Schools to form a closer relationship

Jan 22, 2018 by

A new association connecting Mennonite Church USA’s institutions of higher education will launch Feb. 1. The Mennonite Higher Education Association’s goals include strengthening the schools’...

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Can Mennonite Voluntary Service be saved?

Jan 8, 2018 by

In 2009 when I graduated from college, I chose to go into Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS). I made the choice independently, only to discover that many of my friends were also choosing a year of service in...

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Watson: A director, not a pastor

Jan 1, 2018 by

When a congregation goes through a pastoral transition, it has a lot of conversations. What do we want in a pastor? A good preacher? An activist? Someone who is good at visitation? Someone skilled in conflict...

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2017 Review: Congo suffering, North American realignment

Dec 18, 2017 by and

While North American Mennonites sped the pace of change in their church structures, Mennonites in the Democratic Republic of Congo dealt with matters of life and death. Ethnic and political violence drove at...

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Year of the tribe

Dec 18, 2017 by

Among the trends of 2017, tribalism stands out. All around us, people define themselves by separating one group from another. Republican or Democrat, black or white, Christian or Muslim. The distinctions...

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History: Alternative history — what if?

Nov 20, 2017 by

What if? It’s one of the great history games, speculating on alternative outcomes if events had happened differently. What if Abraham Lincoln had decided not to go to the theater on April 14, 1865? What if...

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Spirit and truth in the mainline

Oct 23, 2017 by

Every time we meet, a mainline Protestant pastor bemoans the decline of churches like his. Fewer members, lower attendance, congregations closing. Yes, it is all true. Yes, but. Though ordained in the...

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MC USA wants to get all schools on same page

Oct 11, 2017 by and

A task force is proposing a more cooperative and consistent relationship between Mennonite Church USA and its institutions of higher education. “We’re envisioning a relationship based more on collaboration...

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Hopi school is left in disarray

Oct 9, 2017 by and

Disheveled classrooms and missing equipment are some of the challenges facing Mennonite Education Agency as it discerns how to get Hopi Mission School up and running again. Mennonite Church...

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Franklin Conference joining Lancaster

Oct 9, 2017 by

Franklin Mennonite Conference is joining Lancaster Mennonite Conference a year and a half after departing Mennonite Church USA. Franklin lay delegates and credentialed members voted Sept. 28 to affirm the...

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What is ‘third way’?

Oct 9, 2017 by

Growing up as a baptized Mennonite, I have always been confused by the claim of Mennonite Church USA to be applying God’s Word the “third way.” Does this mean there is God’s Word, the world’s words...

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MC USA board approves two-year Journey Forward

Oct 2, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — First was the Future Church Summit. Next comes the Journey Forward. The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board on Sept. 30 approved a plan to make the summit the starting point of a two-year...

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Organizing MC USA

Sep 25, 2017 by

Reflecting recently at the funeral for Darrell Fast, who was moderator of the General Conference Mennonite Church when it was moving toward merger with the Mennonite Church, I was reminded of the changes in...

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Boundaries redrawn

Sep 25, 2017 by

Gerrymandering — drawing a political district’s boundaries to assure a political party’s hold — isn’t new. It celebrated its bicentennial a few years ago. Newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts elaborated...

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Franconia Conference might stretch coast to coast

Sep 11, 2017 by and

Franconia Mennonite Conference may receive three Indonesian congregations from the other side of the country at its assembly this November. It would be a coast-to-coast relationship. The Indonesian...

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No asterisks for us

Sep 11, 2017 by

At the Mennonite Church USA convention, attendees were asked by a worship leader to move from a diseased and disordered love — the church’s long history of putting an asterisk by its love — to a...

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Mennonite Brethren draw churches seeking a new home

Sep 5, 2017 by and

North Central Mennonite Conference voted to dissolve at its annual assembly in Exeland, Wis., but that doesn’t necessarily mean its congregations are going their separate ways. Most of the former Mennonite...

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‘Lead Your Way’

Aug 14, 2017 by

Imagine a Mennonite college admissions counselor, for whom the national youth convention is harvest time. Thousands of her best prospects will pass through the exhibit hall where she’s set up shop....

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10 reasons attending Western District Conference mattered to me

Aug 11, 2017 by

1. I was impressed with the pastors of Western District Conference. Some are new to me — but they are talented, gifted and delightful! I laughed with them; I struggled when some spoke of despair and loss of...

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Another conference offers less connection

Aug 7, 2017 by and

In response to one of its member congregations voting to leave Mennonite Church USA in the spring of 2016, South Central Mennonite Conference delegates have updated conference bylaws allowing a congregation...

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Future Church Summit: Be honest, and mourn

Aug 2, 2017 by

As the days have passed since the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando, Fla., I get more and more frustrated. As usual, I was happy to see old friends and make new connections, but as the glow of those...

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Kriss: Shaky present, bright future

Jul 31, 2017 by

I hadn’t been a delegate at a Mennonite Church USA convention since San Jose a decade ago. It wasn’t a positive experience then and, to be honest, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the renewed...

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Miller: Back after 26 years

Jul 31, 2017 by

I was a delegate to the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando, Fla., July 4-8. I last attended a denominational convention in 1991, when the Mennonite Church gathered at the University of Oregon. Much has...

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Flawed but important

Jul 31, 2017 by

Your headline, “Mennonite Church USA Makes a List,” aptly describes the results of the Future Church Summit: a 154-item, nine-page document summarizing wide-ranging discussions within 97 focus groups....

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Taking Israel’s side

Jul 31, 2017 by

The Mennonite Church USA resolution on Israel-Palestine is not anti-Israel. That is one of the first things advocates of the statement want everyone to know. They call it a third way, a recognition that...

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