Coming to terms with Nazi collaboration

Mar 21, 2017 by and

FILADELFIA, Paraguay — Violence tore through this traditionally pacifist community on the night of March 11, 1944. All the more remarkable, its perpetrators and victims were all Mennonites. And they all...

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Inflated relief a new goal for today

Mar 21, 2017 by

Last year, Mennonite Central Committee declared its $42.2 million response since 2012 to war in Syria and Iraq the single largest crisis response in MCC history. That would be true if a dollar’s value...

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Book review: ‘A People of Two Kingdoms II’

Mar 13, 2017 by

Half a century ago, James C. Juhnke was a graduate student in history at Indiana University, completing a dissertation on his people, Kansas Mennonites, and their experiences in politics from the 1870s to...

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Mennonites once were the banned refugees

Mar 6, 2017 by and

A forgotten piece of Mennonite immigration history has gone viral on social media. “Banning travel or immigration into a country is not new,” begins the post by archivist Conrad Stoesz on the Facebook page...

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Book review: ‘Both My Sons’

Feb 13, 2017 by

I’m not one of those folks who reads historical fiction and longs for the past, for a more bucolic way of life and the wonder that might accompany the discovery of new frontiers. Indeed, I know a work of...

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History: The ‘Anabaptists’ who weren’t

Jan 30, 2017 by

Before the Radical Reformation and before the Protestant Reformation were the Waldensians. While Protestant Christianity celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2017 and Anabaptists prepare to do likewise in eight...

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Book review: ‘A Witness in Times of War and Peace’

Jan 30, 2017 by

The subtitle of this memoir, “The Story of Gerhard Hein, a Mennonite Pastor Who Served in the Wehrmacht During World War II,” suggests why it was published now in English 35 years after it was first...

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Better results today?

Jan 16, 2017 by

When Mennonite settlers arrived in South Dakota and other parts of the Midwest around 1874, the land offered to immigrants by railroad agents was available because the Indians had been displaced from it. The...

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Canadian documentary tells CO stories

Jan 16, 2017 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — A film produced by the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives about conscientious objectors in World War II is garnering significant attention. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. recently aired The...

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Double standard

Dec 19, 2016 by

Since Dale Welty’s false allegations about Hillary Clinton (Letters & Comments, Dec. 5) likely represent the views of more than one Mennonite, they suggest the need for a collective apology and...

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Book review: ‘Enchantment and Despair’

Dec 19, 2016 by

The writer Flannery O’Connor once said, “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days. If you can’t make something out of a little experience,...

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Book review: ‘European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity Over Five Centuries’

Nov 21, 2016 by

Have Mennonites influenced the course of modern history? That is the question taken up in a new book on Anabaptists in Europe over the past 500 years. In contemporary North America, where Old Order Amish and...

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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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Commentary: Native voices still strong

Oct 17, 2016 by and

CLINTON, Okla. — On Oct. 8, mainstream communities in the U.S. were preparing to usher in Columbus Day, a noncelebration for Native people. In North Dakota, the Standing Rock standoff continued on the land...

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Book review: ‘In Pursuit of Faithfulness’

Aug 29, 2016 by

In 1957 in Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, communion was only served when a bishop was present. The bread and cup were reserved for church members who were deemed in good standing. This practice of...

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Book review: ‘For His Sake’

Aug 15, 2016 by

A loud rap on the door interrupts the mealtime of Mennonites Johann and Barbara Strausz and their children in June 1815. They live in Polish Austria, where they farm the land and live in peace, exempted from...

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Book review: ‘To and From Nowhere’

Jul 18, 2016 by

This refugee tale is an imaginative work of biography, dedicated to “the disenfranchised and deported everywhere.” Based on the life story of Greta Enns (1902-1985), it is a timely contribution as...

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Opinion: Faith-inspired, culture-bound

Jul 4, 2016 by

We Mennonites often worry about compromises we make with secular culture. But just as often we are unaware of, or choose to ignore, the compromises we make by adhering to our religious cultures. Openness to...

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To exit or remain? The July 4, 1776, question

Jul 4, 2016 by

In 1776 my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Christian Yoder, Jr., moved his family by team and wagon from Berks County, Pa., to the far western frontier of the state. A man now in his early 50s, he...

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What does church mean to us?

May 19, 2016 by

I spent a good chunk of one recent morning in an online discussion about the future of Mennonite Church Canada with a handful of other young-ish pastors from across the nation. It was interesting to be...

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Book review: ‘An Increase in Time’

Apr 11, 2016 by

This is not an average congregational history. But Germantown Mennonite Church is not an average congregation. Richard Lichty, the author of An Increase in Time: Story Lines of Germantown Mennonite Church...

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Ukraine city honors Mennonite history with street names

Mar 14, 2016 by and

The rise of communism a century ago in Ukraine greatly diminished the Mennonite presence there. On Feb. 19, the city council of Zaporozhye took a step to reverse what previous governments erased by changing...

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The conference that sought its own end

Feb 29, 2016 by

Rare is the organization that exists with an eye to its own termination. Yet that’s a big part of the story of the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren, a small but energetic denomination that was “ready to unite...

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As rural life changes, a church lets go of the past

Feb 29, 2016 by and

In its heyday, First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake, Minn., saw between 400 and 500 people fill its pews and balcony on a Sunday morning. Built in 1955-56, it was the home of a General Conference Mennonite...

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Goshen professor tells story of the church taking root in Spanish world

Feb 15, 2016 by and

Almost a century ago, Mennonite missionaries T.K. Hershey and J.W. Shank undertook a dangerous 27-day sea journey during World War I with their families, facing the threat of submarines and floating mines from...

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