Jesus Calls us to Heal–and Crowdfund

Every three or four months, one of my friends gets sick. Well. Many of my friends get sick, but one of my sick friends gets swamped with astronomical, life-defining medical bills. I usually hear about it through Facebook, which is a shitty way to hear that your friend is sick, but it’s even shittier when the news comes with a link to a crowdfunded webpage. Every few months, I have a friend whose medical bills are so unaffordably high that he or she has to ask for help, and the only place they can turn is to the Internet.

Medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. There are a billion and a half reasons why medical expenses are so high–unnecessary testing, bloated administration, overpriced prescription drugs, overtaxed system, bad insurance balances, capitalism itself. Whatever. Continue reading

10 Reasons I Love MC USA and Don’t Want it to Change

I’m having a no-negativity Friday, so instead of criticizing the church today, I want to offer a few totally objective (not!) reasons why Mennonite Church USA is the only denomination I want to be part of. With all our sexuality grumblings, some days it’s hard to believe we even want MC USA to survive. Of course, we all want the church to change a little bit. But I want to give it credit for being a pretty neat thing, just the way it is. Here’s why (from least to most important):

Join me in a future where we never have to sing

Join me in a future where we never have to sing “Spirit Friend” again.

10. Red vs. Blue
MC USA is in the process of updating the blue hymnal and merging it with the green and purple ones, so that we don’t have to keep a rainbow of hymn books in our pews anymore. Blue Hymnal came out in 1992. If the church splits, y’all, we won’t get our updated hymnal till 2042. Plus, if there are less voices in the choir, those hymns just won’t sound the same. This one keeps me up at night.

9. Salary Guidelines
When pastors were asked what was most useful thing MC USA had done for them, the number one answer was “pastoral salary guidelines.” It’s funny–because it’s true. Pastors suffer from “the inherent good paycheck.” In jobs that serve a moral good (ie., teachers and social workers), there’s this idea that the good work of giving back to the community is equal to a financial benefit. In pursuit of the greater good of your organization, you’re expected to take a low salary. Continue reading