From persecution to education in Ethiopia

Sep 24, 2018 by and

Tigist Alamirew says she has “escaped many deaths” in her journey with Christ. Born to an Orthodox family, she now directs distance education at Meserete Kristos College, the Anabaptist school in Debre...

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Questioning our lay/ordained divide

Apr 30, 2018 by

While most of us agree that healthy congregations need to use all of the varied and multiple gifts of its members, Mennonites have generally adopted the Protestant practice of elevating pastors to a special...

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Finding my Jerusalem

Feb 19, 2018 by

The conversation over a fellowship lunch at church dealt with the California parents charged with child neglect and abuse of their 13 children, charges to which they pled not guilty. I noticed the men were...

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What is a call to ministry?

Jul 21, 2017 by

A long time ago in the big city, I was a graduate student studying the New Testament. My wife and I had another student and his wife over for supper, and we were talking shop: Bible and theology, church and...

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Whom can you reach?

Dec 2, 2016 by

Being short can be pretty tough. I have been short most of my life, resulting in my constantly having to pull out a stool or stand on a chair in order to reach the highest shelf. It got even worse when I...

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How much cash, real estate and paid staff does it take to produce a follower of Jesus?

Aug 29, 2016 by

“No one can truly know Christ unless they follow him daily in life.” — early Anabaptist Hans Denck Most of us Mennonites operate from the conviction that we should do everything possible to...

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Jesus, Moses and the rights and wrongs of leadership

Aug 16, 2016 by

In response to Andy Wade’s Sunday morning reflection at our Celtic retreat, I have been rereading and pondering the Beatitudes in Matt. 5:1-12 this week. The passage begins with a phrase I had never noticed...

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Inclusion of people with disabilities in the church

Jun 27, 2016 by

Who is welcome at your church? What makes you so sure? What evidence do you have to prove this? It was a typical Sunday like any other. I walked into the sanctuary at 10:30 a.m., quickly found my seat in the...

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Seminary interns can’t work for free

Feb 11, 2016 by

This blog post has been on my heart and mind for several years. I often have started writing it, but then refrained from posting for fear of offending others. Yet, in light of the fact that I have posted many...

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A balancing act in life

Feb 8, 2016 by

Modern life is definitely fast-paced. We have cities that never sleep. We race around until we are about to have a nervous breakdown because we are out of time and energy and there are hardly any items checked...

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In shadow of death, Nigerians rely on Bible, prayer

Oct 12, 2015 by and

ELKHART, Ind. — When Obed and Phena Dashan told students and faculty at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary how they feel God’s love surrounding them in spite of facing death every day in their ministry...

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Of whiskey priests and ragamuffins

Sep 23, 2015 by

It was author Graham Green who popularized the idea of the whiskey priest, a flawed member of the clergy who, despite failings, still manages to inspire others in their relationship with God. In his novel The...

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Hiding safe behind stained glass

Jul 10, 2015 by

Martin Luther King Jr., in September of 1963, gave the eulogy for the four girls who were killed in the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. He used his platform that day to give voice to...

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22 time-tested ways to love your pastor

Apr 30, 2015 by

Thriving in ministry doesn’t depend solely on what any one pastor does or doesn’t do. Congregations play a critical role. I know that my church has done a great deal to support and enable me to thrive. So...

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The church and measurable goals

Apr 29, 2015 by

One of the ways ministries fund themselves is through writing grants. The process of writing these requests can be helpful and clarifying. A typical grant request includes a statement of need, measurable...

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The Bible is not a book

Mar 19, 2015 by

So often we hear, “The Bible says . . .” What exactly does that mean? Especially when topics are controversial, the conversation stopper is often something like, “The Bible is clear about that.” But...

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Leading with zeal

Mar 18, 2015 by

I sat on the back porch, sinking into the lawn chair with a sense of triumph. I had just installed what was sure to be the ultimate squirrel-proof bird feeder. After spending a small fortune on birdseed, only...

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Ordained to be reverent

Mar 2, 2015 by

Culminating two years of being a licensed minister, and following eight years of seeing an inkling of a calling to pastoral ministry grow into a deep truth in my life, I was ordained in December. Since then,...

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Unexpected call led to lifelong pastoral ministry

Dec 22, 2014 by and

BURRTON, Kan. — In 1962, when Jim Dunn was a senior at Bethel College in North Newton, the local African Meth­odist Episcopal church invited him to be its pastor. A woman at the church had called Dunn...

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Issues make polity book a must-read

Nov 3, 2014 by and

Mennonite Church USA’s new ministerial polity handbook has drawn more attention than such a document usually would, due to its potential impact on issues of sexuality and credentialing authority. Since the...

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Why I’m fundraising my salary as a pastor

Aug 13, 2014 by

I’ve received a lot of questions and concerns about why my church would create a staff position they cannot pay for. I’m assuming that means far more people share the question. Here is a bit more of the...

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Canadian MBs hope to multiply

Jul 21, 2014 by

The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches focused on multiplying congregations across Canada during its biennial conference June 11-14 in Vancouver, B.C. Meeting under the theme “Multiplying for...

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Called to visit prisoners — even a terrorist

Jun 23, 2014 by

“I was in prison and you visited me.” Christians have used that verse as a reason to serve prisoners across North America. But does that include someone convicted of terrorism? Arlette Zinck believes it...

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‘Mission from below’ great equalizer for North, South

Mar 17, 2014 by

CHICAGO — Cesar García wonders what would happen if multicultural mission teams took vows of poverty like monastic orders do. He posed the question Jan. 22 at the annual consultation of the Council of...

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Women’s conference asks ‘Is love enough?’

Mar 3, 2014 by and

LEESBURG, Va. — As an Indigenous woman who claims Anabaptist theology as her own, Sarah Augustine often questions how much “Mennonite” is really part of her identity. After an Anabaptist women’s...

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