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These stories appeared in the latest issue of MWR. Stories can be found sorted by issue here. To see more subscribe online or to the print edition here.

Ethiopian sees how Latin Americans run a seminary

By and on Jul 23, 2018 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

SEMILLA academic dean Rafael Escobar, Eastern Mennonite Missions East Africa representative Debbi DiGennaro, Meserete Kristos College President Kiros Teka and SEMILLA President Willi Hugo Perez. — SEMILLA

GUATEMALA CITY — An exchange of East African and Latin American approaches to theological education took place when the president of Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia visited SEMILLA, the Latin American Anabaptist Seminary in Guatemala City. Eastern Mennonite Missions funded Kiros Teka Haddis’ July 1-7 visit, with the goal of getting to know the seminary’s institutional model and programs. A rich trans-Atlantic exchange unfolded, including visits to SEMILLA classes, discussions with administrators and a day of dialogue with Central...

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Former inmate leads a church inside a prison

By and on Jul 23, 2018 in Feature, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Inmates in Asuncion’s infamous Tacumbu prison participate in La Libertad church, a ministry of the Mennonite Brethren church in Paraguay. — Ignacio Chamorro Ramirez/MWC

Pastor Ignacio Chamorro Ramírez’s flock isn’t typical. “My members are rapists, kidnappers, murderers and fraudsters — all washed by the blood of Jesus our Lord,” he said. Chamorro directs an integrated transformation program and pastors La Libertad (Freedom) church, a ministry of the Mennonite Brethren church, in Paraguay’s overcrowded Tacumbú national penitentiary. But he was once a prisoner like the men he serves. Chamorro’s life is a testament to Holy Spirit transformation. His youth spent on the streets led to bad...

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Canadian MBs join trend to decentralize

By and on Jul 23, 2018 in Featured, Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches delegates pray for new national director Elton DaSilva July 14 during the denomination’s bienniel national convention at Forest Grove Community Church in Saskatoon, Sask. — Tony Schellenberg/CCMBC

Less is going to be more in a new approach to national decision-making and structure approved by Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches delegates July 14 in Saskatoon, Sask. With 97 percent agreement, delegates approved a “collaborative model” that emphasizes decisions at the provincial conference level by holding votes on national matters there. Biennial national conventions will be discontinued, replaced by smaller gatherings of provincial and agency leaders who carry those regional votes to produce a national...

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Return to national service concerns French churches

By and on Jul 16, 2018 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Commission de Réflexion pour la Paix (Commission of Reflection for Peace)

A government plan to resurrect compulsory national service next year in France has Mennonites concerned about implications for young people in their congregations. While some details are not finalized, the plan requires males and females between the ages of 16 and 21 to participate in a minimum of one month of service focused on “teaching, working with charities and traditional military training with the police, fire service or army” with an option to volunteer for up to a year in further participation. The scheme is a watered-down version...

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No longer deserving?

By on Jul 16, 2018 in Latest Issue, Letters | 1 comment

Robert Victor Peters (Letters & Comments, June 4) sounds like a Mennonite we need in Indiana, one we are sorry to see leaving us. Maybe he has what it takes to lead our response to our government’s unjust actions. We took action that prevented a detention center, planned for our area, from being constructed. We are supporting families who are facing legal hurdles that will likely lead to deportation and family separations. We have not forgotten our sins and may not be totally innocent now. But we cringe at the “America first”...

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With a leap, children learn new language

By and on Jul 16, 2018 in Feature, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Refugee and immigrant middle school students learn English during the morning language-learning portion of Leap into Language, which Eastern Mennonite Missions supports. — Joshua McManness/EMM

LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster educators know refugee resettlement isn’t just about offering a new home but also helping refugees navigate the years of readjustment ahead of them. That’s why four local organizations are partnering to hold the third year of the Leap into Language summer program for middle school students from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. IU13 Community Education’s Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds and School District of Lancaster are the primary organizers of Leap into Language. Khem Subedi, the...

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Waiting for decades

By on Jul 16, 2018 in Latest Issue, Letters | 0 comments

At 93, I’m trying to wrap up some of my end-of-life business. One of my efforts over the last 40 years was to try to understand the LGBTQ issue and how it fits into our church dialogue and theological understanding. Every church in the world is trying to understand how to deal with homosexuality. How do we accept LGBTQ people who have faith in Christ and are asking to become full members of our churches? They aren’t trying to disparage the church; they want to become worshiping members. Homosexuality is not like smallpox or measles. It...

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To beat addiction, path to freedom is spiritual

By and on Jul 16, 2018 in Feature, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Operation 6:12 addiction recovery program graduates, from left, Steven Beachy, Wayne Byler, Loren Borntrager and Sone Rassavong gather after a prevention meeting on May 29 in Middlebury, Ind. — Operation 6:12

For Paul Fehr, addiction to drugs began with rejection, but an encounter with Christ helped him overcome that bondage. Now he’s the executive director of Operation 6:12, a Christian residential program in Sugarcreek, Ohio, for men seeking freedom from addiction. Growing up, Fehr felt out of place in his Amish community, which his father had become part of after being abandoned by his biological parents at 5 years old. “As with all sin, [addiction] begins with rejection,” he said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that all people with...

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Nonresistance isn’t silent

By on Jul 16, 2018 in Editorial, Latest Issue | 0 comments

How much should nonresistant Christians talk publicly about the political concerns of their earthly societies? Many Anabaptists recognize nonresistance as encompassing more than refusing to use lethal force against another human being. They believe it extends to refusing to engage in any activity they consider coercive, including lawsuits (which may be financially punitive) or voting for elected officials (an exercise of political power or influence). Some take this a step further, admonishing fellow Anabaptists not to concern themselves with...

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Bible: Look who isn’t coming to dinner

By on Jul 16, 2018 in Bible, Columns, Latest Issue | 1 comment

Ted Grimsrud

In the ancient world you could learn a great deal about people at mealtime. What people ate and who they ate with were quite revealing. Luke 14 certainly tells us a lot about Jesus — and about those who set themselves against him. The entire chapter recounts a meal Jesus shared at the house of a leader of the Pharisees. Now, the tone here actually seems to be one of mutual respect. But the Pharisees were “watching him closely” (verse 1) — just as Jesus was noticing them. And things were learned, especially about how Jesus understood...

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