“There is no agony like having an untold story inside you.” - Zora Neale Hurston
Sex with a pastor: An affair or abuse?

Sex with a pastor: An affair or abuse?

Representing the Anabaptist Mennonite Chapter of SNAP, Dr. Cameron Altaras delivered the following speech at the Annual SNAP conference in Alexandria, Virginia on August 2, 2015. More than 300 survivors of sexual abuse in faith communities and their loved ones gathered to hear speakers from around the world who educated and inspired us to “protect the...
Trauma and Lack of Nuance

Trauma and Lack of Nuance

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” —Audre Lorde My assailants told me I was cute, that I was beautiful and small, that I was sweetness, that my hair was soft, that I looked innocent. My assailant told me he wanted a...
Lament for the institutionalized church: Trauma, rage, and hope from Kansas City

Lament for the institutionalized church: Trauma, rage, and hope from Kansas City

Rae wrote a version of this piece, originally posted on Facebook, late on Friday, July 3, after attending the Mennonite Church USA’s “Service of Lament and Hope” for survivors of sexual abuse. The service came a day after MCUSA delegates passed two seemingly contradictory resolutions related to LGBTQ bodies. One,...
Breaking Open the Structure of Sexual Violence: An Interview with Ruth Krall

Breaking Open the Structure of Sexual Violence: An Interview with Ruth Krall

This interview originally appeared on Issue 2015, VOL. 69 of Mennonite Life, a Bethel College publication. I first encountered Ruth Krall’s work at the same time that many Mennonites did, in 2013, with the release of the third volume of her online series of books on religious sexual violence, The Elephants...
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Our Stories Untold at Kansas City

Our Stories Untold at Kansas City

Are you going to be at convention next week? Our Stories Untold—also known as Barbra, Hilary, and myself—is extremely excited to be present in a large way at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City June 30 through July 5. We want you to be aware of our involvement and to feel free to...
SNAP Menno launched, OSU on board

SNAP Menno launched, OSU on board

I distinctly remember the feeling I had walking into that large hotel conference room in Chicago with Rae Halder last summer. I was overwhelmed with emotion and had to find a chair. We were welcomed as Mennonites to the 2014 Annual SNAP Conference, the Survivors Network of Persons Abused by Priests and I saw something I’d never seen before: several hundred fellow survivors gathered...
Pink Menno presents “On the Way: Dis-Covering Diversity” in Kansas City

Pink Menno presents “On the Way: Dis-Covering Diversity” in Kansas City

(Official Pink Menno press release) At the Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) bi-annual convention (in Kansas City, MO), Pink Menno will convene a symposium focused on intersectionality. “On the Way: Dis-Covering Diversity” will be held in Pink Menno’s hospitality space in Room 2504B of the convention center, right around the corner from the Grand Ballroom on...
Mothering and moving on

Mothering and moving on

This mother’s day piece was cross-posted from the Mennonite Church USA #WeAreMenno blog on May 8, 2015. Gratitude to Alyssa for sharing this story with everyone so we can all see the courage of motherhood and trauma survival.  ——————————– As I reflect on celebrating my first Mother’s Day as a mom soon, I must make...
An open letter to AMBS re: the service of lament

An open letter to AMBS re: the service of lament

A service like the one you had at AMBS is an amazing undertaking. I’m sure it was difficult to plan, and as I’ve seen in your responses on social media, you knew from the start there was no trauma-and-harm-undoing magic answer. What you may already know is that a service like this also reverberates and...
After everything you've been through, how do you keep your faith?

After everything you’ve been through, how do you keep your faith?

Walking back to the retreat house from a morning mass service at St. Benedict’s Snowmass monastery, Buzz saddled up to me and asked if he could disrupt my silence. It was day 5 of a 10 day semi-silent centering prayer meditation retreat. Buzz and I had conversed at the dinner table the night before, dinners...
To the Next Generation of Pacifist Theologians

To the Next Generation of Pacifist Theologians

 In a new book of essays by Yoderian theologians, edited by J. Denny Weaver and entitled “John Howard Yoder: Radical Theologian,” peace and justice scholar and activist, Lisa Schirch writes an insightful Afterword. We are honored to republish it here.  Dr. Lisa Schirch is Director of Human Security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding and a Research Professor at...
Inviting survivors to collaborate in creating a new theology

Inviting survivors to collaborate in creating a new theology

In November 2014, Our Stories Untold attended Dove’s Nest’s “Protecting Our Children and Youth Conference” as both conference participants and speakers. OSU partner Hilary Jerome Scarsella, a doctoral candidate in theological studies at Vanderbilt University, led a seminar titled “Children, the Peace Position, and Vulnerability to Abuse.” I was completely blown away by much of...
A poem: The ice, five parts

A poem: The ice, five parts

Editor’s Note: The following poem was first published February 7, 2015, on Kristin’s blog “Praire Daize.” She explained on her original post that her blog has become a platform for her journey with ptsd following childhood sexual abuse–“While my writing isn’t explicit with abuse details, it offers a glimpse into the often pained path of moving on. Thanks for...
John Howard Yoder’s sexual abuse: Asking the wrong question

John Howard Yoder’s sexual abuse: Asking the wrong question

Editor’s note: This is a cross-post from Hillary’s blog, www.gatheringthestones.com, first published on January 30, 2015. Even though this week a Goshen College student was slapped by Jennifer Lopez, John Howard Yoder is still the biggest Mennonite celebrity we have. While at Pastors Week, I heard stories about how he would takes notes on a...
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