Vows to keep

Jul 17, 2017 by

Unity has been given us by the Holy Spirit. It is a gift. We are commanded to keep the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3). The vows we made in marriage did not say “until we disagree.” It is until death...

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The Bible’s place

Mar 27, 2017 by

In letters to the editor, I notice that no matter which side of an issue one takes, there seems to be an agreement that the final arbiter is the Bible. We think that if we would simply read the Bible...

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Transformed by the Word

Mar 23, 2017 by

Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events launched by Mennonite World Conference to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. “Transformed by the Word: Reading Scripture in...

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The covenant of disagreement

Nov 3, 2016 by

In the past, the Church could hardly imagine placing ‘covenant’ and ‘disagreement’ into a shared concept. Disagreement represented the opposite of covenant. Covenant necessitated...

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5 common errors when Christians disagree

Sep 19, 2016 by

Note: This is a full-out, “chip-on-my-shoulder” rant. I tried to soften the blog post by using personal pronouns and not giving specific controversial examples, but I can’t deny that I’m annoyed and...

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Opinion: Uniformity is weakness

Aug 29, 2016 by

While living in Botswana, I talked with a friend who wore a medallion identifying him as a member of the Zion Christian Church. Attached to it was a fringe of blue cloth. I asked what that meant. “I do it...

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Generous orthodoxy

Aug 29, 2016 by

On his Aug. 11 podcast, journalist Malcolm Gladwell used the concept of “generous orthodoxy” to frame the story of Chester Wenger. It’s a positive approach to faith that is gaining ground among...

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Different assignments

Jul 18, 2016 by

In the offices of Mennonite Church USA in Elkhart, Ind., there is an artwork of pieces of pottery arranged on a flat surface. On its own, not one of these pieces is extraordinarily remarkable, but standing...

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A decade for unity

May 9, 2016 by

Beginning with a conference next February in Augsburg, Germany, Renewal 2027 will be a 10-year series of Mennonite World Conference events culminating in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the beginnings...

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Reba Place chooses ‘third way’ on sexuality

May 9, 2016 by and

Reba Place Fellowship has found it is possible to remain united despite differing views on same-sex marriage. Taking “a third-way approach,” the Evanston, Ill., group has opened its long-term covenant...

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The strengths of others

Apr 11, 2016 by

On Easter Sunday, Lutherans said a prayer for unity. The liturgy offered by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America asked the God of life to pour Christ’s “resurrection into the churches. Make visible...

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Unity in obedience

Mar 14, 2016 by

In “The Unity Jesus Meant” (World Neighbors, Feb. 15), Rich­ard Showalter says it well when he states: “If our primary concern for unity is really organizational, we should all join the Roman Catholic...

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Unity — humanly defined or heaven-inspired?

Mar 3, 2016 by

I read with great interest Richard Showalter’s “The Unity Jesus Meant” in the Feb. 15, 2016 issue of the Mennonite World Review. He writes: Though organizational union on a broad scale may...

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When Jesus calls a desperate mom a dog

Mar 2, 2016 by

Most Christians I know are uncomfortable with Jesus’ response to the mom in Mark 7:24 – 30. For those who don’t know the story, here it is… Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre...

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The unity Jesus meant

Feb 15, 2016 by

Few scriptures have been so frequently quoted in recent years by North American Anabaptists as the prayer of Jesus “that they may all be one” (John 17:21). Especially in times of severe disagreement, we...

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Lancaster Conference nears decision on withdrawal

Oct 5, 2015 by and

Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s Bishop Board will meet Oct. 23 to consider an updated proposal to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA, effective on or before Dec. 31, 2017. The proposal, given as a draft to...

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Thinking bigger?

Aug 31, 2015 by

A Mennonite Alliance is well worth considering (“More Than Before,” Editorial, Aug. 17), as Myron S. Augsburger proposed some time ago. If this would bring the spirit of Mennonite World Conference to our...

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What we mean when we say we want Christian unity

Aug 28, 2015 by

I’ve been reading Andy Crouch’s Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power for about four months now and I’m barely a third of the way through it. Not because it’s bad! Quite the contrary: it’s one of...

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More than before

Aug 17, 2015 by

We live in a postdenominational time. Historic Christian brand names don’t inspire the loyalty they used to. People don’t care so much whether a church is Mennonite or Methodist or Baptist. In the spirit...

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In Lancaster proposal, some look for options

Aug 12, 2015 by and

Although Lancaster Mennonite Conference bishops last month unanimously proposed that Lancaster withdraw from Mennonite Church USA, they do not all agree the conference should leave. One who wants MC USA’s...

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If Christ were head of the church, which schisms would he support?

Aug 6, 2015 by

We Christians are a contentious lot. Over the centuries we have divided and re-divided into countless different communions, separated from each other by diverse customs, creeds and ethnic origins — but...

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My people

Aug 3, 2015 by

Last year I left Mennonite Church USA. I left not because of negative reasons, but rather I was called by a congregation within the Church of the Brethren. It’s been a smooth transition, but it has left me...

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In the Anabaptist world, unity is alive and well

Jul 31, 2015 by

It’s been an interesting month. I attended both the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City, Mo., and the Mennonite World Conference global assembly in Harrisburg, Pa. As a member of a congregation...

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Tenderly inviting all to God’s banquet

Jul 22, 2015 by

For long decades now I’ve dreamed of a setting in which we could learn how — offering each other the tenderness for which every human so longs — to pull out chairs for every single one of us who wish to...

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Adventures in mis-unity

Jun 25, 2015 by

The following is a recent sermon I preached based on Gen. 11:1-9 and Acts 2:1-11. Every once in a while the Spirit lays a message on my heart that seems to fall with a particular weight. As I pray, it seems...

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