Kriss: Pastoring in polarities

Mar 27, 2017 by

Many who preach regularly are finding it a tough navigation in the pulpit in the United States. Our highly politicized environment means it’s difficult to find ways to speak that are both relevant and...

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Kraybill: Where truth confronted power

Mar 27, 2017 by

Today multiple versions of “truth” compete for attention in politics and media. We ask the same question Pontius Pilate famously put to Jesus: What is truth? (John 18:38). Truth already had been...

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Longhurst: Liberals who thrive

Mar 27, 2017 by

Last fall, researchers from two Ontario universities set out to discover why mainline churches in Canada are dying. Of the 22 Anglican, United, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches they surveyed, all in Ontario,...

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Bible: Songs of miraculous love

Mar 27, 2017 by

Of all the musical settings of Psalm 23 that I enjoy, the tune and text that resonate most deeply for me is “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” (No. 589 in Hymnal: A Worship Book). The text, set to an early...

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Book review: ‘Wholly, Holey, Holy’

Mar 27, 2017 by

In his self-published memoir, Melvin D. Schmidt reflects on his life and nearly 50 years as a Mennonite pastor. It is a page-turner, wonderfully written with hundreds of anecdotes, picturesque language (beware...

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U.N. Witness: Half an apology

Mar 13, 2017 by

On Dec. 1, the staff of the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office awaited the commencement of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s address to the people of Haiti. After more than six years of advocacy...

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King: Buying the field even when it’s idiotic

Mar 13, 2017 by

Even more unsettling than usual: the stories in the Feb. 25 New York Times. There is Srinivas Kuchibhotia, an Indian immigrant and his friend shot in a Kansas bar by a man who wants them out of “his” U.S....

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Book review: ‘A People of Two Kingdoms II’

Mar 13, 2017 by

Half a century ago, James C. Juhnke was a graduate student in history at Indiana University, completing a dissertation on his people, Kansas Mennonites, and their experiences in politics from the 1870s to...

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Bible: Coming home, where God dwells

Mar 13, 2017 by

Few things are as satisfying as returning home after a long trip. Though I enjoy the exhilaration of travel, I’m usually glad when it’s time to unpack my suitcase and inhabit my own space again. I savor...

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Watson: High-fiber activism

Mar 13, 2017 by

“Every time I leave one of these, I have a headache,” a woman groaned as we left the community town hall meeting. More than 150 people had crowded into a church’s multipurpose room to discuss the issues...

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History: Confessing a weakness for humor

Mar 13, 2017 by

S.G. (Samuel Grant) Shetler (1871-1942) of Johnstown, Pa., was known for moving his audiences to tears one moment and laughter the next. This was natural, he said, because “the well of tears and the fountain...

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Powell: Pray, resist, act

Feb 27, 2017 by

Alternative facts promoted as truth have become a hallmark of President Trump’s administration. Sociologist and former senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you...

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Yoder-Short: ‘Pretend you know me’

Feb 27, 2017 by

I was putting money in the parking meter when a young woman approached me and quietly said, “Pretend you know me.” I was puzzled. She loudly chatted about how good it was to see me. After a trio of guys...

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Book review: ‘Martyrs Mirror: A Social History’

Feb 27, 2017 by

Martyrs Mirror has shaped the Anabaptist tradition more powerfully than any book besides the Bible. That is the premise of David L. Weaver-Zercher’s masterful new history of Thieleman J. van Braght’s...

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Bible: Love that can’t be stopped

Feb 27, 2017 by

If our texts from 1 John and Ephesians were the only scriptures available to us, we would have everything we need for a vital spiritual life. John’s letter affirms the deepest conviction of our faith: that...

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Showalter: Disciples rich and poor

Feb 27, 2017 by

“Can you find me a sponsor?” As I travel in the global church, few questions are harder for me to answer than this — or others like it. I’m happier to tackle the theological or organizational questions...

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Kehrberg: Pro-life feminist

Feb 27, 2017 by

Sadly, we were too often more deeply committed to being “red” or “blue” than to Jesus, who cannot be defined by either. — Richard Showalter For years, here in the U.S., many Anabaptists stayed out of...

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Kraybill: Sanctuary for Jesus’ grandmother

Feb 13, 2017 by

With anti-immigrant fever festering in countries of the Western world, I find inspiration driving on the King’s Highway into ancient Moab, east of the Dead Sea in modern Jordan. Here ancestors of David and...

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Longhurst: Genesis 1 or 3?

Feb 13, 2017 by

Are we on the verge of a spiritual renewal in North America — a renewal that might save our planet? That’s the question that comes to me after reading about the pipeline protest at the Standing Rock Sioux...

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Bible: Freedom that demands more than law

Feb 13, 2017 by

In our previous lessons, Lawyer Paul presented his case in a courtroom against the position that male Gentiles must be circumcised in order to join male Jews as full members of the New Community in Christ....

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Kriss: Talking politics in Indonesia

Feb 13, 2017 by

I spent the two weeks preceding President Trump’s inauguration in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Conversation about the U.S. presidential transition was lively. Some Indonesian...

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Book review: ‘Both My Sons’

Feb 13, 2017 by

I’m not one of those folks who reads historical fiction and longs for the past, for a more bucolic way of life and the wonder that might accompany the discovery of new frontiers. Indeed, I know a work of...

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Miller: Change for a dollar

Feb 13, 2017 by

A $1 bill in today’s economy might seem to have little value. But Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota, Fla., has discovered how a single dollar bill can multiply for positive results on individual lives...

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History: The ‘Anabaptists’ who weren’t

Jan 30, 2017 by

Before the Radical Reformation and before the Protestant Reformation were the Waldensians. While Protestant Christianity celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2017 and Anabaptists prepare to do likewise in eight...

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Watson: In defense of football

Jan 30, 2017 by

For many of us, January’s cold snaps and post-holiday haze mark an important annual ritual: playoffs in the National Football League. It is an event that, when we stop to think, strikes a dissonant chord...

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