Beware the Amish pirates

1st Year Reflections from a 1st Year Mennonite - Gonna be a long one folks

August 30th, 2007 by folknotions

A friend of mine invited me to a Mennonite church with her to experience their message this past November of 2006. I looked into the history; I examined the theology. And it made sense to me. As a result, I had a Christian conversion.

And then I spent some time in the church, and found that faith can smolder even among Mennonites. Despite a great theological understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit, I rarely hear Mennonites talk about the Spirit in their lives. Though preaching pacifism, some Mennonite lives out passive-ism. And still others cling to an ethnic identity which, while certainly important to heritage, is also exclusionary for those folks who don’t share that history.

I found this blog and thought perhaps it could be a helpful spiritual outlet for me. And, indeed, it has been.

But even us folks I think warrant a bit of constructive criticism, which I do submit comes from within my limited worldview, so take it with a grain of salt. YAR ain’t perfect. I may love this space, but I don’t unflaggingly support it. In the upcoming year, I would suggest the following to be considered by us folks: read more »

Welcome to the Gaza Zoo

June 23rd, 2007 by Brian

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.

results from the age poll

May 30th, 2007 by Katie

Well, this poll has been up long enough. It is time for a change. So, I’m posting the results for posterity and I’ll put up a new one when I’m done. The poll was up for about a month and a half and received 86 responses - here they are.

YAR or OAR? How old are you? (don’t worry, all are welcome, we’re just curious).

18   3 3%
18-23  25 29%
24-29 27

31%
30-35 8 9%
36-45 12 14%
46-55 

8 9%
56-65   2 2%
> 65  1

1%

For some background on this poll and others, you might check here and here.

Vegetarianism: A freak hippie fad or a way to be a radical Christian?

May 10th, 2007 by Skylark

What’s the matter? Now that we know our conversations are to be summarized in another venue, we stop talking? I hope everyone’s just busy being radical in their offline lives.

The real reason for my post is to talk about vegetarianism and animal rights/welfare. This is another topic on which many Christians (perhaps especially Mennonites in rural areas) have only vague notions of why anyone would decide not to eat meat. It seems silly, pagan or perhaps even anti-Anabaptist when you’re talking about “meat canned in the name of Jesus for the missionaries to eat.”

It’s with some trepidation that I write this. I don’t want to come off as a zealot who believes everyone has to do as I do. There’s just so much misinformation out there it’s hard to know where or how to begin. It would certainly be encouraging to discover YARs aren’t scared to talk about something that is at once philosophical and immensely practical for those of us who eat three meals a day. read more »

Standards for Guiding YAR Blog Together

April 24th, 2007 by Katie

I have been meaning to work on this for a while and finally got inspired.

Some things to think about before you get yer posting and commenting on.

This blog is moderated to keep spam out but we’re not in the habit of deleting comments or blocking dissent. There are, however, certain behaviors that are rude and annoying and others that aren’t. The line isn’t always clear and we all cross it occasionally. If you feel someone has crossed a line or have questions, feel free to contact one of the moderators (Tim, Eric, or Katie). You are also welcome to politely challenge behaviors yourself, as you feel led.

read more »

How do we get the straight white men to shut up?

April 24th, 2007 by Skylark

Before anyone gets offended, that’s hyperbole. Bet it got your attention, though. What I’m really asking is how do we achieve diversity on YAR? I have noticed something these past few weeks on YAR. The regulars who tend to dominate the discussions on race, gender and inclusion are… men. (Or I presume so based on their screen names.) I recall several saying they are straight and white. In no way am I saying I don’t enjoy reading what they have to say. I’ve certainly been challenged by them in many ways. It just seems to me there’s something anachronistic about a core group of males who are probably also straight and white being the primary discussors of these matters in this venue.

I remember a recent race and church discussion here in which someone said straight white males should step down from church leadership to give women and minorities* back some of the power. How much does YAR function as a pulpit? We know more people are reading than simply those who post and comment. We’re even going to give periodic summaries of our discussions to an Anabaptist publication.

My fear is that with several straight white males being so adept at sharing their (thoughtful and insightful) views on the subject, the women and minorities* who would like to speak up will see YAR as ultimately no different than any other straight-white-male-dominated venue. I’m not one to just shut my trap on here, heh, but not everyone is like me. Hopefully those who know far more than I ever could will find this a safe place, too.

Maybe I made some of you mad. Good! If I’m wrong, tell me so. Come up with a better solution. Tell me which are the right questions to ask.

*I’m including GLBTQ in “minorities.” Hopefully that’s not a problem.

R?

April 23rd, 2007 by eric

There has been some concern about the Y in our name being exclusive to aging Anabaptist Radicals. Of course, all three of the letters are meant to narrow down the target contributers. Interesting to me is the breakdown of how much we care about each letter. According to an earlier poll, we care most about the A, quite a bit less about the R, and almost not at all about the Y.

There’s a lot of talk on here about being Anabaptist. As that is what differentiates us from all the other young radical blogs out there, I won’t act too surprised. But I am a little surprised. The R seems fairly central to why this blog exists. Or am I wrong? As a founder, I know that was a main reason for starting it - a forum for radicals among the Anabaptists. The Y and A were more descriptive of ourselves and our context (we were all young Anabaptists) than purpose in my mind.

What about that R? Does it matter to you? Are you radical? What makes you radical? Would you join a YAM for moderates or a YAC for conservatives? Do you care?

Poll update - sorry guys

April 13th, 2007 by Katie

Our poll on white, non-gay men in ministry is now closed. In the month it was up, we received 30 votes of which 5 were abstentions. So of 25 votes, there were 15 yes votes. That is a encouraging 60%. Unfortunately, it is also two votes short of the 2/3 super-majority needed so I guess it’s too bad for you white, non-gay, males out there.

read more »

Story includes YAR

March 22nd, 2007 by ryanm

I’ll keep this short, since no one commented publicly on my post requesting help for my story about online blogs. Thank you to the YARs who responded to me via personal e-mails. My story is posted on the Urban Connections site.

Or jump directly to the story.

Again, thanks for the conversations. One person, whom I did not quote in the story, as the comment came out of context, said she was dumbfounded that the church is still writing stories like this after more than a decade of overwhelming Web involvement across the world. She has a point, but I think such stories move portions of the church toward understanding of a medium that still feels unfamiliar to many. (I heard a radio talk show host yesterday marveling at the sheer volume of instant messages he received after signing up earlier this week.) There’s still a long way to go in learning how electronic media both shapes and can be used by the church.

on a lighter note

March 13th, 2007 by eric

We have issues

From: Indexed

Looking for youth to blog on peace and justice

December 15th, 2006 by eric

I got this from Susan Mark Landis, Peace Advocate of Mennonite Church USA, today. Thought I would put it out there…

Friends,
Sometime early next year, my office will be sending postcards to
Mennonite youth in high school, encouraging them to
Choose life!

(If you go to a Mennonite congregation that has given addresses of youth
to the Mennonite Education Agency, your youth will receive the postcard.
If not, you may send names/addresses to LisaA at Mennoniteusa dot org and she
will do a special mailing. The postcard is intended for Mennonite youth,
but we’re glad to send it to high schoolers from other denominations.)

The postcard will refer youth to a NEW! webpage for youth, about peace.
We’re looking for several youth who are articulate, willing to have
their words looked over before posting (it IS a church website),
thinking about peacemaking and willing to write at least weekly. As I
understand, this is called a blog.

Please talk to youth you would recommend and have them send me a note
expressing their interest, telling me what they would write about, how
they feel about the idea. (do NOT click return, please):
SusanML at MennoniteUSA dot org

Peace,
Susan