College dream, answered prayer

May 18, 2020 by

Well, Lord, the big day has come and gone. Suddenly, I feel rather alone in the world. School is over; no more homework, tests and essays. Never again am I likely to be together again with all my old friends...

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‘Mom, did you see that?’

May 14, 2020 by

“Look mom, no hands!” I exclaimed as I ran down the face of a rock. I was an adventurous little girl. I wasn’t afraid of getting dirty or heights or trying something a little more on the edge. My mother...

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What the Amish can teach us about surviving apocalyptic times

May 11, 2020 by and

I took a walk the other day, because getting some respite from the narrow confines of my little suburban home is a blessing these days. About half a mile from our house, there’s a ubiquitous slice of strip...

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Peace be with you — even in lockdown

May 7, 2020 by

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with...

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Want to go back to church (as usual)?

May 4, 2020 by

Central District Conference’s theme for this year is “Spirit, Bless Our Souls with Yearning.” Our yearnings have shifted as we’ve journeyed through this season of COVID-19. Most of us yearn to worship...

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12 considerations as you prepare to reopen your church doors

May 1, 2020 by and

As stay-at-home guidelines are eased and church doors and sanctuaries reopen, worship and church ministries will, undoubtedly, look different than before the coronavirus outbreak. And so it should — so that...

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A time for the vernacular

Apr 27, 2020 by

My wife cut my hair this weekend. In recent years, I had become accustomed to the pleasures and precisions of professional haircuts. The home hairdo was a bit nerve-wracking for both of us. When your...

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Coronavirus a test for us all

Apr 22, 2020 by

In our home for years we laid out a table runner with three simple words, “cleanliness is health.” The words were in German, and the runner was a family heirloom. It came to Canada with my wife’s...

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Should Anabaptists still rebaptize?

Apr 20, 2020 by

“Anabaptist” literally means to rebaptize. This was a nickname given to a group of radical reformers in the 16th century. A number of denominations have sprung from this movement. Adult believers baptism...

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In the Name of Christ

Apr 13, 2020 by

I deeply appreciated Edgar Stoesz’s article in Mennonite World Review showing how God has used Mennonite Central Committee over the past 100 years to not only reach out to a needy world, but to also...

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MCC: in giving, we have received

Apr 9, 2020 by

It is in giving that we receive. — St. Francis of Assisi They who lose their lives shall find them. — Jesus of Nazareth While much of the Mennonite Central Committee centennial celebration is focused on...

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Sunday morning, March 22, 2020

Apr 6, 2020 by and

7:20 a.m. — I drove from Lancaster City, Pa., where I live, on 222 North toward Reading. My assignment: photograph the 8 a.m. service at Weaverland Anabaptist Community Church to get an example of worship in...

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Rocks that talk, angels who uplift

Apr 1, 2020 by

As a farm girl, one of the spring tasks was picking up rocks from our Minnesota acreage. Before we planted soybeans and corn, the black loam needed to be cleared of rocks. It seemed that the winter snows and...

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Mennonites helped turn Paraguay into a mega beef producer — indigenous people may pay the price

Mar 30, 2020 by

The “new Panama Canal” — that’s how some are hailing a highway now under construction in South America that spans the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Bi-Oceanic Corridor cuts through...

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Blizzard Syndrome and the current social distancing

Mar 25, 2020 by

The morning of March 17 our daughter Emily said we should make Prune Loaf. I said, “Yes. We should.” We have a malady known as Blizzard Syndrome, and Blizzard Syndrome calls for Prune Loaf. Back in 1975,...

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A pandemic, as I knew it

Mar 23, 2020 by

Mennonite workers witnessed the ravages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in southern Africa during the 1980s and ’90s. Nearly a third of adults of reproductive age became HIV-positive, leaving an entire society...

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Cultivating peace of mind

Mar 20, 2020 by

When I arrived at my church office the morning of March 18, I began my day as I always do, with silence. I spend anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes with my eyes closed, resting in the presence of God. But this...

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What I would do if I had a camel

Mar 18, 2020 by

We don’t have a camel. Our farm has at least one of many different critters, but we don’t have a camel. Ah, but if we did . . . If we had a camel, I would invite children to come see, smell and hear this...

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Coronavirus is a physical and spiritual threat

Mar 16, 2020 by and

The Christian faith is not just a personal commitment, it is also a communal experience. From the very beginning, Christians have gathered to share the Word of God and break bread in confined spaces. They...

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Ruebens and pacifism

Mar 9, 2020 by

On a Wednesday night quest to find a rueben sandwich for my wife (Rainbow Mennonite Church Pastor Ruth Harder), I stopped by Browne’s Irish Marketplace in Kansas City. It was late, and the place was...

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Being raised Amish-Mennonite, and what it taught me

Mar 4, 2020 by

The Amish-Mennonite way of life is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Amish and Mennonite denominations have huge variations among their congregations. Even geographical area can make a...

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Reconciling the news of Jean Vanier with the work of L’Arche

Mar 2, 2020 by

It all came at once — a messy break up, the death of a close friend and the troubling news of Jean Vanier and sexual abuse. These three experiences all hit me hard, wounding the core of my being, making me...

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Can you have an Anabaptist megachurch?

Feb 24, 2020 by

Several times over the last few years I’ve heard statements like this: “Boyd may embrace an Anabaptist theology, but his church (Woodland Hills) cannot be, by definition, an Anabaptist church because an...

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Peter and Paul: Delusional hope, irrational fear

Feb 17, 2020 by

Peter started out as a man of delusional hope. Paul began as a man of irrational fear. Both are parables for our time. The role of tens of thousands of Christians in the election of the current president of...

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Ten Thousand lamentations

Feb 13, 2020 by

The year 2020 did not begin well. We’d all barely finished our portzelky when we were forced to contend with rumors of war and visitations from pestilence. Throughout January, disaster was all around us. But...

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