Reformation at 500

Jan 30, 2017 by

Mennonites have claimed to be a “third-way” movement, neither Catholic nor Protestant. Yet we descend from the Protestant Reformation. Anabaptism emerged from the religious and political protest Martin...

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Balancing act

Jan 16, 2017 by

Staking out a middle ground in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict virtually guarantees a barrage of hostility. Angry words flew last month between staunch allies Israel and the United States over a United...

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Beware the culture war

Jan 16, 2017 by

Since the U.S. presidential election, tensions have heightened rather than calmed. Polarizing and offensive statements by President-elect Donald Trump have made many Americans feel threatened for their...

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Hope finds way to grow

Jan 2, 2017 by

The English language does a disservice to the word “hope.” It’s too short, too glib. Lips are finished pronouncing it almost before the sound establishes a presence. Spanish takes a different approach....

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Redeem the time

Jan 2, 2017 by

Tacking up a new calendar, do we hope or fear? The days set before us may hold joy and sorrow, happiness and disappointment. A year from now, we’ll mark another entry in the annals of the unchangeable...

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Embrace the darkness

Dec 19, 2016 by

Hens lose their egg-laying gusto as the days get shorter. Rather than offer a winter respite to her flock, my wife chose brainwashing over relief. Already in October she festooned the chicken run with...

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Lessons from legacies

Dec 19, 2016 by

Remembering famous people who have died marks a rite of passage from one year to the next. At MWR we follow this tradition too, believing obituaries are among the most important news. This year’s list of...

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Waiting for liberation

Dec 5, 2016 by

Jesus was born into a community of second-class citizens waiting for a liberator. Those who experienced the first Advent endured the weight of oppression — the Roman Empire’s occupation of Judea. Those of...

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The vital (too) few

Dec 5, 2016 by

The 80/20 rule predicts that, in many events, 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. It’s called the “law of the vital few.” Human behavior confirms this principle when 20 percent...

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Worthy of our roles?

Nov 21, 2016 by

Conceding the presidency to Donald Trump on Nov. 9, Hillary Clinton quoted the Apostle Paul: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”...

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Give thanks for faith

Nov 21, 2016 by

Thanksgiving is known for many things: crisp-skinned roasted turkeys, autumn leaves, family gatherings. It is a time to reunite and give thanks for what God has given, reflecting on harvest as winter’s chill...

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The Emmaus scenario

Nov 7, 2016 by

When two travelers failed to recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus, Jesus put their blurred vision to good use. As recorded in Luke 24, he kept his identity to himself as he taught Cleopas and a companion...

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Reclaiming Scripture

Nov 7, 2016 by

We Anabaptists often say “Jesus is the center of our faith” when describing our distinctive beliefs. In addition to explaining how Jesus is our example for daily living, we use this statement to describe...

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CMU’s experiment

Oct 24, 2016 by

A grand experiment took place in 2000. Schools from the Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church Canada denominations merged, creating Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Man. In practice and geography,...

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Rape culture exposed

Oct 24, 2016 by

What good could come from a sexual predator running for president of the United States? Just this: Donald Trump’s obscene bragging about sexually assaulting women has raised awareness of a problem often met...

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What comes next?

Oct 10, 2016 by

Cooling temperatures and autumnal scenes signal the home stretch of election season for Americans. By now, most are weary of the fear, tribalism and vitriol associated with the presidential campaign. The...

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Outside the perfection

Oct 10, 2016 by

Presidential elections test the conscience of two-kingdom Christians. We belong to God’s kingdom but live in the world’s. Every worldly state operates “outside the perfection of Christ,” as the...

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Not endless after all

Sep 26, 2016 by

“War-torn” preceded “Colombia” in media reports for so long it seemed the three words would always cling together. For more than 50 years Colombia endured the longest war in the Americas. Fighting...

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Taking a stand by sitting

Sep 26, 2016 by

Certain stripes of patriots recoiled in horror on Aug. 26 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem to protest oppression of people of color. The controversial action...

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Impossible dream?

Sep 12, 2016 by

Are Mennonites trying to do the impossible? Maybe, but we shouldn’t give up. We are just beginning to test new ways to live with disagreement on sexuality and to build unity. A couple of positive new...

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You are what you love

Sep 12, 2016 by

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Jesus said (Matt. 6:21). In the book You Are What You Love, James K.A. Smith argues that we humans are not merely minds with bodies attached for...

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Conversations in tension

Aug 29, 2016 by

In the days after the June 12 shooting that took 50 lives at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Fla., there were myriad news reports about dramatic phone and text conversations between people trapped in the club...

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Generous orthodoxy

Aug 29, 2016 by

On his Aug. 11 podcast, journalist Malcolm Gladwell used the concept of “generous orthodoxy” to frame the story of Chester Wenger. It’s a positive approach to faith that is gaining ground among...

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Parallel universes

Aug 15, 2016 by

Two parallel Mennonite universes passed in close proximity July 29. Thirty miles apart in south-central Kansas, two groups of Mennonites gathered. They were similar enough to focus on a common goal but...

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Missionaries of mercy

Aug 15, 2016 by

The story of thrift store manager Suzette Shreffler’s practice of dealing with thieves is inspiring and challenging. After confronting a man she caught stealing, she had him volunteer for an hour, gave him...

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