East Germany history an unfinished conversation

Jun 22, 2020 by and

Bruno Götzke, a Mennonite pastor and refu­gee from East Prussia, sensed early in 1953 the police were taking too much interest in his efforts to establish roughly a dozen new centers of worship for...

[read more]

History: Inventors improved the harvest

Jun 15, 2020 by

Summer is here and with it farmers’ annual hopes for plentiful yields of wheat, oats and other crops. The equipment to harvest those crops has improved dramatically over the years, and three Mennonite...

[read more]

Agreement clears way for Swiss fortress exhibit

Jun 1, 2020 by and

Anabaptists in Switzerland spent centuries avoiding a fortress that served as a prison. Now, after more than a decade of effort, a group of Swiss Mennonites is on the cusp of finally getting back in. The Swiss...

[read more]

Book review: Seditions, Confusion and Tumult

May 18, 2020 by

The question left Layton Boyd Friesen befuddled: Why were the 16th-century Anabaptists so reviled and persecuted? The answer Friesen had learned — that they lived in an age when people ­didn’t tolerate...

[read more]

History: Fleeing the Russian catastrophe

May 4, 2020 by

In 1920, Mennonites in Russia were in the middle of a catastrophe. Political and social upheaval, including a devastating famine, had left them dying of starvation and facing a dire future under Communist...

[read more]

MCC: in giving, we have received

Apr 9, 2020 by

It is in giving that we receive. — St. Francis of Assisi They who lose their lives shall find them. — Jesus of Nazareth While much of the Mennonite Central Committee centennial celebration is focused on...

[read more]

History: A rural people? Not at first

Mar 23, 2020 by

Mennonites have long lauded rural settings as the ideal locations for faithful life and practice, nestled in the hard-working, simple- living communities away from the seductive evils of the city. It’s...

[read more]

More precious than gold

Mar 9, 2020 by and

HILLSBORO, Kan. — At the first North American event celebrating the centennial of Mennonite Central Committee, Tabor College unveiled a treasure from MCC’s history. A wooden case on the stage of the Shari...

[read more]

Archive’s new radio program digs into history

Feb 24, 2020 by

WINNIPEG, Man. — In 1927, Johannes Dyck escaped with his wife and nine children from the former Soviet Union. Exit visas were hard to obtain, and Mennonite emigrants like the Dycks were not allowed to take...

[read more]

History: From Dirk Willems to Hurricane Camille

Dec 23, 2019 by

Another year is about to pass into history. But before it does, let’s recognize some of the anniversaries of 2019 that commemorated special events and developments in the annals of Anabaptism. 450 years ago...

[read more]

Kraybill: Bold in face of terrible truth

Nov 25, 2019 by

Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem tells terrible truth about the complicity of many, including Christians, in Hitler’s campaign of hatred and genocide across Europe. I leave darkened halls of that...

[read more]

Lost gravestones found in Ukraine

Nov 25, 2019 by and

Communist efforts to wipe out the memory of religious groups in the 1930s resulted occasionally in the Soviet Union being built on a Mennonite foundation. An example of just that was discovered in July when a...

[read more]

Scholars take a hard look at the Holocaust

Nov 18, 2019 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — About 80 years ago, Jews and Mennonites lived peacefully together in the Ukrainian city of Chortitza. Then the Nazis came, and everything changed. In 1941, before the invasion, Chortitza had...

[read more]

History: Mennonite sisterhood of service

Nov 11, 2019 by

In 1890, American Mennonite women had few opportunities to serve the church in a formal capacity. Pastoral ministry was reserved for men, and Mennonite mission work was still in its infancy. David ­Goerz...

[read more]

Uzbekistan Muslims celebrate Christian neighbors

Oct 28, 2019 by and

KHIVA, Uzbekistan — Early in October, a Mennonite TourMagination group viewed a unique museum exhibit that is an inspiring story of Muslim-Christian cooperation. The exhibit, opened to the public early this...

[read more]

History: How Congo became a Mennonite stronghold

Sep 30, 2019 by

Aaron Janzen believed passionately in missions. A member of the Mennonite Brethren from Mountain Lake, Minn., he wrote of the value of leaving “homeland, kin and kindred, ease, comfort, physical and...

[read more]

History: Enduring witness of the ‘Bloody Theater’

Aug 19, 2019 by

The 17th century has been called the Dutch Golden Age, when the Nether-lands rose to international prominence in commerce, art and science. It was a gleaming era of prosperity for many, including...

[read more]

History: Big family begat bigger church

Jul 8, 2019 by

Christian (1788-1846) and Christiana Buzzard Holdeman (1788-1865) had Mennonite church leaders in their family tree. Christian’s father had been a minister, while Christiana’s great-grandfather was the...

[read more]

MCC celebrates, serves where its work began

Jul 1, 2019 by and

KHORTITSA, Ukraine — Under shade trees in a city park on June 16, about 40 Anabaptists shared a picnic of corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa. The unusual menu held symbolic meaning. It was a “relief...

[read more]

The central purpose

Jul 1, 2019 by

Mennonite Central Committee wasn’t meant to last 100 years. In the beginning, it was, in fact, a committee, with a specific task — to save the lives of starving Mennonites in Ukraine. It proved too good an...

[read more]

The bread of the Lord’s compassion

Jul 1, 2019 by

“We get our bread at the peril of our lives” (Lam. 5:9). In Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, at the Mennonite Family Center, we hear Boris Letkemann share his family’s story of exile and homecoming. There was so...

[read more]

Oregon beginnings

Jun 24, 2019 by

We read with fascination Rich Preheim’s article on West Coast Mennonite church beginnings (History, May 27). We are most familiar with the Oregon story and Zion Mennonite Church of Hubbard, as this is our...

[read more]

Book review: Captive

Jun 10, 2019 by

Captive is a coming-of-age novel about friendship and self-discovery in the context of war, pacifism and the little-known story of German prisoners of war in the United States during World War II. About...

[read more]

History: Gold or not, West Coast beckoned

May 27, 2019 by

By the mid-19th century, North American Mennonites and Amish had barely crossed the Mississippi River, venturing west only as far as southeastern Iowa. That changed with the discovery of gold in California in...

[read more]

Swiss forgive, don’t forget

May 6, 2019 by and

It took about 490 years for government officials in Bern, Switzerland, to ask forgiveness for persecution of Anabaptists. It took less than two to get a response from Swiss Mennonites. Delegates from every...

[read more]