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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.

History: From Mennonite to Missionary

By on Apr 15, 2019 in Columns, History, Latest Issue, Preheim | 0 comments

History: From Mennonite to Missionary

North American Mennonite history is peppered with schisms prompted by disagreements over issues such as prayer meetings, revival meetings, conversion experiences and Sunday schools. Seven groups that split away in the mid- and late 19th century would wind up in a series of mergers, culminating in the creation of the Missionary Church, which is ob­serv­ing its 50th anniversary this year. The first of these groups was the New Mennonite Church of Western Canada, created in 1849 when Daniel Hoch was silenced by the “Old Mennonite” Canadian...

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Andres: When faith gets stale

By on Apr 15, 2019 in Andres: In the Open Space, Columns, Latest Issue | 0 comments

Andres: When faith gets stale

Every so often, a television show will surprise me and touch on church life in a thought-provoking way — like a recent episode of Last Man Standing, which portrayed some typical church settings and situations that get at contemporary issues facing Christians. The half-hour sitcom centers on Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), his relationships with his wife and three adult daughters and his work-life as senior executive and marketing director at Outdoor Man, an outdoor sporting goods store. In “The Passion of Paul,” Reverend Paul (Bill Engvall)...

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Conduct unbecoming

By on Apr 15, 2019 in Latest Issue, Letters | 0 comments

An open memo to the Mennonite Church USA Constit­u­ency Leaders Council regarding its review of the Membership Guidelines: Please, bring before the delegate assembly of the 2019 convention a resolution to strip Part III from the Membership Guidelines. Part III — “clarification on some issues related to homosexuality and membership” — has served us poorly. As I see things, historically and ethically, the development of Part III, its initial adoption and its 2015 reaffirmation all may be judged as conduct unbecoming of pacifists....

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TMI released for possible merger with MWR

By , , and on Apr 8, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 1 comment

Mennonite Church USA moderator-elect Joy Sutter, moderator David Boshart and executive director Glen Guyton converse at the MC USA Executive Board meeting in Kansas City, Mo. — Janie Beck Kreider/MC USA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In its final in-person meeting before the Mennonite Church USA convention in July, the denomination’s Executive Board on March 31-April 2 unanimously accepted terms to release The Mennonite Inc. as a churchwide program entity. The release would enable TMI to merge with Mennonite World Review Inc. to form a new, independent media organization, pending further decision-making by MWR Inc. David Boshart, moderator of MC USA, reviewed the process that led to this point. In February 2018, representatives of TMI and MWR Inc....

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With country in crisis, Venezuelans request prayer

By and on Apr 8, 2019 in Latest Issue, News | 0 comments

Inspired by Mennonite World Conference, people of the Mennonite church in the El Paraíso neighborhood of Caracas celebrate World Fellowship Sunday. — ​Linda Shelly/MMN

With economic and political conditions in Venezuela deteriorating, Mennonite leaders are asking for prayers for peace for their nation as their churches sow seeds of peace in their communities. “The news confuses us,” said Erwin Mirabal, president of the Venezuelan Mennonite Network of Missions. “The insults among people who represent the country lead to a loss of respect for the institutions. “The threats of death, prison, kidnapping, invasion and war . . . discourage us and make us think that there are no exits, that the only path we...

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My Oma and me: building bridges with art

By and on Apr 1, 2019 in Latest Issue, Opinion | 0 comments

Madeline Kreider Carlson, right, and members of a learning tour composed of Ten Thousand Villages volunteers talk with metal artisan Jonas Soulouque in the artisan village of Noailles, Haiti. — Annalee Giesbrecht/MCC

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — On my first visit to Ramon St. Hilaire’s workshop, in a narrow alley in Port-au-Prince, I remember it smelled of fragrant, fresh-cut wood. Sawdust sparkled in the tropical air. Outside, stacks of wood from the obeche tree cured in the sun, waiting to be shaped into elegant bowls. During this visit, St. Hilaire showed me a newly sanded platter. I took it and turned it over in my hands, feeling something familiar in the smoothness of its form. I had held a nearly identical platter, mahogany with a time-worn patina,...

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Powell: Jesus and the truth bearers

By on Apr 1, 2019 in Columns, Latest Issue, Powell: A Voice from the Center | 0 comments

Powell: Jesus and the truth bearers

A supporter of President Trump was asked about the president’s rhetoric and the violence and division it causes. He asserted that the president doesn’t really believe everything he says. He concluded: “They are just words.” No, they are not just words. There’s power in them. Words are our primary form of communication. All human activity began with words, as God spoke the world into existence (Gen. 1:1-31). Words have ordered the destruction of nations, and words have forged relationships to created peace. There’s more to words...

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Showalter: Refusing to live in fear

By on Apr 1, 2019 in Columns, Latest Issue, Showalter: World Neighbors | 0 comments

Showalter: Refusing to live in fear

Intercultural Christian witness gets critiqued from many quarters, usually with good reason. After all, one never moves between cultures without making mistakes or displaying blind spots. Many critiques are obvious enough — Constantinianism, European colonialism, American neo-colonialism, cultural mal-adaptation, theological or intellectual arrogance, religious syncretism, mis-use of wealth, linguistic provincialism. Every generation revises old lists and adds new critiques. Recently in a Middle Eastern Christian home I happened into a...

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Yoder: The finger of blame

By on Apr 1, 2019 in Columns, Latest Issue, Yoder-Short: Living the Story | 0 comments

Yoder: The finger of blame

It is convenient to blame a foreigner, a religious outsider, a domineering woman. Who is to blame for Israel’s unfaithfulness? Who is to blame for Naboth’s death? Conveniently, we blame Jezebel. Israel had strayed from being God’s faithful community, strayed from extending compassion toward each other. This is evident in the story of Naboth (1 Kings 21). Naboth’s vineyard is next to the lavish winter palace of Israel’s King Ahab. Ahab wants the vineyard. Naboth reminds Ahab that his vineyard is not for sale. Land and vineyards were...

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What’s infallible?

By on Apr 1, 2019 in Latest Issue, Letters | 8 comments

Several letters in the March 18 issue lament Mennonite Church USA’s loss of a “biblical gospel.” Two writers left the church because the 1995 Confession of Faith doesn’t call the Bible “infallible.” If “infallible” means “without error,” I have a few questions. Which Bible are they talking about? An English-language Bible like the KJV, New KJV, NIV or NRSV? Or do they mean the original Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament? My NRSV Old Testament contains various footnotes that say, “meaning of Hebrew...

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