In this issue of MennoExpressions, you’ll find artwork and prose themed around Dirt: the content includes stills from an experimental video performance in which dirt is used instead of makeup; reflections how dirt makes us clean; a story about repurposing contaminated property (where a dry cleaners used to operate) into a thriving community garden; a photo essay on compost; plus beautiful artwork and poetry. I think you’ll find something to dig your toes into. Enjoy!
We welcomed Bob Brown and his family into our FMC congregation.
OCT 02,2016 – Co-Pastor Bob Brown joins FMC
OCT 16,2016 – FMC Installation of Co-Pastor Bob Brown
His background includes:
- Masters of Arts, Bible (focus on Old Testament)
Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN
- Bachelors of Science, Computer Information Systems
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Pastoral Experience includes:
- Stahl Mennonite Church (MCUSA), Johnstown, PA. Solo Pastor
- Solomon’s Porch (Independent), Minneapolis, MN, Lay Pastor of Discipleship
He arrived here from Pennsylvania with his wife and son, and is eager to learn and add his skills to the church.
Hurdles are present in each of our lives. Some are easy to see and therefore easy for us to make a plan to get over them. Others are not as clearly seen or recognized. Contributors to this issue of MennoExpressions discuss several different hurdles: those in our education system, emotional and physical hurdles during a painful pilgrimage, and a growing awareness of what advantages a white mom doesn’t share with her black children. What is a hurdle you are currently facing?
A welcoming faith community committed to:
- Making peace
- Seeking justice
- Serving as the hands, heart and voice of Christ
“In the midst of” seems to have struck a chord with our contributors. Not only are there glimpses into the lives of 22 (!) FMCers and SMCers (these interviews alone are worth opening the issue!) but other contributors share unique perspectives on what they are in the midst of, including:
- Karen West’s perennial search for harmony (her preferred term to “work/life balance”);
- Catherine Swanson’s haunting poem about a family who has fled their home and is desperately searching for a country to take them in;
- Jen and Nate Christophel Lichti’s exploration of their transition away from church and towards deeper community within their own family and with others;
- Martha Yoder Maust narrates what she sees in her downtown neighborhood as she takes a Saturday morning walk, while Pattie Mishler explores the gifts walking gives her;
- Two FMC college students reflect on their experiences living in France and Peru, respectively, this spring; and
- Laura Friesen’s journey through issues of power and connectivity while she reflects on Steve’s time at FMC as transitional pastor.
What are you in the midst of?
Have you ever had an assumption that proved incorrect? What do you think of the assumptions – visual and written – shared by contributors Kenda Resler Friend, Bethany Habegger, Dan Hess, Becky Oberg, Steve Thomas, and Michele West? Perhaps you have an assumption to share…
Many of the voices in this issue touch on people dealing with the consequences of being uprooted, jolted from one reality into another. How much do we not think about something routine in our lives – our health, our independence, our jobs, our families – until, in a heartbeat, it all changes?
This issue, dedicated to expressions of creativity, is packed with art and prose! A beautiful short story by Iona Wagner, reflections on their respective processes of creating art and music by Annette Bolton, Laurel Gerbrandt, Karla Hovde, Jeremy South, and Michael Stauffer, prose by John Hofstetter, and artwork by Gaynel Bryan, Ethan Nissley, and Jared Nissley make this an issue not to miss.
What do you think of when you hear “solitude”? Do you welcome solitude, or do you avoid it? It feels easy to avoid right now, what with the proliferation of digital devices and the real (or perceived) need to be connected, all the time. In this issue of MennoExpressions, writers Meagan Johnson and Carolyn Martin share their thoughts on the ways solitude is present in their lives, and Michele West and Carolyn share photographs which visually represent their views of solitude.