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;...

[read more]

A pandemic, as I knew it

Mar 23, 2020 by

Mennonite workers witnessed the ravages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in southern Africa during the 1980s and ’90s. Nearly a third of adults of reproductive age became HIV-positive, leaving an entire society...

[read more]

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...

[read more]

Clothes and wounds

Jan 6, 2020 by

Often when I revisit a familiar biblical story, something new emerges. Sometimes that new thing is a simple truth, other times it’s a detail that I simply overlooked as if it wasn’t important. This...

[read more]

Yoder-Short: What if Jonah came to us?

Dec 9, 2019 by

After hearing a series of sermons on Jonah, I’ve started seeing this reluctant prophet in unexpected places. Jonah used to be safely confined to a wooden puzzle at my Aunt Ruth’s. You removed the big fish...

[read more]

Bible: The chronicler’s story of hope

Nov 27, 2019 by

First and Second Chronicles are pretty obscure for many Christians. The Common Lectionary that many Protestant groups use for worship covers most of the Bible in its three-year cycle but does not use a single...

[read more]

Bible: On holy ground with the Thessalonians

Oct 28, 2019 by

My friend Robin loves mystery stories, as do I. But when she starts one, she always reads the ending first so she won’t worry about things ending badly. Me, I like the suspense! Our text for Nov. 3 reminds...

[read more]

Yoder-Short: Annoying persistence

Sep 16, 2019 by

Is it ever OK to nag about injustices? Do we remain too quiet when all around us vulnerable children, the marginalized and widows find no justice or are even ridiculed? Does Jesus’ parable of the unrelenting...

[read more]

Book review: From Risk to Resilience

Aug 5, 2019 by

Growing up as a girl in the 1980s was not a positive experience for me. I often felt ostracized because I didn’t fit cultural expectations for what it meant to be female. I hated dresses and dressing up. My...

[read more]

Bible: You are not the worst thing you have done

Jul 8, 2019 by

You are not the worst thing you have done. These are the words that pervade each moment of my time with the women at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women. Our congregation has volunteered at the...

[read more]

Book review: ‘Daddy Hold’

Apr 15, 2019 by

In 1999, the David and Debbie Landis family of Green Lane, Pa., pulled up stakes, leaving a thriving small business as well as loving relatives and friends, to settle some 1,000 miles southwest in Atmore, Ala....

[read more]

Powell: Make this a better year

Jan 7, 2019 by

What a year! I’ll call 2018 the year of living dangerously. It was a year of fear, hatred, lies and deception. Some people’s anxiety was eased by the outcome of the U.S. midterm election, but many...

[read more]

Light emerges out of darkness

Dec 20, 2018 by

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through...

[read more]

King: Yays and High Fives

Oct 22, 2018 by

Sometimes it takes someone who is 2 (“and a half,” she stresses) to lead the way. For 40 years, starting in our 20s, weeks after the arrival of our first daughter, our family has spent summer retreat time...

[read more]

Resurrection reality

Mar 26, 2018 by

As we enter the Easter season, we’re celebrating not merely a feel-good story but an actual event in history. In the person of Jesus, God entered our space and time as one of us. He lived, died and returned...

[read more]

Our Christian hope

Dec 22, 2017 by

Today I am blessed to celebrate birthday No. 69. Family will surround me; we will eat seafood and carrot cake. It will be a special day. Then comes Christmas. I anticipate celebrating that day, too. And I’m...

[read more]

Kehrberg: Seeking comfort and joy

Dec 18, 2017 by

During Advent, churches wait for Jesus’ birth while discussing concepts like comfort and hope, waiting and watching, peace and joy. Spiritually, I get it. But on a practical level it’s a bit of a joke. If...

[read more]

A ‘Buy Nothing Christmas’

Dec 5, 2017 by

A few years ago some Canadian Mennonites came up with the idea of “Buy Nothing Christmas.” Check out their website at buynothingchristmas.org. With humor they direct you to a “Buy Nothing Catalogue”...

[read more]

Kennel-Shank: Five names

Dec 4, 2017 by

Deonta Turner, Lemont Davis, Alandis Allison, Maurice Purnell and Juan Bahena Jr. I felt these five people’s deaths most deeply amid more than 500 fatal shootings this year in Chicago. Deonta Turner and...

[read more]

What is Christian hope?

Aug 28, 2017 by

We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul — Heb. 6:19 Once, I received an email at my church account that claimed to be from a TV network. According to the email, they were seeking Mennonite...

[read more]

Hardship and hope

Jun 19, 2017 by

Having been away for some weeks, I read through several issues of MWR at one sitting. You report on hard things, like Mennonites fleeing their homes in Congo and our internal conflicts, but hope and...

[read more]

King: Buying the field even when it’s idiotic

Mar 13, 2017 by

Even more unsettling than usual: the stories in the Feb. 25 New York Times. There is Srinivas Kuchibhotia, an Indian immigrant and his friend shot in a Kansas bar by a man who wants them out of “his” U.S....

[read more]

A glimpse of hope

Jan 23, 2017 by

The past week has been a very challenging week. The inauguration on Friday of a new president, followed by protest marches across the U.S. and around the world, have had many of us oscillating between despair...

[read more]

Hope finds way to grow

Jan 2, 2017 by

The English language does a disservice to the word “hope.” It’s too short, too glib. Lips are finished pronouncing it almost before the sound establishes a presence. Spanish takes a different approach....

[read more]

Embrace the darkness

Dec 19, 2016 by

Hens lose their egg-laying gusto as the days get shorter. Rather than offer a winter respite to her flock, my wife chose brainwashing over relief. Already in October she festooned the chicken run with...

[read more]