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August 11, 2020

I was recently asked to write a reflection for the 10-year anniversary of the release of the album The Changing of the Guard by one of my all-time favorite indie-rock bands, Starflyer 59 Below is my reflection on their track “Trucker’s Son,” drawing connections between the lyrics and my family narrative. Has it already been 10 years? Yes, it has: On August 11, 2010, my dad died of renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer). I was 27; my dad was a month… Read more

June 6, 2020

“All in this together”? Policing and homelessness in South Bend, Indiana David C. Cramer and Carrie Badertscher  “We are all in this together.” It’s a phrase we hear often during this unprecedented time of crisis for our community. As pastors in South Bend’s Keller Park neighborhood, we have seen this phrase in action over the past few months, as our people have stepped up for those in need. After we converted our sanctuary into a food distribution center, we have… Read more

May 6, 2020

Love in the time of Corona—embracing our community center roots to meet the needs of neighbors in the midst of crisis By Carrie Badertscher and David C. Cramer Easter morning is the highlight of the year at Keller Park Church in South Bend, Indiana, where the two of us are copastors. We begin with a brunch, then have an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and then end with a celebratory service in which we proclaim Jesus’s victory over death:… Read more

February 29, 2020

Believe it or not, I once lived for two years at Moody Bible Institute, where my wife, Andrea, received her degree in TESOL. Moody Bible Institute has a well-earned reputation as a home of American evangelical conservatism (despite the slightly more radical roots of its founder). The on-campus apartment building we lived in was named Jerry B. Jenkins Hall, for example, after the major Moody donor of Left Behind fame. But while we were there, we met some fascinating people who didn’t… Read more

February 17, 2020

On Wednesday, February 12, Potawatomi author, poet, and storyteller Kaitlin Curtice spoke in chapel at my alma mater Baylor University about her journey of decolonizing her Christian faith, inviting students into their own journey of decolonization. During the first of three chapels, a student interrupted Curtice mid-address by shouting, “No one even thinks like that!” in response to Curtice’s statement that “in the church today, women are not seen as equal to men.” A Baylor-sanctioned student group that describes itself as… Read more

January 6, 2020

The following essay was coauthored by Charles F. Aked and Walter Rauschenbusch on July 8, 1915, in response to the current events of their day. The authors conclude their essay by welcoming its publishing and reprinting by “anyone who will give publicity to this protest.” Given the current events of our day, including the president’s recent tweet that “the United States just spend Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment” that it is willing to use on Iran, this “protest and… Read more

November 7, 2019

Yesterday the community at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary received word that our beloved New Testament professor emeritus, Willard M. Swartley, had died. This news came as a shock since Willard had remained so active in the life of the seminary since his retirement in 2004 that it felt like he would simply always be around. Just last Friday Willard joined us for a book celebration for our two Bible professors, who each recently published a book. He then stuck around… Read more

September 12, 2019

I preached my first sermon as teaching pastor at Keller Park Church on January 1, 2017. Preaching that day on Genesis 1-2, I concluded: When society marginalizes and degrades humans made in the image of God, the church must step up and speak God’s word of truth: You bear the image and likeness of God, and you are very good to God and to us. Affirming the fundamental worth and dignity of each human being we encounter as one who bears the… Read more

August 16, 2019

While studying at Baylor University, I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending fellow Baylor Bear and Wacoan, Jeremy Everett. Jeremy is the founder and director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, a project devoted to ending hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing, and community development. He’s a National Commission on Hunger congressional appointee who has testified before congress on how to provide evidence-based solutions for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. He has worked for international community organizations as a teacher,… Read more

August 14, 2019

While studying at Baylor University, I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending fellow Baylor Bear and Wacoan, Jeremy Everett. Jeremy is the founder and director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, a project devoted to ending hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing, and community development. He’s a National Commission on Hunger congressional appointee who has testified before congress on how to provide evidence-based solutions for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. He has worked for international community organizations as a teacher,… Read more




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