Monthly Archive: June 2007

The Emerging Church and Anabaptists


A few weeks ago, Dave over at the Mindful Mission posted out a number of blog posts by members of the Emerging movement looking at the similarities between the Emerging church and Anabaptists. Dave attends Living Water Community Church, an energetic urban Mennonite congregation that Charletta and I have been attending since January.

Since reading Dave’s post I’ve become more and more aware of some of the connections between the emerging church movement. Two weeks ago, Encounter, a program on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National did an extensive radio interview with Jarrod McKenna, an emerging church leader and Anabaptist leaders in Australia. It’s well worth a listen. (more…)

an ordination sermon

I attended the ordination service this past Sunday at James Street Mennonite Church. I recorded most of the service with a hand held digital recorder and thought some of you might find the sermon interesting. A little background first: Elizabeth Nissley, who has been an associate pastor at James Street since 2002, was ordained; Lancaster district bishop Linford King also received the ordination credentials for Kathy Keener Shantz. (Her credentials had been held by Pacific Southwest.)

The sermon was preached by Jane Hoober Peifer, pastor of Blossom Hill Mennonite Church, and it can be downloaded here. Thanks to Denver for uploading it for me.

Young Anabaptist Radicals in The Mennonite

Since the middle of May, we’ve been publishing weekly summaries of Young Anabaptist Radicals blog posts in TMail, the new weekly email of The Mennonite. In exchange for a years worth of summaries (written by various YAR authors), next year in May The Mennonite will be making a $1000 donation to the AMIGOS fund to help Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Anabaptist-related young people from all over the world to attend the Global Youth Summit (GYS) in Paraguay 2009. Read more about this effort on the Mennonite World Conference web site.

If you’d like to subscribe to TMail, you can do so from the front page of The Mennonite in the green box on the right hand side of the page. Along with the blog summaries it includes a selection of articles from the print magazine and some weekly columns.

Finally, if you’re a YAR author and interested in helping to write a few weeks worth of summaries, email admin@young.anabaptistradicals.org

Our hopes and dreams for church

Hello YAR internet community,

A quick plug for “BikeMovement the Documentary – A young adult perspective on church” that will premiere at San Jose 2007 Mennonite convention and be available for sale on-line in about a week. For those of you who don’t know, BikeMovement was a group of young adults who biked across the United States last summer talking about young adults and church. (BikeMovement involves more then just this, including a recent biking trip through Asia, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll focus on young adults and church in North America.)

BikeMovement has been asked to share 5-7 minutes during the delegate session on the topic, “What are hopes and dreams of young adults for the future church.” While we’ve conversed with young adults all across the country, finding an answer to that question is a rather daunting task since it sometimes feels like we are all over the board on that question.
(more…)

Welcome to the Gaza Zoo

For all who have been trying to follow recent events in the Gaza Strip–and for those who haven’t, for lack of any intelligible point of entry–direct your attention to Tabula Gaza, a blogger living in the area. The blog is full of incisive political commentary, ground-level observations, and stories about local folks. I’ve found it much more helpful than news reports in most cases (though he’s not attempting to ‘report’ anything), since it’s so much easier to understanding what’s happening when you hear what’s happening to the police officer down the street or the children next door.

Sex outside of marriage

With some trepidation, I’m bringing up the topic of having sex with people to whom one is not married. This isn’t about lgbtq people’s inability to be married in the legal sense in most states in the U.S., and it’s not really about affairs either. It’s about people who are not married in any sense having sex with anyone at all. Or people who are engaged having sex before the wedding.

A couple of times I’ve seen people on YAR say they don’t hold to the same ethic on this as the Christian Church has taught during at least our lifetimes. I have always heard from the Christians in my life that it is a sin to have sex in any form (or get close to it) with anyone other than the person to whom one is married. Having sex at any point before the wedding ceremony (in whatever form it takes) is a sin, they tell me. (more…)

Fire at the Simple Way

Yesterday morning starting at 3 am, a seven alarm fire swept through the bock in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia where the Simple Way community is based. No one was killed or injured, but eight families are now homeless and the Simple Way Community Center was destroyed. This video was put together by members of the community:

For those of you not familiar with the Simple Way community, it’s the mother ship for the New Monasticism movement which we’ve discussed here a number of times. (more…)

A little help from my YAR friends…

Hey gang,

This is of little importance to the larger dialogues we are having, but it is something of importance to me.

I am currently investigating schools of theology/semiaries. I currently hold an undergraduate humanities degree and want to explore possibilities for Th.D’s or Ph.D’s in theological studies (don’t know the difference there… different kind of job possibilities available?). I have outstanding grades and don’t think getting accepted will be the problem, I just don’t know where to look!

At any rate, I’ve found that the Anabaptist graduate programs, while offering much to the church and doing great work for equipping pastors, don’t seem to do as much in cultivating academic theological scholars.

