August 12, 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

July 26, 2019

[This open letter is a guest post from my co-pastor, Carrie Badertscher. She writes this explanation about the circumstances of the letter:  Over the last eight years I have had the privilege of hearing countless life stories from individuals I meet. Their stories are filled with struggle, but also great bravery in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories and their bravery have changed my life and the way I see the world. Oftentimes I’m at a loss on… Read more

July 22, 2019

Two weeks ago my family and I were gearing up to head to Kansas City, where I was scheduled to lead a series of youth sessions on “Big Questions” at the Mennonite Church USA 2019 convention (MennoCon19) on behalf of AMBS. Although I had been a member of an MCUSA church for five years while a grad student in Texas and have followed denomination closely, I’d never been to a Mennonite Church convention and didn’t know quite what to expect…. Read more

June 5, 2019

Last year the church where I serve as teaching pastor, Keller Park Church (South Bend, Indiana), celebrated its 50th anniversary—or our very own year of Jubilee. To celebrate this occasion, I preached a series on the Jubilee theme as found in the Gospel of Luke (with allusions to Isaiah and Leviticus). Below is the seventh sermon of the series. (While you’re here, check out the other sermons, Revolution, Release, Rest-oration, Remembrance, Recovery, and Repentance.) One sunny summer afternoon a few years ago I was driving with my… Read more

May 28, 2019

[This post continues a series on Mennonite pastor and writer Melissa Florer-Bixler’s new book, Fire by Night: Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament. If you’re just joining us, see also my introduction to the series and my posts on chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3.] In chapter 4 of Fire by Night, “God of Memory,” Melissa Florer-Bixler ups that ante from writing about Sodom and Gomorrah to writing about the Amalekites, the nation of whom God commanded the Israelites to “blot out… Read more

May 23, 2019

[This post continues a series on Mennonite pastor and writer Melissa Florer-Bixler’s new book, Fire by Night: Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament. If you’re just joining us, see also my introduction to the series and my posts on chapter 1 and chapter 2.] In chapter 3 of Fire by Night, “God of Victims,” Melissa Florer-Bixler writes about a favorite story of progressive, Mennonite, pacifist pastors: God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. (What’d you expect?)… Read more

May 12, 2019

When I was a kid, I lived in a neighborhood with a bunch of other boys right around my age. And so all throughout the year, but especially in the summer, my brother and I would often leave home to play with our friends. We might go swimming in Mike’s backyard. We might play the board game RISK at Chuck’s house. We might explore in the woods behind Brian’s house. Or we might play baseball or football in the empty… Read more

May 6, 2019

In 1984, Alberta Billy, an Aboriginal member of the United Church of Canada, or UCC, told the UCC leadership: “It is time you apologize to Native people.” Two years later the General Council of the UCC met to discuss what such an apology might entail, while the Native elders waited outside in a gravel parking lot. Finally, the UCC leaders finished their apology and came out to read it to the elders. It read, Long before my people journeyed to… Read more

May 5, 2019

Yesterday afternoon I returned home from AMBS’s commencement ceremony to learn that writer Rachel Held Evans had died at 37. Even though I knew she was in the hospital with serious medical complications, this news was a punch in the gut. At the height of the blogosphere at the start of the decade, I followed her blog regularly. One of the things I admired about her writing was the way she used her platform to encourage, champion, and celebrate women’s… Read more

May 2, 2019

This past Wednesday, the Institute of Mennonite Studies where I work hosted our annual publication celebration in conjunction with the dean’s office of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. As part of our celebration, I researched the history of the event, going back 37 years to its genesis with then-director and AMBS New Testament professor Willard Swartley, and tracing its development through recently retired IMS director, Mary Schertz, and my immediate predecessor as managing editor, Barbara Nelson Gingerich. Each year for the… Read more

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