Welcome the stranger

Oct 28, 2019 by

Anabaptist history is defined by migrations, typically to escape persecution or pursue opportunity. What can get overlooked, on the flip side, is the welcome that made each chapter possible. Northern German...

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The lion, the lamb, and the candidate

Oct 17, 2019 by

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro visited Edith Espinal at our church Tuesday morning. He met with her privately for about 20 minutes, listening to her story, followed by a press conference at...

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Castro visits woman taking sanctuary in Columbus Mennonite Church

Oct 16, 2019 by and

An undocumented woman living in Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church to avoid deportation met with Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro on Oct. 15, one of several Democratic White House hopefuls now...

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A morning with ICE

Sep 18, 2019 by

On the morning of Aug. 27, eight of us gathered in a circle in the foyer at Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church and joined hands. We prayed for a successful morning. We prayed for strength and courage and peace....

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Offering sanctuary, churches put words into practice

Jul 29, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As delegates passed a “Churchwide Statement on the Abuse of Child Migrants” at the Mennonite Church USA convention July 6 (page 11), congregations and organizations shared ways they...

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Transformed by angels

Jan 7, 2019 by

Of the many dangers, challenges and reasons not to become a sanctuary congregation, pastors of such churches say in interviews that potential legal ramifications seem to worry them least of all. Yes, there is...

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Germantown becomes sanctuary

Dec 28, 2018 by and

Another congregation has joined the ranks of Mennonite churches publicly giving sanctuary to individuals facing U.S. deportation orders. Germantown Mennonite Church in Philadelphia welcomed Carmela Apolonio...

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One year in: A Sanctuary reflection

Nov 14, 2018 by

Oct. 2 was the one year anniversary of Edith in Sanctuary in our Columbus Mennonite Church building. The press continues to tell her story sympathetically, like THIS article in The Guardian, and THIS one in...

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We need cities of refuge, not border walls

Jun 20, 2018 by

There was one picture in the Bible story book we had at home that struck special fear in me as a child. It showed the sheer terror in the face of a man fleeing for his life to a city of refuge, his avenger in...

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Criminally Christian

May 7, 2018 by

Christianity was an illegal movement in its infancy. The first adult baptisms were punished by death in 1527. Christians, especially Anabaptists, have often faced the choice to obey God or the state. Defying...

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Ohio church offers sanctuary

Oct 5, 2017 by and

Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church opened its doors the morning of Oct. 2 to a 39-year-old mother of three children from Mexico, offering sanctuary to her after it became clear federal officials would seek to...

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Last shall be first

Feb 13, 2017 by

The slogan “America first” may take various forms in the coming years, but hostility toward Muslim refugees and other immigrants has become an integral part of it. Acting quickly after taking office,...

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Sanctuary moves outside church walls

Feb 6, 2017 by and

The teach-in was supposed to happen at a local library. But when President Trump entered office with executive actions that heightened fears among the immigrant community, a larger venue was needed. Columbus...

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MCC U.S. statement on immigrants and refugees

Jan 27, 2017 by and

Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. (Zechariah 7:10) Mennonite Central Committee U.S. decries the executive actions on...

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Kennel-Shank: Places of sanctuary

Jan 2, 2017 by

Sharing my faith story with the church small group I’m part of, I described myself as a broken-hearted person. One person responded that she’d usually heard people describe themselves as tender-hearted...

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