1935, 1945 and today

Aug 10, 2020 by

We’re thinking a lot about history as the Sept. 1 merger of MWR and The Men­nonite into Anabaptist World approach­es. We’re remembering the inclusive vision of Henry P. Krehbiel, who founded MWR in 1923...

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Sermon hardball

Jul 27, 2020 by

A well-played baseball game can seem to fly by, while a lackluster contest tests the crowd’s patience. The same is true for sermons. “I have always known that a sermon’s impact does not increase with...

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Not so much to ask

Jul 27, 2020 by

Traveling from a Kansas county without a face-mask mandate to one that required the precaution gave a new perspective on freedom. In Harvey County, where commissioners had exempted their constituents from Gov....

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A proud tower crumbles

Jul 13, 2020 by

It was one thing when the United States closed its borders to travelers from the ­European Union in March. It was another when the EU chastised lax American responses to COVID-19 and turned the tables,...

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The art and the artist

Jul 13, 2020 by

Can we separate the art from the artist? This is one of the questions raised by the removal of seven songs by Catholic composer David Haas from the forthcoming Voices Together hymnal. Haas is credibly accused...

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Weaponized peace ignores racial pain

Jun 29, 2020 by

To the white eye, fires of protest violence might have illuminated only criminal destruction, not 400 years of oppression suffered by nonwhite people in the United States. As a result, some Anabaptists might...

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Renewed minds

Jun 29, 2020 by

Dismantling racism starts with being transformed by a renewing of the mind. Our actions flow from our thoughts, as Rom. 12:2 suggests. Until we change the way we think, we ­remain stuck in racist...

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Scripture sacrilege

Jun 15, 2020 by

As dozens of cities burned across the United States June 1, the president needed a distraction. Donald Trump put down his twittering device, left his bunker and ordered police and military forces to use rubber...

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Opening blind eyes

Jun 8, 2020 by

George Floyd’s plea voiced the pain of generations of African Americans. “I can’t breathe,” he gasped as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck, crushing a black man’s life under the...

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Women feel a draft

Jun 1, 2020 by

No one expects a military draft. The Pentagon doesn’t want one. The government hasn’t compelled anyone to fight since 1973. But in March, a national commission recommended requiring women to register for...

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Principle of loving

Jun 1, 2020 by

Typically, the time to go to church is “as soon as possible.” But these COVID-19 times are not typical times. As Anabaptists weigh which principles will guide them most, loving thy neighbor means easing...

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Actions speak louder

May 18, 2020 by

What is a church to do when it is convinced the surrounding community is interested in Mennonite and Anabaptist beliefs but turned off by a Mennonite and Anabaptist name? Two Nebraska congregations from...

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Maintenance workers

May 18, 2020 by

“You’re a maintenance crew,” said an adviser to a congregation navigating a pastoral transition. “Your job is to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, as Ephesians 4:3 says.” A...

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A bid for something new

May 4, 2020 by

If nearly every congregation — large and small — can find a way to worship online, it stands to reason that relief sales can collect donations in similar fashion. Some already do. Events such as those...

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Exposing inequity

May 4, 2020 by

“Pandemic” comes from the Greek words for “all” and “people,” meaning it affects everyone. But COVID-19 doesn’t strike everyone equally. People in poverty, people of color and those who live in...

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Redeeming evil days

Apr 20, 2020 by

The Apostle Paul’s admonition to the church at Ephesus to “redeem the time” has always been good advice. But rarely has the reason — “because the days are evil” — felt more relevant. When times...

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Pentecost optimism

Apr 20, 2020 by

Easter any other year is one of those Sundays the folding chairs might come out of the fellowship hall and into the sanctuary. Churches should be full to bursting. But not this year. Like the tomb on the first...

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Our own Main Street

Apr 6, 2020 by

“Support Main Street” was the cry as the U.S. economy stalled in March. Those with secure jobs and steady income heeded the call to target their spending and help local small businesses survive the...

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Calm in anxious times

Apr 6, 2020 by

Pastors pursue a ministerial calling built on presence. In these pandemic times, household isolation presents the challenging new reality of long-distance shepherding. But pastors talk to each other, and they...

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Technology that isolates can bring us together

Mar 23, 2020 by

How quickly things change. Only a few weeks ago it was fashionable to lament the isolating power of technology and the relentless march of individualism. Now we know otherwise. The coronavirus has illustrated...

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Two centenarians

Mar 23, 2020 by

They’re not exactly twins, but there’s a fitting convergence in the fact that Mennonite World Review Inc. and Mennonite Central Committee share a birth year. Several weeks ago, they held centennial...

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Quiet the soul

Mar 9, 2020 by

On the surface, it seems ironic to suggest to “the quiet in the land” that there is room for improvement in quieting the soul. But Lent is the perfect opportunity to get more intentional about slowing down...

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Remember you will die

Mar 9, 2020 by and

In a collection of memoirs by Brethren and Mennonite writers, Making a Difference in the Journey (Cascadia, 2015), Shirley Hershey Showalter, a former president of Goshen College, quotes a personal mission...

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Another quagmire

Feb 24, 2020 by

Quagmires behave like they sound. Even in Afghanistan’s arid and stony environment, it is routine for invading empires to sink into the muck. From Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to British, Soviet and...

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No cause for shame

Feb 24, 2020 by

When 30 pastors gathered to talk about mental-health issues, one offered the perspective of both a caregiver and one in need of care. “As a patient, I can feel isolated,” said Tom Harder, pastor of First...

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