman Wisdom’s presence beyond Proverbs and into all four Gospels. However, her feminine name changes from the Hebrew hokmah into the Greek sophia, so we can recognize her gracious...

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Kraybill: Even Jesus protested

Jun 29, 2020 by

When leaders become unjust or blasphemous, people of conscience protest. Jesus once broke furniture at the temple when he saw merchants turning the place into a den of thieves. Whatever we make of that...

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Longhurst: Now there are fewer sacred cows

Jun 29, 2020 by

Plummeting donations, program cutbacks, and staff layoffs — that’s the finding of a new survey of 2,630 Canadian churches and ministries about the impact of the pandemic. Sponsored by the Canadian Council...

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Kriss: White starting point

Jun 29, 2020 by

White Christians need to have conversations about race. Our silence and stammering in the face of white supremacy and its outcomes clouds our witness. Naming race-based privilege can feel deeply personal and...

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History: Inventors improved the harvest

Jun 15, 2020 by

Summer is here and with it farmers’ annual hopes for plentiful yields of wheat, oats and other crops. The equipment to harvest those crops has improved dramatically over the years, and three Mennonite...

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Andres: An ageless, resilient Story

Jun 15, 2020 by

Last month many communities throughout the U.S. participated in Resilience Week, hosting activities and events about building resilience in individuals and communities. Resilience is the ability to bounce back...

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King: Sourdough baker

Jun 15, 2020 by

It should be emphasized up front: the primary motivation was neither self-improvement nor altruistic baking for loved ones. It was fear of shortages. Along with family, I was out of the country when COVID-19...

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Washington Witness: ‘A mortal blow’

Jun 15, 2020 by

When I visited the West Bank in 2018, staff from a local organization that receives support from Mennonite Central Committee took us on a tour of the Jordan Valley. The valley is strategically located and...

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Book review: I Am Not Your Enemy

Jun 15, 2020 by

I finished reading Michael McRay’s book just as deep fissures were developing in the United States about whether stay-at-home orders were an appropriate measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 or whether...

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Bible: Dame Folly is the wrong girl

Jun 15, 2020 by

In Proverbs 7, Boy meets Girl. Bad mistake. It’s the wrong Girl. Dame Folly is alluring, but the Boy doesn’t recognize the danger. He “is like a bird rushing into a snare. Not knowing it will cost him...

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Kinsinger: My life is unfair

Jun 1, 2020 by

I realized, my first Sunday morning volunteering at the Rusk County Jail, how very unfair my life has been. My sister and I sat across from two women in bright orange suits, locked with them into a small room...

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Yoder-Short: Jesus the joker

Jun 1, 2020 by

Have you tried any tasty camel recipes? In this time of physical distancing, people are doing more experimental cooking. I have yet to try a camel roast, but I did read that carefulness is required, or the...

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Book review: American Harvest

Jun 1, 2020 by

“Certain conditions yield certain things.” In the setting of the Great Plains, an owner of a custom harvest crew offers this axiom in answer to writer Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s question about differences...

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Powell: Kids don’t start racist

Jun 1, 2020 by

While shopping last year, a white child about 4 years old pointed at me and asked his mother, “Is that a n—er?” The mother took the child’s hand, looked at me and quickly disappeared. I wasn’t...

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Bible: Who listens when Wisdom speaks?

Jun 1, 2020 by

I don’t know how many teenage boys will read this column, but these texts are addressed to young men your age! Even though the NRSV says, “hear, my child . . .” (Prov. 1:8; 2:1), in this case the word...

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Kehrberg: I wouldn’t change a thing

Jun 1, 2020 by

It’s all my own fault — my own fault; and yet I’m not guilty! — Stiva Oblonsky, Anna Karenina There is a well-worn trope in TV shows and movies when former lovers, old friends or estranged family...

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Kriss: Belonging to the truth

May 18, 2020 by

I was struck by the words of Pontius Pilate during Holy Week as I walked the Stations of the Cross sponsored by Renew Community in Lansdale, Pa. I had never heard his “What is truth?” question quite like...

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Book review: Seditions, Confusion and Tumult

May 18, 2020 by

The question left Layton Boyd Friesen befuddled: Why were the 16th-century Anabaptists so reviled and persecuted? The answer Friesen had learned — that they lived in an age when people ­didn’t tolerate...

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Longhurst: No glib prayers

May 18, 2020 by

During this time of pandemic, many Christians are turning to prayer. But what to pray? It can be especially hard for worship leaders, who wonder how to find the words that speak honestly to God on behalf of...

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Bible: Steadfast prophet, faithless wife

May 18, 2020 by

When Hosea prophesied at the sunset of the northern kingdom of Israel, he cast a vision for the people’s future by recalling their past with God. It’s been all downhill since Jeroboam II: king after king...

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Kraybill: Heaven’s silence awaits prayer

May 18, 2020 by

No, this is not the end of the world. But COVID-19 certainly is an apocalypse — an “unveiling” — as the word is understood in the Book of Revelation. The prophet John, quarantined on the island of...

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Miller: Parents’ lessons stick for life

May 18, 2020 by

Complying with a stay-at-home order has given me lots of time to catch up on projects around the house — cleaning out landscape beds, reorganizing the garage, decluttering the office. The list is long. I...

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Washington Witness: Fearful turn to guns

May 4, 2020 by

COVID-19 has forced federal and state governments to con­sider what is an essential business allowed to remain open during the pandemic. Grocery stores, gas stations and auto-repair shops are a few of the...

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