This summer I made a road trip with a former Northern District Conference minister. We visited the sites of 10 rural churches in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, all formerly affiliated with the General Conference Mennonite Church. Two had closed, and in one case only the cemetery and a marker remained.
Only one of the 10 was still affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, and that affiliation will end when North Central Conference leaves the denomination. The other seven survive, and some even thrive, appearing to carry on a vital ministry in dying rural communities. Only two of the seven retain the Mennonite name as independent congregations. Many of the others call themselves “Bible” or “community” churches.
GOSHEN, Ind. — Galed Krisjayanta, a third-year music student at Goshen College, released his first album at the age of 10. Cassettes, CDs, DVDs and even karaoke versions of him singing traditional Indonesian folk songs have been sold, and every song has a music video.
NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Throughout her presentation at Bethel College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day program, Michelle Armster would pause to call out several names. “Sandra Bland. Renisha McBride. Shantel Davis. Lena Baker. Kimani Gray. Tanisha Anderson.”
Femi Hollinger-Janzen, a former soccer standout at Bethany Christian High School in Goshen, Ind., and former Indiana player of the year, is taking his game to the professional level.