Building the Kin-Dom

Last week, I had the opportunity to help chaperone a group of four of CMC’s high school boys on a service-learning trip through Appalachia Build (formerly known as SWAP). We spent the week in Kimball, West Virginia building a deck with a ramp for a household that included a young…

Preparing For Another Guest

Today the CMC support team for Keilin received word that Keilin gave birth to her daughter, Amor (which means Love). Keilin was an asylum seeker from Venezuela and lived in our church apartment with her four-year-old son Gerald from January to April.  She made the difficult decision to leave the…

A Missing Link

Last summer, leaders from Central District Conference (CDC) had a retreat to determine the conference theme for the next two years.  We landed on Wisdom.  That’s Wisdom with a capital W, as in the name given the feminine character in Proverbs 8 who raises her voice “at the topmost heights,…

Tending and Attending

This coming Sunday is our second annual (?!?) Youth-led worship service, where not only will our young people be leading us in the various worship-leading roles, but three of them will also offer sermon meditations as the message for the day. This is our second year organizing this service, and…

The Warm Winds of Heaven

Last spring I blogged about a first of its kind gathering of Mennonites and Jews at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) called “Reading the Bible after the Holocaust.”  We covered topics ranging from New Testament scholarship, shared historic experience, the dangers of emphasizing common ground in dialogue, Mennonites and the…

Jane at 90

One of my favorite living humans I’ve never met, Jane Goodall, turned 90 this month.  She is, perhaps, the matron saint of paying attention. She is most famous for her work among the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.  Initially an outsider to the scientific community, without a…

What Holds Us Together?

A while back Joel preached a sermon where he talked about a theory originated by Phyllis Tickle that the Christian Church goes through a great shift or reformation approximately every 500 years. Tickle (and Joel) used the metaphor of the 500-year rummage sale as a way to think about how…

The Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth: Substitution vs. Solidarity

Sub.sti.tu.tion – the action of replacing someone or something with another person or thing. Sol.i.dar.i.ty – union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests. It’s Holy Week, a time dense with memory and meaning.  Within this short span, the gospels speak of the betrayal by Judas, Jesus’ final meal…

Wider Church Happenings

Tomorrow morning I’ll be driving up to Goshen for three days of meetings with the Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council.  The CLC is an advisory and listening group – rather than decision-making body — made up of representatives of area conferences and constituency groups.  As the President-elect of Central…

Over Half…

What if the majority of the world’s 8 billion people could share in a season of spiritual grounding?  What if over half of humanity would focus, all at the same time, on the practices that lead to harmony within oneself and justice in society?  Well… The Muslim month of Ramadan…