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I am not sure what all will happen in the final stretch of the pandemic, but I guess we can call any point the beginning of the end. How do we know while we are still in it? There are some who think we are still in for some ups and downs rather than a steady decline of infections and a return to normal. I want to use this mid-week blog to examine the pandemic as an experience that we have shared in common. I want to spend some time recognizing the psychological and emotional experience we have been through. I will end with Some things you need to know. If you want, you have the option to...

Greetings “from” the Mennonite Church USA Convention.  This week, I’m participating in seminars and worship alongside people from around the country (and a few around the world), but I’m doing so from my home.  The sound quality might be better for the in-person convention, but I find the lodging accommodations for the online option to be quite comfortable.  :-)

We are nearing halfway through the convention, so I wanted to give a brief check-in about what I’ve been hearing and learning.  The theme for the week is “Bring the Peace,” and the main worship and bible study sessions have...

Friends,
Here's my first crack at a time-honored tradition.
First, let me thank you for trusting me to cover some of Joel's duties this summer while he is on sabbatical.
I will take this opportunity to reiterate my responsibilities:
I will help with worship coordination, assist any of the worship participants who need help, convene the 9:30 Sunday morning run-through of the service and convene the announcements at the end of the service.
I will attend the weekly staff meetings on Tuesday morning to see what things may need my attention.
I will meet...

Do not burn yourself out.  Be as I am.  A reluctant enthusiast and a part-time crusader.  A half-hearted fanatic.  Save the other half of yourselves for pleasure and adventure.  It is not enough to fight for the West.  It is even more important to enjoy it, while you can, while it’s still there.

– Naturalist Edward Abbey, quoted as an important life motto by restorative justice pioneer Howard Zehr in Summer 2007 edition of Peacebuilder

Ever since encountering these lines almost a decade and a half ago there’s been a remote region of my brain...

During our CDC Pastor Peer meeting last week our Conference Minister Doug Luginbill led a meditation on Exodus 34 which includes the words “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious…keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation…but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.”  There are all kinds of theological quagmires with this statement, some of which are addressed later in the Bible, but the question Doug posed was what it might look like to be the fifth generation.  In other words, if harm and...

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