Five Minutes on Friday #66


MacLeod Barn Abbey

New Harmony, Indiana
In the 19th century, the aptly named US midwestern town of New Harmony was home to pioneering utopian communities dedicated to equality and contemplative living. Today, MacLeod Barn Abbey is a spiritual retreat surrounded by fields of buffalo grass flooded annually by the Wabash river. Evoking both a gate and a window, Tobi Kahn’s monumental sculpture Shalev(1993) frames the landscape, and indeed creation, as a gift. Sheltered within a private Stonehenge, a solitary bronze figure gently bows its head in prayer. Viewed from different angles, its form seems to shift, promising transformation.



Below are the winning entrees in the Smithsonian’s annual photo contest. The diversity of this year’s entries is fitting for the 20th anniversary of this annual competition, which has grown to include more than 32,690 images submitted by nearly 7,000 photographers from 190 countries and territories. -



Mennonites in Burkina Faso ask us to pray for them as they discern how best to work for peace and discern how to care for the approx. 1.5 million displaced people in their country.  Violence from terrorist groups that have taken over regions of the country has disrupted many lives.   

Pray for the Mennonite Community of the Congo (CMCo) as the church prepares conference assemblies to elect conference leaders. Pray for good discernment and wisdom as leaders are chosen. 

Learn more about these churches and their ministries at:  


PALM SUNDAY – Matthew 14.13-21

The disciples are exhausted and want to send the hungry crowd of people away. But when Jesus sees the crowd he feels not revulsion, not self-protection, not hopelessness, but compassion. This is a miracle of multiplication. Jesus takes the little that his tired and overwhelmed disciples have and multiplies it to meet a need that, humanly speaking, his disciples could never meet. What a faith lesson for us, his overwhelmed people in a busy world, in a wilderness time of political unrest, wars, refugees, climate change, and everyday challenges in our local communities and congregations.


How do you react when you are faced with an overwhelming situation of need?

What gifts/resources do we have to contribute to the world’s needs? - I heard the voice of Jesus calling