Churches discuss response to lethal threats

Nov 5, 2018 by and

NEWTON, Kan. — As Mennonites gathered in a church basement Oct. 27 to discuss how they might respond to a shooter in their church, cell phones buzzed with news of a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The...

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Statement on shooting at Tree of Life synagogue

Nov 5, 2018 by

Throughout this year a group of us within Mennonite Church USA has been meeting to discuss Mennonite and Jewish relations. We are pastors, scholars and laypeople. Some of us work for Mennonite agencies and...

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Never again

Apr 9, 2018 by

Never again. These words have a specific connection to the Holocaust. But their power is not limited to remembrance of Nazi genocide against Jews. In the United States in 2018, they are the cry of youth who...

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Forgiveness for the third and fourth generations

Mar 29, 2018 by

A few years ago I learned that a Native American coffee shop was opening near my church. A native business other than a casino got my attention. I found this place to be one of the friendliest social gathering...

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Where is Trump’s trust?

Mar 26, 2018 by

Attempting to comfort survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school massacre and families of the victims, President Trump quoted 2 Kings 20:5: “I have heard your prayers; I have seen your tears; indeed, I will...

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Going nuts with guns

Mar 12, 2018 by

Our country is going nuts with guns, and the rest of the world is laughing at us. After every mass shooting, we hide behind the Second Amendment, mental illness, vigils and prayers. This has not worked. I...

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Opinion: I almost got shot

Mar 12, 2018 by

He pointed his right hand with a pistol at me as I rounded the hallway corner into the den. Shocked, I stopped and stood frozen. His newspaper fell off his lap, and he sat upright. “You scared me half to...

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Machines don’t harvest crops — farmers do

Mar 5, 2018 by

A tongue-in-cheek parable in the midst of a national debate over gun control: Every year, an increasing number of grain and other crops fall prey to ruthless decapitation and violent forms of plant destruction...

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After prayers, let’s talk about change

Feb 20, 2018 by

Waking up Feb. 15 to news of yet another school shooting — 17 dead, with more than 50 injured — I could only groan. After all, massacres have become so commonplace in the United States (it’s the...

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Do we want to get well?

Feb 16, 2018 by and

“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” — Prov. 26:11 We find ourselves, again, in a place of sadness, anger and pain in the aftermath of a mass shooting. A teacher and 17 students...

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Watson: False god of guns

Nov 20, 2017 by

I always worried about the day a mass shooting happened in a church. As a seminary student, immersed full-time in applying Jesus’ teachings to the modern world, I knew the church could not escape it for very...

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An Anabaptist response to gun violence

Nov 14, 2017 by

There is a gap in Mennonite response to mass shootings. After a shooting, when secular headlines buzz with gory details and harrowing survivals, Mennonite news outlets often continue posting business-as-usual...

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Pastors: On guns for safety, ‘do not be conformed’

Nov 13, 2017 by and

About 35 miles from where 26 people were killed in a Nov. 5 shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, members of San Antonio Mennonite Church participated in a vigil mourning the deaths a...

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Fighting gun violence like cancer

Nov 7, 2017 by

What if this amendment had become a part of our Constitution? “A well regulated tobacco industry, being necessary to the prosperity of a free State, the right of the people to grow and use nicotine...

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A white man with guns

Oct 23, 2017 by

Was it terrorism? No. The shooter was white. The mass shooting that took the lives of at least 59 people and injured hundreds at an Oct. 1 country music concert in Las Vegas revealed much about American racial...

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Gun shots and privilege

Apr 4, 2017 by

On a recent Saturday as my wife and I rode motorcycles to Albuquerque, N.M., two people were shot in my neighborhood. According to my neighbors, dozens of shots were fired. Thirty-six hours later on Monday,...

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2016 in review: What works for denominations now?

Dec 19, 2016 by and

With Christian denominations generally declining in North America, Mennonites are looking for new ways of being the church together. Shrinking or refocusing national offices while building up regional and...

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10 years after Nickel Mines school killings, the work of grief remains

Oct 3, 2016 by and

BART TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The West Nickel Mines School is long gone. Two of the survivors are now married. Several of the couples who lost their daughters have had more children. The shooting 10 years ago in a...

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Where will I stand?

Jul 19, 2016 by

It seems to me that a new line was crossed in recent weeks. First, two public encounters with police were caught on video resulting in two dead African-American men. Then in Dallas, five police officers were...

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Root out violence

Jul 18, 2016 by

Guns don’t kill people, people do. What a crazy argument, and yet with an element of truth. Of course guns don’t kill people. But neither do cars, and yet we regulate them and those who drive them. Guns...

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A turning point

Jul 18, 2016 by

When it comes to turning points in history, a few come to mind for me: The assassination of John F. Kennedy; the first humans on the Moon; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the invention of the Internet; and 9/11....

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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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Thoughts and prayers

Jul 4, 2016 by

Our thoughts and prayers go out to victims and their loved ones after the horrific shooting that took place June 12 at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Thoughts and prayers. That should do it. What,...

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Ministry among Chicago shootings

Jun 30, 2016 by

Last week I wrote about one of our staff who has lived with a very real fear of being shot for more than 30 years. This past Sunday one of our Discerners in Chicago lived that reality. Michael (Mikey), our...

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Passive bystanders facilitate hate

Jun 14, 2016 by

Things whose existence is not morally possible cannot exist. — Old German Proverb In his book States of Denial, Stanley Coheni writes about the deadly triangle of perpetrator, victim and bystander. In...

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