Inspiration from Geez Magazine: Neo Monasticism also known as Ordinary Life in the Neighbourhood

Our good friend, community member and colleague Eliacin Rosario Cruz has just written a thought provoking response to an article published in Geez Magazine – one of my favourite publications.  The original article Changing the Story of Change, raises some important issues.

Hosting visiting groups to New Jerusalem Now, a grassroots addiction treatment community in North Philly, is starting to feel like poverty tourism. The purpose of the day’s activities is to give the youth group an experience that will hopefully inspire them to care about “the poor.” I think that’s what ignites my anger – Shante should be the most important person in this little gathering, but she’s not. She’s a means to an end, the end being to inspire young, white, suburban Christian youth to be more conscious of poverty. They’re the most important people in the gathering; the day’s events are more about them than the people who live in the recovery community they’re visiting. The privileged suburban kids are at the centre of the narrative.

Read the entire article here

Eliacin’s response is even more thought provoking.

Growing up in my barrio I witnessed many acts of evil and wonderful deeds of love and compassion. I lived among the poor, I was one of the poor. We were poor together. We knew it but we didn’t pay much attention to it, because we had to live. We couldn’t sit around discussing how political, religious or other people’s movements could influence and inspire us in our desire for liberation from poverty. We worked, loved and tried to make sense of our experiences as people – not poor people, simply as people.

Read the article here


Report from Winnipeg

Tom & I are still in Winnipeg enjoying our time at the Mennonite People’s Summit.  Tuesday we had the opportunity to have lunch with Jamie Arpin-Ricci.  We first met Jamie at a conference at Three Hills in Alberta several years ago and he and I have reconnected recently through facebook.  I love opportunities like this to get together with people with similar concerns for community and for the needs of our world.  We have also met with Aidan Enns of Geez Magazine. This is the most creative and challenging Christian magazine we have ever read and I highly recommend it to everyone.  We have also reconnected to a number of people who were part of a Youth Leaders course we taught at CMU several years ago including Bryan Moyer Suderman of SmallTall Music, and Krista and  Darryl Neustaedter Barg.  It is always good to reconnect to old friends as well as having the opportunity to make new ones.

Tom and I are always challenged by the whole life approach to faith of Mennonites.  It is a privilege and an inspiration to be involved in an event like this.

Gimmicks for God

Well I am finally back from New Haven and getting my brain and body back on West Coast time. Have been browsing through a few of my favourtie blogs this morning and came across this great post by Eugene Cho.

Can you believe it GodTube has just raised $30 million for its site. Read the story here

This reminded me of Ship of Fools website which is my favourite window on Christian bloopers, crass Christian merchandise and such.

Wash away your sins

You might also like to check out Geez magazine – Holy Mischief in an Age of Fast Faith. It is a wonderfully challenging look at the inconsistencies of our faith with some great challenges for all of us.