Former prison becomes Swiss Mennonite couple’s home

Dec 11, 2017 by and

Spears to pruning hooks. Swords to plowshares. And since April 1, Anabaptist prison to cozy apartment. Already a tourist hotspot for Mennonites, portions of Trachselwald Castle could even become an...

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Book review: ‘Plain Meetinghouses’

Dec 4, 2017 by

With all the attention given to the way plain Anabaptists live their daily lives, it’s easy to forget that they are, at a fundamental level, a worshiping people. Beth Oberholtzer and John Herr have created...

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Franconia, Eastern District move to unite

Dec 4, 2017 by and

Franconia Mennonite Conference and Eastern District Conference may unite by November 2019, ending a 170-year separation. At the two Mennonite Church USA conferences’ joint assembly Nov. 3-4 at Dock Mennonite...

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Mennonites in Argentina celebrate centennial, witness

Nov 20, 2017 by and

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Performing before hundreds of Mennonites and passersby at a downtown park Sept. 16, a drama troupe from the Mennonite church in Villa Adelina mimed challenges and struggles facing...

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Fundamentally flawed: How Mennonites failed to be faithful

Oct 23, 2017 by

I grew up believing my Mennonite religious tradition originated as a part of the Anabaptist movement. I would’ve been incredulous if someone had told me then that our theological underpinnings originated...

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Book review: ‘Recollections of a Sectarian Realist’

Oct 23, 2017 by

College president, relief administrator and theologian J. Lawrence Burkholder died in Goshen, Ind., in 2010 at age 93. Shortly afterward, his daughter Myrna began editing oral interviews that historian Arnold...

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Kriss: A falling tower

Oct 23, 2017 by

We came to the party late. Mennonite Church USA created a national denominational superstructure just in time for the whole idea to crumble in Protestant circles. I still remember my hopeful response as we...

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My grandma and Colin Kaepernick

Oct 13, 2017 by

In his op-ed in The New York Times, Chris Reid describes why he and Colin Kaepernick “took a knee” during the national anthem last year. “[M]y faith moved me to take action,” he wrote. “I looked to...

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Yoders celebrate 300 years in America

Oct 9, 2017 by and

SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. — Perhaps no other name is as closely linked with the American Mennonite and Amish faiths than Yoder. It’s the 598th most common last name in the United States, according to the U.S....

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No halfway liberty

Oct 9, 2017 by

The protest that shook the world began 500 years ago this month. On a church door in the Saxon town of Wittenberg, an obscure German monk posted 95 statements of dispute with Catholicism. It was Oct. 31, 1517....

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Yahweh Has Always Been a Peacenik

Oct 5, 2017 by

Where did Jesus get his inspiration? From the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, of course. Little of what Jesus said was original with him. His genius was not so much in the substance of his sayings as in...

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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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