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This evening is the annual Commission Workshop.  This is when new and returning commission members, over 30 people, get together for a meal, get oriented to leadership and logistics, and have their first meeting of the commission year.  CMC commissions are Christian Ed, Community Life, Facilities, Shepherding, Worship, plus Leadership Team and the SHARE team – formerly Mission Coordinator.   

The lame ducks, as outgoing congregational chair Dan Halterman has referred to himself, have now completed their work and get a much-deserved rest.  Our commissions are the steadily...

Wednesday evening I got back from a three-day symposium titled “Jews and Mennonites: Reading the Bible After the Holocaust.” Much of the credit for this gathering goes to John Kampen who some of you know as the former Academic Dean of Bluffton University and Methodist Theological School in Ohio.  John’s longtime scholarship and relationship building within American Judaism made this long-overdue conversation possible and brought in remarkable Jewish leaders like New Testament scholar (Yes, there are Jewish New Testament scholars)...

In the most recent Lamplighter, Dan Lehman submitted an article on behalf of the Shepherding Commission that talked about all the different things that commission does. Before going to print, he ran it by the commission for any edits, and I offered one small change. In the section about how the commission assists people experiencing conflict and crisis, Dan wrote that Joel and I “offer counseling services any time and are specifically trained to do so.” While that is technically true, I suggested he change it to “pastoral counseling.” 

My suggestion came from the thought that when...

Last evening around 60 CMCers joined 1600+ folks at the BREAD Nehemiah Action at the Celeste Center.  It’s the climax of BREAD’s annual cycle of organizing around solutions to problems facing folks in Franklin County.  Here are three things I’m chewing on the morning after….

+ One of the opening reflections was given by Rabbi Alex Braver of Congregation Tifereth Israel.  He referenced BREAD’s framing biblical story of the Exodus, with Pharaoh representing the entrenched forces that set themselves against justice, and BREAD congregations representing the plague of the gnats –...

It’s good to have friendships across borders.  It enlarges our world and personalizes distant places.  In Christian language, it is the nature of the body of Christ to transgress boundaries of tribe and nation.  In Christ we are one. 

I’d like to use this week’s midweek reflection to pass along a message from a friend of the congregation, Yasir Makki.  Yasir studied at OSU about two decades ago and was part of CMC before returning to his homeland of Sudan where he leads churches and a school.  He visits us and other local churches annually to give updates and invite continued...

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