Mennonite editor charged with sedition

Aug 14, 2017 by

In the middle of World War I, on June 15, 1917, the highly controversial Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Act provided for a penalty of up to 20...

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Book review: ‘Re-Envisioning Service’

Jul 31, 2017 by

The greatest success of the Civilian Public Service era is not the effect it had on the church during World War II, as significant as that was. Rather, its crowning achievement was the resulting ethos of...

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History: Bethlehem ’83: coming together and apart

Jul 17, 2017 by

When the General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church met in Bethlehem, Pa., in 1983 for their first joint convention, MC moderator Ross Bender and his GC counterpart, Jacob Tilitzky, placed their...

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Book review: ‘Chosen Nation’

Jul 17, 2017 by

In 1941, as German armies advanced across Europe, C. Henry Smith, a historian at Bluffton College, expressed his dismay at the enthusiastic support many German Mennonites had given to Adolf Hitler and the...

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Book review: ‘Unexpected Invitations’

Jun 19, 2017 by

In Unexpected Invitations, Angela and Erwin Rempel tell of serving together in Mennonite ministries for four decades. From Brazil to Botswa­na and Pennsylvania to Kansas, they heeded God’s calls with a...

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Opinion: Starting at the end

Jun 5, 2017 by

The video begins with a map of Western Europe, a dot hovering over Zurich. The scene shifts as a voice with a Pennsylvania Dutch lilt describes the baptism of Felix Manz in 1521. Woodcut pictures cross the...

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Freeman Academy confronts its rural challenges

May 1, 2017 by and

FREEMAN, S.D. — The clanging and clinking of plates, cutlery, pots and pans. The metallic hum of the sausage grinder. The sizzle of New Year’s cookies in the fryer. The wafting strains of music. The...

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History: An antiwar conspiracy?

Apr 24, 2017 by

The president had squeaked by in the general election. A key plank in his platform had been opposition to foreign military intervention. But in a matter of months after his inauguration, he reversed...

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Book review: ‘Simple Life Fretz’

Apr 24, 2017 by

During the early 1980s, while a senior at Bethel College, I participated in a monthlong interterm travel course to Washington, D.C., focused on peace issues and Mennonite social justice engagement. Faculty...

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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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