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One congregation, twenty preachers: a harmony of views

Posted on: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 in: News

August 2017 Thomas Lehman Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship has heard sermons from twenty preachers in the years 2014-2016, while having only one person, Isaac Villegas, as pastor. He gives about half the sermons. The congregation existed for its first five years without a pastor, and established a pattern of rotating sermon responsibilities.   Most of […]

Latino/a Mennonites

Posted on: Thursday, December 18th, 2014 in: News

(A shortened version of this book review was published by The Mennonite World Review: “Despite missteps, Latinos joined Mennonites.”) In his book, Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical Culture (2014), Felipe Hinojosa describes the struggle of Latinas and Latinos to become part of the Mennonite church in the United States. Hinojosa starts the story […]

prayers and burdens

Posted on: Saturday, August 4th, 2012 in: News

“We thank our Lord that our burdens are staggered,” Kate Roberts prayed a few weeks ago, “so that we might have the strength to carry another’s weight.” The church is a people of staggered burdens, as Kate put it, a community where those who bear much pain do not have more than they can bear, […]

Hunter’s Neo-Anabaptists

Posted on: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 in: News

Isaac S. Villegas MWR Book Review January 2011 A Neo-Anabaptist Vision? James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2010). In his analysis of Christian witness in North America, James Davison Hunter discusses a movement he names “Neo-Anabaptism.” The heart of […]

interview in The Christian Century

Posted on: Thursday, March 15th, 2012 in: News

Isaac was interviewed in The Christian Century magazine. Here’s an excerpt: What does your denominational affiliation mean to your parishioners? It means a lot. Many of us have joined the Mennonite Church because we wanted to be part of a community of faith that rejects violence outright, a congregation that supports us as we try […]

Nurseries and pulpits

Posted on: Thursday, January 26th, 2012 in: News

Meghan Florian, a member of our congregation, offers a wonderful reflection on gender roles at church. The point of affirming women as preachers ought never be to belittle the vital work women have been doing in the church all along. Instead, while we need to see women encouraged to raise their voices, to interpret and […]

Mary, Advent, and OWS: Rejoice with the lowly

Posted on: Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 in: News

In this season of Advent, as we dwell with Mary, the one who is filled with Jesus, we let her words draw us into resonances of the gospel we may not have heard before. Mary’s words are living and active. They resound from places we may not have thought of as hospitable for God—like the […]

Led into ministry

Posted on: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 in: News

Long before that moment, long before I discerned God’s call, the Spirit was working through the hands of the community, molding me into a pastor. With their hands, the people led me into ministry. I still remember Fred’s prayer on behalf of the community as they laid their hands upon me and impressed God’s calling […]

Priesthood of all believers

Posted on: Monday, October 31st, 2011 in: News

Here are some of Isaac’s reflections on what it was like to show up at Chapel Hill Mennonite and experience a community that made “the priesthood of all believers” a living reality: During the service people from behind me, in front of me, and to my right and left got up to lead various parts […]

Creation & mission

Posted on: Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 in: News

Isaac visited a Mennonite community in Freeman, South Dakota. Here is an excerpt from his reflections on his time with Salem-Zion Mennonite Church: God’s creation is cultivated not only to provide for the members of Salem-Zion but also for the sake of the world. In the fall, after the harvest, the congregation expresses gratitude with […]