Kennel-Shank: Examine motivations

Sep 11, 2017 by

It all began with a squash plant, a Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck, to be exact. Like all winter squash, it needs room to grow and many weeks to mature. Too late, I realized I had only ever grown winter squash...

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Tearing down idols

Sep 11, 2017 by

On a 1986 trip to the Soviet Union, students from Tabor and Bethel colleges could count on seeing two things in every city: a monument to the Great Patriotic War (World War II) and a statue of Vladimir Lenin...

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Twisting the cross: white supremacy’s deadly theology

Sep 8, 2017 by and

I’m in Tennessee on a little mountain getaway, trying to write a book. As soon as I got down here and settled in, I heard about a white supremacist rally planned for this past weekend, at one of the...

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History: White supremacist’s racist ‘faith’

Aug 28, 2017 by

More than 5,200 miles separate Charlottesville, Va., from the now-disappeared Russian Mennonite col­ony of Molotschna. But according to the geography of racial and ethnic hatred, they’re located virtually...

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MCC U.S. statement on white supremacy and racism

Aug 21, 2017 by

Mennonite Central Committee is a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches that shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and...

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Charlottesville unrest an opportunity to act, reflect

Aug 17, 2017 by and

In the wake of violent clashes surrounding a white nationalist rally that turned deadly Aug. 12-13 in Charlottesville, Va., individuals and groups connected to the weekend’s events are finding varied ways to...

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How to pray against racial hostility

Aug 17, 2017 by

Where I live in British Columbia, the smoky haze is finally clearing, and I can actually see some blue sky this morning! Yet as a province we’re still in a state of emergency due to wildfires continuing to...

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Before you punch a Nazi: A new Anabaptist response to white supremacy

Aug 15, 2017 by

There isn’t much to be surprised by in Charlottesville. There’s much to grieve, but none of it should be a surprise. All the elements of Saturday’s events have been in headlines for months, or years, and...

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Watson: Deeper than charity

Jun 5, 2017 by

Reparations is a chilling word to most white people. An aggressive, accusatory word that will have many people skipping over this column before they finish the first paragraph. I invite you to stay with me. As...

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Washington Witness: Social media a tool for justice

Jun 5, 2017 by

Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old African-American boy, was fatally shot April 29 by police in Balch Springs, Texas. Body camera video has been used as evidence to dismiss officer Roy Oliver and charge him with...

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King: ‘A treaty between your love and mine’

Dec 19, 2016 by

In distress, my daughter who loves the music of Leonard Cohen phoned us just after the U.S. elections. Cohen, she said, was dead. I was reminded of the prior Sunday when Cohen’s just-released “Treaty”...

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Civil rights and leadership

Oct 17, 2016 by

My job requires me to spend a lot of time thinking about leadership. I oversee a ministry with programs, staff and board members in five states. Keeping everyone one the same page while providing the space to...

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Powell: A privileged position

Sep 12, 2016 by

The presidential election campaign is drawing attention to white privilege. Many whites deny they are privileged because of their skin tone. When their privilege is pointed out, some reply that affirmative...

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Walking with the ghosts of El Camino

Aug 31, 2016 by

What does it mean to practice solidarity, to become a neighbor, to exchange hospitality? As a white U.S. citizen engaged in immigrant justice work, my reflections on these difficult questions are constantly...

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The CO Mennonites once found objectionable

Aug 15, 2016 by

Nearly 50 years ago, the self-proclaimed greatest boxer of all time became the greatest religious conscientious objector to war of all time. Because of his Muslim faith, Muhammad Ali, the talented and...

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Wake up for racial justice

Jul 13, 2016 by

Hear this, O elders, give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your ancestors? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their...

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Bluffton lecturer challenges racism in the church

Apr 11, 2016 by

BLUFFTON, Ohio — Author, blogger, activist and professor Drew G.I. Hart presented the Keeney Peace Lecture, “What Has Shalom to Do with White Dominant Culture?,” during Forum March 29 at Bluffton...

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Prejudice finds a haven

Mar 28, 2016 by

I recently returned home from Florida by way of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio on Interstate 75. As I traveled, I noticed several large Confederate flags along the way, including in Ohio. A large...

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Bethel MLK speaker calls for changing unjust systems

Feb 1, 2016 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Throughout her presentation at Bethel College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day program, Michelle Armster would pause to call out several names. “Sandra Bland. Renisha McBride. Shantel...

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What would MLK do?

Jan 18, 2016 by

It isn’t just on MLK Day that we watch it unfold. It happens with national race incidents. It happens in heated conversations. It happens in tweets and Facebook comments. If you are someone who regularly...

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Full-color compassion

Nov 23, 2015 by

The African-Americans who extended amazing grace to a white killer in South Carolina in June are noble examples of Jesus’ teaching to love your enemies. Dylann Roof, 21, allegedly opened fire during a prayer...

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Working at harmony across racial divides

Nov 10, 2015 by

Freedom of expression is a wonderful gift we have in this country and Canada as well (a tip ‘o the hat to my Canadian followers). With the ease of instant worldwide communication when anyone, including me,...

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MCC learning tour explores mass incarceration

Nov 9, 2015 by and

EPHRATA, Pa. — Sixteen participants in Mennonite Central Committee’s Pipeline to Prison learning tour journeyed through Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system, learning about law enforcement, sentencing,...

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Sin problems and skin problems

Oct 21, 2015 by

“Racism is a sin problem, not a skin problem.” Have you heard this statement? I recently saw it on Mike Huckabee’s extraordinarily problematic Twitter timeline last week during the democratic...

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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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