Asia, Middle East director to lead Mission Network

May 4, 2020 by

The ​Mennonite Mission Network board of directors on April 21 announced the appointment of Michael J. Sherrill as executive director. An ordained educator, scholar, administrator and leader, Sherrill has...

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History: Fleeing the Russian catastrophe

May 4, 2020 by

In 1920, Mennonites in Russia were in the middle of a catastrophe. Political and social upheaval, including a devastating famine, had left them dying of starvation and facing a dire future under Communist...

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History: For periodicals, change is normal

Feb 10, 2020 by

Last year ended with the news that two Mennonite magazines — Mennonite Brethren Herald of the Canadian MB Conference and Beacon of the CMC, formerly Conservative Mennonite Conference — were ceasing...

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History: Mennonite sisterhood of service

Nov 11, 2019 by

In 1890, American Mennonite women had few opportunities to serve the church in a formal capacity. Pastoral ministry was reserved for men, and Mennonite mission work was still in its infancy. David ­Goerz...

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Adjusting the dreams

Nov 11, 2019 by

The reunion of Franconia and Eastern District conferences does more than simplify the map of Mennonite Church USA. Healing a 172-year split, it revives a 19th-century vision of unity and shows ­how new...

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Daughters who prophesy

Aug 19, 2019 by

Growing acceptance of female pastors is one of the positive Mennonite trends of the past half century. On July 27, Mennonite Church USA’s Western District Conference — a leader in gender equality —...

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Back to school in Arizona

Jul 29, 2019 by and

After two years locked up and dormant, the former Hopi Mission School in Kykots­movi, Ariz., is again serving students. Now known as Peace Academic Center, the facility has a few finishing touches to go...

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History: Gold or not, West Coast beckoned

May 27, 2019 by

By the mid-19th century, North American Mennonites and Amish had barely crossed the Mississippi River, venturing west only as far as southeastern Iowa. That changed with the discovery of gold in California in...

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History: From Mennonite to Missionary

Apr 15, 2019 by

North American Mennonite history is peppered with schisms prompted by disagreements over issues such as prayer meetings, revival meetings, conversion experiences and Sunday schools. Seven groups that split...

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History: The first non-Western Mennonites

Jan 21, 2019 by

Mennonites today are found on every continent of the world (save for Antarctica, of course). But in the mid-19th century, the original Anabaptists’ spiritual descendants lived only in North America and...

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History: From ‘Tauferkammer’ to Burkina Faso

Dec 3, 2018 by

In 1743, 275 years ago, the Swiss city of Bern dissolved its Commission for Anabaptist Affairs, or Tauferkammer. It had been established in 1659 to oversee the elimination of the local Anabaptist population....

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History: A grand adventure in Alaska

Jul 30, 2018 by

By the early 1870s, the young General Conference Mennonite Church was earnestly desiring to begin its own mission program. Since its creation in 1860, it had financially supported the Dutch Mennonites’...

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History: Alternative history — what if?

Nov 20, 2017 by

What if? It’s one of the great history games, speculating on alternative outcomes if events had happened differently. What if Abraham Lincoln had decided not to go to the theater on April 14, 1865? What if...

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Nebraska university with Mennonite roots to close

Oct 12, 2017 by and

Grace University in Omaha, Neb., founded by Mennonites in 1943 as Grace Bible Institute, announced Oct. 3 it will close at the end of the academic year. The interdenominational school was unable to overcome...

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Hopi school dispute takes a legal turn

Sep 28, 2015 by and

An impasse over finances, transparency, authority and land ownership between Hopi Mission School and Mennonite Church USA is moving from conversations to courtrooms. On Sept. 14, MC USA filed a complaint...

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Diverse Ontario a leader in unity

Jul 20, 2015 by

The “promised lands” of Sam Steiner’s comprehensive history of Mennonites in Ontario are both geographical and spiritual destinations. Ontario was a land of opportunity for Mennonites who came from...

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Confession, polity and ordination

Jul 15, 2015 by

In “Confessing Without Forcing,” Rich Preheim provides some historical background to the current situation in Mennonite Church USA. The 1995 Confession of Faith was already a fact when I joined the...

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Is Christ divided?

Jun 22, 2015 by

A July 13, 1995, editorial in this newspaper asked what kind of unity the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church might be able to achieve. A merger was being considered. This would accomplish...

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Confessing without forcing

Jun 22, 2015 by

Like so many other Christian groups, Mennonite Church USA has an LGBTQ issue. But more than that, MC USA has a history problem. Unfortunately, as has happened for three decades, the two will no doubt clash at...

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Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and diversity

Jun 10, 2015 by

In May I spoke at the Mennonite Historical Society annual dinner in Elkhart, Ind. I was asked to make observations for Mennonite Church USA from Ontario Mennonite history. Mennonite Church USA has been going...

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The future of unity

Feb 16, 2015 by

Uniting the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church seemed like a good idea 20 years ago. And it still does, though the shine has tarnished. Losses have been greater than expected. The hope of...

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Cultural divide splits MC USA in survey results

Jan 19, 2015 by and

Though same-sex relationships dominate Mennonite Church USA conversations, the “real cultural divide” includes many deeply rooted factors, says Conrad Kanagy. “It’s quite clear now this is not one...

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108-year-old Burrton, Kan., congregation to close

Dec 22, 2014 by and

BURRTON, Kan. — When Aoife Rose Compton was born Nov. 18 to Rachelle and Martin Compton, she was the last child to become part of Burrton Mennonite Church. After 108 years of ministry, the church will hold...

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First woman ordained as a pastor dies at 87

Sep 22, 2014 by and

Emma Sommers Richards, the first woman ordained as a pastor in a U.S. Mennonite congregation, died Sept. 6 in Goshen, Ind. She was 87. Richards was ordained in 1973 by Illinois Mennonite Conference while...

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What is a conservative to do?

Sep 1, 2014 by

When I supported the merger of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church, I was not aware of the profound differences between the two groups. The MCs traditionally had a top-down,...

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