Letter to my Mennonite church

Apr 4, 2016 by

I love my Mennonite church. I love to see the old and the young worshiping together. I love the diversity and the heart of our Mennonite people to break down walls and love each other with the holy love of...

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Finding the Spirit in anxious times

Sep 28, 2015 by

Author Peter Steinke suggests Old Testament understandings of salvation are connected to openness rather than constricting. Steinke writes about how healthy communities behave in times of anxiety. His...

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Opinion: Surge of momentum halted

Aug 17, 2015 by and

Last month, Mennonite Church USA convention delegates delayed voting for two years on a resolution proposed by the Mennonite Palestine Israel Network calling for “withdrawing investments from corporations...

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Ungodly conference

Aug 17, 2015 by

I found the Mennonite USA Convention to be very sad. I saw people crying out for acceptance and unity but not prepared to do anything about it personally. I was hurt to see that so many people fear breaking...

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Voice of the voiceless

Aug 3, 2015 by

I attended the Mennonite Church USA convention as a “Pink Menno Grandmother,” wearing my self-made badge. I felt welcomed by so many people, including LGBT folks, their families and other supporters of...

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In the Anabaptist world, unity is alive and well

Jul 31, 2015 by

It’s been an interesting month. I attended both the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City, Mo., and the Mennonite World Conference global assembly in Harrisburg, Pa. As a member of a congregation...

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A temple called “unity”

Jul 28, 2015 by

Walter Brueggeman describes the moment when David offers to build God a house as the balance point of David’s “glad yielding and manipulative utility” (2 Sam. 7:1). I love that line because, of course,...

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On the Emmaus road, Christ opens our eyes

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Themes of transformation and understanding in the Luke 24 Emmaus road story were the focus of adult worship services at the Mennonite Church USA convention. Hal Shrader, lead pastor of...

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Seminars help teens think about identity, faith, future

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Among a variety of topics covered by more than 100 youth seminars, many of the most popular ones sought to help teens think about identity. Brenda Yoder, an educator and counselor in...

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Junior youth have space to connect

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in many years, the Junior High Youth Convention was held within the convention center instead of at a nearby hotel. It was a big highlight for the 114 sixth- through...

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For youth, a guide to life’s road

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For 2,300 youth, the prevailing takeaway from Mennonite Church USA’s convention was: Jesus will meet you where you are. Hannah Yoder, 17, of Freeman, S.D., described how she saw it:...

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Youth speakers share stories of pain on life’s road

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Most of the six youth worship speakers addressed the week’s theme, “On the Way,” and scripture, Luke 24, by describing pain they had experienced and encounters they had with Jesus...

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Heartbreaking moment

Jul 20, 2015 by

I am a 76-year-old lesbian, in a committed relationship for close to 30 years and a delegate to the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kan­sas City. For 25-plus years I have been respected, appreciated and...

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Adult seminars: growth comes when values are lived

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The greatest periods of growth for the Christian church have been the most removed from institutional religion. Author Alan Hirsch offered critical, but optimistic, thoughts about religion...

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Oppressive or permissive?

Jul 20, 2015 by

Is this how the dream of a big-tent church dies? We hope not. But it seemed to some that Mennonite Church USA’s vision of unity in diversity went on life support at the Kansas City convention. The church is...

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Stubborn love

Jul 20, 2015 by

With all the talk of the transformational power of walking the Emmaus road and breaking bread together, it felt jarring to come home from the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City with the taste of...

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Servant projects help youth ‘rub shoulders with locals’

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Arloa Bontrager of Goshen, Ind., has volunteered her time coordinating servant projects since the 2003 Mennonite Church USA convention in Atlanta. She thinks it’s one of the greatest...

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Convention frustration

Jul 20, 2015 by

My assessment of the Mennonite Church USA convention is one of frustration on two fronts: The delegates were in a cocoon, and we were manipulated to do the leadership’s wishes. There was no recognition that...

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Forbearance’s flavors

Jul 20, 2015 by

With Mennonite Church USA delegates passing “Forbearance in the Midst of Differences,” some of us are encouraged. Others, who were hoping for a step toward inclusion, are disappointed. Can we find ways to...

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LGBT advocates pursue acceptance at Kansas City

Jul 8, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Organizations advocating for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people within Mennonite Church USA were allowed a presence within the denomination’s convention for the...

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Sharing pain, seeing Jesus

Jul 7, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pick a category of people at the Mennonite Church USA convention, and you could identify their pain. It might have been the pain of exclusion due to sexual orientation. Or of feeling the...

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Love should never feel like a lost cause

Jul 6, 2015 by

I dared to hope that the decisions in Thursday’s delegate sessions at #MennoCon15 would surprise me. They did not. Yet last night I felt as stunned and hurt as if I had actually believed a better outcome was...

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Claiborne tells MC USA community is possible

Jul 6, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Writer and activist Shane Claiborne called members of Mennonite Church USA to dust off their romance with Jesus and not be afraid to look a bit odd while doing it in the closing worship...

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Worship service confronts convention’s wounds

Jul 6, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The emotional wounds inflicted by discourse and decisions in the Mennonite Church USA convention delegate hall were the focus of a contemplative and repentant evening worship service on...

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Palestine, racial justice statements pass; relatives of LGBT people lament exclusion

Jul 6, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Words of lament by relatives of LGBT people and resolutions supporting Middle East peacemakers and condemning the fatal shooting of nine people at a South Carolina church highlighted the...

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