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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Book review: ‘A Witness in Times of War and Peace’

Jan 30, 2017 by

The subtitle of this memoir, “The Story of Gerhard Hein, a Mennonite Pastor Who Served in the Wehrmacht During World War II,” suggests why it was published now in English 35 years after it was first...

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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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Swiss turning military building into a church

Nov 29, 2016 by and

A vibrant Mennonite congregation in Tavannes, Switzerland, is addressing its need for a larger worship space by transforming a building no longer needed by the Swiss military. Église évangélique mennonite...

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History: No fires, no foes in Münster

Sep 26, 2016 by

It’s 300 steps from the street up the ancient spiral stone stairway to the tower keeper’s room of St. Lambert’s Church in Münster, Germany. The stone steps are worn from centuries-long use by the tower...

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U.K. reveals Anabaptism without baggage

Sep 12, 2016 by and

What does “Anabaptist” look like when you strip off the Mennonite clothing? That’s the question Joe Miller, lead pastor of Mellinger Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa., set out to answer. After hearing...

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Pentecost wasn’t a mistake

Aug 15, 2016 by

I’ve never viewed Pentecost as a mistake. The first time I read the remarkable account in Acts 2 of how the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’ disciples with miraculous power so that they could speak other...

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Book review: ‘To and From Nowhere’

Jul 18, 2016 by

This refugee tale is an imaginative work of biography, dedicated to “the disenfranchised and deported everywhere.” Based on the life story of Greta Enns (1902-1985), it is a timely contribution as...

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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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Christianity’s ‘exaggerated stuff’

Apr 25, 2016 by

“Yes, we are Christians,” an elderly man said on a sidewalk on the Greek island of Milos after giving directions to my wife, Ellen, and me. “But we don’t believe the exaggerated stuff.” The...

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Just-war theory appraised

Apr 25, 2016 by and

A first-of-its-kind conference April 11-13 in Rome gathered Catholic educators and activists around the idea of moving beyond just-war theory to a greater emphasis on proactive peacemaking and Jesus’...

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The importance of excluding people from the church

Apr 1, 2016 by

Jesus and the apostles were not just focusing on how to include as many as possible in the church through evangelism, but also on how to exclude unbelievers, heretics and sinners who refuse to repent. If we...

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Ukraine city honors Mennonite history with street names

Mar 14, 2016 by and

The rise of communism a century ago in Ukraine greatly diminished the Mennonite presence there. On Feb. 19, the city council of Zaporozhye took a step to reverse what previous governments erased by changing...

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We need to support each other

Mar 10, 2016 by

You are the salt of the earth . . . you are the light of the world. — Matt. 5:13-14 “MCC envisions communities in right relationship with God, one another and creation.” I am speaking to a summit for...

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Churches in Germany help refugees find Jesus

Feb 10, 2016 by and

NEUWIED, Germany — The leader of MB Mission’s Oasis team had never seen anything like it before: a large crowd of Arabic speakers responding to the gospel in Germany. “I saw the Holy Spirit like an...

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German history center continuing to preserve, analyze

Feb 9, 2016 by and

The next chapter for the German Mennonite Historical Society is chronicling steps to modernize the group’s research center while digging deeper into the past. In October, University of Regensburg history...

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Following Jesus leads to finding refuge in Spain

Jan 18, 2016 by and

Koroush and his mother, Maryam — refugees from Iran now living in Spain — lost everything but believe they have what they need with Jesus. “I saw the Jesus miracles with my own eyes,” Koroush said. (To...

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EMM workers help refugees in Germany

Dec 21, 2015 by and

HALLE, Germany — Eastern Mennonite Missions workers here say refugees need Jesus more than clean bedsheets, but they want to give them both. As Germany deals with Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World...

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MWC, MCC join international summit calling for religious freedom

Nov 23, 2015 by and

Representatives of every stream of global Christianity met Nov. 1-5 in Tirana, Albania, for a consultation on “Discrimination, Persecution, Martyrdom: Following Christ Together.” The event was convened by...

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What doesn’t change

Nov 23, 2015 by

Change is in the air. Telephones I started using yesterday are antiques. Email is ancient. The Berlin Wall, which I visited as a 19-year-old, was toppled before today’s college students were born. Some...

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Mennonites in France pray for Muslims

Nov 20, 2015 by and

None of Mennonite Mission Network’s five international personnel in or near Paris was hurt in the Nov. 13 terrorist bombings, although each has been affected by them. “It took a little while to confirm...

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EMM worker has lively encounters with Islam

Nov 11, 2015 by and

Teaching at European seminaries in September, David W. Shenk said conversations everywhere were about how to respond to the continent’s refugee crisis. Shenk, a member of Eastern Mennonite Missions’...

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Poppies, empty lapels and the catastrophe of war

Nov 9, 2015 by

Every November, I write for a variety of outlets about remembrance in general and poppy color in particular. I had thought to refrain this year on the grounds that I would be in danger of repeating myself. But...

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Dirk Willems (re)discovered

Oct 12, 2015 by

While a seminary student at Andrews University, I visited the Menno-Hof museum in Shipshewana, Ind. There I learned an amazing story that captured my imagination. In May of 1569, Dirk Willems, an Anabaptist in...

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Europeans confront hard truths of Nazi era

Oct 5, 2015 by and

MÜNSTER, Germany — In the city infamous as the site of an attempt to establish an Ana­bap­tist kingdom by force in 1535, more than 100 people participated in a conference on “Mennonites in the Era of...

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