What is a MennoNerd?

Menno Simons NerdMennoNerds is a network of Anabaptists from around the Internet interacting through a variety of media. What is a MennoNerd? It doesn’t necessarily mean “Menno”, with Anabaptists of all varieties welcome. It also doesn’t necessarily mean nerdy in the stereotypical sense, although that applies for many of us. Admittedly, the name is more for fun than it is descriptive.

Our current mission is as follows:

We will be a “go to” place for people to hear what Anabaptists have to say about following Jesus in a variety of contexts and topics, with a recognition and reverence of the wide diversity of race/ethnicity, gender, generation, sexuality, ability, and theology found in the Anabaptist stream.

History

Somewhere in the fall of 2012, a tweet was sent out into the blackness of the interwebs by a lonely nerdy Mennonite named Chris Lenshyn.  It included the hashtag, #MennoNerd.  Starting with that one little hashtag, suddenly Anabaptist tweeps started popping up and connecting with each other, along with their blogs, all over the ‘Net.

Putting our nerdy heads together and pooling resource of hardware, time, know-how, and nerd-powers, we put together this website. From there, momentum kept building as we’ve continued to grow and evolve into what we are today.

What do we do?

Check out more of this website for all the details, but the three main components of MennoNerds are:

  1. Blogging, syndicated and curated through this website
  2. Podcasting, available on YouTube and in RSS feeds
  3. Social media: check out the links across the top and bottom of the site

What’s With the Bird?

MennoNerds BBM Icon

Image credit, Eddie Gonzalez http://www.schleitheim.com/

Meet our mascot, Rebstock NerdBird!  You’ll see this image pretty much everywhere MennoNerds hang out as we love our little birdy.

Why Rebstock? In September, 2013, we had a contest to name our bird.  A lot of excellent names were suggested but, at the end, Rebstock won out.  The person who nominated Rebstock, Tim Nafziger, wrote the following about his choice.

This is the last name of Barbara Rebstock, a woman who is not talked about very much today, but who was a major Anabaptist prophet in Strasbourg. She was willing to stand up to David Joris, a misogynist Anabaptist leader who tried to shame the Anabaptist men she worked with[, calling them] weak because they let her lead.

In his biography of Joris, David Joris and Dutch Anabaptism, 1524-1543, Gary Waite quotes Joris saying, “Men, keep your [authority] above the woman, so you will not be deceived” and he refused to continue the debate. (Waite, 136)

Naming this bird after Rebstock is a way to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Mennonite women who have been silenced by patriarchy since Rebstock… It also alludes the crucial work of being [an] ally that the men in Strasbourg modeled (at least briefly) when standing up to Joris on Rebstock’s behalf. [A Google Books copy of the book is available to read the whole story]

Also: I like the sound of Rebstock as a word. It’s rhythmic and has arcane echoes of the word rebel in a provocative way.

So, not only is this truly a MennoNerd bird (who else but MennoNerds would know about Barbara Rebstock), but the representative history of the name reflects who we are.

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MennoNerds Name by Chris Lenshyn on behalf of the MennoNerds community is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License
All MennoNerds Logos of Rebstock Nerdbird by Eddie Gonzalez on behalf of the MennoNerds community are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.