Archive for January 31st, 2013

The Basis of a Human Being

Love every person, regardless of his sinful state. Sin is sin, but the basis of a human being is one and only: the Image of God.

St John Kronstadt

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The Mennonite Worker


Mark Van Steenwyk

“…(W)e found ourselves walking within two traditions. In addition to Mennonites, we’ve rubbed shoulders with Catholic Workers. We’ve discovered that while our theological convictions often line up with our Mennonite siblings, our politics and our practices look like the Catholic Worker movement. ”

So what to do? If you are Mark Van Steenwyk,  you start a “Mennonite Worker” community. Says Van Steenwyk, “We are committed to following Jesus’ way of simplicity (seeking a sustainable life with a healthy relationship to possessions), hospitality (inviting friends and strangers to share life together), prayer (being rooted in life-giving spiritual rhythms), peace (breaking our addiction to power as we get in the way of violence and injustice) and resistance (naming and challenging oppression wherever we find it as we seek to embody an alternative). We chose all these by consensus. Hospitality is our ‘mother value’—it shapes and informs the other values. And communal discernment is the practice that animates all our values.”

Mr Van Steenwyk, who calls himself an anarchist, makes the point that anarchism is a natural fit with the Mennonite faith, which is traditionally separatist and friendly to small community and cooperation. Indeed, one could make the point that anarchism is much more at home among the anabaptist faith than the Catholic one, with its hierarchical order.

At any rate, this is fascinating, and you can read the rest, from The Mennonite, here.

And if you are interested in this story, you may well be interested in Bridge Folk, which calls itself ” a movement of sacramentally-minded Mennonites and peace-minded Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other’s traditions, explore each other’s practices, and honor each other’s contribution to the mission of Christ’s Church” and whose website can be seen here.

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