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We had a nice vacation with Abbie’s family in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  A highlight: having childcare back at the cabin while Abbie and I hiked to a waterfall and old growth part of the national forest.

I’m writing this from the basement of the church where I was dedicated as a baby – Bethel Mennonite Church in West Liberty, Ohio.  They hosted a lunch gathering today with about 20 area pastors to be in conversation with Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA.  Ervin will also be in Bluffton this evening for an open town hall meeting.  Conversation...

School’s out, summer has begun, and Eve has started softball practice.  With baseball having been a significant part of my life from an early age, I can’t help but be involved as an assistant coach.  Isn’t the standard progression of childhood development sit up, crawl, walk, run around the bases? 

This is the youngest level of organized play and one of things I’ve noticed so far is how little these kids know about the sport.  This makes perfect sense since they’ve never played before, but aren’t these things common knowledge?  While hitting, you don’t have to swing at every pitch...

And the winners are…

Our 12 Scriptures have been finalized.  Thanks to all who submitted lists, and to the group that helped collect, group, tally, and discern (it’s not as easy as it may seem).  The list of the “Troubling 6” is still being worked on.

I’ve listed the 12 Scriptures below in the order in which we’ll focus on them this summer.  You’ll notice I’ve grouped them in five themes, although there are, of course, plenty of overlaps.  Here are some other observations:

+ There are three Hebrew Scriptures and nine from the New Testament

+ Each of the Gospels...

For Sunday’s sermon I’ll be interviewing CMCer and MTSO seminary professor Linda Mercadante.  For the last five years she has been interviewing people who identify as “Spiritual but not Religious” and has recently published a book titled Belief Without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious.  Linda begins the Introduction to the book by stating, “’Nones’ – those who do not claim any particular communal faith identity – are on the rise.”  She goes on to note that approximately 46 million, more...

On Monday evening about 50 CMC folks gathered with about 3000 others from around the city for the annual BREAD Nehemiah Action at the Celeste Center at the Fairgrounds.  This was my first experience being a part of this gathering and so it was impressive to see this many folks turn out for a show of people power to address key justice issues in the county. 

Along with broad interfaith cooperation, one of things I most appreciate about BREAD is how we choose a single area of focus each year and a specific way of addressing that issue locally.  The three issues addressed at this...

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