Finding our better angels in divided times

Jul 10, 2018 by , and

Who hasn’t known relationships torn apart over divisive politics? Churches, families and businesses all know the tension that can accompany political discussions, especially in recent years. Is it possible...

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A Lancaster historian seeks Mennonite hair art

Jul 9, 2018 by

It’s a well-known story. It was July 25, 1896, and there had been a party at the home of John Musser in Witmer, Pa., and many young Mennonites had gathered to socialize, perhaps discussing the quarterly...

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To judge or not to judge?

Jul 5, 2018 by

As a child, I rarely heard cursing. Thus, I often didn’t recognize inappropriate language when I did hear it. My friend and I could watch the same movie — she would hear curse words every other minute, and...

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The face of Jesus on the border

Jun 29, 2018 by

I had just completed a week-long Mennonite Central Committee-sponsored learning tour alongside nine other writers and artists in and around Tucson and the border wall that divides Doug­las, Ariz., from Agua...

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Foster care and our own refugee crisis

Jun 28, 2018 by

In our yard is a huge oak tree, its branches shading the sandy dirt underneath. Under the tree, a collection of spoons and cups pilfered from my kitchen litters the ground. My 6-year-old daughter is the queen...

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Love for lawbreakers: Reading Romans 13 with Romans 5

Jun 27, 2018 by

I had taken a vacation from the news for a couple weeks, but I couldn’t help but notice all the discussion in my Facebook feed about immigrants being separated from their children. Everybody seems to have...

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Immigration injustices aren’t new

Jun 26, 2018 by

I clearly remember that cold winter morning in January 2007. I arrived at the airport at 3:30 a.m. to report for my job, as a supervisor for a major airline in Brownsville, Texas. I walked to the ticket...

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Pope Francis — a pastor for the global church

Jun 25, 2018 by

For much of the previous week, I had the privilege of representing Mennonites at meetings of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, which is celebrating its 70th...

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Red dresses, rebellion and redemption

Jun 22, 2018 by

“Red is the color of harlots. It’s the color of women in rebellion. Why would we want to have red dresses in the church when we are all well aware of what it represents?” Though the elderly preacher’s...

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How to keep going when injustice gets worse

Jun 21, 2018 by

Is this what we’ve come to? Defending the moral claim that families should be together and children should not be in cages? After days of denying the family separation policy and pleading helplessness to...

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We need cities of refuge, not border walls

Jun 20, 2018 by

There was one picture in the Bible story book we had at home that struck special fear in me as a child. It showed the sheer terror in the face of a man fleeing for his life to a city of refuge, his avenger in...

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Anabaptism’s 500th anniversary is 2025, not 2027

Jun 19, 2018 by

At times of historical celebration, there is often debate as to the veracity of classical interpretations of a movement’s beginnings. Such a debate is with us again, as we begin to commemorate the...

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Faith leaders’ response to family separation

Jun 18, 2018 by

Separating families is wrong. Selectively using Scripture to justify tearing families apart is dangerous and immoral. In such a time as this, Christians need to discern and be diligent to test what is being...

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Too political — or not

Jun 14, 2018 by

Some folks withhold funds from AMBS because in their view, AMBS is “too political.” Others suggest with anger that AMBS isn’t political enough. We have heard from both sides within the past month. It...

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Making sense of the messy Bible

Jun 11, 2018 by

I’m convinced that if somebody simply rewrote books of the Bible in modern language and published it under a different name, most Christian bookstores would refuse to carry it because of all the violence and...

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When I dislike things in the Bible

Jun 4, 2018 by

“Women should be silent.” “Cover your head.” “Wives, submit to your husbands.” “Take up your cross” “Share in suffering.” “You will experience persecution.” There’s a lot of...

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Somewhere to be

Jun 1, 2018 by

I’m technically on a “blogging sabbatical,” but I decided to interrupt it to offer a few reflections and observations on a trip I’m presently on to Israel and Palestine. One of the things we...

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Creating with God

May 30, 2018 by

According to Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, God created the world by imagination, yet for many of us imagination and creativity are rarely associated with our faith. Our playful imaginative selves often...

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Four obstacles to raising relief funds

May 29, 2018 by

As a part of an initiative last year to increase funds raised at our Virginia Relief Sale for Mennonite Central Committee, some of us came up with a plan to solicit cash donations in addition to the money...

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Seek ye first the kingdom of God, not the Amish romance

May 22, 2018 by

About every two to three months, I get messages from a young woman or two wanting to become Mennonite or Amish. They’ve done no research and are looking for dress patterns or, as they call it, “Kapp”...

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God as Father

May 21, 2018 by

I’ve noticed more often lately that some of our Mennonite preachers and writers avoid calling God “Father.” Is this theologically correct? Is it wise? Do we want our children and newcomers to the church...

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Just come home

May 17, 2018 by

This is the story I was told: A young man had made some poor choices. He was at the end of his rope and knew he had failed himself, his parents, and the commitment he made to his God years before. Sure, he’d...

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What superhero films teach us about heroism

May 15, 2018 by

Over the weekend, I watched the new blockbuster, Avengers: Infinity War. Although I enjoyed it, I am puzzled by — and a bit concerned about — the massive and continuous popularity of superhero movies. Part...

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A new litany for ordination

May 13, 2018 by

Ordination is a big deal. It only happens once in a lifetime. There is a standard litany for ordination. But, being a writer, as I prepared for my ordination last month, I couldn’t help rewriting the...

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What Jesus’ ascension means for us

May 10, 2018 by

So Christ ascended to heaven. What’s the big deal with that? Workers get Ascension Day off in a few places around the world, and they fly kites in Bermuda. But there are no Ascension Day sales events here in...

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