Bridgefolk Newsletter
April 2003 - no. 2



  • Next Bridgefolk Conference, July 17-20
  • Martyr's conference
  • Update from Bridgefolk in Newton, Kansas area
  • New to the Bridgefolk website
  • Features

  • Introducing Regina Wilson, new Steering Committee Member
  • "Enough to Go Around" by Eric Massanari
  • Summary of Steering Committee Meeting” by Pat Shaver
  • Sharing of Gifts


    Next Bridgefolk Conference, July 17-20

    In violent times, Christians are called to be salt and light, building and sustaining peace. But what sustains peacemakers in the midst of suffering and discouragement? This will be our theme as we hear three sets of stories:

    After each story, small group discussions will discern the spiritual practices contained in the story, how they support a peaceful Christian response to violence and how they benefit our churches. The time will also include shared worship and spiritual practice, as well as consideration of other spiritual practices that sustain peacemaking. There will alse be time for visiting and enjoying the lakes and woods of the Saint John's campus. For more information, see...

    Martyr's conference

    This conference is being held to initiate an ecumenical study of the persecution and martyrdom of the sixteenth-century Anabaptist martyrs, the founders of the present day Mennonite and related communities. The conference will be the first time Catholics have publicly confronted these incidents, and the first time Mennonites have engaged in historical study of the martyrs in an ecumenical setting.

    News release

    Update from Bridgefolk in Newton, Kansas area

    Having six Bridgefolk participants from the same town has allowed for shared reflection and brainstorming about local efforts. They report here on their opportunities to share at congregation, denominational office and college events. And they even discover Arnold Snyder's jazz piano.

    Click here

    New to the Bridgefolk website

  • "An Exchange of Gifts" -- Drew Christiansen S.J. surveys Mennonite-Catholic collaboration and dialogue in America magazine
  • Mennonite-Catholic dialogue featured in Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano
  • Meeting with Sant'Egidio community, pope urges proclamation of the gospel of peace
  • "We pledge allegiance..." -- commentary by Gerald Schlabach in Sojourners magazine


    Introducing Regina Wilson, new Steering Committee Member

    Regina tells of her first encounter with Mennonites, and the effect that her husband's five years attending a Mennonite Church has had on their family, her ministry and her commitment to working for Christian unity.

    Click here

    "Enough to Go Around" by Eric Massanari

    “We are all part of a multitude, receiving of the abundance that is Christ, and not only is there enough to go around, there is plenty for us to share with one another.” Much of this abundance we are given and asked to share comes out of our past. Out of the fractured history within the body of Christ, “important aspects of Christ’s gospel have been allowed to flourish in our different traditions” and “there is much to be learned from our differences.”

    "Summary of Steering Committee Meeting" by Pat Shaver

    The Bridgefolk Steering Committee met a St. John’s November 8-10, 2002. Subjects covered included: creating a mission statement, confirming the Bridgefolk name, considering structures for the organization, planning the 2003 conference; reviewing the newsletter and suggesting the idea of regional groups.

    Click here

    Sharing of Gifts


    Webmaster: We are pleased to announce that John Thiessen, a librarian at Bethel College in Kansas, has volunteered to assist with the Bridgefolk website. John has been following Bridgefolk in the Mennonite press, is a friend of Eric Massanari, and has been involved in "grassroots dialogue" with Catholic relatives for many years. Thank you John!

    Many thanks to Pat Shaver for getting this newsletter started by editing the first two issues. Family and professional transitions have required her to resign, but there is no doubt that she will continue to be an active Bridgefolk participant.


    Newsletter Editor Needed: Bridgefolk needs a volunteer to take over the editorship of this newsletter. The editor will work with the steering committee to identify news stories, solicit feature articles and edit them for publication here and on the website. Please write to if interested.

    Additional volunteer opportunities may also emerge in the future. Please consider prayerfully how you might want to contribute to this developing movement. And don't wait to be asked! If you have ideas, let us know by to

    Request for stories: Our for the newsletter is that it can keep us in conversation between meetings and allow people who don't attend meetings to be involved in the discussion. We would like to invite you to further this conversation by writing your story, or a part of it, for future issues of this newsletter. Visit the following link: Then write to

    Bridgefolk Newsletter Statement of Purpose:

    While this newsletter will continue to change and evolve with the organization, its preliminary goals are to:
  • Facilitate communication between the steering committee and conference participants
  • Share conference information
  • Provide a place for people to find out about the Bridgefolk Movement
  • Alert you to new articles on the website
  • Report on and share information from conferences
  • Share reports, papers, stories and resources on issues of particular relevance to Bridgefolk
  • Encourage dialogue and connection among Bridgefolk, who are often geographically separated

    Bridgefolk tend to be passionate, committed, interested, reflective people. We are looking forward to your contributions of ideas, reflections, questions, prayers, helpful articles, experiences, stories, issues on which you would like others' thoughts, etc., to enable this newsletter to reflect you. If you will share your ideas, we will do our best to organize and present them. Address suggestions or letters to the editor to: