“There is no agony like having an untold story inside you.” - Zora Neale Hurston
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...
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...
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...
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...
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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...
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...
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...
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