Birds of a feather

Apr 23, 2018 by

If we all thought the same, would we ever learn anything new? Could Christ have crashed through the 660 laws of the Old Testament if he didn’t think differently than his ethnic flock? Christ got put on the...

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Small but inspiring

Apr 9, 2018 by

Though tiny, a multicultural Mennonite Brethren conference on the tip of one corner of Europe might be the continent’s clearest embodiment of the global Anabaptist church. The relatively short but diverse...

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Book review: ‘More Than One Thing is True’

Jan 15, 2018 by

I met Urbane Peachey about 20 years ago. I’d just accepted an invitation to serve as interim pastor for Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, Pa. He was one of the pastors at Akron Mennonite Church, the...

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Future Church Summit: Be honest, and mourn

Aug 2, 2017 by

As the days have passed since the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando, Fla., I get more and more frustrated. As usual, I was happy to see old friends and make new connections, but as the glow of those...

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Bible: The food committee leads the way

Jul 31, 2017 by

What great lessons this month for antiracism and breaking down racial-ethnic barriers! When the Greek-speaking Jews complained their widows were being slighted in the distribution of food, the apostles...

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The covenant of disagreement

Nov 3, 2016 by

In the past, the Church could hardly imagine placing ‘covenant’ and ‘disagreement’ into a shared concept. Disagreement represented the opposite of covenant. Covenant necessitated...

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Kriss: The road to 2042

Oct 10, 2016 by

According to U.S. Census figures, white people will be a U.S. minority by 2042. Comedian Hari Kondabalu jokes this shouldn’t make white folks nervous, as the 51 percent of people of color aren’t...

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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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Yoder-Short: Was Lydia black?

Sep 12, 2016 by

Images become stuck in our heads. Of course Lydia was white. And Cleopatra looked like Elizabeth Taylor. Lydia is frequently cited as the first European convert. Most children’s Bible storybooks confirm...

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Opinion: Uniformity is weakness

Aug 29, 2016 by

While living in Botswana, I talked with a friend who wore a medallion identifying him as a member of the Zion Christian Church. Attached to it was a fringe of blue cloth. I asked what that meant. “I do it...

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In Philadelphia, Scripture speaks to an urban context

Aug 29, 2016 by and

When he was 15, Juan Marrero, now an Anabaptist pastor in Philadelphia, used a pair of boxing gloves to settle a dispute with a young man who attacked his aunt and broke her ribs. Hand-to-hand fighting isn’t...

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Different assignments

Jul 18, 2016 by

In the offices of Mennonite Church USA in Elkhart, Ind., there is an artwork of pieces of pottery arranged on a flat surface. On its own, not one of these pieces is extraordinarily remarkable, but standing...

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Inclusion of people with disabilities in the church

Jun 27, 2016 by

Who is welcome at your church? What makes you so sure? What evidence do you have to prove this? It was a typical Sunday like any other. I walked into the sanctuary at 10:30 a.m., quickly found my seat in the...

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Always an outsider

May 9, 2016 by

What happens when a North American of a different subculture joins a “traditional Mennonite” congregation whose immigrant ancestors were already Anabaptist when they first arrived from Germany, Switzerland...

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Odd couple in a chariot

Nov 23, 2015 by

The Bible storybook image of this odd couple is a curiosity. Philip, the insider, dressed in drab beige, runs beside a jewel-studded chariot carrying a colorfully dressed royal Ethiopian. The educated...

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Lancaster district makes unity central

Jun 15, 2015 by and

In the midst of questions about Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s affiliation with Mennonite Church USA, a document calling for unity is gaining traction. The document, “Radical Center,” was born out of...

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Diversity, where is the line?

Jun 12, 2015 by

I have always been intrigued by John 3:16. As a child, the idea that God loved me, my family, friends and neighbors was good news. Every year during Mission Week I would hear stories and watch slide...

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Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and diversity

Jun 10, 2015 by

In May I spoke at the Mennonite Historical Society annual dinner in Elkhart, Ind. I was asked to make observations for Mennonite Church USA from Ontario Mennonite history. Mennonite Church USA has been going...

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‘Of one mind’?

Jun 8, 2015 by

The question of whether Mennonite Church USA can live in unity with diversity challenges us to rethink some of our theological underpinnings. Embedded in Mennonite theology as far back as 1527 are two...

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The test question for your church

Apr 16, 2015 by

We tend to measure the “success” of a church by numbers. I propose in A Fellowship of Differents another way of measuring whether or not our church measures up to the kind of success that the Bible...

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A new Anabaptist reading list

Mar 13, 2015 by

The Mennonite churches I have been part of, and the theology and ethics they espouse, have been among the most formative theological influences in my life. But lately, I’ve realized most of the theological...

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Beyond our Christendom, signs of life

Oct 27, 2014 by

I remember wincing when British Anabaptist Stuart Murray Williams suggested wryly in one of his trips to southeastern Pennsylvania that we had managed to create our own Mennonite Christendom. Murray Williams...

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Mission’s starting point

Oct 13, 2014 by

The way we talk about mission in North America is dangerous, says Anton Flores-Maisonet. We think “we have some type of extraordinary gift,” he said, and when we reach out to others in mission, “we are...

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Just wait

Sep 12, 2014 by

“Just wait a few more generations. Soon all the old people will be gone.” “My children’s generation is so much more diverse. They’ll be better at this.” “The bigotry...

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What we might unintentionally say when we gather

Apr 18, 2014 by

Over the course of the last few years, I have been a part of more conversations than I care to admit and/or remember about Christian conferences, gatherings, conventions, etc. and why they lack diversity....

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