I recently spent several days in Rwanda as part of a teaching team for the Shepherd’s Leadership Conference, a weeklong conference for Rwandese pastors and other church leaders. There is much to share, especially having been there so close to the 20th anniversary of the genocide (April 6th). I hope to post several reflections on my time in Rwanda. This first is not about the genocide, but about my interactions with a pastor who attended the conference.
I remember the puzzled look on Ellen B. Kauffman’s face as she tried to place me in her social geography of biological relationships. “Who are you parents and grandparents?”
As a junior high kid at the annual Winter Bible School for the Mennonite Churches of Greater Johnstown (Pa.), I gladly told her my parents and grandparents names. I don’t think it helped either of us to navigate our relatedness together as my family had only recently joined a Mennonite congregation. We were on our own, it seemed, to build a relationship together, to co-construct our Mennoniting.