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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.

Truth with a capital T

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Latest Issue, Letters | 0 comments

Loren Yoder’s letter, “Too Much Justified Sin” (Aug. 14), was significant to contemporary believers and Truth. I predict a majority of the liberal-progressive Mennonites of today would see very little Truth in his letter. The increasing minority of Bible-based Mennonites will see a lot of truth. Truth, when capitalized, equates to God’s definition of Truth. From Genesis on we can read of God’s people drawn away from him by their cultural beliefs and Satan. It’s time to stop and consider. Kenneth Yoder Goshen,...

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No asterisks for us

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Latest Issue, Letters | 0 comments

At the Mennonite Church USA convention, attendees were asked by a worship leader to move from a diseased and disordered love — the church’s long history of putting an asterisk by its love — to a Jesus-shaped love. This was the best news ever to come out of a Mennonite convention. Though I’m a Mennonite and an ordained minister, I have been part of the United Church of Christ, which has moved a Jesus-shaped love to the center of its life, offering an extravagant welcome to LGBTQ people. It is a unique religious life when you follow...

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Kriss: Our sighs and our work are our prayers

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Columns, Kriss: On the Way, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Stephen Kriss

Houston Mennonite Church Pastor Marty Troyer told me on Aug. 31, “I’ve sighed a lot in these past few days,” referring to the Spirit’s pleading on our behalf through sighs and groans as outlined in the Book of Romans. He was talking from the church’s meetinghouse after having thrown out his back moving emergency supplies into place. The bad back was forcing him to focus on his people and pastoral skills of connection and care. The church was meeting with leaders of Mennonite Disaster Service later in the day and had already begun...

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Kennel-Shank: Examine motivations

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Columns, Kennel-Shank: Living Simply, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Celeste Kennel-Shank

It all began with a squash plant, a Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck, to be exact. Like all winter squash, it needs room to grow and many weeks to mature. Too late, I realized I had only ever grown winter squash in patches, and I couldn’t have told you where each plant started and stopped. Foolishly, I thought if we only planted one we’d have room in our small garden. The plant took over our entire lawn, producing 50 pounds of squash we harvested and ate all winter long. But we are paying the price of not mowing or weeding our small lawn. The...

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Tearing down idols

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Editorial, Latest Issue | 0 comments

On a 1986 trip to the Soviet Union, students from Tabor and Bethel colleges could count on seeing two things in every city: a monument to the Great Patriotic War (World War II) and a statue of Vladimir Lenin with an outstretched arm pointing the way to a glorious Communist future. Soviet life didn’t turn out to be glorious, and some of those statues wouldn’t stand in their places of honor much longer. Only five years later, people throughout the Soviet Union tore down the idols. No other act so powerfully symbolized their disillusion with...

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Longhurst: Overdue dictionary

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Columns, Latest Issue, Longhurst: North of the 49th | 0 comments

John Longhurst

He was known as southern Africa’s Billy Graham. His name was Nicholas Bhengu, and he was an evangelist with the Assemblies of God in South Africa from the 1940s until his death in 1985. During his ministry, tens of thousands of people attended his crusades, and thousands were converted. He started more than 50 churches. More than 20,000 people attended his funeral. And yet, Bhengu is almost completely unknown to Christians outside Africa. Jonathan Bonk, a member of Fort Garry Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, Man., is on a mission to change...

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Always reforming

By on Sep 11, 2017 in Editorial, Latest Issue | 0 comments

The church is always reforming. Exhausting as it is, it’s a necessity. Just as our bodies continually fight death by renewing themselves every way they possibly can, healthy church bodies must do the same. Among various conservative Anabaptist groups, a loosely organized movement of “kingdom Christians” has been emerging for several years. The term comes from David Bercot’s 2003 book, The Kingdom That Turned the World Upside Down. Bercot, whose books on Christianity before the Council of Nicaea in 325 are directed mainly toward North...

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Mennonite Brethren draw churches seeking a new home

By and on Sep 5, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Youth and sponsors worship at the MB Central District Youth Conference Nov. 17-20 at Cedar Canyon Camp near Rapid City, S.D. — Central District Youth Conference

North Central Mennonite Conference voted to dissolve at its annual assembly in Exeland, Wis., but that doesn’t necessarily mean its congregations are going their separate ways. Most of the former Mennonite Church USA churches anticipate staying together and joining the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Formerly known as the North Central Conference of Mennonite Church USA, North Central is a group of eight churches scattered from Montana to Wisconsin. Conference minister Fred Kanagy said a few congregations had departed the...

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Hutterite elder sought progress, lamented division

By and on Sep 5, 2017 in Feature, Latest Issue | 1 comment

Jacob Kleinsasser

Jacob Kleinsasser, a Hutterite elder whose broad vision for the betterment of Hutterite society included embracing education as a positive force, died Aug. 8 at Crystal Spring Hutterite Community in Manitoba. He was 95. Kleinsasser initiated or played a key role in diverse projects and developments that impacted Hutterite communal life in the second half of the 20th century. Reaching beyond Hutterite boundaries while preserving traditions and working for positive change, Kleinsasser saw his visions bear mixed results. Resistance to ideas he...

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MDS crews heading to Bloomington, Texas

By on Sep 1, 2017 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Mennonite Disaster Service workers and county officials speak with an unidentified homeowner in Bloomington, Texas, about the damage to his home by Hurricane Harvey. MDS volunteer project coordinator Carl Dube, left, speaks with the homeowner, along with Victoria County commissioner Danny Garcia and Wayne Stuckey, MDS Region 3 board chair. — Nate Schlabach/MDS

BLOOMINGTON, Texas — A Mennonite Disaster Service assessment team moved deeper into the devastating footprint of Hurricane Harvey Aug. 31 as they visited the town of Bloomington, southwest of Houston. The impact of Harvey became more intense for the team as block after block of damage was evident in the town, according to MDS executive director Kevin King. “There is hardly anyone here right now, but of those who are, some are sleeping outside on sofas under tarps,” he said. County emergency operations officials reported there are 500 to...

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