East Germany history an unfinished conversation

Jun 22, 2020 by and

Bruno Götzke, a Mennonite pastor and refu­gee from East Prussia, sensed early in 1953 the police were taking too much interest in his efforts to establish roughly a dozen new centers of worship for...

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History: Inventors improved the harvest

Jun 15, 2020 by

Summer is here and with it farmers’ annual hopes for plentiful yields of wheat, oats and other crops. The equipment to harvest those crops has improved dramatically over the years, and three Mennonite...

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Book review: Seditions, Confusion and Tumult

May 18, 2020 by

The question left Layton Boyd Friesen befuddled: Why were the 16th-century Anabaptists so reviled and persecuted? The answer Friesen had learned — that they lived in an age when people ­didn’t tolerate...

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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: A rural people? Not at first

Mar 23, 2020 by

Mennonites have long lauded rural settings as the ideal locations for faithful life and practice, nestled in the hard-working, simple- living communities away from the seductive evils of the city. It’s...

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More precious than gold

Mar 9, 2020 by and

HILLSBORO, Kan. — At the first North American event celebrating the centennial of Mennonite Central Committee, Tabor College unveiled a treasure from MCC’s history. A wooden case on the stage of the Shari...

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Archive’s new radio program digs into history

Feb 24, 2020 by

WINNIPEG, Man. — In 1927, Johannes Dyck escaped with his wife and nine children from the former Soviet Union. Exit visas were hard to obtain, and Mennonite emigrants like the Dycks were not allowed to take...

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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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Kraybill: Revolt’s unintended results

Jan 13, 2020 by

No, I didn’t slide open the tomb of an ancient revolutionary in Israel. But I did rest on the half-open lid of what might be his grave at the town of Modi’in and consider what it takes to provoke oppressed...

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Pacifism in church history

Jan 9, 2020 by

There is not a single extant Christian author before Constantine (in the fourth century) who said killing or joining the military by Christians is ever legitimate. Whenever the surviving Christian texts...

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Great Winter Warm-up opens MCC centennial activities

Jan 6, 2020 by and

Throughout 2020, Mennonite Central Committee is inviting supporters to celebrate its centennial with commemorative events, comforter making, giving opportunities, storytelling and more. Activities begin Jan....

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History: From Dirk Willems to Hurricane Camille

Dec 23, 2019 by

Another year is about to pass into history. But before it does, let’s recognize some of the anniversaries of 2019 that commemorated special events and developments in the annals of Anabaptism. 450 years ago...

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Kraybill: Bold in face of terrible truth

Nov 25, 2019 by

Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem tells terrible truth about the complicity of many, including Christians, in Hitler’s campaign of hatred and genocide across Europe. I leave darkened halls of that...

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Scholars take a hard look at the Holocaust

Nov 18, 2019 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — About 80 years ago, Jews and Mennonites lived peacefully together in the Ukrainian city of Chortitza. Then the Nazis came, and everything changed. In 1941, before the invasion, Chortitza had...

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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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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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History: How Congo became a Mennonite stronghold

Sep 30, 2019 by

Aaron Janzen believed passionately in missions. A member of the Mennonite Brethren from Mountain Lake, Minn., he wrote of the value of leaving “homeland, kin and kindred, ease, comfort, physical and...

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The shocking neighbor

Aug 19, 2019 by

In the 1950s, dictator Fulgencio Batista and the rich and powerful of Cuba oppressed countless Cubans. On April 9, 1958, rebels against Batista called a strike. Batista fought back, including in Sagua la...

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History: Enduring witness of the ‘Bloody Theater’

Aug 19, 2019 by

The 17th century has been called the Dutch Golden Age, when the Nether-lands rose to international prominence in commerce, art and science. It was a gleaming era of prosperity for many, including...

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From Zimbabwe to the world

Aug 5, 2019 by and

HESSTON, Kan. — The growth of early shares in companies like Microsoft and Apple pales in comparison to Jacob E. Stauffer’s 1894 investment in Brethren in Christ missions. His $5 gift at a general...

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History: Big family begat bigger church

Jul 8, 2019 by

Christian (1788-1846) and Christiana Buzzard Holdeman (1788-1865) had Mennonite church leaders in their family tree. Christian’s father had been a minister, while Christiana’s great-grandfather was the...

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MCC celebrates, serves where its work began

Jul 1, 2019 by and

KHORTITSA, Ukraine — Under shade trees in a city park on June 16, about 40 Anabaptists shared a picnic of corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa. The unusual menu held symbolic meaning. It was a “relief...

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The central purpose

Jul 1, 2019 by

Mennonite Central Committee wasn’t meant to last 100 years. In the beginning, it was, in fact, a committee, with a specific task — to save the lives of starving Mennonites in Ukraine. It proved too good an...

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Oregon beginnings

Jun 24, 2019 by

We read with fascination Rich Preheim’s article on West Coast Mennonite church beginnings (History, May 27). We are most familiar with the Oregon story and Zion Mennonite Church of Hubbard, as this is our...

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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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