Justice on the journey: migration

May 8, 2019 by

There is a lot of information out there about the varied issues that lead to human mobility. Among them we find climate change that modifies the environment, empires and world powers that produce more wealth...

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Bible: Want proof of the resurrection?

Apr 15, 2019 by

Oh, for a video camera trained on the tomb on that original Easter Sunday! How perfect it would be to witness the grinding of the grave stone, the genuflection of the soldiers, the gleaming of the...

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Bible: God in the fortress — or the slum

Jan 21, 2019 by

A famous impressionist artist once said, “I know what I’m looking at, but what am I seeing?” This inviting question leads to the heart of Psalm 48. At first glance, an ancient traveler approaching the...

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What Amish have to teach us

Oct 31, 2018 by

I live in Lancaster County, Pa., home to one of the largest Old Order Amish communities in the world. My work brings me into regular contact with the Amish. I have come to believe that one of today’s notable...

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Stories of resilience in community

May 4, 2018 by and

More than 70 years ago, my great-grandparents immigrated to British Columbia from the Neider Chortitza Mennonite colony in Soviet Russia, now known as Ukraine. My great-grandparents, and my grandmother and...

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Longhurst: Cure for loneliness?

Apr 9, 2018 by

Earlier this year, the British government created a new portfolio called the Minister for Loneliness. The idea arose out of research that found about 9 million Britons are lonely. More than a third of older...

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Communities of nonviolence

Oct 17, 2017 by

Nonviolence is the decision to live without committing homicidal violence. It is comparable to the familiar choices to live without committing rape, or slavery or robbery. The decision to live without killing...

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You are welcome to come near

Aug 8, 2017 by

In these hazy, lazy days of mid-summer, I find myself pondering the deep mysteries of wheelchair ramps. Naturally. Recently, our little church made the decision to move ahead with plans to add a ramp to our...

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Following Jesus with a new fellowship

Jul 10, 2017 by

Today after I got dressed and I looked in the mirror, I just “felt” German Baptist. I don’t expect anyone to understand that feeling, and maybe I’m putting far too much into what fellowship I’m...

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Life’s lessons learned

May 8, 2017 by

In 1950, U.S. leaders decided it would be a good thing to shoot some people in Korea who were called Communists. For young men of Anabaptist heritage, it was time to decide: bear arms or be conscientious...

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Plain groups: work-family bond resists worldly ways

Mar 27, 2017 by and

HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. — Today’s North American economy presents daunting challenges for building the ideal faith community, according to David Martin of Cheyenne, Wyo. “Why does there seem to be among...

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Spiritual but not religious

Mar 22, 2017 by

I am usually quite suspicious of oft-repeated expression, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Actually, “suspicious” might be putting it rather mildly. I have something bordering on a pathological...

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Kraybill: Do you want to be made well?

Jan 2, 2017 by

With cancer in his middle-aged body and the prospect of lifespan shortened, Doug Brewer joined a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2014 while health permitted. Near the start of the Via Dolorosa — the...

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Supporters witness a victory at Standing Rock

Dec 19, 2016 by and

Representatives from Mennonite Central Committee were present Dec. 4 at the Oceti Sakowin camp near the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest when the word spread that the “water protectors” had won a...

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Book review: ‘Becoming Amish’

Dec 5, 2016 by

The same desire and longing I identified in the rock/rebellion anti-establishment culture during my early 20s I have found in Christian culture and especially in Anabaptist groups who believe in living out...

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Watson: Love the land together

Nov 7, 2016 by

Recently, in an endless Facebook scroll, I saw the phrase “reintegration of Trump voters.” The phrase, now lost to the annals of endless scrolls, stuck with me. On Nov. 9, the “yuge” year-plus...

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Challenging the narrative of rural decline

Oct 28, 2016 by

As the 2016 US election rattles into its final stretch, rural people and communities have gotten an ill-deserved bad rap. Commentators along the urban coastlines, seeking to understand rural voting patterns,...

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Watson: Suburbs, city of God?

Sep 26, 2016 by

In most circles, theological ones included, the suburbs are spoken of as the illegitimate child of urban and rural life — and with good reason. The suburban ideal emerged in the 1950s and 1960s under the...

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Jesus, Moses and the rights and wrongs of leadership

Aug 16, 2016 by

In response to Andy Wade’s Sunday morning reflection at our Celtic retreat, I have been rereading and pondering the Beatitudes in Matt. 5:1-12 this week. The passage begins with a phrase I had never noticed...

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Anabaptist Renewal Circles seeks to spark a revival

Aug 10, 2016 by and

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. — As the North American church declines, people still love Jesus somehow. But Jesus’ followers? Not so well-loved. “They think we stick with our own,” said Hugh Halter, the...

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What does church mean to us?

May 19, 2016 by

I spent a good chunk of one recent morning in an online discussion about the future of Mennonite Church Canada with a handful of other young-ish pastors from across the nation. It was interesting to be...

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All are in God’s circle

Mar 28, 2016 by

Recently a teacher was explaining how even preschool kids know who is in and who is out. They know who they want in their block-building circle and who they don’t. Ideas of inclusion and exclusion form...

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As rural life changes, a church lets go of the past

Feb 29, 2016 by and

In its heyday, First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake, Minn., saw between 400 and 500 people fill its pews and balcony on a Sunday morning. Built in 1955-56, it was the home of a General Conference Mennonite...

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Are Quakers allowed to speak in tongues?

Sep 17, 2015 by

The first time I heard someone speak in tongues was at the World Gathering of Young Friends, an international Quaker gathering held in 2005, in Lancaster, England. It was a minister from Philadelphia Yearly...

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Pastors in Northern Ireland cut church to the core

Aug 31, 2015 by and

Pastoral colleagues Karen Sethuraman and Gordon McDade thought they were doing everything right. Their traditional church in Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland, had lots of people, programs and a strong community...

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