Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of five columns written by Ron Byler, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. executive director, to mark 100 […]
Last year, Anna Groff asked me to join the team of bloggers for The Mennonite, and I said yes.
I even had a plan for what I was going to write about: reflections on a series of Christian practices that the 21st-century Church can do to be relevant to the world and deepen the spirituality of its members.
But a funny thing happened.
I held off on posting any of my rants because of that icky social media dynamic where I’d feel compelled to internalize anything and everything people said (or didn’t say) about my blog posts.
Did they like it? Was I insightful enough? Who felt upset by what I’d written? How do I fix it? But more importantly, I didn’t post those rants because that’s what they were: rants.
But now, in the post-Kansas City reality, I am feeling assertive and have some things to say that I hope are more compassionate and grounded than rants.
I am offering my opinions, questions, critiques and gentle admonitions with the intention that as we look for practical and relational ways to move forward, we also develop theologically meaningful ways to move forward too.
As I develop my posts, my goal is to write in a style that reflects a few commitments that I want to be transparent about. I will make mistakes and fall short of my commitments.
You’ll notice that the language is rather polemical and even confrontational, but I hope that won’t keep you from reading my posts.
I hope you will join me in wondering aloud how we Mennonites might move past polemics, accept our emotional turmoil, and use our (peace) theology to remind ourselves that we are a vital part of Christ’s body.
Photo credit: Mennonite Church USA Archives.
The Mennonite, Inc., is currently reviewing its Comments Policy. During this review, commenting on new articles is disabled; readers are encouraged to comment on new articles via The Mennonite’s Facebook page. Comments on older articles can continue to be submitted for review. Comments that were previously approved will still appear on older articles. To promote constructive dialogue, the editors of The Mennonite moderate all comments, and comments don’t appear until approved. Read our full Comments Policy before submitting a comment for approval.