What follows are 95 theses about faith and practice in Mennonite Church USA. Each one comes from my own experience as I’ve pondered what appears to be a shrinking moderate voice in the denomination.
As a high school history teacher for over thirty years, I’ve been pondering the meaning of the five-hundred-year anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, and some months ago I began jotting down my own ideas, which eventually led to the following list.
I write from a moderate’s point of
On the first Saturday of December, each year, our friends host a bluegrass music event in Timberville, Virginia. It goes from about 4-12 pm, and there are dozens of musicians and others who come to enjoy about six different rooms where groups of pickers make good music. Our group, December 3, 2016, played familiar gospel tunes.
The historian got to turn an interior iron crank that released water at Silver Lake, Dayton, Virginia, which turned the early 20th century red wheel. The water flowed towards Cooks Creek, which drained towards the North River and eventually the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, which reached the Potomac River and finally the Chesapeake Bay. This mill was burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War and rebuilt after the war. As with the water which bubbles forth from the Silver Lake spring
Elwood Yoder recently joined The Mennonite online’s blogging team. He teaches history in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has taught high school history and social studies courses for 34 years, since 1988 at Eastern Mennonite High School. Elwood has written seven books, including congregational histories and historical novels. Elwood is Editor of Shenandoah Mennonite Historian, and he is also …
via Upper Room Revival.
It was a nice surprise to find a copy of the historian’s recent book about Weavers Mennonite Church on display in the Hartzler Library at Eastern Mennonite University. In a trip to the library, March 2016, to check out a book for research, it was a fun, serendipitous moment to walk by the new book shelf and see the work of five years.
On a cold day in Philadelphia, December 2015, the historian’s family visited Independence Hall and enjoyed stopping in front of George Washington’s statue. With hand on a book, the sculptor captures the importance of our first president for his many accomplishments at a place where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted and signed. In his other hand he holds a sword, symbol of his role as Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary forces. My family and des
Pleasant Grove Mennonite Church had its beginning in 1885, started as a missions outreach of the Northern District churches of the Virginia Mennonite Conference. Today the building is still usable, but no congregation meets there, except for the occasional special service. At the time of this photo, 2015, the pews were still in place inside, with hymnbooks, and a pulpit up front. One hundred and thirty years after it started, the church is closed, begging for research and st
Pennsylvania 2015 brought together over 7000 Anabaptists from around the world, representing some 80 countries. Worship was inspiring and the speakers spoke of their lives in the global south. The Brethren Choral Sounds Choir from Zimbabwe (pictured) thrilled the audience with their lively and energetic music. Nearly five centuries later, from their early 16h century origins in Switzerland, Mennonites are now a global people speaking many different languages, but testifying to a c
At the ancient Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon, Virginia, July, 2015, three outstanding musicians charmed, entertained, and thrilled an eager crowd of listeners. Music lovers from many states gathered for three days of inspiring music. Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and … Continue reading →
Uncle Denver S. Yoder, Sr., passed away after 88 years of life and was buried in a traditional Mennonite manner at the Calvary Bible Fellowship, Mt. Perry, Ohio, June 16, 2015. Denver was married to Emma for years, with 11 children, 64 grandchildren, and 136 great-grandchildren. The family gathered around and filled in the grave with dirt, shoveling by hand. Relatives who wanted to help were invited to participate. Denver S. Yoder, Sr., was a godly man and lived a good