The World Together blog
From as far back as I can remember, I was aware that my family’s faith traditions were different than those of my friends. I was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas — located on the southernmost tip of Texas — where my family’s history dates back to the early 20th century. But I grew up attending the Mennonite church, Iglesia Menonita del Cordero, that my parents started in the late 1960s.
In the last generation of Western Christianity, we’ve seen a lot of new churches launch around a house church model instead of the “traditional” model. I use traditional in quotes because if you know Christian history, you know that the earliest church also operated on a house church model. In that case of course, it wasn’t so much a strategic model as it was a necessity since they were a minority of mostly poor people who were at times persecuted and at the very least consistently treated as outside the norm of Roman life.
The U.S. incarcerates more people, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of its population, than any other country in the world — more than Saudi Arabia, more than China, more than North Korea, more than any of those countries that we think of as repressive. One in four prisoners in the world is in a U.S. prison.
Jay B. Landis recently published a book of fine poetry, Verse Assignments, which I have been enjoying. He was a professor of mine at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., and taught in the English department over 50 years, which was my major.
Jennifer Murch and her family began a Mennonite Central Committee term in Guatemala in January.
Yes. It is horrible that a man held three women and a child captive in his home for years.
I’ve been humming Bruce Cockburn’s song today, after learning yesterday about the passing of Dallas Willard, who was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer late last year.
It’s quite possible clothes I’m wearing or are in my house were made in the Bangledeshi building that collapsed and killed over 700 people. About five months ago another building collapsed there and killed 112 garment workers. Retailers like Wal-mart, The Children’s Place, Cato, and Dress Barn have previously purchased garments from the factories in this building.
With Pope Francis settling in and enjoying a media honeymoon it is too soon to say if anything much has changed. One commentator picked up on “evangelical gestures” and a fresh style. It will take more than gestures and some papal shabby chique, but I have the impression that he is waving in our direction. In turn some reciprocal gestures of welcome have been coming from Latin American evangelicals. Luis Palau and Gaston Bruno expressed a hope that the new Pope would help to build bridges between Roman Catholics and Protestants.
What do we do in moments of stress and change? Some of us reach for a box of chocolates, others of us surf the Internet, pick up a good book or run a marathon. Some persons turn to pornography, alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drugs. Others of us — well, we just go fishing.