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Last Thursday I was rather thrilled with the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si,” which speaks an eloquent and urgent pastoral word regarding climate change.  Rather than addressing just his fellow Catholics, or even fellow Christians, the document opens by saying, “Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet.”  Early on the Pope cites his namesake, Francis of Assisi, who taught...

Keeping on the theme of wider church gatherings this summer (Central District, Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite World Conference) …

My favorite book to read devotionally these days is The Experience of God: Icons of the Mystery by Raimon Panikkar.  Panikkar was the son of a Spanish Roman Catholic mother and Indian Hindu father, and became one of the world’s leading voices in interreligious dialogue, active up to his death in 2010 at age 91.

I usually read about a page or two a day (it’s dense) and Monday morning came across this lovely paragraph, about the nature of...

It is church conference/convention season.  Tomorrow through Saturday is the Central District Conference Annual Meeting, this year in Elkhart, Indiana on the campus of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary – my old stomping/studying grounds.  Six of us from Columbus Mennonite will be attending.  This gathering is mostly focused on relationship building and worship, and is always full of laughter.  Delegate sessions this year include discussion and a vote on a resolution called “...

A couple of months ago, I was having breakfast with a friend of mine and the conversation turned toward my experience as a gay man.  Because this woman is a friend and because she showed a genuine interest in hearing about my experiences, I was happy to share some of my story with her.  After we talked for a while, she said something along the lines of, “I love and support gay people, but I just don’t understand why they need to fly those rainbow flags outside their houses.  Why do I need to know what goes on in their bedrooms?”  

June is upon us, so we are all likely to see more...

School’s out tomorrow! – at least if you’re a second or third grader in Columbus City Schools.  Schools in the area are letting out, and many graduations have already happened.  Students are about to skip into the glory of summer, parents are about to adjust their routines, and teachers, God bless them, are about to finish their grading and enter into a much needed summer Sabbatical.

In church life, this Sunday will be our last session of spring Sunday school.  We will have a teacher appreciation time half way through the Sunday school hour.  A tremendous thank you to the teachers...

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