How to pray against racial hostility

Aug 17, 2017 by

Where I live in British Columbia, the smoky haze is finally clearing, and I can actually see some blue sky this morning! Yet as a province we’re still in a state of emergency due to wildfires continuing to...

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Before you punch a Nazi: A new Anabaptist response to white supremacy

Aug 15, 2017 by

There isn’t much to be surprised by in Charlottesville. There’s much to grieve, but none of it should be a surprise. All the elements of Saturday’s events have been in headlines for months, or years, and...

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Mennonite editor charged with sedition

Aug 14, 2017 by

In the middle of World War I, on June 15, 1917, the highly controversial Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Act provided for a penalty of up to 20...

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10 reasons attending Western District Conference mattered to me

Aug 11, 2017 by

1. I was impressed with the pastors of Western District Conference. Some are new to me — but they are talented, gifted and delightful! I laughed with them; I struggled when some spoke of despair and loss of...

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A boy’s gift of water

Aug 9, 2017 by

It has been five years, and she still talks about Rico — the boy who offered his rationed bottled water to her. It was her first time in an international setting with agriculture, a lifestyle that...

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You are welcome to come near

Aug 8, 2017 by

In these hazy, lazy days of mid-summer, I find myself pondering the deep mysteries of wheelchair ramps. Naturally. Recently, our little church made the decision to move ahead with plans to add a ramp to our...

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The shame of our nation

Aug 7, 2017 by

U.S. President Donald Trump should feel indebted to religious voters, especially to evangelicals, who esteem themselves as “values voters.” A significant majority of them voted for him, believing they...

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Future Church Summit: Be honest, and mourn

Aug 2, 2017 by

As the days have passed since the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando, Fla., I get more and more frustrated. As usual, I was happy to see old friends and make new connections, but as the glow of those...

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Communion: Where to draw the line?

Aug 1, 2017 by

One Sunday morning some years ago, I leaned against the back of a church pew, and with tears in my eyes confided to a friend. This woman is a sincere Christian, even though she’s not a member of our...

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Another taste of desert sand

Jul 31, 2017 by

It was the liturgy that first warmed my heart. I tried to be cautious, not to fall in love too quickly. How long should one wait to call a church one’s home? I still don’t know the answer to that question....

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If conservatives feel silenced, we need to speak

Jul 26, 2017 by

I was not able to attend the Mennonite Church USA Future Church Summit in Orlando, Fla., but I followed with interest from a distance. I have since been putting together a composite picture of the event — a...

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Did the Future Church Summit silence conservatives? No

Jul 25, 2017 by

As I try to process my experience at the Mennonite Church USA Future Church Summit in Orlando, Fla. — and especially as I think about the events of the delegate session — scenes from my son’s teen years...

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Medium, message and Jesus: Future Church Summit observations

Jul 24, 2017 by

Think of a memorable scene from a favorite film. Conjure it in your imagination: characters speaking and acting, musical score playing. Now imagine it without music or with different music — it becomes a...

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What is a call to ministry?

Jul 21, 2017 by

A long time ago in the big city, I was a graduate student studying the New Testament. My wife and I had another student and his wife over for supper, and we were talking shop: Bible and theology, church and...

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Grieving with those who grieve

Jul 20, 2017 by

Have you ever felt unsure of what to do as you watched a friend grieve a loved one? My wife recently lost a cousin in a tragic car accident. As I watched the family grieve, I found myself wondering what to...

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My denomination continues to swing left

Jul 19, 2017 by

We delegates at the 2017 Mennonite Church USA Convention in Orlando met for an initial four-hour session and then a concluding one-hour session. In between those sessions, a number of non-delegates joined us...

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Reflections from Orlando: Change is happening

Jul 18, 2017 by

I spent most of the first week of July in Orlando, Fla., being a delegate at the Mennonite Church USA convention. Confession: I don’t like conventions. There’s the dungeon-esque nature of the whole place...

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It’s hard to love when they’re trying to hurt you

Jul 17, 2017 by

Most days, I go for a run. About three miles. Lately, I’ve been choosing a route that takes me along a trail that winds through a public park. Recently, my run has been a struggle. Not because of the summer...

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Mennonite girls from everywhere can cook

Jul 14, 2017 by

I am disappointed that your cookbook includes recipes for things like tacos. To me, that’s not Mennonite food. — anonymous comment on Mennonite Girls Can Cook Herald Press recently published a...

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Would we stand strong?

Jul 13, 2017 by and

Six Brethren were arrested 300 years ago in Solingen, Germany. What was their crime? In 1716, the six men, ages 22 to 33, had been baptized as adults. This crime was a capital offense, the punishment could be...

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Following Jesus with a new fellowship

Jul 10, 2017 by

Today after I got dressed and I looked in the mirror, I just “felt” German Baptist. I don’t expect anyone to understand that feeling, and maybe I’m putting far too much into what fellowship I’m...

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The ‘Christian’ politics of stone-throwing

Jul 5, 2017 by

One of the challenges in any era is what to do when there is a difference of opinion. Two key areas come to mind: theology and politics. Yep, so-called Christian politics. When I was in my 20s, I deconstructed...

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Mennonite Church USA pep talk for Orlando

Jul 3, 2017 by

This week, July 4-8, Mennonites from across the U.S. will gather in Orlando, Fla., for the Mennonite Church USA biennial convention. I have spent my whole life going to these conventions, so it feels weird...

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Eat our way to joy

Jun 30, 2017 by

Joy strikes out of the blue nothingness. You can’t expect it or manufacture it or capture it. For Christians, the completeness of our joy comes from Jesus. After he taught on his abiding in us and our...

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The problem — and pressure — with wanting a king

Jun 29, 2017 by

It doesn’t matter how old we are; we feel the pressure of peers. It happened to the Israelites, and it happens to us. It’s our natural bent to look about us and see what others are doing. We watch not only...

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