The Old Fool recently referred in a blog posted on this website to a Mennonite woman married to a Catholic man. There was a time that we Mennonites would have not allowed such a marriage to exist among us. We considered it an “unequal yoke” between believers and unbelievers blurring light with darkness. I could still find such Mennonites a few miles from my birthplace in Pennsylvania, but not among Mennonites who are a part of Mennonite Church USA. We consider such rules to be anachronistic, out-dated.
Now, according to the front page of the Elkhart Truth, Mennonite Church USA is dealing with a new guideline that will be proven also to be anachronistic. Official guidelines require credentials to be reviewed if a minister blesses two people of the same sex who have pledged in baptism to faithfully follow Jesus for life, and who now want to publicly promise to be loving, faithful companions for life. In other words, they want to be married.
The story on credentials shares the front page with an interview of a person who taught school for nine years in Elkhart County before moving to the St. Louis area where she taught for 20 more years before retiring in 2013. She taught Michael Brown during his freshman year in high school. Having had plenty of opportunity to observe prejudicial attitudes toward black students by guards and store clerks, she hopes that Michael Brown was not killed in vain.
While we Mennonites fuss among ourselves about ceremonies for those who love each other, we are neglecting more important things such uniting against racism, militarism, and materialism. We might better join in prayer with the Mennonite churches in St. Louis.
We might also unite and join with journalists in Foreign Affairs magazine who have issued a call to Drop your Weapons and take up non-violent resistance which they claim to be more effective against the powers than violent resistance.
Now some personal notes: While reading the newspaper this morning I watched the humming birds at the feeder outside our back door. The female may have been thinking, “I’ve had enough of that sweet stuff”, or “that selfish male is about to chase me off.”
Yesterday, Dr. Layman said my vision was “stable” and asked if I was eating blueberries?. “Yes,” I said, and she said, “That’s why your eyesight is so good.” She reminded me of Sunnyside’s nurse Debbie who ended every lecture by saying, “…. and don’t forget to eat your blueberries.”