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
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
“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
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