(Mennonite Church USA) — Registration is now open for the 2018 Women Doing Theology (WDT) conference organized by MC USA’s office of Women in Leadership (WIL). The conference, to be held Nov. 8-10, 2018 at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, will explore the theme, Talkin’ Bout a Revolution: Dialogue, Practice and the Work of Liberation, through large group sessions, worship, workshops and paper presentations.
“At its core, I believe that Anabaptism is a revolutionary movement, a movement for wholeness, peace and reconciliation,” said Chantelle Todman Moore, member of the WDT planning team and co-founder and lead coach at Unlock Ngenuity. “As women whose prophetic voices often come from the margins of the church, we know that it will take a revolutionary movement to upend patriarchy, sexism, racism, all of the isms and bring about the Shalom of God, the Beloved Community.”
WDT is a conference that centers the theological work of women, creating space for women to speak into the existing body of theological work and shape it based on women’s expertise and experiences with God in community and in life, according to conference planners.
Men who are interested in attending the conference are asked to complete an application and receive an invitation in order to register.
The WDT planning team is Todman Moore, Melissa Florer-Bixler, pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church, and Jenny Castro, coordinator of WIL. On May 22, planners sent out a call for papers and workshops and will accept proposals through July 16.
The large group sessions will feature three speakers from different vocations — a preacher, a professor and a poet.
Yvette Blair is a womanist preacher who uses her prophetic voice as a form of resistance to liberate women from marginalized and oppressive spaces. She co-founded and serves as co-pastor at a new worshipping community in Dallas called The Gathering, A Womanist Church.
Malinda Elizabeth Berry is a peace theologian who loves to do integrative work inspired by numerous teachers and role models as well as social movements like nonviolent communication and the Circle Way. She teaches theology and ethics at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros is a Tejana poet, freelance writer and speaker. Her work deals with faith and Latinidad and has appeared at “On Being,” “The Rumpus,” “The Acentos Review,” “SheLoves Magazine,” and others. She is currently working on a book dealing with the in-betweenness of our faith y lo cotidiano.
“These women offer us ways to re-encounter our own faith but also to ask new questions about moving deeper into the intentional work of liberation movements,” said Florer-Bixler. “I think that sometimes we end up in an echo chamber when we only speak to other Mennonites. We need the challenge, energy and vision for liberation that happens in both our tradition, and beyond our front step.”
Cost of the conference is $125 and includes two lunches and one dinner. Registration, lodging, travel, men’s application, and all other WDT info is kept up to date on the conference webpage: MennoniteUSA.org/wdt18 . For specific questions, email JenniferC@MennontieUSA.org.
“Some of the very best of what our church offers is given full reign at WDT,” said Florer-Bixler. “As women, we have to become co-conspirators in each other’s liberation. We have to do the difficult work of naming the oppressions that have settled within us, to let them be disturbed and then uprooted. We need that ground to plant something new.”