Bloggers on The Mennonite
A week ago, on May 30, I got word from Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia that Tito, one of the members of Las Pavas community in Colombia, had been attacked with machetes by workers for Aportes San Isidro, the palm oil company that has been trying to push the community of Las Pavas off their land for many years:
I grew up in Church of Christ, a branch of the Stone/Campbell movement (along with the Christian Church and Disciples of Christ with the Church of Christ being the most conservative).
On May 18th, Charletta and I went to our first Mennonite relief sale in Southern California. It's officially called the "Southern California Festival and Sale." It was a good introduction to the diversity of Anabaptist congregations in the area. There was the traditional quilt auction and the food booths had everything from strawberry shortcake (with a woman wearing a strawberry on her head) to Suya chicken. Along with the wonderful food there were potters, balloon artists and face painters. And, of course, all the money raised went to a great cause: Mennonite Central Committee.
Enjoy the photos! As always, click on the photo for a larger view.
Occupy Love is an ambitious documentary. In an hour and 30 minutes it attempts to offer a short history of Occupy Wall Street. It traces the roots of the movement back to the streets of Tunisia in December 2010 and through the plazas Spain in the summer of 2011. In parallel to these clips from recent history, its interviews plumb the big ideas that under-gird the Occupy movement. Interviews with activists, writers and thinkers run the gamut from from the gift economy to western civilizations estrangement from the natural world.
I'm very please to bring you my 5th annual spring collection. What began on a whim in 2009 (with buds and eggs) has become the most established annual tradition here on this blog. Since that first post I've covered blooms, birds and insects, and cute farm animals.
It was five years ago in May 2008, when the Mennonite the bishops of Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite Conference finally allowed for ministerial credentialing of women in their churches. Notably, they stipulated that women were still not allowed to become bishops.
I followed this story closely because I grew up in the Lancaster conference until I was 13. I watched the damaging impact that their anti-women culture had on my mother when she became a Sunday school superintendent in the church where I grew up. Shortly afterward my grandmother's brother left the church as a result of my mother's new role, my grandmother came to visit.
In my role as administrator for the Young Anabaptist Radicals, I sometimes get emails from people with general questions about Anabaptism. Two weeks ago, I got an email from a professor at a school in Texas who shared the following thoughts with me.
What happens if I look more closely at that aversion: that sense of yuckiness? Recently, Rachel Halder of Our Stories Untold, shared with me a story that got me thinking about this in a different way. Rachel is a survivor of sexual abuse who has become an speaker and organizer around the issue of sexualized violence within the Mennonite church in the United States. She shared this story about an experience working with women in a Mennonite related project:
I brought up the fact that we needed to collect stories of women who have been abused. Again, as they always are, people were very hesitant about this. They were (perhaps rightfully?) worried that older women in the church would be turned off by overt language about abuse and they wouldn't be willing to talk about any of their stories because of that yucky topic.
March 24 was the 11th annual Pasadena Palm Sunday Peace Parade, a tradition that started in the days after the invasion of Iraq. It has been replicated in Harrisonburg, Va., Elkhart, Ind., and Toledo, OH. It was a beautiful afternoon with over 100 people joining the march. Here are my photos.
On March 6, we in the United States learned in The Guardian that our government put torture and death at the center of our policy in Iraq. According to the article, Jim Steele, who was heavily involved in the El Salvadoran death squads, was called in to replicate the model in Iraq in 2004 with millions of dollars at his disposal. This strategy, known as the "Salvador Option" was apparently known and discussed at the highest levels of the U.S. government. These actions are consistent with US policy since the end of World War II: torture and mass murder in support of US economic interests.
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