Watson: Don’t sell the parsonage

Jul 17, 2017 by

When I accepted my current position, I considered the parsonage a drawback and only a temporary housing option. After four years watching my work and the market, I am convinced the parsonage, though its...

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Bible: Tasty scroll with bitter words

Jul 17, 2017 by

During children’s time in the church basement when I was a child, often we saw an “object lesson.” The teacher had some ordinary object from home — an egg, a needle and thread, a jar full of beans —...

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Book review: ‘Chosen Nation’

Jul 17, 2017 by

In 1941, as German armies advanced across Europe, C. Henry Smith, a historian at Bluffton College, expressed his dismay at the enthusiastic support many German Mennonites had given to Adolf Hitler and the...

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Andres: Starting in the middle

Jul 17, 2017 by

In May, Showtime released a limited series revival of Twin Peaks, a 1990 quirky two-season television crime drama set in a small town in Washington and centered on FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper’s...

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Yoder-Short: Arrogance and grace

Jul 3, 2017 by

Aunt Grace made her first appearance years ago. She reappears at the sound of pompousness. Aunt Grace is the creation of a friend. I imagine her with grey permed hair and gaudy red lipstick. She entered the...

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Showalter: Christianity amid the new nationalisms

Jul 3, 2017 by

Around the globe, nationalism is resurgent to a level not seen since World War II. There are many examples: Brexit in Britain, Narendra Modi in India, Xi Jinping in China, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines,...

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Book review: ‘What is the Bible?’

Jul 3, 2017 by

I wonder if Rob Bell went to Hesston College. Actually, I know he didn’t, but his new book, What Is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel...

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Powell: Courage to step up

Jul 3, 2017 by

Russia’s intervention in our democratic process and the government’s response have consumed the media’s attention lately. We are inundated with news of possible coverups by government officials. While...

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Kehrberg: Who is your Samaritan?

Jul 3, 2017 by

One of the attributes of the Good Samaritan parable is its action. It is perfect for dramatization. (One does need to pay attention to casting choices: Certain robbers may relish their role more than...

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Bible: Reluctant prophets of doom

Jul 3, 2017 by

These lessons are about reluctant prophets. Isaiah wasn’t worthy, and Jeremiah was too young. Or so they thought. Isaiah’s call came in a vision “in the year King Uzziah died.” Uzziah had been king of...

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Bible: Life begins at 80?

Jun 19, 2017 by

A friend said he always wished he could have a burning bush experience. Instead, most of us spend years wondering what God might be calling us to do. We might sense God’s call to this or that profession or...

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Kraybill: An ill wind, or good?

Jun 19, 2017 by

The whirlwind appeared so quickly and came so swiftly toward us on the dusty road at Tel Dothan that I scarcely had time to take the lens cap off my camera. Then the little twister was upon us, blinding our...

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Kriss: Connecting with refugees in France’s ‘jungle’

Jun 19, 2017 by

Last week, I traveled from the U.K. to Calais, France, to bear witness to the greatest human migration in Europe since World War II. Last year, a refugee city emerged at Calais with an estimated 10,000...

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Longhurst: Faith begets giving

Jun 19, 2017 by

A new survey is out about Canadians and religion, and it reveals some interesting things. The survey by Canadian pollster Angus Reid found that 21 percent of Canadians identify as religiously committed; 30...

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Kennel-Shank: People over profits

Jun 19, 2017 by

The other day I was talking to a colleague who, like me, admires the 20th-century Christian radical Dorothy Day and life in intentional community, but isn’t starry-eyed about either. The conversation found...

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Book review: ‘Unexpected Invitations’

Jun 19, 2017 by

In Unexpected Invitations, Angela and Erwin Rempel tell of serving together in Mennonite ministries for four decades. From Brazil to Botswa­na and Pennsylvania to Kansas, they heeded God’s calls with a...

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Watson: Deeper than charity

Jun 5, 2017 by

Reparations is a chilling word to most white people. An aggressive, accusatory word that will have many people skipping over this column before they finish the first paragraph. I invite you to stay with me. As...

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Bible: Were these men heroes?

Jun 5, 2017 by

How do we square the God revealed in Jesus with the stories of Samson and Jephthah, which barely reflect any understanding of a God of love and grace for all people? Jephthah is known more for an impulsive vow...

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Book review: ‘When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?’

Jun 5, 2017 by

In the next few years, I will celebrate my 50th birthday. My sons will graduate from high school (if we’re lucky!) and we will be empty nesters. My parents will turn 80, an age that strikes me as much older...

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King: Weaving the new

Jun 5, 2017 by

When our commencement speaker falls ill, we two deans at Eastern Mennonite Seminary become co-presenters. I prepare based on what I notice en route to commencement: Prisoners in Israel-Palestine go on hunger...

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History: The sun, the moon and truth

Jun 5, 2017 by

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.” Attributed to Buddha, this was Zaida Catalan’s retweet on March 3, her last. Catalan, a United Nations expert from Sweden, died with...

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Washington Witness: Social media a tool for justice

Jun 5, 2017 by

Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old African-American boy, was fatally shot April 29 by police in Balch Springs, Texas. Body camera video has been used as evidence to dismiss officer Roy Oliver and charge him with...

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Bible: The weak made mighty

May 22, 2017 by

My wife, Gloria, tells about the time her mother used the story of Jael, Sisera and the fatal tent peg for the children’s story in church. Parents were aghast, but she just said, “It’s in the...

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Kehrberg: Means, ends and baking pies

May 22, 2017 by

As we walk through the world, even along the dangerous paths we have chosen for ourselves, God worries about where we put our feet. — Tony Earley Each year my church has a smoked chicken dinner and bake sale...

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Book review: ‘Smart Compassion’

May 22, 2017 by

How radical should radical hospitality get? If you are open to having foster children in your home, is one enough, or should you have two or four or maybe eight? At what point do you set a boundary? A foster...

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