On Sept. 18, 1923, the first issue of a four-page newspaper appeared in Newton, Kan., bearing the grandiose title of Mennonite Weekly Review. The goal, according to H.P. Krehbiel, president of the Herald Publishing Co., was to provide “an English Mennonite periodical suitable particularly to the needs of the Middle West.”
Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’s classic 17th-century spiritual autobiography, describes the Christian life as a tale of a solitary individual on a long and difficult journey.
MÜNSTER, Germany — In the city infamous as the site of an attempt to establish an Anabaptist kingdom by force in 1535, more than 100 people participated in a conference on “Mennonites in the Era of National Socialism” Sept. 25-28.
Growing up in Holmes County, Ohio, I attended Sunday evening services that featured the stories of missionaries on furlough from assignments in exotic locations. I particularly remember a presentation by Albert and Lois Buckwalter, then hard at work alongside indigenous groups in the Argentinian Chaco translating the Bible.
In March 2014, troops from Russia occupied and annexed Crimea, escalating a civil war in Ukraine that has left thousands homeless and thousands more facing extreme shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies. For some Mennonites in North America — particularly those whose ancestors once lived there — the crisis triggers a deep emotional response.
Several years ago, while strolling through a farmer’s market just outside of Guatemala City, I encountered a group of teenagers dressed in distinctive, conservative Mennonite garb but speaking fluent Spanish to each other and to the vendors. Intrigued, I asked them about their story.
The announcements of congregational withdrawals from Mennonite Church USA and the subsequent formation of new affiliations have generated considerable anxiety in the church at large. But a similar process of separation and realignment has been taking place in various parts of the Mennonite church for a long time.
“The press,” writes Franklin Klassen, editor of Chaco-Press, a new monthly newspaper published in the Menno Colony of the Paraguayan Chaco, “is the conscience of a society. When offenses happen, the press must sound the alarm.”
Scores of Mennonite writers, poets, scholars and lovers of literature will gather at Fresno (Calif.) Pacific University in March for the seventh “Mennonite/s Writing Conference.”
On Nov. 16, 1885, Louis Riel, a political and spiritual leader of the Métis people of western Canada, was executed in Regina, Sask., on the charge of treason.