More than our family tree

Dec 7, 2015 by

Betsy Poling didn’t grow up Mennonite. Neither did her parents or her grandparents or her great-grandparents. Of German-Irish background, Poling grew up in Lima, Ohio, where she attended a Church of the...

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Peace churches prepare for war

Oct 26, 2015 by

Few in the mid-1930s could have imagined another global conflict as horrendous as World War I, with its 20 million casualties. Even fewer would have believed that another global conflagration would triple that...

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Pacifist policing and proactive discipleship

Sep 14, 2015 by

Felix Manz needs no introduction. Nearly 500 years after he was martyred in Zurich, his legacy is arguably the most enduring in Anabaptist/Mennonite history. Milton Whiteman, meanwhile, needs to be made known....

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Confessing without forcing

Jun 22, 2015 by

Like so many other Christian groups, Mennonite Church USA has an LGBTQ issue. But more than that, MC USA has a history problem. Unfortunately, as has happened for three decades, the two will no doubt clash at...

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Bridges, marches and ‘foot soldiers’

May 11, 2015 by

I thought I knew the civil rights story, but a weeklong seminar with Hesston College students, faculty, staff and friends March 7-14 gave me much more. What I knew were the broad outlines, major events and...

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Secrecy enabled sin

Mar 30, 2015 by

Few things cause as much damage and pain in the church as secrecy. Hiding information spawns suspicion, distortion and lies. Secrecy fosters an imbalance of power, as those few people in the know can act with...

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300-year-old prayers still resonate

Feb 16, 2015 by

From what resources can we draw in the current vigorous conversations across the church? How about prayer? Here are two that might be useful. They are prayers drawn from Die Ernst­hafte Christien­pflicht,...

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Bad history perpetuates animosity

Jan 3, 2015 by

Philipp Melancthon called Anabaptists “irreligious fanatics and murderous revolutionaries, enemies of temporal government, however peaceful they may seem.” Johann Casimir said the movement spread an...

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‘Regulation garb’ and the gospel

Nov 24, 2014 by

In February 1959, Chester Wenger and fellow missionaries in Ethiopia — wearing business suits and neckties — met a delegation of Lancaster Mennonite Conference leaders at the Addis Ababa Bole International...

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Bible as authority, not idol

Oct 13, 2014 by

Of all the factors that led to the Protestant Reformation and the Radical Reformation, nothing was as revolutionary as the translation of the Bible into the language of the people and the development of new...

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Losing peace, leaving identity

Jul 23, 2014 by

Groups have been trying for years to bridge the gap between Mennonitism and evangelicalism, but that bridge has always been unstable and inevitably fallen. Is another crash looming? This month, the U.S....

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Tar, feathers and Liberty Bonds

Jun 9, 2014 by

On a mild Monday evening, April 22, 1918, a pro-war mob of McPherson County citizens invaded the peace of the Canton Mennonite community, north of Hesston, Kan. The 40-some masked men had visited the Walter...

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Could conformity be enforced?

Apr 28, 2014 by

The Mennonite Church, after being immersed in turmoil for decades, was barreling toward a potentially catastrophic showdown. With implications for unity, discipline, polity, identity and biblical...

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Patriotism that knows no borders

Mar 17, 2014 by

Genuine patriotism seeks the glory of God and the good of fellowmen in every clime and nation. There are no national boundaries for the truly enlightened child of God. — Daniel Kauffman, 1914 A hundred...

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