New Book Details Personal Encounters With Biblical Text

Telling Our Stories, book cover

How does the church address differences? How can the struggle draw persons together rather than drive them apart?

A new book, “Telling Our Stories: Personal Accounts of Engagement with Scripture,” explores these provocative questions as a diverse group of Mennonite pastors, administrators and teachers candidly tell their own stories of engagement with the biblical narrative. The 288-page volume also describes a model for such engagement.

The book, co-published by Cascadia Publishing House, Telford, Pa., and Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa., was co-edited by Ray C. Gingerich and Earl S. Zimmerman of Harrisonburg, Va.

Dr. Gingerich, professor emeritus of Bible and religion at Eastern Mennonite University, taught undergraduate and seminary courses in theology, church history and ethics at EMU for nearly 30 years and helped lay the foundations for EMU’s graduate Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

Dr. Zimmerman is assistant professor of Bible and religion at EMU and pastor at Shalom Mennonite Congregation in Harrisonburg. He is author of “Practicing the Politics of Jesus: The Origin and Significance of John Howard Yoder’s Social Ethics,” forthcoming from Cascadia.

EMU persons in the collection of storytellers include Nancy R. Heisey, chair of the Bible and religion department at EMU and president of Mennonite World Conference; Dorothy Jean Weaver, professor of New Testament at Eastern Menonite Seminary, former academic dean Lee F. Snyder and editors Gingerich and Zimmerman.

Others featured are: Malinda Elizabeth Berry, Liz Landis, Jo-Ann Brant, Owen E. Burkholder, J. Ron Byler, Lin Garber, Roy Hange, John Kampen, Richard A. Kauffman, Paul Keim, Marilyn Rayle Kern, Phil Kniss, James Krabill, Susan Mark Landis, Cynthia A. Lapp, G. Craig Maven, Keith Graber Miller and J. Denny Weaver.

“This is a great resource for small group studies, adult Sunday schools and undergraduate and seminary classrooms,” co-editor Earl Zimmerman noted.

Steve Carpenter, media columnist and Virginia Mennonite Conference administrator said of the book, “Like the vibrant voices of a mixed CD, ‘Telling Our Stories’ blends the personal tales of nearly two dozen Mennonite pilgrims.”

“Here is the stuff of life, of memory, of growth, of peoplehood, of identity, the story of encounter with the word. . . and with the Word,” added Loren L. Johns, dean of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind.

The book was released in August, 2006, and is available from most retail bookstore outlets and from