Welcome the stranger

Oct 28, 2019 by

Anabaptist history is defined by migrations, typically to escape persecution or pursue opportunity. What can get overlooked, on the flip side, is the welcome that made each chapter possible. Northern German...

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Central District aspires to follow where God leads

Aug 19, 2019 by and

MILWAUKEE — Sunlight streamed through stained glass windows as participants gathered at Milwaukee Mennonite Church for the annual meeting of Mennonite Church USA’s Central District Conference June...

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MC USA encouraged to invite others ‘as they are’

Jul 8, 2019 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was time for the sermon when the lights dimmed at the closing worship service July 6 at the Mennonite Church USA convention. The opening guitar notes to Nirvana’s “Come As You...

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Refined by fire

Apr 29, 2019 by

Watching one’s church burn is painful and horrifying. The people of Paris who prayed and sang as flames engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15 did not need to be members of its Catholic parish to feel...

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Yoder-Short: Innocent words gone awry

Feb 18, 2019 by

Bluebird, girl, noncradle — all innocent words. Sometimes it isn’t what we say; it’s how we say it. If you were a bluebird in my first-grade class, you were teased. “Bluebird” was an innocent label...

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Statement calls for wider welcome while affirming traditional teaching on sexuality

Oct 1, 2018 by and

A group of pastors and leaders in Virginia Mennonite Conference is inviting other pastors and leaders in Mennonite Church USA to sign a statement meant to bridge the gap between traditional and progressive...

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Opinion: Lives of Jesus, Muhammad teach care for those on the margins

Sep 10, 2018 by and

For several years, Kenya has been a flashpoint of Christian-Muslim conflict. With each incident of terror, the tension increases. Kenyan Mennonites are finding hope in small incidents of transformation. Kenya...

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Powell: Inhumane separation

Jul 16, 2018 by

The Statue of Liberty greeted immigrant arrivals in the United States beginning in 1886. Many of our white ancestors saw this quote emblazoned on Ms. Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled...

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Welcoming the outsider

Feb 15, 2017 by

“Thank you for talking to me,” she repeated. Taken aback by her obvious gratitude, I nodded. I didn’t view it as a favor. Our college intramural group had walked to the beach across from campus, and...

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‘Come as you are’ — and meaning it

Jan 30, 2017 by and

LANCASTER, Pa. — Raymond Gephart grew up in a family plagued by the abuse of drugs and alcohol. His two older sisters were put into foster care. Today, 58-year-old Gephart lives in Lancaster with his new...

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Kansans complete Congo family’s flight to freedom

Nov 7, 2016 by and

HESSTON, Kan. — At half past midnight on Aug. 18 at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita, a welcoming group searched for a Congolese refugee family. As passengers spilled into the concourse, five...

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Sheep and goats, prayer and chains

Feb 2, 2015 by

Matthew 25 is a familiar passage to most Christians. Such familiarity can lead, I fear, to a kind of spiritual laziness. When we think a text is simple, when we think we know what it means, it’s easy to move...

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20 ways to welcome people to church

Aug 23, 2013 by

How do you welcome visitors in worship and make them feel at home? Not by grabbing and “shh” -ing them, that’s for sure! I arrived slightly late to the sanctuary as a visitor one day, having struggled...

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