Rethinking “Rethink Church”

“You have to include the story of Christ for being in a Christian community to result in any kind of personal conversion into Christian discipleship. Church has to be more than just “making a difference” and “finding a place where you fit.” When you make church inoffensive by cutting out the story of Jesus that makes church what is, you have also made church uncompelling as a result.”

Morgan Guyton, Rethinking “Rethink Church”.

The Anguish of Imperfect Communion

by Julia Smucker

For about the past five years, I have been a participant in the Mennonite/Catholic ecumenical movement known as Bridgefolk – first as a Mennonite drawn toward communion with the Catholic Church but also strongly connected to my ecclesial heritage, and now as a Catholic seeking to maintain that connection with the church that formed me.  I had agonized over the choice I was presented with in the unavoidable reality that joining with one communion would mean breaking with another, and wondered whether I could do so without it being tantamount to a rejection, a cutting off of my roots.  And then I discovered a group of people who had been agonizing over this division for years before me.  In the many honest and in-depth discussions I’ve been a part of since, it’s been clear that these people who are doing their best to bridge two Christian traditions share a deep longing for a fuller communion than we are as yet able to have, as well as an acute awareness that what we long for cannot be attained quickly or easily.  Read more.

Feasting Michael Sattler

Julia Smucker reflects on another, much needed, sign of hope:

“On this anniversary of the 1527 martyrdom of Swiss Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler, his witness is being commemorated in a new way: not for the heroism or heresy (depending on who you ask) of breaking with the Catholic Church, but for his uncompromised commitment to social justice and nonviolence that now serves as a rich foundation for bridging the Anabaptist Mennonite and Catholic Benedictine traditions.”

Read the rest here.

Reading the Bible with Trayvon Martin

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove reflects on the murder of Trayvon Martin and the practice of reading Scripture–and being read by it–in Christian community.

The constant stream of news this week about Trayvon Martin has re-ignited a national conversation about race–a conversation that has been, in my estimation, neither this public nor this intense since the controversy surrounding President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 presidential campaign. The deep pain at the center of this conversation reveals a wound that we often try to hide, despite the fact that it will not go away. Our history of race-based slavery colors everything in America. President Obama was both honest and revealing, I think, when he said in a press conference last week, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

To read the rest click here.

The White Savior Industrial Complex

Teju Cole is the author of Open City, which won this year’s PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He expounds on the sentiments behind his tweets regarding the Invisible Children / Kony 2012 videos at The Atlantic website.

I disagree with the approach taken by Invisible Children in particular, and by the White Savior Industrial Complex in general, because there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

read the entire article here: The White Savior Industrial Complex