Former prison becomes Swiss Mennonite couple’s home

Dec 11, 2017 by and

Spears to pruning hooks. Swords to plowshares. And since April 1, Anabaptist prison to cozy apartment. Already a tourist hotspot for Mennonites, portions of Trachselwald Castle could even become an...

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Swiss official offers apology for persecution

Nov 27, 2017 by and

It can’t change the past, but it can impact the future. In surprise comments delivered in early November, a government official in Bern, Switz­erland, requested forgiveness for persecution by the church and...

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Social media and the Reformation

Oct 26, 2017 by

What do Facebook and Twitter have in common with the Protestant Reformation? Nothing and everything. Oct. 31 is the 500-year anniversary of the German monk and professor Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to...

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Opinion: Shifting alliances in Ukraine

Sep 25, 2017 by , and

ODESSA, Ukraine — Many people ask me how things are in Ukraine. When I think of the complex history of the country, I sometimes wonder how to respond. One evening in May, friends took me to visit a bright...

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Learning language is a spiritual discipline

Sep 14, 2017 by

We were invited by Swiss friends to eat in an exclusive restaurant during our last weekend in Switzerland. As we got settled around the table, my friend asked me: “Are you comfortable with speaking Swiss...

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Christ’s victory is ours

Jul 3, 2017 by

Since learning Mennonite World Conference had members in Italy, I wanted to fellowship with them, as Italy is where my dad’s family is from. MWC’s website lists 200 members of four congregations in the...

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Gelassenheit: A spiritual journey

Jun 23, 2017 by

My brother-in-law recently showed some footage of a family gathering in Switzerland many years ago. In the video, I was on a reclining lawn chair, trying to be oblivious to what was going on around me. My two...

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Kriss: Connecting with refugees in France’s ‘jungle’

Jun 19, 2017 by

Last week, I traveled from the U.K. to Calais, France, to bear witness to the greatest human migration in Europe since World War II. Last year, a refugee city emerged at Calais with an estimated 10,000...

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Kreider lit Anabaptist fire in U.K.

May 12, 2017 by , , and

Alan F. Kreider, a mission worker, scholar and speaker who ignited contemporary Anabaptism in the United Kingdom and beyond, died May 8 at his home in Goshen, Ind. He was 75 and had been diagnosed with...

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‘From death to life’

Mar 27, 2017 by

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. — Col. 3:15 On Easter morning in April 1528 in Augsburg, Germany, almost 100 Anabaptists were rounded up by...

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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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