Room in the middle

Nov 11, 2019 by

The candidate’s photo seemed irrefutable evidence. A neatly trimmed, white beard hugged the jawline, never close to the upper or lower lip. He had to be Mennonite. After running for Congress last year in the...

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Adjusting the dreams

Nov 11, 2019 by

The reunion of Franconia and Eastern District conferences does more than simplify the map of Mennonite Church USA. Healing a 172-year split, it revives a 19th-century vision of unity and shows ­how new...

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Welcome the stranger

Oct 28, 2019 by

Anabaptist history is defined by migrations, typically to escape persecution or pursue opportunity. What can get overlooked, on the flip side, is the welcome that made each chapter possible. Northern German...

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Working upstream

Oct 28, 2019 by

Dorothy Nyambi’s profile as president of Mennonite Economic Development Associates brims with firsts. First women to hold the position. First person of African descent. First medical doctor. Her unique...

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Groups enlist unity

Oct 14, 2019 by

Opposition to military service continues to unify Anabaptists. An unprecedented number of Anabaptist groups found common ground this summer to sign a letter outlining concerns to the National Commission on...

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Humility, moral clarity

Oct 14, 2019 by

God’s word to Solomon after the dedication of Israel’s temple offered a remedy for a wayward nation. A time of judgment will come, God says, and then “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble...

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Seeking inner peace

Sep 30, 2019 by

Anxiety must have troubled the writer of Psalm 139, who prayed, “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” These words of David speak to all of us. Everyone worries. To be...

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Plain acculturation

Sep 30, 2019 by

Head coverings, beards and limited clothing options aren’t always enough to set a people apart. In North America, these seem to do the trick. But conservative Anabaptists encounter deeper questions when they...

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Profitic justice

Sep 16, 2019 by

Adam Smith has never been confused with Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount has nothing good to say about the rich and powerful. But, now and again, capitalist free markets understand the pursuit of justice makes...

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Ancient bones, new flesh

Sep 16, 2019 by

It’s been said that those who write the hymns need not care who writes the creeds. Hymns shape churchgoers’ beliefs far more than sermons or Confessions of Faith. Thus the stakes are high for the Voices...

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God’s presence needs us

Sep 2, 2019 by

While bad news spurs some people to action, it is just as likely to make us feel helpless. But if you think there is nothing you can do, you are wrong. The Associated Press reported Aug. 21 that the Trump...

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Lift up our colleges

Sep 2, 2019 by

Bethel College supporters got a wake-up call that all who appreciate Mennonite higher education need to hear. An accreditation review team recommended the college be placed on probation due to a 15-year...

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Daughters who prophesy

Aug 19, 2019 by

Growing acceptance of female pastors is one of the positive Mennonite trends of the past half century. On July 27, Mennonite Church USA’s Western District Conference — a leader in gender equality —...

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Blooming in the desert

Aug 5, 2019 by

Like a summer rain coaxes dormant plants to flower in the desert, life is returning to the former Hopi Mission School in Kykotsmovi, Ariz. Reborn as Peace Academic Center, the former elementary and middle...

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Love it or leave?

Aug 5, 2019 by

Mennonites once knew what it was like to be told to love America or leave it. They heard the phrase during wars they refused to fight or pay for. In the days when they still spoke German, neighbors taunted...

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Youthful authenticity

Jul 22, 2019 by

The church is in decline. Statistically, it’s inarguable. But researchers who presented their findings at the Mennonite Church USA convention said the denomination is positioned to turn the trend around, if...

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Suffer each other

Jul 22, 2019 by

Returning to Kansas City, Mo., four years after a contentious convention, members of Mennonite Church USA remarked how much had changed. There was the size of the crowd: 4,680 at the 2015 assembly; 2,839 this...

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The central purpose

Jul 1, 2019 by

Mennonite Central Committee wasn’t meant to last 100 years. In the beginning, it was, in fact, a committee, with a specific task — to save the lives of starving Mennonites in Ukraine. It proved too good an...

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In all sincerity

Jun 24, 2019 by

The bride’s grandparents led the wedding procession. The two grandmothers walked down the center aisle; a grandson pushed the grandfather’s wheelchair. The attendants were next, followed by the groom and...

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Ethnic or faith heritage?

Jun 24, 2019 by

It’s innocently called shorthand. The word “Mennonite” can be used to describe a theology, or an ethnicity, or both. Each is valid in its own way. But painful damage is done when we disregard a faith...

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Schools put to the test

Jun 10, 2019 by

Pop quiz: How many Mennonite students does a Mennonite school need? Today’s answer: all of the above. As denominational identity erodes, institutional loyalty that defined religion in the 20th century goes...

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Pro-life peacemakers

Jun 10, 2019 by

Years ago, a Mennonite man shared his experience of facing an awful question: Should his wife have an abortion? An ultrasound during the first trimester had revealed a fetal abnormality. Doctors said the...

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Today’s peace churches

May 27, 2019 by

Historic Peace Churches are an exclusive club. Beginning with a 1935 conference bringing together Mennonite, Quaker and Church of the Brethren representatives, the “big three” have never added a...

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600,000 divided by 67

May 27, 2019 by

Does your church have a reason to be? There’s a reason it began, but does it have a purpose today? If your great-grandparents needed a shorter drive for the horse and buggy, that doesn’t count any...

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Nonconformity’s perils

May 13, 2019 by

Born from schism as a mark of truest obedience to the Lord, Anabaptists are better at breaking than binding. When the Reformation didn’t reform enough 500 years ago, Anabaptists went further, many paying the...

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