A Double Stance

AORFrom Elaine Enns & Ched Myers in their 2nd Volume of Ambassadors of Reconciliation (2009).  Enns & Myers direct Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, hosting their annual February Kinsler Institute from February 15-19–this year’s theme is Landscapes of Trauma, Stories of Healing: Women in Luke’s GospelONLY 2 MORE DAYS to register:

To secure peace with justice, whether locally or globally, requires that peacemakers assume a double stance. On one hand, we must be close enough to a given conflict that we can identify the particularities of each party and situation, which calls for the approach of community organizers, social workers and pastors. On the other hand, we also need to step back enough to see the influence of larger historical, social and ideological forces, requiring the skills of social analysis and advocacy. Holistic peacemaking cannot ignore any of these competences or perspectives if it is to be transformative. And if we do not experiment with alternatives, we are left with the retributive solutions of sheriffs and the prison system, which merely manage the inevitable conflicts generated by a dysfunctional society.

Workshopping Historical “Response-Ability” among Settlers

Elaine 2010By Elaine Enns, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. This piece was originally printed in Geez Magazine’s Decolonization Issue.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
cannot be unlived,
but if faced with courage,
need not be lived again.”
— Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of the Morning,” 1993

Facing painful history is indeed wrenching. In North America, we Settler descendants often avoid hard conversations about past and present relationships with Indigenous people. In my ethnic community, Mennonites in Saskatchewan, I have been exploring our resistances to “response-ability” in doctoral research, through interviews, focus groups and workshops. This piece summarizes two —selective memory and distortions in our communal narrative—which obscure the whole story and the truth that alone can lead to reconciliation. Continue reading “Workshopping Historical “Response-Ability” among Settlers”

Two Weekend Reads

res schoolsTo what extent might unresolved trauma be impacting our settler Mennonite capacity to feel empathy with other traumatized groups? If we, as a community, can recognize this impact and guard against the egoism of victimization, wouldn’t it stand to reason that our hearts would be more open to the pain being carried by our indigenous neighbours and our hands more ready to work at “restorative solidarity”?
Elaine Enns

We recommend a dark brew to accompany two challenging and inspirational readings coming from two Canadian women doing unique work with truth and reconciliation. First, Elaine Enns, working within the North American Mennonite tradition, prods white settlers towards a “restorative solidarity” with our indigenous neighbors. Writing in Canadian Mennonite Magazine, she zeroes in on empathy in an article entitled “Facing History With Courage:” Continue reading “Two Weekend Reads”

Ray, Janay & Restorative Justice In A Culture of Violence?

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy…Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Martin Luther King, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
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By Tom Airey, Co-Editor of RadicalDiscipleship.Net & Lindsay Airey, MFT

Mainstream media outlets have homed in on the subject of domestic abuse in the wake of the release of the video of pro football player Ray Rice literally knocking out his fiance (now wife) back in Febuary.   Continue reading “Ray, Janay & Restorative Justice In A Culture of Violence?”

A Revaluation Of Everything

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
II Corinthians 5:16-17

Below, we excerpt the work of Ched Myers & Elaine Enns, critically reflecting on II Corinthians 5:16-17 in Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Volume I: New Testament Reflections on Restorative Justice & Peacemaking (2009). Continue reading “A Revaluation Of Everything”