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Earlier this summer I was accepted to be a part of a twelve day learning tour in November to Israel/Palestine.  Mennonite Central Committee has been leading these tours for the last few years, giving church leaders the opportunity to become acquainted first hand with the daily realities of life there.  Historically Mennonites have worked especially closely with Palestinian Christians and Israeli peace groups.

This will be my third trip to that region, also 2000 and 2004.  Because I find it easier to sympathize with Palestinians, who continue to be on the receiving end of so much...

The Alban Institute puts out helpful essays about church life and this week I came across an archived article titled, “Spiritual Identity and Worship Planning.”  The author draws from the work of Urban T. Holmes who wrote a book called Discover Your Spiritual Type which names four types of spiritual identity: mystic, feeling, thinking, and visionary.  These could also be named contemplative, charismatic, intellectual, and crusader (that is a lousy word with its association with violent wars, but it...

Last week approximately 20-30 children gathered at the church every evening between Sunday and Thursday for Vacation Bible School.  A big thanks to all who helped make VBS possible this year.  It would not have happened without the willing and graceful leadership of organizers, teachers, snack preparers, game leaders, craft artisans, drama thespians, sound-system operators, parent-chauffeurs, and anyone else I have forgotten.  

The theme of the week was “Message Received: Hearing God’s Call,” and we heard a different story every night about someone in the Bible receiving a message...

If you were unable to attend worship on Sunday you missed a wonderful celebration of Mark’s credentialing, including a powerful sermon reflecting on Jesus’ parable of the banquet in Luke 14.  We were honored to have numerous out of town guests (32 to be precise), many from Central District Conference, and there were various times of spontaneous applause and Amen-ing.  The sermon can be read or heard on our website HERE, and a few pictures are posted on our church’s Facebook page...

Our family arrived back from vacation last Thursday night.  We had all driven out to Kansas City, Eve and me staying for the Convention, Abbie taking Lily and Ila on to her hometown of Quinter in Western Kansas.  After Convention we joined up in Quinter and spent a week in the mountains near Gunnison, Colorado, in a cabin that Abbie’s grandpa built several decades ago.

It was a significant transition going from the hyperconnectivity of Convention – with face-to-face and facebook-to-facebook conversations happening all day every day – to a setting in which phone and internet...

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