Who am I?

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?

Lessons from the little ones: Building bridges in Pittsburgh

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