Yes, I’m Mennonite, and Why That’s Not the Point

This post comes out of a commitment I made to myself shortly after I started this blog. But to understand why, I need to tell you the beginning.

I had sought to publish some short articles through Mennonite publications, but the lists of prerequisites of what is and is not okay to put in said articles was discouraging. In addition, in telling true stories about ourselves, we run the risk of threatening someone else’s privacy. Blogging looked attractive in that no one had to know me or the people I was writing about to appreciate my writing. I wondered if people who didn’t know me could actually find me interesting to read.

I also wondered if someone of my sub-culture (Conservative Mennonite) had anything to offer the world at large. There’s all kinds of hype about the Amish and Mennonites, and I wanted people to read what I wrote for what it was, not because I am Mennonite.

This does not mean I am ashamed of being Mennonite. (I’ll write more about it as time goes along.) However, as shaping as being a Mennonite is, it does not define who I am. I also want people from other cultures to realize that we Mennonites are human and we are Christian and quite dreadfully ordinary.

So, why come out and say now that I’m Mennonite? Frankly, not saying it has been tricky, but the real reason is because of that commitment I referred to earlier.

When I have 100 wordpress followers, I will publish an article entitled “Yes, I’m Mennonite, and Why That’s Not the Point.”

Yesterday, I got my 100th WordPress follower. Why WordPress followers? Initially, I didn’t tell any of my family or friends about this blog, which means the original followers were random people who found me via being bloggers themselves but were not Mennonite or even Christian in some cases. Presently, around 10% of the one hundred WordPress followers are Mennonites. People I know tend to follow me via e-mail or just check in every now and then.

So, essentially, having 100 WordPress followers that are mostly not Mennonite means that I do have something to say to those who are not of my sub-culture or even religious belief.

To be Mennonite means I identify with other Mennonites, and this is usually a benefit. However, whatever we believe, whatever culture we come from, we are human and as such, we have something to say to each other. In publishing as a Mennonite, I don’t want my religious culture to be the focus of the blog. I am first a Christian and a writer.

That’s why being Mennonite just isn’t “the point.”

4 Comments on “Yes, I’m Mennonite, and Why That’s Not the Point

  1. I like the clarity with which you express yourself! I agree with you wholeheartedly. Several weeks ago, I wrote this in a journal entry: “I feel this desperation to prove to people that I am not just some mindless and meek “Amish” woman- I want to prove that I am a living breathing aching thinking relevant authentic human being, who loves Jesus, and has simply chosen to live/dress with different priorities than general society.” I believe that Mennonites do have much to offer, but that we must be willing to show our humanity if we ever want to share with others in a meaningful way. This is a topic that I am very interested in.
    Looking forward to more blog posts about being Mennonite. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Flatlander Faith and commented:
    I wish I had written this. Like the young lady who wrote this article I wish to portray to people that Mennonites are “quite dreadfully ordinary.” I am a more or less normal Canadian guy who became a Mennonite 40 years ago because I believed the Mennonite faith to be the most authentic expression of genuine Christianity. I was not raised in a Mennonite church and have never been enamoured of the “Mennonite culture”. Though by now I have grandchildren who are pretty much part of that culture.

    Liked by 1 person

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