Cross-cultural Chapel: Guatemala & Mexico

& Cross-Cultural Groups, Student Speakers, University Chapels.

The returning Spring 2012 Guatemala Cross-cultural group shares reflections and adventures from their experiences in Guatemala and Mexico this semester.

“#Occupy Empire Closing Reflections” – Jennifer Davis-Sensenig, Phil Kniss

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

In this Closing Worship Service of the #Occupy Empire Conference, members of the Listening Committee offer their reflections of what they heard during conference sessions and through informal conversations with conference participants.

Jennifer Davis Sensenig
serves as the lead pastor of Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Phil Kniss serves as lead pastor of Park View Mennonite Church, also in Harrisonburg.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session V: “Anabaptist Witness in the Empire II” – Matthew Krabill, David Stutzman, Josh Brockway, Nathan Hershberger

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Session V is a series of three Lectures (Note: David Stutzman’s presence in the first lecture is via Skype)

Matthew Krabill and David Stutzman present on “Empire: The Mission Frontier of the Church.”  Matthew Krabill currently lives in Pasadena, CA, and is a doctoral candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary where enjoys studying immigration, global Christianity and Anabaptist theology.  David Stutzman works and lives in Los Angeles and is finishing up his MA in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and his wife, Rebekka, serve in youth ministry at Maranatha Christian Fellowship, Northridge, CA.  Along with their newborn son, Immanuel, they hope to return to Europe one day (where Rebekka is from) to promote church renewal and mission. Matthew and David are both graduates of Eastern Mennonite University.

Josh Brockway presents on, “Tactical Asceticism: Transformation in the Fissures of Empire.” Josh is the Director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren, located in Elgin, Illinois.  Josh is also a doctoral candidate in Church History at the Catholic University of America.  His research focuses on the ascetic movements of the 5th and 6th centuries.  He is the current Book Review Editor and Blog Editor for Brethren Life and Thought.

Nathan Hershberger presents on “Power, Authority, and Renewal: The Concern Movement, Paul Peachey, and the Fragmented Institutionalization of Mennonite Life.” Nathan is a senior History and Philosophy/Theology major at Eastern Mennonite University.  He was born in Managua, Nicaragua and grew up in Harrisonburg, Va.  He is married to Kaitlin Heatwole.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session IV: “Anabaptist Witness in the Empire I” – Janna Hunter-Bowman, Mark Thiessen Nation

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Janna Hunter-Bowman offers a lecture, “Embodied Discourse as Truth Claims and Behavior Change: A Constructive Alternative to Human Rights,”  followed by a response by Mark Thiessen Nation.  Janna Hunter-Bowman is pursuing a Ph.D. in peace studies and theology from the University of Notre Dame.  She earned an M.A. degree in peace studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary while teaching as an adjunct peace studies professor at Goshen College, her alma mater.  As a senior program officer for Justapaz, a Mennonite NGO in Bogota, Colombia, Janna developed and directed a national program monitoring political violence and peacebuilding.  She also led and translated for fact-finding missions, authored in-depth investigative reports on the effects fo U.S. plicy and published numerous book chapters and popular journal articles.  She served overseas through Mennonite Central Committee.  Janna also led policy advocacy efforts for Witness for Peace.  Her research interests–including rights talk, embodied ethics, and peacebuilding–are informed by her experience.

Mark Thiessen Nation is professor of  theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.  Prior to coming to EMS, Mark was the director of the London Mennonite Centre and previously led an ecumenical peace and justice organization in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  One of the world-s leading scholars and interpreters of John Howard Yoder, Mark is also completing work on a forthcoming book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, contesting the common assertion that Bonhoeffer was involved in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Mark holds a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session III: “Alternatives to Empire” – Paulette Moore, Bethany Tobin, JR Rozko

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Session II is a series of three Lectures:

Paulette Moore and friends from the local “Occupy” movement present on “Occupy Harrisonburg and the Local Church.”  Paulette is a filmmaker, educator, journalist, and activist.  Through her work with established and emerging media she explores how art, power, conflict, and justice inspire, inform, and transform.  Moore is Associate Professor of the Practice of Media Arts and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.  She holds an MA in trauma healing from EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and is pursuing a PHD in Media and Communication through European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland.  Moore is a founding member of Occupy Harrisonburg and runs the group’s social media.

