Perry Bush has set himself a daunting task: to tell the story of Mennonite pacifism from World War I through Vietnam. Drastic theological shifts, the expansion of denominational bureaucracies in response to wartime pressures, the experiences of individual draftees: all are part of this complex narrative.
With “a flood of enrollments and inquiries” in late September, a mutual aid health-care project in the Mennonite Church USA is expected to start on January 1. The so-called Corinthian Plan expects to provide health insurance for nearly 70 percent of eligible pastors who have lacked medical coverage.
When pastors Constanzo and Marisela Aguirre decided to copastor a congregation in Aurora, Illinois, they had to give up health insurance because the small congregation could not afford it. Soon the Aguirres and other Mennonite pastors may have a solution. An insurance plan created by the Mennonite Church USA would give every pastor essentially the same coverage—with larger and wealthier congregations subsidizing smaller congregations.
A few months ago, I discovered a Mennonite online dating service: MennoMeet (a friend asked, “MennoMeet or MennoMeat?”). It’s a members-only network, so to participate you have to apply. Nervous about online dating in the first place, I liked the idea of starting with the familiar and comfortable world of my Mennonite faith background.
When I read the lectionary texts for this week, I was disappointed. Give me texts of David sinning, Amos raging against the “cows” of Bashan or Jesus again in trouble for loving outcasts. These I can run with. But don’t give me Paul always confident, walking by faith and not sight, apparently really feeling he’d rather be at home with the Lord than in his body, regarding no one from a human point of view.
At this time of the winter countless high school basketball teams are trying to dribble, pass and shoot their way to a state championship. Glamorized in small-town lore and big-budget movies, reaching the state tournament is a dream shared by most any student athlete who has put on a basketball jersey (or soccer cleats or football pads or a wrestling singlet or softball glove).
More than two months after their arrest, three evangelists and a staff member of the Mennonite Church in Vietnam remain imprisoned, their status unknown. The four were arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on March 2.