Longest night — over!

How wonderful to wake this morning and know that the year’s longest night is over! Darkness has reached the full stretch of its powers and now, even through a still-long winter ahead of us, we will enjoy a little more light every day. These facts are especially relevant in a northern city such as Winnipeg. Continue reading

Link notes: Bolivia, bread, a beach story, and more

BOLIVIA  Those of you following the Bolivia Mennonites rape scandal and subsequent trial and judgment will want to read Mennonite Weekly Review associate editor Tim Huber’s editorial about it. At Sightings, Adam Darlage reflects on the “shocking” story in terms of how the “pacifist Anabaptist tradition” has shifted in the American imagination, from “deeply distrusting Old Order Anabaptism to romanticizing it.” He argues that a “doomsday narrative” that posits Old Order Anabaptist groups as symbols of virtue where vice should not reach is “a poor approach to these tragedies [the Nickel Mines tragedy and the sex scandal in Bolivia]” and concludes:

The Old Orders within the historic Peace Church tradition deserve more than facile narratives of nostalgia and woe when terrible events like these happen…. Instead, these groups merit deeply contextual understandings of their particular problems and concerns by people who would approach them for what they are: lived religious communities of human beings with their own sets of rituals, values, symbols and, to be sure, their own very human problems as well. Continue reading

Bolivian Mennonite rape trial

Breaking into my blog vacation with a sad, important story I want to give wider circulation. (Regular readers here will recall that I’ve posted about this before.) Journalist Jean Friedman-Rudovsky has been following the trial of the Mennonite men in Manitoba Colony in Bolivia allegedly responsible for the rapes of as many as 130 women and girls; she filed the following report for TIME: “The Mennonite Rapes: In Bolivia, a Trial Tears Apart a Religious Community.”