I’m turning to my Anabaptist friends for help. If you are on the same journey as me or have already begun your journey and have any helpful insights about good Th.D/Ph.D theology schools out there, let me know. The best program I’ve investigated so far seems to be Duke University…. those Methodists/Wesleyan schools seem to have their act together…

Laugh with me on LarkNews.com

I discovered LarkNews.com about a week ago. Thank you, Utne Web Watch e-mail. I have been laughing my butt off since then. LarkNews.com is a parody site much like The Onion, but it focuses on Christian subculture. It uses Christianese to the point of hilarity. Some of my favorite stories have been “Church tries, fails to get through worship time without singing a Matt Redman song” and “Cleveland, Ohio revival linked to scripture on woman’s checks.”

They have T-shirts, too, for those interested in short snippits for chuckles. My favorites are “Jesus loves you. But then again, he loves everybody,” “I want to be a pastor’s wife,” and “I love cheeses.”

http://www.larknews.com/june_2007/index.php

This is perfect for when you’re tired of processing theology or annoying trolls and just need to unwind.

Father’s Day

It’s father’s day, and I wanted to post something that was shared at my church service this morning that I found helpful to hear. I recognized it is limited in it’s patriarchal view of God, and I recognize that as men we have failed women in seeing them as equals (as well as failed them in many other ways). And I recognize that the attribute described are not limited to males, and that not all of us will agree with what “maleness” means. But this is not what this post is about.

This post is to the guys out there to say, it is OKAY to be male. Because of our historic power imbalance in our culture with our female counterparts, we have a huge responsibility to figure out what it means to be radical Anabaptist men seeking after what God intends for us while rebuking harmful stereotypes.

This is a day set aside to honor fathers. But we at Dayspring want to extend this honor to all men. Today, we want to celebrate your masculinity…your manliness that was patterned after the divine image of our Heavenly Father.

We rebuke stereotypes that hurt and hinder you…. that seek to destroy your competence and question your value.

We celebrate with you instead the Christ-centered model of manhood that embraces your sense of adventure, your love of nature and the wild, your need to do battle for justice and your call to protect. We celebrate by echoing the voice from Heaven that Jesus heard at his baptism:
“This is my Son whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

If you’ve seldom heard those words from your earthly father, we ask that you hear them with your heart now:
“This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”

Bible Verse of the Day 6/13/07

James 3:13-18 (NIV)

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

————

This comes immediately after the well-known “taming the tongue” section of James. I’m not really quite sure what to say to go along with this BVotD because it reminds me to keep quiet when I don’t have any real wisdom to share. Since I don’t want to blather on to hear myself talk, I’m keeping this short.

YAR moves to closed author registration

After over 9 months of an open registration system for authors here on the Young Anabaptist Radicals blog, last week I had the first spammer bots sign up for accounts. The names, qwyghxh and lgbletw are familiar to me from other sites I’ve run and likely herald the beginning of a long stream of bots attempting to get by our spam prevention software by signing up as users.

So it is with some reluctance that I’ve made the decision, in consultation with other YAR founders, to move to a closed sign up system for those who wish to write posts on the blog. We currently have 97 users signed up to the site, 41 of whom have contributed at least one post. Now that we’ve built up a critical mass, we can begin to focus a bit more on identifying our vision as a blog and who we want to be.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we can’t have new members. It just means that new members will need to be manually added by a YAR administrator. So if you’d like to write a post for YAR (or know someone who should), email admin@young.anabaptistradicals.org
and explain a bit about why you’re interested.

Young (White) Anabaptists Radicals?

Debbie Says:

How many young adults of color are authors on this blog??? Think about it. This should be called YWAR – Young White Anabaptists Radicals.

There are some, though you might not know it from the pseudonyms, and I’m sure it isn’t representative.

There’s also a good post on a related topic from Skylark earlier called How do we get the straight white men to shut up?. Here is another place to talk about it:

Opportunity for real action on behalf of Colombia

Tomorrow a bill goes in front of the House Appropriations Committee that would divert U.S. aid from supporting the Colombian military to organizations working for community and social development. For the first time it looks like there’s a real opportunity to end the failed policies of the 9 year old Plan Colombia which has underwritten the Colombian military and paramilitary groups as they targeted the poor and marginal in Colombia in the name of the War on Drugs and later the War on Terror.

Take a look at this list of Appropriations Committee members and see if your representative is on it. CPTnet has a release with more details on taking action. I’d also highly recommend the article, Colombia’s Third Way which takes a look at some of the hope in Colombia these days and explains why this bill is so important to open the space for change.

Bad God

As I read through various YAR posts the other morning, I was struck with a realization about God. More accurately, a realization about my belief in, and loyalty to God. Here it is:

If God really is a white male hetero-bigot he can shove it for all I care.

That’s right. Not my God. I’ll take damnation over worshiping that crap.

So where does that leave us?

Fortunately that’s not the God I believe in, and so I can move forward with faith in a God that loves creation and all that it is. (more…)