By Tim Nafziger and Ched Myers, re-posted from Ventura County Reporter (Dec 30, 2020)

“Have you ever sung Christmas carols by candlelight in a time when your state governor has prohibited you from doing that? In America?!”  

These are the opening lines of a video by actor Kirk Cameron on Instagram (viewed 80,000+ times) inviting Ventura County residents to join his second “Christmas caroling peaceful protest” at The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks. Hundreds of people responded to Cameron’s call and gathered without masks to sing at the mall on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 13 and again on Tuesday, Dec. 22.  A similar “worship protest” is slated to take place in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve led by self-described “missionary, artist, speaker, author and activist” Sean Feucht. The California Poor People’s Campaign, along with many faith leaders, are calling on Los Angeles elected officials to halt Feucht’s events.


COVID-19 is Disproportionately Killing Poor People

By Tim Nafziger

The latest analysis of fatalities in Italy caused by is that “more than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.”*

This takes the socio-political implications of COVID-19 to a whole new disturbing level. It means that people who don’t care about poor people (who are disproportionately impacted by diabetes and high blood pressure**) and chronically ill people may well decide that they can take the same attitude as spring breakers in Miami who say “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”*** While the reality is that anyone could die from this disease, some of us have much better survival odds than others. Continue reading “COVID-19 is Disproportionately Killing Poor People”

God, we confess…

By Katerina Friesen

Photo by Tim Nafziger

God, we confess our human struggles before You:

our deflated dreams after years of trying so hard, our uphill battles
against despair. You see and know us, inside and out.
Our cravings for control when chaos surrounds, our burnt-out
quests for justice, our disillusionment with less-than-perfect community.
God, we need a breakthrough of Your Spirit.
We need some juice for the long-haul! Zest us with hope,
and renew us with Your Living Word today. Amen.

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 “The Tension of Two Postures”

We don’t have to soldier on; grief is part of Christian peacemaking.

Sarah MJ and Jonathan Brenneman
MJ Sharp in the middle with Sarah Thompson and CPTer Jonathan Brenneman

By Sarah Thompson and Tim Nafziger, Written for Sojourners Magazine.

3 July 2017, CPT International Reflection

Michael J. Sharp was a close friend. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) he was a Mennonite witness, scholar and peacemaker. Over five years, first with Mennonite Central Committee and then with the United Nations (UN) group of experts, he cultivated relationships of trust and respect with people who were experiencing dreadful violence, exploitation because of government corruption, and the oppressive impact of generations of corporate-colonial resource extraction. His teamwork there included demobilizing armed groups, investigating human rights abuses, and reporting to the UN Security Council towards their goal of creating the conditions for peace in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Continue reading “We don’t have to soldier on; grief is part of Christian peacemaking.”

When The Carnival Came to the Twin Cities

maestroBy Tommy Airey (all photos from Tim Nafziger)

Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left.
Victor Hugo

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The past two weekends, Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis showcased the Carnival de Resistance, a traveling arts carnival and ceremonial theater company performing at the intersection of ecological justice and radical theology. These performers converged upon the Twin Cities during the month of September, migrating from the four corners of North America to reclaim and reframe the biblical prophetic tradition. They combined their standard four productions into two: “Rooted Wind” and “Burning River” (playing on Friday and Saturday on consecutive weekends). But the bulk of their month-long residency was devoted to uplifting projects and voices that are indigenous to this watershed, the mostly white crew consistently passing the baton to Native American leaders, people of color and women, those well-acquainted with the kind of grief and passionate resistance that it will take to create and construct Something sustainable in a culture well-adept at fooling itself into thinking America ever was great.   Continue reading “When The Carnival Came to the Twin Cities”

A Lenten Letter to Tom Fox on the 10th anniversary of his death

Tom FoxBy Tim Nafziger, a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) living in London at the time of the kidnapping of four CPTers: Harmeet Singh Sooden, Norman Kember, Jim Loney and Tom Fox. For more background on Tom Fox’s story and his work with CPT see Pearl Hoover’s excellent essay The Sermon on the Mount in the Life and Death of Tom Fox.
Dear Tom,

On Christmas Day, 2004,
weeks after Margaret was kidnapped and killed
you wrote about an image that came to you: Continue reading “A Lenten Letter to Tom Fox on the 10th anniversary of his death”

Prophecy, Pedagogy and Permaculture

InhabitBy Tim Nafziger, co-founder of Young Anabaptist Radicals residing in Southern California’s Ventura River Watershed

8 years ago, I showed “What a Way to Go” to my family. I hope they would, as the movie tag line says, come to grips “with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American lifestyle.”

Halfway through the movie my sister walked out. It wasn’t so much that she was opposed to the message of the movie. She just couldn’t take how relentlessly depressing it was. Continue reading “Prophecy, Pedagogy and Permaculture”

Radical Discipleship: Seven Communities

tim nafzigerBy Tim Nafziger, originally posted at Geez Magazine

Radical Discipleship: Seven communities that have shaped my journey as an Anabaptist

From February 16-20, 2015, I was immersed in the Between Seminary, Sanctuary, Streets and Soil: A Festival of Radical Discipleship. The gathering featured over 80 presenters from communities around the U.S. Their stories of radical discipleship inspired me to put together this primer of seven communities that I have visited and interacted with over the past decade. Each of them were represented at the Festival.

Read more here.