Snapshots into Journey Forward: The Reference Council

Mennonite Church USA is building upon the work of the Future Church Summit at #MennoCon17 in Orlando. A dynamic group of writers has been called together to produce a concise description of MC USA’s shared values and guiding theological foundations. We’re calling this process Journey Forward. Over the next few weeks, the Menno Snapshots blog will be featuring interviews with the Journey Forward Writing Team and Reference Council, giving you a peek into the diverse life and faith experiences that are coming together in this moment in MC USA’s history.

Felipe Hinojosa is associate professor in the History Department at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. He is a member of Iglesia Menonita Buenas Nuevas, San Juan, Texas. Felipe is a member of the Journey Forward Reference Council.

Tell us one interesting or fun fact about you – something we wouldn’t already know.

I am currently working on a book of short stories about growing up in South Texas.

Tell us about one of your spiritual heroes / heroines. How have they been influential in your faith journey?

Fr. Luis Olivares (1934-1993). Father Olivares was the leader of the sanctuary movement in Los Angeles in the 1980s at La Placita Church (the heart of Mexican American Catholicism in LA). Fr. Olivares’ vision, work ethic, grace and love for the people are an inspiration to me.

What is your favorite worship song or hymn? Why?

I like any and all the classic Pentecostal Coritos that I grew up singing at Iglesia Menonita del Cordero in Brownsville, Texas.

What draws you to this work with Mennonite Church USA and Journey Forward – why did you say yes to this invitation?

I said yes because I believe that another church is possible.

Our Journey Forward core values document will reflect what we think is most important as Anabaptists, specifically as MC USA. When you think about your identity as Anabaptist-Mennonite, what value, belief or idea most excites you – what grounds you in your faith?

The values of community, justice and love are what keep me grounded.