Monthly Archives: September 2013

Carnival de Resistance



As a theologian and scholar-activist, I loved sharing circus theology and inviting the curious and the apathetic, the annoyed and the skeptic, into our whirling-twirling experiment of life together under the shelter of God’s big tent. I reveled for the month in the space; a space that by God’s grace and Earth’s sustenance held all manner of creatures, odd connections, swirling energies, and hard questions.  Even though we as individuals did not have the answers to many of the questions that arose from our troupe and the local audience-participants, we COULD gain collective wisdom or flashes of insight by putting them into holy PLAY and embodied conversation through the performance of old stories and the community practices of returning to ancient pathways.

The organizers had great ideas and powerful convictions. The group benefited from their expert facilitation and passion for being invitational rather than coercive. I was clear that the Carnival de Resistance in Virginia was what we later dubbed a ‘white folks recovery project’, and that clarified my expectations. I was able to bring my experience as a traveled young woman of color to bear, and the space that was created for mourning loss of indigeneity and dignity was wide enough that I could also participate in my personal process of grief and reconnection.  The organizers endeavored to make our art together on stage and off stage both clear and flexible. I felt I knew what my various tasks/rol1375060_186710431515198_1044181541_nes/foci in community life and performances were; I felt very appreciated; and I knew that I was balancing what I was doing there with the demands of simultaneous outreach work for Christian Peacemaker Teams…one of the sponsors of the Carnival de Resistance. In the hospitable and watching land of the Sinibo (Harrisonburg) an the Monacan (Charlottesville) I got to preach, perform, consult, play, laugh, learn, compost everything, re-wild, sing. This is a month I will never forget for the rest of my life.

A Long Article


Writing this was a labor of love…

In this issue of The Other Journal, we have used the lens of Marxism to illumine the consequences of economic exploitation and the ways we as Christians might work against such exploitation. Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is an international nonprofit organization that aims to perform that same work, addressing racism, sexism, heterosexism, nationalism, and economic exploitation in all its forms all around the globe. CPT partners with marginalized communities in situations of lethal conflict where CPT is invited to participate, places like Hebron/Al-Khalil Palestine, Iraqi-Kurdistan, Colombia, and the First Nations in the Canadian provinces. These invitations come from the local leaders of movements for nonviolent social change. In this interview with Sarah Thompson, CPT Outreach Coordinator, discusses the origins of CPT and what it means to wrestle with imperialism in peacemaking.

The Other Journal (TOJ): How did you first get connected to CPT and what compels you to work with the organization?

Sarah Thompson (ST): I first got connected with CPT through the Peace Club at Bethany Christian High School, a Mennonite school in Goshen, Indiana. One of CPT’s project support coordinators spoke in a chapel service about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about the importance of joining together peacemakers from different walks of life in that region. The speaker also noted similarities between Israel’s settlement of Palestine and the settlement of the Midwest by European pioneers. He told us about the Pottawatomie, who lived on the land before our school was built and who still live and exist in the area today.

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