Happy 30th anniversary to MennoExpressions! In celebration of this milestone, this issue centers around the traditional 30th anniversary gift: we started this year with an issue on “dirt,” followed by one on “interruptions,” and now come to our “pearl.” Something potentially pesky and irritating sits in darkness and silence and, over time, is transformed into something beautiful, precious, cherished.
Catherine Swanson offers up a wonderful meditation on what happens when she embraces the silence and trusts that there is something she can listen to and find precious and worthy in that space. Others share reflections on what worth they’ve found in these pages over the last three decades. Our artists each created something specific just for this issue!
Part of what I value so much about MennoExpressions is that it brings out the parts of people that you don’t normally see or find out about on Sunday morning. Such trust that contributors have placed in us, the readers, as they share personal stories and struggles. What a gift that is.
Erv comments that people must often be surprised when they are asked to write, not considering themselves a writer. I agree that it’s a very common answer, and yet more often than not, people push past their hesitation and create something transformative for the rest of us to appreciate. Thank you for trusting us – MennoExpressions, FMC, Shalom – with your stories and your art. Here’s to the next pearls of wisdom and cherished contributions!
Read the Pearl issue: ME0817_pearl
This week, June 11 – 15, 2017, we are pleased to engage in our first Intergenerational Vacation Bible School and the theme is “Digging for Treasure: Parables Revealed.” Arrr, our little pirates are learning to sail the seas through arts and crafts as they listen to and learn about some of the parables Jesus shared. “Intergenerational” because the adults are also dipping into the parables through adult-led classes with both Ron Allen from the Christian Theological Seminary and our Pastor Bob Brown. No, we won’t go off the deep end because we are grounded in God’s Holy Word, eh, Matey!
I was trading messages with Michele, one of this issue’s contributors, and she joked that her “first thought about ‘interruptions’ is ‘my life’. Because when you are a parent, your life is just pretty much one of constant interruptions, isn’t it?” Seriously.
But whether we’re parents or not, we’re all bombarded with interruptions, big and small, as we move throughout our lives. Some of these interruptions are pesky, some are life-changing, some are welcomed, some are not. All of them make for some interesting reading and reflection here. Thanks for reading MennoExpressions!
Read the issue: ME_May_2017_Interruptions
In this issue of MennoExpressions, you’ll find artwork and prose themed around Dirt: the content includes stills from an experimental video performance in which dirt is used instead of makeup; reflections how dirt makes us clean; a story about repurposing contaminated property (where a dry cleaners used to operate) into a thriving community garden; a photo essay on compost; plus beautiful artwork and poetry. I think you’ll find something to dig your toes into. Enjoy!
We welcomed Bob Brown and his family into our FMC congregation.
OCT 02,2016 – Co-Pastor Bob Brown joins FMC
OCT 16,2016 – FMC Installation of Co-Pastor Bob Brown
His background includes:
Masters of Arts, Bible (focus on Old Testament)
Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN
Bachelors of Science, Computer Information Systems
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Pastoral Experience includes:
Stahl Mennonite Church (MCUSA), Johnstown, PA. Solo Pastor
Solomon’s Porch (Independent), Minneapolis, MN, Lay Pastor of Discipleship
He arrived here, from Pennsylvania, with his wife and son and is eager to learn and add his skills to the church.
Hurdles are present in each of our lives. Some are easy to see and therefore easy for us to make a plan to get over them. Others are not as clearly seen or recognized. Contributors to this issue of MennoExpressions discuss several different hurdles: those in our education system, emotional and physical hurdles during a painful pilgrimage, and a growing awareness of what advantages a white mom doesn’t share with her black children. What is a hurdle you are currently facing?