Churches discuss response to lethal threats

Nov 5, 2018 by and

NEWTON, Kan. — As Mennonites gathered in a church basement Oct. 27 to discuss how they might respond to a shooter in their church, cell phones buzzed with news of a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The...

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Statement on shooting at Tree of Life synagogue

Nov 5, 2018 by

Throughout this year a group of us within Mennonite Church USA has been meeting to discuss Mennonite and Jewish relations. We are pastors, scholars and laypeople. Some of us work for Mennonite agencies and...

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Book review: ‘Believe Me’

Sep 24, 2018 by

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election surprised almost everyone. How did it happen? Evangelical Christians had a lot to do with it. In Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald...

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Loving our neighbors without fear

Jul 11, 2018 by

I saw two movies recently. The second was First Reformed. The pastor of a small Christian Reformed church somewhere in New York struggles with a tension between hope and darkness in his own life and runs into...

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Beyond our fears

Jun 18, 2018 by

Anxiety affects nearly one-third of the U.S. population, making it the most common mental-health disorder. Youth particularly feel its crushing weight. Record numbers of college students are seeking treatment...

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Opinion: A prayer for Syria — freedom from fear

Jun 4, 2018 by and

“Fill me with your love, O Lord,” I say to myself as I breathe in. “And free me from fear,” I think on the exhale. I’m sitting in a black van, parked on the side of the highway in Syria. As I look...

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Choosing a good death

Apr 20, 2018 by

Both of my parents were able to die the way they wanted to: at home surrounded by family. I hope this is the way I am able to die as well. Unfortunately, medical technology, combined with our own fearful...

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Yoder-Short: Sparrow watcher

Jan 29, 2018 by

“God sees the sparrows.” This phrase’s comforting appeal melted as I watched our cat dining on a sparrow. Life can be bloody and cruel. God seeing sparrows didn’t change this bird’s demise. Jesus’...

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Longhurst: Who fears death?

Jan 15, 2018 by

“Why are evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics overrepresented among those who experience higher levels of guilt, regret and uncertainty in the face of impending death?” That’s a question a...

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Kehrberg: Who is your Samaritan?

Jul 3, 2017 by

One of the attributes of the Good Samaritan parable is its action. It is perfect for dramatization. (One does need to pay attention to casting choices: Certain robbers may relish their role more than...

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Yoder-Short: Trust not the foxes

May 22, 2017 by

Ten baby chicks arrived at our house along with a flock of childhood memories. I grew up where banties roamed the barnyard, and spring included clucky mothers with newly hatched chicks. As I put our chicks in...

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No, Christian pacifists are not cowards

May 18, 2017 by

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, which naturally means I am a Christian pacifist. I refuse to use violence against my enemies or intentionally harm them in any way, even if they harm me. I will love my...

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Kriss: Pastoring in polarities

Mar 27, 2017 by

Many who preach regularly are finding it a tough navigation in the pulpit in the United States. Our highly politicized environment means it’s difficult to find ways to speak that are both relevant and...

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Giving up fear for Lent

Feb 28, 2017 by

I have started observing Lent early. The hate, anger and animosity I see around me is overwhelming, and I think at its heart is fear. What are we afraid of? This is a question I have reflected on a lot this...

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Jesus only

Feb 2, 2017 by

Matthew 17 tells the story of Jesus taking Peter, James and John to a mountain, where they witnessed his transfiguration. The Bible says, “his face shone as the sun, and his clothes became white as light.”...

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Redeem the time

Jan 2, 2017 by

Tacking up a new calendar, do we hope or fear? The days set before us may hold joy and sorrow, happiness and disappointment. A year from now, we’ll mark another entry in the annals of the unchangeable...

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A word to white men

Dec 5, 2016 by

As a white Mennonite man, I am deeply disturbed by my fellow WMM who voted for Donald Trump. I consider his discriminatory rhetoric hate speech. Voting for Trump reflects a disconnect from ethical Mennonite...

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King: A girl and her giraffe

Sep 26, 2016 by

Not to take sides but to reflect the conversation, a nation argues over whether to name its presidential candidates crooks, fascists, or worse. At lunch with a denomination’s representatives, talk turns to...

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A pilgrim’s sight

Apr 11, 2016 by

As I headed for retreat in Arizona’s Verde Valley, words of Eastern Mennonite Seminary colleague Linda Alley, insights honed as spiritual director, still rang: “I imagine it as a pilgrimage. The journey...

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Hesston casts out fear

Mar 7, 2016 by

Christian writer and activist Shane Claiborne came to Hesston, Kan., Feb. 19-21 to say that love casts out fear and that followers of Jesus should live in proximity to people’s pain. Four days later, when a...

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Temptations of ego and fear

Feb 18, 2016 by

“Turn these stones to bread.” “Worship me to gain power over the kingdoms of this world.” “Fall from the pinnacle so we can all watch the angels swoop in and rescue you.” These are the temptations...

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Freedom from fear in Indonesia

Feb 1, 2016 by

The news of violence broke late in the evening in Phil­a­delphia, mid-morning in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan. 14. Philadelphia, where I live, has the largest concentration of Indonesian immigrants on the East...

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The way to cast out fear

Feb 1, 2016 by

It is said that peace is more than the absence of war. Real peace goes far beyond avoiding large-scale armed conflict. What, then, is peace the absence of? Perhaps it is the absence of fear. Or the shrinking...

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Real or not?

Dec 7, 2015 by

Last month, Mockingjay: Part 2 concluded the film version of The Hunger Games series, a dystopian story in which children are forced to fight to the death in a televised Survivor-like arena. President Snow...

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Reconciliation soup

Jun 2, 2015 by

I never knew you could make chicken noodle soup from scratch. Like sliced bread and chewy chocolate cookies, I thought there were secrets to making comfort foods that only grocery stores knew. In my family, if...

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