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Scholars of religion and theology debate purpose and outcomes of interfaith dialogue

When the Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE) at Eastern Mennonite University brings people of different religions together to talk, what’s the point? Should everyone water down their beliefs in order to find as much agreement as possible? Or, at the opposite extreme, should they be trying to convert each other? At a March 27, 2014, forum ...More

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Seminary grad publishes book on similarities between parenting and the faith journey

Managed chaos. That’s how Rachel Gerber [MDiv '05] describes parenting three young sons. Herald Press has recently published the Eastern Mennonite Seminary alumna’s first book, a devotional memoir, Ordinary Miracles: Awakening to t ...More

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New Bridges – Meeting the needs of the residents from foreign lands

Consider a few statistics: In 1990, just 2.4% of Harrisonburg’s population was foreign born. That figure rose substantially over the following decade to 9.2%, and now sits, per the latest Census Bureau estimate, at 14.1%. Or, to put that in more real-to-life terms, there are now more than 7,000 immigrants living in Harrisonburg – plus another 3,500 or so in Rockingham County – many ...More

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Extravagant love – from the Little Grill to Our Community Place

Let’s begin in 1992 , when the Free Food For All Soup Kitchen opened to the world, every Monday at noon, at The Little Grill restaurant in downtown Harrisonburg. Ron Copeland, the restaurant’s owner, drew inspiration for the soup kitchen from a number of different sources, including his Christian upbringing and political views shaped by his “rabid Democrat,” FDR- ...More

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Duke U. scholar, Methodist minister, to join Eastern Mennonite Seminary faculty

Christian formation curriculum, an integral part of studies at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, will be overseen by an ordained Methodist minister, Emily Peck-McClain, beginning in January 2015. After a thorough search process, Peck-McClain has been hired as assistant professor of Christian formation, preaching and worship, said ...More

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“Painholders” are Christians who heroically nurture discernment rather than splitting, says seminary dean

In this essay, seminary dean Michael A. King speaks of the pain caused by evicting those perceived as being wrong from the church family; he praises Christians who act as “painholders,” who nurture discernment rather than divisiveness. The essay was originally published in the Feb. 1, 2014, edition of The Mennonite. In our ...More

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Congregational leaders flock to seminary program on how to do “discernment” in the face of difficult issues

Hundreds of people filled to capacity the 2014 School for Leadership Training at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, interested in exploring “discernment processes” to address difficult issues in congregations, conferences and denominations. “Discernment together begins with love for one another and i ...More

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Worship in acknowledgment of the “elephant in the room”

Participants in the 2014 School for Leadership Training at Eastern Mennonite Seminary did not tiptoe for three days around the “elephant in the room” – that is, the anguish felt by many over congregational disagreements in regard to same-sex relationships. On the contrary, a highlight of the three days appeared to be a worship service ...More

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Pastor’s farm work connects him with his rural congregants

Young seminary graduates typically seek pastoral positions in large suburban or urban congregations, but Brett Klingenberg craved something else. He grew up on a farm, loved farming and wanted to return to a rural congregation and farming as part of his ministry. At Eastern Mennonite Seminary, he felt restless until he found some farm work to do on the ...More

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Discovering ‘dynamic, changing, moving’ God when gathered ’round The Table

On a Sunday morning in an upstairs classroom at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, a group of people gather in a circle around a table. Though the setup isn’t immediately indicative of a church service, that’s what makes The Table different. The service, which started as week night get-togethers around town seven or eight years ago, ...More