Longhurst: No glib prayers

May 18, 2020 by

During this time of pandemic, many Christians are turning to prayer. But what to pray? It can be especially hard for worship leaders, who wonder how to find the words that speak honestly to God on behalf of...

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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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Peace be with you — even in lockdown

May 7, 2020 by

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with...

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Washington Witness: Fearful turn to guns

May 4, 2020 by

COVID-19 has forced federal and state governments to con­sider what is an essential business allowed to remain open during the pandemic. Grocery stores, gas stations and auto-repair shops are a few of the...

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Yoder-Short: Life in the wilderness

Apr 20, 2020 by

We live in a fear-filled, anxiety-ridden wilderness. We sound like the rabble enumerating all they miss of the good life in Egypt. Gone are the days of good food, tasty Nile fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks,...

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Longhurst: The plague village

Apr 6, 2020 by

During this time of pandemic, many people are worried. They see the hoarding and long lines in grocery stores and wonder if we are in danger of falling apart as a society. Yet there are also stories of hope;...

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Rocks that talk, angels who uplift

Apr 1, 2020 by

As a farm girl, one of the spring tasks was picking up rocks from our Minnesota acreage. Before we planted soybeans and corn, the black loam needed to be cleared of rocks. It seemed that the winter snows and...

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Blizzard Syndrome and the current social distancing

Mar 25, 2020 by

The morning of March 17 our daughter Emily said we should make Prune Loaf. I said, “Yes. We should.” We have a malady known as Blizzard Syndrome, and Blizzard Syndrome calls for Prune Loaf. Back in 1975,...

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Powell: The other ‘F word’

Mar 9, 2020 by

Several words are known by their first letter. Most stand for a racially offensive term or an obscenity. The letter “F” is one of them. When you hear someone refer to the “F word,” I suggest...

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Church groups respond to virus outbreak

Feb 24, 2020 by and

Mennonite Church Canada reports that 10 North American English teachers serving with Mennonite Partners in China have not been able to return to their placements in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, as...

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A call to offer welcome and refuge

Feb 24, 2020 by and

Over two weeks in January and February, I traveled in the U.S.-Mexico border region from San Diego, Calif., to Brownsville, Texas, with stops in more than 10 cities on both sides of the border. I have seen and...

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Peter and Paul: Delusional hope, irrational fear

Feb 17, 2020 by

Peter started out as a man of delusional hope. Paul began as a man of irrational fear. Both are parables for our time. The role of tens of thousands of Christians in the election of the current president of...

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Welcome the stranger

Oct 28, 2019 by

Anabaptist history is defined by migrations, typically to escape persecution or pursue opportunity. What can get overlooked, on the flip side, is the welcome that made each chapter possible. Northern German...

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The power of fear and the fear of power

Oct 9, 2019 by

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (John 4:18a). “…you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). In my experience as pastor I’ve often been...

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Seeking inner peace

Sep 30, 2019 by

Anxiety must have troubled the writer of Psalm 139, who prayed, “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” These words of David speak to all of us. Everyone worries. To be...

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Experiencing God leads to transformation

Jul 4, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — God speaks to people, whether they seek that voice, avoid it or are resigned to missing it entirely. Three people shared stories in morning worship July 4 at the Mennonite Church USA...

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Convention worship: What is fear afraid of?

Jul 3, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Don’t be afraid, be in community. Citing Christ’s resurrection and victory over death, fear and sin, Dustin Galyon called on Mennonite Church USA participants to break free of being...

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Kriss: Once we were the ones who knocked

Dec 17, 2018 by

This is the great seriousness of the Advent message and its great blessing. Christ stands at the door. He lives in the form of people around us. Will you therefore leave the door locked for your protection, or...

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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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