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This Friday I’ll be heading up to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana to meet with a small group of folks to discuss a compelling question: What are the five most important conversations the church needs to have in the next decade? This conversation about these conversations was initiated by the Institute of Mennonite Studies, the research and publishing department of AMBS. 

It’s an exciting event to be a part of and is encouraging to see the wider church asking this kind of big and long term question of itself, of us.  It’s a chance to...

This fall-ish weather has been great – is Columbus like this all the time?!  It’s also somewhat of a reminder that summer is vanishing and the school year is pretty near.  Many of you have had the chance to take vacations out of town, are currently on vacation, or are planning one soon.  Wendell Berry is a favorite writer of mine (as you’ll be reminded on many occasions, I’m sure) and I came across this poem this week.  Vacation well, and may your pictures take you deeper into the experience rather than distance you from it.

The Vacation 

By Wendell...

Three items that caught my eye today to pass along this midweek:

1. Jesus – One of the top current nonfiction bestsellers is called Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan.  As the title suggests, it is one scholar’s effort to detail the historical setting in which Jesus lived – Roman occupied Palestine in the first century.  As the title also suggests, the author believes Jesus to best be characterized as a zealot, a political subversive.  This is not a new claim, but the book is generating a lot of interest.  Reza Aslan is a...

For the last number of years Abbie and I have become more involved in growing, harvesting, and preserving our own food – or food that family or friends have grown. We had chickens in our backyard in Cincinnati that through some miracle consistently turned our food scraps we would feed them into delicious eggs. But when we put our Cincinnati house on the market we hid our coop in a neighboring garage and planted grass seed over our garden. Didn’t want to scare off any potential buyers.

This year has been one long transition, and we’re on the home stretch. We’re doing work on the...

There’s been a lot of focus on breath this week at church.  Vacation Bible School is in full swing with the theme, “Breathe in, God gives life.”  We’ve talked about how the Hebrew word for breathruakh – is the same word translated Spirit and wind.  Scriptures so far have included the breath of life in Genesis 2 in God’s humorous, and profound, formula for making a person (Dirt + Breath = Human).  We’ve talked about Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones, and the impossible hope of breath giving life where there was no life.  Yesterday we looked at the disciples...

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