Former prison becomes Swiss Mennonite couple’s home

Dec 11, 2017 by and

Spears to pruning hooks. Swords to plowshares. And since April 1, Anabaptist prison to cozy apartment. Already a tourist hotspot for Mennonites, portions of Trachselwald Castle could even become an...

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Did the Anabaptist reformers ‘win’?

Nov 29, 2017 by and

Theologian Karl Barth, a supreme definer of Christianity in the twentieth century, continues to influence Christian thinkers, notably with his admonition, “The church must always be reformed.” Not many...

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Swiss official offers apology for persecution

Nov 27, 2017 by and

It can’t change the past, but it can impact the future. In surprise comments delivered in early November, a government official in Bern, Switz­erland, requested forgiveness for persecution by the church and...

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Still BIC but no longer Brethren

Oct 30, 2017 by and

The Canadian BIC has swapped a noun for a verb. After years as the Brethren in Christ, the 67-congregation Anabaptist denomination has renamed itself the Be in Christ Church of Canada. The change, which had...

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What faith cannot do

Oct 30, 2017 by

Faith is a miracle worker. It moves mountains and heals the sick and brings about the impossible. Faith is the evidence of a world unseen. But did you know that there is something faith cannot do? The past few...

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Anabaptists only one facet of World War I dissent

Oct 24, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many events have honored heroism and sacrifice during World War I, a different kind of conference gathered in an unlikely place to pay tribute to those who opposed the Great War a...

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‘Muted Voices’ conference recalls Hutterite martyrs

Oct 23, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tale of four Hutterite conscientious objectors who refused even to wear a military uniform, let alone serve in the U.S. Army during World War I, is well known in Hutterite colonies and...

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Fundamentally flawed: How Mennonites failed to be faithful

Oct 23, 2017 by

I grew up believing my Mennonite religious tradition originated as a part of the Anabaptist movement. I would’ve been incredulous if someone had told me then that our theological underpinnings originated...

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No halfway liberty

Oct 9, 2017 by

The protest that shook the world began 500 years ago this month. On a church door in the Saxon town of Wittenberg, an obscure German monk posted 95 statements of dispute with Catholicism. It was Oct. 31, 1517....

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Muted voices in World War I, and today

Sep 12, 2017 by and

An unsuccessful effort to locate artifacts related to World War I conscientious objection was an unexpected blessing for developers of an exhibit that will be featured at a symposium on the topic this October...

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Hutterite elder sought progress, lamented division

Sep 5, 2017 by and

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....

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Would we stand strong?

Jul 13, 2017 by and

Six Brethren were arrested 300 years ago in Solingen, Germany. What was their crime? In 1716, the six men, ages 22 to 33, had been baptized as adults. This crime was a capital offense, the punishment could be...

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‘From death to life’

Mar 27, 2017 by

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. — Col. 3:15 On Easter morning in April 1528 in Augsburg, Germany, almost 100 Anabaptists were rounded up by...

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Transformed by the Word

Mar 23, 2017 by

Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events launched by Mennonite World Conference to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. “Transformed by the Word: Reading Scripture in...

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Book review: ‘Martyrs Mirror: A Social History’

Feb 27, 2017 by

Martyrs Mirror has shaped the Anabaptist tradition more powerfully than any book besides the Bible. That is the premise of David L. Weaver-Zercher’s masterful new history of Thieleman J. van Braght’s...

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Remembering a faith journey of 500 years

Feb 20, 2017 by and

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...

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History: The ‘Anabaptists’ who weren’t

Jan 30, 2017 by

Before the Radical Reformation and before the Protestant Reformation were the Waldensians. While Protestant Christianity celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2017 and Anabaptists prepare to do likewise in eight...

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Reformation at 500

Jan 30, 2017 by

Mennonites have claimed to be a “third-way” movement, neither Catholic nor Protestant. Yet we descend from the Protestant Reformation. Anabaptism emerged from the religious and political protest Martin...

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Events to mark Reformation’s 500th anniversary

Dec 27, 2016 by

The Reformation rocked the Western church 500 years ago as successive groups discovered new things about God through Scripture and separated from the Roman Catholic church. The Mennonite World Conference...

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History: Stones of remembrance

Dec 19, 2016 by

I had my apple strudel and coffee — not to be missed if you’re visiting Innsbruck, Austria — in a café along Maria Theresa Street. I read again the brass plaque marking the 1536 execution of Jacob...

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Martyrs relevant in Thailand

Oct 31, 2016 by and

DET UDOM, Thailand — A simple open-air pavilion at the Life Enrichment Church Center served as the location for the third Thai Anabaptist Gathering Sept. 27-Oct. 1. Most of the 150 people who attended were...

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What you might not know about Menno Simons

Oct 19, 2016 by

I recently finished reading The Complete Writings of Menno Simons and thought it might be interesting to list some of the ways Menno Simons might raise some eyebrows… If you can think of any I missed, I...

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To vote or not to vote?

Oct 12, 2016 by

I have never voted in an election. Not because I don’t care about my country. I care very much. I love this country where I live. I love its beauty; love the broad sweep of its land, the diversity of its...

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Book review: ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’

Oct 10, 2016 by

What are the roles of language in forming and maintaining religious identity? This fascinating volume explores Pennsylvania Dutch, a language that, nowadays, is “neither explicitly taught nor read nor...

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War resisters part of World War I story, too

Oct 10, 2016 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — The trophies and destruction left by battles are many, but items that tell the stories of war resisters are scarce. The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., is...

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