Tagged: MennoNerds


Coming Soon: Interview on Men’s Spirituality

I’m happy to let my readers here know that I will be interviewing my pastor, Scott Brubaker-Zehr, about his doctoral thesis on men’s spirituality on behalf of MennoNerds. It should be a great opportunity to learn some more about how men in our churches (specifically, Mennonites in the Kitchener-Waterloo region) describe their experiences with God and how we can do better.

You can sign up on either Facebook or Google+ for updates and a reminder:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/775636505891472/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/events/c8d10moj2i8878kpqfo5urdeu64

You can watch on:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/events/c8d10moj2i8878kpqfo5urdeu64

The MennoNerds YouTube page (it should automatically publish there, but I may be wrong on this one)

Embedded in a post on the MennoNerds website

Socialism: the radical idea of sharing

Political Socialism and the Church

While I am often political in the broad sense of how people live together, I don’t typically weigh in on specifics of how I think government could best govern. I need to weigh in with support for Ben Corey’s article “We’re Not Actually Socialist”. Here’s the centre of his discussion:

“That’s the Church’s job” I’m frequently told. And, I totally agree– caring for the poor and vulnerable is the Church’s job.

Unfortunately, the Church doesn’t do it– and that’s why so many of us either passively or actively support government programs to accomplish this. Not because we think government is the best or most effective solution, but because until the Church steps up, it’s the only solution on the table.

WikiGodPod: Our Stories Shaping God

Creative Process of A Living Alternative

WikiGodPod: Our Stories Shaping God

Recently I was talking about stuff on WikiGodPod, a podcast out of the Greater Toronto Area (I live close to the GTA in Kitchener) centred around our stories and how that shapes how we understand God. I’m not somebody who speaks well without preparation, so the potential questions were sent in advance and I spent a few hours the night before and morning of planning. I figure since I already spent those hours writing notes, I may as well clean them up a bit and publish them here.

What was the process in the book A Living Alternative?

A Living Alternative

A Living Alternative Giveaway

A Living AlternativeIt’s that time where I am excited to offer up a copy of A Living Alternative! 

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow Anabaptist Redux on Facebook and share the link to this post from there. That post will be pinned to the top of the page. Make sure it is done as a share so it links back to Anabaptist Redux.
  2. Follow MennoNerds on Facebook and share the link from there to the book listing on our website. That post is pinned to the top of the page. Note: if you search for MennoNerds, make sure you go to the page, not the group.
  3. Follow @Ryan_LR on Twitter and tweet:

    I just entered to win a copy of #ALivingAlternative by the @MennoNerds from @Ryan_LR at anabpatistredux.com/a-living-alternative-giveaway

  4. Follow +RyanRobinson on Google Plus and share the link to this blog post from the page there.
  5. Comment on this blog post with why you’re excited to read the book.
  6. Follow @mennonerds on Instagram and reshare the post about Ryan’s giveaway, including the link.
  7. Join the MennoNerds Goodreads group and make a comment on the forum “Ryan’s book giveaway”

A Living Alternative

A Living Alternative – Teaser

A Living AlternativeIf you haven’t ordered a copy of A Living Alternative yet, what’s taking so long? Maybe this intro paragraph to my chapter will help whet your appetite:

The Church currently finds itself in a significant state of flux, much like the Reformation era of the 16th century.[1] To see the significance of this shift, we need look no further than two indisputable changes: in context as we move from strength in Europe and North America to strength in Asia and Africa, and in form with the rise of charismatic Christianity. From the perspective of a Western (Canadian) Christian, I hope to answer three questions: What’s the problem in the West and how did we get here? Why is this point such a problem? And most importantly, how do we combat the problem to most effectively and faithfully embody the Gospel of Jesus and his Kingdom during this period of transition?

[1] Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008), under “Chapter 1: Rummage Sales: When the Church Cleans Out Its Attic,” ePub edition.

Introduction to New Direction Canada

Next Thursday, MennoNerds will be interviewing staff from New Direction Canada, a ministry that works to create safe space for sexual minorities in exploring and deepening faith in Jesus. They do a lot of awesome work and I definitely suggest checking them more out at newdirection.ca.

For a brief introduction, here’s from their YouTube channel, and in the next week I’ll share a few quotes from Generous Spaciousness written by Executive Director Wendy Gritter.

A Living Alternative - Sarah Bessey endorsement

We Wrote a Book!

A Living Alternative - Sarah Bessey endorsement

Maybe the title for this post should be a bit more professional, but I’m excited so decided to let that out. About a year and a half ago, we MennoNerds got the opportunity to write an anthology. This is our result: A Living Alternative: Anabaptist Christianity in a Post-Christendom World. The topic, as summarized in the subtitle, is a broad one. So are the styles: mine is much more of an essay, others more personal testimonies, etc. We have a lot of great writers in the MennoNerds network so there’s a lot here that I’m excited to read.

Spiritual Disciplines - Prayer

The Need for Lament #MennoNerdsOnLoss

Lament is a spiritual discipline. Some might be inclined to tell you that expressing pain or grief to God is a bad thing, that we should be happy about everything because God is good, a very damaging twist on Philippians 4:11. Yes, we are to be content despite everything and even to expect that some suffering will happen as a result of our discipleship. And yes, God is good, but that does not mean that everything about her creation is good. We need to operate in the reality of a damaged world, but unfortunately the church, like a lot of the Western world in general, tends to put on a “stained-glass masquerade” instead (excuse the bad Windows Movie Maker video and just pay attention to the lyrics)

Spiritual Disciplines - Prayer

Sitting Shiva for Trayvon Martin #MennoNerdsOnLoss

I had another post planned today to begin our MennoNerds syncroblog series on mourning/grief/death/illness/loss. Last night’s decision in the George Zimmerman case, however, has led me to want to start with this instead.

In the Jewish tradition, there is a designated mourning period of 7 days for first-degree relatives after the death of a loved one. In that time, friends and family members come and sit with those mourning. The visitors do not talk or try to offer the usual pat answers and condolences, unless instigated by the primary mourners. They just sit and mourn together. Today I shut up my usual theologizing and sit shiva, from a distance, with those mourning the loss of Trayvon Martin and the incredible systemic injustice it represents.