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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...

The Anabaptist World magazine runs a regular comic called Loaves and Fishsticks, by Steve Edwards.  In the most recent issue, the comic strip featured a person leading a children’s Sunday School class with a guitar in hand.  The leader invites the class to join in singing “Peace Like a River.”  Before they can begin, one of the children interjects to point out that they had just sung a song that claimed “God’s gonna trouble the water,” and she worries the mixed messages will result in a lifetime of theological doubt.  The final panel of the strip has the child angrily...

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