How are Anabaptists formed for witness? This issue of Anabaptist Witness calls attention to the dynamic process of communal and personal formation that impacts witness. Essays and poetry explore this theme in relation to disability, God images, sexuality, the Narrative Lectionary, and communities and mission work in Canada, Ethiopia, Mexico, and the United States. The book and film reviews included in the issue reflect on the global church, race, and ecology. Overall, this issue unsettles predominant Anabaptist-Mennonite accounts of formation and witness in order to encourage a diversity of approaches in the church and academy.
The gospels portray physical healing as a central component of Jesus’s ministry, and the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles suggest that healing was important in the early church. Caring for and restoring the integrity of the body is, in these New Testament examples, a sign of creation’s renewal and the arrival of God’s reign. Even when Christians have lost sight of this precedent, emphasizing instead an otherworldly salvation of the disembodied soul, the ministry of healing has rarely been completely discarded. This issue of Anabaptist Witness explores the place of healing in the church’s conception of its purpose and task.