A one-hour presentation at a monthly breakfast meeting about one’s life is not an easy task, requiring both a return to details of the past and a careful winnowing to separate out the most memorable and significant. Yet the authors of the memoirs in this volume, Continuing the Journey: the Geography of Our Faith, have been singularly successful in choosing what to offer from their lives. In turn, readers will discover many of the most stimulating insights and commitments that have enriched the educational milieu of our Mennonite campus. Of great importance and influence is the fact that over half of the group brought significant international experience to their classrooms, laboratory, or library; and several have served in influential administrative roles in at least three Mennonite colleges and seminaries. One has made his major contribution to the EMU campus as one of the founders of ACRS, the Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society.
The sixteen authors are all colleagues with whom I have been privileged to work (here or abroad) and who have challenged and blessed my life. Several of them were encouraging mentors in my earlier years of study at EMU, and some I had the privilege of hiring when I was in administration at the college. We know each other well, and I applaud their willingness to share both their various strengths and weaknesses, revealing the good spirit and forgiving grace that make life in community meaningful.
Each writer maintains her or his own voice; but all of the memoirs convey the authors’ integrity, respect, mutuality, faith, and commitment to social mission. Indeed, these autobiographical accounts open many windows on the choices (and their reasons) of persons who have helped shape the lives of young people for several generations in preparing them for service in the cause of Christ. Moreover, if the stories of their students and the subsequent decades of service could also be included, we readers would see more clearly the vision that relates our Anabaptist faith to life in the present.
This volume offers a remarkable insight into the uniqueness that makes a small denomination like the Mennonites relevant as a “free church” in society, a church that strives to engage our times and culture according to the priorities of the kingdom of God, of which we are members.
Sola Deo Gloria!
Dr. Myron S. Augsburger
Copyright © 2009 by Cascadia Publishing House LLC