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...

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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...

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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...

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Embarrassing graffiti

Apr 29, 2019 by

I agree with the concern expressed by Tim Huber in “Shame­ful Tourists” (Editorials, April 1). This past year, we visited the Trachselwald castle along with our tour group (TourMagination, “Life and...

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History: From Mennonite to Missionary

Apr 15, 2019 by

North American Mennonite history is peppered with schisms prompted by disagreements over issues such as prayer meetings, revival meetings, conversion experiences and Sunday schools. Seven groups that split...

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A real doctrine?

Apr 1, 2019 by

I have not witnessed a 500- year history of the church dehumanizing indigenous people or attempting to justify genocide. Nor have the people in my fellowship claimed a right to seize the property of others. I...

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Shameful tourists

Apr 1, 2019 by

Switzerland is a land of beauty and Anabaptist history. Many North American Mennonite and Amish people visit to get in touch with their faith’s roots. Most Swiss hosts are too gracious and polite to offer...

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Land of the Kanza

Mar 4, 2019 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Until a retired Mennonite pastor came along, Kanza tribal records indicated it had never happened before. No landowner had ever given something back to the Kanza people, also known as...

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A Mennonite college at a state university

Mar 4, 2019 by

Illinois State University’s academic programs are organized into six colleges: Applied Science and Technology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Fine Arts and the Mennonite College of...

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German-Americans and World War I: A cautionary tale

Dec 26, 2018 by

My great uncle, Henry A. Reimer, was nearly lynched during World War I. He was a German-speaking immigrant from Russia living in Collinsville, Okla., and had been arrested and jailed on suspicions he was...

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Kriss: Once we were the ones who knocked

Dec 17, 2018 by

This is the great seriousness of the Advent message and its great blessing. Christ stands at the door. He lives in the form of people around us. Will you therefore leave the door locked for your protection, or...

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Drinking coffee with Canada’s National Mennonite Historical Society

Dec 3, 2018 by

Over the Nov. 15-17 weekend, I listened to no less than 30 academic presentations in a space of 2.5 days as Canada’s National Mennonite Historical Society hosted scholars and speakers for the annual...

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From ‘Tauferkammer’ to Burkina Faso

Dec 3, 2018 by

In 1743, 275 years ago, the Swiss city of Bern dissolved its Commission for Anabaptist Affairs, or Tauferkammer. It had been established in 1659 to oversee the elimination of the local Anabaptist population....

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Our troubling Mennonite inferiority complex

Nov 16, 2018 by

“Many American Christians simply assume that the state has no business dictating church beliefs or practices, that a church should be a gathered body of believers rather than a net that that scoops up...

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History: At war’s end, a last gasp of violence

Oct 22, 2018 by

One hundred years ago next month, on Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice brought World War I to an end, ceasing the four-year-old conflagration that resulted in 40 million casualties, unprecedented destruction and...

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A civil rights reunion

Oct 10, 2018 by

While on the faculty of Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., J. Lawrence Burkholder participated in an integration effort on March 31, 1964, in Saint Augustine, Fla., which made headlines in newspapers...

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Mennonites and empire

Sep 26, 2018 by

Every Mennonite in the small town of Goessel, Kan., knows the date 1874. It is emblazoned on the “Turkey Red Wheat Palace,” erected on the centennial of Mennonites’ migration to the Great Plains from...

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Change without a bang

Sep 4, 2018 by

As a child, one of the things that fascinated me about Mennonites of the past was dress, particularly the head covering. What would it have been like to be marked, physically, by your religion? To have people...

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Our hymns shape our church

Aug 27, 2018 by

“Out of the fullness of the heart, the language of each mortal springs. If you would truly know a man, just listen to the songs he sings.” — Amish hymn writer John Paul Raber, Songs from Within...

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Book review: ‘The Russian Mennonite Story’

Jul 16, 2018 by

According to popular lore, the sojourning Mennonites in Europe found refuge in Russia, where they flourished until 1917, when the Russian Revolution unleashed horrific persecution of these peaceful, faithful...

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A Lancaster historian seeks Mennonite hair art

Jul 9, 2018 by

It’s a well-known story. It was July 25, 1896, and there had been a party at the home of John Musser in Witmer, Pa., and many young Mennonites had gathered to socialize, perhaps discussing the quarterly...

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History: When Mennonites persecuted Mennonites

Jun 18, 2018 by

Since Anabaptism’s birth nearly five centuries ago, adherents have been persecuted for their faith by civil authorities, from Austrian archdukes to American courts to Vietnamese police. For the Mennonite...

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Mennonites mark 60 years in Belize

Jun 11, 2018 by and

Sixty years ago, Mennonites from Chihua­hua, Mexico, crossed the Belize River and landed at a flat area now called the Mennonite Beach. What the settlers saw in 1958 was a dense rain forest on land they...

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Such little change

Jun 4, 2018 by

My enjoyment of competing in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia this spring was undermined by the heavy presence of U.S. Army and Marine Corps recruiting. This is a continuation of the militarization of...

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Book review: ‘Harold and Arlene: Ministers to Many’

May 21, 2018 by

A new and inspiring biography tells the story of a pastoral couple with a deep love for God and the Mennonite Church. With lives spanning most of the 20th century, Harold and Arlene Eshleman navigated a time...

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