About . . .

This website is an effort to share a bit of my thinking with members of my congregation, former students, and anyone else who happens to find their way here. At a time when a lot of Christian writer-types are putting great effort into building their “platforms,” it’s important for me to state that I am not trying to do that at all.

This is a blog. My writing here is informal and piecemeal. I will sometimes post links to more formal essays, and I will occasionally give permission for other outlets to re-post material that originates here. However, in neither case am I trying to become some sort of a “spiritual entrepreneur” or get involved in stupid online debates.ottawa

Most of my writing here relates to that ancient form of Christian community known as the church. You will notice that I am particularly interested in the ways Christian communities can (or fail to) serve the common good. I find this to be a particularly curious and challenging thing in our post-Christendom context. Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve begun posting drafts (w/ audio) of my sermons. I do this with reluctance, as I believe that a sermon is something that happens in the context of a specific community of faith. However, I’ve found that making this part of my pastoral practice more widely available has been appreciated at a time when we cannot gather in-person.

A bit about me: I am a pastor-theologian, currently serving as Lead Pastor at Ottawa Mennonite Church. Before taking on this role I was Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Prairie College. In case it matters, I worked my way through school as a wilderness guide and farm hand. I still like to think I know my way around mountains and lakes. My family and I grow what we can in our smallish backyard. We also enjoy exploring the museums and green space in and around Canada’s capital city. Luckily for us, we are within driving distance of two of the greatest places in the world: Algonquin Park and Adirondack Park. Both of these parks are remarkable examples of landscapes reclaimed from industrial exploitation. They are hopeful places.

5 thoughts on “About . . .”

  1. Anthony:
    Grant here from Three Hills.
    Had reason to think about you and a theological position that I seem to hold now, especially since I was at an AGM on Thursday night and discovered that I probably couldn’t be or wouldn’t be hired on staff if I were applying now, and had to sign a particular statement.
    I never asked too many questions back in the day (3 years ago) but think I may have some now.

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    1. Hi Grant. Nice to hear from you. I remember you well.
      As you might expect, I have mixed thoughts on those sorts of community statements. On the one hand, I see the value in an organization defining itself as it wants. On the other hand, for ‘Christian’ organizations I think these kinds of statements can create an artificial sense of unity and stability. They rule valuable questions out of bounds too early.
      In any event, I hope you’re finding places to contribute.

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  2. Hi Anthony – just stumbled upon your name, your website and your writings – looking forward to reading your work. What caught my eye is that you have done research on Mennonite involvement in the residential schools. Is this work available for reading?

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    1. Thanks Maria. There are a few essays on that topic scattered throughout the blog (and a couple of links to related essays published elsewhere). The most substantial piece I’ve written on Mennonite residential schools was published in an academic journal, The Mennonite Quarterly Review (January, 2019).

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