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It is good to be back with the Columbus Mennonite community after my seven week sabbatical.  I know I’ve said it before, but it is truly an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve within a community that recognizes the value of setting aside intentional time for rest and renewal. 

I spent a bit of my time during sabbatical thinking, reading, and talking with others about youth ministry, but one thing that has stuck with me is something that is not restricted to the realm of youth ministry.  In the book Contemplative Youth Ministry, Mark Yaconelli asserts that so many...

 

This past Sunday was Pentecost.  It marks the transition of the liturgical year into Ordinary Time, which lasts all the way up to Advent.

Pentecost marks the birth of the church, with the key story found in Acts 2.  It’s the one where they were all together in one room “and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”  What sounded like wind looked like tongues of fire, with each person getting a piece of the flame.  Then a different sound: they all started to speak in other languages....

 

Monday was a great BREAD Nehemiah Action, with green-shirt-clad CMCers joining 2,500+ folks from 40+ congregations around Franklin County, mixing some critical yeast with critical mass.  There are many good things in motion, including the newest issue: safe, affordable housing for the 54,000 households in Franklin County who currently pay over 50% of their income toward rent or mortgage.  The city of Columbus is beginning to outline a 10 year plan to address the problem, and BREAD will be at the table.

At the Action I was asked to speak about justice from a Mennonite...

 

The church subscribes to a quarterly publication called Leader.  We distribute copies to various folks in leadership positions.  The theme of the most recent edition is Conflict.

One of the essays is by Richard Blackburn, long time director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center.  He notes that conflict is inherently emotionally charged.  A healthy response includes recognizing those emotions and, rather than distancing oneself from their source, to remain relationally connected with the other and approach them with curiosity.  His phrase for this is “moving toward...

 

Recently I’ve been reading from a book by Cynthia Lindner titled Varieties of Gifts: Multiplicity and the Well-Lived Pastoral Life.  She teaches at the University of Chicago Divinity School.  It’s a book about pastoral ministry, but much of it applies to anyone attempting adulthood.

One of the ideas I’ve found helpful is this: “Lively, functioning adult selves are always emerging from whatever sense of identity we’ve achieved” (p. 96).  Rather than a solid and continuous form of identity as the crowning achievement of adulthood – I’m a business...

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