WCSC Student Blog

Archive for October, 2008

Courtney Miller on Community and Dance Place

October 30th, 2008 – by Emily Benner

The main thing I got from reading [Widening the Circle] was that community is very important, but is something that our culture really doesn’t value anymore….It gives the comparison of community to food. I thought that this was a great analogy because (being Mennonite) the most popular activity in my communities is…eating. The author mentions how “When people in community have their own individual food “stashes” or personal preferences which are indulged privately, it sooner or later leads to isolation and separation from others, whereas sharing food, and agreeing on dietary guidelines brings people together.”

against hip-hop dance. Rennie really makes his audience think….This past weekend was a very big weekend for Dance Place. Saturday was the big fundraiser benefit. We had a tribute to hip-hop artist Rennie Harris. His performance was brilliant. From watching him up on stage he put so much in his dance. Through his work he told stories from his life and after the performance he told the audience a little about his traveling hip hop company. He told of the stereotypes that are often heldI’m thrilled to have the chance to work with and see so many talented artists. I’m beginning to feel at home at Dance Place.

Sweet Honey in the Rock

October 24th, 2008 – by Emily Benner

Some of the students at WCSC have sung choir versions of songs by Sweet Honey in the Rock.  Tonight we’re all going to see them in person!  “Wanting Memories” and “Who We Are (For Each Child That’s Born)” are two of my favorites.  I saw a documentary on this group, and it was downright inspirational.  4 and a half more hours til opening…

Rebecca Yoder: Festivals and Thoughts on Group Life

October 1st, 2008 – by Emily Benner

On Saturday I went to the Arts on Foot Festival in Chinatown and on Sunday I went to the Adams Morgan Festival. I really enjoyed both days–especially watching dancers and listening to their music….I love having endless opportunities of things to do on the weekend. It was also great to be able to spend the day without having to spend money (other than transportation).  I also love how easy it is to get around the city.

I really enjoyed [this week’s reading for Doug’s seminar]. At first I wondered why we waited until the fourth week to read something about intentional community. Then I thought about how the reading made more sense now because we have had a chance to see what living in community is really like. [Something] we all have in common is that we yearn for relatedness and wholeness. Yet…the majority of Westerners live in separation and isolation….In some ways I didn’t identify with what Hogeland was writing, [but] I am in fact very Western when it comes to entertainment. [With friends, I] like to go out to eat, watch movies, go shopping, or play video games.  I really liked how Hogeland stated that entertainment should rejuvenate us and relationship is a key ingredient in entertainment. I had never thought about that before but it made perfect sense. When I go out to coffee with friends and catch up on everything, I feel much more rejuvenated then when we sit and watch a movie. I am excited for this semester and how we will choose to entertain ourselves in the city.

Emily Derstine: Moonlit Yoga and the Purpose of Church

October 1st, 2008 – by Emily Benner

WATER sponsors yoga on the national mall once each month to celebrate the full moon, so this week I attended the first one that took place this fall. [I went] with three other women: a young woman in her 20s, one woman in her 50s, and a Catholic nun who is in her 80s. It was a wonderful group with which to reflect, share, and stretch in silence, in the light of the moon.

The book Doing Justice by Dennis Jacobsen was an informative book for me….I appreciated the faith-based component of Jacobsen’s form of community organizing….Too many Americans, in my opinion, are unfazed with the condition and horrors of the world: the extreme inequity, the poverty, the hunger that faces so many of the world’s people….The church’s role is not to solely increase membership, but to respond to the needs of hurting people, to proclaim God’s Kingdom, and follow Jesus’ teachings….The church exists for those outside its walls.

Rebecca Yoder: Power(lessness) Corrupts

October 1st, 2008 – by Emily Benner

My whole life I have grown up seeing power as basically only a bad thing. However, [the last reading for Doug’s seminar class] made the point that although power tends to corrupt, powerlessness also corrupts. However, many people just sit back and don’t want to make a change. Some fear added responsibility, some lack confidence in their gifts, some prefer to surround themselves with dependable relationships, and some want power but only for themselves and their churches. I realized that I find myself in this group, mostly because of the first two fears. Yet we have to remember that God is the source of power and that power can be a good thing as long as it is rooted in love and is shared. That is why power has had a negative connotation in my mind, because power is almost never rooted in love.