The Tension of Two Postures

CvilleFrom the conclusion of The Mennonite blog post “Nonviolence Against White Supremacy After Charlottesville” by Tim Nafziger and Mark Van Steenwyk: 

We are both Christian pacifists committed to creative responses to white supremacy that step outside the myth of redemptive violence.

Pacifists are at their best when they commit to strong solidarity and are willing to lay their lives on the line for the ones they love. It can be a pure expression of compassion–suffering with the oppressed in such a way as to magnify the full humanity of the oppressed while, at the same time, showing love for the oppressor as well. Continue reading

A Shift Towards Sustainable Community

golden calfAn update from Mark Van Steenwyk, the co-founder of the Minneapolis Mennonite Worker:

I’ve gotten a few comments and messages expressing the assumption that The Mennonite Worker is closing, or has closed. That isn’t true (in one way), but it is true (in another way). Let me explain.

We launched the Mennonite Worker (originally called Missio Dei) in 2004. We started as an urban church with a strong commitment to living out the way of Jesus in a particular area of Minneapolis (mostly around the Cedar Riverside neighborhood). Within the first couple of years, we began a strong radical shift towards becoming an intentional community that lived more deeply into the sorts of radical practices Jesus calls us to embrace: hospitality, peacemaking, prayer, and simplicity. Continue reading

Precious Little Purchase

From Mark Van Steenwyk (right: with son Jonas)Mark, co-founder of the Minneapolis Mennonite Worker, in a Facebook post from July 6:

If I lived in a swing state, I might vote for HRC. Thank God, I don’t. I have the luxury of voting my conscience (or non-voting my conscience) without much risk.

But I wish and pray and beg that folks would put the same energy into organizing or campaigning or protesting for justice that they put into this horrible excuse for democracy we call “presidential politics”. Continue reading

Destroying the Golden Calf

golden calfA Facebook Event Page for July 3 from the Simone Weil House in Minneapolis, MN:

Uncle Sam is turning 240. In the days of his fathers, this land was abundant with forests and clean water and myriad indigenous cultures. A sad waste of productivity. His fathers, the European nations, subjugated the land and its people, and brought in new labor from across the Great Sea. And thus, when little Sam was born, he received a worthy inheritance…land and labor. Continue reading

School For Revolution: Exploring Ways To Ruin More People

We sat down for a little email interview with Mark Van Steenwyk of the Mennonite Worker (right) in Minneapolis a few days ago. He is spearheading a new “School For Revolution” debuting October 23rd to 25th this year:

**This post was edited on September 13, 2014 at 8amEST.
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RD: What led to the start of this new “school?”

MVS: Dorothy Day referred to Catholic Worker communities as “schools for revolution.” I resonate with that idea. Our goal at the Mennonite Worker is to ruin people for productive life in the empire; we want all of our residents to be captivated by Jesus’ kingdom vision. Continue reading