Embrace your heritage – the Anabaptist voice of love and peace – and choose to be “extremists for love and grace,” keynote speaker Shane Claiborne urged U.S. MB youth at the San Antonio 2011 youth convention. The “flood” theme was based on Amos 5:24. The 827 youth and sponsors who attended the event, held every four years, returned home to South Dakota, Kansas, California, Texas, and North Carolina stirred to be like the “little drops” that form a mighty river.
No one would call Shane Claiborne boring. Claiborne looks and sounds like an Old Testament prophet, sporting dreadlocks, boldly questioning wealth, and calling for justice for the poor. He makes a lot of people – including Christians – uncomfortable. So it’s not surprising that Claiborne’s selection as one of two keynote speakers scheduled for the U.S. Mennonite Brethren conference’s 2011 youth convention in San Antonio, Texas, (SA2011), raised questions among some constituents.