Beware the Amish pirates

Why I left YAR, and why I’m not likely to come back regularly

February 26th, 2010 by Skylark

Looks like Folknotions paved the way for me on this one. I’d pretty much forgotten about YAR until yesterday TimN sent me a new incoming comment on a post I’d put up well over two years ago.

Like Folknotions, I didn’t leave YAR because I thought YAR was a bad place or because anyone had angered me. Rather…

1. I’m not Mennonite anymore, even though Anabaptism still influences my thinking and theology.

I started attending a Mennonite church with my family when I was 12. I left that church a little over a year ago, at 25, because of some undesirable circumstances that culminated and made clear to me in an instant that it wasn’t the church for me anymore. I haven’t set foot in that building for anything church-y since, and have had only limited contact with its members since. (My family still goes there, though, and I have lots of contact with them.)

When I left initially, I took a few weeks off from faith communities. I decided to check out a United Church of Christ congregation in the small town where I was living at the time. My dad’s side of the family is all UCC, so I felt a little more comfortable checking out a UCC church than the Methodist church next door, to which I had no pre-existing connection. I felt a need to participate in a faith community, but my finances had become such that I needed a church to which I could walk. Since I was planning on moving from that small town, I knew from the start that this congregation would be a transitional church for me.

It was a relatively “safe” place for me to be at that time in my life. I had broken off an engagement to someone I loved very much, and he was still making me miserable through stalking me and some other measures. In contrast to the Mennonite church I’d left, where there was an insanely high percentage of twentysomethings, this UCC church was highly concentrated with people above 70 years of age. It had the “new and different” appeal to me of being a fairly liturgical church and following a more formalized pattern of rituals than the Mennonite congregation. I know it’s backwards to most people for anyone to “discover” liturgy as something “new and different,” but I guess you’ll get that when every church you’ve regularly attended your entire life has eschewed any connection to the lectionary. read more »

It’s Not You, It’s Me: Why I’m Leaving YAR

February 17th, 2010 by folknotions

So I’ve been a contributor to YAR since early 2007 and have engaged in some interesting discussions with some of the collaborators and even met, discussed, and dined with some of the administrators here. Yet, for the past…oh, year and a half I suppose, I’ve pretty much only contributed book reviews. And in the last 3 or 4 months, I’ve only registered objections to some of the posts I’ve encountered.

I think it’s only fair, and correct, and in the interest of maintaining the fellowship here, that I step out from YAR. But, an explanation rather than a self-righteous “screw you guys, I’m going home!” is in order since explanations are so lacking in the blogosphere (and in my comments the last few months - Sorry Tim but I’ll send you an e-mail if I think I can answer your question about Marxism).

There are a number of things that led me in that direction, several of which I will enumerate here:

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