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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.

Accreditation probation recommended for Bethel

By and on Aug 22, 2019 in Featured, Latest Issue, News | 1 comment

Bethel College, a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887, is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. — Bethel College

Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., is redoubling efforts to reduce expenses and increase enrollment and donations after its accrediting body expressed concerns about the Mennonite Church USA college’s financial position. A Higher Learning Commission review team recommended placing Bethel on probation after visiting in May for a routine 10-year evaluation. The college was informed of the decision in July and released a statement about its response on Aug. 20. The probationary period would begin in November and last two years, during...

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Tabor alum is first Bluejay to make MLB roster

By and on Aug 20, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Jacob Webb pitches for the Atlanta Braves May 29 against the Washington Nationals. — Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves

HILLSBORO, Kan. — Former Tabor College baseball player Jacob Webb has realized his dream: pitching in the major leagues. Webb was called up to the Atlanta Braves in April, becoming the first Tabor pitcher to make a Major League Baseball roster. Webb came to Tabor in 2010 after one semester at Riverside (Calif.) Community College. The Riverside native pitched for head coach Mark Standiford for two seasons. “His story is such a great story,” Standiford said. “He came here as a freshman. He paid his own plane ticket to get here. He tried...

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MC USA adjusting to smaller convention crowds

By and on Aug 19, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Youth worship during on the final day of the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City, Mo., on July 6. — Vada Snider for MWR

While it is too soon to know how big a financial hit Mennonite Church USA’s convention took due to lower registration in July, denominational leaders are adjusting to the reality of smaller conventions. Fourteen years after peaking at 8,600 at Charlotte, N.C., in 2005, the biennial gathering drew 2,839 registrants July 2-6 in Kansas City, Mo. A month after the convention, MC USA executive director Glen Guyton said not all of the financial data was available. “But I’m assuming it will be a negative,” he said Aug. 7. “We’re still...

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Men and guns: Jesus vs. toxicity

By on Aug 19, 2019 in Columns, Latest Issue, Various authors: Washington Witness | 0 comments

Cotignola-Pickens

Mass shootings get most of the attention in the conversation around gun violence. The numbers are indeed staggering. There have been more than 2,000 mass shootings in the United States since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. About 2,300 people have lost their lives, and 8,400 have been wounded. Often lost in the conversation about mass shootings is the disturbing toll gun violence takes on our everyday lives. Research by Everytown for Gun Safety shows that each day 100 people in the United States are killed by guns, and an average of 36,383...

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The shocking neighbor

By on Aug 19, 2019 in Columns, King: Unseen Hands, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Michael A. King

In the 1950s, dictator Fulgencio Batista and the rich and powerful of Cuba oppressed countless Cubans. On April 9, 1958, rebels against Batista called a strike. Batista fought back, including in Sagua la Grande, where my family lived. I was 3 but clearly remember this: watching, riveted, as the bodies of Castro’s bloodied men were dragged down the street in front of our flimsy wood-frame house. Then my dad sharply called me away. It was unsafe, he stressed. Now, looking back as a grandparent of a 3-year-old who reminds me of what it’s like...

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No pawns here

By on Aug 19, 2019 in Andres: In the Open Space, Columns, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Carmen Andres

Last month, Netflix released The Great Hack, a fascinating documentary focusing on the scandal that resulted after the revelation that British company Cambridge Analytica harvested the personal data of an estimated 87 million Facebook users without their consent and used it to build psychographic profiles to target and influence those users with advertisements and social media content during political elections around the world (including the U.S.) — and made a lot of money doing it. But the most disturbing moment comes near the end of the...

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College in Tanzania brings fresh water to its neighbors

By and on Aug 19, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Nyabange residents celebrate the arrival of water in a tank by the library at the Mennonite Theological College of East Africa. — Don and Judy Stoltzfus/Friends of MTCEA

Shouting, singing and celebration resounded throughout the village of Nyabange, Tanzania, as water flowed into tanks from Lake Victoria, which is just to the north of the Mennonite Theological College of East Africa. A new water project was completed in April, changing the lives of area residents. Acting principal John Wambura said celebrants related the flow of water in the village with the presence of God. “The people who donated the money for the water project have preached and proved the presence of God,” he said. The Friends of MTCEA,...

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Enduring witness of the ‘Bloody Theater’

By on Aug 19, 2019 in Columns, History, Latest Issue, Preheim | 0 comments

Bluffton (Ohio) University archivist Carrie Phillips with one of Musselman ­Library’s seven copies of the 1748-49 Ephrata Cloister Martyrs Mirror in 2018. — Bluffton University

The 17th century has been called the Dutch Golden Age, when the Nether-lands rose to international prominence in commerce, art and science. It was a gleaming era of prosperity for many, including Mennonites. But Mennonite preacher Thieleman J. van Braght saw a time of darkness and death. “Through [Satan’s] instigation, the world now reveals itself very beautiful and [more] glorious than at any proceeding time. . . . But all are deceived thereby; yea, many who have drunk of the poisoned wine of her lusts . . . die a spiritual death,” he...

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Book review: Without a Plea

By on Aug 19, 2019 in Book Review, Columns, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Without a Plea

Jeff Gundy’s new book of  poems is described on the cover as “sprawling,” “ambitious,” “probing and expansive.” I would add “roving and restless,” as Gundy ranges over a myriad of philosophies, meditations of the mind and religious influences — Jesus to Rebecca Solnit, Emerson and Daniel Kauffman — in the same poem. These poems are on the move, from island getaway to the gravel roads the poet bikes, always thinking, always trying to make sense of the world, the mind never still. In the final section, “The Boy Who...

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Daughters who prophesy

By on Aug 19, 2019 in Editorial, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Growing acceptance of female pastors is one of the positive Mennonite trends of the past half century. On July 27, Mennonite Church USA’s Western District Conference — a leader in gender equality — honored trailblazing women during a seminar of its annual assembly at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan. More than 40 years ago, Western District played a key role in breaking the Mennonite stained-glass ceiling. Two of the first three women ordained in the General Conference Mennonite Church — Marilyn Miller in 1976 and Rosie Epp in 1979...

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