Melissa Florer-Bixler is minister of nurture at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina, and a member of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship in Chapel Hill. She blogs at Sign on the Window, part of the CCblogs network.
“So, what’s your plan? You going to keep working your way up to bigger and better churches and church leadership positions?”
This was the end of a conversation I had with one of my parishioners at the church where I am the newly minted minister to children. Over the past few weeks it has become clear how difficult it is for most people to get their heads around my recent change in ministry roles.
The New York Times recently published an article about the revived process of accountability in the Mennonite church between our now-deceased, famed theologian John Howard Yoder and the victims of his sexual abuse. I’m not an expert on Yoder, and, like most people, I too am realizing that there is much I didn’t know about the extent of Yoder’s sexual coercion—both its content and its reach.
But I have been surprised by the number of people who were unaware this was part of Yoder’s past.