In this time of heightened tension and division in our political, social and church arenas, we, as the faculty of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, commit ourselves to right remembering and faithful action:
- We remember that all of us are created in the image of God.
- We remember that we were all once strangers and aliens.
- We remember that people from every tribe, tongue and nation are welcomed into the reign of God.
- We remember that the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament and Jesus Christ all prioritized the welfare of “the least of these”— the widow, orphan, foreigner and the one in need
Right remembering requires us to say ‘no’ to any strategy or action that seeks to secure our well-being at the expense of others.
Right remembering moves us to praise and thanksgiving for God’s love and welcome for each of us, no matter who we are or where we are from.
Right remembering reminds us we are citizens first of God’s reign and are at home in God’s household.
Right remembering inspires faithful action, emboldening us to offer love for God and neighbor with heart, body, mind and spirit through daily acts of creative, courageous witness to God’s reconciling mission. We demonstrate these commitments in a sampling of current acts of witness noted below, and commit to join with others in finding new ways as a seminary community to continue to act into the future:
- Organizing the developing Elkhart County Sanctuary Coalition: Jamie Pitts, Ph.D., with AMBS MDiv student Julia Schmidt, former student/current partner Pastor José Luis Gutierrez, and others. (Read more)
- Intercultural reading of the Bible was the focus of our March 2–3 Theological Lectureship, with guest Hans de Wit, Ph.D., professor emeritus of theology at the Free University of Amsterdam, sharing about his work with an international intercultural Bible reading project that brought together “ordinary” readers, Bible teachers, pastors and scholars from different countries in five continents to study a biblical text. (Read more)
- A four-week study group, “Study with our elders: Martin Luther King and women of the Civil Rights Movement,” in collaboration with the People’s History of Elkhart, took place on Monday evenings in January and February with Jamie Pitts, Ph.D., assistant professor of Anabaptist studies.
- Migration and Pentecost; Creation in Travail and Creation Renewed; and Conflict, Oppression and Shalom are three webinars with AMBS professors and Dr. Greg Boyd — scholar, author, pastor and leading Neo-Anabaptist thinker — offered through AMBS’s Church Leadership Center (ambs.edu/webinars).
- Rooted and Grounded: A Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship, April 20–22, will invite us to imagine and embody alternative ways of relating to the land that cultivate shalom between human beings, creation and God.
Courses and research
- Witness Colloquium: “Seeking refuge and pursuing justice” (every Wednesday), with Janna Hunter-Bowman, Ph.D., assistant professor of peace studies and Christian social ethics, and Jason Shenk, seasoned organizer and coordinator of the People’s History of Elkhart. Participants are focusing on ways to witness against violence and bigotry in promotion of safety and justice. An active bystander training will be offered.
- The Trail of Death: A Pilgrimage of Remembrance, Lament and Transformation, June 1–9. Participants in this summer course will trace the route of the 1838 forced removal of Potawatomi people by the U.S. military from their ancestral homeland in northern Indiana to present-day Osawatomie, Kansas.
- Courses: God’s Shalom and the Church’s Witness with David B. Miller, D.Min., associate professor of missional leadership development; and Economic Justice and Christian Conscience with Malinda Berry, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology and ethics
- Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations course, June 12-30. Sessional instructor Jacqueline Hoover, a teaching affiliate in Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations at the University of Nottingham (U.K.), will lead students in examining foundational Islamic narratives and texts and how Muslims have interpreted these in law, doctrine and spirituality through the centuries.
- “Scribes for the Reign of God,” a collaborative scholars’ project hosted by the Dean’s Office and the Institute of Mennonite Studies, is focusing this year on migration, with Safwat Marzouk, Ph.D., associate professor of Old Testament; Rachel Miller Jacobs, D.Min., assistant professor of congregational formation; and Daniel Schipani, Ph.D., Dr. Psy., professor of pastoral care and counseling.
Right remembering compels us to say ‘no’ to disengagement and isolationism and ‘yes’ to all that contributes to the common good, builds community, seeks peace with justice and binds compassion to truth.
It is to Jesus Christ, and to God’s reign, that we pledge our ultimate and unconditional allegiance. We pledge our allegiance with gratitude for God’s past faithfulness, the Spirit’s present guidance, and in hope for signs of new creation and new humanity in the future.
Lois Y. Barrett, professor of theology and Anabaptist studies
Malinda Berry, assistant professor of theology and ethics
Janna Hunter-Bowman, assistant professor of peace studies and Christian social ethics
Rachel Miller Jacobs, assistant professor of congregational formation
Loren L. Johns, professor of New Testament
Andy Brubacher Kaethler, assistant professor of Christian formation and culture
Safwat Marzouk, associate professor of Old Testament
David B. Miller, associate professor of missional leadership development
Ben C. Ollenburger, professor of biblical theology
Jamie Pitts, assistant professor of Anabaptist studies
Allan Rudy-Froese, associate professor of Christian proclamation
Mary H. Schertz, professor of New Testament
Daniel S. Schipani, professor of pastoral care and counseling
Rebecca Slough, academic dean; associate professor of worship and the arts
Sara Wenger Shenk, president