by Emily Ralph Servant I stand in my backyard and take a deep breath, filling my lungs with cool autumn air. “Thank you,” I whisper to the trees, the grass, the purple asters, and hot pink anemone. This is God’s chesed love in action: providing just what we need, just when we need it. In a complicated … Continue reading Chesed Love is the Air We Breathe
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
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
He was sitting in a chair with his back to a room full of Mennonite preschoolers. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me as I sat down on the floor next to him, using everything I had in my bag of tricks. I had offered my afternoon to help with the preschool class at Mennonite USA Convention and something drew me to this little loner. Every question I asked was greeted with a shake of his head and a mournful whimper. Continue reading Lessons from the little ones: Building bridges in Pittsburgh