A sad thing happened at the door of my Castle. Eldon had brought me a gift from the Mennonite assembly in Kansas City. It was a hand device commonly used to agitate and cool the air called a fan. On the fan was a portrayal of Menno Simons and the words, “I am a fan of Menno Simons“. I pasted the fan on the outside of the door for all to see, and I overheard occasional bemused comments by those who passed by. But, a fellow resident either liked or disliked the fan so much that they lifted it and took it away. Even though I told my friends that Menno would have me forgive, I quietly nursed a grievance against the unknown person who had robbed me.
Joyce and I went to the College Mennonite Church to hear a lecture by Peggy Gish. She is a peacemaker who reported her observations of a church founded by the Brethren Church in Nigeria in 1923. Now the Anabaptist church is stressed.
Not ordinary stress, but the kind of stress brought by being robbed of possessions and forced to watch family members murdered because they would not become Muslim. Many martyrs forgave their tormentors. I felt rebuked because I had nursed a hurt in my heart toward the one who did such a simple thing as stealing my fan. Click here to go to a published version of Peggy Gish’s lecture.
While the Nigerian church is suffering because of outside persecution, the Mennonite Church USA is suffering from self-inflicted wounds. Its people cannot agree on policy, so it divides and thereby brings the message of Jesus into disrepute.
Hope flows from the report of gatherings of diverse pastors in Lancaster City and surrounding churches who meet for conversation and lamentation. If you wish to learn more interesting details including some youtube lamentations click here.
Lancaster City was somewhat of a home for me in my youth. Rhoda’s father, D. Stoner Krady, was founding pastor of the first mission in Lancaster City and later served as bishop of the other churches in the city.
Let us celebrate
healing through lamentation
Gain hope be joyful