My amazing bevy of friends

Since joining facebook, I’ve somehow managed to pick up more than four hundred friends. I checked the number this morning and was surprised. I hadn’t realized it had come to this. Quite amazing it is, for someone who signed on in order to view photos of her grandchildren and who has the typical introvert’s friendship circle of about a dozen. (Though a baker’s dozen on days I’m feeling especially ebullient.)

Then again, not that surprised either, because “fb friends” is a new category, and unique, and it matters not that it counts relatives and people I’ve never met and people I’ve not seen for three or four decades. We’ve connected in some way, we’ve validated that connection, and I’m quite satisfied to call each one a friend, even if the adjective facebook may be required for technicality’s sake. Continue reading

Inclusion as shalom: a review of C. Norman Kraus’ “On Being Human”

The church’s very authenticity as the body of Christ is at stake in its response to its LGBT members, writes C. Norman Kraus in On Being Human: Sexual Orientation and the Image of God (Cascade Books, 2011).

In this attractive addition to a growing library of discussion about homosexuality underway within some branches of the Mennonites church, Kraus, who is professor emeritus of Goshen College, argues for inclusion in the church for those of all sexual orientations, with the same moral guidelines (mutual affirmation, respect, and affection) for the sexual fulfillment of all. He considers the matter through the lens of the “image of God,” as seen in the Creation accounts and throughout Scripture. Continue reading