On Giving to Your Local Church

The Christmas season is often called “the season of giving.” Those of us who follow this tradition, whether Christian or not, give and receive gifts this time of year. For some Christians, this includes giving a little extra to their local church—an especially helpful gift at a time of year when many churches are struggling …

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On Being—and Doing—Church

There are many good New Testament passages one can explore to envision what the church should be and do: Romans 12-15, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4-5 are all good options, among others. Still, when I think about the church there’s one specific verse that always seems to come to mind first: They devoted themselves …

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My Pastoral New Year’s Resolution

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I’ve tried them in the past, but they’ve never worked. “Resolution” can sounds so decisive, so irrevocable. So guilt-inducing. Let’s call this my pastoral New Year’s goal, then. Here’s what I’m aiming for as a pastor for 2017: to be patient in love, persistent in prayer, faithful in …

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Politics and Power, the Jesus Way

Politics. I saw you cringe. It’s one of those topics not fit for polite conversation. It may be entertaining for some, intensely interesting for others, but for many it’s one of those “change the subject” kind of subjects. But politics are everywhere. There are politics any time we humans organize ourselves in order to make decisions for …

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Christians and Israel (3) – God’s Kingdom is for All Peoples

This series is adapted from a sermon I preached on August 3, 2014, "What should we think about Israel?" See here for part one, "Describing the Crisis," and here for part two, "Modern Israel is not Biblical Israel." Follow the links throughout for sources and more information. In the last post I claimed that modern Israel is not …

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Christians and Israel (1) – Describing the Crisis

This series is adapted from a sermon I preached on August 3, 2014, "What should we think about Israel?" See below for part two, "Modern Israel is not Biblical Israel." Follow the links throughout for sources and more information. It’s interesting watching my Facebook feed whenever Israel is in the news, which seems to be …

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“From sea to sea”: On Canada, the Church, and the Kingdom of God

This post is adapted from my sermon this past Sunday. It was prompted by the reading from Zechariah 9:9-12 in light of both Canada Day and the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly this past week. Update (July 2018): Here's the audio of a recent revision of the full sermon: A mari usque ad mare. “From sea …

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