Editor's Preface
The Geography of Our Faith

Managing Editor Nancy V. Lee

The popular Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society (ACRS) Monday Morning Breakfasts, managed so capably for many years by Ray Gingerich, continue under the leadership of Margaret Foth, Terry Burkhalter, and Vernon Jantzi. All are welcome at these monthly events at Eastern Mennonite University during the academic year (usually with pastries, coffee, and tea at the early hour of 7:30 a.m.). However, since the nature of the presentations has changed, and barring unexpected developments, this fourth volume is expected to be the final collection of memoirs; it represents those given at breakfasts  December 2010-April 2013. Chapters have then been revised and updated up to the point of their 2017 publication.

These authors, like those in the three previous volumes, have all served in responsible positions. Like the previous presenters, they trace the influences that shaped them from early years through adulthood. However, the world they discovered often challenged them to respond in ways that differed from those of their predecessors.

In Part I, Church of the Brethren and Mennonite leaders describe efforts to found new congregations, help those congregations grow, lead successful building programs, and respond with open hearts to protests inspired by the Vietnam conflict and social injustices. Their work made huge differences in their communities.

Among the educational personnel in Part II are a woman who held seven different administrative positions, including that of interim president, and a man who led in building from scratch a K-12 school overseas. Another author describes his own exploration of attitudes toward war and the ways he led students through the same process. Still another tells of guiding a university through a challenging building program during difficult events. Each of these individuals had a significant impact on  many colleagues and students.

Two of the memoirs in Part III come from men who provided life-saving and life-giving help to numerous groups of people in dangerous areas abroad. A third writer recalls learning how to listen and then how to to be a Christian pastor in Jerusalem. These leaders made long-lasting contributions, often to people in great peril and need.

In Part IV, contributors reflect on how they changed lives in unexpected ways: one as a courageous journalist and newspaper owner; another as a leader in mediation and peace building; one as a caring businessman; another as assistant to a university president; and yet another as a professor and college president. This group made amazing differences not only in familiar settings but also in distant places.

In fact, all these authors are still influencing the lives of many—and their insightful yet humble narratives continue to stretch and change our minds and hearts.
On the book’s cover, the historical engraving in which Jesus Blesses the Man Born Blind (John 9:1-7) exemplifies the compassionate actions of the authors of these memoirs. This engraving by Jan Luyken (or Luiken) was taken from a volume by David Martin (1639-1721): Historie des Ouden en Nieuwen Testaments bverrykt met meer dan vierhondred printverbeeldingen in koper gesneeden [History of the Old and New Testaments: translated with over 400 engraved copper plates by Jan Luiken], published in 1700 by Pieter Mortier, Amsterdam.
Special thanks for their encouragement and advice go to Lee M. Yoder, ACRS Steering Committee chair, and ACRS Publication Committee co-chairs Margaret Foth and Vernon Jantzi (who is also vice-chair and director of the ACRS Steering Committee).

It has again been a pleasure to work with Michael A. King, president and publisher, Cascadia Publishing House LLC, who brings to this task a vision for the publication needs of ACRS-EMU as well as high standards and Christian commitment.

As the lead editor of this volume, I wish to thank co-editors Nancy Farrar, Audrey Metz, and Kathy Fisher for their much appreciated and most valuable assistance.

—Nancy V. Lee, ACRS 4 Managing Editor