A new initiative in South Africa is gathering people, churches and other Christian organizations into a web of mutually beneficial relationships. The Anabaptist Network in South Africa (ANiSA) seeks to apply the teachings, experiences and perspectives of Anabaptism to contemporary issues of Christian faith and practice in Southern Africa.
By Ros Parkes
In September 2004, I heard the word Anabaptist for the very first time. Noel Moules (of Workshop) and Stuart Murray Williams (of the Anabaptist Network) were contributing to a gathering of the Speak Network, which I was at.
Christians across western culture are facing profound challenges and fresh opportunities. The long era of ‘Christendom’ is coming to an end. We now live in a plural society, with multiple religious options alongside the prevailing secular assumptions, in which Christianity has lost its position of dominance and privilege and churches are on the margins of society. Although we seem to be declining in numbers and influence, this context offers many new possibilities – if we have the courage and imagination to grasp them.
Krista Ehst, a young Mennonite from Pennsylvania, recently spent some months in the UK as an intern. On her return to the USA we invited her to write down her reflections.
I am deeply tied to my Mennonite heritage. I love going to four-part hymn sings; I cherish memories of learning to bake shoo-fly pie1 with my grandmother; I love walking across the acres that have been farmed by my Mennonite ancestors for ten generations. I return from the UK, however, wondering if these Mennonite traditions are connected to the Anabaptist faith I also claim.
We are delighted finally to be able to announce that (after a very long delay at the publisher's) the fifth book in the popular 'After Christendom' series - Worship and Mission after Christendom by Alan & Eleanor Kreider - has been published.
The book can be ordered from the Anabaptist Network for £12.99 (including postage) and will be available at that price from bookshops. A sample chapter can be found at http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/node/523.
Early commendations include:
Peace school 2009/10 is fast approaching. The dates and venues for this coming year have now been set and booked, and places are beginning to be booked up. If you are looking for a space in which to explore how issues of peace and justice fit into your life; if you crave being part of a community of people asking similar questions; if you want to gain more knowledge, understanding and skills as a peacemaker, then this year’s Peace School might be exactly what you are looking for.