“My friend looked at me with tears in her eyes. ‘That was me. I never wanted to do this, but I didn’t know how to get out.'” Continue reading Look Around and Be Alert
All meaningful conversations should happen around a table filled with good food. This particular Sunday afternoon, as we laughed together and swapped stories, the conversation inevitably drifted to human sexuality. “Is this what your legacy is going to be?” I asked Loren Swartzendruber, president of Eastern Mennonite University. The university has been in the midst … Continue reading Settling into our legacy
“Why don’t you take off your coat and stay awhile?”
I couldn’t get my friend’s words out of my mind. I had been in my new home for four months and still my walls were bare. It was time. Continue reading The chaos isn’t going anywhere
“It used to be that we all showed up at Conference Assembly to see what we were going to argue about that year,” my friend told me. We laughed together, but I knew there was truth in her statement: our conference gatherings have not always been places for burying the hatchet or beating swords into plowshares. Continue reading The story of an overactive imagination
As we neared the park, the police officer guiding our prayer walk through the streets of Phoenix thanked Mennonite Church USA’s leaders for allowing her to participate in the event. “Many groups string out and lag behind,” she said, “But you guys stick together, you’re fit, and you’re prayerful. You’ve made my day.” Continue reading We’re fit, prayerful, and we stick together
I would have told you that I didn’t need a woman leading our denomination.
I would have been wrong. Continue reading We see ourselves
Sitting at the kitchen table, savoring a vegetarian groundnut stew with Catherine and Michael and their two boys, I listen as they describe the racist direction of recent laws passed by the North Carolina legislature. Christians in their community have mobilized, joining weekly protests and acts of civil disobedience. The members of their small congregation in Chapel Hill continue to wrestle with their response as people of privilege in the midst of overwhelming injustice. Continue reading Taste and see
Admittedly, I’ve not been a huge fan of Mennonite Church USA’s vision statement. It’s felt cliché as we’ve reiterated a utopic collection of Anglo American Mennonites’ favorite words strung into a sequence.
This past weekend, as I accompanied Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, Mennonite Church USA moderator-elect, to worship with Mennonite congregations in New York City, I realized something.
Our vision sounds different in Spanish. Continue reading The vision sounds different
I hate the cold. I mean, really hate the cold. Sure, snow is beautiful resting on the barn roof or lightly coating the hedge, but when it’s on my car, the road, or me, enough is enough.
I’ve found myself this winter dreaming about moving to Hawaii. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but on TV it looks like the sun is always shining and a gentle ocean breeze always keeps it at a comfortable temperature for flip-flops and shorts. They don’t have winter in Hawaii. That sounds just about perfect to me. Continue reading Seasons change: a New Year’s reflection
“When I was growing up, I was only allowed one scoop of ice cream for snack,” I told my congregation’s children a number of years ago during our Easter Sunday service. I wrinkled my nose as I looked at the piddly scoop of ice cream in my hands. “That’s not very extravagant, is it?”
Such a big word deserved a big illustration, so I pulled out a giant mixing bowl and began scooping ice cream out of a bucket. Eventually, I gave up and just dumped in the whole gallon, much to the children’s delight. Continue reading Extravagant, reckless love