The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our December 2019 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on The unexpected.
Description of the theme:
Scripture contains stories of God moving in people’s lives in unexpected ways. In the Old Testament, Joshua 2 tells how God used Rahab to save a pair of spies and, in turn, save Israel itself, not a role she or others were expecting her to take. In the New Testament, Luke 1 tells how Mary receives the unexpected news from the angel Gabriel that she would bear a child who would be the Son of God, the Messiah. Jesus is not the Messiah the people of Israel had for generations been praying for, and most of his miracles were surprising, miracles that were sometimes followed by these unexpected words from Jesus: Do not tell anyone. Scripture repeatedly shows that God spoke to and through unexpected people in ways that were powerful and not what anyone expected. This issue of The Mennonite is focused on when the unexpected happens in our lives and our responses to it. Experiences of the unexpected often disrupt our lives and may contain positive and negative elements; we as editors encourage the incorporation and naming of the complexities of life.
Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others:
- How has God spoken to or been at work in you in ways you didn’t expect? How did you respond? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- How do you see God’s larger purposes in the world disrupting or intersecting with your life, your dreams, fears and hopes in ways you didn’t anticipate? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- Has a significant life event you didn’t expect led you to deeper faith? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- Has your community, congregation or organization faced unexpected circumstances? How did you decide collectively how to respond? Where did you see and experience God? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
- How do you understand the Bible’s teaching about the meaning and value of life’s surprises?
Submissions are due to Editor@TheMennonite.org no later than Nov. 1.
We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our updated anti-oppression guidelines as well as our editorial guidelines.