The many contributions to this very full 2018 issue of Mennonite Life represent an impressive range of authors and topics. Seven of the contributions in this issue originated as scholarly presentations at conferences at Mennonite institutions of higher education. The opening essay by Perry Bush is based on lectures he delivered at Bethel College in the 2016 Menno Simons Lecture Series. Four essays—by Luann Good Gingrich and Kerry Fast, Lynette Sarah Plett, Lisa Schirch, and Karen Suderman—are based on papers presented at a June, 2017 conference hosted by Eastern Mennonite University, titled “Crossing the Line: Women of Anabaptist Traditions Encounter Borders and Boundaries.” And two offerings come from the March, 2018 conference hosted by Bethel College, “Mennonites and the Holocaust”: Joachim Wieler’s essay and a play excerpt with an explanatory note by Helen Stoltzfus.
Complementing that already substantive group of essay are five additional contributions by Bethel College faculty and undergraduate students. Peter Goerzen, campus pastor and instructor of bible & religion, offers a personal and theological reflection on the announced closing of Grace University. John Thiesen provides two research pieces from his work as archivist at the Mennonite Library and Archives. And I’m delighted to include in these pages, among the work of professional teachers and writers, the scholarship of two recent 2018 graduates of Bethel College, Nathan Kroeker and Austin Regier, whose senior thesis papers are now in print in Mennonite Life!
I am thankful to wonderful colleagues on the editorial board who sustain the vitality of this journal: Rachel Epp Buller, Mark Jantzen, Karen Sheriff LeVan (Hesston College), John Thiesen, and Melanie Zuercher.