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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.

Kraybill: Human sacrifice, then and now

By on Oct 14, 2019 in Columns, Kraybill: Holy Land Peace Pilgrim, Latest Issue | 0 comments

The Dome of the Rock has been called Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark. — J. Nelson Kraybill

The Dome of the Rock in Old Jeru­salem enshrines faith stories, including the almost-sacrifice of Isaac. By Jewish and Muslim tradition, the bedrock protruding inside this seventh-century structure is the top of Mount Moriah, to which Abraham took Isaac at God’s command. Isaac carried firewood; Abraham carried fire and knife. “The fire and the wood are here,” said Isaac with apparent alarm, “but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22). Muslims believe Ishmael, not Isaac, climbed Mount Moriah with Abraham. Either way,...

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Groups enlist unity

By on Oct 14, 2019 in Editorial, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Opposition to military service continues to unify Anabaptists. An unprecedented number of Anabaptist groups found common ground this summer to sign a letter outlining concerns to the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service. Thirteen groups, from Old Order Amish to Mennonite Church USA, expressed concern about the idea of requiring women to register for the draft and advocated for giving registrants the right to identify as conscientious objectors. It is unfortunate the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches chose...

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Humility, moral clarity

By on Oct 14, 2019 in Editorial, Latest Issue | 0 comments

God’s word to Solomon after the dedication of Israel’s temple offered a remedy for a wayward nation. A time of judgment will come, God says, and then “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). It’s a favorite scripture when calling for a revival of faith. The message never goes out of date. We’ll always need prompting to seek God and turn away from sin....

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Consultation offers peace-church voice on military service

By and on Oct 14, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Donald Kraybill, senior fellow emeritus of the Young Center for Ana­baptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, gives a presentation during the Anabaptist Church Consultation June 4 at the Mennonite Central Committee office in Akron, Pa. — Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford/Church of the Brethren

As a federal commission reviews the Selective Service System and other issues regarding the American public’s relationship with military service, Ana­baptists have given their input. A diverse collection of representatives from Mennonite and other Anabaptist groups gathered this summer to share their concerns in a joint letter submitted Sept. 13 to the commission. Mennonite Central Committee U.S. hosted the Anabaptist Church Consultation on June 4 in Akron, Pa. Spanning the spectrum from Mennonite Church USA to Old Order Amish, 13...

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Kriss: Appreciate your pastor

By on Oct 14, 2019 in Columns, Kriss: On the Way, Latest Issue | 3 comments

Stephen Kriss

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. While one month is not enough to show appreciation to pastors, it’s an opportunity to focus on the work, ministry and difficulty of being a pastor. I was called to a pastor role in my 20s. I threw my young energy into the life of the congregation. I wasn’t paid for full-time work. But that didn’t keep needs from arising at all hours of the day and night. I worked other jobs. I went to grad school. What our young team lacked in experience we made up for in passion, care and long hours. Truth be told,...

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Longhurst: Little-known martyr

By on Oct 14, 2019 in Columns, Latest Issue, Longhurst: North of the 49th | 0 comments


Every year, when Nov. 11 (Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the World War I armistice) rolls around, Canadians reflect on the many who gave their lives during that war and the dwindling number of World War II veterans who are left. Canadian Mennonites also think of the more than 10,000 conscientious objectors who did alternative service in Canada during that war. More than 6,000 of those men were Mennonite. What we almost never think of are those in Germany who also protested the war — and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it. If we do, we...

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‘Just memory’ of Vietnam

By and on Oct 7, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 1 comment

Phung Thi Tuyet carries her teenage son Tran Minh Son to see the cow they received from MCC’s partner, Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange, to help with the family’s income and security. Tran Minh Son suffers from severe disabilities from birth, a side effect of exposure to Agent ­Orange, but considers the cow his own. — Matthew Sawatzky/MCC

HANOI, Vietnam — My husband, Josh Kvernen, and I visited Nguyen Thi Thanh, a 74-year-old woman living in the central part of Vietnam, as we laid the groundwork for a 2018 Mennonite Central Committee learning tour to the area. She was angry. “The poison [dioxin] has brought sorrow on the Vietnamese people, and my family in particular,” she shouted. “Why did you bring this poison to us here?” She was addressing her words to us because we are from the United States, whose military used Agent Orange for 11 years during the war in...

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MCC meat canner hits the road for another season

By and on Oct 7, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Nyadieng Gach Gatkouth, 21, collects the monthly supply of two cans of meat each for herself and her 1-year-old daughter, Nyamal Deng Lam. As refugees who fled war in their home country of South Sudan, they live with 62,000 refugees in Jewi Refugee camp in Ethiopia. — Rose Shenk/MCC

Mennonite Central Committee begins its 73rd year of canning meat for people in crisis around the world Oct. 7. Volunteers have been participating in this project for almost three-quarters of the century MCC has existed. In 2020 MCC will celebrate 100 years of service to people in need, and the canning program has been a constant part of helping fulfill this mission. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, MCC shipped more than 570,000 cans of meat to 10 countries, plus the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Almost half of those cans of meat, each...

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Congolese immigrants bring gift of bold faith

By and on Oct 7, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

The Congolese Leadership Summit brought together pastors of Congolese churches in the United States and leaders of USMB ministries. — Helene Wedel/Christian Leader

For about 15 years, Christians from the Democratic Republic of Congo, including those with roots in the Mennonite Brethren church, have been immigrating to the United States, forming congregations and reaching out to their neighbors and fellow immigrants. On Aug. 16-17 in Cincinnati, the U.S. Mennonite Brethren National Strategy Team brought together leaders of 20 of these immigrant churches and 13 USMB leaders to talk about possibilities for connection and membership. The current generation of Congolese immigrants has endured political,...

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Jubilation greets installation of first bishop in Uganda

By and on Oct 7, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Mennonite World Conference vice president Rebecca Osiro, left, and Kenya Mennonite Church bishop Dominic Opondo and bishop Sungura Garant of Canada, right, lay hands on Okoth Simon Onyango and his wife, Alice Onyango, at an Aug. 11 worship service in Mukono, Uganda, making Onyango Uganda Mennonite Church’s first bishop. Francis Ojwang of Kenya, second from left, and MWC President Henk Stenvers of the Netherlands look on. — Mennonite Church Uganda

MUKONO, Uganda — Mennonite Church Uganda consecrated Okoth Simon Onyango as its first bishop Aug. 11. Onyango was already the body’s national coordinator, but the young church was still relying on permission and support from groups outside Uganda such as Kenya Mennonite Church to ordain pastors and deacons. “This event was led by Bishop Sungura Garant and assisted by Bishop Dominic Opondo of Kenya,” wrote Onyango by email. “There was jubilation and ululation in the air as this was realized.” Kenya Mennonite Church sent John Otieno,...

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