If you were to look at my past and present passports, you'd see a host of nations stamped on it that the White House has historically considered an adversary, an "axis of evil" state, or a security threat.
Maybe your cruise ship docked for only a day in Belize. If so, book the next flight you can back to this breathtaking Central American country. Its 9,000 square miles has an abundance of adventures to offer and is often overlooked by travelers.
If Jesus instituted the meal on the most stressful night of his life with his betrayer there grabbing at the bread, I suppose we are allowed to eat the meal under less than ideal circumstances, passing the bread and cup to people we are, frankly, not quite sure about.
"I am a Christian. I don't like the way the English teenagers live. I have always treasured the simple life and the way the Amish live and am looking to hopefully become Amish when I'm old enough," said one teen who described herself as "a modest young lady."
We lamented the threat posed to indigenous people and lands in the path of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, a project that would carry oil from the Canadian oil sands to the Pacific Coast for shipment to Asia. We lamented our own entanglement in the complicated reality of oil.
After living on an Amish dairy farm for a year, I agree with those who argue that the reality programs reflect a lack of knowledge of the plain folk. The Amish community I associated with had an intimate and sensible relationship to the mainstream world. The beauty is how they managed it.
There's much to tell about the Amish and Mennonite communities. The stories are voluminous and varied and an American audience would enjoy the telling of them. Too bad Hollywood won't be there for the discovery of it, nor America for the learning of it.
A number of my Christian friends have been saying they are not going to vote in the 2012 elections. As a Mennonite whose spiritual history is linked to removal from society, I can respect the belief that not voting is a way of subverting the powers of this world. And yet I'm concerned.
On a path to be a Mennonite pastor, I had gone back to school at age 30 in order to prepare for seminary, along with three small children, a supportive wife and a congregation sponsoring us. While in undergrad I took an acting class, and fell in love with this art form.
Mennonites around the world are very involved in responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. How in the world, then, can war, prejudice, hate-filled media, income inequality and poverty fit into this paradigm?