Published on
Thursday, May 5th, 2022

What did a team of four students learn when they spent several days (and nights) on the streets of Dallas? Their goal was to hear from people experiencing homelessness and get a small taste of that Homelessness directly affects about 580,000 Americans, but most of us don’t encounter these individuals face to face. Our guests in this episode temporarily surrendered their comfort and ease to live among those who have been less fortunate.

View the project website.

Here is the testimony they mentioned from their emergency contact.

Published on
Thursday, April 14th, 2022

What does Scripture have to say about loaning money at interest? Do Old Testament prohibitions apply to us? How does collecting interest fit with working with our own hands and being productive? 

Stephen Russell gives us glimpses into how the church has thought about this over the last two millenia, and how Christian thinking changed as economic systems changed. Stephen calls us to see God’s heart as revealed in the Old Testament year of Jubilee.  

Recommended Resource: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/catholics-and-usury-a-tragic-history

Published on
Thursday, April 7th, 2022

Is the kingdom message socialism? What does the New Testament say about interest and lending? What about interest on business loans? And what really is laying up treasures in heaven? John calls us back to the willingness to give and share as the foundational issue for all of these questions. 

Published on
Thursday, March 17th, 2022

What are the basic ideas for understanding how Christians should value and relate to money? John D. Martin points us to the Old Testament year of Jubilee and Jesus’s teachings about laying up treasures. He challenges us to embrace Jesus’s values and ensure we are worshiping him, not money.

Recommended Resources:

· Through the Eye of a Needle by Roger Hertzler: https://scrollpublishing.com/products/through-the-eye-of-a-needle/

· Various works by James M. Stayer: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/82831.James_M_Stayer

Authored By

  • Dorcas Smucker
Published On
Thursday, May 10th, 2018

We shouldn’t be this wealthy,” I thought.I was sitting in Halsey Mennonite Church gymnasium with 450 other Oregon Anabaptists, listening to reports about the astonishingly varied and vast work of Christian Aid Ministries and its new satellite program, CAM-West. Medicines, hygiene kits, food boxes, clothing, wells, blankets—the list seemed endless and included, of course, reports of the large financial donations that make these projects possible. There were a lot of deep pockets in that room. Everyone seemed to be listening intently and—I assumed—evaluating whether this cause was worthy of a financial gift, and if so, how much it should be.

For the most part, Anabaptists in Oregon are financially successful. Many families own their own homes and, often, farms and rental houses besides. Mennonite-owned businesses—most of them related to agriculture—abound and thrive. They are also generous. Fundraisers for Gospel Echoes Northwest or a medical emergency are well-attended and raise many thousands of dollars. According to the prevailing theories of poverty and wealth found in financial articles such as The Atlantic, and in books such as Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, we should not be doing this wealthy. What is it about Anabaptists that turns the American economic charts upside down?

For one thing, we are primarily rural; rural America is declining in opportunity and struggling to survive. Also, probably less than half of the conservative Anabaptist adults in Oregon have finished high school, and all the experts agree that lack of a high school diploma is a key precursor of poverty. Yet, Mennonites are able to support their families and fund CAM-West, as well as many causes and charities besides. Why has this community turned the economic tables upside down? Here are some likely factors: 

1. While not nearly as long-established as Lancaster County or Holmes County, the Willamette Valley Mennonite community is over 100 years old. The first Mennonite settlers bought farmland that is, in many cases, still in the family. Farming expertise and equipment were also handed down from one generation to the next.

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