Blog

by CMC Pastoral Intern Ben Rudeen Kreider

This past Sunday pastor Joel preached on the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Joel wondered if its main message might not be for us to simply be Good Samaritans ourselves but to see the places we are in need, dependent on the unexpected compassion and neighborliness of others.

Part of the beauty of a good story is how it can be seen from multiple angles, open to nuance. Within the parable we heard this Sunday, my mind went to the perspective of the robbers, who stripped and beat and nearly killed the man traveling from...

The July issue of Sojourners magazine includes an article featuring icon artist Angela Manno.  As an established contemporary artist in the 90s Manno decided to explore liturgical art by studying under a master iconographer in the Byzantine-Russian style.  Manno explains that the process of icon creation itself carries spiritual meaning, mirroring our own creation.  The blank wooden board represents the tree of life.  To this 13 layers of white primer are added, representing pure consciousness.  A...

“And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”  Revelation 22:2

This week I’m transporting leaves from Columbus to Goshen, Indiana.  That’s where six of us from CMC will gather with other representatives from Central District Conference congregations for our annual meeting.   The leaves aren’t real – although they are colored on paper which I guess technically comes from trees.  CMC kids (and a few adults) colored them during our outdoor service at Highbanks a couple weeks ago.  All the CDC congregations are doing the same.  I believe we’ll be having a...

This coming Sunday is Pentecost.  One of the great phrases in that Acts 2 story occurs after the Spirit has swept through the upper room in Jerusalem where the Jesus followers had gathered, the sound of wind and flame mixing with the voices of festival pilgrims from all over the Roman world, each spontaneously declaring the praises of God in their own native language.  Onlookers are amazed and perplexed, looking at one another and asking, “What does this mean?”

It’s a question many of us across Mennonite Church USA are asking after having gathered last weekend from around the US for...

Joel and I meet monthly with other pastors and credentialed leaders from Central District Conference for conversation, support, and fellowship.  At the last gathering, the topic that was suggested for the group was to have everyone offer a few of their “10 Commandments for Ministry.”  What “thou shalts” or “thou shalt nots” help guide and ground the work that we do? 

Many helpful pieces of wisdom were offered around the circle, some were more lighthearted while others were attempts to tackle some of the harder issues of ministry.  We all agreed that most of the classics like “Thou...

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