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
My most vivid memory from the fall of 1987 was sitting in a circle with my preschool classmates taking turns shaking a jar of cream an impossibly long time until it became—wonder of wonders!—butter. There isn’t much drama when you’re four: arguments over who plays with who on the playground, the boredom of lying wide awake on the mat during naptime, joy at seeing Mom again at the end of the day. Continue reading Living in grace and difference
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’re a simple people, right?
Yes, I’m a seminary student, but I am often frustrated with those who want to find answers for every single question in the Bible or to debate all the ins and outs of theology. I’m comfortable with a simple faith that learns and accepts, that ponders and lets go, that embraces the ambiguity. I only need to understand theology as far as it affects the way I live. Continue reading ‘Tis a gift to be complex