Trust not in division

Oct 22, 2018 by and

From church divisions to political mudslinging, trust is in short supply. Mennonite Church USA’s Southeast Mennonite Conference voted Oct. 5-6 to leave the denomination. The U.S. election — finally mere...

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Lost and found

Oct 15, 2018 by

We love boundaries. We put them up all the time. Our countries are not the only things in life that are divided by borders. These boundaries may help us define who we are, but they also can lead us to assume...

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I am the weaker brother

Oct 1, 2018 by

When we believe we are right about something, how do we behave? How do we treat those with whom we disagree? I’m not talking about issues of sin, but what of disputable matters — issues that are not very...

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Are truth and unity mutually exclusive?

Sep 24, 2018 by

I love the paradoxes of God: “God is love,” the Bible states, but it also says, “God is holy.” God is portrayed as both the vulnerable lamb and the wrathful lion. He is king and servant, Alpha and...

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Waiting for decades

Jul 16, 2018 by

At 93, I’m trying to wrap up some of my end-of-life business. One of my efforts over the last 40 years was to try to understand the LGBTQ issue and how it fits into our church dialogue and theological...

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Precious in God’s sight

May 7, 2018 by

Heard any good prophecy lately? Not the kind that predicts the future. The kind that awakens the moral conscience, rebukes sin and energizes hope. Mennonite Church USA has received just such a prophecy this...

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Opinion: Why Lancaster Conference left

Mar 26, 2018 by

Since leaders and writers from outside Lancaster Mennonite Conference have offered their perspectives on why LMC withdrew from Mennonite Church USA, I will add my voice. I was part of LMC when we decided to...

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Bible: Body of Christ, bodies of women

Dec 18, 2017 by

“You’re either with our bodies or against our bodies,” Amber Tamblyn wrote recently in The New York Times, responding to the flood of revelations of sexual misconduct, from Louis C.K. to Charlie Rose to...

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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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