Thursday
Apr042013

Remembering MLK Jr.

We are mindful today of the assasination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, America's greatest prophet, who was killed on April 4, 1968.  We are also mindful of having just come through Holy Week during which one of Rev. King's most influential acts of leadership took place.  On Good Friday 1963, Rev. King led a march on Birmingham Alabama, an act of civil disobedience that resulted in his immediate arrest.  While in jail on that Easter Sunday of 1963, Rev. King wrote his infamous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  This Easter season, we are grateful of Rev. King’s witness and his tireless work for civil rights.  You can read more about this here.  You can read the entirety of the text of his letter here.

 

From "Pride (In the Name of Love)" by U2 -

Early morning, April 4

 Shot rings out in the Memphis sky

Free at last, they took your life

They could not take your pride

In the name of love! What more in the name of love?

Thursday
Mar282013

Maundy Thursday

On March 28 we will host a Maundy Thursday service at 6:00pm.  We will gather for a light meal and reflect together on Jesus' last night with his disciples, his institution of the Lord's Supper, and his model of servanthood.  

Throughout Lent we've had several opportunities to reflect on the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Our Ash Wednesday service was based on that parable, and during our Sunday worship service on March 10 we had three members of our congregation give a sermon-by-committee using this parable as the main text. So to bring this full circle, we will again draw on the parable of the Prodigal Son during Maundy Thursday.  We will again use Henri Nouwen's reflections on the parable to guide us, paying particular attention to some of his reflections that expound upon the concept of servanthood, love, and grace.  

Tuesday
Feb122013

Ash Wednesday

This year Lent begins on Wednesday February 13.  We will observe the beginning of Lent with 2 simple Ash Wednesday service; one beginning at 2:00pm and other at 7:00pm.  

The season of Lent calls us to an intentional time of seeking God through confession, prayer, and fasting (fasting from food, technology, certain behaviors, etc.)  Our Ash Wednsday service will invite us into this season using Henri Nouwen's reflections on the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke chapter 15.  Nouwen was a Catholic Priest and a prolific writer on Christian spirituality who was well-known for serving with the L’Arche community to provide living assistance to those with develomental disabilities.  A turning point in Nouwen's own spiritual journey came from reflecting on the parable of the Prodigal Son in which he said he saw "the whole gospel" anew.  

You are welcome to come join us for our services at 2:00 and 7:00.  The services will be short, about a half-hour in length, and at different times to accomodate different schedules.  

Wednesday
Feb062013

Intro on toledofavs.com

I’m relatively new to Toledo, and a typical introductory conversation goes like this:
Me:  “Hello, I’m Joel, and I’m the pastor of Toledo Mennonite Church.”
Person:  “Nice to meet you, Joel.  Hmm…  I’ve never heard of Mennonites.  What are Mennonites?  What do you believe?” 

Answering such a broad question has been one of my biggest challenges in ministry.  Do I talk about the historical origins of Mennonites, or about Mennonites today?  Do I talk about what makes us different, or about what we share in common?  Do I talk about what Mennonites have been, or about what Mennonites are becoming? 

Read More

Wednesday
Jul272011

Election Day Communion

Election Day is just around the corner. In this battle ground state of Ohio, we are inundated with campaign messages. During times like this we become aware of the many different causes and people and ideas that compete for our support. 

Many of these are important issues that directly impact our lives and those around us. We who are U.S. citizens are given choices between various political options and we try to make wise decisions. People of faith must also consider the question, "What does the Lord require of us?” (Micah 6:8) as we make these choices. 

Election Day is just around the corner. In this battle ground state of Ohio, we are inundated with campaign messages. During times like this we become aware of the many different causes and people and ideas that compete for our support. 
Many of these are important issues that directly impact our lives and those around us. We who are U.S. citizens are given choices between various political options and we try to make wise decisions. People of faith must also consider the question, "What does the Lord require of us?” (Micah 6:8) as we make these choices.  Read More

 

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