Ohio nursing home resident dies of hypothermia

Feb 5, 2018 by

The death of a 76-year-old resident of a Mennonite-run nursing home prompted an investigation by the Ohio Department of Health. Phyllis Campbell was found dead Jan. 7 in the courtyard of Hilty Home in Pandora,...

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Should the church have rituals and traditions?

Feb 5, 2018 by

Of those traditions kept by my conservative Mennonite church, a foot-washing ritual was one of the more notable. It is a practice based in the example of Jesus who washed the feet of the disciples and then...

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Facing death with laughter

Feb 5, 2018 by

I’m in the process of editing a 20-page essay on the spirit of the Ausbund, a German book of Anabaptist songs still used in some Amish circles. Many of the lyrics tell stories of Anabaptist martyrs. The...

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Undone via confession

Feb 2, 2018 by

Once a week or so, I join a few Anglican clergy for morning prayers. Like many who grew up in a “low church” tradition with its relentless demands (real or perceived) for extemporaneity in prayer and...

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Faith bodies must affirm opposition to nuclear war

Feb 1, 2018 by and

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved up its “Doomsday Clock.” Nuclear war is a real possibility. Faith bodies must pressure Congress to act. In the 1980s, as the Cold War raged and the...

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The Proverbs 31 woman revisited

Jan 31, 2018 by

The unnamed woman in Prov. 31:10-31 appears to be the woman who has it all and who does it all. She has a supportive husband and grateful children. She is a capable household manager and a commercially...

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Repent immediately

Jan 30, 2018 by

Jonah was a stubborn guy. In order to avoid being the messenger to the people of Nineveh, he booked a cruise heading the opposite direction of the place where God called him. When a storm kicked up, and the...

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Our witness amid social polarization

Jan 29, 2018 by

By now, we’re probably all tired of one-year analyses of U.S. President Donald Trump. But I’d like to look at his first year from a more spiritual perspective and ask what effect Trump’s presidency may...

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Opinion: A call for dignity and civility

Jan 29, 2018 by and

We were reminded this past week about how labels and degrading words can and do bring intense pain to people. Our president made some very egregious and degrading comments about particular countries. People...

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Curriculum to meet changing needs in faith formation

Jan 29, 2018 by and

When Carol Duerksen heard Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Moyer Suderman perform “Detectives of Divinity” in April, she thought it would make a good theme for children’s Sunday school material. Duerksen...

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Book review: ‘Cross Vision’

Jan 29, 2018 by

Why does violence happen? How can we make sense of it? How can we prevent it? These questions are by no means particular to Christians. A leading reason people distance themselves from Christianity is it...

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The ‘Anabaptist Option’?

Jan 29, 2018 by

A recent must-read book for Christians concerned about the decline of traditional values is The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Author Rod Dreher, a senior editor at The...

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Showalter: Do we miss the heart of the gospel?

Jan 29, 2018 by

“What are the markers of Anabaptism?” asked Nelson Kraybill, president of Mennonite World Conference, to a panel at the annual meeting of the North American Anabaptist mission agencies this winter. It is a...

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A time to grow

Jan 29, 2018 by

The seasons of the church calendar reflect the highs and lows of our walk with Christ. Much is written about the valleys of Advent and Lent and the heights of Christmas and Easter. Less talked about are the...

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Powell: Are you ready for Jesus?

Jan 29, 2018 by

In my last column I quoted a person who responded to the world’s chaotic state by saying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” He was a far-right evangelical Christian who supported the government’s harmful actions...

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Fake-news theology

Jan 29, 2018 by

According to J. Denny Weaver (“On Jerusalem, Leave Prophecy Out of It,” Blog, Jan. 1), biblical prophecy is only meant for the audience the prophet was speaking to. Never mind that Isaiah’s prophecy of...

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Bible: Faith’s evidence, and tongues that burn

Jan 29, 2018 by

What good is it if you say you have faith but do not have works? James’ question in chapter 2 doesn’t so much pit faith and works against each other, as two opposing beliefs about the path to salvation, as...

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Shaped by persecution

Jan 29, 2018 by

As part of a privileged Christian majority, do Mennonites in North America still carry remnants of their martyr past? For centuries, persecution shaped the character of Mennonite communities. Early Anabaptists...

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Judged by the Spirit

Jan 29, 2018 by

Approximately 60 years after the Resurrection, Jesus evaluated the seven churches in Asia Minor. At the beginning of each, he declared, “I know thy works.” At the end of each, he advised, “He that has an...

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Miller: Good to be different

Jan 29, 2018 by

There are blonde jokes, lawyer jokes and Polish jokes. And then there are Mennonite jokes. As a Mennonite, and a plain Mennonite at that, I like the Mennonite jokes best. It is the perverse nature of humanity...

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Yoder-Short: Sparrow watcher

Jan 29, 2018 by

“God sees the sparrows.” This phrase’s comforting appeal melted as I watched our cat dining on a sparrow. Life can be bloody and cruel. God seeing sparrows didn’t change this bird’s demise. Jesus’...

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Bus carrying Kansas youth groups crashes on return from Rocky Mountain snow camp

Jan 24, 2018 by and

A bus carrying three south-central Kansas youth groups returning from Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp junior high snow camp crashed Jan. 21 just outside Stratton, Colo. Passengers experienced bumps and bruises,...

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Waiting for God in silence

Jan 23, 2018 by

I wonder how much of our modern lives is about fleeing silence. True silence is a fearful thing for many, a disconcerting, bulgy reality that we do our best to avoid. I recently learned of Orfield Laboratories...

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Subversive singers use hymns as protest

Jan 22, 2018 by and

After weeks of planning and selecting their targets, members of First Mennonite Church of San Francisco entered the bank and handed staff a note with their demands. What happened wasn’t a heist but a hymn...

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Schools to form a closer relationship

Jan 22, 2018 by

A new association connecting Mennonite Church USA’s institutions of higher education will launch Feb. 1. The Mennonite Higher Education Association’s goals include strengthening the schools’...

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