Dearest all, my name is Hilary. Perhaps, this will allow you to get to know me a little bit: I love cutting vegetables and baking bread. There is something about getting my hands entangled in earth-turned-food that reminds me of what is important in life. One of my favorite things to do is to come home and sit with my neighbors on their front porches. Becoming entangled in the lives of created human beings makes my own roots grow deeper into the ground. I cannot remember one time in my life (since the 8th grade) when I turned down an opportunity to go dancing! Moving my body, giving my body the right to take space in the world and the space to create its own story has been a tool for healing that has never failed me. And that considered, I have recently been breaking into the world of body prayer… and I am loving it.
COLOR. My soul is suffocated without color. When I was little, I used to refer to different buildings and stores according to the color of the light in them (pink light, yellow light, blue light…). Recently, at a time of extreme stress and hardship in my life, I impulsively went to a convenience store (the sort of store I never step foot in) and bought 6 different colors of bright nail polish (without checking to see if they were tested on animals and without letting myself think about where the money was going..). When I was home and my nails were flaunting the obnoxious hues, the pressure in my bones drained, and my own breath returned. If I could have a canvas the size of an entire wall, and gallons upon gallons of natural paint, the joys of my life.. color, bodies, movement, creation, relationships.. would all fold in on each other in one beautiful act of worship.
I care about lots of things. I care about wholeness in communities, in our congregations, in our global relationships and in our personal selves. I care deeply about respect and justice. Without these, we condemn ourselves to eternal brokenness. I care about the work of undoing all oppressions. Without this work, there will be no justice. I have a special place in my heart for women carrying the burdens of injustice. I am a woman. I carry these burdens too. I care about healthy spirituality, faith, learning to know my heavenly Mother and learning to see Her presence in the world. I care about those torn by violence, abuse and war. Receiving and holding the stories of these is a sacred privilege. I care so very much for those around the world who have touched my life and who continue to shape it: Tibetan Buddhists, Kurds, Iraqis, and all of the nations who called North America home before it was called “North America.”
(The obligatory part:) I live in Elkhart, Indiana. I grew up in a Mennonite home, but I was the only Mennonite in my high school of 3,000. So… my experience was definitely not that of an Anabaptist metropolis. I am now a student at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (my first Anabaptist “metropolis” experience) where I work in the Peace and Justice department and with the Damascus Road Team. I am a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams in northern Iraq. Community involvement/organizing and peace and justice involvement/organizing are… things I do. This year I am also in a temporary pastoral role for the faith formation of young people. The end : )