With the merger-transformation-integration-fusion of the MC's and GC's, is it any
wonder that there are fusions of names that sometimes bring about interesting
combinations. True, MBM and COM are now part and parcel of MMN. However, in my
mind, saying MMN out loud does not fall off the lips as easily as COM or MBM.

The enrichment of Mennonite churches around the world has been going on for years,
with new and wonderful people from all kinds of religious backgrounds. What strikes
me as interesting is the trend toward blending of names. When couples decide to get
married, announce their engagement, and set the date for the wedding, they also
decide who is going to take on whose name. Or, will they hyphenate their last names?
Or perhaps each will take on a new middle name with the bride being the one to take
on the groom's last name, while the groom takes on the bride's last name as his middle
name, or some combination of this arrangement.

This blending brings about some creative last names. For example, what if Shirley
Fender, from San Francisco, marries Charles Bender from Bluffton? You would have
Shirley and Charles Fender-Bender. Or perhaps Melonie Schwartzentruber marries
Nathan Neuenschwander and you get Melonie and Nathon
Schwartzentruber-Neuwenschwander. In a similar vein, one could conceive of Henry
Harder marrying Fanny Friesen and you would get Fanny and Henry Friesen-Harder.
Or if a Short woman marries a Long man you would have a Long-Short or a
Short-Long, depending upon which of the partners has the strongest personality.

To take this to its fullest potential, it would be possible for a Short-Long to marry a
Fender-Bender and you would have a Short-Long-Fender-Bender. Possibilities are
unlimited when one considers the wide variety of names in Mennonite Church USA.
Everything from Nicely-Dunn to Coyvenhoven-Hostetler would enrich our membership

I can see the Mennonite Weekly Review headlines now: Susan Short-Fender emerges
as the new leader in the Mennonite Church USA, replacing Lowell Long-Bender in
020. It's possible!
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by Jep Hostetler