Agriculture firm, village church thrive together in Siberia

Jul 2, 2018 by and

GVARDEYSK, Russia — An economic miracle is underway in a western Siberian village founded in 1911 by Mennonite settlers from Ukraine. Two men around the age of 40, Jakob Dirksen and David Epp, have created a...

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Kingdom priorities

Jan 15, 2018 by

Thank you to Evan Oswald for “Selling the Evangelical Soul” (Letters & Comments, Jan. 1). Instead of power over others, Christ calls us to be servants to all, starting at the bottom of the social...

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Nonprofits weigh impact of tax law

Jan 8, 2018 by and

Some nonprofit organizations worry the tax bill signed into law by President Trump Dec. 21 will result in fewer donations. Charitable giving remains tax deductible, but a doubling of the standard deduction...

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Can Mennonite Voluntary Service be saved?

Jan 8, 2018 by

In 2009 when I graduated from college, I chose to go into Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS). I made the choice independently, only to discover that many of my friends were also choosing a year of service in...

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Our trickle-down congregational economics

Dec 7, 2017 by

A proposed congregational mission statement: To be good news for the poor, to heal the broken, to proclaim release for prisoners, to restore sight to the blind, to advocate for the oppressed, and to celebrate...

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Justifying selfishness

Dec 4, 2017 by

Perhaps the economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) understood it best when, referring to trickle-down economics, he said, “If you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the...

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Longhurst: Valuable social assets

Jul 31, 2017 by

One and a half billion dollars. That’s how much the places of worship are worth in Winnipeg, Man., where I live. That figure comes from what is called the “halo effect,” the value of the social,...

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Washington Witness: More arms for Nigeria?

Jul 17, 2017 by

Globally, violent conflicts are increasing, according to the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway. There are more armed conflicts now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, many...

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Watson: Don’t sell the parsonage

Jul 17, 2017 by

When I accepted my current position, I considered the parsonage a drawback and only a temporary housing option. After four years watching my work and the market, I am convinced the parsonage, though its...

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Agri-Urban, a link of farm and town, comes to an end

Jun 12, 2017 by and

Branding isn’t as hot a topic as it used to be for Western District Conference. Decades of burning a stylized “AU” on young cattle in the spring came to a close last year when the last batch of...

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Longhurst: Secular, not faithless

May 8, 2017 by

This year is Canada’s 150th anniversary. The government will host celebrations to mark the country’s heritage, cultural diversity, citizenship, social contract, respect for pluralism, official languages...

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5,000 Congolese Mennonites in hiding to escape violence

Apr 7, 2017 by , and

Mennonite church members report increasing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Central Kasaï Province, where Michael J. Sharp, an American Mennonite, died on a United Nations peacebuilding...

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Nationalism, civil religion and greed-based economics

Mar 30, 2017 by

Among the ways the last book of our Bible is truly revelatory is in its portrayal of violence and harm as perpetrated by evil systems rather than simply by individual evildoers. It does so through a collage of...

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No more palms, please

Mar 29, 2017 by

Most Christians never question where the palms on Palm Sunday come from. It never occurred to me, until my first year pastoring, that someone had to get the palms (and order them well in advance). But as we...

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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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Activist and Jubilee group announce partnership at EMU

Sep 26, 2016 by and

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Christian activist Shane Claiborne announced a partnership with the nonprofit financial reform organization Jubilee USA Network Sept. 14 at Eastern Mennonite University. He joined with...

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The economy of Jesus

Aug 15, 2016 by

Capitalism is killing Christianity. When a seminary friend first suggested this theory to me a year ago, I thought it was overblown. I have no affinity for capitalism as an economic system. I’m as much an...

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More drawn to sharing cost of health care

Jan 18, 2016 by and

Health-care sharing has become an attractive option for many people since the Affordable Care Act came into effect in the U.S., but it’s an arrangement many conservative Anabaptists have had long...

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Survey shows pastors’ financial concerns

Aug 17, 2015 by

GOSHEN, Ind. — Half of Mennonite pastors have some level of concern about their personal finances, according to an Everence survey. The survey shows 25 percent have concerns about meeting their financial...

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Sleeping on a bed of ivory

Jun 8, 2015 by

Economic inequality has grown in the United States since the 1970s. It will be an issue in the next political cycle. How shall we deal with the word of a prophet from the working class who heaps condemnation...

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As our economy recovers, should we celebrate?

Apr 13, 2015 by

There are promising signs of economic recovery everywhere, we’re told. Stock market numbers are three times higher than during the recent depression. Employment numbers are up. Consumer confidence is on...

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‘I just don’t have the time’

Mar 16, 2015 by

If one more person tells me how “crazy busy” they are and then proceeds to summarize, in detail, the entire season of a TV show on Netflix, I’m going to . . . write a column about it. Most of us have no...

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MWR speaker: Politics needs Anabaptist voice

Mar 16, 2015 by and

HESSTON, Kan. — A former Kansas budget director who served both Democrat and Republican governors says the question for Anabaptists is not “Should we be political?” but “How should we be...

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Stop giving bonus points for success

Mar 16, 2015 by

Sociologist Dalton Conley explained on NPR’s Here and Now how families become less cohesive when one sibling is significantly richer than the others. Money triggers family tensions. Siblings with more money...

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Planting opportunity, rebuilding lives

Jan 12, 2015 by and

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Breezes flutter the sheer fabric hanging in the doorway of Gladys Joseph’s new home in Cabaret, 24 miles outside Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. There’s room in the yard...

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