I’ve written about my online communities before, each represented by a badge in the footer of my blog and each with its own unique emphasis. I’m learning a lot from each group — in areas that we have in common, and in areas that challenge me.
Take the image above for example — it’s the banner for my first-ever MennoNerds Google Hangout Event. On Thursday, I’ll be taking part in #MennoNerds on Race, Mutuality and Anabaptist Community, which is being planned as a panel discussion with viewer participation.
I love the banner for the event, created by MennoNerd Eddie Gonzalez, but it also challenges me.
I am an Anabaptist, too — is this directed to some imagined Anabaptist in-group, as in, hey, don’t forget about me, I am an Anabaptist, too? The Anabaptist movement in general and the MennoNerds as a group within it, is not exclusively young, white and male — I am an Anabaptist, too.
I am an Anabaptist, too — is this a statement of self-disclosure, that among all the roles and relationships in life, I am an Anabaptist, too. I’m a woman, a Christian, a pastor, a writer — blogging about faith and life, writing a book on creativity, and in the midst of all of that and more, I am an Anabaptist, too.
And what about “Let’s be the change we need to see“? What change(s) are we looking for in our own lives, and in our community and world? Do we “need” to see these? And is change all about us? Or is it more: “Let’s be the change we’re looking for,” “Let’s be the change we’re praying for,” Let’s be the change that God is growing in us.” As I have often prayed and preached in my own congregation, Let’s be the people that God is calling us to be.
The panel hasn’t even started and I’m already deconstructing it. But I’m looking forward to the event both for the chance to experiment with the technology and to learn from our dialogue. Join in here, June 12 at 6:30 CST.
Here’s a little more about the event:
#MennoNerds on Race, Mutuality and Anabaptist Community
What can Christians do and learn about racism?
Drew Hart, MennoNerd blogger and self-described Anablacktivist, said: “The myth is that we don’t live in a highly racialized and white-controlled society, and that the church isn’t complicit. But the truth is that race and racism affect all of us.”
How do we name, explore, and critique violent systems, and navigate the tensions where we are complicit in racism — to whatever degree? How can the white majority in the North American church live in vulnerable community with persons of color, and how can persons of color be heard in the church? Can we envision change for white majority, white-dominated churches, institutions, schools and seminaries? Where are there examples of Anabaptist communities, bloggers, theologians and networks modeling a more faithful way?
These questions and others will be explored during this upcoming livecast panel discussion entitled “Race, Mutuality and Anabaptist Community,” produced by MennoNerds. The diverse range of panelists include: Drew Hart, April Yamasaki, Tim Nafziger, Katelin Hansen and Osheta Moore joined by Tyler Tully. Learn more on MennoNerds.com.
The free event will include input from its viewing audience using Twitter and Google+.
April Yamasaki is lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Abbotsford, B.C., and the author of Sacred Pauses (Herald Press, 2013). She blogs at aprilyamasaki.com, where this post originally appeared.