Bethany Tobin presents on, “Art in a Trinitarian World: Kenosis and Generativity.” Bethany is a visual artist who grew up in Thailand where her family helped plant a church.  She received a BFA in painting and drawing from James Madison University in 2006 and an MTS in theology and art from Duke Divinity School in 2009.  Her work revels in text and Asian patterns as it seeks to explore Christian symbols that are Asian.  Pervading her work is the sense that the universe is charged with the generous pleasure of God.  Bethany and her husband Stephen Horst and daughter Anjali live in Harrisonburg, where they are still learning how to live missionally.

JR Rozko presents on “The Role of Seminaries in Subverting Empire: Toward a Missional Vision of Theological Formation.” JR and his family are part of Life on teh Vine, a (covertly Anabaptist!) church community in the NW suburbs of Chicago.  JR is part of a DMiss cohort focused on Anabaptist Perspectives in Missional Ecclesiology through Fuller Theological Seminary, and serves as the Director of Operations and Advancement for the Missio Alliance, a new initiative of and for theological practitioners.  JR blogs at lifeasmission.com and contributes to resources and initiatives relevant to theological education through thefutureoftheologicaleducation.com

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session II: “Race in the Empire” – Nekeisha Alexis-Baker, Carl Stauffer

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Nekeisha Alexis-Baker offers a lecture, “Race, Racism, and the Nation-State,”  followed by a response by Carl Stauffer.  A native Trinidadian and long-time New Yorker, Nekeisha Alexis-Baker currently calls Elkhart, Indiana her home.  She received her BA with a major in African Studies from New York University, and her MA in Theological Studies with a conceentration in theology and ethics from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.  She now serves AMBS as both graphic designer and chair of the learning community’s anti-racism team.  Nekeisha’s interests include ethical treatment of nonhuman animals from a Christian/womanist perspective, and the intersection of anarchist politics and Christian faith.  She is the co-founder of the Jesus Radicals network and co-organizer of the group’s website and annual gathering.  Her forthcoming publications include “Keeping the Devil Down: The Church on the Wire” in Corners in the City of God: Theology and The Wire (Wipf and Stock, 2012) and “Doesn’t the Bible say that Humans are More Important than Animals?” in A Faith Embracing All Creatures (Wipf and Stock, 2012).

Carl Stauffer is assistant professor of development and justice studies at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.  He is also the Director of the Caux Scholars Program in Caux, Switzerland.  For 15 years prior to coming to EMU, Dr. Stauffer worked in leadership for peacebuilding, justice, and development initiatives in 20 countries across Africa, focusing on the application of transitional justice and developmental approaches to conflict prevention and post-violence reconstruction and reconciliation efforts.  He has worked with truth commissions, indigenous justice programs, and ex-combatant reintegration processes.  Carl also brings North American domestic experience as a pastor working at development projects in disadvantaged urban communities and as executive director of a Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program.  Dr. Stauffer holds a Ph.D. from KwaZulu Natal University in South Africa and an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

Session I: “(C/c)atholicity in the Empire” – Chris Haw, Peter Dula

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Chris Haw offers a lecture, followed by a response by Peter Dula.  Chris  is a carpenter, painter, theologian, and a potter.  With his wife, Cassie, and baby, Simon, Chris lives with fellow community members at Camden House, a small intentional community in Camden, New Jersey.  Chris grew up Catholic, then spent many years growing and serving at Willow Creek Community Church, moved to Philadelphia to study sociology and theology at Eastern University before going on to graduate work in theology at Villanova University.  He now exists in a creative tension between Catholics, Anabaptists, and global capitalism.  Chris teaches in local congregations, conferences, and also periodically teaches religious studies at Cabrini College.  He c-authored the book Jesus for President with Shane Claiborne, is working on a book about his conversion to Catholicism, From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart (Ave Maria Press, Fall 2012) and has been interviewed in Christianity Today, Sojourners, CNN, and Al-Jazeera, and was featured in the DVD series, Another World Is Possible, and the documentary The Ordinary Radicals.

