Dusting off the soul

Dec 4, 2017 by

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Often attributed to Pablo Picasso, this quote belongs to a 19th-century German writer, Berthold Auerbach, who cited music as the cleansing agent....

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Embodying the mystery with theater in church

Nov 27, 2017 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Christians haven’t taken their liturgy to the theater, noted Bethel College campus pastor Peter Goerzen, but maybe they should. Goerzen was opening Bethel’s fourth biennial Worship...

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History: Confessing a weakness for humor

Mar 13, 2017 by

S.G. (Samuel Grant) Shetler (1871-1942) of Johnstown, Pa., was known for moving his audiences to tears one moment and laughter the next. This was natural, he said, because “the well of tears and the fountain...

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What you might not know about Menno Simons

Oct 19, 2016 by

I recently finished reading The Complete Writings of Menno Simons and thought it might be interesting to list some of the ways Menno Simons might raise some eyebrows… If you can think of any I missed, I...

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Trump in Holmes County

Jul 18, 2016 by

Levi Miller and Daniel Miller note “considerable positive interest” in the candidacy of Donald Trump for president among some Amish and Mennonites in their region of Ohio (“On Not Being Anti-Trump,”...

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Satire news site pokes fun at Mennonite quirks

Jul 4, 2016 by and

The headlines seem too preposterous to be true: “Donald Trump proposes gigantic wall to keep out the Mennonites.” “New policy seen as ‘attack’ on traditional Mennonite...

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Our puddle’s loss

May 25, 2015 by

No learned theologian or distinguished philosopher was Scotch-taped to more pastors’ office doors than Joel Kauffmann. Each of his Pontius’ Puddle comic strips required editors to include a healthy border...

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Cartoonist and writer combined humor, insight

May 13, 2015 by and

Joel Kauffmann, whose cartoon strip Pontius’ Puddle has enlivened the pages of church periodicals for three decades and whose screenplay for the 1990 film The Radicals dramatized the birth of Anabaptism,...

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A funny thing happened on the way to the thrift store

Apr 10, 2015 by

Not really. Nothing all that funny actually happens on the way to the thrift store. Sometimes something mildly amusing might happen and then the little anecdote could be woven into an edifying sermon, but...

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10 ways Mennonites are like hipsters

Mar 20, 2015 by

I’m not the first person to notice a certain similarity between Mennonite culture and hipsterism. Google “hipster Mennonite” and you come up with lots of clever folk out there who have...

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Dearth of mirth

Mar 2, 2015 by

Jews don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Protestants don’t recognize the pope as the head of the church. And Mennonites don’t recognize each other in the liquor store. Rimshot. Historically, Mennonites...

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Filmmaker explores humor in Low German culture

Feb 23, 2015 by and

There’s a stereotype floating around that filmmaker Orlando Braun doesn’t like. The stiff Mennonite farmer who traded his sense of a humor for a new seed company hat just isn’t true, and Braun wants to...

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