Forest church combines worship with great outdoors

Nov 18, 2019 by and

While giving a weather report at the beginning of a worship service is usually cliché, on Oct. 20 in Wilmot, Ont., it would have been redundant. Wilmot Forest Church — a new initiative of Burning Bush...

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The catch

Sep 25, 2018 by

A meditation on Luke 5:1-11. Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God… We grope for what is spiritual-but-not-religious....

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Spirituality is imperfect

Jul 18, 2018 by

Last week at our Mustard Seed House community meeting, we made lavender wands. We had perfect examples to follow, many of them beautiful images from Pinterest and DIY websites. We had good instructions with...

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Miller: What my dad taught me

Jul 16, 2018 by

My dad smells of hay and manure, the soil and the outdoors, spiritually speaking. His relationship with God is a sturdy thing, like coveralls that have hung always in the basement between chorings and are...

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Creating with God

May 30, 2018 by

According to Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, God created the world by imagination, yet for many of us imagination and creativity are rarely associated with our faith. Our playful imaginative selves often...

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Hard to hallow

Apr 24, 2018 by

Richard Beck is a blogger whom I have been reading for quite a while now. He’s a psychology professor and “progressive Christian,” although he seems to have a level of distaste for the term that...

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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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A spiritual audit for the new year

Jan 3, 2018 by

Happy new year and welcome to a year filled with incredible potential. We have enjoyed the excitement of fireworks and New Year parties. All of us have hopes and expectations for the months that lie ahead. It...

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Andres: Longing for rescue

Jan 1, 2018 by

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is a fascinating documentary that alternates between a contemporary interview with actor Jim Carrey and behind-the-scenes footage from the 1999 film Man on the Moon, in which...

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Why practice spiritual disciplines?

Sep 27, 2017 by

While discipline often has a negative connotation of punishment and rules, discipline can and should be associated with growth — especially when discussing spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines...

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Learning language is a spiritual discipline

Sep 14, 2017 by

We were invited by Swiss friends to eat in an exclusive restaurant during our last weekend in Switzerland. As we got settled around the table, my friend asked me: “Are you comfortable with speaking Swiss...

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Showalter: What makes a convert?

Aug 14, 2017 by

Why do evangelicals become Anabaptists? Why do Anabaptists become Orthodox or Catholic? Why do Orthodox or Catholics become evangelicals? Why do young people leave “the church,” of whatever variety? What...

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Gelassenheit: A spiritual journey

Jun 23, 2017 by

My brother-in-law recently showed some footage of a family gathering in Switzerland many years ago. In the video, I was on a reclining lawn chair, trying to be oblivious to what was going on around me. My two...

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Unseen logic

Jun 20, 2017 by

Several years ago, my life group decided to each pick a one-word theme for our year instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions. Never having been someone to make New Year’s resolutions, I liked the...

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Spiritual but not religious

Mar 22, 2017 by

I am usually quite suspicious of oft-repeated expression, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Actually, “suspicious” might be putting it rather mildly. I have something bordering on a pathological...

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5 tips for paying attention to your life

May 26, 2016 by

What does it mean to pay attention to your life? I am contemplating that question as I sit in my quiet place listening to the birds sing and watching the mountains glow in the early morning light. Paying...

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Life rooted in place

Apr 13, 2016 by

I’m convinced that the meaningful life is a life rooted in place. Paul told the church in Colossae to be “rooted” in Christ (Col. 2:6-7). Sometimes, we take this as being rooted in Christ rather than the...

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Preparing for Ash Wednesday

Feb 9, 2016 by

This last weekend I spent a lot of time getting myself ready for Lent. I de-cluttered my desk, re-organized my prayer gardens and wrote an Ash Wednesday prayer. At the beginning of a new liturgical season,...

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Get creative with Lent

Jan 27, 2016 by

Lent is only a few weeks away and many of us are already thinking about what we will give up for the season. Once only practiced by catholic and liturgical churches, Lent is now popular among churches of all...

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Baptisms of water, spirit, blood

Jan 11, 2016 by

In 1 John 5, three witnesses are named that authenticate Jesus: the baptisms of water, spirit and blood. An authentic Anabaptist witness will embrace all three. Too often, churches will emphasize only one and...

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Psalms: The heart of the matter

Jan 7, 2016 by

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — Psalm 22:1 “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, and his love endures for ever.” — Palm 107:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” —...

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‘Humus beings’ — wordplay or clue to our origin?

Oct 19, 2015 by

I have always had a fascination with words, languages, wordplays and puns. So it probably wouldn’t surprise you if I told you that I would often say “humus beings” rather than “human beings.” Little...

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Cultivating a plateau spirituality

Oct 16, 2015 by

A wise teacher of mine once wrote, “We all long for mountains — to be in the presence of God and experience his splendor. I have lived on the mountain for a long time. Now it is time for me to descend...

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Mindfulness, death and the bald eagle

Oct 12, 2015 by

The grandmother’s response seemed almost the last straw to these grandparents. The van pulled into the gas island behind where I was pumping gas. The woman jumped out of the driver’s seat and ran her...

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God’s bloody-knuckled door

Oct 7, 2015 by

Confession: I really like Taylor Swift love songs. (I can almost hear the sizzle of respect evaporating.) In my defense, I do know it’s ridiculous — dances in a dingy parking lot, lingering looks that last...

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