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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.

Remembering a faith journey of 500 years

By and on Feb 20, 2017 in Featured, Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

From left, Young AnaBaptists Jantine Huisman of the Netherlands, Makadunyiswe Ngulube of Zimbabwe, Larissa Swartz of the United States, Mennonite World Conference staff member Nelson Martinez and YABs member Ebenezer Mondez of the Philippines listen at the first event of Renewal 2027 in Augsburg, Germany. — Harry Unger/MWC

AUGSBURG, Germany — A Mennonite World Conference event looking forward to the 500th anniversary of Anabaptism looked back on the movement’s foundation in the primacy of Scripture. Regional Anabaptists and leaders from around the world gathered Feb. 12 for “Transformed by the Word: Reading Scripture in Anabaptist Perspectives,” the first in a 10-year series of events called Renewal 2027. Organized by MWC, the series commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition with appreciation and critical reflection on what...

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Allegheny Conference to license LGBT pastor

By on Feb 20, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 6 comments

Michelle Burkholder is associate pastor of Hyattsville (Md.) Mennonite Church. — Markus Kristeya

Allegheny Mennonite Conference on Feb. 15 announced it will license for ministry a Maryland pastor who “is a member of the LGBTQ community and married to her partner.” The conference approved a request to license toward ordination Michelle Burkholder, associate pastor of Hyatts­ville Mennonite Church. Burkholder becomes the third openly LGBT pastor credentialed for ministry in Mennonite Church USA, after Theda Good of Denver in 2014 and Mark Rupp of Columbus, Ohio, in 2015. In December, Good was the first to be ordained. Allegheny...

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Conference shrinks when members don’t recommit

By and on Feb 20, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 2 comments

Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference parted ways with nearly a quarter of its congregations at its annual meeting Feb. 11 in Pasa­dena, Calif. A restructuring process that began a year and a half ago led to a request by leadership for members to “recommit” to the conference and Anabaptist identity. Conference minister Clare Ann Ruth-Heffelbower said Pacific Southwest had overextended itself to care for a conference that wasn’t as big as people thought. “We have a number of congregations that have not participated at all for...

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Conflict at meeting: ‘Let him speak’

By and on Feb 13, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 2 comments

Mennonite Church Canada

WINNIPEG, Man. — A Mennonite Church Manitoba meeting at Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship took a confrontational turn on Jan. 12, opening the floodgates of debate on just what it means for local congregations to “create space” for one another based on the Being a Faithful Church 7 resolution passed at last summer’s general assembly in Saskatoon. To distinguish the conversation at hand from any previous theological debates on same-sex unions, moderator Peter Rempel outlined three core areas for discussion: What principles and values will...

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Kraybill: Sanctuary for Jesus’ grandmother

By on Feb 13, 2017 in Columns, Kraybill: Holy Land Peace Pilgrim, Latest Issue | 2 comments

J. Nelson Kraybill

With anti-immigrant fever festering in countries of the Western world, I find inspiration driving on the King’s Highway into ancient Moab, east of the Dead Sea in modern Jordan. Here ancestors of David and Jesus found sanctuary during the era of judges when drought devastated their hometown of Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1-5). The ancestors were Naomi, her husband and two sons. They surely traveled the King’s Highway into Moab because it was and still is the only main north-south highway through the region. The family must have been in dire straits...

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Longhurst: Genesis 1 or 3?

By on Feb 13, 2017 in Columns, Latest Issue, Longhurst: North of the 49th | 0 comments

John Longhurst

Are we on the verge of a spiritual renewal in North America — a renewal that might save our planet? That’s the question that comes to me after reading about the pipeline protest at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. In an article about the protest, reporter Jack Jenkins wrote about what he called “an emerging indigenous spiritual movement” in the U.S. and Canada. He noted, in particular, that the protest camp was not only a place to protest the pipeline but also a spiritual experience. According to Jenkins, the camp...

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Pregnancy center wages ‘spiritual battle for life’

By and on Feb 13, 2017 in Feature, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Kerri Porter wanted an abortion when she was pregnant at 19. With counseling and material assistance from Crossroads Pregnancy Center, she chose life for her daughter, Maggie, 11, and again for her daughter, Lila, 5. — Crysta Swanger

Growing up in a Christian home, Kerri Porter had never considered abortion an option. But when she became pregnant at 19, an abortion was the first thing she wanted. “I was very angry when I found out [I was pregnant],” she said in a telephone interview Jan. 31 from her home in Huntingdon, Pa. “I had big plans to move out west and work on a ranch and live with my best friends.” She told her parents she wanted an abortion, but they persuaded her to have at least one counseling session at a Christian pregnancy center. This turned into...

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Executive order causes higher education complications

By and on Feb 13, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

The recent presidential executive order temporarily banning entry from seven Muslim-majority countries has been having widespread effects, including for institutions of higher education. Several Mennonite colleges and universities have already reported impacts from the federal action, though the long-term results of the ban are still unclear. A federal judge on Feb. 3 temporarily blocked enforcement of the travel ban. The case is now making its way through the appeals process. Dave Osborne, director of international admissions at Hesston...

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Hopi school indictment adds two principals, treasurer

By and on Feb 13, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

A new federal indictment concerning almost $1 million in fraudulent activity at Hopi Mission School in Kykotsmovi, Ariz., includes two principals and the school board’s treasurer. The private kindergarten-to-eighth-grade school in Kykots­movi, Ariz., is a Native American ministry with decades of Mennonite history and influence. HMS is a member of Mennonite Education Agency’s Mennonite Schools Council. HMS superintendent Thane Epefanio and his wife, Michelle Epefanio, an HMS teacher, were already indicted by a grand jury on charges of...

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So much in common

By on Feb 13, 2017 in Latest Issue, Letters | 0 comments

I am a “pro-all-life” follower of Jesus who marched (“Sensing a Historic Moment, Women Join National March,” Jan. 30). The recent comments against people who protested the president saddened me, especially the name-calling and insinuations. They come from people who have so many values in common with me. People I will likely meet in the eternal realm. People who are doing kingdom work now. My own feelings and opinions about what I have seen our president say or do are directed at him, not at those who support him. We are all so much...

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