Born to sing for God

Jun 19, 2017 by

The song leader raised his hands to heaven. “Lift up this evening,” he implored. Or prayed? Fifty thousand voices responded with shouts of joy. An electric guitar chimed a prelude to a plea and a praise:...

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Dating is worship

Mar 15, 2017 by

We know that everything should be done for the glory of God, but sometimes it’s easy to subconsciously leave some activities off the list. Such as dating. In dating, it’s easy to get our focus off...

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Holy fire and human flailing

Mar 3, 2017 by

Lord Jesus, please hear the heart of your handmaiden. I read this morning in Leviticus 10 of the death of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. As is the case every single time I read it, my heart aches for Aaron...

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Bible: Celebrate creation and Creator

Dec 19, 2016 by

“Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy!” Our texts for the five Sundays in January are psalms. The one theme that holds these five psalms together is praise for some aspect of creation —...

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Yoder-Short: Smudges of pain, shimmers of grace

Dec 5, 2016 by

While unpacking my bags after returning from the Women Doing Theology Conference, I noticed a smudge on my comfortable grey sweater. Was it spilled coffee or residue from shared pain? As I cleaned out the...

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Beneath the bull

Nov 9, 2016 by

Exodus 32:1-34 In Aaron’s defense, the idea really wasn’t quite as stupid as it sounds. The Israelites are scared. They have reason to be. They’re camped in the middle of a desert without a single...

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What this generation of Anabaptists really needs

Sep 26, 2016 by

Christianity is messy. At least in America. We have far too many factions and variations of church — pick which one you like best, and when the going gets rough, pick again. This generation doesn’t need...

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Taking a stand by sitting

Sep 26, 2016 by

Certain stripes of patriots recoiled in horror on Aug. 26 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem to protest oppression of people of color. The controversial action...

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You are what you love

Sep 12, 2016 by

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Jesus said (Matt. 6:21). In the book You Are What You Love, James K.A. Smith argues that we humans are not merely minds with bodies attached for...

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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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Appealing to all ages

Sep 14, 2015 by

Hearing directly from young people about how to better include them is an important step for a church whose median age continues to increase. And a group of 30 or so Mennonite Church USA 20-somethings is...

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Cultivating hearts of worship in pursuit of racial justice

Sep 3, 2015 by

Worship changes things. It forces every spirit, opponent and plan contrary to that of God’s to bow at his feet. As we exalt God to his rightful place in our hearts and in the world, he takes over and makes...

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What’s with the grapes?

Sep 1, 2015 by

I love communion. I was delighted to learn that my first pastorate was in a congregation that took communion once a month (more often than many Mennonite churches). But there is one question I’ve struggled...

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Walking with God and each other at global assembly

Jul 27, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — In his Friendship Group at the Mennonite World Conference assembly, Francis Ojwang found that getting to know fellow believers from distant places brought an unexpected blessing. The Kenyan...

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Assembly closing welcomes new MWC president

Jul 26, 2015 by and

Love for neighbor is absolutely central to the gospel, speaker Bruxy Cavey said in the final mass worship service of Mennonite World Conference assembly on July 25, which saw the passing of a symbolic...

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Confession and forgiveness part of loving your neighbor

Jul 25, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — “We are here today, celebrating our common Anabaptist faith and our position in the Lord Jesus Christ,” was the greeting from Shantkumar S. Kunjam of India who took the platform in the...

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Assembly called to wrestle with community, autonomy

Jul 25, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Each person is never alone. They must live in community. Yet each also craves independence and autonomy. Citing Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32, Wieteke van der Molen told Mennonite...

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Mukawa calls for reconciliation with God, others

Jul 24, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Nzuzi Mukawa, a Congolese Mennonite Brethren pastor and educator and the MB Mission team leader for Sub-Saharan Africa, challenged his audience to leave Mennonite World Conference assembly...

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Praising in painful times

Jul 23, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Yukari Kaga, a pastor from Hokkaido, Japan, admitted Peter’s praise in his letter to the early church seems “a little strange to me.” Peter wrote this letter (1 Peter) in such a cruel...

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Speakers share doubts from their settings, journeys

Jul 22, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Three speakers — one each from Kenya, Canada and Ethiopia — shared stories of doubt in their local contexts at Mennonite World Conference’s morning worship on July 22. “We are...

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MWC assembly opens with call for walking together

Jul 22, 2015 by and

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 16th Mennonite World Conference Assembly opened July 21 in Harrisburg, with a parade of Mennonites from across the globe, with confession of past treatment of Native Americans in...

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On the Emmaus road, Christ opens our eyes

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Themes of transformation and understanding in the Luke 24 Emmaus road story were the focus of adult worship services at the Mennonite Church USA convention. Hal Shrader, lead pastor of...

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Youth speakers share stories of pain on life’s road

Jul 20, 2015 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Most of the six youth worship speakers addressed the week’s theme, “On the Way,” and scripture, Luke 24, by describing pain they had experienced and encounters they had with Jesus...

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It’s time for a new hymnal

Apr 27, 2015 by

The time is near for the next generation’s hymnal. Scheduled for release in 2020, it will be more than a printed book. Representatives from MennoMedia, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA laid...

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Opinion: What is the Word of the Lord?

Dec 22, 2014 by

Scripture readers at my church, Sargent Avenue Mennonite in Winnipeg, Man., sometimes conclude with the exclamation, “the Word of the Lord.” The congregation often adds, “praise be to God.” This was...

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