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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Showalter: Political groupthink

Jan 16, 2017 by

Christians around the globe followed the U.S. election with as much interest as did citizens of the United States. Election Day found me in an international meeting in Germany. I went to bed long before the...

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Showalter: Stover Kulp, Anabaptist

Dec 5, 2016 by

I love watching God surprise me. Recently I was asked to respond to a scholarly paper in an Asian conference. Written and presented by a Nigerian, the paper explored the history of the Kanuri people of West...

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Showalter: Thailand testimonies

Oct 24, 2016 by

Thailand has Anabaptist Christians of many stripes. In Western terms, there are churches related to Mennonite Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Church Canada, Lancaster Conference, Virginia Conference,...

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Showalter: How to give

Sep 12, 2016 by

When he said goodbye to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20:35), Paul’s last words were, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” He quoted Jesus. Questions about how to give dominate...

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Full-time out-of-date?

Aug 1, 2016 by

Christians in North America used to speak frequently and with great respect about those who “went into full-time service.” Evangelists gave public invitations calling for such commitment. Going into...

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These don’t disappear

Jun 20, 2016 by

The global church is a dizzying phenomenon. Linking it is the marvel of jet transportation and social media. Relationships blossom everywhere in unexpected places. In 2007, Fran Martin, a middle-aged American...

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Always an outsider

May 9, 2016 by

What happens when a North American of a different subculture joins a “traditional Mennonite” congregation whose immigrant ancestors were already Anabaptist when they first arrived from Germany, Switzerland...

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Middle East first fruits

Mar 28, 2016 by

A man I’ll call Hikmet died of cancer last week, a loss grieved by fellow believers in Jesus across his nation. He was one of the first four people who were baptized in a little-publicized Mennonite mission...

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The unity Jesus meant

Feb 15, 2016 by

Few scriptures have been so frequently quoted in recent years by North American Anabaptists as the prayer of Jesus “that they may all be one” (John 17:21). Especially in times of severe disagreement, we...

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Missionaries to us

Jan 4, 2016 by

North Americans have naturally thought of Christian mission as what takes place from here to there — to some other country in the world. It’s an assumption that makes sense historically. In recent years,...

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What doesn’t change

Nov 23, 2015 by

Change is in the air. Telephones I started using yesterday are antiques. Email is ancient. The Berlin Wall, which I visited as a 19-year-old, was toppled before today’s college students were born. Some...

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Phone a friend

Oct 12, 2015 by

A few days ago I received a phone call from a friend in Africa. I’m accustomed enough to international calls that I did not immediately fear bad news. Thirty years ago I might have assumed the worst, but...

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Not quickest, but best

Aug 31, 2015 by

For members of the Mennonite World Conference commissions, the Harrisburg, Pa., assembly began with a local tour — Grantham, Salunga, Ephrata, Akron, and dinner at the Amish farm of Sol Stoltzfus. Mennonite...

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The biggest issue

Jul 20, 2015 by

“What’s the biggest issue your church is facing these days?” It’s a question that gets asked and answered in dozens of ways as Christians cross cultures and engage counterparts in other nations. In...

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No corner on peace

Jun 8, 2015 by

I used to think Mennonites and a few other Western historic peace churches such as Brethren and Friends had a corner on peace. Other Christians just didn’t get it. This was our distinctive, just as speaking...

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Turning to Jesus, everything changes

Apr 27, 2015 by

George Nyaundi grew up as a traditional African in Enemesi, Kenya. He and his family knew nothing of Jesus. His tribal background was Kisii, though he lived among the Maasai. His grandfather had moved into...

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Nigerians’ suffering

Mar 16, 2015 by

In Middle Eastern churches and the Christian communities of northern Nigeria, our brothers and sisters are suffering. To most of us in other parts of the world, and especially in the West, it is almost...

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Unwarranted certainty

Feb 2, 2015 by

Every so often we meet someone who tells the truth so plainly and persistently that our worldview rocks, then adjusts. Thomas King is like that. In his recent book, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account...

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Let’s ask for help

Dec 22, 2014 by

Debates in the Western church about same-sex marriage and gender identity may appear irrelevant to some parts of the global church. Yes, our issues are frequently different. But an outsider’s view is often...

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Two radical proposals

Nov 10, 2014 by

Next year’s assembly in Harrisburg, Pa., will mark an important 40th anniversary for Mennonite World Conference. It was four decades ago in July 1975 that the Presidium of MWC met in Puerto Rico to discuss...

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Zealous African bishop

Sep 29, 2014 by

Henry Mulandi of Kenya was a plenary speaker at the inaugural sessions of the Global Mission Fellowship at the 2003 Mennonite World Conference in Zimbabwe. Bishop Mulandi leads a large circle of intertribal...

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Affirming all we send

Aug 18, 2014 by

Mennonite conferences of North America are quite discriminating about which mission organizations represent them in their public gatherings. Almost all of us “own” Mennonite Central Committee as a service...

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A pioneer witness

Jul 7, 2014 by

This summer Pastor Yesaya Abdi will retire from leadership of PIPKA, the Indonesian Mennonite mission board, which has a long history of partnership with Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Brethren...

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Follow the leader?

May 26, 2014 by

With our communal theology, North American Anabaptists have had a pretty strong preference to treat each other as equals. Yet we expected leaders to set direction. Certainly that was true until about 1960....

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