Leaders of color call for embracing diversity as a gift

Feb 26, 2018 by , , and

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Nearly 70 pastors, leaders, directors, coordinators, educators, change-makers and others with connections to Mennonite Church USA met Feb. 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk Hotel for...

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Scandal of nationalism

Jul 4, 2016 by

I remember it well, because the question was transformative. I was a first-year student at Hesston College, in the library studying to teach a lesson on eschatology to a junior high Bible study at Hess­ton...

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Hope is a decision

Oct 12, 2015 by

As the forces of discontent continue in our communities, recent headlines have indicated that the South is more racist than other areas. It is easy to regionalize the focus on racial tension while ignoring the...

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Europeans confront hard truths of Nazi era

Oct 5, 2015 by and

MÜNSTER, Germany — In the city infamous as the site of an attempt to establish an Ana­bap­tist kingdom by force in 1535, more than 100 people participated in a conference on “Mennonites in the Era of...

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All lives (don’t) matter

Sep 25, 2015 by

Some political slogans have a long shelf life, but some sink from their own dead weight. There is probably nothing more obvious from the headlines of the news virtually every day — 50 years ago, tomorrow,...

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No peace apart from justice

Sep 21, 2015 by

Today is the International Day of Peace. Yesterday was recognized in many faith communities as Peace Sunday, and I had the privilege of delivering the sermon with a good friend of mine at Slate Hill Mennonite...

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More justice!

Aug 31, 2015 by

John Powell’s column on domestic terrorism is timely and prophetic. Almost every day someone in the minority community is the victim of senseless violence. Many of these acts are caused by the police. We are...

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The gospel according to Ta-Nehisi Coates

Aug 18, 2015 by

This is the final post of a six-part series examining theology through the lens of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me. See the other parts here. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the...

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Police brutality and Christian pacifist silence

Jul 29, 2015 by

When it comes right down to it, Anabaptist Christians can never justify siding with the police over a civilian. We are pacifist. It is a fundamental tenet of our faith that there is always an alternative to...

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Racist violence, domestic terrorism

Jul 20, 2015 by

Our communities are reeling from the brutal, racist assassination of African-American parishioners in Charleston, S.C. The arson of six black churches in Georgia, North and South Carolina, following the...

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The only logical conclusion after Charleston

Jun 19, 2015 by

There have been far too many mass shootings in America. I still remember watching Columbine and Virginia Tech unfold on the news. I remember crying over Sandyhook, shock over the movie theater shooting,...

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Climate of discontent

Jun 8, 2015 by

A friend told me about a conversation with a colleague who said, “You seem to have a bee in your bonnet about racism and violence against blacks. We all have the same opportunity, so let’s just move on.”...

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Reconciliation soup

Jun 2, 2015 by

I never knew you could make chicken noodle soup from scratch. Like sliced bread and chewy chocolate cookies, I thought there were secrets to making comfort foods that only grocery stores knew. In my family, if...

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Been down into the South

May 27, 2015 by

In 1961, when the Congress for Racial Equality planned a “freedom ride” through the South to test the integration of interstate transit, they were experimenting in nonviolent direct action — a radical...

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Understanding Baltimore

May 6, 2015 by

We live in a world where news about the news is almost as important as the news. Take for instance Baltimore. On April 26, Freddy Gray was killed while in police custody and over the weekend charges were...

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White fragility

Apr 27, 2015 by

We have heard many apologies in recent months, particularly from white communities, regarding racial, ethnic and gender issues. There has been a lot to apologize for. Politicians, sportswriters, newscasters...

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Saving black lives

Apr 13, 2015 by

John Powell’s column, “Lives That Matter” (March 16), reflects his experience as an African-American in a society with a long history of racial injustice, which, as he suggests, continues. However, his...

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Lives that matter

Mar 16, 2015 by

Reflecting on Black History Month in February caused me to ponder violent attacks — past and present — and the veiled assaults on black folks and communities. There are daily reports of violent incidents...

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White privilege, guilt

Mar 2, 2015 by

The night in November when the news broke that officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., I joined a group of religious leaders intent on providing a...

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Why I love being a black girl

Feb 24, 2015 by

I have led a number of conversations on white privilege. The conversations have a tendency to all go the same direction. We as facilitators often use the negative experiences of people of color to establish a...

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Bethel talks focus on crime, race

Feb 16, 2015 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Charles Epp, professor of public affairs and administration at the University of Kansas, came back to his alma mater, Bethel College, to give presentations Feb. 8-9 on police treatment...

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Hopeful or hopeless?

Feb 2, 2015 by

As 2014 ended, “I can’t breathe” was the mantra for many who demonstrated across the United States in the wake of the death of Eric Garner. It feels like our nation, and our world, can’t breathe. The...

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Never be afraid of what is right

Jan 19, 2015 by

Martin Luther King Day, which commemorates King’s birthday, is one of those days that I think should be celebrated throughout the world. It is a day used to promote equal rights for all Americans, though I...

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I can’t breathe, but I’m listening

Dec 29, 2014 by

My son came home and told me that on his walk from school in our middle-class neighborhood, a police officer slowed down and tailed him and his two friends. His friends — one black, the other white —...

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Demonstrating Christ

Dec 4, 2014 by

“Be patient,” they say. “Be peaceful,” they say. “Just wait,” they say, “for this is how Christ behaved . . . MLK behaved . . . the truly godly behave.” But I...

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