Family reunited after deportation

Sep 2, 2019 by and

Deportation tore their family apart four years ago in Iowa, but now the Mennonite pastoral couple of Max and Gloria Villatoro — along with their three daughters — are reunited in Mexico and discovering how...

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I feel guilty about my free time

Jul 17, 2019 by

When I was bemoaning my singleness once, a wise person told me, “You made your choices.” At first, I wanted to complain, “But I didn’t know the consequences of those choices! I didn’t know that...

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In all sincerity

Jun 24, 2019 by

The bride’s grandparents led the wedding procession. The two grandmothers walked down the center aisle; a grandson pushed the grandfather’s wheelchair. The attendants were next, followed by the groom and...

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Book review: ‘Rebel Mother’

Aug 14, 2017 by

The Mennonite layer of Peter Andreas’ unconventional childhood story is at first glance rather thin. More than anything, Rebel Mother is a story of the 1960s and 1970s, when American culture was impacted by...

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Five discoveries about Amish families, communities

Sep 7, 2015 by

As a representative of Dove’s Nest, a Mennonite-based nonprofit organization helping churches keep children and youth safe, I was invited by the New York Office of Children and Family Services to help them...

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Say five things you’re thankful for

Jun 11, 2015 by

I began a ritual with my boys. It was one of those attempts to draw us closer to each other, to remind us of what matters, to cultivate a way of thinking about and being in the world. Each night, after...

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We don’t have to give up

Jun 8, 2015 by

One great thing about being a parent is how heartwarming moments can happen at any time and often take us by surprise. Such was the case the other day as my daughter, Julia, and I discussed the end of her...

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Complementary and submissive?

Jun 8, 2015 by

Male headship and female submission — not topics I’d suggest for your next social event. They were easier to understand in an earlier time when gender roles were more clearly defined: Men generated money...

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Providing kids with faith — and freedom to ask questions

May 21, 2015 by

On Sunday I baptized two young people in my congregation — one was 13, and one was 30. Both talked — from their own developmental place — about the importance of faith and the church in their lives. The...

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Why motherhood matters

May 11, 2015 by

Since my book Mom Seeks God came out last year, I’ve spoken to many moms’ groups, and one thing has stood out to me as a need common to all moms: To know that our job matters. Whether we’re exhausted new...

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Holy Week is hard

Apr 2, 2015 by

I love involving children in our Palm Sunday worship — letting them parade around and wave palms while the adults sing our Hosannahs. And I really love to celebrate Easter with children — with baskets and...

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About my humanist son

Mar 17, 2015 by

A year ago, my son Bart announced that he no longer believed in God. He wanted to, he told me, but he just couldn’t. There were too many things going on, from his point of view, which gave evidence of the...

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Marriage put chaotic life in Old Order

Mar 16, 2015 by

It is rare to get an insider’s view of Amish life. It is rarer to get that view from an “English” person who joined the Amish as a young woman. Author Marlene C. Miller and her husband, Johnny, are now...

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Loved — no matter what

Mar 11, 2015 by

I’d like to think that my kids, ages 11 and 14, would come to me and tell me anything. I would like to believe that there is no problem too big, too difficult or too painful for us to discuss. We’ve talked...

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Too safe for faith?

Feb 16, 2015 by

I ran across an article exploring why the era of kids’ adventure movies like E.T. and The Goonies is over. Similar modern films “just haven’t caught fire the way they once did,” writes Lisa Risra at...

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Empowering children to combat sexual abuse

Dec 31, 2014 by

As one of two staff members who works to implement a sexual abuse prevention policy for our church, I have an enormous and difficult task. We have a good policy. We train, screen and keep in regular contact...

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Marriage and change

Dec 22, 2014 by

This is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart). — E.E. Cummings Given the fact that we all enter the world as helpless infants, we depend on the ability to...

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Time for a divorce ceremony?

Dec 18, 2014 by

I’ve been to a lot of weddings in my life. But I’ve only been to one divorce ceremony. It happened a few years ago. I was visiting a Mennonite church in Pennsylvania. Near the end of the service the pastor...

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Why we don’t have children’s church anymore

Dec 2, 2014 by

I’ve had a couple of conversations with parents over the past weeks about children’s church and its demise at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, N.C., where I am the minister of...

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Multigenerational sandwich

Dec 1, 2014 by

A few months ago now, our household went multigenerational. My mother-in-law’s struggles with her memory, and her struggles with those who would take advantage of her had finally reached a place where she...

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The Light of Christ at our messy tables

Nov 26, 2014 by

As I jostle the lighter into place above the already burnt, saggy vanilla candle that adorns the center of our dining table, next to a stack of mail, a half-dozen decorative gourds, and my breast pump, I ask...

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Engaging faithfully with music

Nov 7, 2014 by

The first time my 4-year-old sang “All About The Bass,” I paused to reflect. It’s an imperfect number to be sure, despite its attempt at affirming a body-type outside the norm put forth by Vogue, but she...

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Rethinking our approach to singleness

Oct 22, 2014 by

In his opening editorial to the autumn issue of Mutuality, Tim Kruger cites this set of lines from the apostle Paul about singleness: I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned...

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Talking to preschoolers about race

Oct 21, 2014 by

My daughter and I were sitting outside of seminary housing when one of the few married, male black students in our apartment complex walked by. My daughter, then 2, shouted, voice ringing across the...

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Parenting and the Bible

Sep 29, 2014 by

It is the things you assume that really sink into them. It is the things you forget even to teach that they learn. — G.K. Chesterton I recently received a postcard in the mail from a local church advertising...

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