‘But I’ve seen him do so much good’

Sep 21, 2016 by

Please note: This reflection references an incident of sexual abuse. “But I’ve seen him do so much good.” It was heartbreaking when I came across this line in an account about a woman who had...

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Firm to investigate abuse allegation responses for Mennonite Church USA

Sep 19, 2016 by

Mennonite Church USA has contracted with a Delaware firm to investigate how church institutions responded to abuse allegations against a former Eastern Mennonite University administrator. EMU had already begun...

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Mennonite Church USA sexual abuse panel withdraws from investigation

Aug 10, 2016 by and

Mennonite Church USA’s Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention has terminated its participation in the process to select an independent organization to look into institutional responses to allegations of abuse by...

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MC USA board supports abuse panel, accepts resignation

Jun 10, 2016 by and

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board affirmed recommendations from a sexual abuse prevention panel and accepted the resignation of board member Isaac Villegas during meetings June...

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Coming to terms with millstones

Jun 6, 2016 by

I read the 150-page report from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office about the abuse cases of the Altoona-Johnstown (Pa.) Catholic Diocese in the midst of writing a doctoral dissertation on...

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MCC statement on sexualized violence

Jun 3, 2016 by and

As stories of harm within our faith communities increase, Mennonite Central Committee is committed to speaking out against sexualized violence. Sexualized violence is physical or psychological violence carried...

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Healing ministry in ‘battle zone’ of abuse

May 9, 2016 by

MILLERSBURG, Ohio — Physical and sexual abuse in the Amish-Mennonite community weighs heavily on Larry and Kendra Kaufman, pastoral couple at Grace Mennonite Church. Just this year in their community, the...

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Panel calls sexual abuse a ‘cancer’ in the church

Apr 11, 2016 by

Calling sexualized violence a “cancer within the church that we need to expose,” the Mennonite Church USA Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention released a statement March 30 urging congregations to “bring to...

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What about sexual violence by adolescents?

Apr 5, 2016 by and

Dove’s Nest has heard from churches that are struggling with situations of abuse in which an adolescent is the offender. These situations are terribly painful and complicated, but not terribly uncommon. An...

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Solicitation charge dismissed against former EMU VP

Mar 29, 2016 by and

A judge dismissed a charge of solicitation of prostitution against former Eastern Mennonite University vice president of enrollment Luke A. Hartman on March 29, roughly a week after a Harrisonburg, Va.,...

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$2 million lawsuit filed in Manitoba sex-abuse case

Mar 28, 2016 by

A Winnipeg, Man., woman who was sexually assaulted by a Mennonite Brethren youth pastor in 1996 has filed a $2 million lawsuit alleging his church fostered a climate that aided in the abuse of children. The...

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Sexual abuse among plain groups’ concerns

Mar 28, 2016 by and

MILLERSBURG, Ohio — If plain communities don’t deal with sexual abuse among them, the state will step in to deal with the problem, and some freedoms may be lost. That was Chester Weaver’s sober message...

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Tragic reminder

Feb 29, 2016 by

“Children are the living letters we send into a time we will never see.” This quote describes an adult’s sacred duty to care for a child. It is cited in Circle of Grace, a sexual-abuse prevention...

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Suit accuses Holdeman church of not reporting sexual abuse

Feb 29, 2016 by and

An Idaho man has brought a lawsuit against the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, alleging a culture of excommunication and quick forgiveness allows sexual abusers to avoid the court system. Clayton Peaster...

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MC USA forms sexual abuse prevention panel

Dec 21, 2015 by

The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board staff cabinet has called together a panel to continue the work of healing and prevention of sexual abuse within the denomination. The panel’s formation is a response...

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Book review: ‘Between 2 Gods’

Oct 26, 2015 by

Trudy Harder Metzger is an author, speaker, trauma coach and survivor of long-standing patterns of abuse and incest — patterns inherent in some Old Colony Mennonite families in Mexico and then perpetuated...

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MC USA abuse discernment group ends work

Oct 19, 2015 by and

ELKHART, Ind. — The Discernment Group on sexual abuse, a committee formed by Mennonite Church USA in 2013 to address the painful and complex legacy of sexual abuse by renowned theologian and professor John...

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Deceased Canadian pastor is accused of sexual misconduct

Sep 28, 2015 by

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada announced an allegation of sexual and ethical misconduct by a pastor who died 21 years ago. On Aug. 30, three Ontario congregations formerly served by Vernon Leis, the pastor...

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Worship service confronts convention’s wounds

Jul 6, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The emotional wounds inflicted by discourse and decisions in the Mennonite Church USA convention delegate hall were the focus of a contemplative and repentant evening worship service on...

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Sexual abuse: ‘Won’t somebody listen here?’

Jul 4, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Laments and hopes by and for those who have endured sexual abuse were tied and untied in a July 3 evening worship service at the Mennonite Church USA convention. Moving from sorrow and...

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On sexual abuse, a vow to tell the truth

Jul 4, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mennonite Church USA delegates on July 3 approved a statement confessing the church’s failure to offer healing for survivors of sexual abuse and vowing to “change our ways.” The...

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Survivors, advocates form a chapter of anti-abuse network

Jun 29, 2015 by

Twelve survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have formed an Anabaptist-Mennonite chapter of an organization that “protects the vulnerable, heals the wounded and exposes the truth.” Leaders of the...

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Easy talk, tough walk

Jun 8, 2015 by

As Mennonite Church USA delegates prepare for this summer’s convention in Kansas City, Mennonites on social media are demonstrating passion for conversations around forbearance and the Membership Guidelines....

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Josh Duggar and the bondage of our souls

May 26, 2015 by

I never watched 19 Kids and Counting and never knew the Duggars existed until their scandal hit the news this week. But I had my own Josh Duggar. It was maybe 1969, which would make me about 7 years old. The...

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Secrecy enabled sin

Mar 30, 2015 by

Few things cause as much damage and pain in the church as secrecy. Hiding information spawns suspicion, distortion and lies. Secrecy fosters an imbalance of power, as those few people in the know can act with...

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