Beware the Amish pirates

An In-Between Place

November 28th, 2011 by AmyY

Last Friday, the city of Philadelphia handed out eviction notices to Occupy Philadelphia, notifying the residents that they had to leave by Sunday at 5pm, or they would be removed.

While, I haven’t been a part of this movement, I’ve been observing them from the edges.  And, when I heard about the eviction, I was anxious.  I saw the UC Davis footage, I read stories about violent evictions in other cities—I was worried about Occupy Philadelphia.

The Interfaith Clergy group called on Philadelphia pastors to go to City Hall on Sunday night, to stand as a witness and reminder that we are called to the way of peace.  So, my colleague and I headed downtown.

It was obvious that we were clergy—some people would walk by us, and thank us for coming, but mostly we were relegated to the edges of the event.  We were marginalized, and that was ok.  We were observers, not participants.

When the Eagles football game let out, we saw more movement around the Occupy Philadelphia encampment.  Disappointed sports fans were coming up from the subway, and streaming into the square.  Many were intoxicated.  A few were very angry with the Occupiers.

One group of young men concerned me right away.  I heard them making plans to pick a fight with the protestors, to get themselves on the news.  They were convinced that they would be hometown heroes.

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Who do we want to be?

September 6th, 2011 by AmyY

I’ll admit at the outset–I used to read YAR and comment on post back in the day, but got busy with seminary.  But, now that I’m out of school I’ve had renewed time and interest in reading again.  I don’t feel like I have much of a right to comment on the state of YAR, because I’ve not been back int the blogosphere long.  But, I’m going to comment anyway.

It’s been five years since YAR got started.  When I first started reading, there was a decent balance between men and women commenting and posting.  And there were a lot of questions about who this group was, who it included and excluded, and what this group wanted to be.

Looking at where the group is now, and using my powers of deduction, I see a lot of white, cradle Mennonite guys posting on this site.  I wonder what happened to the women.  I don’t see them posting much.

That’s leads me to my question for this group–when I look at the suggested taglines for YAR, it makes me wonder if these taglines maintain an exclusive vibe to them.  The biggest culprits are the ones that really made me laugh–”Quilting outside the lines” and “Not necessarily naked”.  I almost voted for one of them, but then I realized that this feeds right into the insider problem of the Mennonite church. read more »

I Have Power

August 31st, 2011 by AmyY

Yesterday, on my way to take my ten year old son to camp, I was telling him my plans for the day. I was driving to Harrisburg from Philadelphia with a van full of Mennonites (white and non-white, citizens and undocumented) to oppose the attempts of some State Representatives to make it a crime to be undocumented.

My son’s response was surprising, and a little funny—“Mom, who invented power? And I’m not talking about electricity here!” I’ll admit that I was proud of his question and his outrage. I’m glad that he can recognize that power is being abused, and used to perpetrate violence and hate.

I reminded my son, who is prone to violent flashes of anger, that power is neither good or evil, what’s more important is the way you use the power you have. Case in point, a ten year old raging about needing to practice his cello certainly wields a lot of power in our house. So can his loving response to his little sister who just needs some big brother hugs.

I’m not the kind of person that meets with my state representative or writes letters to politicians. It’s not my style—I’m not articulate under pressure. I do better with some time to craft a statement, or in one on one conversation. But yesterday, I went to the Pennsylvania State Capital to support the Dream Act, and to oppose the attempts of legislators to make it more difficult for my undocumented friends to live in country we all love. I sat in hearings where we heard testimony from law enforcement, and from tea party activists, who called my friends “aliens”, “illegals”, and “those people”. They said that my friends didn’t care about this country, but only wanted to drain our welfare and social security system. They said my friends were murdering, raping, and stealing from citizens. The testimony was so distorted, so shockingly racist—I couldn’t make it up if I tried.

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Connecting at Connecting Families Weekend

April 15th, 2008 by AmyY

Any YAR folks going to be at Connecting Families Retreat this weekend?  I’d love to do a little meet up. 

Theological Education, Anyone?

August 22nd, 2007 by AmyY

Hi, I’m Amy. I’m not new to the blog–I’m a frequent lurker and occasional commenter.

As someone who is entering seminary this year, I’m interested to know if any of you are going to seminary, or if you have considered it, or if you even care about theological education. What is the value of that to you, fellow YARs?

I’m going to the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (this is my first year), and trying to figure out how to get my Anabaptist stuff while here. You might be asking why a Mennonite would go to a Lutheran seminary–well, show me a Mennonite seminary that is in the city, and focuses on urban issues, and I’ll be there!

I’m looking forward to reading your comments, and hearing your perspectives.