Practicing Reconciliation

Practicing Reconciliation provides a blog space to pose hard questions and test possibilities as we form a storm-worthy moral canopy for these anxious, precarious and violently polarized times. We need a moral canopy under which we can stand together, even with our differences. We need a moral canopy to provide faith communities with the resilience to withstand the onslaught of the storm, and to provide compassionate, just leadership on behalf of those most at risk. Such a canopy can only be woven of hard-won convictions, usually forged in crucibles of suffering and tested with strenuous, respectful and socially embodied argumentation until proven storm-worthy — and worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In her Practicing Reconciliation blog, AMBS president Sara Wenger Shenk, prods us to move beyond polarized thinking toward wholeness and abundant life in Christ, who is our peace.

My deep formation as a child included the resounding word from pulpits, parents and teachers: Without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). I was captivated. ...

I am delighted to post this advent homily by Dr. Mary Schertz, AMBS Professor of New Testament and Director of the Institute of Mennonite Studies, one of three powerful sermons ...

Leading in Anxious Times

November 24, 2014

It’s a sleepless night. I can’t remember another one. Short nights, yes. But one entirely without sleep? No. At least not since those notorious all-nighters during c...

I am pleased to post this piece from Dr. Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, associate dean for leadership education and director of the AMBS Church Leadership Center. Her recent prese...

I love my job. I often awaken with gratitude welling up—this despite enormous stress throughout “our industry”: theological education. Two years into the jo...

“Go…. So that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-3). “Go.” Leave what is known… for some place that is not yet known. The call of ...

Spiritual Smuggery

July 18, 2014

The preacher talked about being “spiritually smug” in the sermon and something went ping in my head. None of us would want to think of ourselves as high on the spiri...

Avoiding Avoidance

May 29, 2014

Dr. Malinda Berry is joining the AMBS faculty this July. I am pleased to post her recent piece from Mennonite Life in the series, "On Teaching John Howard Yoder," as a...

Thoughtful friends occasionally send me reading suggestions. Carl Keener, professor emeritus of biology at Penn State University, wrote to me last week with extended comments ab...

I just completed reading a new, beautiful book written by two cousins about my grandparents, called A.D. & Annie: Stories, letters and memories of A.D.Wenger and Annie Lehma...

I fear no evil

April 2, 2014

I preached on Psalm 23 last Sunday--the Lenten psalm of the day. I’m guessing some folks might have thought “Why would a seminary president go out of her way to prea...

I’ve long said I wish as a church we could open our hands to receive the irreconcilable dilemma we’re faced with around sexual orientation, as a gift from God. Am I ...

In an earlier blog post, I called this A (potentially transformative) Teachable Moment in the life of our church. A number of AMBS faculty offered ideas about conversations we s...

In an earlier blog post, I called this A (potentially transformative) Teachable Moment in the life of our church. A number of AMBS faculty offered ideas about conversations we s...

Bleak Mid-Winter Lament

January 9, 2014

Over the recent long days of snow and extreme cold in northern Indiana, Chanticleer’s “In the bleak mid-winter” held me in its grip. Not sure why. I turned to ...

Imagining the Good Life

November 18, 2013

A few years ago, Jewish ethicist and educator Hanan Alexander published a book called Reclaiming Goodness—Education and the Spiritual Quest. “People are searching...

In this post I share a “pastoral letter” from Anabaptists in the United Kingdom who are praying for us. Alan Kreider notes this in introductory comments to the lette...

The pulse of our church-wide network of connection is racing in recent weeks. Anxiety has spiked for some persons with the reemergence of deliberations around John Howard Yoder&...

Time has its way. As does the Spirit. The accelerating interest in and widespread appreciation for John Howard Yoder’s theological work has also provoked renewed calls ...

Standing our ground

July 22, 2013

Many people raised our voices in loud lamentation last week when a court ruled that a man who killed his unarmed 17-year-old black neighbor was legally justified within Florida&...

Facing hard truth

June 6, 2013

Practicing reconciliation means facing the hard truth about what is broken. Most often what is broken is a relationship with someone we trusted or who trusted us. No doubt all o...

One of the top reasons I make brief runs through Facebook postings is to see what people are reading. What we post reveals what we care about. It announces which perspectives we...

Chapel last Friday was a retelling of the post-resurrection story of Jesus and Peter on the lake shore in at least six different ways: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?...

There was a lot of talk in my growing up years about being “separate from the world.” At least some of the markers of that separateness were enforced by bishops and ...

I remember the panic that welled up as I took the phone call from Germany. We were meeting in Croatia as an MCC “fraternity” of students working in Eastern Europe. O...