The forgotten parts of the Syria crisis

September 16, 2016 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

The forgotten parts of the Syria crisis By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach On the International Day of Peace, September 21, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., along with other organizations, is sponsoring a “Global Day of Action and Prayer for Syria.” In addition to events that day in New York City, local congregations are encouraged to use the materials to pray and act for peace. As we have worked at planning this event, we have sought to keep the focus on calling for an end to the war in Syria—calling on all parties to cease the violence and urging a negotiated solution. Many, […]

Falling in Love

September 16, 2016 Melodie Davis

I am smitten. Sometimes I feel as though I’m on that rather silly reality TV show where one single woman (or man) has the opportunity to pick from 10 potential candidates as a boyfriend or girlfriend and potential spouse. When I’ve watched those shows in the past, I’ve always wondered how the woman or man can feel good about themselves as they dangle three or four beaus at one time, including kisses (and more). We were recently blessed to visit all four grandsons in the space of nine days. That’s why I feel as if I am dating four boys […]

The Light between Oceans

September 9, 2016 Jerry L. Holsopple

Six months on an island by himself is the choice Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) makes as the film opens. He is just back from the war and they need a replacement lighthouse keeper. Why would he choose to live in this isolation? What is he trying to forget from the Great War? Is he punishing himself or escaping from having to see other people? Is it appropriate to ease your own guilt through the potential destruction of others? What makes one a parent? Is it better to forgive than to hold onto wrongs committed? These questions are never really answered […]

Those Fantastic Picture Machines

September 9, 2016 Melodie Davis

  My mother flew with my oldest sister to visit our family here in Virginia recently. I was so proud of her for making the trip—at age 92. She enjoys good health and a good mind, although she has numerous serious medical issues she has to manage. That makes travel an extra challenge. Her biggest “handicap” is increasing deafness. “I felt so dumb at the airport—everyone much younger than me. Everyone looking at their picture machines.” So it was particularly alarming when on their way back home, my sister texted me a half hour after I thought they had already […]

Make your voice heard this election season

September 2, 2016 Joshua Russell

As Election Day approaches in the U.S., many people have expressed dissatisfaction with all of the candidates on the ballot. While this sentiment is mostly centered on the presidential race here, it can also be found regarding candidates for state and local offices. Some may ask if there is any point in voting. Why should we engage with public officials who we feel do not represent us well? In the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:2 reminds us to pray for our leaders, and many of us do. However, we have the ability to do more than pray for the men and […]

Reading To Kill a Mockingbird Almost 50 Years Later

September 2, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’m not sure how I got through high school as a literature buff and college as an English major taking many, many literature courses without reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I did watch parts of the Academy Award movie of the same name at different times, but never to my knowledge sat down and watched the entire thing. But I surely read it with different eyes and heart 50-plus years later, because of having lived a bit of Scout’s reality in the Deep South. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but at least now I’ve remedied my lapse […]

Kubo and the Two Strings

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September 2, 2016 Gordon Houser

Too many films designed for younger audiences tend to dumb down their stories. They follow a certain arc that includes humor, fighting, and a chase scene or two, followed perhaps by a moral that’s good enough but fairly tepid. It is carried out with such an imaginative array of characters and complications that it doesn’t feel like a typical movie for younger audiences. But some films depart from this tendency and actually respect their viewers’ intelligence. Kubo and the Two Strings is a recent example. The film uses stop-motion animation, which gives the picture a certain depth. It’s an American […]

His Brother’s Helper

August 26, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Editor’s note: Michelle Sinclair is the daughter of columnist Melodie Davis and has returned to write occasionally for Another Way after a six-month hiatus after the birth of her second son. She works in the advertising department of a major daily newspaper. The call came at noon; so unexpected I had to turn away from my work computer just to process the daycare provider’s words. Six-month-old baby Henry had spent his entire first morning at daycare refusing to drink his milk. Henry the chunky monkey, Henry the armful, Henry the roly-poly, eat-every-two-hours-and-twice-at-night baby—going on hunger strike? I was flummoxed. I […]

Hell or High Water

August 26, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Classic Westerns have a look about them: beaten landscapes, dusty shirts, and a hardness in peoples’ eyes that says they’ve seen the worst and don’t expect anything to get better. Hell or High Water doesn’t have to work too hard to apply those hallmarks to its modern-day setting. In fact, the New West looks worse than the old one, a place where hope grew despite itself before succumbing to the relentless pressures of oxidation and a downturned economy. Still, hard times makes good fodder for storytelling, and this tale is a whopper. Where does the line between doing the right […]

A prayer for hope

August 26, 2016 Third Way

This prayer service was prepared by Joanna Hiebert Bergen, peacebuilding and advocacy coordinator for MCC Manitoba. This is one of a series of prayer services for peace prepared for each week of August. Introduction: Faith and hope abide alongside love as a triad, those elements of our spiritual journey that allow for perseverance. We acknowledge a God who lived with us in the person of Jesus, exemplifying all three of these elements. God continues to show up in our world in visible and invisible ways, manifest through encounters with the natural world and with one another, pointing us to faith, […]