Wired Anabaptists: Learning to Surf


with Tim Nafziger, Kenneth Smith et al;
co-sponsored with the London Mennonite Centre

It’s hard to imagine that as recently as twenty years ago, almost no one owned a personal computer. And “surfing the net” is barely ten years old. Since the early nineties, the computer and the Internet have revolutionised the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we think about the world and even the way we think about community. These changes have profound implications for Anabaptists (and all Christians) that we have only begun to explore.

Join us for a day of discovery and discussion as we look at how Anabaptists can develop the potential of the Internet and avoid some of its potential dangers.

The day will be led by Tim Nafziger, our resident wired Anabaptist. He will begin with a presentation and discussion of online Anabaptist communities. As Mennonites have moved onto the Internet, they have taken some of their tradition of strong community with them. Through email lists and discussion groups, a growing number of Anabaptists from around the world have engaged in lively conversation and debate. Tim will tell us about this global Anabaptist community and how we in the UK can be a part of it.

Are email and chat lines a wondrous breakthrough in communication or are they a mixed blessing? How does using the Internet relate to Anabaptist values like a simple lifestyle? Kenneth Smith, bookkeeper at the LMC, will help us explore some of the dangers of the Internet and of computer technology in general.

Other guests (not yet confirmed) will lead us in discussions on Anabaptist responses to email etiquette, surfing for news in the shrinking globe and the pros and cons of the Internet for our children.

Saturday 16 October
9:30am – 4:00pm
Fee: £20 (£10 unwaged)
Fee includes VAT and lunch
Hosted by the London Mennonite Centre. The deadline for booking is 11 October, 2004. To book a spot, download the
Cross Currents Calendar call the London Mennonite Centre at 0845-4500 214 or use this form.

Tim Nafziger is an American Mennonite working in London as a volunteer for the Anabaptist Network. He is a peace activist who specialises in using the Internet as a tool for communication and resourcing.

Kenneth Smith is the chair of Churches Together in Highgate. He is a serious ecumenist: an Anglican who works at a United Reformed Church and the London Mennonite Centre.