CANISTOTA, S.D. — It’s a common site in Old Order Amish communities: blue dresses, black pants and white socks on a clothesline billowing in a brisk, early spring wind. But this clothesline and its contents aren’t in Pennsylvania or Ohio or Iowa. They are behind a motel in the small southeastern South Dakota town of Canistota. The clothes’ owners are among the vanloads of Amish who travel from as far as Delaware and New York to Canistota for treatments at the renowned Ortman Chiropractic Clinic.
Calling sexualized violence a “cancer within the church that we need to expose,” the Mennonite Church USA Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention released a statement March 30 urging congregations to “bring to light all that has been too long hidden in the shadows.” The panel, formed last year in response to a statement on sexual abuse passed by delegates at the Mennonite Church USA convention, said it issued the statement “in light of recent events.”
Advocates for deported Iowa Pastor Max Villatoro were hopeful after meeting with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., March 20-21, the one-year anniversary of his deportation. When he was deported on March 20, 2015, Villatoro was co-pastor with his wife, Gloria, at Iglesia Torre Fuerte (Strong Tower Mennonite Church), a Central Plains Mennonite Conference congregation in Iowa City.
The Mennonite Central Committee thrift shop in Harrisonburg, Va., is doing so much business it is investing in a $3.8 million expansion. Deb King is general manager of Gift and Thrift Shop Inc., an organization that includes not only the Gift and Thrift store but also Booksavers of Virginia and Artisans’ Hope, a fair-trade store. King said the thrift shop saw a 9.2 percent increase in revenue in 2015.