It’s quite a simple story actually.
My father, a former devil worshipping drug dealer back in the 60’s became a Christian during the hippie movement and immediately gravitated toward the Anabaptism. So much so, that he attended a Mennonite Seminary and became a Mennonite pastor. Upon my dad’s graduation from Seminary, he and my mom moved to North Battleford Saskatchewan where I was born in 1980.
My first 21 years of life were significant and formative and all that goes along with growing up through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. We moved a few times, I was bullied, I was a bully, I was a geek, I was a jock, I had lots of friends, at times I didn’t have many friends, but my parents faith and my family remained the same all the way through.
As a pastor’s kid I saw the ugly and beautiful of church life. The ugly turned me away for a long, long time. Ugliness has a way of doing that.
I found myself searching all over the place for ‘something.’ I couldn’t even describe to you what I was hoping to find. It was a journey that brought me face to face with a toilet bowl, vomiting my guts out. As the vomit was flowing I thought to myself; ‘there is more to life than this.’
So I went to an English-speaking Bible School in Germany. Wholeheartedly committed to Jesus. Met a girl. Broke up with that girl after Bible School. I drove fork lift for a year at a window factory. I got back together with that girl. I started attending a Mennonite University. A few years later I married that girl. Graduated, became a pastor at a Mennonite church in Winnipeg, had a kid, and moved to British Columbia.
During my years as a pastor in Winnipeg I noticed something. Something very important. Anabaptism has a grittiness to it that speaks peace, grace and hope into contexts that are hopeless. I saw first hand people literally following in the footsteps of Christ in their particular time and place. It was nitty-gritty and beautiful. It was something that my father caught onto years before. Something that I was completely ignorant of during my first 21 years doggy paddling through church. There is something very important about the Anabaptist voice. This blog is a place and space to poke and prod with curiosity that “something”.
My hope for this blog is that it will be a place to ‘navigate the collision’ between my context and Anabaptism. I will regurgitate my thoughts, wonderings and inspirations and hold in tension some difficult questions of faith and life together in community. I write to help myself understand what I am actually thinking and process life as an Anabaptist Mennonite Pastor. But I also look to connect, offer a place for people to engage what I am thinking and join in conversation about life and stuff. “Anabaptistly” is a place and space in which to seek what living Anabaptistly actually looks like. Whatever I write about here, what ever I find myself thinking about, is be grounded in an Anabaptist faith.
I look forward to the conversation…