Showing posts from January, 2011

Strengthening relationships to serve

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

January 23-26, 2011

Paraguay is a long way to go for a meeting. But it seemed worth it when it meant that representatives from global churches from around the world could meet together to talk about how Anabaptist-related service agencies could form a new network to work more effectively together.

In our congregations, we help our members who are in need and we help others in our communities, too. Through Mennonite World Conference, we can help our brothers and sisters in Anabaptist churches in other parts of the world. We know the needs are great. Think of Zimbabwe, Chile, Indonesia and elsewhere where political unrest and disasters have given us ample opportunities to show our love for one another.

There are Anabaptist-related service agencies around the world, too, that help us reach beyond our own members to communities in need. Large service agencies are in Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, the United States and elsewhere,…

Looking to the interests of others

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. -Phil. 2:4 This is meat canning week at the MCC Great Lakes facility in Goshen, Ind. In nine days, 1,500 volunteers will cut up, cook and can almost 80,000 pounds of turkey for MCC to distribute to hungry families around the world. Last year, for example, 33 tons of turkey and beef were sent to earthquake victims in Haiti. Yesterday, I met the committee of six that oversees this work in Goshen. They represent a broad spectrum of Mennonites and Amish in the community. I was told that likely 90% of the volunteers are from the Amish and the more conservative groups in the community. I was overwhelmed as I entered the cutting room. At long tables, maybe 100 people, most of them Amish, were cutting up turkey thighs to prepare them for cooking. Animated conversation was certainly not getting in the way of industriousness as the work quickly progressed. These volunteers are responding to a need, an…

Remaining maladjusted

For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. - Ephesians 2:10

Monday, Dr. Quinton Dixie, associate professor of religion at Purdue-Indiana University Fort Wayne was the featured speaker at the Martin Luther King Day prayer breakfast at Goshen (Ind.) College. He quoted King's call for us to remain maladjusted, never adjusting to segregation, the madness of militarism and other sins. King went on to say that it may well be that the world's salvation depends on the maladjusted.

King's quote reminded me of the weekend meeting I had just concluded with Damascus Road trainers, organizers, chaplains, partners and Mennonite Central Committee staff. Within the Anabaptist sphere, the Damascus Road program has provided valuable resources and education in helping agencies, congregations and members address racism head-on.

More recently, some Damascus Road folks have felt the program would be freer to grow an…