Summary: For Mennonites and Amish, or any people who take their community of faith seriously, such a body can be loving arms of support or a smothering embrace. For Nevin and Esther and their familyand for so many others then and nowthe church became a combination of these two experiences. Surveying a life of ministry ranging from Greenwood, Delaware, to Philadelphia, Mississippi, and beyond, this book tells how Nevin and Esther found the church a place of intense joy and at times painful disappointment.
Comment: In a
time when American churches are increasingly polarized
between liberal and conservative forces, Without the
Loss of One describes those tensions as they played
out in one familys lives. Nevin and Esther Bender
were leaders of the Conservative Mennonite Church who
took the church seriously yet maintained an
open-mindedness to dialogue with other points of view.
From rural Delaware to the violent 1960s in Mississippi
to the Middle East, they followed a path of true
faithfulness. It is an engaging family history with
significant lessons for todays church.
Here is a beautiful picture of
unusual honesty and clarity, painted with words. The
books that capture reveal two things: moral fortitude in
lifes painful, desert experiences, and the
accompanying spiritual growth.
Unlike children ambivalent about
widely traveled fathers who were away too much as they
grew up, the diaspora of Nevin and Esther Lauver
Benders family insistently cherish the sense of
parental love. Memories of subsistence on a
patched-together preachers income are pleasantly
flavored by the family sacrament of Delaware oysters.
Internecine church squabbles only enhance the
childrens loyal prejudice. Readers familiar with
things falling apart will muse on why the flame of such a
fragile moving hearth can burn so respectfully in
Market: Anyone interested in a journey of faith and passion across many subcultures as well as joys and trials of Mennonite denominational dynamics.
Shelving: Biographyreligious, Anabaptist, Mennonite; Cultural History. BISAC: Biography. RTM: 170 Biography; 690 Religion/Ethics
The Authors: Don Bender, Atlanta, Georgia, is owner of Neighborhood Commercial Redevelopment, Inc. Mildred (Millie) Bender, Sandy Spring, Maryland, is retired from teaching at Georgetown University and works at a healing center. Titus Bender, Fort Defiance, Virginia, is retired from Eastern Mennonite University, where he taught social work. He remains active in the field of restorative justice.
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© 2005 by Cascadia Publishing House