“There is no agony like having an untold story inside you.” - Zora Neale Hurston
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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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...
Graffiti art illustrates how to break the cycle

Graffiti art illustrates how to break the cycle

We are pleased to feature David Hayward, a graffiti artist and blogger otherwise known as nakedpastor. On a recent blog post, he explains how he was inspired to draw this cartoon after reading Sharon Detweiler’s untold story on our website. It powerfully illustrates how patriarchal systems create, nurture, protect and defend the abuse of women and children.  Boys and young men are also its victims, as...
Unpacking the lies: What being queer has to do with sexual abuse

Unpacking the lies: What being queer has to do with sexual abuse

In the past week two major Mennonite news items were released into the web-sphere: the long-awaited January edition of the Mennonite Quarterly Review devoted to sexual abuse in the Mennonite Church and particularly focused on John Howard Yoder’s sexual abuse of women in the church and, secondly, the Mennonite Church USA Clergy Sexuality Survey. Am I...
John Howard Yoder: My Untold Story after 36 years of Silence

John Howard Yoder: My Untold Story after 36 years of Silence

  To Rachel Waltner Goosen, whose historical overview in The Mennonite meticulously recounts John Howard Yoder’s true legacy, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your literary piece is masterful. But as I read your article on this quiet Sunday morning, I find my hands shaking, my heart beating faster, and I’m unable to read clearly…36...
Feminist organizing challenge institutions’ silence on Yoder

Feminist organizing challenge institutions’ silence on Yoder

In the new issue of Mennonite Quarterly Review, five essays look at John Howard Yoder’s systematic project of sexual harassment and abuse of women. Unless otherwise noted, the articles named below are part of the issue. Rachel Waltner Goossen’s essay “‘Defanging the Beast': Mennonite Responses to John Howard Yoder’s Sexual Abuse” is the most extensive of these...
The failure to bind and loose: Responses to Yoder’s sexual abuse

The failure to bind and loose: Responses to Yoder’s sexual abuse

Note from the Editor: This piece is cross-posted from The Mennonite, which excerpted it from a longer article, “’Defanging the Beast’: Mennonite Responses to John Howard Yoder’s Sexual Abuse,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 89 (January), based on newly available documents and interviews with 29 individuals. Readers interested in Goossen’s work in its entirety, including documentation for...
Accepting reality: Putting child sexual abuse on our radar

Accepting reality: Putting child sexual abuse on our radar

In 1985, after weeks of intensive training, I started volunteering at the Los Angeles Rape Hotline (taking calls, accompanying victims to court, etc). After about a year on the job, it started getting to me. Every time a call came in I felt like the victim’s voice (telling me yet another horror) went through my...
Celebrating Winter Solstice as Survivors of Darkness

Celebrating Winter Solstice as Survivors of Darkness

Happy Solstice, dearly beloveds. Today the Winter Solstice has ushered us past the longest night of the year. This darkest day is near Christmas, a day supposedly all about the cheer, the ho-ho-ho, the holly and mistletoe and kissing, and of course the joy of the birth of a Savior… But what about those of...
Seminary announces service to acknowledge harm from John Howard Yoder actions

Seminary announces service to acknowledge harm from John Howard Yoder actions

The Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary board of directors along with the president and administrative cabinet are taking steps to acknowledge institutional responsibility for the harm inflicted by John Howard Yoder’s sexual exploitation of women while employed at the seminary in the 1970s and 1980s, and for seminary leaders’ prolonged failure to intervene effectively. An extensive historical account of...
Naming Violation: Sexualized Violence and LGBTQ Justice

Naming Violation: Sexualized Violence and LGBTQ Justice

** This piece was originally posted at PinkMenno.org on July 10, 2014. Stay tuned for more reflections on this topic in the coming week. This is a strange time to be writing about Mennonites and sexuality. In less than a year, I’m scheduled to defend my dissertation on sexual diversity, LGBTQ Anabaptist activism, and the...
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