Patterns (winter issue of MennoExpressions)

The beginning of the year often brings intentions of reviewing habits and patterns in our lives, choosing which to discard, which to begin, which to emphasize. This issue brings reflections from Marcy Major on how her life has changed as her son has grown up and moved on, Erin Rodman on musical patterns, Hollins and Rachel Showalter on adjusting VBS schedules, Marie Harnish on designing quilting patterns, Mary Liechty on some of her life’s disruptions and learnings, Amy Bixler on following a pattern and what that does for her focus, and Heidi Boschmann Amstutz on her ritual of running. Woven through the prose is beautiful photography and artwork by Annabella Habegger, Dan Hess, and Emilie Walson.
Thanks for reading MennoExpressions!

218 MennoExpressions PATTERNS online version

Power (fall issue of MennoExpressions)

Dovetailing with the theme of Indianapolis’ annual Spirit & Place festival, our fall issue centers on Power. How do power structures in the church help or hinder our faith? How does the power of community help us through difficult situations? What does the power of a Sabbath provide? Stunning photography, poetry, prose – this issue has it all. Thanks for reading MennoExpressions!

Find the Power issue here.

One day workshop on Oct 21, 2017 – Conflict Transformation Skills!

THE LOMBARD PEACE CENTER will be hosting the one-day workshop Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches on October 21, 2017 here at FMC.  This workshop will focus on the Biblical basis for conflict transformation, styles of responding to conflict, communication skills necessary to resolve conflict peacefully, strategies to prevent destructive conflict in churches, and a model for working at congregational decision-making in a win-win manner. For more information, visit the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center website at   

If you are interested in participating in the Group discount, you need to sign up on the kiosk, and turn in your completed registration into the church office by October 6!  If seven or more people sign up, the cost will only be $59 per person. Individual registrations will be collected and sent in together.

How Do We Respond to Hate?

In light of the hatred that is coming out into the light in our country – we want to share this resource from the Southern Poverty Law Center – on how we can respond to hate.  Please take some time to study and share this document.  As we try to Listen to Love – and specifically Listen to Ourselves – think about the spiritual and physical work we need to do to make drive hate out of our city and our nation.
To download, click on this PDF for this information.  Also, this is a Link to the document in web form:


Thirty years for this pearl

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

The Good News Is “Intergenerational Vacation Bible School” this week!

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!

(Click each image to enlarge.)