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
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
The rolling hills surrounding Harrisonburg, Virginia are beautiful this time of year. In some ways, they remind me of the mountains and farmland back home in Pennsylvania and I’m not surprised that Mennonites migrated here in the 18th century—it must have felt like home!
It’s my first visit to the main campus of Eastern Mennonite University, and as I drove down the highway toward EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute last week, the familiarity of the mountains and grazing cows only fed my anticipation. I was looking forward to studying with other leaders from around the world, cradled in the arms of a warm Mennonite community of scholars and practitioners. In other words, it would be a home away from home.
I was in for a wakeup call. Continue reading Who am I?
by Emily Ralph
“We didn’t grow up hearing about this,” one of the bishop’s staff members told me.
Some of the leaders gathered at the Southeast Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s assembly had heard about the reconciliation process, but for others, this was a brand new story. “In the 16th century, the early Lutheran reformers, furious that the so-called Anabaptists did not share the same theology of baptism, used their influence and power to persecute Mennonite Christians,” Lutheran Bishop Claire Burkat said. Her words were greeted with an audible response and she nodded her acknowledgement at the horror. Continue reading Perfect Fellowship