Peter Dula is assistant professor of religion and culture and chair of Eastern Mennonite University’s Bible and Religion department.  He received a Ph.D from Duke University in theology and ethics in 2004 after completing a dissertation on the intersection of theology and philosophy in the work of Stanley Cavell.  Before coming to EMU in 2006 he was the Mennonite Central Committee Iraq Program Coordinator.  He has taught at Lancaster Mennonite High School and at the Meserete Kristos College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where  he was a Fulbright scholar in 2001-’02.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

“Empire, and the Power of Withdrawal” – Isaac Villegas

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference.

Isaac Villegas offers a sermon, “Empire and the Power of Withdrawal” in the opening worship of a mini-conference on “Christian Witness in, but not of, the Empire.” Isaac Villegas is the pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship in North Carolina, and he teaches seminary classes in prisons with Project TURN.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”

“Mining the Early Church for Mission” – Augsburger Lectures

& Augsburger Lecture Series.

Alan and Eleanor Kreider speak on “Mining the Early Church for Mission” for the Augsburger Lecture Series. “Our Journey into Worship and Mission” is the theme Alan and Eleanor Kreider bring to the campus community as guests for the Augsburger Lecture series this spring.

Alan and Eleanor Kreider
The Kreiders bring scholarship, storytelling, and experience to incarnational missiology. The Kreiders spent 30 years in England, where they were directors of the London Mennonite Centre, teaching in Manchester and Oxford. They have experienced a Christendom culture and its withering, which is the framework for their thought about worship and mission; they have seen the relevance of Anabaptist theology and practice. Alan and Eleanor are the co-founders of Anabaptist Network and were popularizers of Anabaptism to ordinary Christians. They believe worship and mission are central concerns, and hold a passion for the integration of the two. Peace, reconciliation, and the Early Church are interests which under-gird their work. Eleanor is co-editor of Take Our Moments and our Days (2011), and also holds degrees in piano performance. Alan and Eleanor have written many books, most recently Worship and Mission After Christendom (Herald Press, 2011).

Augsburger Lectureship
The Augsburger Lectureship provides resources to annually bring to campus a noted lecturer(s) to address pertinent topics in the area of Christian evangelism and mission for the stimulation and development of a vision for evangelism and missions for the students, faculty and staff of EMU.

“Banqueting in Corinth” – The Augsburger Lectures

& Augsburger Lecture Series, Chapel Gathering in the Seminary.

“Our Journey into Worship and Mission” is the theme Alan and Eleanor Kreider will bring to the campus community as guests for the Augsburger Lecture series this spring. Their theme for seminary chapel on April 12 is “Banqueting in Corinth.”

Alan and Eleanor Kreider
The Kreiders bring scholarship, storytelling, and experience to incarnational missiology. The Kreiders spent 30 years in England, where they were directors of the London Mennonite Centre, teaching in Manchester and Oxford. They have experienced a Christendom culture and its withering, which is the framework for their thought about worship and mission; they have seen the
relevance of Anabaptist theology and practice. Alan and Eleanor are the co-founders of Anabaptist Network and were popularizers of Anabaptism to ordinary Christians. They believe worship and mission are central concerns, and hold a passion for the integration of the two. Peace, reconciliation, and the Early Church are interests which under-gird their work. Eleanor is co-editor of Take Our Moments and our Days (2011), and also holds degrees in piano performance. Alan and Eleanor have written many books, most recently Worship and Mission After Christendom (Herald Press, 2011).

Augsburger Lectureship
The Augsburger Lectureship provides resources to annually bring to campus a noted lecturer(s) to address pertinent topics in the area of Christian evangelism and mission for the stimulation and development of a vision for evangelism and missions for the students, faculty and staff of EMU.

Campus chapel services
The entire campus community is invited to every chapel worship service on campus. Eastern Mennonite Seminary hosts chapel gatherings in Martin Chapel every Tuesday and Thursday; EMU Campus Ministries hosts chapel gatherings every Wednesday and Friday in Lehman Auditorium. Specifics and occasional changes are noted in individual chapel listings.