Young Anabaptist Radicals

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dreaming the day away

A few days ago, I was asked what I dream of for the church. It came just after an unrelated discussion about this event. The truth is, I couldn’t answer that question at the moment. I’m still stewing over it; it involves something along the lines of a place where we can share our joys as well as our brokenness. I want church to be a place not that caters to individual whims but which draws in all followers of Christ and transforms us one by one. I want it to be a place that always leaves me slightly discomforted. I want the church to be a place that deals more in the spheres of grace than of legalism.

I’m not attending the gathering at Hesston College, but I do like their questions on the web site, so I’m going to steal a few, and toss them at you all. How would you re-imagine the church? What do we really care about, and how can we make that happen? Of what do you dream?

Realize

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Intro to Katie

I guess it is about time I introduced myself and wrote something. I’m Katie Hochstedler, aka Katie Ho. I’m young and Anabaptist and I’d like to think I’m radical. Who know’s who’s really radical and who’s not?

I spend my time living in Minneapolis and working for Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests as a full-time volunteer. It is the best way I know that I can be Anabaptist. I’ve been here for a year and I’ll be here for one more. Before that I was studying at Goshen College and before that I was growing up near Kalona, Iowa.

Something I find amusing about volunteering is that while I am working with an organization that is involved in both the Mennonite Church and the Church of the Brethren, I have been volunteering through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and now the United Church of Christ Volunteer Ministries. Neither MVS nor BVS will have BMC as a placement so other churches are supporting me.

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Things Biographical

Ohh…internet blog sites. I’ve never tried one…this is my blog cradle. I will be nurtured here – or shaken out of my comfort to my metaphorical baptism by carpet-burn. And I choose to sign my name to YAR, because I think it’s got potential. The potential to hurt and heal – to annoy us in our comfort, challenge us in our disregard and sooth us in our ailing. It could just be annoying, though. I’ve thought about that. And I’m mostly fine with that too. Especially because recently a friend challenged me to start saying stuff – even if I don’t think I have it right – because, we’re doing this as a community right (like those Anabaptists we keep clinging to), and if I get something wrong, eric or Lora or Michael J will call me on it – and then we’ll have a conversation and someone will learn something.

So, that’s why I’m a young Anabaptist radical – cheap right. Later we might define all those terms. For now: engage as you feel drawn or estranged by any part of that title. I’m still trying to figure out if I like young people or Anabaptists or radicals and when I think of them all together, I get real worked-up. But I’m young and occasionally radical and I try to be Anabaptist – so me blogging here sort of makes sense. I come, at least, from an historically Anabaptist church in Harrisonburg, VA. And they used to be radical, Anabaptists, I mean – but probably my church too.
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Bible verse of the day

One of my old professors teaches a course on international development in which he instructs his students in each of the three theories of development (read: why people are poor and what they need to be not poor). At some point during the semester, he requires his students to decide which theory of development they like best, and use the Bible to back up their position.

We read the Bible through cultural lenses. This explains, to some extent, why there are Christians who swear by free trade, others who’ve literally written the book on liberation theology, and still others who insist that Jesus was a warrior despite that whole bit about loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek. It is in that spirit that we bring you the Bible verse of the day, which may or may not end up being regular feature. We hope you’ll enjoy it, and remember that if the Bible were to buy viagra onlineviagra coupononline pharmacycialis pricehttp://canadapharmacybestnorx.com/canadian pharmacy cialis be made into a movie, it would probably be rated NC-17.

A gem from Proverbs 31, for all of you who’ve given up on being (or finding) a “Proverbs 31 woman”:

“Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”
Proverbs 31:6-7

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while we're doing introductions

we should also be doing trust falls and walks-a-miles.

maybe. on the other hand, here’s a bit about me: i’ve been involved with cpt and various other activist groups on and off since attending my first (gateway) SOA protest. i was in South Dakota for a bit, with the warriors on La Frambois island back in 2000, and went to Vieques, Puerto Rico several times to protest my government’s use of civilian farmland for target practice. etc.
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Why Young Anabaptist Radicals?

Why start a blog for Young Anabaptist Radicals? I’d been thinking about the idea for a year or two since Michael Sharp started up the Mennonite Progressive list. It seemed like there was interest among folks, but an email list didn’t seem to be the best focus. I bounced the idea off various friends and people I met and found that people were interested in the idea of a blog where they could publish their perspectives in a more permanent format.

Some of the folks I talked with only heard of Mennonites after reading John Howard Yoder and were interested in exploring what it means to be an Anabaptist, regardless of what church they are from. Others grew up in the Mennonite church and identify with their roots, but have questions about where the church today is headed. The people I talked with shared an interest in a space where they could explore Anabaptist values and how they apply to broad areas like economics, war and society and more specific issues like abortion, homosexuality and the “war on terror.” They wanted a space to disagree or agree openly with the church,with society and with each other. (more…)

design update

just a few changes left to make. there’ll be a new background graphic for the footer, with a border that spans the whole page. also some other things maybe. i’ll do some work on the sidebar features and see what sweet plugins i can find. done all that.

if you’re up for some real excitement, turn off all the images (you can do this in the preferences of most browsers) and check out the back-up header. or turn of your css styles and view the page naked. (return to basic yar style)

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