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.
Something I did recently was give a speech at a conference hosted by BMC and two other faith based lgbt organizations. I was supposed to be provocative as I was speaking to a group of lgbt and allied church people who were mostly older than me. I thought it was a pretty good speech so I’m going to put a link here so you can read it too. It might give you a better picture of me and what I do at work.
To get some discussion going – I’ve been trying to figure out lately how I can become a radical anabaptist chef. In addition to my interest in peace and social justice, especially as it relates to the lgbtq community, I also get really excited about food, especially as it relates to cooking it. I want to explore this more but I’m not sure how best to go about this. As I consider the idea of attending culinary school I come to an image of where I don’t want to be heading (chef in fancy restaurant or country club making expensive food for rich people) but not so much where I do want to be heading. I was originally inspired in the kitchen by the likes of More With Less and Extending the Table and I’m interested in a future that looks like that (not writing cookbooks but living and working in the spirit of those books). I’d love to hear some thoughts and ideas on this from you wonderful people.
I’m totally with you on that “radical anabaptist chef” bit. I’ve had too many conversations with other Mennos about starting coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, etc. We’ve got to start coordinating. How about putting up to buy a farm (or find one that’s already working) and starting there? And in the meantime, I really liked your line, “It’s the best way I know that I can be Anabaptist.” In the face-to-face conversations I’ve had about this blog, we’ve never really defined anything other than the “young” part (meaning we’re mostly in our 20s but we welcome the young at heart, too). How do we “be” Anabaptist today? What does that line mean?
Pingback: Young Anabaptist Radicals » second time around
Lora, I’ll work on getting the skillz to be a radical anabaptist chef and you start working on the networking and the financing. We could create a collaborative organic farm/restaurant/commune or something like that. My only demand is that we have chickens running about and maybe a goat.
You asked what I mean by “being” anabaptist or my line of “it’s the best way I know that I can be Anabaptist.” Well, I’m going to partially defer this answer to my speech and my “conundrum” post. The short version is that working for BMC brings together values of service, non-conformity, non-violence, and standing up for my vision for a healed church in the face of authority and doing all of this in as diverse of a community as we can manage. These are values that stuck out to me as I was learning about Anabaptists when I was growing up.
Write me an email, I am organizing an Anabaptist commune which might meet your approval.
Organizing an anabaptist commune?!?! There already is one. Lancaster.