Playing in the honeysuckle and poison ivy . . . together

Amanda K Gross is an anti-racist organizer and artist. She blogs about the interconnectedness of racism, patriarchy, capitalism and white womanhood at and is working to convene an anti-racist affinity group for white women and femmes working within Anabaptist institutions. Learn more about that here. __________________ I have this vivid memory from when I was around six or seven years old:  My mother and her sister were coming out of our Mennonite church education building in tears. It must have been late spring or early fall, the adults had locked themselves inside of the brick and cinderblock air-conditioned building for the last of a series of after-church meetings, and the children played happily in the honeysuckle and poison ivy outside. When I asked why they were crying, I was told they were very sad because many people, including my aunt, were leaving our church. Our church of 75 or so committed attendees — out of the metro area’s several million — had been whittled down to half and a second area Mennonite church had been formed. There is a dizzying array of Anabaptist sects that, even for a relative “insider,” can cause confusion. I don’t know the specifics of when or how the Old … Continue reading Playing in the honeysuckle and poison ivy . . . together