The power of fear and the fear of power

Oct 9, 2019 by

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (John 4:18a). “…you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). In my experience as pastor I’ve often been...

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‘Just memory’ of Vietnam

Oct 7, 2019 by and

HANOI, Vietnam — My husband, Josh Kvernen, and I visited Nguyen Thi Thanh, a 74-year-old woman living in the central part of Vietnam, as we laid the groundwork for a 2018 Mennonite Central Committee learning...

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God who demands hospitality

Oct 2, 2019 by

In August I visited my friends the Issa family, who live just outside of Jerusalem in the refugee camp of Anata in Palestine. The wall that divides the West Bank from Israel literally runs through their...

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A challenging future, a tested idea

Sep 30, 2019 by

This essay originally appeared in Connections, a weekly email written to and by members of the Fresno Pacific University community. In honor of FPU’s 75th Anniversary in 2019-20, during September — the...

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Why did the vegetarian cross the road?

Sep 25, 2019 by

The fields were covered in mist on the 90-minute drive from St. Catharines to Elmira, Ont., at 5:30 a.m. on a cool spring morning in April. A church elder had invited me to share in the Mennonite Central...

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Climate change our defining challenge

Sep 23, 2019 by , and

As youth marched in the climate strike last week and United Nations leaders discuss climate change at their summit in New York, the climate crisis is already here. Storms are becoming more powerful, and...

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A morning with ICE

Sep 18, 2019 by

On the morning of Aug. 27, eight of us gathered in a circle in the foyer at Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church and joined hands. We prayed for a successful morning. We prayed for strength and courage and peace....

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Gloria Wolfe, BIC leader and roller derby team chaplain

Sep 16, 2019 by and

Gloria Wolfe is chaplain of the Dirt Road Dears. Wolfe has led ministry for more than 20 years at Jemison Valley Church in Westfield, Pa., with her husband, Gary, who now leads there as shepherding pastor. In...

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Simplfying to be someone better

Sep 9, 2019 by

September is one of a handful of “new years” many of us use to orient or mark time. The beginning of an academic year is a new beginning for many. It is a time to recalibrate, reorient, recommit or remind...

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Western Anabaptists gather for writing conference

Sep 2, 2019 by

The first-ever Western Anabaptist Writing Conference is over. We call it WAWC, pronounced “walk.” It was held Aug. 10 at the new Pioneer Christian Academy in Brownsville, Ore., which used to be the old...

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The things I believe

Aug 30, 2019 by

I believe in the God revealed in the Bible. The great and terrible Almighty and Eternal Creator of all things, who hates all unrighteousness. I believe that he is at the same time loving, merciful and...

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Lessons from Stan Eitzen

Aug 28, 2019 by

I only knew Stan Eitzen for a short time before he passed away two years ago. He’s one of those people you continue to have imaginary conversations with long after he’s gone, though, and each fall, as I...

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An amazing Sunday afternoon drive

Aug 20, 2019 by

I’ve long had a respect for the Old Order and other conservative Mennonites of our region, and have been pleased to live in proximity to them. So it’s not surprising that one Sunday afternoon in June, our...

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Altars that need to go

Aug 15, 2019 by

The Old Testament stories are full of kings and priests. There were two differences: the ones who tore down altars and the ones who allowed them to stay. Several kings did what was right, but most of them...

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What’s so important about community anyways? A lot.

Aug 9, 2019 by

What’s so important about community anyways? A lot. It’s the one word present in our mission, our vision and our core values statement. Here are three compelling voices on community, and why it matters so...

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Bound by love

Aug 8, 2019 by

When the lawyer finally got face time with Jesus, he poured out what was heaviest on his heart, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He groped for a guarantee. He wanted a divine will and...

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El Paso and Dayton mass shootings: Christians must act as well as pray

Aug 6, 2019 by and

Back-to-back murderous acts of gun violence left at least 29 dead and 53 injured in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 3-4. Many Americans want to help but feel helpless to do so. One doesn’t have to...

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A system of (dis)trust

Aug 5, 2019 by

A long time ago, Ona, a leader in the Bolivian Mennonite Church, made an offhand but accurate comment: In Bolivia, everything is negotiable. I’ve found that to be true even now, more than two decades...

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Does church membership have scriptural grounds?

Jul 30, 2019 by

Earlier this year, the Constituency Leaders Council of Mennonite Church USA began a discernment process regarding what ought to be done with the denomination’s membership guidelines. From the brief report...

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‘Seculosity’ author traces society’s search for righteousness outside the church

Jul 23, 2019 by and

A growing number of Americans do not follow a religion. But chances are that the details of their lives — from their phones and their politics to their dinner plates and how they raise their kids — are...

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Losing inerrancy

Jul 19, 2019 by

When I was 17 years old, almost exactly 47 years ago, I made a decision to become a Christian. At the time, my motivation was that I wanted to know the truth. As a thoughtful, idealistic adolescent, I thought...

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I feel guilty about my free time

Jul 17, 2019 by

When I was bemoaning my singleness once, a wise person told me, “You made your choices.” At first, I wanted to complain, “But I didn’t know the consequences of those choices! I didn’t know that...

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You give them something to eat

Jul 15, 2019 by

I spent part of the morning of May 31 packaging and delivering bread. Every three years, the Mennonite-ish churches in our area pool their time, talent and resources to organize a relief sale for Mennonite...

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Christian nationalism, the border and Fourth of July church in Dallas

Jul 12, 2019 by and

I first became aware of the power of Christian nationalism last year, during an interview at the Evangelicals for Life Conference in Washington, D.C., a gathering that coincided with the March for Life, a...

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A resignation’s core values

Jul 3, 2019 by and

In Jane Philpott’s letter of resignation from Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet in March, she stated it grieved her to leave her post as President of the Treasury Board. But, she went on to...

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