Ask a Hutterite

The blog of a real, live Hutterite.


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Interview: Sunday@CMU

Founder's Hall in Autumn.

Founder’s Hall in Autumn.

From September to December 2014 I lived in residence at the Canadian Mennonite University while I worked through an intensive course of study primarily in the area of biblical and theological studies. Towards the end of my stay I was interviewed by Aaron Epp for Sunday@CMU, a short program aired on Golden West Radio stations throughout southern Manitoba.  The episodes aired on February the 15th and 22nd. Continue reading


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Hans Decker: Orthodoxy won’t get you into heaven

Prediger Hans Decker was not your ordinary Hutterite minister. The text below is a prime example of his visionary thinking—thinking that occasionally got him in trouble with the status quo thinkers of his day. This document was first published in August of 1985. The German was modernized by Lothar Korff, and the English translation is my own. Continue reading


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Reflection: Interview with CBC’s Nora Young on Spark

cbc2

“Being interviewed guarantees being misunderstood.”

So says the Canadian singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell in a rare interview with Jian Ghomeshi aired in early June on CBC Radio’s Q. My own experience with a variety of media corroborates this. Continue reading


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Reflection: American Colony (Episode 3: Rockin’ Road Trip)

A special evening

Photograph by National Geographic Channels / Collins Avenue Inc.

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites
Episode 3: Rockin’ Road Trip
Aired: June 12, 2012

There are two stories unfolding alongside each other in this episode. To begin, the young people of King Ranch secure permission to attend a wedding in Canada. Secondly, the married ladies of the community are planning a weekend get-away with their husbands. Both storylines are fraught with challenges and conflict. In this reflection I will only discuss themes presented by the first strand, but also explore discoveries regarding the integrity and authenticity of American Colony‘s filming and editing process. Continue reading


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Reflection: American Colony (Episode 2: The Shunning)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Collins Avenue Inc.

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites
Episode 3: The Shunning
Aired:June 5, 2012

“Shunning means, we want no part of you.” [Bertha]

“Actually, the main reason we go to school is to play sports.” [Carver]

“I hope the elders are happy for [sic] what they did.” [Claudia]

As I begin my second episode reflection, I am contemplating several responses to the first. I was worried that my perspective would be too far removed from the Dariusleut viewpoint, but as one reader pointed out, anybody who listens with a careful ear to the Hutterite teachings, which all Hutterites share, should see that something doesn’t line up with the American Colony portrayal. Writing this episode’s reflection has been challenging because the show deals with a spiritual concept in a very secular manner. Continue reading


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Confessions of a Hutterite blogger

Chocolate Cake

May I have my cake and eat it too?

I am very self-conscious that the tone and content of my writing may project the image that I am a super-Hutterite. I am not. I do struggle with some of our communal values, traditions, and beliefs. I occasionally cause problems in my community. I, and those who are acquainted with me, know this to be true: I have my personal demons; I have to guard myself from falling into destructive habits because of my slightly OCD personality; I am a classic conflict avoider; I hurt people too, and sometimes I think being right is more important than being kind.

Continue reading


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Reflection: American Colony (Episode 1: Harvest Party Scandal)

Breaking bread

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Collins Avenue Inc.

American Colony: Meet the Hutterites
Episode 1: Harvest Party Scandal
Aired: May 29, 2012

Beginning this series of reflections sounded like such a wonderful idea—an opportunity to respond with thoughtfulness to something many people feel strongly about. I hoped it would be something of a Verbeigeah, that I would be able to do it in passing. Reality has settled in and cleared away all remnants of this delusion. Continue reading